Increasing Thankfulness for Family

Parent: “Hey, Alison! How was your day?”  {Good! *Move on to more work*}

Parent: “Do you need me to help you with anything?” {No, I’m fine, thanks. *Kinda wish to be left alone*}

Maybe it’s just because I’m a teenager (the age-old excuse), but I find myself subtly brushing off my parents at times. Perhaps I’m engaged in homework or blogging, or perhaps I’m tired from a long day. Whatever the case, day after day, my mom and dad (and brother) offer nothing but assistance, warmth, care, and concern, even if I give nothing but a short greeting in return. It’s easy to take advantage of family since they are with you 24/7. It’s even easier to take advantage of having a loving family at all.

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Right in my community, among my friends, among my relatives even, there are broken families. The close bond that exists among the members of dance company has allowed me to see the not-so-sparkly realities of the families of some of my closest friends. Reading my peers’ college essays and discovering their raw, personal stories has also been an eye-opener.

There is separation. Ignorance. Fear. Cruel words. Betrayal.

None of these things should ever be associated with family, but for some unfortunately, they are. God has been so gracious as to give me a family that is joyful, helpful, loving, and faithful. I realize that the things about my family that can annoy me on my irritable days–their extra cheeriness, their desire to converse with me, their extra hugs and kisses–are the exact things for which other people yearn. Some people can’t relate to phrases such as “like a mother’s touch” or “father-son bonding time,” and it breaks my heart. It’s upsetting, but without the reminder that a loving family is not a given, I would be caught up in the bubble of what I’ve always known.

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I believe that there are little things that can make the most profound changes in family relationships. Some simple ways to help slow down your time with family:

  • Sitting down to eat dinner with them
  • Saying good night
  • Big hugs
  • Family walks
  • Talking about your day with them
  • Doing something kind and unexpected for them, even if they never end up noticing
  • Saying please and thank you
  • Smiling to one another and making eye contact

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And let us end this with a prayer 🙂

Help me, Lord, to be more patient with my family. To embrace even the most insignificant moments with them. To serve them and let them know that I love them. Amen.

So tell me: Just share any thoughts you have!