Bringing Dinner Back Week #4 ~ Dinner is a bucket.

We’re closing in on four weeks of the Dinner Challenge. We’ve now completed a solid month of being more deliberate and intentional about eating dinner together as a couple or as a family. We’ve talked about technology, making creativity part of dinner and how you can’t hate what you’ve never tried. Today, I want to talk about one word:


“I like swinging with you, it fills my bucket.”

My 5-year-old daughter McRae told me that last Sunday afternoon at the playground. She was sitting on my lap swinging with me and enjoying some free time at the park. In that classic way that only kids can, she dropped a grenade.

As parents we sometimes like to believe that we can schedule quality time. That we can cram a few minutes of quality time in between all our other commitments. The thought is that if we call it “quality time,” and tell our kids, “hey, this is quality time,” they will magically recognize the significance of the moment and feel deeply loved by us.

But it doesn’t work that way. You can’t schedule quality time anymore than you can schedule, “fall in love time.” When you’re dating someone, you never say, “Hey let’s go to a movie, and then on the way out to the car, at about 8:15, I’ll look at you and realize ‘this is the person I’m going to be with for the rest of my life.’ We’ll have some ‘fall in love time.’ Does next Tuesday work for you?”

Love and life don’t work that way. Quantity time creates quality time. Putting time into the proverbial “bucket” that so many counselors and authors have talked about over the years is what leads to quality time.

That’s why dinner is never really just dinner. It’s you sitting down and putting time and attention and hopefully love into the bucket of everyone else at that table. It’s you saying, “You’re important to me. Life is busy and hectic sometimes, but you matter to me.” And when someone’s bucket is full, you know.

They sit on your lap on a playground and tell you how happy they are. And that experience can start with dinner.

Our favorite E-Mealz meal of the week.

We’re doing the Publix Meal Plan right now. We sometimes buy the ingredients one week and make the meal the following week. Our favorite meal in the last week was the Peach Pork Chops. They felt southern and fresh and fun, words I’ve never associated with pork chops before. I loved that recipe.

Our dinner record for the week.

We went 5 for 7 this week. On Saturday night, I was flying back from the Dave Ramsey live event in Oklahoma and on Tuesday night I went out to dinner with the group of guys I’m reading the Bible with right now.

How about you?

How many nights this week did you eat dinner with your family? Did you beat me?

What was your favorite E-Mealz meal?

Have you ever thought about the connection between quality time and quantity time?

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2 thoughts on “Bringing Dinner Back Week #4 ~ Dinner is a bucket.

  1. Albert Krabbe

    Lovin’ the eMealz plans as it allows my wife and I more time together. She is really organized, but just didn’t have the time to plan it all. We’re together for dinner every night, but we’re newly weds so it’s kinda like cheating 🙂

  2. Charlie Chang

    We went 7 for 7 (hooray!). We’re doing the Walmart plan for 4 so me and my wife have enough for lunch the next day.

    Favorite meal was was the chicken strip wraps.

    It’s kind of funny because when I pick up my kids from daycare on the way home I ask, “Chloe, how was your day?” And she replies, “Wait until dinner.” I like that because it’s her way of saying, “Let me save it until we’re all together as a family.”

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