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Making Room for Life: Trading Chaotic Lifestyles for Connected Relationships Hardcover – December 25, 2003
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This superb workbook has an enormous audience: Christians whose lifestyles have gotten too hectic and over-scheduled. The American plague of busy-ness has caused epidemic fatigue and spiritual discontent--crippling the love and connection within many households, according to Randy Frazee, a senior pastor of Pantego Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas and author of The Connecting Church. Frazee is a warm, self-revealing, and sensible narrator--like a Christian Dr. Phil, counseling readers on how to get their priorities straight. He talks about our ridiculously over-reaching lifestyles (admitting his own tendencies) and suggests calling day planners "24/7 planners" or "Chaos Planners." He asks readers to consider organizing their days into a "Hebrew Day Planner"--meaning following God's design of integrating a day of rest into the week. "If we violate this design, we are abusing our bodies and souls, and little by little we diminish our effectiveness," he writes.
Frazee is adamant when it comes to re-shaping the family lifestyle. For instance, he confronts parental over-achieving and workaholic tendencies with a loving vengeance. According to Frazee, "Dragging our children away from home in the late afternoon and evening hours to transport them to adult-driven, highly structured, age-graded activities" can result in many losses for children--including less creative play, less chances to for leadership or mentoring, a strain on health (too much fast foods and too little rest), and the loss of the family meal. He devotes numerous pages to the "slow food movement"--offering suggestions for reclaiming the family meal with easy family recipes, setting the table, saying grace, and cultivating dinner conversation. Like a good workbook--Frazee includes an interactive section at the end of each chapter for jotting down thoughts and noting "personal action steps" as well as suggestions for leading a small group discussion. Devout Christian or not--this is an excellent basic book for many frantic households. --Gail Hudson
From the Back Cover
What If You Could . . . get all your work done by 6:00 p.m.? eat dinner with your family every night? form deep, satisfying relationships? naturally blend the world of church with your everyday life? spend hours a week on your hobbies?
You can! Making Room for Life reveals how to make all of these things a reality. Not by working faster or having more gadgets, but by simply choosing a lifestyle of conversation and community over a lifestyle of accumulation.
Randy Frazees practical, motivating insights call you back to the kind of relationships and life rhythms you were created to enjoy. In Making Room for Life, Frazee shows you howand why its so importantto balance work and play, establish healthy boundaries, deal with childrens activities and homework, bring Jesus to your neighbors, and build authentic bonds with a circle of close friends.
Share these insights with those around you and help usher in an amazing transformation: your life and the lives of others blooming, in the midst of the chaos and fragmentation of todays culture, into communities of purpose and peace.
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Since life typically gets in the way between us and our usual circles of friends, and distance and travel contribute to the difficulty of regular visits with each other, the book challenges us to look around us and create a proximity-enhanced circle of relationships. The immediate neighbors come to mind - but in order to deepen the relationships from the perfunctory Hi's and Hello's, meals need to be shared, shared life struggles need to be fought and stories need to be exchanged. One key suggestion was to gather at alternating host family homes at least once a week, and to have a shared meal together (the suggestion was for soup).
I really enjoyed the challenge and have started to do this with my neighbors. I look forward to deepening my friendships with them, and treat them like extended family. That way we can share more memories together, and make room for a shared life.
When do you sit down at the table to eat a healthy balanced meal and enjoy family conversation?
That is what the book is about.
However, like his other book "The Connected Church", it is quite urban-based in philosophy. He feels we should be connected and fellowship with our neighborhood. Alright if you have 20 families in a square block or whatever. The rest of us may not have 20 families in a square mile. We have to drive everywhere! If my children are to involved in anything in means driving more than his recommended 20 minutes round-trip.
And be home by 6pm every night?
Sounds great, that's what made me buy the book. But in the book I found he was relating more to urban folks that are not taking part in their own surroundings, but those of another part of the city.
Oh well, I still recommend this book for its valuable ideas. It just doesn't apply very well to country living.