I get it.
I know just how hard it is to get dinner on the table and five people around it who are all going five different directions at five o’clock.
On Monday night, my oldest two have church youth group and on Tuesdays my youngest has tumbling. Wednesdays are for meeting with other families for Bible Study and Thursdays, we have dental and eye appointments or –well, you get my point. Some days the window for all of us to be together is so small, it would be easier to just eat on the go or at least separately.
And other days when we have long moments to linger –that’s when the big kids irritate each other until an argument erupts and the youngest is picky and cries in her dinner and we have a big fat mess spilled all over our good intentions.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not.
But that doesn’t mean we stop trying.
Because dinner isn’t really about food. It’s about connecting. (When our kids were younger, dinner wasn’t always an option for connection. We found the best time to intentionally have a devotion together was one-on-one, right before bed. Don’t give up. Find something that works for your family in the season you’re in).
It’s about pursuing intentional, meaningful conversation that your children will never forget. It’s about building relationships and communicating purpose and goals. It’s about going deeper. It’s about breaking Real Bread together.
We’ve been working on memorizing Psalm 23 and last night, we took turns quoting it in different accents-German, Irish, Redneck. Unconventional yes, but still a seed planted in our heart.
It’s about the best 10 minutes of your day.
This time last year, I wrote an e-Book that has 30 lessons to complete in however long it takes you. There’s no pressure in this easy-to-use guide that encourages family togetherness, conversation, connection and fun around the table. I wrote it for you and it’s only $1.99.
Saying Yes to God As a Family has a suggested icebreaker to get your family talking, a highlighted passage of Scripture to read, questions to ask, a suggested memory verse and a prayer to lead your family in.
It’s designed to be read on a mobile device or printed into cute colorful cue cards. There are printables at the end to brighten your home and to go along with the daily activities.
Practical Ideas to Make it Happen:
- Plan a weekly crockpot meal so you aren’t overwhelmed once you get everyone at the table.
- Keep a large family calendar in the kitchen and make sure at least 3 nights a week are free (even if it’s different every week.)
- Keep a basket of Bibles near the table. Read them together.
- Make the window of time interactive: This ebook Saying Yes to God As a Family: 30 Lessons for the Table from Rhinestone Jesus was created just for this precious 10 minute window during your busy day. Each short lesson has a suggested Bible passage and 3 questions to promote interaction and deeper-thinking.
- Have fun. Painting our kitchen table with chalkboard paint was one of our best decisions to keep our kids around the table longer. Printing out paper placemats for drawing will also keep little hands busy (there are ones included in my ebook). Celebrate great nights together with ice cream!
- Keep it short. Because kids.
- Don’t get discouraged. Some nights I want to go straight to bed after dinner because it’s THAT BAD. But we do it all over again the next day. It’s worth it. Don’t give up!
When we persevere through the mess, we discover beautiful moments together, sometimes sandwiched between really bad ones. (That’s life, huh?) If we choose to be intentional, we have the opportunity to connect on a deeper level. We uncover glorious tidbits that carry us through the hard days. We giggle and laugh. We hear about one another’s day and learn more about each other.
We often find the best 10 minutes of our day when we look for them.