The Power of Dinner

When we sit down together, with our family or friends or both, there is a definite bond that happens. There is something special about preparing a meal and eating it together while catching up. It bonds you. It shows you aspects of each other you can draw greater appreciation and understanding of. It also sheds light on aspects one areas n of disagreement but far more often allows a tighter stitch in the tapestry of friendship. It is a kicked back time, a relax and enjoy no matter what else is going on time. It betters you, giving u ou opportunities to serve and enjoy good food together. Had such a night tonight and am so grateful for the time spent together! God is so good to provide rich friendships. Every effort spent on furthering it or serving others is very well spent. 🙂

Grabbing Joys Not Toys

Everything that distracts does not improve joy. Getting the best and brightest toys out does not produce joy. They run counter to each other. The more you have, the more you seem to want and all the things distract the eyes and the mind from people who miss a good conversation.There is joy in speaking with someone and sharing thoughts, your day, ideas. There is great sadness in solitude and tech socialization is not the best substitute for it. The next best thing costs a lot of money. It is quite freeing to sit instead and have a cup of coffee with a friend or take your kid out to the park. These things build memories and bonding and character and love. Tech is cold and heartless and can never give you a warm hug. So rather than the newest new thing, my money will be going into outings and vacations and dates and investing in people I love.

Childhood Lost

I grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s. Yep, I’m that old. But I had a childhood full of memories, life, horrors, successes, failures, adventures. I played with a pack of three wolves several times in the back of one of my dad’s fields he farmed, was accepted by them. We played in the brook and knew how to remove leaches from our skin. We played on playgrounds with real swings that had no less than 20 feet of chain down from the high pole and metal slides that were steep enough and high enough to be fun and monkey bars that required great skill and no fear of heights to be able to maneuver. We rode bikes all day sometimes, sometimes to meet other kids to go to the playground and take them back home. We practiced starting fires without matches and whittling sticks with or pocket knives. We talked to strangers, gave directions, took home, shared food, shared drinks, talked constantly. We had toys but limited numbers and very simple, things like jump ropes and jumping jacks and balls. Rocks were our chalk. A bucket of water and two dixie cups served as hours of entertainment on a hot day. These were my childhood memories. They were amazing. No one died on the “unsafe” playground. No one I knew was ever abducted or accosted by a stranger. It just didn’t happen. Now, our kids have a very real threat of having their childhood lost in the shuffle of high tech and low living and safety over learning and adventure. More talk is of preventing mishaps or evil than of living life. Kids stay inside, entertained by things they barely have to move at all to do. We are more concerned with bruising their psychies than developing their moral character and there is a wealth of knowledge going unlearned by the majority of kids out of fear. And even when parents are not fearful, they are too busy or too tired from working long hours to pay for all the tech (and of course other ammenities). Our society doesn’t talk much anymore. We don’t stop by the neighbor’s and visit and “sit a spell” over coffee anymore. We barely look at each other. So, the what to do about it is unclear. It is a scarier world than it was when I was a kid, no doubt. However, maybe one approach is to take a day and go together on a hike, a picnic through the week, a visit to a friend’s house, a game day, play some tennis, ride bikes, something, anything without tech and with eye contact and word formation. Perhaps one mini adventure at a time accumulates to as meaningful a childhood as we remember as parents? Just my thoughts.

Bonding and Movies

What makes us bond in life is mutual experiences, going to movies together is a great option for that because it is something seen and experienced together, holding hands is another connection point, laughing together creates a memorable joke that can be recaptured when life becomes too solemn, which it always seems to do. Movies, even bad ones, give you a commonality that connects us with each other. That is more important than the entertainment value in removing you from the moment and giving you something else to think about. Going to a movie together is valuable to aid in bonding. Bonding can also be done in crisis or sharing bad times. Of course, relationships can also call apart during these. The difference is either the strength of bond already in place, depth of love between the two, level of commitment, or strength of desire to help each other and not just self. Of course walks and hikes are good options and of course mutual hobbies and music also but the whole point is that bonds will be strengthened when both parties want them strengthened, when there is more value to each as a unit and bonded than separate. People bond when they desire it enough to work on it. They lose the bond when they decide to. Once one or both choose to break the bond, it breaks easier than you would think. And that glue can get old and dried out when unattended, so choosing not to refresh the bond is a slow death sentence for it in of itself. Desire is the key. Those who wish and long and desire to remain bonded together will. Those who do not won’t. Minds can change for so many reasons and so many circumstances may change over time. Bad choices, good choices, other commitments and responsibilities, etc. But if two people commit to being together, the bond will remain, even when stretched as long as they both want and choose it. The bond depends on the choice and very little else. And some bonds are precious enough to hold on to, precious enough to maintain. And when God guides the bond, herein lies the most powerful force in the universe to sustain it. The wills of the couple merging with the will of God and no force on earth can kill that bond. Feed the will and you feed the bond.