Friday, May 13, 2016

our kids and our calendars

On a recent Thursday night I was invited to speak at Living Hope Memphis on the topic of how to keep the family calendar from becoming overwhelmed with activities. Our discussion was framed under the overarching question: 

"As a Christian parent, what is your greatest hope for your child?"

In the Wilkin home the answer was, "That they would grow to know, love and serve God with everything they have." Our family calendar needed to support this hope, not work against it. Because we had four kids in four years, we had to think hard about how many and which activities to commit to. Activity options abound for both kids and parents. How could we sift through our options so that we preserved time for talking of the things of God when we "sit in our house, walk along the way, lie down, and rise up"? 

In my time at Living Hope, I  walked through some diagnostic questions our family used to help discern what constituted an activity that was worth committing to. I discussed how to weigh one activity option against another and suggested the countercultural possibility of the activity-less child (we had one in our home). Jeff and I certainly don't have all the answers on this, but we did see a few consistent principles emerge as we navigated the "busy years" of parenting. I hope you find the talk helpful. As with all parenting advice, take what you can use and leave the rest behind.

You can watch the video here.


  1. Jen, you are one of my most favorite Bible teachers. You have been an encouragement to my life personally through your podcasts and your blog. Through you (indirectly) the Lord has given me courage, excitement, and an opportunity to lead a youth girls Bible study this summer at my church and more passion to teach the Word in my home with my young kids. Thank you so much for your boldness, wisdom and for being so relatable and real! :)

  2. This was soooo thought provoking. I have been uneasy about our family calendar, but I hadn't been able to put my finger on the real issue. I am so grateful for the clarity this post has provided.

  3. We have a 4, 2, and 6 month old (all boys!) and I'm starting to feel the pressure of signing them up for things even at this age. My goal for our family is to create an environment where my children have the best chance to learn to love God but also to love each other- and I guess we need to be around each other to do that 😉