It’s that time again…resolution time. You may have already made and broken some and are ready to give up again but let me encourage you to think some more. I also want you to think about recasting resolutions into a vision for your year or at least goals for the year. The concept of resolutions has become somewhat cliché; very few people make them and actually expect to keep them. Casting a vision, trying to see what your life may be like in the future, and setting goals is much more likely to have a positive outcome.
Several things recently happened to me that caused me to write about this topic. The first was an article I came across on Facebook called “Ten Questions for a New Year” by Don Whitney at www.desiringgod.org. It has questions to ask as self-reflection before you resolve to change something. The other thing was a friend stating, “I really wish I could give my children more.”
One of the questions Whitney asked was “What’s the most important thing you could do to improve your family life?” Another was “What’s the single biggest time-waster in your life, and how can you redeem the time?” Still another was about who’s salvation should you pray for and what’s one thing you could do to improve your prayer life. The last question was “What single thing can you plan to do this year that will matter most in ten years? In eternity?”
While I highly encourage you to read the whole article and make your own decisions, the following are the decisions that I have done or am working towards:
- Making memories. Around two years ago, my brother was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. My children and I did our best to travel to see him often and make memories with him even if it was just watching the Battleship Galactica series together. Toys and gifts are fun, but memories of time spent together are precious.
- Modeling the behavior I want my children to have. Let me just say that this is a truly hard one for me. I love food and I dislike sweating, so healthy eating and exercise are not necessarily high on my to do list. At the risk of being held accountable by lots more people than I want to, let me tell you that I joined a gym with my goddaughter. There are other things that follow this too like putting down the phone while you are driving and apologizing when you are wrong. Children are always watching.
- Reading to/homework with my children. My godson has some learning issues. I read out loud to him until he was in college. The next child wanted someone to sit with her while she did her homework. Last year I read Jane Eyre to my 10th grader because he fell asleep every time he tried to read it by himself. As your children get older, you’ll find that there are less times that they will just sit with you and share their life. I have found that homework time gave us an opportunity to talk that may not have otherwise been available. Homework may be the worst time of your day right now; I understand…I had several years where the fighting about doing homework lasted longer than it took to do the homework. But trust me when I say that it is worth the battles in the long run…the same child who battled about his homework graduated from college recently.
- I read a book a long time ago by Stormie Omartion called The Power of a Praying Parent. She wrote an entire series of books on prayer. She chronicles how she prayed for her children starting from infancy…little inconsequential things and big things. She even prayed for their spouses when her children were very young. Prayer is life changing.
This year is going to be different for my family. We are going to spend more time off our devices (my personal time waster is Facebook) and more time making memories together. My son is trying to put going to Lego Land on the list for this summer; we might even accomplish that – no promises on that one though. We are going to eat healthier and exercise more. We are going to pray more. But most of all I want to laugh more with my family. My vision for my family is to live and love more together, to forgive when necessary and to grow closer together as a family and with God.
What is your vision for your family??
Omartian, Stormie/The Power of a Praying Parent
She has also written books on the power of the praying wife, praying husband, praying grandparents.
Bronte, Charlotte/Jane Eyre Not recommended for 15 year old boys…