Monday, January 10, 2011

Upstream Living

Here is your mission: be a family of VISION!

I have no idea who Charles H. Parkhurst is but he has an awesome quote so I should give him the credit, “Purpose is what gives life meaning…a drifting boat always drifts downstream.”  In other words, without purpose and vision we will just drift aimlessly.

When families become that “drifting boat”, they live in a constant state of REacting to life rather than ACTING on life and seizing the moment, the day and their destiny!

I totally can relate to how easily this can happen as the busy and even GOOD things of life can rob us from investing our time in the BEST.  But here is the mission (if you choose to accept it, fellow agents!)…

1.  CREATE a vision for your family.
2.  LIVE with that vision in mind.
3.  TRY again when the vision gets lost in the craziness!

Here’s a few practical ways we are trying to flesh this out with our crew.  One of the visions for our family is that we will always be close-knit and will protect each other and believe the best (and look for it) in one another.  We pray for God to help us to do this and ask Him to keep us united.  When the boys get into a throw-down over serious life issues, like who gets to be the red Spiderman (verses the black one of course), it’s a great time to practice living out our vision.  I grab the hand of my red Spiderman and my black Spiderman and ask them,

“Who is always going to be your best friend?  Your brother, right?”  (Also a good time for some brain-washing!)  “Well, is this how we treat best friends?  Do you think there is some selfishness in your heart that God wants to change?  Let’s pray right now that Jesus will help us be kind and put others first.”

If this doesn’t work, I just duct tape them together until they kiss and make up.  That works too.  Just kidding…maybe.

Another vision for our family is that we want to do life together, even now with lots of little ones.  Of course, some days it just can’t happen but we try our darndest!

For example, we ALL go shopping at Target together.  The battle plan is laid out before we even exit the suburban.  “You will not scream, grab, wiggle, talk or breath in this store.  You will be an angel and I will be happy I brought you today.”  Okay, that’s not exactly what we say, but we do go over some expectations first.  We then load them in a cart and try to have some fun while stocking up on diapers in hopes that we will single-handedly sky-rocket our shares invested in Pampers company.  When the kids attempt to exit our moving vehicle and their little hands get stuck on every super-hero toy, we remind them of our vision.

“We are here to spend time together because it’s fun to do things as a family.  We’re not here just to buy toys and candy.”

When that doesn’t work, we get out the duct-tape again and tape them to the cart.  Boy that stuff comes in handy.

Doing life together: Superhero Party for Judah where we were ALL superheros for him!
My point is, make a vision.  Life’s easier.  Life is more fun.  Life becomes less about reacting to moments and more about acting out goals and dreams.  Then you can be a boat heading someplace cool instead of just drifting downstream.  Besides, isn’t there always a scary drop off when you just drift downstream?  At least that always happens in the movies.  Hmm.

Well, happy visioning, my fellow agents!

*Stay tuned for tomorrow’s follow-up blog: Vision Retreats!!


  1. LOVE the duct tape ideas...
    As a boy mom I can see it coming in really handy (maybe we should buy stock in the duct tape companies).
    Thanks for writing! ~Jessica

  2. Very well written, it's not easy keeping the mission and goal in the front of my family's mind either, but thanks for this refreshing reminder.

  3. Great idea, Jessica...too funny.

    @Zazzy: Thanks for reading! I totally agree that keeping a goal in mind in the day-to-day living is hard but just one step at a time, hey? Blessings on you guys!

  4. LOL! We don't use he duct tapehere, but trth be told, we DO use toy handcuffs that only I have the key for!!! makng them work together like that while for instance, eating a meal when one of them is left haned and the other is right actually does wonders in teaching them to work out their difernces instead of fighting. I have't used them since last spring, mostly since the pair we had broke, but I have since found that it is just as effective to make them do all thei chores together, including clean messes one of them made, s in helping your brother clean his room. My boys hate it, and it has helped alot in cuttng down on theammount thy fight.


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