Does having your spouse’s undivided attention appeal to you? Planning weekends give you time to dream, to talk together about what you wish, or want,at a time when the other person is really listening.
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Proclaiming God's Faithfulness
Proclaiming God's Faithfulness
Follow our family as we attempt to be more proactive in the decisions and choices we make.
Does having your spouse’s undivided attention appeal to you? Planning weekends give you time to dream, to talk together about what you wish or want, at a time when the other person is really listening.
Do you need a plan to keep your family moving in the direction the Lord is leading you? Perhaps you don’t know where the Lord is leading you. Phyllis takes you step-by-step through the process of planning a time together for your family to help determine the path the Lord is choosing for each area of your life. Her family has followed this format for over 12 years and has found that it provides the compass they’ve needed to plan and stay on course.
This time-tested method of planning will give your family new direction for the future. Start today! Choose the dates for your planning weekend, read her book which has the entire “how to” included, and go for it!
This revised version still contains all of our original material, but with the help and encouragement from our faithful readers and people who have put these methods into practice in their own families we have added even more suggestions and ideas.
We have also added more thought provoking questions to help you to relate well to each other and your children.
The goal is still the same: to discover the Lord's plan for your family.
Finally, there is real help to discover the Lord’s plan for your family.
Home Educating Family Review Feb 2012
Short and sweet, Purposeful Planning is a planning primer that might help you get a jump start for planning an annual weekend getaway for a family meeting that will keep you all moving in the direction the Lord is leading you.
Purposeful Planning uses three guidelines–keeps it simple, be creative, and be flexible–and covers an introduction to at least ten different areas to discuss each year including:
Purposeful Planning includes questions that will get you thinking about your own goals for your family. The book includes examples from the author’s own list of projects, achievements and goals, and she even describes what she did to keep the children entertained, and what to bring on the trip. This book is written from the perspective of planning an annual family event, children and all. The guide is complete with snacks, financial information, curriculum to discuss. Purposeful Planning makes sure the children are entertained with books, movies and games — while husband and wife talk for 16-20 hours about family goals.
What I really like most about this simple story is the willingness of the author to step outside of her own comfort zone and follow the leading of her husband in order to respond to him when he wanted to create a plan for the family.
If you are a wife who likes to plan with a husband who prefers to manage, well then for you this book might feel like trying to lead a horse to water, or like pushing a rope. But if your husband is a planner like Phyllis’ husband, then you might enjoy reading the story of their journey to establishing this annual planning weekend, its benefits, and how a wife can support her husband’s wishes to plan for the family.
The website also offers an instant download of the Purposeful Planning Handbook for $5.95, with printable forms for your own planning weekend, which follow the topics of the book, and an MP3 download for $9.95, plus they generously offer a free e-book for military families.
This eighty-eight page book, which can be read in less than an hour, could be a helpful guideline for young couples with children, who want an example on how to develop a long term family plan.
Purposeful Planning: A Review
by Hal Young | December 31st, 2011
I think most of us get reflective this time of year. A lot of us make resolutions with good intentions. A lot fewer do it with a real sense of purpose, aiming not only to resolve but to actually set things in place to make it happen.
About sixteen years ago, Phyllis Sather’s husband came to her and suggested the two of them take a few days off “and set some goals” for their family. Phyllis admits she wasn’t enthusiastic. With three young children, a major home rennovation planned, and a four year old just diagnosed with leukemia, the thought of that sounded appalling to me. Setting goals meant you had to meet them, didn’t it? I was in “survival” mode, barely making it through each day. The thought of all that failure was just too much for me at that time of my life.
Against her fears, she agreed to the idea. Much to her surprise, the exercise was so beneficial and enjoyable, she suggested they do it again the next year and bring the kids along. Since then the “Annual Planning Weekend” has become an anticipated family event, coming a mid-winter vacation with time for personal reflection, dreaming, and relationship building. How do you make this happen? You can start by reading her newly revised e-book Purposeful Planning.
The timing couldn’t be better for us. We set aside a few hours every New Year to discuss what the Lord’s done for us the past twelve months, and where we should be heading for the next twelve (we wrote about it here). We don’t leave home to do it, so I was curious if the Sathers’ experience would adapt to our own family’s practice.
In short, it does, and Purposeful Planning offers a lot more.
Phyllis acknowledges our tendency to be overwhelmed by things which are urgent rather than preparing and completing the things which are most important. To get a better handle on their family life, she and her husband Dan developed a list of areas where they wanted to focus attention and resources. Phyllis shares several lists of questions they consider about their relationship as a couple, the personal and spiritual growth of both parents and children; the state of their homeschooling, and their financial health.
A couple of interesting insights is their discussion about their house. Rather than asking how to make their home more comfortable for themselves or build up resale value, they consider it as a place for ministry, and ask what changes will make it more useful for hospitality and other outreach. That recognizes our house shouldn’t be a temple to our prosperity but a gift of God’s provision, and a tool for use in His kingdom.
There doesn’t seem to be significant mention of Dan’s career planning outside the home. I expect he deals with that elsewhere, and reserves this time for family matters. I’ve come to realize myself, though, that outside employment for the most part is the thing we do to provide for the truly important ministry God gives us in our family and other relationships.
Purposeful Planning is a great collection of ideas which will help you really think about where you’re heading as a family, rather than bouncing from one crisis to another and hoping for the best. You’ll also find useful ideas about family vacations, ways to improve your leisure time, and encouragement to have celebrations which really make a difference in your family life.
Plus if you order it now, you have time to start planning while the New Year is fresh!
Phyllis Sather’s Purposeful Planning is available direct from the author (the best way!), right here.
Our First-ever Planning Weekend
It all began with an innocent conversation. I told the Big Dog about Phyllis Sather and her Purposeful Planning resources. He was intrigued. You know how it is with husbands, sometimes you tell them something and they say, "Oh that's nice honey." Well, this wasn't one of those times. He was really interested in the idea of taking some time to plan out the year and talk about important matters.
That was a few months ago. Then, in January, we got a postcard from a hotel in Lancaster County that was running a special. We could stay for nearly half their regular price. We have stayed at this hotel many times in the past. There are two indoor pools and a jacuzzi, which we all enjoy. So we started to talk about when we could take advantage of this great deal.
And then the light-bulb went off! We could take advantage of a little winter getaway AND do some planning. I pitched my idea to the Big Dog and he loved it. We determined the best weekend to get away and made arrangements for the animals. Then I got to work. I read Phyllis Sather's Purposeful Planning e-book. This was easy to read. As a matter of fact, I got through the entire text the first time when the boys were working on their lessons at the kitchen table. I would read some, do some instructing, then read some more.
After reading the e-book I had an idea of how to work through our weekend. So I went back through the e-book and made a list of all the subjects that she suggested and added a few of my own. Under each subject, I listed all the different sub-headings that would fall under these subjects. For instance under the heading of Celebrations I listed Birthdays, Lent, Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Anniversary, Advent, and Christmas.
So, armed with my notebook of subjects to discuss, the four of us headed out to a weekend away! We began our planning process at the restaurant we stopped at on our way to the hotel. We began by going through everything we did as a family in 2011. When we finished our list it was 4 pages long! We went back through that list and put a star beside all the things we wanted to repeat. This was a great exercise because we saw, first, everything we accomplished, and second, we began a list of plans for the new year.
Our weekend continued after that covering many subjects from the Big Dog & my relationship, the boys and their goals, homeschooling, church involvement, and home repairs. We talked about lots of other subjects too. If you'd like to see a complete list of the subjects we discussed, just leave a comment.
Over this weekend, we discussed things that we never discuss. Quite often life just happens. We haven't planned for it or given any thought to what's happening, and yet it happens. But we came home from our planning retreat armed with a plan. Now, we all know that life is going to happen and it won't be on our plan, but those things we are able to plan have been put on paper.
And even though it's only been a few weeks since our planning weekend, I see how we are being more intentional. The Big Dog has already tackled a few home repairs. We found a place the four of us could swim over the winter months (T-Bone's request). I've begun to work toward a couple goals for me. And we have an excellent plan to study the Civil War over the summer using books, games, and videos. (this was totally from an idea in Phyllis' book.) There's much more too, but I can't list it all here. Suffice it to say that this will be an annual tradition for the four of us.
And things came up that I never would have guessed. For instance, our T-Bone asked me not to work on weekends. I had no idea that he was even concerned with my work schedule. The boys talked about their relationships to us and what they see happening with us. We had time to listen and talk about things that don't always get time in our harried lives.
Please consider a planning weekend for your family. It is never too late to plan 2012. Just begin now! Check out Phyllis' resources. There's an audio if you don't want to read the e-book, and she even has a workbook-type e-book that will give you all the headings they use for planning their year. All the Purposeful Planning Resources are really useful and well-priced. You can do your planning weekend at home if you can't afford a weekend away. I am so pleased with the change of focus that came from planning our year together. You will find us in early January, or possibly even December, away for the weekend with a note on the door that says, "Gone Planning!" Won't you join us?
Lori Lynn Lydell
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