Start a Family Potluck Tradition

Moving to a new state in which we didn’t know anyone was a time of great loneliness and adjustment.  But moving isn’t the only circumstance for loneliness.  Maybe your friends are in different seasons of motherhood and are unavailable.  Maybe you’re a leader and you feel isolated in that way.  Maybe you don’t really have anyone that you’d call “friend.” 

 
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Because I knew that I would need to initiate friendship in my new state, I began leading a Mom Heart group.  This group has grown, changed, and multiplied several times over the years and has certainly provided me with some dear friends.  But I still felt lonely.  What I discovered was missing were family friendships.  I knew the mothers, but none of their husbands and few of the children.

My husband and I decided to initiate a monthly family potluck.  We asked five families if they would like to join us monthly for a family gathering of fellowship.  Many of them were also feeling the lack of community and were grateful that our family had initiated. 

Our monthly gatherings are very low-key.  We don’t even plan what food each family is bringing; we just happily eat whatever food shows up!  Sometimes we have home-cooked food and something it’s a frozen meal.  There is no pressure to provide anything fancy and yet it always works out.  During the summer months, the family with a pool graciously hosts us at their home for the added fun of swimming. 

 
 Massive game of Atomic Uno.

Massive game of Atomic Uno.

 

Our group has been meeting for almost two years now and the relationships are growing.  The children are getting to know each other deeply through active backyard games as well as calm talking times.  There are also becoming comfortable with other adults besides their parents.  The adults are building new and deeper friendships.  And now our husbands are friends as well! 

This new tradition has been such a joy to be a part of and our family feels like we have a little tribe.  I encourage you to step out and initiate if you are lacking community.  It doesn’t have to be many families, maybe just invite two other families and fold in others as the tradition gets established and the Lord brings other families to mind.  Be aware of others feeling left out and don’t talk about being together within other groups such as your Mom Heart group.  I would never want my ladies to feel excluded.  If you are the one feeling excluded, get brave and initiate something yourself!

If loneliness or isolation is something that you are struggling with as we move into this new year, try a family potluck tradition!

 
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 -          INVITE:  start with two other families that you’d like to get to know better.

-          PREPARE YOUR SPACE:  Tidy the main living spaces, pull out some games, provide disposable plates/cutlery.

-          COMMIT:  Preplan 6-12 months of meeting dates and only cancel in case of illness or emergency in your home.  Get those dates on everyone’s calendars!

-          BE FAITHFUL: If you are faithful, other families will be challenged to be faithful as well and make this tradition a priority.

-          ENJOY:  Enjoy the new relationships and intimacy that will grow over time committed to each other.