You already know! We are continuing our 30 Days of Gratitude! If you missed the scoop about why we’re celebrating, be sure to check out Episode One. Yesterday, we talked about how to be grateful even when you find yourself asking why others don’t love you. Today, we’re going to be discussing Day Twelve’s topic: Family.
Family, family, family. It always amuses me when people say that they have a dysfunctional family, because I don’t think I have ever seen a family that isn’t dysfunctional in some way. Maybe that’s just a sign of the times. Family can bring so much joy… and family can bring a whole lot of other stuff as well.
In my book, I talk about how we expect our family to be a different breed of people. We don’t expect family to disappoint us, hurt us, lie on us, mistreat us, etc. – but the fact of the matter is that your family members are people, too. They have the propensity to do any and everything anyone else has the propensity to do. What makes them family by biological definition is that they share DNA with you. Other than that, they’re just people, and they are no different than anyone else.
This realization helped me to shift my expectations when it comes to family. Yeah, they SHOULD do this and that because they’re your family, but they’re still people, and people don’t always do what they’re supposed to do. Changing my expectations of family members has been such a blessing to my life.
On this good Sunday morning, I am going to give you two things to be grateful when it comes to your good ole family members.
Number One: Be grateful that you can love people in spite of their flaws. And if you can’t do that yet, be grateful that right now, you have the opportunity to start. Remember that people love you in spite of your flaws. And if that isn’t humbling enough, just think about how much God loves you in spite of EVERYTHING you have messed up on. That will get you all the way together.
Number Two: Be grateful that you are your own person. So many times, people lose their identity within their family. They aren’t known as an individual, they are known as “one of the Smiths” or “John Lee’s daughter” or something like that. But remember that you are your own person with your own identity. That doesn’t mean that you’re not “one of the Smiths” or that you’re not “John Lee’s daughter”. Be grateful for your identity within your family, but also be grateful that your identity isn’t LIMITED to how you’re identified within your family.
Number Three: Be grateful that God makes all things new. You may have come from a long line of alcoholics. That doesn’t mean you have to be one or continue to be one if you are one. You don’t have to carry on the negative behavior patterns passed to you by your family. At any point in your life, you can say “It stops with me”, and God will empower you to turn that thing around. I’m a witness. You don’t have to be anything you weren’t originally created to be.
As you go throughout this day, remember that your true identity doesn’t lie within the bloodline of your family. Your true identity is found only in God. Honor your family. Love them. Cherish and appreciate them. Honor God. Love God. Ask God to show you who you REALLY are. You’re more than your family name. You make the name. The name doesn’t make you. Even if your family name is great, you don’t have to limit yourself to what your family has done. You can do more. You can go further. Family is a wonderful thing – just don’t let family change who you were created to be.
And as I shared in my book, stop being ashamed of your family members who aren’t doing what you feel they should do. Talk to them if you can, and pray that God will show them who they really are. Everything changes when you realize why you were created and who you were created to be. Everything.
Have an amazing day today. Show love to yourself AND others. Be GREAT! I speak life to you and everyone and everything connected to you! Catch me tomorrow!