So, it’s a new year. Hey, it’s even a new decade!
With all of this newness comes a lot of planning and goal setting, particularly if you’re a mom. Even more so if you’re a mom who also has a husband with a “regular” career, a military career, and a ministry- who also has three children, the oldest of whom is in high school getting ready to start college courses and wants a job and the youngest of whom has special needs- who also has a career as a teacher- who also has a home to manage and friends and extended family members- who also is enrolled in graduate school- who also wants to prioritize her walk with the Lord above all else. I don’t know about you, but all of those “also”s stress me out just a bit!
There can be a lot of pressure this time of year to organize it all and get everything straight and feel like you have it all together as you jump into a new year. I had big expectations of myself this week in terms of the planning and organizing for everyone, but as I approached the lists and tasks there was a hesitation. Deep in my heart I kept hearing the Lord whisper that one word He led me to as my focus this year- roots.
If my focus for the year is on roots- getting back to my roots, extended my roots, strengthening my roots- what does that look like for our family? As we put the calendar together and map out our year and set our goals, what do we need to prioritize to ensure that we are rooted where we need to be?
Yes, there are lots of goals we can set for our family this year. We can dream big and work hard and move mountains, but at the root of it all must be a commitment to the Word of God. I want my children to know the Word. I want my children to hear the Word. I want my children to read the Word. I want my children to receive the Word. I want my children to do the Word.
My heart’s desire is to cultivate discipline, respect, and love for the Word of God. To do that, I must have discipline, respect, and love for the Word of God. It has to be a priority every single day. My children need to see me in the Word, and our conversations need to be seasoned with the Word. We need to be speaking it around our dinner table, praying it over one another, and embracing it in every aspect of our lives.
And it’s not enough to just tell my kids to read the Bible. It needs to be modeled for them and taught to them. They need direction. They need guidance. They need encouragement. They need to know that it matters and that I care more about their spiritual well-being than anything else. Their love for God is more important than their social status, their academic success, their hobbies, their sports achievements, or anything else that tries to take precedence in their lives. I am more concerned for their souls than their success.
So to bring that point home this year, I set the calendar and to-do list aside today and put together a family Bible-reading plan. Now, I know there are lots of plans already created out there, but I wanted this to be personal and relevant for our family. I want it to be enjoyable, so I’m not pushing everyone to read the entire Bible in one year.
Instead, I asked my girls to tell me what books of the Bible they wanted to read this year. From there I put together a daily reading plan that will take our family through about half of the books of the Bible this year. There is an assigned passage for each day of the year, and we read the daily passage on our own. This gives my girls a starting place for studying God’s word on their own, and also provides some structure and accountability. Life is busy, and the reality is that we rarely have time to all sit down and read the Bible together and have a dedicated family worship time.
But with this we at least have the opportunity to start conversations. We can check in with one another. We can talk about that day’s reading in the car or over dinner. We can ask questions and relate the passages to what’s going on around us. It can be as in-depth and involved as we need it to be on any given day, but is simple enough to not cause stress or overwhelm anyone.
My prayer is that this works for our family this year. I know I’ll have to tweak things as time goes by, and my technologically advanced children will probably take the plan and put it on their devices while I continue along with my pen and paper checklist, but the goal is to promote that discipline, respect, and love for the Word, as well as unity of heart within the walls of our home.
That’s my big idea for 2020… I’d love to hear what works for your family!