authenticity 101

The Power of Being Intentional

Zip Line Family

Having a vision and being intentional about staying true to the vision can be incredibly rewarding in ways that we don’t always anticipate.

When Phil and I decided to blend our two families (my three girls and his three boys) into the Bertmount Bunch, we very deliberately discussed how to best serve the needs of our kids. As we settled into the first year of living together we realized how very rarely we spent actual time as a full family of eight. There’s always a dance class here, a sleepover there, age and gender differences and various other commitments that pull us all in different directions. We thought that a family trip was in order to get to know each other as a blended family with no outside distractions.

During one of our family meetings we asked the kids what their preference was: a family trip or a big, fancy wedding. Ha! Guess what they picked. (The wedding ended up casual and in the backyard) I had recently heard about and thought it would be the best way to travel with our large group and minimize the cost of accommodations. So we discussed the pros and cons of various destinations and picked Costa Rica. We found an exchange partner on the website and started the process of relationship building with a lovely couple who would trade houses with us for 3 weeks in July.

Our vision was to spend time together as a family in a new environment, creating memories and getting to know each other. We did that and more. We learned all sorts of things about each other, saw gorgeous flora and fauna and experienced a new culture and language. We had a great time and have fantastic memories. Was it perfect? Of course not. Even with a pool and pets, boredom set in after a few weeks of being away from their friends. Regardless of how beautiful the scenery is or how many sloths you see, at 15 and 16 you want to be with your peers. It was lovely though to see that by the end of our trip, the kids were behaving like real brothers and sisters. Annoying each other, but also supporting each other in subtle ways.

Every day that we spend in Costa Rica, Phil and I did our best to remind each other of why we were there. I worked hard to relax (yes, I know that sounds ridiculous) and just let the experience be what we intended it to be. A family getting to know each other better. I think we accomplished that. And we did it in a really awesome environment while zip-lining and playing with monkeys.

Whether you have a vision for your whole life, or simply for one event, stay the course and be intentional about it. It’s worth it.

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