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Mud pie for birthday dessert is a strong tradition in our family. Every year I ask the kids,“still want mud pie?” “YEP!” they answer without an ounce of hesitation.

Mud pie is easy to make, but requires days of preparation. First, I bake the Oreo crust that has been grinded and mixed with butter. When cooled, I start layering the ice cream. This requires a melting, then re-freezing process. Over and over I place down the layers: ice cream, hot fudge, ice cream, caramel sauce, ice cream, more Oreos, whipped cream, then finally topped with broken pieces of candy bar. Good things aren’t necessarily hard, they just take time, effort, and intention.

Like that mud pie, all healthy relationships have multiple layers that have been laid over and over and over again. In fact, it is in the quantity of the layering that the beautiful whole is built.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a position where we do a lot FOR other people, but we aren’t really connecting WITH them. There is a big difference.

Parents are especially vulnerable to this phenomena. We seemingly spend our entire lives doing for our children -– getting them to practice, making dinner, helping with homework, talking out a problem, figuring out how to help them thrive in their sphere. It is often all-consuming.

And while this is noble, and often necessary, we can become frustrated that when our heads hit the pillow, we haven’t really had a meaningful interaction with anyone. It’s been all business. And while layer after layer of all business builds security, it doesn’t necessarily foster meaningful relationships.

This is where I found myself a few years back. I spent several sleepless nights filled with anxiety.   Life was passing me by and though I was physically with my children all day, I was missing what was most important: true, heartfelt, meaningful connection.

It was out of this place that Meaning in a Minute was born.

Sitting in an airport one day, I hypothesized that even if a person only spent one minute of intentional time each day connecting with a loved one, that one minute could make all the difference.

Because day after day of all-in, fully engaged minutes makes a big impact. It builds layers of love.

And that is just what it did in my own home. In one profound statement, after I had written a message in Expo marker on my husband’s mirror during one of my dares, he wrote back on my mirror, “I hope the dares never end.”

Because little actions really do change the world… and more specifically, they really do change our most important relationships.

And that is what we’re doing at Meaning in a Minute. We’re investing well into those we love because they matter, and the effort is worth it.

One of my favorite verses in the scripture says,

Love others as well as yourself. :Matthew 22:37-40

Love God. Love People.

It’s that simple. Day after day after day. Layer after layer after layer.

And the result is something worth celebrating.