‘Tis the season for thankfulness. The time of year when we are purposeful in slowing down our lives and really thinking about what is important and what we are thankful for. I do find it a bit ironic that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, so we spend Thanksgiving Day thinking about and planning how we will get the things we do not currently have, but I digress…back to thankfulness…

The other day I asked this question on my Facebook page, “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you are asked what you are thankful for?” I had a hunch that most of the answers would have something to do with family, but I wanted to see if my hunch was accurate. Out of 54 responses 28 had to do with family, and the majority of the rest mentioned something about God, or their faith.

Why do so many people think of family when asked this question? What exactly is family? A family is people who love you no matter what. A family is who you can be yourself with. A family is who takes care of you. A family is always there for you. A family provides for you. A family is who you can call at any hour of the night. A family is who you can trust and confide in.  No wonder so many people are thankful for their family. Who would not want a family like that? But, what if this is not what family means to some people. Unfortunately, for some, family means broken, hurtful, dishonest, painful, abusive, sorrowful, and abandoning relationships.

I believe that it is God’s plan for all children to grow up with a family, the way I first described it.  However, that is not reality. The good news is, we can all be a part of God’s redeeming plan to help children be able to experience the true definition of family. We can adopt, we can do foster care, we can be a CASA, we can do respite care for foster families, we can support others with our time and resources, we can pray, and we can be a friend to hurting families.

This Thanksgiving, as you are enjoying your time around the table with your family, will you ask yourself this question; “What can I do to help children who are not able to enjoy the blessing of a family like I am enjoying today?”

Happy Thanksgiving to all!