The calendar says that July is mostly gone. That means that time is snowballing here, hurtling toward the end of summer with the same reckless abandon my two year-old has when it comes to piloting a wooden train around a track. The harvest is stacking up in baskets and even wheelbarrows in the barn, and my husband is sending me texts making sure he’s got the right sort of dill for making pickles. We’re in use it or lose it mode, and it shows.
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?
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.
This is what a real husband looks like.
He doesn’t have a wardrobe of the latest in men’s fashion. His kids needed new winter boots, so in his mind, it was never a question of whether or not he needed that new shirt.
As much as I’d like to escape some of my first-world problems while overseas, sadly I cannot.
Life just doesn’t stop here because I’m there.
There have been trips almost cut short because of fevers so high in one of the children they were having seizures. Other trips have been stopped before I even left the country due to emergency surgery.
Marriage is work. I knew this going in, but somehow, at 21, the work seemed, I don’t know… easier? Like maybe I’d do it for a few years, then figure it all out and spend the rest of my life sailing in calm waters? I really don’t know what I expected. It wasn’t this.