“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” That verse is from 1 Timothy 4:4.
As I ponder over that verse this morning, a couple of things come to mind: turnip greens and liver. When I was little, my mom would make turnip greens with liver and onions for lunch. I tried them, I really did, but when my mom would walk my dad to the door to kiss him before he went back to work, I would scrape all that stuff in a napkin and then hide it on a little shelf that was underneath our kitchen table. Later, when the coast was clear, I would go back and get it and throw it in the trash can. This worked for years!
Sometimes mom would complain about a bad odor in the kitchen. Oops, that’s when I would remember that I had not thrown away the food from under the table!
Now, I’ve met lots of people who just love turnip greens and liver. Does that make them wrong or unstable? Hopefully not. Just as my love for guacamole and sushi doesn’t make me unstable!
Some of you may be wondering how liver and turnip greens applies to your blended family and being thankful? Well, in every family you are going to have those you just love to be around and then there are those you would rather hide under a table! Here’s the key, though: God made every kind of food for us to enjoy. He made different flavors, textures, sizes and colors. And if we really think about it, we can be thankful for all of it – whether we like it or not, because there is someone on the planet who loves it.
The same goes with your family. God made all kinds. In your blended family, you have some that you have ‘home grown’ and then some that just came with the ‘new garden’ you are tending. You are going to have to learn how to grow them, nurture, love and, yes – be thankful for them. Some may need more water than others. Some may need more sunlight. Some may need those wire trellises so they are supported and have some boundaries as they grow. But be reminded that it is our differences that bring variety in life.
It is our uniqueness that keeps things from getting mundane. Our individuality is God’s stamp on us that we are an original work of art by Him.
So as you deal with step children, ex-wives, in-laws, out-laws, and whoever else is connected to your family, remember that God created everything good, and we can all learn to receive with thanksgiving. Focus on finding the good in each family member.
Remember, where you focus your heart will follow. So, I guess I should give those turnip greens another try!