Think about how you feel after you finish a workout: Energized, ready to take on the next thing, strong. Exercise might not be your favorite thing to do, and it can be hard to fit it in to your busy schedule, but you’re always glad you made a plan and set aside the time. The end result is a healthier you.
Whether it’s for a workout or your giving, a plan has power to bring real freedom to life and relationships.
Three years ago my husband Sam and I attended our first Journey of Generosity (JOG) which introduced us to the idea that we could use our resources in a more powerful way. A few months later I attended a Women Doing Well one day event where I learned that knowing my unique purpose would energize my giving and help me give even more. My unique purpose had to do with “lighting the way” for others and led me and my husband to see our ministry together as sharing the powerful message of generosity.
After attending our first JOG we decided to host one for our friends. Carla and Jeff Land flew in from California to help us. Throughout the weekend, they shared from their experiences and helped us dig deeper into our own.
Sam and I had made some pretty meaningful lifestyle and giving commitments coming out of our first JOG, but what really intrigued us now was Jeff and Carla’s plan to plan. Inspired by their example and the document they use to guide their planning time, we decided to take a weekend every year to seek what God has for us in the 365 days ahead.
It’s outside our daily norm to create this kind of space to plan and prompt dreams and desires. But that’s exactly why we believe it’s so important to set this time aside together.
We work through topics ranging from our family mission statement and guiding principles, to personal goals, new things we want to learn together, giving plans, even figuring out vacation days. Even that simple decision means it’s no longer a stressor for us to take a spontaneous day off. Instead its an exciting and life giving decision given that we are already on the same page.
We’ve shared our edited version of the planning guide with numerous friends. Just the other day, a couple at our church—people we barely know—thanked us for the family planning document. It had made its way to them as well!
The weekend away and the plans that take shape look different for each of us, but the end result is the same: purpose, clarity, excitement, and freedom.