Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Thought

Finding Some Hang Out Time

I read this quote in a monthly e-newsletter I've been receiving for years called A Heart For Home. If you've been reading this blog, you've heard me mention it because it inspires me quite often. It's free so if you want to subscribe, simply send a blank email to

Julie wrote this, which struck me:

I have been diligent to set some time aside each day to “hang out” with at least
one of my sons. I get busy doing this-and-that and neglect
relationship-building. This “hang out” time isn’t anything formal or specific. I
just join them in whatever they’re doing and spend some time in conversation
with my total attention given to them. This week I heard about an insight Ben
learned from the account of Moses & the Red Sea, the intricacies of goat
breeding from Caleb, and all about a new story Eli is creating after being
inspired by a biography on C. S. Lewis. More importantly though, I’m learning
about my children’s hearts.

When I read this, I knew that I needed to also be diligent about setting aside time-- maybe not each day-- but at least once a week, to just go quietly find an individual child and hang out with him or her. No planned activity, no trip to the mall or the movies, no coffee at Starbucks. What Julie is talking about is simpler than that. It's just laying across their bed, or asking them to stay in the kitchen while you work, or sitting beside them on the couch. And then talking, asking questions, hearing their hearts.

The word that she used-- diligent-- is what struck me most. It's not like I don't know I need to hear from my kids. It's not like I don't want to. It's just that in the flurry of motion that is our household, the days whiz by quite often and I haven't taken the time to listen, to talk, to clue in to what's going on in their hearts. I might see what's going on in their lives, but their hearts stay hidden from sight.

Hang out time. I am going to be diligent about finding it.
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Robin said...

This is so true. I have 5 teenagers in my house. I love sitting around the table with them and listen to their conversations. If I stay quiet, they forget I am there and just talk among each other. They laugh and joke. I love hearing that.
But I was reminded in your blog that spending time with my child doesnt have to be EVENT. Like restaurants or shopping. It can just us laying on the couch or hanging around the patio. I was reading the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and undivided attention is important. I know it would be for my kids. Just a few minutes with each one, looking into their eyes as they talk. Thank you for the reminder.

bp said...

Great point, thanks for sharing. I am going to subscribe to this also, thanks.

Julie Coleman said...

This is true especially with teenagers. I spent a lot of time just hanging out. Inevitably, they would share the things on their hearts. But it took a lot of time just being available-- so that when they were in the mood to talk, I was there to listen.

Kids don't talk on demand. Mostly we just get grunts and single-syllable answers. We have to wait for them to be ready.

Great post.

rural momma said...

I love talking to my kids. The older they get the more fun, interesting, and challenging the topics are but I am always so thankful for the opportunity. :o) Some times I think more then a mom should know about her kids, but then I realize how blessed I am.