I just got back from a week with my family. For eight days I felt like the world didn’t exist–and I remembered that there is no gift in the world that compares to seeing a loved one smile; hearing their laughter. We talked, laughed, cleaned, cooked, and shared unconditional love. Since I do not celebrate Christmas they decided to give me the most useful gift I can think of–an eye exam and a new pair of eyeglasses. I wish every interaction I had with every person I meet would be pure and loving; but since I can’t have that I will hold onto the good feelings of seeing those who truly care about me for as long as I can. Today and everyday; a smiling face should mean something and not be unappreciated because at some point in the past someone didn’t do what you wanted them to do. Condemnation has no place in your life. There are few that will always be bad and never recover from something you don’t like. Don’t even spend time justifying why it is okay to condemn them; forget the thing they said, the thing they didn’t do, and stop disliking people for not being like you–we aren’t going to all behave the same way (and the only way to focus on is being loving/forgiving/ kind.)
Everyone knows how good it feels to do selfless acts, receive/give love, to focus on solutions instead of viewing life as forever hopeless, and if there are people who you view as truly dangerous to your family; then you should avoid them–Not invite them over to your house to argue with them. I’ll be honest–there are dangerous, unrighteous people out there; and I’m not going to put on my savior hat to save the immoral, the dangerous, and those against the word. They will need to change something within themselves and rebuild a relationship with the creator. My point here is that–that person–that evil person is NOT your sister-in-law who made you angry; so you don’t send her pictures of your kids or friend her on Facebook. Let your family grow to be as big as possible; love as many family members, their family members, and their friends as you can. Find reasons to like people; instead of condemning people for being different than you. Your life will be more beautiful and peaceful than you ever imagined. Take time to get to know those who you have neglected to be interested in because they are different than you–Reach out and include everyone–it is ridiculous to have cliques within a family, group of friends, church, or workplace. You know that the self-obsessed girl will talk about her new material possessions and that the party-guy will have outrageous stories about getting drunk–maybe you could get to know a lesser known person this year… and walk away a better person.
That said, here are some things that make me very happy: