Lesson 7. Celebrate the joy

When you think of your family . . . what do you think of?
Some people think of obligations, demands, frustrations, conflicts . . . the list goes on!

The lubricant of family life If we do not lubricate family life, the metal-on-metal friction creates a lot of heat and wear. What would you nominate as the lubricant that keeps family life running smoothly?

There is no one correct answer for all families. One candidate for effective family lubricant is joy. There is nothing quite like it to keep us moving through demanding loads.

What recollections of joy do you have in your family?

Do you remember snuggling your newborn? Watching him walk? Being delighted as she learned to talk? Being amazed at his fascination with sticks and rocks? Being amazed at her ability to learn?

Framing the joy If we only focus on today's challenges and forget yesterday's joys, we have less energy for the demands of the day. Remembering the good times gives us the purpose to solve today's problems.

What are the ways you help remembering of the past?

Some families use abundant displays of pictures. Some regularly visit family picture albums or scrapbooks. Some are great story tellers. Some use regular gatherings.

What additional ways might you add to your family practices?

Creating more joy Joy cannot be forced. But it can be invited. Family gatherings that account for the interests and personalities of family members can set us up for joy. Some trips and activities can make joy more likely to join us. What are the things that you do—or would like to do—to create more joy in your family?

Make a plan that works for you.
If reflection works for you, set a time for additional thinking. Think about how to remember and create more joy in your family.
If you learn well from wise friends or professional helpers, make a specific plan to get input from them:
If you benefit from self-help aids, here are some recommendations:

Additional ideas:

Wally Goddard & Andy Goddard Celebrating Family Life

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