My friend who runs a non-profit believes that, “Whoever has the heart, has the greatest influence in a person’s life.” This makes a lot of sense too, because when Jesus was walking around here on earth, he majored in building relationships. He spent a lot of time on dusty roads with his disciples. While walking together, he would tell a story, then they would chat about what the story meant, and later, when stuff happened – like a big storm or the death of a friend - he used the experience to reiterate the idea he had taught them through the story. In this way, he grew their relationships while he trained and prepared his disciples for life after he left this earth.Read More
We are weeks away, and for some just days away, from the end of summer, but fun family gatherings don't have to end just because you've entered a new season. At the start of each school year, our family would pick one new and different activity to gather around on a regular basis.
As your children get older and have their own activities, family gatherings becomes more challenging. However, you will find it worth the effort if you can create the space to make it happen. A few ideas are:Read More
God created the world with a regular rhythm, and the long days of summer is one of them. Sometimes I’m ready for bed long before the summer sun sets. However, if you are looking for connection points with your daughter or son, bedtime might just be the perfect time.Read More
God created the world with a regular rhythm: The tide of the ocean, the seasons, sunrise and sunset and high noon in-between. In the regular rhythm of life, find ways each day and each week to connect heartstrings with your child time over time over time.
The need to eat creates a great opportunity to invest in your relationship with your children.
I have wondered if God created us humans to eat so that we would pause, enjoy his bounty, and build community and heart connections.
When your children were babies, you are forced join them at each of the feedings – and there are lots of them. I think God did that to bind our hearts as parents to our new babies.
But when they become teenagers, catching them at meal time becomes a bit tougher. Soccer practices, dance rehearsals, taekwondo, play dates, and other scheduling conflicts make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past. Suddenly, we're feeding our pop tarts during the morning commute, sneaking 100-calorie packs for lunch, and grabbing dinner at the drive-thru window.
Research shows that dining together is more important than you might think. You’ve probably heard many of the stats: less likely to be overweight, perform better academically, and have a better relationship with their parents. But my all-time favorite is: “People think you are a better cook—and a better person—if you serve vegetables at dinner.” (Cornell University Food and Brand Lab)
Summer is a great time to gather around meals to invest in your relationships, and have the added bonus of being gaining a little veggie induced respect!
Include your family in coming up with fun ways to gather for summer meals.
Make a list of fun summer treats you can make together.
Share some summer kindness by taking ice cream or a homemade summer treat to a shut-in or a new family in town.
I’m about to tell you a little secret! When you create a theme or name an event it turns everyday life into a memorable activity. For example, years ago, our family prepared dinner together one night each week. The whole family selected the menu, and of course, it always included dessert. We cooked together, enjoyed a long conversation around the table, and then cleaned together. Well, truth be told, sometimes we cleaned together. We called this evening meal “convivium.” Convivium means convivial gathering or feast. The kids are grown, but we still look forward to gathering for a night of convivium.Read More