Values-Driven Family was pretty quiet during our time in Kenya, and I’ve been thinking on what to write here, since we’ve been back in the States again since February of last year (2021).
The transition back to Indiana went as good as it possibly could, and we are so thankful for God’s grace in that. Just about concurrent with our landing in Indiana was purchase of property in Kentucky (also only God!), where we had hopes to build. Suffice it to say, that went much more quickly than we ever could have anticipated, thanks to the hard work of Marc and the children, financial provision from the Lord, and the willing and amazing help, generosity, and prayers of many, many brethren over many months.
We have been in Kentucky now for 4 months! When we moved in, the house was still somewhat unfinished, so we’ve been working on many different projects while trying to school and manage Carrier Family Doodles. God is good, and we are thankful.
One thing that I have wanted to do upon returning to the States is to re-establish our beloved “Circle Time” as a daily routine, especially with our Littles. We were pretty hit-or-miss while in Kenya for a number of reasons, and, while I have some regret about that, I also realize that regret doesn’t change things. I have to deal with the reality that is, rather than hope for an ideal that may not manifest. While I have still not been perfect in my goal of having a daily Circle Time, we have been consistent enough that I see the benefits once again and am grateful for what the Lord has done through it.
We’re also returning to the “Core Values” with our younger children, which has been an absolute blessing. The Core Values (faith, surrender, love faithfulness, wisdom, self-control, righteousness, holiness, humility, generosity, and praise) gave our older children such a solid foundation in character and in faith, as we consistently emphasized these “values that God values” during daily Bible times, Circle Time teaching and training, and daily “teachable moments.” We are working our way slowly through our dog-eared copy of “Values-Driven Discipleship” once again during our family devotional times in the morning and evening. Circle Times include stories, songs, games, and memory verses pertaining to the Core Values, right on the level of our Little ones. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness to us and to our children over these many years of desiring to know Him more and honor Him in everything. The core values, and daily Circle Times, have been a reliable means to that end for us.
Just in case you are new here, you can get an idea of how we implement core-value Biblical instruction and character training here: https://valuesdrivenfamily.com/biblical-instruction-character-training/. Be sure to visit our free downloads area, where you can find a free, printable core value chart and mini poster that can get you started in implementing Core Value instruction with your family, if you think that it would be helpful for you.
I never cease to praise God for the years spent investing in my older children: teaching, training, encouraging, and developing relationships, as I see the fruit that the Lord has brought from our hearts desire to follow Him and teach our children His ways. On days when I have pressing responsibilities and might otherwise have to neglect Circle Time, my older daughters have picked up the baton and carry it well. Here’s a photo of a fun project one of them did after a Circle Time last week, to help illustrate the core value of “Love” and leave the Littles with an ongoing reminder of what it looks like for them:
No matter what methods you choose as you seek to raise up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, keep pressing on in your efforts. Although in some seasons of life things may not be perfect, I always like to remind myself that God “gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11) and that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).