Posts

Money In The Bank

(This post was written by Gina McClain, Director of Children’s Ministries)

I don’t like Insufficient Funds Fees.  I doubt anyone else does either.

I remember my first ‘NSF’ notification from my bank when I was in college.  I’d overdrawn my account by $12.57.  And yet I was ‘in the hole’ by $37.75!  That ‘NSF’ charge cost me more than the amount I had overdrawn.  An expensive mistake for this college freshman.

I learned really fast that it was critical to have more money in deposits than withdrawals, and not the inverse.  If not, then I drive myself further and further in the negative.  Eventually I’m so overdrawn the bank will force my account closed.

Communications with my family is much like banking.  I’ve got to make more deposits than withdrawals.  By consistently investing time, energy, and attention into my husband and kids, I create a healthy ‘account’.  When an account is healthy, it can withstand some withdrawals.  But if I make more withdrawals than deposits, eventually I run myself into the negative.  A dangerous place to be for any relationship… especially with your family.

I’m reminded today to be more intentional and invest in the relationships under my roof.  This kind of investment pays off in dividends.

Family Life: Daily Family Reunions

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

While I am not a huge fan of the traditional family reunion, I am sold on the value of daily reunions. When our family of four gets back together at the end of the (school, work, meetings, errands, etc.) day, it is a big deal. I don’t want to miss this opportunity for all of us to share in each other’s day. What’s happened while we have been apart?

  • What was fun?
  • What did you learn?
  • What went well?
  • Did anything not go well?
  • Did you help anybody?
  • Do you need help with anything?

While this is not an exhaustive list of potential conversation topics, it should serve to generate some ideas. Parents, I encourage you to make daily reunions part of your family culture. For us, this time is frequently informal. Our reunions could occur while other activities are going on, or it could happen around the dinner table (my personal favorite).  The key point is that it is special when we get back together, even if we have only been apart for a few hours.

What daily reunion strategies are you using?

Family Life: It’s Back To School Part 1

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

Check out Part 1 in this series here

The second and third areas to consider, as they are related to school, are maintaining life balance and establishing family priorities. School is important, it is not all important. For our family, I want faith and family to consistently come before school. I believe by establishing these priorities you can maintain a God honoring, healthy life balance for your family. Some suggestions include:

  • Model for our children that our faith in Christ is active. That our relationship with Him is real. Help your child form the habit of spending a few minutes with God before they head to school. Whether they read the Bible, a devotional book, pray or journal, is their choice. What a benefit to our kids, before they hit the challenges of school, to honor God by spending time with him. In order for this habit to take root children need to get up 10-15 minutes earlier than is needed to get out the door for school. You can greatly reduce some of the “we’re going to be late for school” frustration by leaving some margin for spilled cereal. Simply get up 10-15 minutes earlier.
  • Attend church as a family. Don’t allow school to keep your family from attending church.
  • Enjoy the great conversations as you travel home from church about how God impacted you and your children. Parents, if your children are attending their age appropriate experience, talk about it when it is fresh. If you attend Faith Promise, take advantage of our Parent Connection to be involved in your child’s experience. If your kids are a little older what a joy to worship together.
  • Help your teenagers prioritize their commitments to be able to participate in weekly student worship experiences. This will look different for each family. Again, establish your priorities, communicate, and develop a plan to meet your goals.
  • Don’t lose the fun. When school hits, our children have less free time. As parents, we must intentionally fight to make sure that our family’s home environment has enough fun. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, difficult or expensive. Look for simple ways to have family fun:
    • Make ice cream sundaes as a family
    • Play one hand of Uno before the kids head to bed
    • Watch a movie together on Friday night
    • Play charades for a few minutes as a family
    • If you have little ones, a quick game of hide & seek always brings out the smiles

While the beginning of the school year will bring home challenges, as parents lets be proactive to establish the priorities, life balance & the home environment we desire.