Visioneering Experiment

I’m beginning to work through the book, Visioneering, by Andy Stanley. I haven’t read too many books by him, but I’ve heard him speak many times at Catalyst, and have really enjoyed his practical, down-to-earth personality and style of teaching. I’m coming into this book with moderate hopes that this will provide me some tools to ordering the next chapters of my family’s life.

I’ve only made it 12 pages, but already Andy has said something that stuck out to me.

Before having children, Andy had bought a lot of musical equiptment. There would be times when he would stay up all night in his studio, making music. Boy #1 came along and then 20 months later, Boy #2 arrived. Before the arrival of Boy #2, Andy started thinking about his vision for family life and decided to sell everything in his studio. Why? Because Andy knew that music would get in the way of his vision for family life. Music could, and maybe likely WOULD, prevent him from being the kind of dad he wanted to be.

I realized that Jake and I need to have a family dream time soon. I think our last one was in Kenya, when we decided to come back to the U.S. We made some hard and fast decisions to support the vision we have for us individually and as a family.

Much has happened since then– 2 years of life! Our family has grown from 3 to 5. We’ve moved several times. I’ve started and almost completed a masters degree. Jake has been accepted to a graduate program. And I feel like God is asking us to re-visit, and maybe state for the first time, our visions. And after that, decide what needs to start and what needs to go in order to make that vision happen.

I think this dream time will be encouraging (as they always are), but sad too. If we really cut things out, there will be grief. But there will also be much joy, knowing that we are intentionally walking towards a vision God has set in our hearts.

I don’t want to get to the end of life, feeling a bunch of regrets and always wondering what might have been. Of course there will be some of that. I remember having an idea of what life would be like when I’m 30, and I’ve been feeling sadness lately over how real life is not going to match my vision. Perhaps I had some unrealistic expectations. Or some competing ideas. Opportunities have been offered and choices were made. I’ve accepted the decisions we’ve made. But I want to move forward intentionally.

I think after I graduate I will also bring back my yearly goals, also something I stopped when I got back from Kenya. They really did help me with some aspects of personal development.

As Jake and I process all of this, perhaps you could join us in our Visioneering Experiment.

What is the vision God has given you for life? What decisions have you made that have moved you towards that? Where have you made decisions in spite of that vision?  Over the next few weeks, I will be posting, helping to facilitate some ideas for how to do this. If you want to join in on this experiment, leave a comment and we can all share together over these next couple months, sharing our struggles, victories, insights, and prayers.

4 thoughts on “Visioneering Experiment

  1. I think this is a great idea, Tiffany! Nick and I have had these discussions many times. I don’t know what it’s like for men, but one thing I struggle with is the pull between being an educated woman and also a woman who has very strong maternal instincts. I constantly feel torn between needing intellectual stimulation and also feeling responsible for keeping everything running perfectly IN THE HOME. I don’t want anyone else taking care of my kids, but I also really feel a strong urge to DO SOMETHING ELSE at times. My interests are for sure in competition with each other. Nick feels like he has a great balance, because he loves his job, and he loves that the job he has allows him a lot of time with us. So most of our big family choices really center around me at this point–how many kids can I handle all day, on my own without getting too overwhelmed? How can I challenge myself intellectually while also taking care of everything else? How can I want more kids but also want more time to myself? (ha!) I certainly never, ever imagined myself as a stay-at-home mom, and I can honestly say that when I chose a career path, I never even considered how it would mesh with kids and family life. And I’m not sure why, because I’m usually pretty thorough in my decision making! Turns out, my field is not so great for family life. It took me the better part of the last three years to accept the fact that my masters degree may have been a mistake in some regards. So anyway, that’s just some rambling on my part! But I’m very interested in this discussion!

  2. Tiff! This is a wonderful post – it reminds me why I love you and Jake together (with the kids of course). You have such a strong mind and even when you admit to wavering, I still feel the passion in your words! Bryce and I are kind of in a “goal-less” area right now. We’ve graduated, got married, started jobs, but yet we still don’t know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Or maybe it’s that we have things that we want to do, but they seem so unattainable. Me – medical school, Bryce – a job that doesn’t bore him to death. We just can’t decide!

    Unfortunately I think this is where I have to say we’ve not been good about including God into our plans. I hope that we can follow if your footsteps of a Godly family – and we’ll be praying about your “visioneering experiment” . Miss and love you guys!

  3. Thanks for the comments, friends! It makes me excited that this kind of thing resonates with each one of you. I’m excited about the journey for all of us.

    Abby, I share SO many of those questions and thoughts. I think each of us responds in different ways, but can I say that I think you are a great person? You give in so many ways. You are following a vision that you have for family! 🙂

    Adriene, you are so encouraging to me! Thanks for the kind words. You and Brycey will figure it out through prayer and experimentation. You two are so talented and have already been used in great ways by Him. Excited to watch ya’lls vocations unfold with you!

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