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A Prayer for When You're Struggling With Family Over The Holidays

Anxious about seeing family over the holidays? Arianne Lehn (Ash & Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos & Grace of Daily Life) offers this prayer to help ground you during holiday gatherings.

Steadying God,

Settle my stressed-out soul,

my ruminating mind,

my churning body

in this time of joining family.

For the “most wonderful time of the year."


To really love them,

I must love them as they are.

You tell me it is not love, otherwise.


But the age old wounds

and present dysfunction

make me realize how tender

those pain points still are,

and I can crumble or armor up

at the lightest touch.


Can you help me, God,

to somehow make gentleness and grace

my guardrails this day?

To allow space for all the things

that have changed alongside the things

that have not?


Give me the integrity,

the self-awareness,

the courage to be who I am,

honoring the you within me –

and each person under this roof.


To remember as much as I can

that in joining hands and hearts

we are united with you.


And today can be one step,

as you promise to be there

for every next one – forward or backward.

Arianne Braithwaite Lehn
 is a writer, pastor, and creator   who is passionate about connection. A native South Dakotan, Arianne planned on law school until God nudged her toward   Taiwan where everything changed. An ordained clergy-couple minister in the PC(USA) and a team writer for Illustrated Children's Ministry, Arianne's work has also appeared on her blog (Ash and Starlight), in Upper Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions 2018, Pause: Moments to ReflectThe Christian Century, Presbyterians Today, Horizons, These Days, as well as the musical composition of "Ash and Starlight." 

For more prayers from Arianne, consider Ash & Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos & Grace of  Daily Life.  

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