January always brings in renewed vigor for making changes. We get organized, clean out closets, make plans for the rest of the year.
On New Year’s Day our family sits down together and we discuss the plans, goals and ideas for the upcoming year. Dad shares about our family finances (on their level, of course), his work and what he sees God is doing in our lives, Mom talks about her plans for homeschool and what each child needs for the year and ideas for home improvements, the kids each tell some of their hopes for the year. Sometimes they ask to take music lessons because they dream of playing the guitar, other times they request more daily quiet time because they have been struggling to get their work done.
We write down the goals and discuss practical ways to make them happen. If Mom wants to paint the living room in February, what can we do to work toward that? We also share the purpose of each goal. How does it line up with what the Bible says? How does it affect our family?
But it’s not the New Year’s Day family meeting that makes it all work, it is keeping up with each other on a regular basis. Checking in, tweaking plans, adjusting for life and refreshing our memory are all part of assuring success.
We meet together every.single.week all through the year. Mom and Dad talk alone on Friday night then the whole family sits down for a big breakfast on Saturday and we talk about the week ahead. First we discuss the schedule: who has an orthodontist appointment and who needs new shoes. Then we get deep…..how are we meeting our goals for the year? We check in with each person to find out what their needs are and how the plans are coming along.
We share our dreams and how we can help each other accomplish them. Even the younger ones have dreams. Maybe junior wants to learn to write his name. Big sister can help him do that. Or Dad would be blessed if the driveway stayed clean….we talk about ways we can all pitch in to make that happen.
Saturday morning breakfast time is a special time of connecting with our whole family. The older kids will tell everyone their plans for the week and that helps Mom plan meals and other activities. Once we feel like we are finished sharing, we go around the table one more time to be sure each person had their turn….we don’t want to miss anyone!
Recently a couple of my kids told us they wanted to start a series on YouTube. It was so great to all be sitting together as a family when we talked about it. We could all contribute to their ideas and make offers to help either with the project or with chores to lighten the load.
The last thing we do is read a few Bible verses and maybe sing a hymn or praise song. Often we will all feel a connection with a verse and decide to learn it together throughout the week. It’s fun to see who memorized it by the next Saturday (Mom always loses that one!).
I encourage you to set aside time each week to plug in together and reconnect. Share your goals, plans, dreams and what God is doing in your life. If Saturday morning doesn’t work for you, try another time. Maybe dinner on Monday or Friday night or lunch on Sunday.
A great book for learning Bible verses and building hope and encouragement is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Our family loves a daily devotional and this has a version for kids, teens and adults!
Lisa Pennington lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 26 years and their 9 children. She homeschools while trying to figure out how to run their little farm with no real knowledge of how to care for goats or grow a garden, turning her life into a comedy of errors. When she has a few extra minutes, she loves to help other women find their identity in Christ and have the courage to live their calling. She blogs about her family life at The Pennington Point and runs an etsy shop with her daughters, Shop 24. When people ask how she does it all she replies, “I’m not sure, but I know I need a nap!” You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @PenningtonPoint.