We have been married for 44 years come this December, and we met in ministry…
We have several teachers in our family and lesson plans are a BIG part of classroom success. In the same way, when you set a clear plan for your family, everyone in your family can flourish.
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart, And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. (Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP)
God has been faithful to us in our parenting journey, and we KNOW He will be faithful to guide and help you too! If you asked us,” What five simple “lessons” produced the most success in helping your children thrive (at all ages and stages of their lives) and kept mom and dad sane and happy, what would you tell us?”
Here are our top 5 answers:
Planning Party! Host a Learners and Leaders Who Love God Day: Each year we had a fun family activity, did back to school shopping, and over a meal we negotiated privileges and responsibilities. We also gave each child a “Learner and Leader” gift that applauded their uniqueness. The gift was 3 things:
- Personal- each child got their own unique gift to cheer him (her) on
- Practical- We bought an item they NEEDED (back pack, sports bag, lunch box, etc.)
- Prophetic- The gift spoke to the potential or promise of that child’s strengths, giftedness and talents
(To learn more about our back to school traditions and vital parenting choices we are glad that we made, listen to our interview on our book 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make on Focus on the Family Day 1, Day 2. (Day two of this podcast sent more people to our new Love-Wise website than we have ever had visit—parents are finding it very helpful!)
We link our Learner Leader day to a fun family time (hike and park picnic, day at lake or beach, etc. so we could create one on one time with each child to talk through their privileges and responsibilities and their hopes, feelings, goals and dreams for the coming year).
Love Lessons: It might be the time to have a significant talk with your children, so make a date to talk about the “Birds and Bees”. In 10 Questions Kids Ask About S * x…, we share “talking points” to help you share comfortably and intelligently the vital information at age appropriate increments to enrich discussion on love, relationships, body changes, and s * x with your children and teens at each age and stage from preschool to premarital. Be a hero to your kids and set time aside for the next “talk” that will help your kids make wise choices. It is often well received if coupled with your son or daughter’s favorite activity, a hike, a bike ride, a one on one camping trip, etc. We also have a Teen Relationship Contract available that you can download to discuss over a private dinner. We know you are busy, so you might want to catch the highlights and listen to Pam’s interview on these vital topics on the Moms In Prayer podcast with Lee Neinhuis, author of Brave Moms, Brave Kids—Mom, make the time count while you are making dinner, folding clothes and organizing your life for the back to school kick off!
Launch Lunch: Got a college student? To give your college student a jump-start on a great year, (and a great life) make time to have 5 dinner and dialogues to discuss key topics they will face and need to take ownership of as they launch on their own. All you need to do is download the The Freshman Foundation, find out your student’s favorite quiet restaurant, ask the questions then LISTEN. Use this time to share clear expectations and talk thru items before they become issues.
Optimize Organization: I love this time of year because I thoroughly enjoy getting a new planner! I also love the feeling of calm that comes over me as we pencil in the most important events and commitments for the coming year into a new family calendar.
Your Family Calendar– An organized family is a happier family! Some families use a phone app like HubFamily or Cozi (We use Google calendar). Other families like the quaint charm of painting an entire door with chalkboard paint or hang a white board in a “command central” office. When our kids were all home, we usually used a large month at a view calendar from an office supply. Each person had their own “color of the year” and all their activities were recorded in that color (usually penciled in color—and erasable!) We also used a Year in a View board and marked all school holidays, sports schedules, church activities, work schedules and important family days. By recording these vital days, you can project stressful seasons and make decisions to adjust, get help, or limit other additional activities so you all can survive!
Your Personal Planner: I will admit it, I LOVE PLANNERS! I have tried at least 20 different ones in my journey as a mom, and the LIVING WELL planner is one of my favs! It was designed by bestselling author and entrepreneur, Ruth Soukup. I appreciate the LIVING WELL planner for its bright colors, inspiring quotes, money tracking sheets, and the undated pages so I can begin at any time. Mom, there are pages to help you crush your goals for the coming year too! Check it out for yourself.
Ongoing Input:We would love to have you as a part of the Living Love-Wise community. Please hop over to the Love-Wise membership page and see which of the membership community options best blesses and builds YOUR marriage and family. We are strengthened for our ministry journey ahead because of your love, support, and prayers. Thank you!
Join us for a live event in Aug:
Aug 11 Bill and Pam speak on Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are Like Spaghetti at Chasing What Matters Singles conference in Murietta, CA.
Aug 19 Bill and Pam speak in worship services at Bridge Church, Reno, NV.
Together we are stronger!
Praying this for you and those you love:
Now may the God of peace, . . . that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-12)
Blessed Back to School!
Pam and Bill Farrel