Thursday, June 2, 2011

as summer begins

There is not going to be any "Summer of Fun" around here.
You won't find Memory Making or Vacationing or Soaking Up All the Sunshine We Can on the top of our priority list this year.
My single main objective for our summer break this year?
Building a better family.

Hopefully all those other things will still be obtained along the way, but my one big goal for this summer is bonding and building up our family.

Honestly, I feel like we've really fallen apart this past year.
With the time in limbo we spent last year and then the quick-as-lightening move and being thrust full-speed into the school year and all it's busyness and then easily getting lost in the momentum of the holidays and then hello it was all of a sudden spring time already around here... we've been here for a whole school year now (and it still REALLY does not feel like that long) and it's time to really collect ourselves as a family. To relearn how to love each other best, to develop true unity and to shape this life together in our new home the way we want it to go forward from here.

The next couple of months, it's going to look a little like boot camp around here, I'm afraid. A fun, summer boot camp I hope, but a boot camp nonetheless.
Kids are going to relearn respect, obedience and responsibility when it comes to the parents, each other and our things.
Grown-ups are going to relearn respect, patience and a 'lead by example' mantra when it comes to the kids.

A lot of the tones and the attitudes in this house have gone -or I feel are on their way to going- way downhill and I need to stop that train before it runs away.
Part of it is, I think, never having really regrouped from the crazy year we had getting here and getting "settled". Part of it is just kids getting older. Part of it is my depression and struggles this past winter/spring and part of it is Ryan having to spend more time and more stress at work.
But whatever it is, I want to use this summer break... this time of having our kids home and to ourselves without as much influence of the "outside world", this time of togetherness... to pull everybody back in, remind ourselves that we're all on the same team, that our job as a family is to back each other and uplift each other, to enjoy life together and to be the family God wants us to be.

I want to spend the summer soaking in that and be ready in the fall to go back out "into the world" not only refreshed and recharged, but that our relationships with each other within our family might make a difference in the way we live our lives.

I want my kids to go to school together in the fall and be each others' allies, not be against each other. To be a source of confidence and strength for each other. I want for them the ability to never doubt for a second that their sibling is on their side, no matter what. To be proud to say to their friends "yep, that's my brother/sister!" (okay, this all might be a stretch in reality, but I know we can at least make a little nudge to going that way!)

I want to spend the next 10 weeks bonding these kids to us as their parents, loving them and building them up, binding our relationship so that when Fall comes and they're off to school and in the midst of their friends and other influences during the week, that our ties are strong and their security is steadfast.
I want them to see and know -to feel firsthand- that family fills them up, builds them up, and holds them up better than friends.

And I want to be as ready as we can be and have the strongest base we can have as a family as we step out waiting for whoever or whatever the Lord has in store for us in the future as far as Foster Care or adopting more kids.

I grew up in a family where everyone often spoke to and treated each other in ways they wouldn't be caught dead treating friends or others outside the family. Respect and love and comradery would not be things that stood out to you in our home when I was young.
I want different things for this family. I want us to truly be each others best friends.
Don't worry, I'm not in dreamland; I know it's not all going to be peaches and cream and perfect harmony forevermore. But I just can't help thinking that if we put in the work and lay a good foundation...
It can only get better.

I believe that every day of this summer can be an adventure with these children of mine. I need to thank God for trusting them to me and I'm praying that each day would be one that I would embrace as a time to love and to teach. To listen to them and take the time to look into their eyes. That I would not seek to just please myself and take each moment I can to sneak off to do my own thing... but that I would use those moments to talk to my kids, to really be with them, teaching them, enjoying them. I'm fervently praying that the Lord will bless this summer- that He would help me to respond to my children in the right way; how to grow them and stretch them and have fun with them... and to enjoy each moment. To savor this time and to be thankful in all things. To be raising this family to honor Him.

I don't have a concrete plan yet for what this all looks like other than lots of prayer.
I do know it means more intention, more engaging, more quality time, more consequences, more practice, more of a schedule, more chore charts, and also hopefully more fun.
And it definitely means less TV and less computer time.

And by the way, any experiences, tangible ideas or resources that would help promote any of this agenda would be greatly appreciated!


KimBerly said...

I think it's amazing that you are going to do this. It's important to recognize areas for improvement and work together as a family to help create a stronger unit. Maybe come up with some goals as a family and write them down. Then you can discuss how everyone feels is the best way to accomplish those goals. Good luck to you and your family.

hapi said...

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Mom said...

Well,did you start out "on the right foot"? Take baby steps. And let us know how you are doing...every little improvement counts.You CAN make a difference. XOXOXOX

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