Family Experiment - Service & Surprise

Today’s family experiment involves Service and Surprise.  I borrowed this idea from my delightful, creative neices and nephew.  They make trips to Target more enjoyable by asking the clerk who is scanning their merchandise what their favorite candy is.  Once they finish checking out, they circle back in line with that item, purchase and hand it over to the clerk with the simple words of “thanks for what you do and someone was thinking about you today.”  

They’ve also been known to...

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Balancing Time

In the first chapter of Intentional Parenting, parents are invited to consider doing a time/activity assessment to put a magnifying glass, to the ways you spend time as a family, and to dissect the amount of time you spend doing the activities you do as a family.  The challenge was to see how this aligned (or didn’t align) with your mission or core values.  This basic exercise can have some surprising results.  I love hearing from families who’ve attempted this, and the strategic, creative ways they choose to adjust the rhythm of their family.  One family I know chose to turn an annual spring break trip into a staycation and opportunities for service.  They alternated days and would explore a different part of the city on one day and serve in some capacity on the following day.  Their children were actively involved in developing the structure of that time.  

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What Is Your Teenager Doing This Summer?

“I have a new philosophy.  There’s just no point.  There’s no purpose to anything.  So I might as well make things count when I’m young.  Enjoy myself while I can.  That kind of thing.”

The young woman who said these words to me went on to say, “I mean, Christians would say the purpose of life is to ‘Advance the Gospel.’ (She has obviously heard those words several times before).  And I’m a Christian still…sort of.  But that kind of purpose sounds boring to me.”

This 16 year-old was counting down the days till school ended.  She was ready for the summer.  And I was more than concerned about her summer.  More than concerned about her, actually, in general.  As Melissa has told our staff for years, the kids who we need to worry about the most are the kids who don’t believe that their lives matter.  It’s not the ones who are angry so much as the ones who are just nothing.  They don’t feel anything and don’t want to feel anything.  The ones who don’t know purpose.READ MORE

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