Thinking through our values
As you read in my last post, I am currently thinking through the various values that I want to characterize my days at home with the kiddos. I thought it would be interesting to take several values off my list of 11 in each of the upcoming blog posts and think through what living out each specific value could look like practically.
First value: Learning Truth and living in it.
As I think about it, I realize that I could write about one year’s worth of blog posts just on this … or actually, a whole lifetime’s worth of blog posts. Because of that, this is going to be uber-simplified and I know that, but I do realize you have other things to do today other than reading a “blog post” that is actually the length of a novel. So … the first value has everything to do with Truth. Note the capital T in truth … that is not a typo. Although we live in a world of relativism and the thinking that “nothing is absolute,” our family believes differently. We believe that there is absolute truth and that it can be known. We believe this truth is found in the Bible and that we can know the truth about who we are and who God is (and how we are to relate to Him) according to what it says. We don’t consider these our “religious” beliefs that are only talked about on Sundays, but that they are the foundational beliefs of who we are and how we live … everyday. Because of this, it only makes sense that we would think through how we want to pass along these truths to our kids – we realize that, ultimately, our kids have to make their own decisions regarding what they do and don’t believe, but we do want to create an atmosphere in our home where we talk through what the Bible says and why we believe what it says should guide how we live our lives (while keeping an atmosphere where our kids can also ask and talk about other beliefs).
Practical ways for me to encourage this value:
- Read a story out of the kids’ Bible to them each day during breakfast. (If you are looking for a solid, Jesus-centered Bible for your kids, I highly recommend the Jesus Storybook Bible). Ask questions to help Elijah understand as much as he can and reaffirm the truths that he already knows about Jesus and about each specific story in the Bible. Also, review the story we read the day before.
- Throughout the day, reaffirm what we know to be true about God as it applies to each situation. As an example – after Elijah has a “time out” and I am talking with him about what he did wrong, I sometimes remind him that I will always love him, no matter what he does. We then also talk about God and how He also will always love us no matter what we’ve done.
- We talk about how God wants us to treat each other as the day goes along. These days, we talk about kindness a great deal as Elijah and Abigail are interacting more and more. Other Biblical values about relating with others that I want to begin discussing more are forgiveness and patience.
Second value: Physical activity *(no, I am not going in order of my original post)
Shun-Luoi and I desire our family to be a physically active one and one that spends a good amount of time outdoors. Our last home was a 500 square-foot cabin and as Elijah became mobile, I quickly saw that he and I would both go crazy if we didn’t go outside daily (usually once in the morning and once in the afternoon) for some active time because of the amount of energy he had (and continues to have). Each morning by 10 am, we would be out walking around on “walks ‘o exploration,” as I called them. I would usually let him choose where to walk and we would go up stairs, down stairs, run, walk, chase cats, pick up rocks/stones/you name it, walk on ledges, etc. etc. Those were really great times! Now that we live in a bigger place, the temptation can be to stay inside more, but I am really trying to make sure we get outside at least once most days, and I don’t mean merely to get into the car, but to go for a bike ride (Elijah loves his tricycle and is great at riding it), go for walks, or to play in our huge backyard.
Practical ways to encourage this value:
- Pick out a new park to visit and play at one day each week.
- Try to get outside and go for a walk (not in the stroller, but where Elijah himself walks) each day if possible, if we are not going to play at a park.
- When we are inside, make up fun games that include some kind of physical activity like running, jumping, and/or throwing (yes, we allow certain things to be thrown at certain times in our household!).
- Go for family hikes on the weekends. (On our last vacation, we went on numerous hikes and Elijah did great! They really can do more than we think they can, even at a young age.)
Wow, thinking through each value and how it can look practically within our family is going to be even better for me than I thought. Plus, it’s getting me excited to implement and/or continue to implement some of these things in our days! Are either of these values ones you seek to live out? What are practical ways you implement them?
By the way, if you have any questions about the belief system our family tries to live by, please let me know. I would love to talk about it more (whether you agree or disagree).