Spiritual Practice


Michael Persson, 18

We all want to belong and to be accepted. Our sense of belonging usually starts with our family. I am fortunate to have an awesome bond with my huge Italian-Irish family. When my extended family gets together, we laugh and tell stories that make us laugh even more. But I never realized what a blessing family could be until my aunt took in three foster children and eventually adopted them.

On Thanksgiving Day, after a big meal, my entire family went for a walk. As I talked with my newly-adopted cousin, she said something that changed my understanding of family: “It is so nice to belong!” After a difficult home life and being in foster care, she was happy to belong to a family that loved her. Suddenly, I realized that my family was growing and that others now “belonged” to it. How blessed I am to have the gift of family beyond those related to me.

Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you.
Romans 15:7 (CEV) 

Family doesn’t always have to be biological. We can add to our family people from our church, our school, our community, and even the foster children in our area. Can you open your heart to allow others into your family? Family is a gift from God. Let’s accept others into our loving families and share God’s love with one another.


REFLECT: This Thanksgiving, give thanks for family, however you define it. Then discuss together how your family can open your hearts and your home to include others.

—from devozine (November/December 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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