Mark: “Recalculating,” states the voice on the GPS unit. “Recalculating,” she repeats once again as we find ourselves off course on a trip. It’s a scene most of us are familiar with in some way now that smartphone map apps and GPS units are built right into our cars.

Jill: We recently were struck by the word “recalculating” and how that word can be used to describe what happens when we are considering or navigating change. In fact, the concept of “examining” the realities of life and how those measure up to our vision for our family is an important strategy for parents and marriage partners to be doing on a regular basis. If reality doesn’t match up to vision, then recalculating may be needed to get back on course.

Mark: What does recalculating look like practically? Here are some ways families we personally know have chosen to recalculate:

Jeff and Sienna chose to cut back on their volunteer commitments because they realized they were both away from home in the evenings too often.

John chose to say no to overtime hours so he could spend more time with his family.

Todd and Laura chose to move from two incomes to one income to simplify their lives.

As a single mom, Jennifer decided to search for a new job that was less stressful than her current job.

Savannah and her husband realized that they were drifting apart in their marriage. They recalculated and put monthly date nights on their calendar to invest in their marriage.

After trying every consequence and motivational strategy for their son’s academic struggles, Tom and Sarah made the decision to seek professional help for their child who was eventually diagnosed with ADHD.

Paul and Brenda wanted their family to have dinner together at least five nights a week. In order to regain that balance they realized that they needed to limit their children’s extra curricular sports and activities to no more than two per child.

Stan and Sue knew their marriage was not in a good place. They decided to find a counselor and make marriage counseling a priority in order to get back on track.

Jill: The only way we can recalculate is to slow down enough to examine and evaluate the condition of our relationships, the habits of our family, and the daily stresses of our life. By asking questions like, “Is this the life I want to live?” or “Is this the marriage we want to have?” or “Is this all we have hoped for our family?” we can begin the process of evaluating. If the answer is “No,” then recalculate and get yourself, your family, or your marriage headed back in the right direction.

Mark: Life has a way of causing us to drift away from each other. Recalculating helps us get back on course.

What about you? Where do you need to do some recalculating in your life, family, or marriage?

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