I am heading back to Indianapolis for the holidays. It is kind of weird when you grow up where there is snow on the ground and everyone has xmas lights out but I will be honest the western US just does not feel very Christmasy. Granted it is my first holiday out here…I have heard it will grow on you and feel more festive in time.

In light of the holidays I would like to mention these holiday times are not always the most joyous time of year for many. Many times coming home from college or getting a xmas break from high school can be rough. Maybe it is coming home to parents who are having a hard time with their marriage, coming home to your dad’s porn stash being in the house or simply just being around parents or siblings for more than three hours of a time. It may not be simple, easy or perfect but rather imperfect, rough, complex and challenging.

After the first semester of my freshman year of college I learned this: “Time with your family as messed as your family is, as uncomfortable as it is and yes as boring as it is…..the time you have with them is a gift.” I thought through the fact that I get a few weeks each year with my whole family and I just have to extend love, patience and hope when I am home holidays.

Being young, you control so much with your attitude. It may not be perfect but really you must make the best out of it. You cannot control what you have be handed but you can control how you react to every situation you are in.

Will you fight? Will you work through the junk in your family in a loving way. Is your own junk effecting others around? (junk = porn, porno, pornography, masturbation, sex, you fill in the blank)

Maybe the question is: what does loving look like you for you this holiday? For me, love looks like me taking my mom on a date because I do not get to see her much, yea dinner and a movie…because she is my mom and that is cool. Maybe we will go to Olive Garden and see some chic flick. I guarantee she cries at least once when we are out. Maybe I will take the fam bowling. Bowling always brings people together because no one is ever great at it and if you are it is a little dorky….no offense if you rock at bowling and have your own ball and glove.

“Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” Luke 10:27 (The Message)

Maybe your neighbor is your dad, mom, sister, bro, cousin, grandma, your dog (kidding), or uncle…And maybe a simple mission of love for the holidays can make a relative smile who hasnt smiled in years, or loving could help your family work through tough times or your love could be contagious and who knows what will happen. Go..go…love mission 2008! Or love mission 2009 if it is the new year that is!