Peter’s work often takes him away from home for extended periods of time. So one of the challenges we face is to find ways to incorporate the kids’ into Dad’s world. His work situation isn’t necessarily suitable for the kids to join him so we are looking at other opportunities. This is important as it is as they spend time together the children can learn from their Dad – learn of his heart for things, learn skills and attitudes.
There are some days that he is more home-based than others so recently we’ve started to ask: how can we best use this time for Peter to disciple the kids? You see, it is easy to just not do anything unless it is a consistent time block that is big enough to complete a project, or regular enough to work through lesson plans. But that isn’t always how life works. Pete has moments of time, half days and suddenly free moments – how can we best use them.
We have two questions we ask when we realize he is available:
- Can the kids work alongside of him as he does the things he needs to do.
- Can Peter help the kids with the things they have to do
By intentionally asking these questions we are arranging our time to meet our true goals and yet working within the confines of our life situation.
[Tweet “When Dad’s time is limited we must make the most of opportunities that do come along.”]
Today was such a day. Peter was home this morning and had work to do amongst the sandalwood trees (part of our farm). He woke Josh up early to help him prepare for spraying and then while he was spraying Josh had breakfast and did something (I really have no idea!!) Then a few hours later the other kids went down and joined Peter in pulling vines from around the trees. Peter worked alongside of them (or rather, they worked alongside of Peter) as he showed them how to do the best job without damaging the trees. It was hot and hard work. One of the things that Pete wants to teach the kids is to push through hard situations to get the job done.
I stayed home and did some of the chores that the kids usually do (plus a few of my own). I decided to cook morning tea – I haven’t cooked pikelets for years. It was kind of nice being in the house all by myself, pottering around getting things done.
The kids completed the job, came home, freshened up and then over morning tea we talked about Martin Luther, the Reformers and Puritans and how come a monk married a nun (Martin and Katherine Luther)? But the important work was done in the paddock with Peter.
It takes more than one session to learn the life lessons Pete wants for them (character and skill) but we gain ground each time we make the most of the opportunities we have. This does mean we all have to be flexible with our plans – I had planned regular school work for today – but what ended up happening was far more important: we not only worked on our overarching goals of character and training in responsibilities, it was even better because Peter was involved.
Over to you…
Could asking these two questions help you find opportunity in your lifestyle to incorporate Dad into your kids lives a little more intentionally?
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