I’m sort of what you’d call one of those super-intentional, idea-slinging, visionaries, which means I rather stink at follow-through. I need the accountability of others, and the energy of partners-in-crime to finish well, or else my great ideas will fall apart just before the proverbial race is over.
As a mom, this combination of dreamer-visionary-planner who can’t get the ball to the end-zone can be a bit frustrating for my kids. I’ll come up with a way to address a particular family conflict, but forget to give them the rewards…and consequences. I’ll suggest a great weekend activity early on a Saturday morning, only to get distracted by a simple chore that turned into an all day project and robbed our family of fun together.
I know I’m not alone in this predicament. We have great ideas as moms, but fall apart in the follow through.
That’s one reason I struggled for years over whether to have New Year’s resolutions. I knew I was destined to fail because I wasn’t wired to finish strong — until I read a wonderful book by Anne Ortlund, “Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman.” She inspired to me to get intentional about my time management, goal setting, and parenting.
Instead of pursuing perfection, I realized I could strive for steady growth.
As I began to implement Anne’s ideas, I ended up creating my own system for living intentionally, modifying her binder and worksheet format so that I could live with more purpose and consistency. What a delight it has been to sit down at the end of every year and pray through my little life plan, as I…
look at what God has been teaching me
ask him what He might want me to learn in the coming year
establish priorities for how I want to spend my God-given time and resources
set some realistic and simple goals for how I want to care for my family and love others well
cast dreams before His throne and wait to see what He does with them
Living with a written-down plan has changed how I live.
It’s increased my faith. It’s matured my understanding of God’s sovereignty! And it’s motivated me to teach my own children how to live life on purpose, too. As I’ve grown through this yearly process, I discovered that it could provide a great framework for teaching my daughters how to make the most of the time and resources God has given them too. So this year, I created a tween and teen version, more suited to their age and stage.
Oh, I know filling out the Equipped Just 4 Teens worksheet may be a stretch for some girls, like it was for one of my daughters, but the process is so worth it — not because of the result but because of the training experience. In this world of instant gratification, learning how to make a plan and wait to see it come together, or be rerouted, is an exercise in self-discipline and character development.
So how about inviting your daughters to live their life on purpose, now?
You can set the stage with a hot cup of tea and something sweet to eat, and then present them with the worksheets and a promise to help them through it. There is incredible value in teaching our girls how to capture in words what we think God is teaching us, what we believe He wants us to learn, and what we sense He wants us to do in the year ahead. It’s not a contract we’re drawing up, but a draft of ideas that He has authority to re-write. And in a year from now, we’ll have a record of what God has done, changed, accomplished, and surprised us with. That’s the real delight of this whole experience.
God is always work, equipping us for His purposes, even if our follow through needs improvement!
I pray you’ll enjoy the process with your girl, and even go on your own adventure, too.