"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Family Culture: Having Fun Together


Sunday evening several families came over after church and as is our new custom we had a quadruple batch of pancakes on the griddle.  Tim decided that he was going to be the chef this week, and our friend John was doing the assisting.  Emily was helping out as well.  The next thing I know I hear this crazy laughing and see Em with the giant white platter catching pancakes as Tim flipped them into the air!  

www.allposters.com

This got everyones' attention and their was a lot of laughter going on.  The Moms were sitting in the living room and visiting and watching the cooking show going on over in the kitchen.  One of my friends leaned over and said, "That looks like fun.  I'm too serious about everything.  I think we need to add some more fun into our lives."  This dear friend has had a decade and more of serious health issues having developed RA at age 30.  The RA has left her with a body that doesn't work like it used to, but she still has such beauty and I love her heart for the Lord and her family.

What she has been recognizing is that pain, difficulty, sorrow, worry - you name it - can come in and steal joy from our lives.  We lose our focus on eternal things.  We forget to have fun.

It's so important in families!  As we are working to tie heartstrings between our children's hearts and our own, we need to make sure there is time for fun in the midst of daily life.  Cooking pancakes for 23 people can be a blast, if you don't take it and yourself so seriously!



I fell into that trap of taking everything so seriously for several years.  I felt so burdened with the need to make sure my children knew the Lord and were making right choices, and learning and growing in the right ways….I completely lost sight of it being the Holy Spirits job to draw all men unto Himself!  I forgot that what I needed to do was to be faithful to share the Lord with them, and to SHOW them a real vibrant, joyful relationship with the Lord.

I am thankful for the reminder the Lord gave me and that I made the choice to have fun again.  Our home is often chaotic but in a controlled way, if that makes sense.

Rachel may have the Piano Guys playing on the computer and someone may be cooking, and Sarah might be drawing at the table and Kyle and Kamryn playing in the living room, and we are all talking, and hanging out and laughing.

I sometimes say, "I live in a zoo."  But I always say it with a smile and thankfulness in my heart.  God has used fun and joy to bind our hearts together.

Whatever stage of life your in, I want to encourage you to be joyful and to share that joy with others.  If you are older perhaps there is a family member or a young mom next door, who could use a dose of joy, and a reminder to enjoy their little ones.  If you are a mom in the midst of diapers be thankful that diapers don't usually last forever, and that during this important training time in your children's lives, it is important to see just how special God made each of your children and to drink it in, savor it!  What gifts they are to us.




I loan my kids out on a regular basis to my parents.  They get to spend the night, eat out (sometimes), watch movies in the big bed with Grandma or hang out with Grandpa downstairs watching Mythbusters or Storm Chasers.  These are beneficial times to both my kids and my parents.  They are tying heartstrings too, and my parents get the joy of companionship with some of their grandchildren.  It's a win-win for everyone.


When my Sarah was about the age of my granddaughter Kamryn, I had been correcting her about something, and had a frown on my face.  She in very open and honest Sarah-like fashion said to me, "Mommy, you don't smile at me."  Oh, how that cut me to the heart!  You know what?  My little dramatic one was right!  I was so serious all the time dealing with her.  She needed to see me smiling and enjoying her bubbly, drama queen personality.  God got my attention that day through my little girl, who is now not so little and yet she is still who God made her!  I learned to delight in her, and often my being able to laugh about a situation, helps her too!


I believe that our homes should be places that people want to be, places of love, acceptance and joy.  I also believe that it is these times of fun and laughter that help us through the hard times that inevitably come our way.

I'd love to hear about some of the ways you and your family tie heartstrings one to another, so please share!




5 comments:

Becky K. said...

Great post! It is true that we can get caught up in all of the good intentions to the point that we miss the opportunities in front of our very faces. I'm so happy that God has allowed you to enjoy your delightful family and the deep friendships that have developed in the church. Life definitely takes twists and turns but in all God is so faithful. I think I've noticed a deeper peace in you these days. I like it!

Judy said...

What a great post Deanna. I did have to chuckle where you said "I sometimes say, "I live in a zoo." I totally said that at times but always with a smile on my own face, tho crazy it may have gotten at times I loved it.

podso said...

A good word here. And laughter is such good medicine.

J. Johnson said...

One thing that my children always notice and talk about later is when I let them have dessert for breakfast. It happens rarely (maybe twice a year), but every so often we will have cheesecake for breakfast, or brownies. They never know when it will happen, but they are smiling throughout that whole day!

Cheryl said...

I have been in your "zoo" and it is a blast! I witnessed serious conversation, deep thoughts, and smiles, and laughter, and even silliness! I think that's how it should be.

Love the photos in this post!! :D