03 December 2013


I had just situated myself in bed after a long day to do a little Cyber Monday shopping while watching tv. It was almost a quarter to nine last night when my husband's cell phone rang. I glanced over only to see that it said "No Caller ID".  I assumed it was no one worthy of my time so I ignored it. Just after my husband entered the room, I heard his phone "ding" that there was a voicemail and I informed him of the call that I had ignored. He reaches for the phone and proceeds to playback the voicemail. It was from a teacher. We weren't expecting one of our oldest son's teachers to call.

I have so many friends (or at least it appears that way by looking at my Facebook wall around report card time) who have children who are honor roll students, top of the class, gifted and/or popular. My children, despite my best efforts, do not compare to that level of academia. For a long time, I'd wish and pray that they could  be as successful in school. After all, I couldn't brag about their straight D's. I was happy if they avoided an E.

In middle school, teachers do not have the time to contact each parent. If you receive a call from one at almost 9pm, it's not a good sign. I listened in on the message bracing myself for what she may have to say only to find out it was GOOD NEWS!!! She praised him for making significant improvements in class over a period of two weeks. She went on to explain how he had begun to separate himself from the other students that would distract him in class. The changes prompted the teacher to speak to his guidance counselor who informed her that he was choosing to make it a goal to improve in this particular class.

What prompted him two week ago? Our Family ID. One of the final lessons is to brainstorm and write out individual goals for each family member. We had discussed it over dinner one night. I sat with my pad and pencil jotting down everyone's suggestions along with my own. The boys had just received their report cards and we made specific goals for the next marking period. We had also made goals on the character traits we wanted to see them possess.

What I didn't realize was the profound effect it would have on them. In the past, I've made countless personal goal posters and have always failed to accomplish them. Despite that, I believe in setting goals and striving for it. My family has watched this cycle over and over. Setting goals on a bigger scale to include the whole family was a first. Because they had seen me do it before, it wasn't foreign to them. They were willing subjects.

Prior to this study, "No Caller ID" was what identified our family. We were mindlessly sailing along. We had something to tell the world but have been ignored just as I disregarded the phone call last night. We wanted our children to possess certain traits and progress academically, emotionally and spiritually. We wanted to strengthen and improve our marriage and ourselves. We did not have a plan. We were formless and void of producing quality fruit.

As Habakkuk 2:2 mentions, we must write out our plans and make them plain. There must have been power in that statement. The changes that have occurred in my children recently would attest to that. I did not realize it until the phone call last night.

What identifies your family? Do you feel like you're aimlessly wandering? Feel free to discuss below.