Adoption, Family Relationships, Staying Connected, Thanksgiving, Traditions

Traditions: Strengthening Connections

Prayerful hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The kid had been asking for weeks.

“We’re having breakfast pizza for Thanksgiving breakfast, right Mom?”

“Yes, honey. We are.” I assured him and made the mental list of the ingredients to pick up at the store.

Pizza ingredients

2 cheese bfast pizza 1

It was the day before Thanksgiving, and I finally got it. The boy likes traditions. Yes, we only have breakfast pizza on Thanksgiving morning. But it’s more than the physical food he—and all of us—craves.

That time of togetherness, of our tradition of  five kernels of corn sitting on each plate, of sharing the things we’re most thankful for throughout the almost-spent year. These are the things he’s—and all of us are—craving.

Thanksgiving Breakfast table

That time of connecting, of laughing, of sharing.

The time of recollecting the unique memories made by our family in the past year.

2 Cheese breakfast pizza 2

Perhaps more for adopted children, and perhaps not, there’s a deep need for connection. To know they are loved and have a connection with a family they didn’t biologically come from.

We all are adopted into God’s family. We all have an inner yearning to connect with our Abba Daddy. We need to be able to laugh with each other about shared memories, to cry over the sad losses. Together.

Thankful Journal

Our Abba loves us more than we can understand. Just as our boys sometimes question if we really love them—if they really belong to us—don’t we do that with God . . . sometimes?

The God who created us, who crafted us, with pre-designed intents and purposes, before we ever breathed one breath.

2010 Thankful Entries

Sometimes I forget I am loved. I long for that sense of connection with my Father. With others in my spiritual family. I reach out for it at times. Other times, God brings it to me.

The point is, we are hardwired with the need to connect. To know we are not alone or abandoned as we walk through our days. God created us this way. He desires connection with us, and He wants us to walk in interdependence upon Him and upon others.

Morning candle light

It’s only when we relinquish the determination to walk through life as a lone ranger that we know the joy, the comfortable blanket of belonging.

That’s what the boy wanted when he asked about breakfast pizza. And that’s what I want each day I breathe upon this earth.

What about you? What special traditions bring you together with others? How do you stay connected with people in your life? 



11 thoughts on “Traditions: Strengthening Connections”

  1. Jeanne,
    I so appreciate how your blog posts magnify the simple, yet significant, truths we all need to remember.Today’s comment “…we are hardwired with the need to connect …” is so, so true. And I think it’s one of the ways we are made in God’s image. After all, He’s a God of relationships, isn’t He?


    1. I love your thoughts here, Beth. Yes, we are made in God’s image. And I’m so grateful He’s a God of relationships. Being in relationship with others fills in empty spaces in our lives, don’t you think? I’m so glad you stopped by!


  2. Jeanne, we always watch It’s a Wonderful Life when putting up our Christmas tree. The oldest acted a little put out about the idea … I said, “You may not know it now, but when you grow up, you’ll be watching this very movie with your kids … all because we did this when you were growing up.” She smiled. “You’re right, Mom.” 🙂

    I love the snow falling on your blog. Is that hard to make happen? Does WordPress provide that? All the more reason to move over. Oh, I dread the move though. Not sure how to keep all my posts … to move them over … which means a lot of investigating! 🙂 Ugh.


    1. Shelli, I love that movie, and I love that tradition! Our tree always goes up in a different room from the one our television is in. So, we blast music, usually from Mannheim Steamroller into the house while we decorate. 🙂

      The snow is provided by WordPress. It’s pretty fun! I can understand the trepidation about moving all your blogs over. I’m not sure how that works. I wish I could be more help. 🙂


  3. You guys are so good about creating traditions for your family! I could paint a picture in words of our Thanksgivings and Christmas traditions when I was a child. The memory brings a big smile to my heart! Be blessed today!


  4. We have some family traditions: cream cheese & raisin buns on Christmas morning with our stockings is one of my favorites. In the past few years, we’ve alternated seeing Frank’s family for the holidays, which makes establishing traditions difficult. Starting next year, we’ll be home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and will visit his folks at a different time. I’m looking forward to starting actual traditions as we stay close to home!

    PS- That breakfast pizza looks amazing!! How fun! Do you have an easy to share recipe?


    1. Annie, we had years where we alternated going to one side of the family or the other’s for Christmas. We finally decided one year with each side of the family and then the third year just the four of us. It was a great compromise and we loved beginning traditions with our boys. Now that we live in the same state as my family, we do “our” Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve and celebrate Christmas day with my extended family.

      Starting actual traditions will be fun for you and your girl. 🙂

      The breakfast pizza recipe isn’t too hard. I can send it. 🙂


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