Posted in Faith, family, Uncategorized

What defines Family?

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to take a moment and ask you to think about how you define “family.” 

Is it just those legally related to you by blood and/or marriage? Or are you one of the generous and loving souls who has a broader definition of family? In the last four years I have sadly discovered the majority of people keep the definition of family very narrow.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where my parents always opened their doors to anyone who might be left alone on a holiday. I did the same all the years I was married. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter I always checked to make certain everyone I knew had plans. Over the years we celebrated with a wide variety of people. My girls didn’t hesitate to invite friends to join us because they knew I’d always say yes.

How unfortunate that not a single one of my Texas friends checked even once in 2014 and 2015 and now 2016, with me to see that I won’t be alone. With one daughter married with in-laws and the other one on the West coast, I would have been alone this year until a last minute change in plans for my married daughter. The only one to invite me is the family I babysit for and I barely know them. What does that say about my friends who told me countless times we were family?

It is difficult in this electronic world to make friends. It’s even more difficult when you no longer have the natural outlets of children, school, neighbors, or work to make friends. Churches may preach friendliness but I’ve yet to find one that truly reaches out. 

Please take a moment this holiday season and ask everyone you know if they have plans. No one wants to announce she/he will be alone on a holiday, so don’t expect them to ask for an invitation or announce they are alone. Open your doors. If you need help with food expense, ask them to bring a dish. Open your hearts. I can guarantee your life will be made richer by reaching out and pulling people in.