craveIn Need of a Miracle

The moment I see her, I crave peace and quiet. In fact, the moment she pulled into the driveway I felt as if I’d stuck my heart in a nettle bush. I feel God working on my heart, constraining me to hold my temper in check. At the same time, bitterness pricks and prods.

For three decades she has annoyed me, irritated me, rubbed me the wrong way, tried to manipulate me, and worn me out with her antics. I have not turned into a pearl.

For seasons of my life I have prayed for her daily. During others, I have prayed for my attitude. I have prayed for love. One would think that after that much time, God would work a miracle and change her…or me.

The changes have come slowly. God constrains me and pries open my tightly-shut eyes. I crave a peaceful relationship with her. A normal conversation that doesn’t result in me feeling grumpy would feel like a miracle.

My head knows how to act in love, but I have to pull my kicking and screaming heart into line. I realize that she tries, but her compliments sound false and I analyze each word for manipulative intent.

Having reached a certain age, I understand that bitterness fits like a too-tight girdle. It might make me feel all pretty and righteous and smoothly justified around the edges, but what lies beneath is just plain ugly.

What I Crave at Christmas

She holds the baby, my daughter’s sweet son, and smiles softly at him. Yes, we do agree on this one thing. The baby embodies sweet perfection and hope. I see a glimmer of light in our relationship.

craveThis stronghold of bitterness needs release and healing if I hope to ever live out the love that God has offered me. I can’t pick and choose whom I love. I must love each person God puts in my path, simply because to love that person is to love God.

So this Advent season I crave your prayers, dear friends. Pray that I learn patterns of loving thoughts and actions for the family members who irritate me. Pray for healing for my stubborn, ornery heart.

Pray that I keep the spark of hope for a better relationship alive. I want to let the one thing we have in common become the basis for feelings of love and respect. After all, there’s something about darkness, fervent prayers, babies, and light that produces miracles this time of year.

Do you crave better relationships with family over the holidays? It's a process. Click To Tweet

Q4U: Do you have a family member that just gets your goat every. time. you. see. them? Let me know how I can pray for you!