I joined a bible study this fall. If I’m being honest, I had no idea what exactly I was committing myself to, but I’m now 7 weeks into the 8 month program and it has been so rewarding, especially in my family life. As most of you might know, this season of life has been so busy and incredibly overwhelming for me. Tom has been traveling a ridiculous amount for work, and when he is home he is still working 10 hours a day. Nolan just wrapped up playing football on both the junior and senior varsity football teams, and in case you don’t follow me on instagram…we have two babies under 2! I obsessively post pictures of them so maybe you’ve unfollowed me due to the baby spamming… I’m holding down the fort, trying to keep my head above water. I have some amazing days and some terrible days. It’s definitely challenging but I’m doing it.
Part of why I joined my bible study was to be able to have one morning a week where the babies would go to daycare and I would have a break and also be able to do something for myself. Guys, it has blown my mind! Every week I go and I just feel so encouraged and I’m learning so much about myself and maybe even finding myself again.
Last week the topic was Values and Ideals. This is something that has been on my heart for a long time now but I never really put too much thought into what exactly I do value or the things I thought I valued but don’t actually live out which makes them my ideals. A value is a deeply held belief that possesses the worth to influence decisions made and actions taken. They are the convictions that travel with us through life’s challenges and opportunities. They are matters of the heart that result in commitments. Actual values will dictate behaviour. Ideals are the values we desire to hold, but don’t actually practice.
The discussion with this amazing group of women I get the pleasure of meeting with weekly was so encouraging and uplifting. We went around and shared our top 5 values and it was so beautiful. I was so inspired by it that I decided I would bring it home. That night after we put the babies to bed I asked Tom and Nolan to come to the table. With only minimal resistance, I was able to convince them to participate in my activity. We wrote down our top values and ideals and then shared them openly. Wow! I couldn’t believe how beautiful this exercise was and I immediately had to stop myself from disrupting the beautiful moment to declare how genius my idea was! Then I asked them to write down what values we see in each other and we shared them as well. This opened up an intentional, uplifting conversation that was so raw and real. How many times have I thought about these amazing qualities and beautiful characteristics these guys possess and I’ve never said it out loud to them and vice versa. What happened next was my teenager, who on most days says 5 words total to me, he opened up and just started talking to us. I love hearing his heart and his intentions. I knew it was going to be good but I never anticipated how good!! It was hands down the most amazing family building moment we have ever had. We will definitely revisit this in a year or so. Talk about rewarding! All three of us are on a journey of personal growth on all different levels. I am constantly encouraged and inspired by both Tom and Nolan. I do think that is partly why I haven’t had a mental breakdown of some sort…
One big reason this was important for me to do with the boys is because I so desire to have strong, healthy, life long relationships in my family. You see I value honesty, open communication, and love without boundaries or conditions. Growing up I saw many broken relationships within my immediate family as well as extended family and beyond that with friends. I want Nolan to always feel close to Tom and I and to actually want to come home and visit us once he ventures off to college!
I highly encourage everyone to do this with your children one day when they are teenagers. It would also be pretty great to do with your spouse. You can even do it on your own and maybe get to know yourself a little better! I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results and it might actually reveal some things about yourself you weren’t even aware of.
Some sample values for you to work off of:
Sense of fairness
Sense of humour
Time with family
And a current picture of the babies who are so freaking cute for at least one moment every single day!! And Nolan, doing what he loves and kicking serious butt these days in the football world (one day I might share all the amazing things he has going on…he is the best)!