Flourishing Families

Our girls have never been to Six Flags before so we decided to brave this adventure over Spring Break realizing it was going to be crazy busy. We had no idea! When you wait thirty minutes in line its not that big of a deal if you get to ride something after the wait. THIS WAS ACTUALLY THE WAIT FOR THE BATHROOM! A thirty-minute wait to ride the toilet seat is a bit much! In the course of our day we waited in lines so long that we were only able to ride four rides. At the entrance cost of $300 this comes out to $75 a ride.

None of this dissuaded us from an abundance of laughter because we were together as a family. The lines were filled with stories, conversations, a game called heads up on our phones that gets so animated people around us were entertained by our silliness. These huge experiences count the most when the rhythm of relationship has been established over the years with meaningful family meals, devotion times and various traditions that bring us together consistently because of our relationship and love for each other.

We don’t have to go do something to have fun. We are fun! Whatever we do becomes fun because of who we are not because of what we’re doing! God’s idea of family involves fun loving moments that are born from fun loving relationships. In so many ways we have become consumed with chasing after commercialized expressions that we’ve lost sight of just how deeply and wonderfully human it is to experience and express Jesus.

Kids were attracted to Jesus because he knew how to play and have fun. The other adults were annoyed by these kids but Jesus told them to let the kids get to him because he wanted to laugh and have fun with them. If your idea of family time with your kids is some deep theological approach to boring your kids out of their minds you’re not being Christ-like. Fun family time with our kids involves playing games, hide and go seek, dodge ball, soccer, pizza, coke, splurging, HAVING A BLAST LAUGHING AND PLAYING TOGETHER!

Jesus taught in Matt 10:7 that the Kingdom of God is at hand! This means that life’s greatest treasures are at your fingertips! In a world that is overcommitted and under-connected it’s easy to let the most important things in life slip right past us going completely unnoticed.

Pastor Leon Fontaine once shared a story about how a very religious Woman traveled for hours to find him on a Saturday desperate to speak with him. After he finally agreed to meet with her she sat for twenty minutes describing all the problems in her home because her husband wouldn’t pray and read his Bible like he should. Finally Leon described the conversation as so one-sided he simply asked her to please stop talking and listen. He told her to stop being so religious, go home and help her marriage by putting on a negligee and chasing her husband around the house at night. He told her to take her kids outside and tackle them in the grass making sure to get grass stains on them and on her. She looked at him stunned in disbelief and the meeting was over. One week later her husband called Pastor Leon asking what he’d done to his wife because their family was so different!

As Christians we don’t have a difficult time trying to be spiritual. We seem to have a difficult time remembering to be human. A little bit of human effort born from a sincere desire to encourage each other and enjoy your friendship goes a very long way. You won’t always get it right but the intentional and consistent investment in the most important things in life really do make a difference.

We are so marketed to in our society that we tend to think life’s greatest joys are experienced in huge events or spectacular encounters. Encounters can be incredible experiences but it is the consistent rhythm in life that produces the legacy of tradition. When the kids grow up experiencing the annual trip to Pops over Spring Break, the Thanksgiving trip to Branson baking cookies in the condo and lighting a fire by the lake in the evenings, the annual movie on the day after Christmas.

Encountering Disney World can produce a memory but the rhythm of what may appear to be mundane becomes far more powerful in the reflections of life.

Lighten up! Loosen up! 1Thes 5:16 Rejoice always.

LIFE IS SO MUCH ABOUT PERSPECTIVE – If you’re struggling it’s a sure sign you’re not yet defeated! There is hope for your life, your marriage, your relationship, your finances, etc! Choose to live your life from a perspective of joy. You may not be half as good looking as Tom Cruise but you’re twice as good looking as Osama Bin Laden ever was!

Erma Bombeck once said, “If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadows over my feet, I would have cherished every minute of it and realize that the wonderment growing inside of me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would have never have insisted that the car windows be rolled up on a Summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the good living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the paint candle sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored in the garage. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried & laughed less while watching television and more while watching life. I would have shared more of the responsibilities carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.   I would have never bought anything just because it was practical. When my child kissed me impetuously I would never have said, “Later now go up and get washed for dinner.” There would have been more “I love you’s” & more “I’m sorries” and more “I am listening”. But more if I was given another shot at life I would seize every moment of it. Try it on. Live it. Exhaust it until there was nothing left of it.

Jesus came and give his life so you could have life. Don’t squander it away thinking some serious religious attitude is what pleases Him.

John 10:10 “…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (Amplified)

This reminded me of an article I once read:

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance-particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1, Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do? – Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate:

Keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 in an Operating System. Please enter the command: “http: I Thought You Loved. Me.htm” and try to download Tears 6.2 and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, over use of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta. Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background, that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7. Good Luck,

Tech Support

Many families are so full of frustration and even pain and injury. Making efforts to laugh together can do wonders for your family and bring tremendous healing to your home.

Prov 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries out the bones.

The average child laughs 400 times a day while the average adult laughs 15 times a day. Somewhere in life we get way too serious. In our digital world we simply must purpose to make time for human moments. These human moments don’t need to be superhuman experiences. They simply need to be sincerely human moments shared with those we love.

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