If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome!

It’s interesting that this devotion fell on this week, because as I’m writing it, it’s Thanksgiving. My grown children are all with their other families. My grandbabies (one brand new granddaughter born on Monday!) are with their other grandparents.

And while I miss them, I realize this devo has become much more than words. It’s transforming. At least, it has been for me.

I shared that when we were first married, it was a struggle. I loved holidays, but soon they just became exhausting. We tried to be everywhere, and inevitably someone would be disappointed in us. Talk about a double bind! Eventually we shared our needs. And to our relatives’ credit, many of them loosened up.

And if they didn’t? Respectfully, we acknowledged that it was pretty awesome to be loved by so many people, but still slowed it down so that holidays were no longer a blur.

Yesterday was our second Thanksgiving to spend without family. We planned ahead to make it a special day.

We hiked up Sparrow Hawk bluff and took in the beautiful bluffs overlooking the river below. Later we had a movie fest, hanging out in our sweats and catching up on flicks we had missed.

It was wonderful.

I’ll see my children this weekend, and with thanksgiving I’ll celebrate the gifts I have been given in these beautiful adult children, their spouses, and my three grandbabies.

And resentment, anger, disappointment, ultimatums, tantrums, frustration will have had no place in my family, or in my home, or my heart.

Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve put high expectations on a young mom or dad and their family. Are you willing to take those expectations off, and offer them a gift of flexibility?

Maybe you are a young (or older) mom or dad and the holidays aren’t your favorite because you feel pulled in ten different directions. Are you willing to share your needs gently, and with respect?

Today, I’m offering a giveaway of LeAnn Rice and Karen Ehman’s new ebook, Untangling Christmas to one lucky winner today. Just leave a comment below!