What is Family?


Family, what does that mean?  Is family just those that are related to you by blood?  I don’t believe so.  I believe there are those in your life that come along side of you.  People that choose to be in your life and “put their shoulder to the plow” with you and helps you to achieve the goals you set in your life.  That being said how does it make you feel when someone lends you a hand achieving the goals you have in your life?  Does it make you feel gratitude?  Does it cause you to feel irritated that someone would intrude on your life and efforts?  Does it cause you to feel anything at all?Aren’t the people who love you and care about what you care about a blessing sent from above?

What about the people who are in your life that “distract” you?  You have a goal in mind or know generally where you want to go and they come to you and say, “Let’s go do ‘so and so’ what you want to do is too hard and will take too long.”  Is that person a family, or even a friend?  Aren’t people like that actually trying to keep you alongside them to make them feel comfortable with their own choices?  What would happen if you told them no I don’t want to do that but you can come along with me on my journey?

If we look at our attitude toward things and people in our lives it will speak volumes to us about ourselves.  Gratitude speaks of appreciating the blessings in your life.  Blessings of people, blessings of situations, blessings of things, blessings of God are all things we can appreciate.   My belief in God allows me to push beyond what I am physically capable of because my God gives me strength and wisdom.  If you feel irritated because someone would try to help you what does that say of your heart?  It tells me of one that has a prideful heart that thinks only self-achievement and self-sufficiency are the things that have any value.  I am not saying to “let others take care of you”.  I am saying try the best you can and when you’ve reached the end of yourself allow people to help.  A very wise woman told me once that “pride doesn’t make a good sandwich.  Accept the help of others when you need it.”

There are some, like myself, that as they grew up had very little “family” even though I was the youngest of six children.  My mother was an alcoholic and my father was a river boat captain and was a womanizer.  So, my family consisted of a dysfunctional unit that each member was only interested in self.  Mix in a religious cult my mother got involved in which alienated the children at school also and for the most part the children wound up pretty much disconnected.  Unfortunately coming from a family like mine can leave you where you don’t trust people and think they are always “after” something from you.  Fortunately though, there were some people in my life that saw the disconnect and poured into me things like the ability to see from outside yourself.  Those people are the ones I think are family because they choose to be family.  They choose to come along side you and encourage you.  They push you to be better than you think you are.  They are the ones that see the jewel within the rough stone.  They are the ones that see the beautiful statue within the slab of marble.

Learn to appreciate the people in your life.  Learn to accept the “family” that chooses you.  The family we are born into sometimes is hurtful, negative, not supportive, abusive even but it is that very fact that should make you appreciate those that choose you.


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