Monday, January 3, 2011

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52

This verse has been important to Joe and I for the past five years. As our family leader, Joe read this verse and said, "THIS is how we are to raise our children." We have often talked to our children about growing in these four areas...intelligence, physical stature, in their relationship with God and their relationships with others. All four of these areas need attention, nurturing and guidance, and Joe and I believe these are the areas God wants us to concentrate on in raising our children.

This year, I found an amazing chart to help us do this. Focus on the Family has a new magazine called Thriving Family. I have no idea how I get it...is someone paying for a subscription for me? Is it free? Honestly, it just started arriving on my doorstep! On New Year's Eve, the January/February edition showed up and as Joe and I drank our morning coffee, I perused the pages looking at any article I may want to stop on and read. One tiny snippet of an article caught my attention - creating a personal growth plan based upon Luke 2:52.

I immediately jumped on the computer and printing out 5 worksheets, one for each of our children. Then, I printed out the suggested ideas. I showed them to Joe and he agreed, this is good stuff!

We spent New Year's Eve evening working on a personal growth plan for all five of our kids. In the process, we evaluated what they are doing well and identified areas in which we want to see growth in 2011. We set Sunday as our official "Meeting Day" and after church we set up an area in our bedroom that would be our place to meet with our children. One at a time, we called them in and went over the personal growth plan.

And then we prayed with and for each child, praying a blessing upon their life for the year.

I can't even explain how doing this made Joe and I feel. It was so good for us to recognize and celebrate the great areas of change and growth! All five of them! It was so good to sit across from them and tell them how proud we are of them, using specific examples. Then, in love and gentleness, we explained one or two specific things in each area where we expected to see continued growth.

As we prayed, the older children were all moved to tears. And it dawned on me that we have not done this enough! We have not pulled a child into our bedroom and prayed blessings and protection over them where they can hear and participate in the prayer. It is not enough for me to pray in the quiet of my closet these things... my children need to hear my praying for them so they KNOW they are being prayed for!

Each and every child, unprovoked, crossed the bedroom to hug us. Each and every child then expressed their love.

It is a day I will not soon forget.

Go to www.thrivingfamily.com and search "Parenting Goals" if you would like to do this, too! It's not too late to set a personal growth plan for you child!

1 comment:

Brooke said...

I think this is the magazine my mom just told me she ordered for us. Can't wait to get it! Sounds like a good one!