Creating Family Moments
The list of things that I find annoying keeps growing:
Poor shopping cart etiquette at the grocery store.
Toilet paper hanging incorrectly...
When the elastic on your sock goes out and it slides down past your heel.
People who leave really long, drawn-out voicemails but the phone number to call them back is in Klingon and only .7 seconds of the minute-and-a-half message.
Writer’s block when something is due.
That last one is where I was at this week. Nothing was working: SportsCenter in the background; eating a whole sleeve of oreos; contemplating if I should get a haircut; even googling “why do people read blogs”. Goose Egg. Donut. Nada. Take me out, coach.
Luckily, some friends invited my wife and I over for dinner with their family. Which was good for several reasons: 1) I didn’t have to cook, 2) I had a good excuse for procrastinating, and 3) I could pick their brains for inspiration.
Somehow in the course of the conversation the usage of expletives came about and someone said, “you can’t use an F-bomb”. Their children were present and the youngest (4yrs) proceeded to ask, “Mom, what’s an F-bomb?” Uhhh, crap. I only have cats, I don’t have to explain these types of things to them! Fortunately, his mom was quick on her feet and answered, “It’s a fart bomb”.
Then comes the best part - without missing a beat he replies, “Oh, I know all about power poots!”
We lost it. It was the kind of sudden laughter that sends a short burst of hot air through your nostrils leaving snot bedangles on your upper lip. It was all I could do to not spit water out across the table… power poots… lol.
The idea of a family moment can be difficult to process because there is no formula, controlled setting, or specific outcome to be met. Family moments are unexpected, life-giving, memorable experiences that occur in the regular rhythms of life. "Power poots" was a family moment and I am grateful to have been included.
There’s no formula, but there are three things that we can be more intentional with in our lives when it comes to embracing and cultivating family moments:
1. Be Present.
I can read your mind - “uh, obviously we have to be there for it to be a family moment…”
I’m not talking about physical presence but being there mentally and emotionally. Try to put away the to-do list and be there with your family. Hear the story they are telling, engage in it, contribute to what is taking place. This includes letting them into your story.
2. Laugh Out Loud
Drop your guard down. Find joy in the little things. The ideal may not be some grand picture, but rather, the beautiful embrace of that which is small in the everyday.
3. Tell The Story
Repeat your family moments to each other and to those around you. Remembrance is powerful, it cultivates appreciation, desire for more, and inspiration for others.
So here’s to more fart jokes… I mean, family moments.
Written by Mike Jessop
CrossPoint Director of NextGen Ministries