As we continue on to week three in this journey of “Making Your Home A Haven”, we look at having family time. Family time can bring out the best- and the worst- in each of us. Yup, being honest here. If we are not careful, a well planned family night of fun can turn from happiness to craziness in the blink of an eye! That is why it is so important to make sure we respond with kindness and joy during our family time.
This weekend was suppose to be a weekend of family fun! We started with a day at the fair last Friday. It was a lot of fun, but wasn’t really “quality” time. So, we decided to plan a fun night with Pumpkins (Happy Fall Y’all!). Originally, we were going to go to the pumpkin patch, but this year, we decided to just get some cheaper pumpkins, and have a great night carving. We got yummy food for a cook and s’mores. Then, we headed over to my parents, and had a great night carving pumpkins. We cooked out, carved our pumpkins and even made s’mores! Here are a few pictures from our evening!
Everyone had a good time, as you can tell. However, as during any bit of family time, emotions and expectations can get in the way.
I have learned that when you are having a family day, the best thing you can do is to go into it with minimal expectations. Not for behavior- I believe it is important to have clear expectations with your kids on the way they should behave. But, we have to also remember things don’t always go as planned. Last night, our pumpkin carving took WAY longer than we thought it would! We had to share tools. It was a family project- and it took team work.
When you are having these family moments- we have to lead by example. That is the best way to teach kindness – by being an example. The best way to be kind is to forgive.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
This is one of the first verses I had my kids memorize – because I think it is foundational. In order to be truly kind- we have to forgive. It is the moment where we show extreme kindness- when someone isn’t acting the way we want. God has forgiven us SO MUCH – and so, we in turn should forgive others. I feel like this is a topic of conversation we have often with our kids.
When our children wrong each other, and they apologize, we don’t let them say “It’s okay” once they have been apologized too. It wasn’t okay. It isn’t okay when I sin, and I wrong God, and it isn’t okay when one of my children are unkind to the other. However, we teach them to say “I forgive you.” We have talked about the fact that we are to forgive- every. single. time. That doesn’t always mean we go back and play with that person or friend, or that the relationship will be the same going forward. However, our heart is to pray blessing for that person, and accept the apology offered.
The more we receive forgiveness, the more we are willing to give it. As we grasp how much we have been forgiven for, we will be able to understand the grace and mercy of forgiveness. This is almost a foreign concept in today’s world, but it is the ultimate act of kindness. More then using gentle hands or a gentle tone – forgiveness is key. We are going to upset one another. We are going to. However, it is when we respond in forgiveness that we are teaching our children the true act of kindness.
The other thought process we want to talk about in having fun with our family is the thought of joy over happiness. My kids had a great time at the fair. Yet, they still wanted to go to the Pumpkin Patch. However, with our upcoming adoption, Scott and I are trying very hard to make wise financial decisions. So, when we told our kids we were not going to the pumpkin patch – just to get pumpkins, we thought there would be tears and complaints. However (and yes, this is a brag moment on my kids), as we told each one, and gave them our reason, they were each happy with the decision. They wanted the family time – the memories and the experience. I was thankful in that moment that they choose the greater joy over the temporal happiness. (That does NOT always happen in our home- I do not want to paint a perfect picture. This time, it did)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 ESV)
A joyful heart is cheerful. It is beyond the circumstance- it is to the true heart of the matter. I know that sometimes, money is tight. It is hard to try to plan fun family nights, thinking your kids might be disappointed in the night – because it isn’t what “other families” do. I know. We have been there. I was so worried when we were not going to go to the Patch that my kids were going to be upset. That they would have crushed spirits and we would not be able to revive them- they wold be like dried up bones. However, they choose to have joy in the situation. It was good medicine for our whole family to have a good time without having to spend a fortune.
There are a lot of great things you can do this week with your family that won’t cost a ton. We choose to find a cheaper grocery store to buy our pumpkins- and they were 3.00 each. For less then the admission to the pumpkin patch, each of my kids had a pumpkin of their own (we would have gotten one had we gone to the patch!). You can also do a movie night (we do a lot of those in November and December when the good Christmas movies are on!) or plan to do a craft night or a baking night! Board games are another one. Usually, we do cheap pizza and ice cream on those nights – but you don’t even have to do that. Pinterest is a great source of some FUN and inexpensive family fun nights!
No matter what you do, this week, spend some time with your family. Remember, memories are priceless. Take lots of pictures. Thank God for the family you have.
Just joining us on the Make Your Home a Haven Challenge? You can find the past post here!
Now, on to the Salt and Light Link Up
Be the Salt & the Light to the world this week and share:
- Faith in Jesus – What inspired your faith walk with Jesus
- Marriage – What touched your heart for your spouse
- Singleness – What has inspired you to reach out to God
- Mothering – What encouraged you to be the best mom you can be this week
- Health – A new recipe that you hope to bless your family with, or health tip that will benefit your family
- Service – A story of service that touched you
- Finances – A tip that will serve your family well
- Homemaking – Inspiration to make your home a haven for your husband, kids, and guests
- Time – Share a story that opened your eyes to the use of time in our life
- Beauty – A reminder of what beauty really is in a world that tries so hard to
And of course, if you have written an encouraging post you would like to add to the link up, go ahead link up a second, personal post.
Bridget and I are picking our own favorites each week to feature, so make sure to check out both of our sites to see if you were featured. My favorite this week Friend, What Did You See In That Selfie by Melissa Nesdahl at Fill My Cup. Melissa shares a “letter to a friend” asking what we see when we take that selfie. In a world where we can see the picture immediately -what do we see? Do we remember what God sees when He made us?
Your Chance to be Salt & Light
More specifically, how are we as blogging mommies, wives, women, being salt & light towards others online?
Here is your chance to generously sprinkle some salt and shine a light: a link up where you share a post that you enjoyed recently from someone else’s blog or website.
Make sure to follow Marissa, Bridget, Misty and Mandy so you don’t miss future opportunities to be Salt & Light to others! Oh and check out Salt & Light’s pinterest board… your post might just show up there!
The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Salt & Light, you are agreeing to allow Rays of Grace & Joy, Beautiful Ashes, Women of Worship or Becoming a Godly Wife to feature you in a future post. That includes a link to your post, and a picture you’ve used on that post. You are also allowing Rays of Grace & Joy, Beautiful Ashes, Women of Worship or Becoming a Godly Wife to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+. Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop – your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.