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We strive to create balance and peace in our families. We strive to live each day in the knowledge that our family is a gracious gift; a gift to be treasured and celebrated in the every day.

We strive to simplify our lives, but our family's competing demands are anything but simple.

Sometimes, simplifying means--quite simply--renewing our focus on what's really important in our lives. Sometimes, balancing means--quite simply--surrendering roles that aren't important so we'll have more time to nurture the roles that are.

That's why I created Soul Snacks for Families. These are creative ways you can focus on your family and create memories with your kids while remaining attentive to your own needs as a parent. All in 15 minutes or less.

Here are a week's worth of Family Soul Snacks. They were created, not with the expectation that you will do each activity on its designated day, but, rather, to remind you that, every day, you have 15 very special minutes to fill. Fifteen minutes expressly to nurture your children, your spouse, and yourself in a special way.

Day One
This evening, just before the sun goes down, gather your family to watch the sunset. The only rule: no one speaks until the sun has completely nestled into the horizon. Use the quiet time to meditate and reflect on the importance of slowing down.

Day Two
Make a loved one's day: Write a note, have the kids draw pictures, copy some home videos, or tape record the kids singing and laughing. Pack it up and mail it to your oldest relative.

Day Three
No cooking tonight! Order a pizza and enjoy it on the living room floor, picnic style) with your kids.

Day Four
Encourage your children to read their favorite comics to you this morning.

Day Five
Write three pages in your journal regarding any challenge your family is currently facing. Write as quickly as you can without picking up your pen or crossing anything out. This is a powerful tool for problem-solving and for developing a sense of trust in yourself, as you tap the wisdom of your own mind.

Day Six
As you go about your day with your family, be on the lookout for ten positive, beautiful things about each of them, your home, or your home life that you haven't noticed before. Challenge yourself to maintain this heightened awareness.

Day Seven
Brainstorm at least five of your own family soul snacks: brief activities that will nurture your spirit while helping you reconnect with your family. If you need inspiration, choose any of three Soul Snacks booklets, each featuring 100 ideas: Soul Snacks for Families, Soul Snacks for Mothers, and Soul Snacks for Women.

A meaningful and fulfilled life can be surprising simple. Start with a few moments each day specially devoted to renewing your spirit--and your emphasis on the gifts in your life.

About the author:
Susie Michelle Cortright is the author of More Energy for Moms and Rekindling Your Romance After Kids, as well as the Soul Snacks booklet series, featuring creative ways to nurture yourself and your family in 15 minutes or less. Each of these publications is available through, a website devoted to helping women celebrate and embrace their diverse roles:

19,004 Posts
I love this article too Sara. I love the author's ideas.
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