The End of L.H.O.T.P. Night

Tomorrow is the last L.H.O.T.P. night.
We started watching four or five years ago, when my husband bought me the boxed set for Christmas.
I think that was the year we hatched duck eggs and the year Lydia joined us.

Every Thursday night…
Fast food, plastic trays, and an episode of Little House on the Prairie.
Usually after swim practice.
Sometimes with friends.
Other times family joining us.

Nothing super spiritual, but a closeness woven in the rhythm.
And many good conversations and tears and questions about–
Poverty, death, taxes, hard work, drinking, race, pride, family, courage, sacrifice, friendship, stealing, danger, temptation, wisdom, drug use, lying, birth, faith…
And almost every week…about God.
And there’s something about a closing of a tradition that always makes me sad.

Because there’s something about a tradition that binds family together.
And even in the silly ones, there’s a glimmer of God.

“Year after year the traditions were there, a shadow of our God who is rock-steady and dependable year after year after year. 
When God created seasons and memories and celebrations–traditions–He knew our need for security. 
And He knew that even paltry red Jello year after year can provide enough steadiness to keep us going until we find our only real security in Him.”
~Noel Piper, Treasuring God in Our Traditions

There’s something to be said for the bedtime song, the birthday book, the routine Saturday-morning-coffee-in-bed.
For the candle on the table that’s always lit at dinner.
Or the new-spin-toothbrush every New Year.
The night walks or the Paul Simon song that induces groans every time Dad sings it at a drive-thru window.
The yearly camping trip or the kitchen decorated with birthday balloons and streamers.
Mom’s jello fruit salad or Dad’s favorite cheese potatoes.
The annual starlight parade or slurpies on 7-11 day.

Yes, the bigger events and holidays are important too.
But just like with the Jordan River Stones
It’s often the seemingly small rocks, that God uses to make a big ripple in the lives of our children.

And any time is a good start time.

We borrowed a new tradition from our friends just a month ago, but it’s quickly becoming a weekly anticipation–
Sunday dinner of popcorn, sliced cheese and sliced apples after a bigger lunch.
I’m not even sure why that’s so super fun.
But it is.
And they look forward to it.
And I do too.

So tomorrow night is our last L.H.O.T.P. night.
But we’ll find something new to continue the continuity.
And we’ll do it together and we’ll give thanks.
Because God is the giver of all good things.

“The frantic pace and highly mobile nature of our society robs many families of any sense of tradition–and any cherished traditions of their own.”
~Al Mohler

What are some of your favorite family traditions…?


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  1. I just found out the other day that none of my kids have ever seen any LHOTP episodes. I think that’s so sad. I need to remedy that. :)

  2. LeAnn Williams says:

    What a lovely post on having family traditions. We enjoy decorating for Birthdays and letting the birthday person eat on the best China. We have a few Christmas traditions. We also have Sabbath Day traditions. We also have the tradition of a weekly Monday Family home evening. These have been pasted down to our children who now do most of them with a few added from their spouses. I do believe there is great purpose in having family traditions.
    I loved this post; blessings to you for it.

  3. This is really encouraging to me as I try to pick and start traditions that are worth our time and enjoyable for us all in the midst of a busy schedule and one that changes dramatically each season of the year. I love the quote from Noel Piper, and have been meaning to pick up that book for some time, so maybe now is the time. Thank you for sharing!

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