...I know how weird that sounds because...
1) I am obviously not Amish
2) I could (I'm pretty sure this is obvious also) Never be Amish I do not posses whatever those people have to be able to live like they do it's utterly amazing to me!
3) You're probably thinking "what? is that a special kind of forgiveness or something?" and if it is it's obviously not for you because well, you're most likely not Amish either!
So I'm going to explain what I mean by this, I've missed my 'Thankful Posts' for the last two or three days I think. Because as bad as it sounds the closer it gets to Thanksgiving the less I feel thankful. I've been letting myself get overwhelmed and stressed out thinking about what's going to happen in January when my husband will be out of a job, when we'll be civilians, how we'll adjust to that, feeling lonely like I have no friends, starting to slip back into self pity, feeling like I failed my diet, getting upset at my family because I don't think they're doing what they should, letting jealousy and bitterness cloud my days and my feelings, and just letting stress and grumpiness and the need for everything to JUST GET DONE is making me lose site of why I'm doing it in the first place and is definitely keeping me from enjoying it, even getting something I've never had before; The Christmas Blahs!...anyway the list could go on and on and I'm sure I've lowered your opinion of me enough for one post.
But, I know how I'm feeling isn't good for me or anyone around me. I know that I'm in a place in my life that is good for me where I'm realizing that this time of the year is for being anything BUT selfish. For being kind and generous not just to your family and friends but strangers on the street! I've been trying to get into the Christmas spirit, and I mean the REAL spirit of Christmas remembering that it's to celebrate the birth of Christ and God's greatest gift to man kind. Not about presents or decorations or baked goods or holiday get togethers, not about the perfect Christmas card or best Holiday dinner. But it's hard to pull yourself away from what has sadly become the main stream idea of what Christmas is about. I don't want to lose sight of
The Real Reason For The Season
So lately I've been trying to focus on what I want to give this year, what I want out of this holiday season, and more importantly what I want to give people and make sure my family and not only those closest to me but strangers on the street take away from meeting me. Even if it's opening the door for someone, tipping a waiter or waitress, letting someone cross the street without getting grumpy about how long they're taking, making sure no matter what rush I'm in a take a minute to smile at the person and genuinely ask them "How are you today?". These may seem like small things but I've realized how much I need to REMIND myself to do these things how out of practice I am with them in my every day life and especially during this busy season, when really isn't the whole point of this season is to share goodwill and the love of Christ with your fellow man?
I've struggled with forgiveness my whole life. As I'm sure most of us have. For different things and now that I'm older definitely more serious things. I saw a movie tonight at Bible Study, and I am shocked and pleased to say that I now realize Anything and Everything can and should be Forgiven. I never realized before though that God did exactly that for us when Jesus was given to us and died on the cross for us! He forgave us for everything and anything we have done and will do. So why is it for us that it's so hard to forgive certain people for things that they do us? We need to follow the example of Jesus.
Luke 23:34 "Forgive them Father For They Know Not What They Do"
On the cross. After he'd been betrayed, beaten, and was bloody. Almost dead, crucified for doing nothing but good. He asked God to forgive his persecutors!!!! How can we possibly find anything hard to forgive after the example given to us by Christ on the cross? But sadly we do.
This film was called Amish Grace. It's about the 2006 Amish school shooting that resulted in 5 girls being killed. Shot by a man with so many problems and hurts, he'd lost his daughter and wanted revenge, wanted to offend God so he took the lives of these innocent girls. And one girl prayed for him before he killed her. It was an amazing movie, eye opening, touching, it is something everyone should watch. The man killed himself after taking the lives of the girls. And some men from the Amish community even one who had lost his daughter went to the killer's house and spoke to his wife saying "We are so sorry for YOUR loss, if there is anything we can do for you please let us know" the woman was in shock how could it be possible they could be this kind? They told her they'd forgiven her husband already. I won't give away anymore of the story and there is much more. But it just showed me I have no right, none at all. To hold grudges, to not forgive, to be angry and bitter about stupid insignificant things because it hurts me more than anyone else. It hurts my own soul. This movie made me realize what Thanksgiving is really about, made me rethink forgiveness, made me rethink so much in my life. It was such a blessing to see and I hope anyone who sees this will rent it or buy it...it is definitely worth it.
Do you have a hard time forgiving? Do you remember when this awful thing happened? Do you feel like you need to rethink your idea of The Christmas Spirit? Do you have alot to be thankful for this year?