Love Grows When Time Is a Priority


Looking for ways to connect with your child?  Be Inspired by the hit movie “Love, Kennedy.”  In this film, a young girl named Kennedy figures out what is the most important thing in life, love and a hug to go with it.

Trials Help Us Grow

Sometimes we find stories that touch us long after they are told.  I felt that way after my friends and I went to see a new film called “Love, Kennedy.” I am not sure why I am drawn to tragic stories like the one about the Nutty Putty Cave in the film “The Last Descent.”  My heart seems to resonate when growth and strength are gained through trials.  When I witness others who have overcome obstacles or endured them with undeviating hope, it lifts and inspires me.

Love, Kennedy the Movie

Did you know that you can take great selfies with a group when you stand almost a foot above everyone else?  We snapped this picture, and with anticipation, headed inside.  We claimed our seats with popcorn in hand and settled in.  I don’t think we prepared ourselves properly for this film, not understanding the depth of emotions that we would feel.  Luckily, a friend rescued all of us with tissues to share.

Love, Kennedy is the story of a young 16 year old girl and her journey with an incurable disease.  Love towards others, played a major role throughout the film.   Although the story is heart-wrenching, the focus stayed on Kennedy’s ability to overcome her challenges.  There came a point in Kennedy’s life where her challenges did not feel like a burden anymore.  Instead, in her young life she chose to focus on loving life and others.  Now, take a peek at the trailer!

Are We Cousins?

I have never heard of Jason, Heather or Kennedy Hansen, yet their last name is very familiar to me.  Hansen is the maiden name of my mother which made me curious to see if we share common ancestors..  Anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that I love to make family connections.

The Importance of a Father’s Love

The reason I even mention the idea of possibly being related to the Hansen family comes from the bonds I felt weaved throughout this story.  One of the most important roles in a family, alongside the irreplaceable mother, is the role of a father and husband.  In film, television and within the media, fathers and husbands are not often portrayed in a positive light.

Yet in this film, we find a strong father.  I wanted to cheer him on from the beginning.  His one-on-one time with his daughter, inspired me.  It was not anything extravagant.  He just carved out the time and made her his priority.  (Read more about how to fulfill your most important role as a father from Dad’s that Stay and Fight.)

Love, Kennedy Movie real life story

Show Love By Dating Your Kids

Our family set a goal to spend more individual time together by dating our kids!  It works like this.

  1.  Set a schedule and stick to it.  Rotate the kids where each child goes out with mom one day and dad the other.
  2.  Set alarm reminders on your phone.
  3.  Let your kids pick what they want to do on your date.

By the end of the month, each child spent quality time with both parents, once with dad and once with mom.

Our children look forward to our day dates and so do we.  Call it intentional parenting or planting seeds of trust.  The results are the same, stronger bonds now in hopes that years later, they will turn to us for help and advise.

Over the past year, our adventures have taken us to Sonic for a slush, french fries at Freddy’s or a trip to the library.  It never really costs much money, if anything at all.  Don’t over think it, just make them your priority and go have some fun.

Kennedy Hugs

Kennedy and her father share a similar bond.  The trials and challenges, strengthened their love for each other.  A hug would replace discouragement that lifted not only herself but others around her.  Later her parents wrote a book titled “Kennedy Hugs.”  Kennedy’s kindness, love and understanding also endeared her to the world.  That same love would also play a key role in an incredible miracle that happened to one of her cheer friends.  You do not want to miss hearing the story for yourself!

Love, Kennedy Movie behind the scenes

Love is the Greatest Commandment

It is interesting when you think of the two great commandments that God gave to us.  In reply to a question about what was the greatest commandment, Christ said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  He doesn’t say love someone if they are like-minded, share common beliefs, votes as you do… no he simple says to “love thy neighbor.”

If this is the greatest commandment, then we as God’s children must come to understand what Kennedy figured out in such a short time.   Love can bring peace, happiness and joy not only to others but to ourselves as well.  Kennedy’s life was full of miracles and acts of love and kindness.  God was able to shower her with blessings and provide miracles to her loved ones through her Christ-like love.

Love, Kennedy Movie family portrait

That’s a Wrap!

Without giving away the movie, there are many miracles that happened to those around Kennedy as a direct result of her love and kindness.  The last part of the movie was so intense.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in the theater.

Once I got home, I jumped online to learn about the “real” Hansen family.  I found a book written by the family called “Kennedy’s Hugs.”  Although I haven’t finished the book, I felt touched over and over by their inspiring story.  One of the coolest features of this ebook happens when you finish a chapter.  A link will send you to a particular Facebook blog post explaining in more details about the chapter.  Look for a complete review once I finish the book.

If you are struggling with kindness and love in your home, you will not want to miss this inspiring movie.  A classic for the whole family!  You can pre-order the movie today on Deseret Book.  I can go on and on about the lessons learned, but let me just leave this one thought with you.

If you were to leave this life tomorrow, how would you want to be remembered?  I am sure the director of the movie, T.C. Christensen, and the Hansen family hope that you follow Kennedy’s example.  Choose to have open arms instead of indifferent hearts and give a Kennedy Hug to someone today!

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