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How To Have A Planning Time

There is more than one way to have a planning time.

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The purpose of a planning time is to take time away from the busyness of daily life to seek the Lord. It’s like a sabbatical.

Since that first one day planning time in 1996 we have met yearly and we have always taken our children along. In fact, we will start this year’s planning time on Saturday January 30th. We’ve gone from 1 day to a 3 day weekend and now to a week because we’ve seen the value of taking time apart to pray together, listen to the Lord, examine all areas of our lives as a family and as individuals, and prayerfully plan our next year.

These times have become a compass that has kept us on the course that we feel the Lord has laid out for us. He doesn’t reveal His plan for our entire lives, or even an entire year, don’t we wish, but by seeking His direction and then pointing ourselves in the direction we feel He is calling us to we’ve found that we are able to live our lives more intentionally.

Stormie Omartian says in her book, The Power of Praying for your Adult Children, “The Lord is very willing to reveal His vision to us. He desires for all of us to have His vision for our lives, to have our eyes opened to understand our purpose and calling so we can respond correctly to the things He wants us to do, and so that we can know who He is.”

But… we do have to take time to quiet our hearts, sit before Him and listen.

If you take a weekend away and manage to talk for four hours a day you will have talked with your spouse for eight hours. When was the last time you spent eight hours with your husband listening attentively to you and you listening attentively to him?

The purpose of a planning time is to take time away from the busyness of daily life to seek the Lord. It's like a sabbatical.

One comment I received asked if her honeymoon counted. That is often sad but true. We don’t have time to listen to each other.

Perhaps now you’re catching a glimpse of why I like these weekends so much.

[Tweet “These times have become a compass that has kept us on the course”]

There is no set routine for planning. I share how we do it in our book, but others have shared with me how they’ve done it.

  • One couple was going on a road trip together so they used their driving time to talk and pray.
  • Another family had an RV so they left their older children in charge and went out and talked in the RV.
  • Someone took a couple evenings a week after their children were in bed to discuss a topic or two.
  • One couple’s parents took their children for a couple of days.

Since our Father is the Creator of the universe, He will give you the creative plan that is perfect for your family too. He desires to meet with you and share all that He has in mind for you and your family.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)

Now that you’ve found a way to set aside time to plan, what ever will you talk about for 8+ hours?

Our book lays it all out for you. The nice thing about using someone elses list is that if there are sensitive topics you don’t have to bring them up – our list will do that for you.

The first thing we do is go over our list from last year. We only focus on the positive things we have accomplished from our planning time the previous year. If this is your first planning time spend some time walking down memory lane – but remember you are going to focus on your accomplishments from the last year, not what didn’t happen or what someone didn’t do.

Here is part of one of our lists to give you an idea:
Cleaned all carpet
Moved a portion of our fence
Front landscaping in process/have Bachman’s plan
Replaced mirror on entry door
Attic cleaned – needs it again
Cleaned out a lot of areas
Painted fish t-shirts at cabin
Field trip to State Capitol

A few of our other topics are:

Husband/Wife relationship
Each other
Our church

Our ebook Purposeful Planning will give you a lot more information on how we’ve done this.

This is the forth part of my articles on planning. Here are the links for the first three parts. If you haven’t read them, I would encourage you to do so to get a complete picture of these ideas.

Without a Vision The People Perish

3 Ways To Be Available To Hear God’s Vision

Is There Really Enough Time To Do All…?

And now for our link-up

My favorite post from last week:

Belinda is a long time friend and I always grow when I read things she’s written.

And now for our link-up – all family friendly posts welcome. Please, share what is happening in your home.

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  • Belinda
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    Your book continues to be a part of our yearly thinking!

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:53 PM

      Really! That’s great to know. Thanks for sharing that. We start our yearly planning tomorrow. Prayers appreciated.

  • Trena
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    Great series. Enjoying each post.

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:54 PM

      Thanks Trena. Let me know if you have any questions.

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