Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What Is Your Family’s Blueprint? ~ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Series


Last week, I began a series on building our home and how that process relates to building a family.

Once we had purchased a lot, we needed to design a home to fit on it. I retrieved my pencil and paper and began to draw out a kitchen, a dining room, a big walk-in pantry, a living room….

And then my husband told me it had to be to scale.

What?!

Oh, and it needs to be structurally sound – enough support for each floor.

And if I wanted air conditioning and heat {yes, please!}, we need room for the duct work.

Designing a floor plan was turning out to be much more work than I anticipated.



And so it is with building a family.

On our seventh anniversary, my husband and I sat in a fancy restaurant with garlic-buttered bread and iced teas. I was great with child. Our first was due in a couple of months, and I felt as if I was standing at the edge of a great precipice, uncertain whether I would spread my wings and soar into the wild blue yonder or plummet to my death on the cliffs below. {Well, that’s a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea.}

As we sipped, we talked of the future. I thought we could have three children in the next five years, but I wasn’t sure after that. And where would we be in ten years, when we would be poised at the edge of our forties?

Just as floor plans are a crucial step in building a house, a plan is an integral part of building a family. 

That doesn’t mean that every detail is finalized, but the basic structure is determined and bathed in prayer. We know where the walls will be, the shape and placement of the rooms. But much is still to be decided, like the paint color or the closet shelving organization or what the basement will look like whenever we might finish it. I’m not yet 100% certain which kitchen cabinets I will choose.

To build our family, we found we needed a blueprint which had been bathed in prayer. We started with our end goal. We want all our children to be devoted to their faith and to the doctrine and standards of our church. But how do we accomplish that? Here are some questions we’ve considered ~

How are decisions made?
Who works to provide for the family?
Is supplemental income needed?
How are basic responsibilities within the home divided?
How much family together time do we need/want per week?
Is church attendance mandatory for the children?
What are our house rules?
What will be the discipline for breaking those rules?
How committed are we to homeschooling? What shape should it take for each child?
Extracurricular activities ~ which ones? Is there a limit?
What about family worship time?
How will we dress and present our family to the world?
How involved will we be in ministry? In what forms?
What will our relationships with extended family look like?
Responsibilities and freedoms as children age?
Courtship or dating?

As my husband and I sat sipping that tea nearly fourteen years ago and dreaming of the future, little did we know that we were in the beginning stages of designing the blueprint for our family.









Do you have a blueprint for your family? What does it look like?





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21 comments:

  1. I am here from Deep Roots at Home. Thank you for your post. We enjoyed it.

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  2. Really enjoyed that, Meghan. Maybe sometime in the future you could talk more about how you deal with extended family relationships. Have a super day!

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    1. There are so many variables in relationships, Jackie, that a blog post would need to be rather general. You could email me, if you'd like.

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  3. Great thoughts Meghan! Without planning those things out for our families we are prone to be swept into the current of "what's popular now". I wish my husband and I had done more planning in the beginning stages of our marriage and having children. It really is much better to have guidelines and a plan in place when you start. You can't just 'wing it' when you are building a house, or a family! :)

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    1. Exactly, Kayla. My husband and I may have been dreaming on our anniversary so many years ago, but we were still a long, long way from a blueprint that was workable. We soon felt the current of what was popular and knew we needed an anchor. (Maybe we should be building a houseboat? :) )

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  4. It is wise to address the questions you listed. Some principles we carry along from our family of origin. and some need to be re-evaluated. As you mentioned prayer is most important!
    Visiting from the Homemaking Party.

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    1. The blending of two people with differing backgrounds into a new family unit can definitely make for some ups and downs. Prayer adds peace to the equation. Thanks, Carol!

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  5. HELP Meghan,I am trying to click the site to order one of those hair clips, and I keep getting an error.

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    1. Not sure what the problem might be, but you could copy and paste the URL to go straight to my part of the Lilla Rose website. Thank you! http://www.lillarose.biz/MeghanCarver

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  6. I love this post. I have a question for you based on one of the things you mentioned in your post. Is church attendance mandatory for your children? When our oldest son got into serious rebellion at about 16, we told him that our family attended church and he would need to come with us until he was 18. He did so, but I think it bread a lot of resentment. We didn't want him to set a bad example for his younger brother. I am interested in how you have/would handle this. Hopefully you haven't experienced this with any of your children. Thanks so much for your lovely blog!

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    1. Deb, I don't have a child that old yet, nor have I experienced a rebelling child. So I hesitate to say what I would do in your situation. I just don't know. But our decision right now, in these present circumstances, is that church attendance is mandatory as long as they live under our roof or by our income. They may not like going, but at least they're hearing the Word of God.

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  7. Ok I will try the direct link,and let you know...

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  8. I'm visiting from TGIF link-up. My husband and I discussed many of these same questions before our children were born. Even now I find that our family blueprint shifts from time to time, sometimes because our convictions change or because we enter a new stage of life. Right now we stand on the edge of our oldest child's teen years, so we are building a new blueprint for him, setting boundaries on things like internet use, video game time limits, etc. that we've never had to deal with before. Thankfully, our firstborn is easy-going, so we'll get lots of good practice on him before his strong-willed younger brother comes into this stage. :)

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    1. More excellent questions to consider! Social media and internet use. Video game boundaries, perhaps not just how long but what type of games. Cell phones with all the bells and whistles. Sooo many things to think and pray about. Thank you for a great comment! :)

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  9. There's so much to think about in this post, Meghan. I admit that when we had our first child we did a lot of winging it, but as we quickly discovered, we needed a plan and fast. Since then we've addressed many of the questions you've raised here and have created a family mission statement that we strive to live by and instill in our children: it's based on service, self-sacrifice, and love. But unless the Word of God is the basis upon which our plan is built, it will all be in vain. Our plans are nothing; God's plans are what ultimately count.

    Thanks for this great post and encouraging me to think more about the blueprint we're creating, "bathed in prayer" (love that!).

    Keri

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    1. So well said, Keri. (Yet another reason I love your blog!) Thank you so much for taking the time to state it so beautifully here. :)

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  10. Meghan, I really appreciate applicable wisdom like this. Thank you for sharing. Stopping by from Teach Me Tuesdays. Have a blessed week. Tara.

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    1. Thank you, Tara. I'm glad it was helpful. Many blessings to you! :)

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)