Tim is anxious. At 17 he’s already excited about what life will be like away from home. You and I and Stacy know that he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. Nevertheless, I’m delighted with his adventurous mindset and his confidence.
The truth is, he will soon be gone. If he leaves for college in August of 2014, we have just 20 more months to influence him. 84 weeks. And the influence isn’t as direct as it once was. Tim is on the move. So, we have to parent ‘in motion’ as he comes and goes to school, practice, church and other activities. I delight even more in those ‘one-on-one’ moments to have great conversations with him.
These sobering thoughts help keep me focused on the fact that I have great responsibility to lead myself, strengthen my marriage and invest in my children in each season of life. Here’s some specific encouragement for the week ahead…
In just a few days, we’ll say good bye to 2012 and hello to 2013. So, you’re probably doing what I’m doing… Looking Back and Looking Ahead. I would encourage you to do this alone first, then with some help from your family.
Look back and ask yourself some questions like:
- What happened in 2012?
- What was good?
- What was bad?
- How did I grow?
- What did I learn?
- Am I healthier? Wiser?
- Did I invest in others?
- Did I grow in my faith?
You get the picture. Then, have some similar conversations with your wife and kids about some of these questions for them as individuals and for you as a couple or in your parenting.
Next, look forward and ask yourself?
- What are my goals?
- How will I grow?
- What do I want to learn?
- What experiences do I want to have?
- How do you plan to grow in your ‘understanding’ of your wife in 2013?
- What investments will you make in a stronger marriage?
- How will my wife know I cherish her?
As a Dad…
- What do you want your children to learn or experience in 2013 because you taught them or provided opportunity? To be sure they will learn many things and have lots of experiences but what will you provide for them?
- Where should we go together?
- What do I want to teach them?
- What can we do together?
Over the next few days… spend some time thinking and praying. Make some lists. But, take it further. Make some plans. Execution requires planning.
Here’s one of our goals. Our family has always wanted to do a summer camping/canoeing adventure in Maine. Well time is running out so I’m already working on the research. I’ll have our plan nailed down within the month of January. Ask me about it when you see me…. But expect me to ask in return, “What are your plans for your family?”