Monday, January 13, 2014

Focus on what is important

Often as a family it is easy to get distracted from the main goal. The same is true as an individual.

Our kids like to imitate the dogs from UP and cry out "Squirrel!" when something has caught their attention and taken it away from that which they are suppose to be focused on. (Of course, they also do it when they see squirrels.)

Thinking about how our children joke around about attention span and intentionally distract themselves, I started thinking about what we do in regard to God. Typically, one of the New Year resolutions or goals in a church going home is to get closer to God or to read the Bible everyday. How often do we fail those goals?

It generally takes 21 days to create a habit. In my personal journey, I have noticed this is true except for in one area. The area that the habit is not created is my walk with God. Our relationship requires daily work or it will decay and become weak. We can read the Bible and study everyday for three months but then miss it one day and it is very difficult to get back in the habit.

So we have to refocus. Do everything we can to prevent that one day from happening.

Set a schedule. Everyday at X time, the family will sit down together and read the Bible. Go ahead now and plan what to do if Johnny or Jenny is not home for whatever reason. We have decided that no matter what, we will read with whoever is home.

Focus on what is important. Is your goal to read through the Bible in a year, or is it to have a family devotion where there is discussion and interaction. Devotions can be tricky for families with little ones, but getting into the habit now is beneficial.

Choices. Ultimately, as the parent you are responsible for leading your family to a Christ-centered life. This is a huge responsibility, but not an impossible one. In your prayer time be honest with God and ask for help in drawing your family to Him. Make the choice to trust in God and not rely on yourself.

It is not the end of the world if you miss a few days, just start back where you left off and hold each other accountable. Focus on God and draw near to Him.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year, New Goals

The common tradition on January 1 is to set resolutions that may or may not be possible for individuals and families. We invite you to rethink your resolutions, goals, and aspirations.

Who says that your goals have to be year-long? Have you thought about having month-long goals?

Often the reason we fail when it comes to our long-range goals is because they are too big. The way to correct that problem is to make the goal smaller. If the goal is smaller it is more manageable and easier to complete, making you more likely to succeed and go on to the next goal.

If your goal is to get your family to read the bible every night together, then perhaps reading a chapter in the book of Proverbs everyday would be a good starting point. The accountability is there since there are 31 chapters and the book of Proverbs is a wealth of information when it comes to the pressures of life. Once the habit of sitting down and reading together is established, more can be added.

If your goal is for your family to be healthier in the New Year, start one day at a time. Decide how you are going to address getting healthy in your eating habits and take one step at a time. Then also introduce exercise. Family walks in the evening after dinner is great bonding time.

By having monthly goals they are more attainable, but there is an additional advantage of the family staying on the same page throughout the year and staying focused.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13