setting goals

Last month we had a rare chance to have a weekend getaway as a family. Don’t get me wrong, we find ways to have family adventures quite often. But they don’t usually happen over a weekend. So we were extremely grateful to take advantage of the opportunity when it came around to us.

So here’s the story: It all started at the beginning of January. Brent and I were discussing the topic of New Year’s resolutions and we decided to set some goals for ourselves. His had to do with getting out of debt. This has been a goal that we have set for ourselves every year for the past several years and Brent has been working diligently behind the scenes to meet this very long term goal. Someday I’ll get to write a blog post about becoming debt free! Oh what a day that will be! My goals had to do my personal health (still working on that one) and decluttering and organizing the house. The kids will tell you that we have seen many boxes of donations go out the door this spring. I’m loving it!

But enough about the parents’ goals. The exciting part for us came on that January day when we turned to Emma and asked her if she wanted to set any goals for the new year. She thought about it for a minute and then declared, “I want to go to regionals in Bible quizzing!” And we said, “That sounds great!” That’s what you’re supposed to say when your child tells you what they’re goal is, but honestly, my mind started quickly running through all of the reasons why she wouldn’t be able to accomplish this goal. Making a regional team would mean being one the top five quizzers in our district, which is about half the state of Oregon, the half that’s really populated. Making the team would mean studying like she had never studied before. Not to mention the fact that 7th graders just don’t usually make it that far.

Well I’m sure you can guess what happened. After months of quiz meets and a whole lot of studying and practice, the district meet finally came on the first weekend of April. Emma and the rest of our Mission Church quizzers traveled to Salem for the event. We had told her that if she made the regional team that she and I would find a way to go to the tournament in Idaho. I really did not expect that to happen, though. Can you just imagine my reaction when Emma called me from Salem to say that she had made the team? As parents, we are proud of our kids when they work hard at a challenge that is before them, whatever that challenge may be. The bonus comes when they sometimes get to enjoy the benefits of meeting that challenge. And we were going to make sure that she enjoyed them.

So now it was time to make some plans for a weekend trip to the quiz meet on the campus of Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID. The more we tried to work out the logistics, the more we realized that we could make it an adventure for all five of us, not just Mom and Emma. All the details fell into place, like Brent’s sermon being recorded with Pastor Ryan on video, transportation, lodging (thanks to Uncle Ed and Aunt Nancy), and all the rest.

At the quiz meet, Emma learned a lot by observing and competing with top teams and all-stars from around the northwest. It didn’t take her long to set some new goals for next year. But this shouldn’t surprise us. After all, she has some experience with meeting her goals. Maybe she could teach her mom a thing or two about that!