Got a plan?

  • Do you have goals for the training that takes place in your home?
  • Are you intentional about the activities you say yes to?
  • Can you easily say no to events, knowing they don’t align with your priorities for this season?
  • Have you ever studied the individuals within your home – observing the overall composite of personality, strengths, skills, passions?
  • Do you have a plan to develop the character in your kids?
  • Have you ever considered a unique family ministry?
  • Does your schedule match your priorities?

As Believers in Christ, we can ask for discernment into the hearts and needs of each family member. We can seek the Holy Spirit to give us His priorities in raising our children. We can make a master plan – with goals and priorities that guide our daily decisions and make our parenting intentional.

What’s important?

My desire is to raise children with character, ones who spend time with the Lord, love the Lord, are intentionally about others, effortlessly see needs and are quick to serve others. Additional foundational priorities to me are sibling unity, a home that is peaceful and calm, safe and loving, an environment that encourages entrepreneurial minds and creativity, and one that fosters big-thinking for God.

Your priorities may look different than mine.

Each year, the specific path for investing into our kids varies. The kids grow and mature. Family dynamics and priorities change. Weaknesses in character qualities are revealed. Holes in their knowledge of practical life skills become apparent. New talents, strengths and interests appear, and the tailor-made plan to hone these adjusts accordingly.

Seek God.

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Each summer, I set aside some time to sit still in a quiet location, with notebook and pen in hand, to record the plan for the new school year. I seek direction and wisdom from God, the creator and personal designer of our kids’ hearts, gifts, and passions.

I would be missing out on an incredible encounter with the Lord if I didn’t go to Him directly to find out His plan for our family! He provides supernatural discernment and wisdom to all who ask.

And the result?… a specific plan, uniquely made for the Ellis family and each child in it. How cool is that!

Sit still and ask for:

  • Clean Slate – lay aside my plans and replace with His; fresh thinking, new ideas
  • Wisdom – His supernatural insight into the hearts and needs of each family member
  • Priorities – What are the important things for our family this year? This will directly impact decisions with our time and resources
  • My blind spots – how I negatively impact my family and tone in home. Sin in my heart, wrong motives, character flaws.
  • Theme – what does our family need to focus on? love well, sibling unity, discipline, self control, joy, kindness, endurance
  • Shared goals – what ways can we lead the heart and thinking of our family unit towards the desired goals?  ministry ideas, people to invest in, activities to do together, Scripture passages to memorize, Bible study/devotions, books to read, playing music together, hosting events,
  • Individual Analysis – assess each child’s strengths, weaknesses, character flaws, sin tendencies, habits, frailties, skills, talents, interests, passions, social skills, leadership, practical life skills, home ec skills, academic needs/strengths, extracurricular interests/skills
  • Personalized family plan His creative, personalized plans to address the individuals and heartbeat of the family – addressing character, skills needed to run a home, relationships within the home, changes needed in the tone of the home, opportunities for ministry individually and as a family, specific daily plan for spiritual training, ways to encourage the skills and passions of each child…
  • The Heart – taking a good look at the relationship between each family member, and seeking to restore, encourage, build up, and love well
  • Schedule – Arrange the daily schedule to encompass priorities – family devotion, chores, rotations in the kitchen to learn to cook, etc. Put on calendar the events deemed important to the development towards family goals – such as family vacation, date nights, family fun nights, company over, daddy/daughter date night, anniversary getaway, father/son camping excursion, girls’ weekend, ministry days, etc.

Go grab your calendar and carve out a specific time to be alone. Just you and the Lord. Be still and get your priorities for this year from Him.

Just keepin’ it real folks. You don’t need to look guuuuuhhhhd to spend time alone with God.

Just keepin’ it real folks. You don’t need to look guuuuuhhhhd to spend time alone with God.

Enjoy the blessings of a life lived by priorities

  • Easily say YES to opportunities that fit your overall goals
  • Without guilt say NO to situations that don’t align with your current priorities
  • Character in your children
  • A schedule that builds family relationships
  • Intentional investment of your time and resources into each child
  • Restored relationships
  • Planned times for spiritual training in your home
  • Events with purpose – vacations, date nights, parent child outings, family fun nights that the kids plan…
  • The tone in your home that you want
  • Greater influence in the lives of your kids than their peers have
  • Leading family with confidence, free of comparing to another
I prefer writing ideas in a spiral notebook, continuing to record thoughts throughout the year. I always put the date of my ponderings. Use whatever method works best for you.

I prefer writing ideas in a spiral notebook, continuing to record thoughts throughout the year. I always put the date of my ponderings. Use whatever method works best for you.

Instead of the schedule running your life, you’ll be living by the priorities the Lord has given you for your family.

Extra special:  A weekend away with your spouse – individually before the Lord, the sharing your thoughts, and having a unified family vision.

Rhonda nowGOandLIVEaccordingtoyourpriorities ellis


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  1. peggy hamrick

    Rhonda, this is wonderful advice. Sometimes it is hard for me to read your blogs as I realize so many things that I didn’t do! Oh well, press toward the mark, huh? These are wonderful words of wisdom…awesome! Keep it coming, I want Molly to learn from you! Honored to be your friend!

    • You are one of the most important deposits into my life. I love you, friend.

  2. Mel

    I love this… & both of you!!

  3. Laura W

    This has been on my heart… Thanks for writing this blog and encouraging me. Good stuff!!!!

  4. Jamie Patrick

    The most difficult part by far of moving away 8 years ago was leaving the sweet fellowship with you all. I learned so much from you and continue to now. You are one of my favorite people.

    Jamie ifyoucouldseewhatilooklikerightnowyouwouldthankmefornotincludingmypicture Patrick

    • Jamie, great to hear from you. We miss you a lot here! Thanks for your humor and encouragement today.

      Rhonda ireallyDOwantyoutopostyourpicture ellis

  5. Sandra Hendricks

    Public school starts NEXT WEDNESDAY in Nassau County, and I was so unmotivated to get going with our schooling. But this post inspires me to take the time to plan — with prayer — for the coming year. And not just academics! Can’t wait to read your next post for more guidance. Thanks Rhonda!

    • Hi Sandra, WOW! School starts next week? I’m so glad this blog series is an encouragement. Great to hear from you.

  6. Miriam Anderson

    I’m going to try and carve out that time today! I know exactly where I will go. Gotta go, my two-year-old just spit his gum into my mason jar full of water and is reaching his hand in to get it.

  7. Lee Anne Anderson

    Thank you Rhonda for your words of encouragement and great mentoring!! You so wonderfully guide and encourage!

    • Thank you for your encouragement and friendship… and for leaving a comment. Mama like. So glad you’re mentoring women in your neck of the woods and that my blog posts can come alongside what you’re doing.

  8. I would add to mom’s priorities to make time to pray and a good way to do that is with other moms in a Moms in Prayer (formerly Moms In Touch) group. We pray for our children ourselves, but how much better is multiplied prayer for them.

    • Hi Debi, LOVE THIS. Thank you for your input. I agree prayer is so very important. I love how you get together with other moms to pray for your children. I’m sure your relationships are precious as you’ve transparently journeyed these parenting years together. 🙂

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