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I believe that childhood should occur within a protected space of innocence. I believe that my children should be able to day-dream and play in their “make believe” world, far from adult concerns and adult issues. I believe that my children should know there is a Creator who loves them, who calls them by name, and who has a unique purpose for their lives. I believe that my children should know that I am here for them — that I am committed to answering their questions, challenging their intellect, and that they can depend on me to guide them. I believe that my children should be confident enough in my gentleness to come to me with their hopes, dreams and fears. That their teenage years should be filled with conversations, laughter, and a warm and secure place called, “home.” I want my children to be marked by their character and generosity; to be respected and respectful; to be responsible, honest, healthy and courageous. I want them to pursue and live their own dreams with no encumbrances from serious mistakes made in their youth; to know what it’s like to be committed to someone fully — and to understand the value and honor in being loyal, true and just.

You get the idea. Work on the vision you have for your family with your spouse, and when you have a good framework — share it with your children. Keep your vision statement handy, someplace where you will “stumble” over it so that you can always remember exactly what you are fighting for; so that you will gain the strength and courage to wake up each morning with a renewed sense of purpose as you experience this beautiful, thrilling, wonderful life of being a mom or dad.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at