Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You Asked For It

When I started writing this blog almost a year ago I had a questionnaire on the Facebook page about what you wanted to see in the blog. (Feel free to answer the questionnaire even now or again, if your family needs have changed.)

Illustration Credit: D. I. Campbell

I've tried to make my posts fit your needs and interests. I thought that perhaps you would be interested in seeing the posts that fit the bill you asked for.

The Top Three Requests:

1. Hospitality ideas and encouragement--I'm so glad so many of you are interested in this! Hospitality is a wonderful ministry and is quickly becoming a lost art. I told stories to encourage you in hospitality in:

2. Conversation Starting Ideas--This is one I love! I usually have questions sitting around just waiting to be used. I wish that they were on the tip of my tongue always, but 3x5 cards work, too!

  • Table Talk Conversation Starters--My friend Mimi Wilson wrote a book of activities to get your family close during mealtimes. In this post I share some of my favorites of her conversation starting questions.
  • How to Get Teenagers to Talk--The correct answer is: Listen. Okay, I don't have all the answers and definitely haven't gotten it all right, but I share what I know and have learned and promise you results!
  • Bird Brained--Our hobbies and interests can be jumping off points for conversation and examples to our children of our devotional lives, developing worthwhile interests, and even examples to others we never dreamed were watching!
  • Still Talking--An encouraging story from our family about why it's worth nonsense chatter with a toddler, encouraging elementary kids to discuss without bickering, and extracting comments from a teen--because when they grow up, they will still talk to you and now it's fun.
  • I Hope I Never and
  • I Laughed Till I Cried are two posts that describe games that foster lots of fun conversation and help you get to know your kids or your guests. I highly recommend you make time to try them after dinner one evening very soon. 
  • Don't forget that if you *like* my Around the Table Book Facebook page you will see a Conversation starter every weekday on your wall.

3. Family Devotion Ideas and Encouragement--Wow! What a great topic! My first and forever thought is try everything and keep trying. If something works for a while, great! If something falls flat, don't be afraid to try something different. But whatever you do, keep having family devotions. And what better place than at the table when you are already all together! Here are some of the posts where I talk about devos.
Art Credit: I. D. Campbell
  • I AM Not Too Young to Learn--here's a story of one of the ways I helped my kids hide God's Word in their hearts starting when they were very small. (Plus there's an adorable picture of my oldest praying earnestly when he was about 3!)
  • Live It Out, Pass It On--family devotions means more than reading the Bible after dinner, our Devotion is our whole life. How do you fare in that area? 
  • It's Not Narnia--a way to bring the Bible to life for your kids and help them understand the Bible has real history about real people.
  • Popcorn Children at the Table--how do you get wiggly kids to listen to family devotions? This post has some ideas that let them wiggle!
  • Of Corny Pizza, Fishy Napkins, and Anti-Bickering Spray
  • Fun Mealtimes in a Pastor's Home and
  • Shelly Esser Interview (cont.) are interviews with real life women who tell (among other things) a little about family devotions with their kids to give you encouragement and ideas. My favorite quote is from Shelly who said of devotions with teens, "They are having fun, they just don't know it yet!"
These are just some of the many articles I've posted over the last year to inspire you to connect with your family. If any of these ideas encourage you or inspire you to tell me about how it is in your family, please write to me in a comment below or at my email. I'd love to hear from you! And if you have time, fill out the questionnaire so I know more about what you want.

Linking with these great blogs.


  1. I MUST share with you my recent fun experience with Amara (my granddaughter) and conversation starters! The 2 of us had lunch together at the AG Cafe last week and they had conversation starters in a little basket -- something to do while you wait. Amara read each question to me and I worked hard to come up with good answers. Once I was done with my answer she would look at the question and go "I got nothing" and read the next one. I think she just wanted to interview me!!! It was so much fun! I am so lucky that she WANTS to spend time with me!

    1. That's a great story! I'm glad you have a good relationship with your granddaughter. And what a fun restaurant.

  2. What a wonderful way to connect the themes on your blog! I will be back. :O)

    Following from the Friendship Friday blog hop at Create With Joy! :O)

    1. Thanks for your encouragement! Thought I'd answered you earlier. I hope you come back soon and often.

  3. I love this round up of posts!
    Thanks for linking up to Raising Imperfection each week.

    1. Thanks, Leslie. I was excited to look back and see that I had actually been meeting the needs and interests of my readers.

  4. I love the conversation starters.

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured! :)
    Good luck.


    1. Thanks again, Lanaya. The conversation starters are a fun part. A friend took me to lunch Friday and used some of them on me!

  5. Great ideas & topic. Love conversation starters & anti bickering spray. Thanks for linking up @

    1. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look around too! Yes, anti-bickering spray would be a great thing to have! Thank you for hosting the linkup.

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