by Jim Wahlberg
As we focus on our “Year of Intentionality” one of the most important areas where we can be intentional is with our family. Unfortunately, this can also be the area that is easiest to neglect. When I think of being intentional or deliberate with family, my mind immediately goes to my childhood and the example that was modeled to me. I think it is safe to say that each one of us was shaped by what we experienced in our childhood. When I think back on my upbringing, I’m thankful that I can reminisce on mostly fond memories and experiences.
A few things that my family did intentionally were:
- Eating dinner together as a family each night. I remember playing with friends in the evenings and being told I needed to be home by 5:00. Many times, I argued that it wasn’t fair that I had to be home while my other friends were still playing. My parents put a value on making sure we had a time each night that we were all together and we could talk about our day.
- Family vacations. These are one of my most cherished memories. My parents grew up in Minnesota and most of my extended family were still in that area, which meant we had to be intentional to see our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Most summers, we would pile in the station wagon for a road trip to see family. I’d sit in the back with my two sisters and proceed to drive everyone crazy while I’d see how close I could get to the imaginary line dividing our seats without crossing it. When my dad’s “claw” would reach around the seat and latch onto my knee, I knew I’d crossed the line! The 20 or so hours each way that we’d spend in the car were all worth it when we had time away from our normal distractions at home and got to make incredible memories on those annual vacations.
Now that I have the responsibility as a parent of three young kids, I am tasked with being intentional with both my wife and our kids. James 4:14 says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” As summer is about to begin, I’d encourage each of you to take a moment to identify what you are doing intentionally with your family, whether with a spouse, children, grandchildren, or maybe even friends whom you see as family. Eat ice cream, day trip to the beach, jump in the pool! Understand that our time on earth is a mist that will soon vanish…take time today to make an intentional moment!