God Appointed Family

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s this time of year that I really enjoy reading people’s Facebook updates because many of them begin writing down things they’re thankful for each day. I have so many things to be thankful for but today I thought I’d share one in particular.

Being a military family has us moving from city to city, state to state, and now country to country every couple of years. And this year is no different. In just a few weeks my family and I will be packing our household goods to be shipped back to the United States for my husband’s new assignment. We will find a new home, new schools for the kids, a new church, and new family. Yep, you read that correct. New family.

Being transient our family spends a lot of time away from our biological family. Holidays, birthdays, recitals, games, and special events are missed on both sides because, as in our case, duty calls. At first this was difficult. Most people you talk to about what makes the holidays special they will tell you-family. Being apart from family can make the holidays seem less festive, or special. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

The Lord has taught me an incredible lesson over my sixteen years of being married to a soldier and it’s this: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

What is the desire of my heart? Well, that changes. Daily. Sometimes hourly. But often the desire of my heart is for family. I’m a family girl. I love my husband and children so much that it pains me significantly to think in just three short years I will be sending one off to college. I loved watching family sitcoms like the Cosby show, the Brady Bunch, and Leave It To Beaver, because of the family dynamic. True, they were fictional. But what they represented was a strong family. So what does a girl do when she’s thousands of miles away from family? She makes new family, of course.

God has known the desires of my heart for family. After all, He designed me. He knew the path my life would take sending me far away. But He also knows how to provide. Lovely friends who have become family have blessed me beyond measure. Friends who cheer for my children at their games and meets; friends who come together to make giant Thanksgiving feasts; friends who were the shoulders to cry on; and friends who were the strength when I had none.

To me, these friends are my God appointed family. The handpicked, specifically chosen people God has put in my life to fill the familial void left in my heart. And I’m thankful for them not just on the days when they show up in my life bringing me a glass of wine and cinnamon gummy bears, but everyday.

So this holiday season, if you find yourself far removed from family, look around and see the family God has appointed for you in this season of life. Or maybe, you might be that family for someone else?

I pray that your month of Thanksgiving be filled with many blessings.

CONGRATULATIONS to Maia!! She’s the WINNER of October’s A Few Of My Favorite Things contest. Check your email for a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card. Congratulations and happy reading!

*Watch for the next A Few Of My Favorite Things contest coming soon!


5 thoughts on “God Appointed Family

  1. This is SO fitting! I am flying to the states for my first American family thanksgiving. The funny part is that I’m not spending it with my actual blood family. I’m spending it with my friend, Jenna’s, family. But they have become as much a family to me as my own. My own family never had the opportunity to do an american family thanksgiving so I am excited to see why everyone loves it so much but more excited to be with family for a little bit.

    • I will be interested in what you think of an American family Thanksgiving, Maia. Although, you’ve probably come pretty close being here in Egypt. It’s a lot of food! But my favorite part of the day is waking up early and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s a tradition and I haven’t missed a year. Last year I made all of my dinner guests watch it (because of the time difference it came on at 2pm) while they ate dinner, hehehe. 🙂

  2. Because my husband is a pastor, we have found ourselves living hours away from family too. I was so thankful for that God-given surrogate family when I lived nine and a half hours from my mama and had a brand-new baby girl. Now that I live only an hour away from family, I try to be sensitive to those who don’t have family close. We need to think of the flip-side also. In the body of Christ, we are all brothers and sisters.

    • I agree. It’s been such a pleasure for me to open my home and welcome those in who need a home cooked meal. Last Thanksgiving we had 28 people over for dinner including my family of five. Being in the military I have lots of opportunity for hospitality. I enjoyed the interview on your blog today Paula!

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