Last week, I was gifted the opportunity to sit down with one of my favorite people and discuss one of our favorite topics. I recorded a podcast with my husband, and seriously, it was so much fun.
One of the unexpected blessings of family photo accounts is that you never quite know what you might get when you open your app. Over the years, I’ve been met with myriad shots of interesting insects, countless selfies, and more than a few videos of kids riding, scooting, crawling, jumping, dancing, or otherwise doing something deemed noteworthy by some random family member. It’s fun, usually, to see snippets of daily life I missed right here under my roof through the eyes of my husband or kids.
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We’re shifting gears here, moving into the new rhythm that will define our summer months here on the farm. Priorities are shifting, the things that claim the bulk of our time are changing.
The sun is out. The weather is finally getting warm. The kids have been antsy since March. O.k., truth— you have been antsy since March. The house that felt so warm and inviting as you settled in to the start of your school year last fall is suddenly claustrophobic. The thrilling books are falling flat, the manipulative-heavy math suddenly seems too involved to even haul off the shelf.
Amidst the swirl of a week chock full of end of year events, an almost unnoticed milestone is being celebrated at our house today; Mathaus is wrapping up his junior year of high school.
There won’t be any fanfare. Mathaus isn’t the kid who enjoys celebration, although he has been generous enough to tell me that if I need him to walk across a stage next spring to commemorate the end of the 12 years I’ve spent homeschooling him, he’ll do it. Because he loves me. (Seriously, this kid is amazing.)
Some day, I will eat a hot meal.
Some day, no one will bang on the bathroom door.
Milestones routinely sneak up on me. I’m pretty short-sighted by design; my heart is too easily bogged down by the realization that life is far shorter and far faster than I’d like, so I keep my eyes just a few paces ahead of my feet at any given moment. The down side to this self-imposed near-sightedness is that sometimes I wake up and discover that my baby is turning two.
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.