30 September 2011

Setting a Course

Yes, that's a mouse hat he's wearing...and an angel beside him

When I was in mid-high school my dad told me I needed to decide what I was going to pursue as a career.

He made an addendum to the requirement, though.

He explained that I didn't have an obligation to him to actually end up in that line of work.  But I needed a starting point.  A goal.  A direction.

If, while pursuing that course, it becomes clear I need to get onto a different highway, byway, or country lane, fine.

I chose counseling. 

It truly affected what courses I took in high school.  And the teacher I took those courses from taught me so much more than just psychology, sociology, and leadership.  

Mr. Hickman gave me a better perspective on servant leadership, on work ethic, on education, on trying new things, and I could go on....

I suppose this whole post could be on some of the things he taught me but that's not my point right now.

The point is I started somewhere, and as I pursued my course, it inevitably shifted.  But what I learned and where I started has taken me somewhere.  Some days I still don't know where that somewhere is, but again, I digress.

And as I look at where I started, I can see that the first goal still mirrors who I am in many ways.  It just looks different than I pictured.

So this year my husband and I sat down over many date nights, and pounded out our parenting goals for the next fifteen years or so.

We know we can't determine the outcome.  We also know we have to start somewhere.  It will look different than what we picture.  Yet having a place to start from, and to return to, will keep us focused and grounded.

Here's our goals for our family:

Mission:  To prepare our children to live independently of us and dependently upon God.
(we were reflecting on how our children come into the world so dependent on us, and independent of God, and how our desire is to facilitate a flip in those two areas)

Strategy:  Foster a worshipful life by means of
                      1.  Word-Rich experience (Bible)
                      2.  Community-Rich experience (Body of Christ)

                      3.  Uncluttered Life (Simple Subsistence)

                      4.  Thankful Life (Eye for God's beauty and goodness)

                      5.  Servant-Hearted Life (Philippians 2)

This plan will look different with the different stages of raising these gifts of children. The sub-points we will create under our main points will change.   But our prayer is to remain centered upon these goals.  To return to them often and evaluate if we're getting off course or if we need to change things around a bit.

This plan is not a formula.  We believe each family has a purpose in God's plan, and each plan is different.

a beautiful fairy house...the fairies were very thankful and left licorice straws for the kids 

Lastly, we readily and continually realize we will fall short in each of these areas...(do we really need three sewing machines???).

We also realize that the work of changing our children's hearts into hearts filled up with Jesus is a miracle done only by God Himself.  We can create a healthy environment for a seed to sprout...good soil, water, sunlight, etc....but only God can make it grow.

To Him we always claim our dependence.

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