Who Am I a Family To?

Why I chose that particular night for that particular icebreaker, I’ll never know. It was the first session of a new semester of Bible study, and the request hung out there, spoken and awkward, in the middle of our circle:

“Let’s go around the room and say our names and something about our families.”

As a single woman, never married and no children, it was the worst of all possible introductions. I would now be defined by the “un” part of my life to a whole new group of people.

No matter how many times I am asked about family, I always struggle with a response. Should I go with quirky and mention my dog? No, pathetic. Sentimental and bring up a memory of my grandmother? No, irrelevant. Typical and talk about my nieces and nephews? No, too predictable. Spiritual and say that God is my husband? No, it would sound like I was trying too hard.

Why, of all people, did I use this topic as an ice breaker? {click to continue}

OR to read the whole story. . . 

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.

  • Charity Singleton ,

    Amy — I appreciated your comments over on HCB and here. Thanks so much for your encouragement, too. I loved the statement in the movie, Where the Wild Things Are, that “being a family is hard.” I think that’s the crux of it. Letting people be honest about what’s hard in their families. Having that freedom really takes some of the “toughness” out of the question. Blessings to you and your family!

    • Charity Singleton ,

      Sara — My comment below to Ann has the details of the photo. It was a last-minute epiphany to capture visually some of what I was thinking with this post. Thanks for splashing around these parts. I am planning to stop over your way soon!

      • Charity Singleton ,

        Ann — I took an old family photo from Christmas a couple of years ago and applied a “stained-glass” effect in the Microsoft Photo Editor.

        You have brought up an excellent point: being family to our own family is often our greatest opportunity for self-sacrifice and becoming like Jesus. Hope you have a great visit tomorrow!

        • Amy Sullivan ,

          I just read your post at HCB, and I wanted you to know it was an instant favorite of mine. Although my family is far from perfect, I think I may be insensitive at just how tough the “Tell me about your family” statement may be.

          • Sara ,

            I love the picture that you chose. How did you do it?

            Delighted to stop by today. I hope you don’t mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. THis looks like a nice place to slip off my shoes and soak in serious goodness.


            • Ann Kroeker ,

              What a cool picture! How did you get that effect?

              I’m so glad you’ve opened up a great conversation at High Calling Blogs. Thanks for helping me think differently about my relationships.

              At the same time, you’ve also reminded me to be a family to my biological family–tomorrow I’m driving out to my parents, and I need to make sure I’m honoring and serving them as best I can.

              An interesting coincidence: today is my parents’ anniversary. I’ve got to finish this comment, pick up the phone and be family to my family, wishing them a happy anniversary!