Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Having a Family Vision

Today's Topic: Having a Family Vision

Today's Host: Natalie

I couldn't wait for today's topic (which is actually last week's topic); but I had to because I wanted to create this with my husband. I was excited to run the idea of a Family Vision by Troy and have him lead in setting the "direction" for our family.

This weekend we had 10 hours in the car on the way to the lake and I think we got some really great stuff! On the 5 hour drive there, we were able to pinpoint our long-term goals - in between potty breaks, diaper changes and answering Olivia's unending stream of questions. On the 5 hour drive home, we filled in the details of the long-term goals with short-term goals.

Some are new ideas, some are old and some are just finally defined.

We concluded the most important things to us were loving God, loving each other and loving others. We realized we had set ourselves in the right direction a long time ago, but we were missing the plan needed to get there.

For me, the short-term goals represent the practical aspects of our family vision and I'm so pleased to have this list to consult, to remind myself of what I want to be working on. My sister had the great idea of marking on the calendar when it is time to review the Family Plan. So I made a monthly note to myself to take inventory, and a quarterly note for Troy and I to review our short-term goals.

That said, our family verse will be Luke 10:27.

"He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

In this verse, Jesus is referring to Duet 6:5-9, which played a role in the shaping of our family vision by providing our first long-term goal:

To have a Bible centered House

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

We want to make God's word a priority by:

- Reading the Bible together as a family at dinner time. (I just got a really great Bible in the mail today, credit to Angie for recommending it, The Jesus Storybook Bible. It's not too young and not too old - just right for our family.)

- Reading an age-appropriate devotion book, in addition to the girls' usual bedtime story, every night before bed.

- As adults, study the Bible everyday (in some way).

- Base our family's Code of Conduct on Bible verses.

- Start Olivia a Scripture Memory book, placing in it the Scriptures she memorizes one at a time, beginning with the verses from our family rules.

- Prayerfully choose a life verse to have printed and hung on each of the girls' doors.

- Frame and hang our family's verse.

To be a Connected Family

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We hope to stay a tight family by:

- Eating dinner together at the table, whenever possible.

- Doing an activity that involves the whole family (swimming together, riding ATVs, going to the park), at least once a week.

- Daddy making an point to have dates with all of the girls individually (Mommy included).

- Setting aside time for Troy and I to define our family traditions.

To have a Solid Work Ethic

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

We want to impart a strong work ethic by:

- Having daily responsibilities for each person (Olivia sets the table for dinner and picks up toys before Dad comes home; Madeline puts away plastic cups and plates, etc.)

- Working on the organic garden together, each one involved in the planting, maintaining and harvesting each weekend.

- Mom helping the girls understand (as best they can) why Daddy is "at work" and how he blessed we are that he provides for us.

To Serve and be involved in Outreach

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27

"If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." 1 John 3:17-18

We want to be a family of service and outreach by:

- Sharing what God has given us with others (our home, our toys); looking for opportunities to host ministries and ministers.

- Donating to those in need and finding better uses for what we don't need.

- Rebecca continuing to teach monthly child birth classes for the CareNet crisis pregnancy center.

- Making meals as a family once a month for Monday Night Manna ministry.

To be Missions-minded

"And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." Mark 16:15

We want to be involved in missions by:

- Continuing to give faithfully to missionaries, outside of our regular giving.

- Staying closely connected with Rancho de sus Ninos orphanage in Mexico, and if possible to continue to take our girls to visit.

- Seeking out additional valid missions projects that we can be involved in and support.

I'm excited to see what God does in us and through us now that we've committed the full direction of our family to Him. And I'm excited to see the new places He takes us and the new visions He will give us in the future.

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