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Building Lasting Memories With Your Family

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2020 5:00 am

Building Lasting Memories With Your Family

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 25, 2020 5:00 am

Author and blogger Jessica Smartt offers suggestions for capturing special moments with your family that you will cherish remembering for years to come.

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Finding trust and faith building payment for your kids is easy with the adventures in Odyssey club. It's an online community with almost every episode ever Focus on the Family clubhouse magazine subscription. A auto club.org/radio anyone you can start right this very second today if you want to say I want to make a new story. I want our family to be different than the generation that calms me different from the generation before Jessica smart joins us today on Focus on the Family and your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly joining us on John Fuller John here rear of the day before Thanksgiving.

I can almost smell with that to be like that. I would always agree to a great time year. It's exciting to remember what grateful for what ushers in the season of Advent and it's right here, right in front of us for some, probably most moms you may be feeling overwhelmed and panicked by the holiday season, not just Christmas but Thanksgiving on top of the shopping and cooking and all the other things that your learning expectations for your supposed to enjoy the season and make memories with your family. So we want to encourage you today to do just that. When we have a wonderful guest is going to help. She's can help take some of the edge and stress out of the process of making memories. Jessica smart is a former English teacher and is now homeschooling mom of three. She's married to Todd and she writes a lot on motherhood and has a blog called smarter each day in her name is to tease in it so smarter each day extra smart yes and I Jessica has a book called memory making bomb building traditions that breathe life into your home and will encourage you look for a copy of that online. The episode notes of the link or call 800 a family. Jessica, welcome to Focus on the Family thank you to be here now, English teacher, I got a jump right there. You're going to have to change my perception I had Mrs. Crabtree and second grade. That was her actual name. If she still out there, Mrs. Crabtree, thank you for teaching me about participles but English teachers are tough, tough. I don't think so. I think of myself as a fine one. Okay, I never knew there was a fun English teacher well alright so if you years ago, you had an experience that rocked your parenting world. What happened, yes, our oldest son has life-threatening food allergies, and we've known about that nearly his whole life, so you know beforehand. We did when he was a baby he had some reactions and they did the testing and came back when the numbers were just off the charts and we had all the meetings when he said if he ever ingests these foods.

Here's the steps you need to take and made it very serious. I always had it. It's been a way to live with that and that's always at every second I feel like in the back of my mind and very careful. But one morning just takes one mistake and one morning he was six years old and it was a Sunday so were crazy getting ready for church and I made one version of oatmeal and another version about me out for another kid threw him down. Jan trying to get ready shows and pack up and I look over and he sitting at the counter next to the wrong ball and I can picture it like it's today I said did you eat some of that and he said yes and it was like my stomach just dropped and I immediately said to Todd, my husband. We need to give him epinephrine and we need to call 91. Let's just wait you know maybe be okay. I said no I know that this is what we need to do. They said it over and over. So I gave him the EpiPen.

You know, I just and 30 seconds and we call 911 he seemed okay first and I remember calling my sister who lives across the street and saying you here's what's happening. You can see the ambulance but I think everything's okay and they can mean you know they're very nonchalant, thinking that it's in and out of proportion are not really a big deal.

And then there was this moment where he sitting down and again I probably have some sort of trauma PTSD from this because I can see it so clearly he sitting down and he sneezes and he looks at me and his eyes are like swelling and I knew immediately that this was very serious because he already had epinephrine should have curved and he's getting ready to react and I said he needs to get hospital right now and everybody's like I do tend to overreact. I will say that this is one of the boy calling off situations, but this was a wealth and I do it so we got him in the ambulance and I needed to administer two more doses of epinephrine in the ambulance. He was having difficulty breathing Sarnia hives we get there. You know I can't make it didn't really take it seriously.

I guess he looked okay, but I knew as the mom was not good and what did that lead you to think about that change how you thought about memories and making memories.

That's the connection right is all the sudden mortality became a little more real to exactly so you're sitting there in hospital that night and all these feelings of fear and gratitude to, obviously, but just a sense of how short life is and something a midterm exam of parenting I, doing here and the answer was not good because I knew that there was a lot of things I wanted to do differently and be more intentional about like right at that moment, I thought I would start having more traditions but slowly we realize that that was the solution for that angst that I had of having regret about some of the ways we had been parenting for which it so really is one of ourselves has significant allergies, peanut allergy, some other things to do and we've had that experience when he was younger. We did know I did spoonful peanut butter if you believe that I know all the sudden look right. We called 911 and it's amazing thing that God does. They said you know he'll not have a full reaction. The first two or three times that he's exposed to that, but need to watch it, and sure enough we've had those experiences over the years and thankfully he is very good about reading ingredients and things like that but yeah so let's talk about the power of traditions and why they're so important to the fabric of who we are, you've done it.

Why do you think traditions mean that much to us right as.

I think you know I'm looking around at the world and I'm I'm worried. I guess about my kids, and there's a sense of you know what hit them when they're adults.

As far as challenges and what will the world be like and I want so badly for them to have the tools to handle whatever life throws at them in the answer and solution to that is these traditions that anchor them to the things that matter what you finding that works were you saying that works in that regard because you can have a plan that doesn't work well right. I think the mom was thinking the same things I was that they wanted to have more intentionality and home. The first thing I would do is just pray because every family is different and I can throughout so many ideas, but God knows your family and knows what working so I would just pray and say you know where can I make some changes in our home and it may be something little like of special family food, dinner tradition, and maybe you know a once a year working to take a trip here kind of thing the Lord, the Lord will lead you. I think that the first step I take is to think what I want to pass onto my kids visit faith. The love of nature. Caring for others and then think of a tradition that kind of supports that that's a good idea really is. I think the key there is for people in a busy hectic environment with work them knows what's going on with Coburg. You know, whatever you gotta do you're doing. It is apparent that is the provider and all those things to slow down and think this is important I want to make your best pitch as to why traditions benefit us and our children. How would you say you know I think if I were to ask either of you learned our listeners what they remember most when they think back I imagine it's those things that we always did you know" as a family ever and sometimes it says silly things are fun things. Every Christmas we had a pickle ornament on my birthday. My dad always wrote this silly: those are the things that stick with people as they grow. That's what you talk about when you're older right so I mean those are the things that matter to me, and silly things. My Nana would make this hamburger macaroni concoction really quite disgustingly reading ingredients, but is itself pretty good sugar and catch up on the screen read and write down the well yeah but I made it for my kids the other day and we talked about and I was able to share a little bit about her self talk about the swings and misses, to doing this you try to get your family doing him sing-along right when I first read that every morning I went out Shabbat go right. It sounds really dreamy and then the reality is you've got kids laying on the table, moaning and acting like you're pulling on their eyelashes. When I landed, but the reward is we we did this as part of our homes, scorching the night or afternoon or whatever and they will ask about it.

Now I we have seen his hands are all here.

My daughter, humming as he's walking alone so you're saying try exactly people.

I'm sorry. I think people think if it goes badly or it's hard that they've done something wrong and the truth is, it's just hard when you got kids anything is hard, but we work for it still worth it to push through. I like the benefits that I do fail fast right just to try things until something stick. Absolutely those things on a regular basis. You also created a tradition that you know you're saying it doesn't have to be extravagant. This needs be something that catches but you would cut flowers for the dinner table and have the goat kids like that. I talked about it something I just can't through in trying to make an effort to make dinner left more civilized, less crazy, with little kids and I'm thinking I'm Jennifer, myself and my son saw me doing it at the time he had to be for you a little like the way his boy can be and he came over and said you're either cutting flowers because it's family dinner tonight and he runs over and tell somebody. And I thought a little thing like that. He saw that I was making an attempt. And there's just such power in your kids seeing that you actually like them and went to be with them about your friend and neighbor Bill were friend, Bill, what did you do, he's actually a colleague and part of the reason that this book exists is because of his wisdom to me about the power of traditions and you know he's a grandfather now, but when he speaks of his childhood.

It was terrible and he says I kind of parented myself. No one was watching. No one cared my traditions were cereal and hotdogs in the microwave, saying that was his life and now his home is so rich with from music to flowers to foods to you know all the holiday, think, and so that has been such an encouragement to me and I think it should be to our listeners that sometimes we think well I didn't have that great of a home life.

You know, I don't know that I'm the best person to really build these traditions but anyone can do it. You can start right this very second. Today, if you want to say I want to make a new story.

I want our family to be different in the generation that calms me different from the generation that's before you, but so true. That's what the whole cause of Christ is about those old bad traditions and bad influences in creating new good ones and hopefully aim toward him. That's the goal of you mention food and food is interesting to me even spiritually know the Lord sat with his disciples and ate with them there some dynamic about getting together even science showing that survey research projects will show that a family eats together three or four times a week. Those children do a lot better in every category so what is it about food and being around food together as a family that makes it so important right and this is not something I've invented God.

You know that rituals and ceremonies and all that throughout the Old Testament. That is, he understood that we are sensory people so I know what it is but I know that I love you and my best memories all include food and I remember going to. I had to take a first communion class and I am sad to say I don't remember a lot of theology but I do remember that my mom would take me through the drive through and get me a cheeseburger from McDonald's and just the two of us we would eat.

It is just this wonderful something to yes then that's not an easy one. That's an easy button food tradition, but then you have the ones we make this dish mashed potatoes, stuffing that every year you know when I was struggling in college and just so homesick. We would just think about that, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and it could just carry you through.

You knew you were going to get it soon. You could make Thanksgiving. I hope we can maybe post the recipe for your mesh.

I like my mom but I'll give it to you well of this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and our guest is Jessica smart and her book is memory making, bottom, and I hope that you hear the heart coming through that it doesn't have to be a big production.

You can start small but memories do make a difference in the book is full of great ideas will encourage get your copy the link is in the episode notes Jessica, I'm really intrigued by this idea of a puzzle box and how it relates to our faith so described that for me. What's the puzzle box and how to use it within your own family while I was writing this book I started thinking about how some of the traditions are so little and you know some of you could hear this broadcast to read the book and think I need start traditions and just run everywhere. Everything I started thinking, you know, why are we really doing this.

What's the whole point because if you look on Pinterest so many options, how do you even know where to start and to me just like when you're doing a puzzle which we do a lot of them.

My 94-year-old grandmother has Alzheimer's and she does puzzle sense what we do with her and some of them are very hard but you got the box and you see you know what you're trying to do amazingly is just like all blue right but once I started thinking how faith traditions are like that and that that's your picture towards what you're aiming and so to me the reason were doing all these traditions is because I want to bond my children to our family to let them know you have people here there for you and to bond them to their faith and to the Jesus you died for them and who loves them and said that's the overarching like why were doing all of the traditions you say the traditions often center around the holidays. Obviously, you and Todd. I love this one ever got all his guys of the story, but you wanted to do the magical Christmas Utah decided to get the biggest baddest Christmas tree you can ever find better to do a project right what happened it yet.

I'll blame this on our ignorant youth, but we had didn't really put together that a large tree is going to need a large tree stand and we did not have that noise. We have much money that at that point the limb.

Yes he has into the garage and try to kind of whittle it down to a small point and it did get inherently set it up and then unit two things later falls over to the floor and we thought about when a foreign two-year-old little boy and we decided that was actually a hazard and so he tries to secure it to the wall. No lie with first was a thick black camping rope and that just devastated my Pottery Barn Christmas that fishing fishing line it actually worked, and then two days later.

I'm not making this up and sit by the fire, and a squirrel jumps out of the fireplace onto the tree surrounded happy as could be because he did get burned.

I think he was yet he was happy in history.

He's making labs around my husband actually my hero husband yanks him by the tail, pulls the tail off and the squirrel runs out the front door the same year.blood needles and ornaments and say open the door and the squirrel rather diverse groups like lizards or a book. I can't really unit Christmas thing that we did. My mother's little squirrel.

Once we could never do that but at the time it was not actually funny, really.

At the time. Oh yeah, stressful and annoyed make this stupid tree won't stay up and you know it was just to me as I look back, it's a reminder that nothing is ever perfect, especially the holidays and we think there's something wrong with us or our families if it doesn't feel right and perfect, but I would say that every family has something that's maybe it's a funny thing like dreams won't stay up, whether it's like someone is sick or there is a financial struggle whenever I thing the enemy would have us believe that there's something wrong since we can't really celebrate Christmas well but guess what, we celebrate Christmas because Jesus came for us and when we are weak.

I appreciate that so much Jessica help me so undoubtedly this Christmas season there be some memory. I'm trying to work on and it blows up what I do in the moment.

How do I get that eternal perspective and not melt down because it's not a fun story to tell, yes, especially if it's difficult. I mean, I honestly just do believe that that is the gift of why Jesus came and say just sit down on the kitchen floor that has squirrel blood next to you and ornaments and you say God I feel like things are going right here I'm trying really hard but it's not looking right and will you please come in and help redeem this mass and how best to make memories together. You know, in a way that's glorifying to you and who knows you made up of the really funny story, or at least a meaningful one at the end of that gorgeous the day before Thanksgiving so what's that one where some insightful Thanksgiving traditions that people can start tomorrow right while he is working to start doing that I heard about because I think one wonderful thing to commemorate his answered prayer. And so we often think of that. But this year we are families had a year with a lot of answer prayer and I heard this idea to get a final white tablecloth. I guess you do whatever color and write down in sharpie. You know the year and the answered prayers of that year and you bring that out. The next year and you read it and remember how the prayer and any right to next year's you know because like the Israelites are we so likely to forget the ways the Lord has cared for us to remember we've done that verbally Eugene started a tradition. So if my family comes over. Her family comes over will go around the table and what are we thankful for the course that starts with a little bit of ribbon okay what are we thankful for. But it's good to remember that it's important family that I know actually made a holiday of answered prayers and they went near family. They had a lot answered prayers that involve cars, whether it was no record getting you and whatever it was a single mom, a young single mom and so every things and making it they would make a cake but little cars on it and remember the ways that the Lord had cared for their family is wonderful that's really good and I think maybe the right place for that single parent situation got a lot that they go to do, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas. How did they go about creating memories like that when it's really them curing the whole load. Yes, I mean I wish I knew you know an answer to that. I think it's a good call for all of those people and be the body, but yes I you know I remember and I heard this story for years and years and as a parent. Now it's more impactful to me. My mother-in-law was in the Navy and so he was fighting in the Desert Storm war so she is essentially functioning as a single parent and she's in California all by yourself. Three kids over Christmas. Yours truly probably left front of the okay party, but she says we are to go see some snow and so they get in the car and drive to wherever it is the tram on Palm Springs something that you can get the kids up and on Christmas day cease now and as I look back I think what determination on her part two. Flip the story and not pity me, you know to say there are moments where you don't just need to have a good cry. You know I get it, but she was a wonderful example to hurt kids that day. You know, Jessica, one of the stressors for this time. Here's just the craziness of the load.

The two-parent family or single-parent family carries another just a lot going on, there's shopping that's gotta get the new go to buy gifts for not only your family but probably some extended family. How do we remove some of the craziness and slow that down a little bit and probably concentrate on the right meaning of the whole season was the birth of Christ, right yet we lose that I would just say no to anyone listening that wants to do that I would again just pray and ask the Lord what he wants to do this year we not want us to get dessert, attitude, approach, though, that say okay Lord what you want us to do. I really would like to slow us down just to make sure we do this you need some attitude July and is currently whose birthday is it right arm is already someone else so I think there's an area of surrendering and saying where you step back as a family and say no to some things that may cost me as a mom, you know, but logistically a tip that has really helped me because there just is the shopping and the nonsense of you know, Christmas cards and all that. If I try to get all of that junk done before December 1.

And just as a side note actually is kind of fun because you're like ahead of everyone else, and the crowds are bad and you can you know that smart yet.

So yes, and then December 1. You can pay that and what matters you know then invest the time and allow sleazy or leisurely dinner and be more relaxed and less stressful. Yes, that's the point right were wrapping up were coming in for the landing were entering Advent season the something gene really am sure Dana did to this is what a lot of Christian moms will do the Advent season in the Advent calendar.

How do you approach Advent season than what you do in your household maybe you make well two things have helped us one is me making a horrible name for a better Christmas bucket list. Where will sit down and say what are the things that you we would love to do as a family and I can throw in my serious ones, but you know it's funny what impacts them and things that they'll choose so we make a list of 25 or so things and cannot just arrange it on the calendar and is a great way to grow as a family because that's a tradition that you know when your kids are your age you know they may pick other things that might entail light decorating cookies with gobs of, I think, but I don't surprise that they will not love it young at heart is good right and the other thing that I think has been most impactful to me and to our children is daily readings, and whether you work your way through the actual Bible or a children's Bible or there's plenty of wonderful resources notebooks Advent type books because that's a daily way to ground you and put you back to what matters will think that the tradition of reading Scripture right there at this point just this is been really good lot of fun you know I'm always a little worried John were talking about memory making mom both married CRA. There can be memory making plenty of that. That's good that should be our goal as well and will return to you our listener. I hope this has sparked some ideas for you. Whether you're a mom or a dab and the best thing you can do is talk about these traditions memories with your spouse and family and make a plan. Your Focus on the Family we want to help you be the best parent you can be.

We want your relationship with your kids to be strong and thriving. You can raise up the next generation of Christ followers and we have lots of resources for you including the book by Jessica smart memory making mom building traditions that breathe life into your house and you can get that book directly through us so that money goes right back into ministry providing hope and help to families just like yours.

You know, after a challenging year like 2020 the Christmas season is more welcome than ever from the pandemic to violent rioting to a contentious election. We all need the hope and peace that Jesus Christ came to give us this Christmas. You can come alongside families who are still struggling with the special holiday gift you can give families hope through your support of Focus on the Family when you give a gift of any amount today to the ministry will send you a copy of Jessica's book as our way of saying thank you, thank you for standing in the gap for these families.

Your support is critical so that we can finish the year strong and plan to reach even more families in the coming year.

I can't wait to see how God will work through you and Focus on the Family in 2021 yet so donate today and get your copy of memory making mom.

The details are in the episode notes Jessica happy Thanksgiving tomorrow and I hope you have a great Christmas and the same to all the listeners and viewers. Happy Thanksgiving and let's look forward to a great Christmas season and from our family here at Focus on the Family wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. Join us tomorrow for Texas sure about man in Thanksgiving history. The story of Squanto is one of the freakiest miracles in history doesn't make any sense, but then he read through it over and over and over to go. This is what happened, why is nobody recognizing this is a crazy miracle on behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrived in Christ


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