You’ve decided that you want to be purposeful in crafting a Family Culture that reflects your beliefs and values. You’ve identified the things that you value and want to communicate to your children above all else. You’ve realized that you need to aggressively curate the life of your family.
We’re on day three of a series examining how parents can overcome the pull of society’s default and be intentional in the cultivation of their own Family Culture. Psychology Today defines Family Culture as “the unique way that a family forms itself in terms of rules, roles, habits, activities, beliefs, and other areas.” Earlier, we looked at how identifying your family’s core values starts you on the path of reclaiming control of the message you send to your children.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that my family (ahem) stands out. We have a lot of kids. We homeschool. We don’t watch television. We live in a barn, for Pete’s sake.
On Friday, I shared that, in the beginning, we were on the unexamined, default path of family living. True, anyone who knows my husband and I know that we have never had an issue bucking the status quo. But defining our Family Culture helped us not just lead reactionary “we want to do it differently” lives in regards to what’s perceived as normal, but gave us a framework and some bigger goals to strive towards as we walked through the years.
If you’re dissatisfied with the rhythm of your days, wary as you see the character of your children developing, or just wondering how to fulfill your role in God’s great story, this series is for you.
We are a family of 11. It’s an introvert’s dream at my house, as you can imagine. My 20 year-old, Babita, is in Nepal. Everyone else is at home. 19, 16, 14, 10, 8, 6, 4, and almost 2. I never have to worry about falling into the trap of isolationism that my fellow introverts can be prone to. Not ever. They make sure of that.
Isn’t God good?
There is no mud quite like farm mud.
If you have a patch of earth you’ve broken open and tried to tame, you know this is true. Farm mud is a beast all its own, a subspecies of the normal dirt and water formula churned liberally with gravel and grass and compost and fertilizer. And we all know what fertilizer is, right?
We had a busy week of ministry as March ended. The Lord opened the doors for some truly encouraging fellowship, allowed us the chance to thank ministry partners in person, gave us time to hug the necks of loved ones rarely seen, and even let us sneak in a few hours of fun, to boot.
I was sitting at the table this morning when my wife began recapping a story she’s been reading to our little ones.
It’s the story of a boy and his sheep (Mountain Born), but in this scene, the boy’s mentor is using another lamb to draw in wolves that have been decimating the larger flock.
Here I am, sitting in a hotel room more than 9,000 miles from my home in Tennessee, and I should be spending the evening reviewing and refreshing the material I plan to teach about 50 pastors tomorrow morning.
I recently received word that a friend and supporter of our ministry had died following a brief respite in hospice for brain cancer.
Slightly older than me, he had already lived years longer than the weeks, maybe months, doctors had given him. And while clean brain scans for much of that time gave him an appreciation for life that few of us will ever have, he used that period to tell people about the peace God had given him no matter what the outcome.
We school year-round—three months on, one month off. The shorter, intermittent breaks suit the rhythm of our family well. By the end of a twelve week summer break, all of us were craving structure and weary of open-ended days. Too, we find the heat of the summer in the south exhausting at its peak, and not enjoyable in the “we’re on vacation!” sense. So: three on, one off. The perfect compromise.