Any builder knows it ... the secret to building exactly what you want ... finish before you start.
Imagine our family huddled around a giant tree, deciding to create a treehouse for our kids. My oldest looks up and says "a good tree house ", my youngest shrugs "a fun one." Doesn't help much. In reality ... He wants a ladder to climb, a big window, what about a rope swing, and the dreams soar.
To build our perfect treehouse, we have to finish it first. We draw out the plan, sketch the dreams, make our calculations accordingly. Once we finish it, we can start to build.
In my journey, of train up a momma, it's much the same. I needed to finish before I started, to see the end project of children raised and loved and thriving and changing their world. Finishing before I start, determines the steps I need to do to get there.
I realized it was impossible to to know how to train my kids, if I didn't know what I wanted in the end.
The common answers ... Good kids. Kids that love God. Kinda like a good tree house. How do you build it? Knowing specifically what we want, the end result, enables my hubby and I to use the right tools, purchase the supplies, and build.
Builders draw blueprints ... mommas cast a vision.
To have a vision for my kids. Without one, our hopes and dreams for our kids shrivel and die. I realized that a vision is a vital part of parenting because it is what guides me to the finish line. It keeps me on track, reminding me of what I'm doing and the why.
Honesty here, wide open ... my parenting a bit weak in vision and inconsistent at times. One day my boys would do something and I was fine. The next, it was too much and momma went off. They didn't always know what to expect. Neither did I. Without vision, it was hard to give direction because I didn't know where I was going.
The vision we created for our boys, the first step in our journey. It is our guide along the way, keeping us on the path of great parenting.
"There is a principle here that applies to you and me: God takes small, imperfect things and builds them into a habitation for his glory. O, how we should take courage in our little spheres of influence! And is this not the message of Advent and Christmas?
What more appropriate word could God have said to Mary as Jesus was growing up: Take courage, young mother, you build more than you see. And so it is with every one of us. Nothing you do is a trifle if you do it in the name of God. He will shake heaven and earth to fill your labor with splendor. Take courage, you build more than you see." - John Piper