A key to a healthy, productive summer break is to set goals for your family and plan fun activities.
One way to achieve both of these goals is to work on a family vision board. Creating a vision together teaches your family the importance of setting and working together toward a common goal.
Vision boards are a fun way to keep the family focused and provide a crafting project. They are also a very biblical way to keep hopes and dreams before your family's eyes. I don't know about you, but I am a VERY visual person. Keeping something before my eyes constantly keeps my focus on where I want to go rather than allowing my circumstances to determine where I end up.
Habakkuk 2:2 (NIV) Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
There is something about writing a dream down. The very process seems to make everything clearer and more concrete. Looking ahead keeps us from stumbling and keeps our eyes on the prize. Reaching for a goal keeps us on track for the things God has set before us.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
We can look at our past and celebrate victories and learn from our mistakes. However, continuously looking back will cause us to be blind and unable to see where we are going. After all, can we drive looking in the rear view mirror? Of course not!
Sometimes only working on the present can be dangerous as well. Most of the time the present has obstacles and problems that we are working through. It is important to give time to these things, but if we only look down at our feet we will never see where we are going and risk walking around in circles. Looking down also keeps us from looking up to God who is our true source of help in accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
As parents, when we establish a vision, we establish parameters for our family members; a direction for them to follow. This allows for a happy and constructive environment as each member of the family knows the goals that are set before them and allows for self-correction if they should get off course.
Teach that seeking His will for their life is the most important thing they can do. Remind them that God's Word is the best place to find out God's instructions for life.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this word, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
John 10:10b (NIV)...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Discuss three things: something for which you are thankful (something God has done in the past), a Bible verse to consider, and a family goal. It might be nice to have a family goal to complete by the end of summer, but it can be a longer-term goal as well. Here's an example:
Have the clippings correlate to the three categories mentioned in step two. Look in magazines, newspapers, or print from online. Have the children help you cut and arrange these on a poster board. You may prefer to make vision boards a regular part of your family. If this is the case, you may want to invest in a cork-board so that you can update your board over time. For those of you who are Pinterest lovers, you can search Dream or Vision Boards and get a plethora of ideas.
Put the board somewhere with a lot of foot traffic so that the family can keep the vision before their eyes. Displaying the board in prominent location creates daily reminders of God's word and goals to which we are working.
Things move with God's timing as we focus on the future.
Habakkuk 2:3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
The exciting thing is that as the family focuses on the vision, ideas will come on how to make it happen. For instance, in the example above, maybe the family will decide to have a garage sale or car wash in order to help fund the camper. Keeping the vision visible will also give self-control when other opportunities arise and the vision needs to be reinforced.
In addition to creating a family vision board, you may want to encourage the children to make individual boards to keep in their rooms. Kelly Pietrangelli, of projectme.com, has wonderful suggestions for helping children think and dream big, as well as helpful questions to encourage children to identify what they have in their hearts for the purpose of creating a vision board.
A fun follow-up project can be purchasing each member a vision journal. Each day, a gratitude list can be recorded as well as any action taken to move toward a goal or dream. The action could be as simple as a prayer or as complex as the garage sale mentioned above.
Whatever your family's dreams and visions are, God desires for you to grow closer as a unit and focus together on how you can serve him together now and in the future. This unity produced by this type of project is far more valuable than a pop-up trailer, or vacation. It pleases God and brings peace to your home, as well as teaching each member the importance of working together toward a common goal.
Rev. Dr. Steven Koster