Yesterday, I shared what others are doing when they work on family goals. I appreciated the information I gathered from people I know and articles too. I was really excited to form our goals and intentions as a family. Today, I am sharing with you what elements were important to me as we looked at establishing intentions as a family, how we did it, and what I learned.
What I Wanted to Include:
After my information gathering, I took some of what others were doing and I used some of what I knew as a coach in making goals that we are excited about and are doable. Here are the elements that I wanted to include in our planning:
1)Set a relaxed environment where everyone feels comfortable to share
2)Look at the bigger picture of how the culture we set effects our family and gives us a chance to minister God’s love to others
3)Set intentions and goals for a 3 month period, which creates a time period that is realistic and doable to work within.
4)Reflect on what we enjoy as a family now, what we want to continue, and what we want to do that is new.
5)Translate our family’s intentions into workable goals and systems that cause us to act
What We Did:
I found myself waiting for the perfect night to talk together and realized that every night has activities, homework, or events. So I decided just to jump in. After dinner one night, I shared with my husband and 3 daughters that I wanted to be intentional about deciding what we do together as a family, how we serve each other, what we develop in ourselves, and how we care for others for the next three months. I asked my girls what they want our family to be like and what they want others to think of when they think of our family. My point was that I wanted my girls to think about the bigger picture of how what we do impacts others and how we show God’s love to others. But I will admit I started off a little awkward in conveying my desires.
One of my daughters said that we should show others our love even if they are angry or frustrated with us. Then I asked the girls, what one thing is that they want us to be like or do as a family in the next 3 months. At this point, the girls seemed to be catching on to the idea and appreciating where our discussion was headed. One of my daughters said that she wants to go back to making lunches to handout to homeless people at stoplights, etc. Then she asked my husband what his ideas were. He was still thinking. She asked me and I said we should do one special family activity a week- like a game night or family outing. At this point we finished dinner and moved from the table to pick this up later.
We continued our discussion a few nights later. I wanted to give everyone a chance to share their feelings and share what they enjoy about our family and what they want to keep doing. I used Joyce’s questions to get at this. They talked about how they love spending time together through games, pizza at the park, and watching movies together. The first all three of them said when asked, “what makes them feel loved?” was playing with their sisters. Well that’s simple to keep doing!
Then I asked, “what is one new thing they would like to do as a family?” The little ones had a harder time with this. But my oldest, said she wants to plan a road trip on the east coast and go rock climbing. We decided as a family that it might not be doable this year to go on a road trip on the east coast, but that we could plan a road trip together some where closer this year.
Then I asked them if there is something that we do as a family that they want to do differently. My middle daughter said that she wants to earn more marbles for their chores. My husband and I said, “No.” But we explained that her chores are what she does as part of a member of our household. Earning one marble for this is enough and just an added bonus. My oldest daughter said she wants to keep visiting an older friend that we all love to visit, but she said she wants to stay less time because when it gets long the girls get antsy.
Our last step was inspired by our family and friends (I can’t believe I didn’t think of it), we decided on a family verse. I came up with 4 verses that I thought reflected God’s desires for us and our desires as a family. Then the girls picked one from the four.
Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
What I Learned:
1)All of the girls enjoyed having input. My oldest especially enjoyed it and said that it made her feel “important.” I want to nurture that feeling of in my girls that they have a say in how we live and planning helps us to glorify God and achieve some great things for Him and us
2)The next time I will start off with prayer to ask for God’s help as we set our intentions.
3)I will give my husband a copy of the questions that I want to discuss as a family. He needs time to mull over and think through items before the discussion, while I tend to fly more by the seat of my pants.
I really enjoyed our discussions and the thoughts everyone brought made a rich plan for us to work from. Our next step is to make a shadow box that reflects our goals for the next 3 months.