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.

Posted in Faith, Uncategorized

Time to give Thanks

In America we set aside a day in November to give thanks. Hopefully you give thanks to God everyday but I do think it says a lot about our country that we believe giving thanks is so important we have a holiday to celebrate it.

It’s so easy to lose sight of what really matters. Life moves as such a quick pace. One day you’re celebrating your 30th anniversary and what feels like overnight, you are approaching your 4th anniversary of being divorced. And while I am sadden my marriage didn’t make it, I am so thankful for the two incredible daughters I have. And I’ve got one incredible son-in-law. God has faithfully answered my prayer recently for one daughter and I am confident he will answer my prayer for my other daughter.

I’m in good health, have a place to live at least until June 2017 and have faith God will show me the path to how to financially support myself. I’m thankful for the sweet little boy who became part of my life last month. Even though he drives me crazy sometimes, I love my cat, Finn.

I’m thankful my sister is doing well despite her cancer diagnosis. I’m thankful for Anne, Julie and Bonnie who despite the distance remain steadfast and supportive friends. I’m thankful for the kind blogger souls who offer words of encouragement. And I’m thankful 2016 is the year I’ve actually begun to write seriously. 50,000 words and counting to the end of my book.

I may not have a big house, a large group coming for dinner, but as Thanksgiving comes around this year, I more thankful than I’ve ever been.