- don’t know
Maybe these words seem harmless. Let me explain.
When our kids were little my husband and I were pretty intentional about using the bedtime tucking in routine to talk and pray together as a family. Our kids went to bed at the same time every night. Sometimes it was a bit hectic, but consistent.
I still remember my son’s 3-year-old prayers, “God, thank you for mom and dad, and Sydney, and Grandpa, and Grandma, and the lamp, and Sydney’s desk, and the pillows…” He would keep rolling with objects around the room. Nice stall technique. This was a time when the four of us had regular meaningful conversation.
Fast forward to teenage kids, hectic schedules and random bedtimes. When are we all together? Meal time! However, finding times when we all sit down for meals is challenging. My family is pretty good about talking to each other at the dinner table. Jimmy and I try to ask questions that aren’t answered by a yes or no like, “On a scale of 1-10, how was your day?” or “What was the best and worst part of your day?” However, use of the banned four letter words began to permeate discussion.
A few years ago I decided to be more intentional about meal time conversation. Why not really pray for each other as we pray for our meal? Ask out-of-the-box questions. Maybe learn a Bible verse together. I thought about a centerpiece that would help us do all that. It has worked really well for the last few years.
Now that summer is here my daughter is home from college. Schedules are a little less hectic. I want to get the centerpiece cleaned up a little and put to use more, hence Summer Series Project #4. See previous projects here.
I will show you how I put my Family Conversation Starter Centerpiece together.
Here is my family dining table.
I started with a tray which contains the items for the centerpiece.
I want this centerpiece to be useful, practical, and pretty. Not too big. Not too high so you can see across the table.
I added two glass canning jars. The bottoms are filled with coffee beans and topped with votive candles. I tied some ribbon around the jar rims.
The jars and ribbon are from Hobby Lobby.
Now for the items that really matter. So many times when we ask how we can pray for each other minds go blank. I wanted a small container in which we could place prayer requests jotted on paper. Anytime a need or praise comes to mind, jot it down and put it in the container. I looked for a cute box with a lid to contain them.
A pen and small pieces of paper to write down prayer requests anytime of the day go in the centerpiece. Then when we sit down for a meal we can pull out prayer requests and pray together for ourselves and others.
Next, I included a small book of questions. I LOVE this book.
Love Talks: 101 Questions to Stimulate Interaction with Your Family is a fantastic little book by Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages) and Ramon Presson. It’s filled with simple and interesting questions to get the convo rolling. Really fun.
We don’t go in order. Just pick one that is interesting. Usually good for a few laughs. Some of the questions ask you to point out positive qualities in others; some just silly etc. Get more information about the book here.
The last items added to centerpiece are a couple of Bible verses. We read over to memorize as a family. Not complicated. No pressure.
I tried not to get too fancy. Get the verses written down and read. Tracy and I did a Navigators 2:7 Series Bible study. Part of the study was Bible memorization. It was absolutely, hands down the best method for memorizing I have come across. I wanted to share the method with my family. Tracy and I discussed this study in more detail in our Radio Show #115 – The Airing Of Grievances. You can also get more info about the study in the corresponding article, The (Almost) Top 10 List of Reasons Women Feel Weighed Down.
This is how the completed centerpiece looks.
Project #4 was updating my Family Conversation Starter Centerpiece. It’s ready and available to use. Clearly, I don’t expect great interaction every time we sit down together. Sometimes no one feels like talking much. That’s normal and okay.
Here is my son, eating Fruity Pebbles and brimming with excitement to engage in conversation.
Lucky for him no one else is at the table. 🙂
Intentionally taking advantage of together times is important to me. I want the four of us to really know each other. Pray for each other. Pray for others.
I hope this Project has given you some ideas for helping your family engage in more meaningful conversations and prayer time. What ideas can you share with me? I would love to hear how you are intentional in this area! Leave a comment or link up a project idea below.
READY TO LINK YOUR PROJECT?
Summer Projects Series Link Party Guidelines
- Link ANY project post from this year. Big projects or tiny projects. Organizing projects, craft projects or any project around the home will qualify. (But no items you’re selling and no contests or giveaway links.) Be sure to link to your individual project post not your home page.
- Please link back to Clutter Interrupted. You can grab our button below to include at the end of your post or on your sidebar. Text links are fine, too.
- Visit the other projects linked and share with your friends. We are going to motivate and inspire each other this summer. Thanks for joining the party!
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