RUMBLE! BOOM! If your family is anything like mine, life can be stormy, what with the winds of busy-ness blowing us this way and that. And even if we’re not in the midst of truly stormy times, I find, as a mom, that it’s necessary to be intentional about finding creative, loving ways to stay afloat above the sea of activities and responsibilities of family living. Indeed one of the themes I hope readers (and their parents) will take away from my first book, GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014), is that sometimes a little extra TLC is just what’s needed to make things okay, even in the midst of a storm!
Now in celebration of TLC (tender lovin’ care) and GOODNIGHT, ARK (which is #15 on the Christian Juvenile Bestsellers’ List for May 2016!), here are five things that keep my family afloat (and happy).
- Morning Hugs – From the moment they came home as babies, we’ve started our mornings with what we now call the “morning hug”. Indeed the first sentence out of my daughter’s mouth each morning is, “Time for my morning hug.” And mine: “Me, too.” My son, age 15, now gives more of a morning shrug, but we still all know that the morning wouldn’t be quite the same without it.
- Special Breakfasts – These are pretty self-explanatory. I mean isn’t any day extra special if it begins with pancakes and bacon, or warm-out-of-the oven blueberry muffins? The extra, extra special twist is that these breakfasts are often a group effort. Who wants to stir?
- Family Dinners – Eat together. Talk together. Be together. Need I say more?
- After Dinner Sillies – This is our family’s favorite time to let loose and be silly. We’ve done foot puppet shows, dance numbers, stand-up comedy, you name it. Anything goes, really, in this delightful post-dinner moment of relaxation before dishes are cleared and the evening routine of finishing up homework, cleaning up after dinner, taking showers etc. resumes.
- Pillow Ponderings (and Prayers) There’s something about the cozy comfort of bedtime that brings out a reflective spirit in each of my children. And I love nothing better than talking with my kids about what’s on their mind and then wrapping it all up in prayer, before giving each that last goodnight kiss and turning out the light. Even when I’m tired to the core, like the Noah in my story must have been when he finally settled those animals down, I wouldn’t miss these special bedtime moments.
HAPPY FLOATING, ALL!
(An earlier version of this post appeared on Becky Kopitzke’s lovely blog.)