Updated: Jun 4, 2020
God's solution to our family's heartache. Our family bonding plan that became a big hit!
Rich and I are NOT naturally fun people, as I’ve mentioned before. We’re great at getting WORK done, but not good at making FUN happen! Thus, oddly enough, we have learned to schedule some spontaneity. (I know, I know, kind of ridiculous, but hey, we’ve identified our weakness and we’re overcoming it so cheer us on!)
Why we needed this…
Spontaneous Friday was God’s solution to our family’s awkward heartache over our reduced family size.
If you’ve ever said “goodbye” to a child as they’ve moved out to get married or gone to college or the military or even passed away, you understand the indescribable ache in your mama heart and the tailspin that the rest of the family goes through in trying to adjust to daily life without that person. It somehow affects the entire family dynamic and identity as each child’s role in the family shifts to accommodate the change.
Our family shrunk to half its size in a blink. In a few month’s time, our oldest two daughters got married, we moved to a new city for my husband’s job transfer, and our oldest son stayed behind as he was established in his job and was taking college classes. Three kids, two sons-in-law and my parents were suddenly gone from our daily life.
Our youngest two daughters had a very hard time with their older sisters getting married. Click here to read, “What to do with the Sad Little Sisters: Season of Change”
Our younger children were feeling lonely and bored without their older siblings and we all felt out of place. We would sit around the table at meal time in our new-to-us home, not knowing how to visit without Nathan’s jokes, without Becca’s contagious laughter, or without Tori’s fun-loving banter. I was used to cooking for 13 plus whatever friends were at the house that day and suddenly I was cooking for six. Six soon turned into five as Josh left for college as well. Five may sound like a lot to you, but to us it was heartbreaking.
We were struggling in our new identity and what we really needed was to bond as a new family unit. That’s when God gave us the idea of SPONTANEOUS FRIDAYS!
The rules are very simple.
Rule #1: No plan can be made until after 5 pm on Friday.
Rule #2: The challenge is to do something we’ve never done before.
That’s it. It’s a very simple family-bonding plan! There’s a third rule that we added later which I’ll share in a minute.
Spontaneous Friday can take place at our home, such as foosball tournaments and
Mario Kart tournaments.
Or it can be local – like going to a tourist spot in a nearby city called the Center of the Universe which is very near the Jazz Hall of Fame. It just happens to be on a large pedestrian bridge where you can watch trains pass underneath. Or Spontaneous Friday can take us out of town to explore the countryside – where once we found a “Wild Turkey Crossing” sign and, I kid you not, there were literally eight wild turkeys crossing the road! Our adventures have taken us to the worlds largest used book store. Okay, I don’t know if it is or not, but it is a huge labyrinth of rooms that go on forever and there are giant statues of famous entertainment icons like the Incredible Hulk, Elvis Presley, and a bunch of super-heroes.
Sometime, we hope to go buy a variety of a few dozen Hurts donuts (if you don’t know what that place is, look it up, it’s amazing) and drive around to our new friends’ houses, ring the doorbell and offer them donuts for all of their family and drive on to the next friends’ house.