Tag Archive for rest

Keep That Spark Alive with a Marital Sabbath Rest

The Journal of Consumer Research published a series of studies drawing participants from Italy and the United States. They discovered that U.S. citizens associated busyness with status. We tend to view people as important when they skip leisure and work all the time, even complaining they “have no life” because of work or desperately “need a vacation” but are too busy to take one (Lack of leisure: Is busyness the new status symbol?). Unfortunately, this mindset is deadly to a healthy marriage and family. In fact, according to a Baylor University study in 2016 the best predictor of happiness within families was spending time together engaged in familiar leisure activities (Pleasant family leisure at home may satisfy families more than fun together elsewhere, study finds). As overwork and busyness have become status symbols, we have become enslaved to the slave driver of our cultural frenzy. But familiar leisure time at home promotes family happiness, not constant running and busyness. This presents a “bit of conundrum,” doesn’t it? Ah, but I have a solution, an ancient solution that we often overlook when considering our marriages. A healthy marriage needs rest, not just any rest but a Marital Sabbath Rest.  A Marital Sabbath Rest will help us experience the rhythm of God in our marriages, a rhythm that invites us to look forward to reigniting our love together, savoring our connection in the moment, and remembering who we are as couples. A Marital Sabbath Rest will restore God’s freedom from the slave drivers that compel us to overwork so we can experience the gift of freedom to worship and rest.  A Marital Sabbath will refocus our perspective on our delight for our spouses. It will allow us the time to “re-create” and revitalize the unity God has given us in marriage. Status will not give a lifetime of joy; a happy marriage will.  We need a Marital Sabbath Rest to restore that knowledge. To incorporate a Martial Sabbath Rest into your marriage:

  1. Set time aside for you and your spouse. Develop a simply ritual to separate your Marital Sabbath Rest from the rest of the week. The ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle or eating a meal together. Just establish the activity as one that signals the change from “regular time” to “Marital Sabbath Rest time.”
  2. Acknowledge, adore, and admire. Begin your Marital Sabbath Rest by acknowledging your spouse. Recognize and thank your spouse for their investment in your marriage and your home. Tell them one or two things you admire about them. Let them know a couple of things you adore about them. This can also serve as part of the ritual separating the Marital Sabbath Rest from the rest of the week.
  3. Enjoy a meal together. During your meal, enjoy conversation. Save conversation you know will lead to heated disagreement for another time and enjoy friendly, fun-filled conversation with one another. Speak to one another as friends and lovers. Recall times of celebrations. Discuss dreams and anticipate future fun. Share your meals.
  4. Play. Stop working to accomplish something and simply enjoy your time together. Don’t worry about time; savor the “eternal moment” of play and love. Forget about productivity and just enjoy God’s gift of your spouse and your marriage.
  5. Rest. Take a walk. Sit on the porch. Listen to some music. Relax. Go to bed a little early and enjoy your spouse. This is a time to relish in your relationship and savor the intimacy that culminates from a day of enjoying one another.

I know enjoying a Marital Sabbath Rest takes a little preparation and effort. However, the dividends are amazing—a greater peace, a growing sense of security, an increasing joy, and a deepening intimacy.

P.L.A.Y. Rx

A virus has infected our marriages. Perhaps you have suffered with this virus. It capitalizes on the weakened immunity created by our busy lifestyles and our limited rest. Work, raising children, maintaining a home, and constant community involvement takes a toll on our physical and emotional health. This virus of busy-ness attacks our relationships, including our marriages, while we are in a weakened state. It creates a distance and disconnection between our spouses and us. Our home life begins to deteriorate as each spouse runs in a separate direction. Smiles disappear. Joy drifts from our interactions. The virus leaves us longing for a remedy for “we-don’t-even-know-what” because we have no energy or time to think. At the Camp Christian Couples’ Retreat (coming up on February 9-11, 2018) we will offer a prescription to treat this virus…P.L.A.Y. That’s right. PLAY offers an oasis in the desert of busyness, an effective treatment for the virus that has attacked our marriages and our homes. PLAY will bring the smiles back to our faces and the joy back into our interactions. PLAY will restore energy and revitalize intimacy.  And why not? After all, we are made in the image of a God who loves PLAY, Laughter, Adventure, and Yearning.  It’s the perfect Rest. Join us at the Couples’ Retreat February 9-11, 2018, as we partake of this prescription together and PLAY. Hope to see you there!

(If you haven’t registered yet, go on-line at Camp Christian and sign up today. Only room for 10 couples.)

Managing Your Child’s Schedule…or, Seeking Balance in the Devil’s Playground

“Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” I have heard that statement many times…and, I know the truth in it. Laziness, the habit of doing nothing, leads to trouble! However, in our culture Cute Teenage Girl with Serious Expressionwe have swung to the opposite extreme with our children’s schedule. Rather than having “idle hands,” our children are overscheduled, pressured to be involved, and pushed to achieve. In an effort to give our children “every opportunity,” we fill their schedule with multiple activities. Because we fear they might miss out on future opportunities and successes, we pack every evening with at least one children’s activity…and two to four activities on the weekends. We rush from one activity to another, handing our children a protein bar or a happy meal between activities and letting them veg-out with a game on their IPad during the car ride between events. Slow down for a second and consider: What are we really accomplishing with this frenetic, child-focused lifestyle? What are our children learning? What will the long-term impact be?


When our children are overscheduled they become exhausted, agitated, and irritable. They snap at their friends and us more often.  They have a difficult time settling down and even getting to sleep at night. They become more easily upset and exhibit a more difficult time managing their emotions. We seem them grow moody, hyperactive, and impulsive…all resulting from a hectic schedule with little to no rest.


Filling our children’s schedule with activities may actually backfire, too. WebMD (Read article here) reports that the number of children involved in youth sports has doubled over the last 20 years while the number of teens involved in high school sports has dropped to an all-time low. Three out of four youth who start sports before the first grade drop out by the age of 13. Many experts suggest this has occurred because our children are getting burned out. The constant pressure to succeed and the constant drive to participate leaves them burned out and in need of rest.


In addition, with no unstructured down-time, our children never learn how to entertain themselves. They need outside sources to constantly entertainment them and motivate them. They do not learn how to manage their own schedule. Even more, the implicit messages heard by our overscheduled child include “You need constant self-improvement to please your family and be a person of worth” and “Unstructured time is wasted time; relaxation produces guilt.” In overscheduling our children we have not planted seeds of success but seeds of a stressed-out workaholic with few coping skills and a great potential for strained relationships in the future.

Happy family playing

We need to replace the “idle hands is the devil’s playground” with another saying…like, “Take rest, a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop” or “It takes a little work and a little play to teach a man to live.” Let me make a recommendation based on several sources.

  • Allow your child to have some unstructured down-time every day–no scheduled activity, no TV, no video game; just time to relax and figure out what they like to do.
  • Engage your child in an activity of their choice for at least 20-30 minutes each day. Play catch, play checkers, run to the store, or simply sit on the porch and talk. The activity really does not matter. The most important thing is to enjoy time with your child.
  • Consider the impact of your child’s schedule on your whole family. Remember travel time, impact on siblings not involved in that particular activity, impact on meal time, impact on finances, impact on homework, etc.
  • Limit your elementary school age child’s involvement in structured adult organized activities to no more than 3-4 hours per week. That means no more than one sport activity and one church/social/community activity per week. I realize this sounds limiting, but the benefits for your child and your family will be well worth the challenge. And, as your child moves into middle school and high school involvement time will change.

Our children need us to manage their schedule. They need us to help them find balance in the devil’s playground.

Family Rest: A Lost Family Art

Whew, what a blur this month has become! My children have activity after activity, some out of state and some next door. Some mark major life transitions (such as graduation from high school) and some are great opportunities (such as participating in state level academic programs). Then, there is the typical run-around involved in keeping house and home–things like shopping, spring cleaning, working, etc. Even the world around us seems rushed and distracted. Music plays everywhere you go. Cars crowd the roads, weaving and swerving in and out of fellow travelers. Even in the “quietness” of home, computers buzz, lights flicker, cell phones glow, ice makers drop ice. At a recent school concert I watched the dancing shadows produced by the glowing lights of younger siblings playing video games on cell phones, I-Pads, or I-Pods. I encounter a constant barrage of lights, sounds, busy-ness and rush everywhere I go. In the midst of all this, you know what I miss? Do you know what I think our families need? Family rest!
Family rest—a long forgotten art in our fast-paced world. When I speak of a family rest I’m not talking about times in which the whole family takes a nap together…although that’s not a bad idea. Nor do I mean those times in which everyone sits around complaining that they have nothing to do; and, in response, everyone literally “veg-out” in front of the TV. Family rest is not sitting in a restaurant because everyone is too tired to cook, although I enjoy this as well.
So, what do I mean by a family rest? I mean those times when the whole family gathers together in one area and spends time together…playing, talking, reading, whatever. Turn off the TV, the cell phones, and the computer; forget the deadlines, the “honey-do” lists, and the planning for upcoming days; don’t worry about the world news or the menu for next week. Forget it all and intentionally engage one another in the moment–a relaxed, enjoyable moment of togetherness. You can do this in so many different ways, but here are a few.
     ·         You might enjoy games like Apples to Apples, The Game of Things, or Uno–games that encourage fun, interaction, and verbal exchanges. Don’t be surprised if these playful interactions lead to real eye to eye contact and times of engaging in uproarious laughter together. 

·         Maybe you prefer a more outdoor, active style of family rest. If so, perhaps you would enjoy a family walk or hike, a fishing trip, or a “[semi-] leisurely” bike ride along the rails to trails. During such an activity you can enjoy simple conversation. Once again, you may find this conversation becoming more intimate and meaningful as you proceed. Don’t be afraid to walk right into the more meaningful content of the conversation when it arises and enjoy the intimacy you find.

·         Perhaps you have a creative family that would enjoy creating together. You could sing together, play music together, make art together, or write a story together. Let the music entrain your family rhythms. Allow the art to give integrity, beauty, and flow to your interaction. Listen to the story line as it twists and turns through metaphors and similes as your family writes an evening of fun and intimacy into your family rest.

·         Take a vacation. Vacations don’t have to be long or expensive. You can even have a short “family rest vacation” in your backyard. Enjoy a back-yard picnic and a game of badminton. Set up camp in the back yard, equipped with a camp fire and s’mores. Put out a blanket on a warm night; then lay down as a family and point out the constellations.
I’m sure you have more ideas about how to create a family rest. Make it a point to enjoy that rest together. Relax, forget the deadlines for a little while, turn off the electronics, and enjoy the opportunity to resync your individual rhythms with the rhythm of family life.

5 Tips To Create A Family Rhythm

Ever have one of those days when nothing your family does seems to go as planned? I have. Every interaction feels disjointed, out of sync, confused, out of sorts. Everything discussion seems to jumble together and even the simplest task becomes difficult. The emotional and physical needs and desires of each family member seem to pile on top of the one another, compete for attention, and clash in horrid dissonance. Relationships suffer as people miss cues, interrupt in mid-phrase, and crescendo into arguments over silly misunderstandings. During these days of dissonance, I find myself jumping into the flow of conversation at the wrong time and disrupting what little flow seemed to exist. Everyone grows more agitated and irritable. Nothing, and nobody, seems in tune with anyone else.
There is a solution to those days…a remedy for the out-of-sync family. That remedy involves developing a family rhythm. Developing a family rhythm helps family members become more “in tune” with one another. Through a family rhythm, family members get more in sync and they flow together more naturally, weaving a counterpoint of activities and ideas that fit together in beautiful harmonies. Families with a good family rhythm get along better, enter into conversation at opportune moments, and understand one another more easily. They follow one another’s cues and find their daily lives harmonizing with the family as a whole. Family members learn to take turns playing the lead and willingly “play second fiddle” when another family member takes the lead. Everything seems more fluid, relaxed, and enjoyable. Periods of dissonance are resolved. Moments of complexity and hurry are followed by rest and intimacy. You can imagine how this family rhythm reduces stress and creates greater connection. So, what does a family rhythm involve and how do we create a family rhythm? Here are 5 tips to help develop your family rhythm.
     1.      To develop a family rhythm, think about your typical day and week…and, think about your family values and priorities. Here are some questions to consider: When do people get up? When do various family members have the highest energy? When is energy at its lowest? What activities do you enjoy as a family? What activities do you enjoy as individuals? What do you do on a weekly basis—worship, family nights, movies…? Do these activities fit into your family values and priorities? Why or why not? As you answer these questions, consider how these activities fit together. You may find that you have to remove some activities from your schedule in order to have rhythm and include only those activities that harmonize with your family values. It becomes hard to have a healthy family rhythm when your family life is filled with frenetic activities that keep you rushing from one activity to another. So, really focus on your family priorities and which activities harmonize with those values.

2.      A healthy family rhythm includes time for play. Families that play together find one another’s rhythm. They learn to read one another’s cues and respond to those cues. Whether they be cues of joy or discomfort, play teaches us to recognize them and respond to them in a helpful way. 

3.      A healthy family rhythm includes time for work. Everyone in a family can contribute to the family rhythm and stability. That means everyone has a job to fulfill. When everyone does their part, families find a healthy rhythm. Perhaps the younger children will simply dust or pick up toys, but they can participate in the “work of the home.” This makes everyone a part of the home. Everyone learns that they have a contribution to make. Everyone leans to appreciate the contribution of others. 

4.      A healthy family rhythm also includes time for rest. One of my favorite ways to ‘get in tune’ with my family is to rest together. Some families may rest by taking a nap at the same time. Others find that the best way to rest is taking a walk, listening to music, talking over a cup of coffee, or enjoying a time of recreation together. Whatever helps your family enjoy times of rest will instill a positive rhythm into your family and build opportunities for intimacy.

5.      A healthy family rhythm includes time to eat together. I know our lives are very busy, but if we fit 3-5 family meals in a week we add can beautiful harmony to our family rhythm. Having family meals allows us to talk, learn about one another’s day, discuss future dreams, encourage growth, comfort sorrows, and laugh together. All of this will enhance your family rhythm.
When we get our family in sync and enjoy a positive family rhythm, we find harmony between time as a family and time as individuals; time learning and growing with one another and time becoming more independent; time working and time resting; time rushing in counterpoint to get things done and time enjoying the leisure harmonies of family fellowship. We find harmony, unity, and intimate support. As we practice our family rhythm, we invite future generations into a generational legacy of family rhythm.

Christmas Spirit? Stuck in Gridlock!

I hate driving during the Christmas season. Traffic is terrible. Drivers seem more erratic, less patient, more rude, and in a rush. Every time I leave my house I end up in gridlock. If there is one thing that triggers my impatience (and there is at least one thing), it is traffic. Especially when I’m trying to enjoy the Christmas spirit and all I do is inch through gridlock. I’m afraid I may end up acting like one of those crazy “erratic, less than patient, in a rush” drivers I mentioned earlier.
The other day, as I moved at an unbearable snail’s pace through the shopping wonderland of Christmas, I began to think about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem and inching their way through gridlock in search of a room. The town was crowded, filled to the brim with out-of-towners who had come in for the census. Maybe all kinds of “reunions” and class parties were going on…I don’t know. I do know that Mary was pregnant and ready to give birth to Jesus, her first born son. The town was so crowded that Mary and Joseph couldn’t even find a place to stay. Even a woman in the throes of childbirth could not find a room. Finally, someone gave them permission to stay in a stable. Fighting their way through an impatient crowd, Mary and Joseph entered the stable to find it crowded with animals that belonged to the visitors and guests. Listening to the serenade of noisy animals, the couple quickly set up their home away from home…and soon delivered a Baby.  Jesus was born in that crowded stable and laid in a feeding trough, the closest thing to a crib that Joseph could find. Surrounded by the noise of a crowded city outside and the braying animals inside, Mary and Joseph gazed for the first time into the eyes of their newborn Son. That peaceful gaze did not last long. Shepherds, pushing through the Bethlehem gridlock, burst into the stable to see the Baby. They spoke of angelic visions and told of a huge angel choir that sang “glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, good will to men.” They rambled on with such unbridled enthusiasm that it bordered on hysteria.
In the midst of all this noise and rush, Mary marveled…she “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” As crowds fought for space in the city, and animals mooed and brayed all around, Mary treasured the events. In the middle of that first Christmas gridlock, Mary pondered. Perhaps we need to follow her example by taking time to ponder, even in the midst of our holiday rush…especially in the midst of our holiday rush. Our whole family will witness our pondering and follow our lead. They will ponder with us. Together, our families can ponder the treasure residing in our hearts because of the gift we received on that first Christmas—that gift is our newborn Baby Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us! “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” In the midst of our pondering, our family will experience the quiet peace of Christmas. Our family will discover the joy found only in the treasure of that little Baby laid in the manger of our noisy hearts. Won’t you join me as we “treasure all these things and ponder them in our hearts?” Have a Peaceful Christmas of pondering.

Tips For A Great Family Vacation

Summer time means summer vacation. Vacations are a wonderful opportunity to bond with your family while having fun. Whether you go to the beach, camping in the woods, or visiting family, here are some hints to make your family vacation time even more fun.
      ·Include the whole family in planning. Let each family member give input about various activities to include in your vacation. Perhaps one family member wants to visit a particular museum near your vacation spot while another would like to eat lunch at a particular restaurant. Allow both people to give input and, if possible, arrange your vacation schedule to include both activities. Including the family in planning may involve negotiating sleep, meals and foods, activities, use of video games and other technology, the balance of time together versus independent time, and even who sits where in the car.

·Speaking of technology…vacation is a great time to unplug. Allow the majority of your vacation time to be free of technology. You may still check in with your IPad and your children may still enjoy a video game here and there, but do not allow technology to rob you of valuable family time. Take the time to simply enjoy “tech-free” activities and interactions with your family.

·Don’t over plan. No one enjoys rushing from one activity to another, especially during your vacation time. So, don’t over plan. Allow yourself time to relax and recharge. Schedule activities and outings, but make your schedule leisurely and flexible. Maintain some “down time” each day so your family can “do their own thing” for a time.

·Take some old-fashion games with you (remember, vacation is a great time to unplug so avoid computer games). Spend some time each day playing a game. Games can range from Apples to Apples, Uno or other card games, putting together a jumbo jigsaw puzzle, or playing with beach balls, Frisbees, or footballs. These types of games and activities allow you and your family to have fun, talk, and relax all at the same time. You don’t have to worry about who wins the game…simply enjoying one another’s company means you have already won.

·Keep your eyes open for the spontaneous treat. Perhaps as you drive to your vacation spot you will come across a beautiful overlook. Stop and take a moment to enjoy the scenery. Maybe you will walk by an ice cream shop while shopping and, since you have a leisurely schedule, you have time to stop for an ice cream cone. Go ahead and enjoy it. You may even enjoy something as simple as a momentary opportunity to put your arm around a family member as you both look at something beautiful (like a picture, the sunset, or a waterfall) and enjoy the spontaneous opportunity to connect by sharing the experience.
I am not sure where you might go this summer for vacation. Wherever you go, remember these tips, enjoy your family, and have a great time!

Leading Children by Still Waters

Last summer, several families at Camp Christian walked to a nearby stream. The fast moving rapids of the stream had carved out and smoothed the surface of a natural slide that ended in a pool at the bottom of a small waterfall. You could sit at the top of the “slide” and allow the rapids to carry you downstream and over the waterfall into the pool. Everyone loved it. We had a great time “riding the miniature rapids” and being “dumped” over the waterfall into the deeper water. The young people (children and teens) loved riding the rapids and landing at the bottom of the falls. They slid down the rapids, ran back to the top, sat down and started over again…and again…and again. They loved the thrill. They did not want to stop, let alone leave and return to camp. If allowed, I think they would have continued playing in the rapids until they collapsed from exhaustion.
I had a great time, too. However, by the time we walked back to camp, I was exhausted…and ready to take a break. I would not want to play in the rapids all the time. I mean, they were fun to ride and fun to play in, but I like to lay back and relax, too. While we played in the rapids, I could not put my head back and relax. I could not stretch out on the surface of still waters and let the sun warmed my body. Instead, I had to stay alert to make sure everyone was safe, keep paddling so I did not get washed downstream, and vigilantly guard against smashing a toe (or head) against a rock. It was great fun, but not calm and relaxing.
Family life can be this way. We all have times of riding the rapids in our family life. We get swept away with busy schedules, activities, deadlines, and demands. Even our children find themselves caught up in the rapids of an overly busy schedule filled with sports, music, friends, church activities, work, chores, etc. Many times, our children do not even realize they are over scheduled. They are merely enjoying the thrill of the ride. They are excited to see their friends, play the game, hear the concert, and help at church…. In the midst of this busy schedule, we notice them becoming more irritable, restless, and even angry. As a result, a simple irritation suddenly sparks an angry outburst that ends in yelling, door slamming, and more frustration as we run to the next activity. Before long, our kids collapse from exhaustion; and, they have no idea why.
We, as parents, need to lead our children into some still waters. We need to help them find the balance between time in the rapids and time relaxing. Having the proper amount of rest and relaxation actually increases our level of energy. It enhances our immune system which can result in fewer illnesses. Rest and relaxation also increases our problem-solving ability and our ability to concentrate, translating into better school performance. Getting the proper amount of rest results in decreased stress and more balanced emotions. This, in turn, translates into fewer angry outbursts, less irritability, less depression, and more enjoyment. To obtain these benefits, our children need to have time away from the rapids and time resting in the still waters of life. Here are 4 ways to lead our children to still waters.
     1.      Model appropriate rest and relaxation in your own life. Children learn by watching your example. Balance your own schedule. Don’t overbook. Allow yourself time to relax. Let your children relax with you.

2.      Monitor your children’s schedule. Keep an eye on your children’s schedule and talk to them about scheduling. Take the time to discuss what adding “just one more thing” to a schedule actually means. Discuss how an activity impacts the whole family. Explain that a one hour activity means more than simply one hour of time–it also includes preparation time, practice time, travel time, and “down time” for other family members (like siblings) who might be there but are not involved as well as financial costs and the time needed to obtain that cost.

3.      Set healthy limits on the number of activities each family member is allowed to participate in at one time. Discuss this limit with your children. Explain the impact of overscheduling on you, them, and the family. Give them examples of times that overscheduling resulted in more stress, emotional turmoil, and maybe even illness. Explain the benefits of rest as well. Let them know it’s OK to rest and relax. Discuss what choices are available for activities and what each option involves. Finally, include your children in the final decision identifying which activities to participate in.

4.      Develop a philosophy of rest. Our society often   looks down on rest. Society belittles rest and calls those who relax lazy or unmotivated. In our culture, we believe that our worth is determined by activity and accomplishment. As parents who see the importance of rest and want to lead their children to still waters, we need to have a philosophy of rest. We need to be able to explain the benefits of rest in areas as diverse as creativity, problem-solving, energy management, building muscle, skill-enhancement, emotional management, improving relationships, overall health, and even sleep.

The Sunday Driver

I got caught behind a “Sunday driver” the other day. Doesn’t he realize that, in the words of Gershwin, we “live life in staccato not legato?” We live life on a freeway, not a country trail. Our days are consumed with rushing from one thing to the next, dodging obstacles in the road, and bypassing any construction sites that might slow us down. We don’t have time to sit and enjoy one another’s company, let alone quietly stroll down the country path of life and smell the proverbial roses. We live frenetic, hyperactive lives filled with school, sports, and work. We have to keep up with a constant flood of informational billboards and “pop-ups” that encourage our children to grow up faster and fuels our desire for better, more, and new. We weave through a highway of overscheduled days jam-packed with activities and unrealistic expectations. We cruise through life in a constant state of tiredness and low-grade agitation. Late bloomers don’t have time to grow up. We just pray they “grow faster.” Sports enthusiasts know that a child must participate in year-round conditioning in order to “keep up with the rest of the Jones’s.” Otherwise, they may not get to play when the season arrives. Cell phones, texting, and tweeting allow for 24/7 availability and a constant anticipation of potential interruptions.  Don’t worry when you get the text…no pressure, just respond as soon as you can…unless you don’t like me or something happened that I need to worry about. And, keep the message short because I am very busy speeding down the highway of life. Whew, I’m getting tired just writing about it.

Still, here I sit behind a Sunday driver.  As I complain about him slowing me down, I suddenly realize my family is in the car with me—well, one is listening to their IPod, one is reading a book, and one is looking at magazines. Still, we are all together and I have time to kill behind “Mr. Sunday Driver.” “Aye guys,” I say hesitantly. Everyone stops. Mouths hang open in stunned astonishment that someone in the car made an open statement. “How was your week?” I ask. A moment of awkward silence…followed by, “Well, I had a pretty good week I guess.” “Oh yeah?” My hopes for a conversation rise as I continue, “What did you do?” Slowly, my family begins to talk. My daughter likes science. My other daughter is enjoying a new book. They both like their teachers. My wife really enjoyed the concert we went to last night. In fact, everyone did. The conversation grows and the excitement seems to build. We start having a good time…with each other. This conversation is fun. This slow ride behind “Mr. Sunday Driver” is OK. Sitting behind that Sunday driver is not so bad after all. Maybe I should get out of the car at the next light and thank him for the best family conversation I’ve had all week.

P.S.—here are some suggestions to help you slow down and enjoy a “Sunday drive” with your family. If you have more ideas, please share them with us all.
Eat dinner together and talk. Keep the cell phones away from the table to avoid interruptions.

–Turn off the TV’s, computers, and phones while you enjoy an evening of games and informal conversations. Do it once a week if possible.
–Limit extracurricular activities to no more than two at a time. And, as you schedule activities don’t forget to consider the impact of travel time and the impact on siblings who are not involved with that activity.
Go outside tonight, sit in the yard, and look at the stars together. Find the “Big Dipper” and “Orion.”