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7 Ways to Slow Down and Love On Your Family for #LoveYourLifeFriday

In our busy lives, it's important to take time to focus on our families, even if it is in a small way. Or a simple way that just says, 'I was thinking of you. I love you'. Click here for 7 ways to slow down and love on your family. Karen Ehman, #LoveYourLifeFriday

More and more I see how in today’s culture it is easy to get pulled in a gazillion different directions. Many of these directions are in fierce competition with spending time with our husbands and families.

We don’t eat dinner together as families like we once did. Or, if we are gathered around the table, a few unwelcome electronic gadgets are beeping and buzzing for our attention.

Or maybe we are overcommitted with activities or even church responsibilities. {Yes, there is such a thing as being at church too much! Don’t mistake a relationship with God with doing things for God.}

Been there. Nearly had a breakdown!

This week I double-dog-dare you {and me!} to block out the noise and the activity and just focus on our families, even if it is in a small way. Or a simple way that just says, ‘I was thinking of you. I love you’.

Try these ideas on for size including two recipes below from one of our family’s favorite “just hanging out at home” menus.

1. Make ‘em a meal.

I know, I know, sounds cliche’. But I mean make them a meal. Not buzz out for pizza or maybe pop in some frozen lasagna from the grocery store. (Although there are certainly times when both of those cooking methods come in super handy!) I mean make a main dish from scratch. Maybe even a side dish or dessert. Something they love.

2. Be random.

Do something out of the ordinary. Interrupt your Saturday to kidnap the kiddos or grand kiddos and blindfold them. Take them on a mystery trip. Maybe you’ll land at a park. Or a museum. Or a cider mill to pick apples. Once you arrive, make them guess {while still blindfolded} where they are. Then….go make a random memory!

3. Make it game night.

Pretend it is 1981. No cell phones or home computers. No Xbox. Actually…..wait for it….play a game together as a family. Our favorites are Balderdash, Mind Trap, Apples to Apples, and Monopoly. (Well, everyone else likes Monopoly. I hate it. I prefer Trivial Pursuit because I rock at it. It may or may not have something to do with having once memorized several of the answers in college for a tournament against our brother floor.)

4. Meander down memory lane.

Gather the gang and pop some popcorn while you also pop in some home movies. Maybe it is your wedding video. Or some old tapes of when the kids were tots. Reminisce and snuggle. Whisper a prayer thanking God for your family.

5. Bless another family.

Know a struggling family? Someone who has lost a loved one, is facing a divorce or has a member gone in the military? Brainstorm what your family can do to focus on their family. Bring them a treat. Take them out for a movie night. Invite them over and make homemade pizza or caramel apples.

6. Tuck a surprise into their day.

Maybe it is a note in their duffle bag, wrapped around a granola bar, as they tote it off to spend the night at a friend’s house. Maybe it is a quick text telling them the top five things you appreciate about them. Or write a love message on their bathroom mirror with lipstick.

7. Pray together.

When was the last time you asked every member of your family how you can be praying for them? I mean beyond the usual, “I have a science test next Monday” kind of prayers. Let them share their hearts. Then, pray with them. Don’t stop.

Take time this week not only to focus on your marriage, but on your family as a whole. Slowing down and bringing intentional certainly isn’t easy in today’s busy culture, but it is totally worth it!

BONUS: For fun, here is one of our family’s favorite “just hanging out at home” menus along with the simple recipes:

Stuffed Crust Pizza: Making your own stuffed-crust pizza is a snap. Simply make your favorite homemade crust, doubling the recipe to be sure you have enough. Roll the dough out about three inches larger in diameter than your pizza pan or stone. Lay pieces of mozzarella string cheese around the edges of the pan. Fold the excess dough up and over the cheese and pinch down to seal. Pre-bake crust for 5–7 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove. Add sauce and topping and finish baking, about 5–10 minutes longer. Yum!

Orange-Cream Smoothies: Just like the expensive ones at the mall! Combine 12 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 20 ice cubes, 2 cups milk, and 1 cup sugar in a large blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serves 6.


For more ideas on loving on your family and others too, check out Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered WorldKaren Ehman encourages us to to live alert, listening for “heart drops,” hints from those in our lives who need a helping hand or a generous dose of encouragement. Living alert lifts our own spirits, showing us that blessing others blesses us even more. Listen, Love, Repeat offers biblical teaching and suggests doable actions that are simple, heart-tugging, sentimental, even sneaky and hilarious. For a sneak peek at Listen Love Repeat, sign up for Karen’s How to Hear a Heart Drop five-day challenge.














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