Does Family Really Matter?

Does Family Really Matter?

You can have everything, but if you don’t love, then all of your riches and success mean nothing.
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In the news, there have been so many reports about various attacks throughout the world.

But what hasn’t been reported in the news is the attacks that have been made on families.

Families everywhere have been attacked, ripped apart by secrets, lies, bitterness, anger, and pain – my family included.

Whether you believe in sin or not, there is a selfish part of everyone seeking out for their own good and their own interests. That very selfish nature of human beings has caused families to fall apart.

This happens because they forget that family is important. Family is God-given. You can choose your friends, but you don’t choose your family, which makes them all the more special.

No matter what has happened in your family, I know that deep down, you want to see things restored.

Don’t give up on your family, even when things don’t make sense and even when they’ve hurt you. Chances are, you’ve hurt them before too. That’s because your family members are often times the people who care most about you, even if it doesn’t come across that way all the time.

One way to not give up on your family is to keep in communication with all your family members – not just the ones you get along with. Communication is really key. From my own experience, I have seen how a lack of communication can ruin any relationship because it leads to a lack of one’s vulnerability, one’s ability to understand the feelings of the other party, and one’s ability to connect with the other person. You may not think communicating with your family member(s) will help, but when you communicate with anyone, you are on the way to fostering a connection with them. It may take some time, but don’t give up!

Connecting and spending quality time with family members will help you to learn that person’s love languages (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch) and enable you to learn to love them for who they are.

Another way to help build a stronger family is listening to your family members. What are they trying to tell you through their words, actions, and attitudes? They may be trying to tell you what they’re feeling or going through, but how would you get to understand them if you aren’t listening to them? Everyone wants the right to be heard, but have yet to make the effort to listen to others. Listening is often times harder than communicating with people, but you may learn things about them that you never knew, and they may tell you things about yourself that you might have never known.

Above all else, love your family, despite all their flaws. I know it’s really easy loving people that aren’t your family because you don’t have to live with those people. But with family, you see everything about them. You see the mistakes they’ve made and you see how they can be hurting towards you. However, if you choose to hold that against them, you are choosing to build a wall up around yourself towards them that can harden your heart. This wall will go on to cut you off from the love you have towards life and the love you can have for other people. When you choose to cut a family member off from your life and you don’t forgive them, statistics have shown you will end up wronging others in the very same way they have wronged you.

You can have the most friends, the best career, be famous – but if you don’t love, especially your family members who are closest to you, then all of your riches and success mean nothing.

Don’t take your family for granted. Be thankful for each and every single family members. Put them before yourself. In fact, the very word family comes from the word “servant,” which goes to prove that as a family, we don’t serve our own interests, but we serve the needs of our family members. When everyone in a family loves and serves each other, things will change for the better.

Don’t be discouraged when you don’t see any results yet. But I can guarantee you that by making one step of change at a time, you will see the changes – in their life and yours.

Having a stronger family will make you a stronger person and influence how you treat other relationships outside the home as well as the way you view love and the way you accept and have confidence in the person you are.

In the Bible, it says that a house divided against itself cannot stand. However, by loving each family member and taking the time to foster a relationship with them, your family will become strong enough to stand against future attacks made on it, and together, your family can change the world.

Cover Image Credit: http://giftfamilyservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/GIFT.-Family.silhouette.Fotolia_49709778_XS.jpg

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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