10 Ways to Keep Your Sanity with Family During the Holidays – Part 2

6. Prepare your heart for protection against defilement

Remember, the enemy loves to use those close to us to get us entailed in webs of strongholds. He knows that many of the battles you struggle with have been inherited traits in your family line. The same anger the enemy worked on your father is now working in you. The depression your mother carried is something that bothered you, but is now taking you on for size. This is not to blame your family for your problems. It is simply helpful to know why family gatherings can often be extremely toxic. The strongholds are so familiar they can kiss each other.

You have to know that from a spiritual standpoint, the enemy seeks to use family interactions as open doors to derail you into old patterns or to sideswipe your growth with triggers. Don’t be ignorant. Be on the lookout for bitterness, rejection and accusation coming at ya. Often it can be helpful to prepare your heart, pray and do some spiritual preparation before you arrive at gatherings so that you are not ignorant of satan’s devices.

7. Keep your boundaries and don’t give in to the guilt. 

Unfortunately, there are those that do not want to reason towards peace and have no desire to pursue reconciliation. They want to stay in their junk and they are not interested in meeting you when it comes to having more healthy patterns. There are those who also operate in manipulative patterns and games that subtly seek to control you. There does come a point where you have to put your foot down.

In maintaining some health, you will certainly need to make boundaries and keep your peace in doing so, especially since most people are not used to having boundaries placed on them. As Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church says,

It’s really important to set boundaries with people. If you don’t learn to set boundaries in your life, other people will superimpose their priorities and values on you. The people who hate the fact that you’re setting boundaries are the very ones who need them the most! Some people view boundaries as unloving or harsh. They think that you should run to every emergency, let people violate your values, and never say no to anyone or else you are not being loving…

Do not be afraid to make boundaries as an act of healthy love. And by the way, don’t give into the guilt trips that will kick up when you make them.

8. Learn the art of shaking the dust off your feet and keep your peace

One of the most amazing gifts as a believer is the ability to carry the peace of God in your heart. In the Gospels, Jesus taught His crew to be mindful in guarding their peace, and it can certainly apply to visits you make. If peace is present to meet the peace you carry, then let your peace land in the house to bless those who are present. If people can’t receive it, make sure you keep your peace and take it with you as you go. Plain and simple, don’t let anything or anyone steal the peace of God in your life. Take it. Keep it. Guard it. When its not receive, shake that dust right off and move on. Don’t carry the defilement with you.

9. Keep a heart of honor. 

You can make boundaries, hold your ground and make healthy changes in your life. But you don’t have to do with an attitude. Beware of a “I’m better than you” attitude. Keep a heart that sees honor in your parents and relatives, even if you have to make some tough decisions. Do it with a humble heart before God, knowing that you are not better than anyone.

 10. Establish new traditions. 

Why does everything have to be the way it was before? Why mourn over some lost fairly tale feeling when you can take on a new course today? Why not make today a new day to usher in a new chapter? Maybe you can do this by creating some new traditions and new ways of getting together. If garbage keeps happening each year, why not make some modified plans that will help to cultivate new interactions. Create traditions more about what you can give than what you can get. Whatever it may be, look to be more intentional this year and believe God to do great things!

Which point is the most helpful for you in your journey? Leave your comments below.

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Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family; his wife Melissa, son Maximus and daughter Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day to day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark’s teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation. Mark and Melissa currently live in Connecticut.

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  • Jay Rawlinitis

    Number 7 really hits home when your in certain family dynamics… Kick out the guilt!!

    • Mark DeJesus

      Yes I agree. Probably could have been number one on the list. Getting past guilt and not listening to it anymore is a MAJOR breakthrough!

      • Jay Rawlinitis

        I’m very happy and thankful to state; With your teachings I NO LONGER serve guilt, it was a major breakthrough…

  • Jean Hoff

    New traditions for the holidays are a must especially when the old ones could be destructive and old thinking patterns creep in to keep you in bondage. I agree with keeping a heart of honor…expecting God to do great things! that is what I have learned to focus on and He does come through. It’s amazing how the holidays are actually becoming easier when you are in a peaceful mindset even if you have to fight to stay there. .

    • Mark DeJesus

      Way to go Jean! Way to fight to keep your peace. Your breakthroughs are an encouragement to others!

  • Carol Rodd

    New traditions are important especially when there have not been any for decades, any that may have been there were destructive. So with a heart of courage and faith in my Father I went forward. Praise God as He meet me and my family there. My family got together for two days in arow and celebrated a new way for all. I felt no old patterns and a family that was happy and engaging!
    I had concerns but there was no reason for them as I walked it out and met whatever came. I am so thankful that it took me over a few weeks to come down to the ground and express the graditude verbally as my heart just felt so filled.
    I even feel a new relationship with my daughter-in-law, son, grandsons, brother, ex-husband, and nephew. For the first time since my grandsons (who are 11 and 8 yrs old) were born I was able to hug them and feel them lean into my hug instead of pull away and they stayed there in the hug and let me tell them “I love you” a number of times! I have never felt such joy.
    Thank you Lord and Mark and Melissa for sticking by me and encouraging like I have never felt before! Love you.

    • Mark DeJesus

      Yeah Carol thats amazing! We are so proud of you!!!

    • Melissa DeJesus

      So proud of you Carol!!! We love you and are so excited to hear about the growth in your journey!!