Family Reunions and Old Habits

Yikes, I sit here in the rawness of returning from a family event with that emotional stirred up feeling you get when you slip back into old habit pattens and then you kick yourself all the way home!!! I am writing from a real dose of humility.  Because as you may know I teach people how to change old habits and encourage you to remain in that great new place!  I am the first to say that we teach from our weaknesses!

Oh, how I wish it were easy to remain fully in the better process.  However, I do love a good challenge and am not quick to give up, so I fully believe there is hope for me and for you if this is where you find yourself.

Do not try to change intellectually only, you are a spiritual being and the Power comes from the Lord.  The One who makes all things New.

So what started this flare up of emotions, rawness and internal reaction? Well, I cannot be certain, but as I reflect I believe it is that I did not handle a matter with my husband with the most godly of character.  Instead of handing the matter over to God for guidance and healing, I decided I would continue to meditate upon the rawness.  So, going into a situation with personalities who stir up weaknesses will cause a tailspin.

So I have learned three things from this matter:

1) Do not receive words from others that are not from God. E.g., when discussing the fact that I do not have any indoor plants I was told, “well, you are not very nurturing are you?”

Those are words that sting a mamma’s heart.  And many moms, besides myself, are already doubting their ability to be a perfect mom*. So to be accused of not being nurturing by a family member: well, it just plain hurts.

Reality: I manage to feed my husband, 2 boys, the dog and the cat and I have a total of 10 exterior flower beds that I maintain…….can that count for something like nurturing even though I don’t have indoor plants? [still raw] 🙂 Okay, so truly my mind knows that this comment was way off base and should not cause me to waste God’s time over it, but my heart is wounded. WHY would she say this about me?  It boils down to the fact that there is something between her and God here, not her and I.  It is a good reminder of the spiritual battle we face on earth.  We sometimes think the problem is between the offender and us, but it really is the enemy stirring up the accusing words. See Ephesians 6:12.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV

2) Do not judge. Our natural defense mechanism seems to be to judge an offender.  I know from personal experience this only ends up showing me what I have yet to deal with in my own heart.  When I am honest, what gets me stirred up (emotionally, mentally, even physically) by another person is usually what lies unchecked within me. 

I do not know the person’s heart: wounds from past experiences, spiritual battles or true intentions.  So how can I judge, when I only have a small piece of reality puzzle? 

Oswald Chambers writes, “The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual.  Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding.”

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 NIV

3) Always pray. Before going into a possible volatile situation, pray. Pray before, during and after being with difficult people.

Pray continually 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Recognizing the spiritual battle at hand will prepare our heart and mind for the action of prayer and being in the word of God daily will bring to mind the powerful truths we need to remain in the fruits of the Spirit. May you approach your family reunion this summer by the Power of the Spirit and may your family be blessed by your presence.


*If you are a mom, beating yourself up over your lack of imperfection, please consider reading Jill Savage’s book, No More Perfect Moms. It may just help to set you free from the impossible dream of perfection!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen VanWormer
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 22:58:03

    Thnx Kim!!! I needed this!



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