This Thanksgiving was soooooo peaceful! We chose to stay home by ourselves. We've done it before but not for a long time. My husband has been gone on business for most of a month and when he came home he was exhausted. Still is. His career, at certain times of the year, is very draining. He declared that he didn't want to see anybody, talk to anybody, be around anybody. So we stayed home together. Just us and our children. We had a nice dinner, LOTS of pie, and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and a few old movies. The kids saw "Top Hat" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for the first time. They were fascinated by the concept of a movie not being in color. It was great!
I have thought a lot about this whole idea of withdrawing a little instead of just keeping with tradition and showing up even when you're mentally or physically worn out. Even Jesus occasionally withdrew to refresh himself with a bit of solitude. It seems reasonable to me that if Jesus, He being perfect, had need of this then how much more we have need , being less than Him, to occasionally withdraw a pace or two. My husband has family members who choose to make things difficult when we choose this. They become personally offended and hold on to that for quite a while. Not our problem. I went to my brother-in-law's home a few days after Thanksgiving to drop off something . It was late in the evening and their children were already in bed. They had chosen to spend Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law's family. They hadn't been there in 3 years. It was certainly the other family's turn. It's not like there all that far away. They're right here in our little rural town. Because the children were not underfoot they decided to share with me the messages left on their answering machine by someone in my husband's family. I was appalled. Talk about manipulative! They had politely made it very clear that they would be elsewhere. We didn't receive any messages but I had left no room for thinking any different about where we would be and our reasons.
Why is it that some people around us can't take no for an answer? One of my goals lately has been to respect other peoples boundaries. I have been struggling to understand how to walk the fine line of being a good influence and knowing when to let people figure things out on their own. I have been guilty, at times, of doing more than I should . That might sound funny but I've learned something. I've learned that doing too much for someone will often weaken them instead of strengthen them in their own personal progress. Sometimes helping is actually hindering.
As I have searched for balance I have been led to studying the lives of the great women in the Scriptures. I am having lots of little epiphanies. This journey that I call life has had it's share of struggles. Reading about these great women has helped me see that I can and should continue to perservere. Thankfully I have their examples before me.