We’ve made it through week one of 2016! Mine was wonderful–really. Nothing spectacular, just good ol’ holy ordinary stuff. I’m getting better at paying a attention to this, a year after starting a blog devoted to the subject. I’ve never been much of a journal-er but I’ve always been a writer and communicator so it’s been really, really fun and fulfilling (and a ton of work!) to commit to a blog. I learned so much and met amazing people (Did you know that there is an honest-to-goodness community of bloggers out there? I only ever saw the back-bitey, snarky side of social media but I have made actual friends this way.)
I’ve also lost sight of some original goals. My first plan for this blog was to share more practical, down-to-earth ideas for growing spiritually in the family setting. I kicked off with the “Prayer Project,” which I envisioned would be a once a week idea for praying with kids. That lasted a good few weeks. First, I found I really wanted some space just to write about the spiritual life. I think that became more important because I wasn’t doing a lot of speaking, preaching and teaching about the spiritual life. I went from a busy schedule to settling into a new community and it took a while to get my groove back. I also discovered that my format of trying a new prayer practice with my daughter each week and then writing about it was just too much pressure. First, I had to find something new we wanted to try, then I had to do it, then I had to document the whole experience. It wasn’t exactly helping me connect with God.
Now that I’m a big expert on blogging, and because I’m back in some physical places where I’m working with children and families, I want to pick that practical spirituality part back up again. I’d like to commit to blogging twice a week, once with more “spiritual life narrative” kind of stuff and once with more “practical ideas” kind of stuff. It’s a tentative goal, though. I’m going to take my own advice and try it through February. After that, we may be back to inconsistent weekly postings. Which is, you know, exactly what you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to “GET RICH BLOGGING!” but that was never a goal.
On to the printables..
One of the best things I did last week was sit down with my family and do some goal setting. You should know that I have said at least once a week for the past year, “Let’s set some family resolutions.” “Let’s make a family mission statement.” “Let’s create a family vision board.” When I suggested that we should each create a personal mission statement last fall, my daughter said, “Your mission is to torture us.” To which I replied, “Fine, my mission will be to torture us all into better living.” And that’s pretty much the attitude we went into our Sunday night family meeting with. Here’s where I get to say, “I told you so, family!” It was actually fun. And we all actually did some goal setting, reflecting and Deep Conversation on life.
I owe it all to this handy dandy printable from Heather at Moritz Fine Blog Design. This sheet is fun and inviting to fill out plus it has some greatprompts. We started by just filling out our individual sheets, then on a total whim we passed out sheets to the right. Now we had the chance to add something to someone else’s sheet–either a memory or a goal. Then we did it one more time so that we’d gone around to everyone. (There’s only 3 of us. If you try this in a bigger family, let me know how it goes.) Now we each have a sheet with our own goals, memories and dreams plus some suggestions from others. Please do keep your expectations realistic. My sheet came back with a goal from my daughter that I “be nicer,” and a goal from my husband that I forgive his “stupidity” more quickly. But with an open mind, that’s actually some good feedback.
I also like this printable from Skip to my Lou. If I was a scrapbooker, I would absolutely have kids do this every year and keep them. It would also be great in a classroom or a Sunday School. I am a big believer in taking time to reflect on things and I think we don’t do enough of that as a society, much less with our children. So this is a fun and inviting way to get kids thinking about successes, failures and the future.
Finally, there’s this one from Spark Parenting. It’s tucked in a newsletter about family goal setting so go to the back for the printable. (The bits of advice are great, too!) This is pretty different from the others–it’s not as fun looking, for one thing. It’s also a lot more goal oriented, as opposed to memory and hopes oriented. Now that I’m on board with torturing us into better living, I’m thinking of using this one to work through one specific family goal that we set. And also using it personally to work through one of my more intensive goals for 2016.
Next up on our family’s plan for January is a vision board. I’ll see how that goes and let you know.