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.