Frustrated with the world, politics, relationships, family, and/or careers, a lot of people on social media ask, “What do we have to be thankful for?” Lately, I’ve been asking the same thing.
I’m 25. I thought I’d have a house, husband, 7 dogs, 32 cats, a published book, and easily cruise through the rest of my life by now… That, or I’d be dead.
Things look pretty bleak when I focus on my accomplishments and what I own. But as I prayed, I remembered that the most important part of Thanksgiving is getting together with family. Sometimes that’s a great thing on it’s own. Sometimes, when it’s not so great, at least I still get a bunch of good food.
Honestly, friction at family gatherings is inevitable when every person in the family is so different.
Among my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents you’ll find a mixture of happy marriages, widows, divorced, re-married, single parents, and never married.
People without a dad, and people without a mom.
Adopted kids, lots of kids, no kids, half-brothers/sisters.
Felons. Engineers. Teachers.
Stable jobs. In-between jobs. Another brand new job.
Liberals, Libertarians, Independents, and Republicans.
Atheists, Christians, New-age believers, Wiccans.
Country folk. City dwellers.
People who struggle with obesity. People whose bodies won’t tolerate food.
Cancer. Immune-disorders. Personality-disorders. PTSD. Depression. Attempted suicide. Disabled.
Drug addicts. Porn addicts. Car addicts. Work addicts. Bums.
Writers. Actors. Designers. Photographers. Bakers. Scientists. Inventors. Crafters. Delivery drivers. Government workers. Programmers. Cartoonists. Blue collar workers. Students.
People who dance. People who think dancing is a sin.
Smokers. Drinkers. Fitness freaks.
Master manipulators. The embarrassingly naive. Exploders. Imploders. People run by logic. People run by emotions.
People with pets for kids. People who don’t like either.
NFL tattoos, and people who would rather watch commercials.
I realized, I don’t have to travel across the world to find a unique perspective. In my family, there is enough diversity to cover almost every topic I can imagine, and some will sit across the table from me tomorrow. Thanks to technology, I can contact my family living in town or in another country and learn more about who they are, what drives them, why, and show them they are loved.
Ironically, earlier this year I despised not being around people who think like me, but today I’m grateful for the blessing it can be. I’m thankful for my family, even when it’s tough to get along. They all help me catch a glimpse of the world—*the good and the bad. They help me see what I would have missed without them.
What’s in your family?
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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