Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The 5 Year Getaway

So from the time Caleb (my oldest) was 5 I decided that I was going to do an every 5 year getaway with each of my kids. We'll do 2 days and 1 night away from home doing some different stuff that they love to do and just hanging out for a couple days without the normal distractions. I have found it to be helpful in unlocking the hearts of each of my kids and getting to have conversations about stuff that we don't usually to talk about in the course of everyday life. This past weekend I took Caleb who is now 10 and on his second go-round of this getaway, to watch the Browns and Steelers in a Sunday night football game. We stayed overnight with some dear friends from college who also have kids and a PS3 - so that was killer for Caleb. Then we went to Dave and Busters the next day for some video game madness. It was a great football game in the remnants of Hurricane Ike (60 mph wind gusts at the stadium - it was so cool), and just an awesome time together all around.

Anyway - one of the conversations we had was about life goals. I talked to him about the passage in Luke 2:52 that is the only passage of Scripture about Jesus' developmental years when he was on earth. It simply says, "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." It's such a complete picture of development in a short verse.
  • He grew in wisdom - mentally
  • He grew in stature - physically
  • He grew in favor with God - spiritually
  • He grew in favor with men - socially
So we used that verse as a jumping off point and we talked through some of our goals in each of those areas for the next year. Caleb really enjoyed the conversation and really wrestled through some stuff that he wanted to see happen in this next year in his life. Here were a few things he came up with.
  • Mentally - straight A's all 4 quarters of this year
  • Physically - at least 60 minutes of active play every day
  • Spiritually - read his Bible before bed every night with me and fully engage by asking questions
  • Socially - reach out to one particular kid in our neighborhood of another ethnicity who doesn't really have any friends here yet.

Here were a few things that I shared with him for me:

  • Mentally - take one Master's level class again beginning this Spring
  • Physically - lose 10 lbs before October 17
  • Spiritually - journal my application portions of my personal study of the Scriptures
  • Socially - invite 3 different neighbors to our house who haven't yet been in our home by Christmas.

All in all it was a great time for us together - and when I kissed him good night tonight and hung out in his room for a bit - there was a whole new level of closeness, trust, and spiritual fervor. Mission accomplished.

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