by Alex Hardt, Associate Pastor – Youth and Young Adults
“Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.” -Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s new book, The Power of Moments.
I love summer because it’s a time that we get to change our rhythms, have fun, spend time with family, and enjoy the beautiful weather. It’s usually a time when we go to camp, or on vacation, or do something we normally don’t do. It’s also a time when we have to figure out what to do with our kids as most parents still have to work. It’s also a time when we get an opportunity to create unforgettable moments. Unforgettable moments matter in our families because while day-to-day consistency is the foundation of our relationships, we remember our lives in moments. Typically we define unforgettable moments as times when we empty out the piggy banks and fork over the cash but the truth is, unforgettable moments are not defined by what we spend on them but what we invest in them.
You may think an expensive vacation is what it takes to make a memory, but research shows we can make our time together more memorable by attending to three aspects of that time, whether it’s close to home or far away. – Kara Powell
I think about one of my favorite moments as a parent and it had little to do with the cash spent but rather on the time invested. Watching my daughter or son ride their bike for the first time without training wheels was glorious. Or helping my kids to discover that floating is far superior to sinking in the pool was magnificent. So, how do we utilize the gift of summer to make unforgettable moments? There are three S phrases that help me to cultivate these moments.
I love going places like the beach, the park, the movies, and theme parks because they are sensory experiences. At the beach you see the beautiful landscape while feeling the sand beneath your toes, you smell and hear the crash of the waves, and yes you taste the salt in the air. Creating that sensory experience doesn’t mean we have to go anywhere. In fact, one can create that same affect when playing games or watching movies at home or creating something as a family. I love building things with my kids because it engages all the senses. The kids complain at first but soon after they are in awe of their creation and appreciate the time invested in them. It’s less about doing the task and more about creating an experience together. Boosting sensory appeal is important because our brains encode memories more deeply when our experiences engage multiple senses.
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
Savor the Moment
Look, I’ll be honest, we live in a digital world and it’s hard to be present for situations or events when there is so much else going on around us. Our phones, tablets, computers, tv, and other digital media are buzzing 24/7. Our sleep patterns are constantly interrupted because of this technology. I love technology so I’m not bashing on it but there is a place for it. When you are investing into a person you care about like your kid, parent, friend, or family member turn off the technology and be present. Enjoy the moments you have with those people. Show the people with that you care more about them then what’s buzzing in your pocket. Trust me, you and the other person are more likely to cultivate unforgettable moments and remember them if you’re not hash tagging, instagramming, and posting everything.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”- Matthew 6:24
Shush Up and Speak
This is a one-line contradiction. Typically, in conversations we tend to speak then listen and that’s good, but what if we were able to communicate a deeper level of care simply by flipping the script. Yup, it can be really awkward at times to talk to someone, even those you care about. It’s really hard when you are hit with those silences in mid conversation, outlandish comments, references that one of you has no clue of or the differing of interest. How does anyone hold a conversation anymore? Be intentional about your conversations. My conversation time is limited so I think through the conversation beforehand, I learn their lingo/interests, even look up some conversational starters. I intentionally invest time prior so that our time together can be more memorable. It’s also just as important to be responsive. Respond to the conversation at hand and engage in that particular moment. Communicate your desire to be here by receiving their words and then respond accordingly.
According to the Heath brothers, the best research on relational moments boils down to this one sentence: “Our relationships are stronger when we perceive that our partners are responsive to us.” Why is responsiveness so important? Because it packs a threefold punch of understanding, validation, and caring. -Fuller Youth Institute
- Invest in those you care about by creating unforgettable moments
- Be deliberate about the moments you are creating. Take time to plan through the whole experience and not just the task of “doing” the experience
- Be present and turn off electronics
- Be intentional about your conversations. Receive what they have to say and respond to it
More ideas at this Blog Here
A great book about creating extraordinary impact
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath