Despite our good intentions, change and unforeseen circumstances will always cause diversions and perhaps sharp turns off of the road we are driving on. Change, if fought and not embraced, can lead to unhappiness and a lost future spent looking back on what might have been or what should have been. However, if you remain flexible with the details and hold fast to your overarching picture, you can still arrive at the beautiful place you want to. Applied to the family, there are three tools that can be used to keep your eyes focused on the big picture when you are sinking in the abyss of sports practices, homework, and exhaustion.
1) Create a family shema: A shema, by dictionary definition, is a Jewish statement of faith, an affirmation of their belief of ardent love for God. In this sense, a "family shema" is one phrase that establishes a frame of reference for everything else - a vision of life that establishes the frame of reference for everything else in your life. For example, ours is "So that God may be glorified."
2) Create a family mission statement. Your mission statement sets the essence of your home. Examples include: honesty, respect for each other, faithfulness and loyalty, love one another, etc.
3) Write down short-term goals and long-term goals for your family. The short-term goals are things you would like to instill, teach, or accomplish as a family within the next year. The long-term goals are things you would like to accomplish within 5 years.
Although these three "to do's" aren't magical and they have to actually be implemented to have any impact, the first step on the road to intentionality for the family is to sit down a begin planning the journey.
When you start to feel like the family is missing out on what is important or the daily grind has become the only source of focus, look back on these three things and make the changes necessary to get back on the path you want to be walking on.
A few ideas to get the brainstorming started...