Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner

Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner

Keep discussions light and kindness within your heart
Ceila
Ceila
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After this year's election, tensions are running high, especially at the dinner table. Growing up in a Rush Limbaugh listening-trump supporting-overtly ignorant household, I completely understand wanting to throw mashed potatoes in your grandfather's face for repeatedly calling you a commie-lovin'-socialist-reefer smoking- hippie. However, fiercely flung potatoes are not the way to inform those around you. Below is a list of how to listen, inspire, and create change!

1. Do not instigate

Instigating does nothing but create tension. Keep your intentions honest and kind.

2. Listen to their points to truly understand the fear they feel

The majority of people voting for Trump did not do so out of spite of the other, but rather due to fear for the future. Listen to the reasoning behind why various policies are important to them. Recently in my Israel/Palestine course, I was able to speak to various Trump supporters and was able to truly understand their self-interest, as well as even find out we agreed on far more topics than I would have ever thought! Do not make the conversation as you vs. them, but rather you are speaking as one.

3. Do not belittle or condemn their ignorance. Were you, yourself not ignorant prior to acquiring knowledge?

Human knowledge is severely limited, even with all of our technological advances, we truly lack in knowledge.

4. Share your honest feelings

Do not hold back your own fear, confusion, or any other emotions. Express openly and kindly, how you feel. Being genuine with your feelings allow the listener to truly understand why you feel the way you do; this will break the barrier between both interests.

5. Do not retaliate if your feelings are belittled, this will do little to create change

You may be trying to hold it together while the other makes unappreciated remarks, regardless, do not let this destroy your mindfulness. Remember what is not only important, but productive.

6. When speaking against racism, sexism, or inaccuracy use valid sources and authentic information

Check your sources, credibility, and supply factual information as combats. Facts are Facts.

7. Ask them questions

Stay involved within the conversation by asking questions about anything you may be unsure of. Do not feel embarrassed to question or challenge someone for their stances.

8. Love them

Do it.

9. Converse about how you both together can make a difference

Drop who's policy you wish to discuss and instead focus on how both of you can impact the world around you. Clearly, there are various issues within our world that you both recognize, take a step back to asses what you both as individuals can do to implement the changes you want seen within the world.

10. Smile, shake hands, or hug at the end of the conversation

Despite either of your beliefs, show good sportsmanship and remind them that you are still supportive them; your political beliefs should not divide you, but unite you.


Cover Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/x-ray_delta_one/12200854426

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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