A quick update on Jed: He seems to be doing much better. His lip was noticeably less swollen this morning. When I asked if it was hurting him, he said, no. For the past few days (before this happened) he has really upped his food intake. Please pray that would continue. I would hate for the antibiotics to mess up any steps we've taken forward.
Ok, we had our Family Pow-Wow. It went well. Much better than I had anticipated. I think part of that was that the girls were able to deal with the blow that we were pulling them out of soccer, before we had our meeting. There are a few very hard decisions that we've had to make. This has been hard on all of us. We've even got some criticism from others about our decisions. Let me repeat what I've said before....Parenting is HARD! I don't pretend to know what I am doing. I am sure some of our decisions are right on, and maybe others are not. Either way, we are continually putting everything before the Lord. And we know that He will guide us. If we take a wrong turn, because we weren't listening, well He can help turn us around. So what went on in our pow-wow?
We told the girls that we've made many mistakes. We told them that we wanted our family to operate in love. We wanted to really focus on ALL of us changing our attitudes towards each other, and towards God. With our current activities we didn't see that working...it hasn't so far. So we explained that changes....lots of changes were going to need to happen. We also told them that all changes were so that we could move on to do *more*, but for now we had to be living with a lot *less*. We wanted them to know that what might seem as restrictive, was actually for our eventual growth and freedom. I had come to the meeting with a list of ideas to implement and things that needed to change. I wrote down everyone elses ideas that they had. I think overall the meeting was a success. Now Jeremiah and I need to sit down (this is going to take an on going commitment to our vision) and lay out the steps that we will take to reach our 'goal'. Some things we figured out right away, others will take time to implement, or money to save to make the needed changes. But we really wanted the girls to *see* for themselves that we do indeed have a plan and that we are working on it. I think in the past we just kind of sprung it on them that things were changing, and they had no input. Nor did we really stick to our plan, as we didn't have one! Plus, we took things away, but replace them with good things in its place. We made sure to take all of these past mistakes into account this time around.
So why the changes? Quite simply: Our childrens' hearts. We've already lost one of them, with a couple of more on the line. We totally take responsibility for the state of our house. It is our fault that we've let our children's hearts grow cold. The biggest changes are for US, as in Jeremiah and myself. We have not been loving our children as we should, nor encouraging them. On top of that we've let a lot of outside influences in. Some children can handle those things, IF they have been built up, and strong. This is not the case for ours. And as such, not only do we need to change, but we need to make a bunch of changes for the kids. Below I've kind of listed out what our Pow-wow idea sheet looked like.
A note though on some of the items. Some of them may seem a bit odd. But one thing we really have never worked in or towards is a family vision. We don't have a clear cut one for now, but there a certain things I know we are working on. I think a good model would be that the man and woman marry and they have a plan of sorts. Something they are working on together. Then the children come along and help them in that work. That does not mean that they can't have their own things they want to pursue or enjoy, it just means that there is a family togetherness that works towards a similar goal. For us, we never really had that, and the whole idea of each man (or kid) for themselves had moved in to our home. Maybe that is how a lot of people live, but that has proven to be unsuccessful for our family. Trust me, there are many days where I don't know which camp is correct. And it makes it all the more confusing to see our children failing, mostly because we've been trying to have one foot in each camp. So we are trying to pull the one foot out, and move it into the one camp. Anyways, when you see "dehydrating" on the list it may seem totally odd. But that dehydrating is a part of what I deem 'family preparedness', and it is a goal I would like to see us implement, and do *together*. So on to the list:
(These are not in any order!! Just our thoughts thrown on to paper.)
bean chairs--chairs for their bedroom for us to do one on one Bible study
Bulk cooking--to make a lot of this happen
4-H classes--we will look into, but only if as a family
Running/exercise as family
expand garden--to preserve and sell
Really working on taking care of our animals
Schedule--loose, but make sleep and meals consistent
Bare bones house--taking all, but essentials, and putting it into the attic
Huge cut backs on computer--no games for now
No library books until house in order--girls keep trying to sneak off to read instead of doing their work
Tire or disk swing
Preparedness-dehydrating, planning, drills
Games--family night, board games, outside games
New rituals--ex: bonfire reading w/ hot cider, family read aloud
Home speech therapy
That is the list. Although I am sure we will be adding to it, and prioritizing it. But at least we have something to work on. Must go. We've had a lazy morning. Jeremiah took Moira on a field trip. The rest of us kind of sat around :-) Sometimes these things happen. But off to work now!