Every Monday evening is Family Night at our home. If you stopped by any Monday night you would find us together as a family. While activities and commitments pull us in many directions on other weekday nights, Monday night is the night reserved for family.
Which is not to say every Monday looks the same.
Family Night activities vary greatly depending on the season, the emotional needs observed in the past week, practical skills we have noticed need reinforced, how tired Mom and Dad are, etc. 🙂 Sometimes family night consist of a spiritual lesson or scripture story with a corresponding game or activity. Sometimes we go do something as a family like see a movie or go miniature golfing. Some Monday nights we teach practical skills like having a family fire drill or teaching first aid skills.Some family nights are spent playing a board game inside or playing a sport outside. Sometimes we just hold a family council and discuss pressing concerns. Often family night is when we take part in holiday traditions like decorating Easter eggs, carving jack-o-lanterns, or going to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree.
Every Monday night is a bit different but what remains consistent is our commitment to reserve that evening for family, make a memory with our children,
and we usually end the night with a yummy treat. 🙂
This past Monday night our focus was “service.”
And the lesson was, “WITCH activity will you choose.”
We spoke about the vast amount of choices we have in how we can use our time. Not only do we have to choose between good and bad activities, but as Christians we must also choose between good and better activities. It seemed like a pertinent topic as we begin the first full week of school for everyone, and the message was just as relevant for Toby and I as it was for the kids.
With the start of school the pace of life picks up,
and there are so many GOOD, really good, ways to spend the hours of our day,
but in the end we must choose those things that we value most and which bring the most value to our lives.
One of the best uses of our time, we discussed, was “service.”
And this week we had the perfect opportunity to act on that lesson.
In our church we don’t have a paid custodian. The responsibility of cleaning and caring for the building falls on the families who worship there. Families have the opportunity a few times a year to sign up to clean the church building. This involves cleaning bathrooms, wiping chalkboards, polishing furniture, emptying the trash cans in the classrooms, cleaning the glass doors, and vacuuming the carpets.
Cleaning as a family has provided us a wonderful opportunity to teach our children to appreciate the great blessing of a building to worship in, as well as encourage them to take ownership in the care and upkeep of the church building.
This week was our family’s turn to serve our church family and clean the church building. It was a wonderful opportunity to put our lesson in action.
The kids are old pros at this, having been involved in cleaning the church since they were young,
so everyone arrived with their chosen job in mind.
Everyone has a favorite task. They gathered their cleaning tools and set to work.
Molly was a good sport and volunteered to clean toilets.
The kids worked fast and efficiently and in 90 minutes we were done.
Next it was time for the treat and we had a special treat in store for these hard workers.
In a nearby town there is a charming little ice cream store called “Witch Flavor?”
We have been wanting to go for a while after hearing many rave reviews about the Penn State Creamery ice cream they serve there. We arrived at 8:00 and everyone chose their flavors. Like the choices laid before them in how they spend their time, they now faced a similar decision in choosing the BEST flavor among all the GOOD choices.
The ice cream lived up to the reviews and we sat outside on Main Street enjoying a taste of summer as we brought our lesson home with the “WITCH choice will you make?” theme.
As they licked the dripping ice cream they also learned another valuable life lesson:
“Sweet” rewards come to those who work.
Sweet rewards, indeed!