5 Ingredients To A Productive Family Gathering

During this holiday season you’ll most likely be spending a portion of it with family.  If not family, friends as close as family.  That gathering can look like a tame family gathering, or a wild gathering where people leave injured, hurt, or wounded.  Maybe you’ve been wounded before or maybe you’re the one doing the wounding.

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Before I encountered the Lord, I carried around a lot of insecurity.  Whenever I’d get around family, I’d revert back to a jr. high girl.  Stuck up, closed off, and extremely argumentative.  My husband was shocked when he saw me behave this way.  He would call me a pit bull–cute but always a danger of biting.

After encountering the Lord, I began to realize the destruction I was causing.  I realized how I was probably not that much fun to be around.  I’m assuming that when I walked in the room, everyone put up their cages in fear of the “animal” that just walked in the room.

Kingdom Calmness

As I have learned to receive the Lord’s love, I have learned to open up my heart without fear of being hurt.  My relationship with God has changed my relationships and given me a confidence that’s empowering!  In Isaiah 11:6 it says that “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat…”  Even though the nature of these animals are to devour one another, when living in the kingdom of God, they are completely diffused and at peace.

This holiday season, step into the kingdom of God as you spend time with family and friends.

5 Ingredients

Here are five ingredients to help you cook up a productive family gathering.

1) Fire Your Interpreter.  It’s so easy to be offended.  While pregnant right now, every time I hear someone say “How big is that baby!?!?”  All I hear is “Wow, Jamye, you’ve really gotten fat.  Very fat.  In fact, grossly fat.  You’ll have a horribly painful delivery.”  This interpretation creates fear and insecurity.  It’s definitely not from the Lord.

I have to fire my mental interpreter daily.  She does a really bad job of telling me what people are really saying.  So if your mental interpreter is just as bad as mine, fire him/her.  Hire one that desires to hear and receive the best from other people.

2) Talk About Other People.  No, I don’t mean talk about people who are not in the room.  In Dale Carnegie’s book “How To Win Friends & Influence People” he teaches the reader to “encourage people to talk about themselves.”  So this Christmas, engage in conversation with other people and ask them about their life.  Ask them questions about them.  Get into their world and listen to what God’s doing with them.  Interview them and rejoice in who they are.

3) Perspective.  Get the right perspective.  Make God big in your heart and mind.  As you magnify the Lord, the people who rub you the wrong way, or the fear that you have of others will be so tiny and insignificant to the magnitude of God’s greatness!  Look at the bigger picture BEFORE you enter that gathering.

4) Invite God to go with you.  Imagine yourself walking in with a large bodyguard and a psychologist.  One who will protect you in case of any harm, and the other who will help you analyze the impact of things you will say or do.

When you invite God with you into your family gatherings, you are inviting more than a bodyguard and a psychologist.  You are inviting the God of the universe who wants the very best for you and sees the very best in you.  Carry Him with you BEFORE you walk in the room and you’ll carry in the Prince of Peace.  You won’t have that “vibe” that no one wants to be around, but you’ll attract others as you carry in the love.

5) Stay confident.  You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.  If you are flipping burgers or still unemployed, own it.  You don’t need to make up fancy stories to make yourself feel better or to impress anyone.  You also don’t need to compare yourself to any family member.  You’re story isn’t over yet.  You don’t know what this next year will bring in your life.  Be confident in where God has you today and know that He has incredible plans for you!

As you gather together with family and friends, be free to open your heart and be confident in who God has created you to be.  Don’t carry in a vibe that is cold and uninviting.  Carry in joy and peace!  Enjoy this time with your loved ones.  Who knows how long you will have them around.

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

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