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Andrew Family Retreat w/ a Purpose Day #1

Posted on | March 6, 2009

Andrew Family Empowered Retreat – Maui, Hawaii – 2009

Aloha! My wife, Sharee, along with our family of six children with spouses, started a tradition several years ago of having a family retreat with a specific purpose (or theme) every six months. Sometimes these retreats are just held in Salt Lake City at our home and other times we meet in Park City, Utah, at our cabin or one of our favorite camping sites.

About 10 years ago, the children voted to hold every fourth retreat (the odd years) during February (to coincide with Sharee our wedding anniversary) in Maui, Hawaii.

The children immediately assumed the responsibility to put the date in their calendars two years in advance and arrange to be off work or miss school so they could attend. They are also accountable to save up (or accumulate air miles or points) to get themselves to Maui each retreat.

Everyone also pitched in and bought three fixed-week time shares at Kahana Falls resort (in additional to the one Sharee and I had purchased more than twenty years ago) for the odd years during the last week of February.

We were able to get the time shares on the resale market inexpensively after conducting a discussion on an earlier retreat about how to purchase time shares on the resale market.  Anyway, we are here in Maui right now with all of our children and grandchildren (except Mindy and Brian and their just-born-baby, Chloe) enjoying our fourth bi-annual Maui Andrew Family Retreat with a Purpose at Kahana Falls.

Inasmuch as many of you have wanted to know what we do on such a retreat, we assigned a member of the family to make a blog entry each day during this week-long excursion. The primary purpose for this retreat is, “To learn how to become an intentional family and lift where you stand.”  The secondary purpose is to, “Learn how to transform disappointing situations in life to positive outcomes and cultivate worthy goals and future vision.”

Our theme this year is: “Faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify us for the work we need to do.” In order to help us with these purposes, we selected the following books for reading and study: The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties Andrew Family Retreat w/ a Purpose Day #1 by William J. Doherty, and The Majesty of Calmness Andrew Family Retreat w/ a Purpose Day #1 by William George Jordan.

Daily activities include: Snorkeling, zip-lining, biking, hiking, walking/running, body surfing, golfing, activities on the beach, swimming, touring and shopping, sun bathing, racquetball, wally ball (volleyball played in a racquet-ball court), and as always: loving, learning, giving and earning.

Our health goal this year is for everyone to wear Walk-O-Meters (pedometers) and work on increasing our motion to at least 10,000 steps a day, and reducing our calorie intake.

Anyone interested in exercising together gathers together between 6:30 and 7:00 am. Breakfast is eaten by 9:00 am. Then we gather together at 9:00 am for an hour or so for a morning devotional. After family prayer, we spend about 20 minutes discussing one of the core assets in the human quadrant (the northwest quadrant under quadrant living as explained in all of the Missed Fortune books).

Then I (Doug) take about 20 minutes and teach a principle or concept. This year I am taking my family through the 7-Step Process that I call the “Negative Experience Transformer”-how to turn disappointing situations we experience in life into positive outcomes-in other words-turning sad situations into glad situations. Because we have five grandchildren attending this year (ages 9, 8, 5, 18 months, and 12 months), we also spend about 20 minutes doing a children’s game during the family devotional.

We play all day long-usually coordinated together-and then meet at 5:30 for dinner. This year each couple was assigned a dinner to prepare and we decided this year to only eat out one evening.

One of the traditions we started 8 years ago is for each family member to bring three “I Remember When” memories on a jump drive and share them verbally on “their day” at dinnertime. We are compiling these treasured memories (that we always have talked about, but heretofore did not take the time to write down) in our family record of memories. After dinner from 7:00 to 8:00 PM we meet again for an hour for a “family home evening”.  For twenty minutes I teach a segment on family vision and goal cultivation. Then each couple in the family was assigned to teach concepts from a particular chapter in the book, The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties Andrew Family Retreat w/ a Purpose Day #1. And we end the meeting with a story for the small children and some dessert.

Sharee and I, and Ashley and her boyfriend, Justin, flew to Maui a day early and had the chance to get some things organized. The remaining family, Mailee and her daughter, Aspen and her friend, Dan; Adrea and Scott and their three children, Avalee, Sadie and Boede; Emron and Harmony and their little boy, Ethan; and Aaron and Heather all arrived last night.

Today was our first “official” full day on Maui. At morning devotional we had some great discussions led by Justin and Ashley about maintaining good health. I took about 30 minutes and talked about the importance of having an attitude of gratitude even when things may go wrong at times. We all took a few minutes and wrote down five positive accomplishments in different areas of our lives that have occurred during the last two years since we last met in Maui. We then orally reported on these positive accomplishments and what we intended to do further with these goals. We then played a great game with the kids and got ready to play for the day. Some went body surfing on Fleming Beach with some unusually large swells, while the rest stayed and relaxed at the pool, exercised and did some turtle and whale watching.

For dinner, Scott and Adrea barbequed some wonderful filet mignon, chicken and fish for and prepared some tasty veggies. After dinner from 7:00 to 8:00 PM we met again and talked about how to become an intentional family by cultivating family rituals and traditions. Mailee and Dan conducted a great discussion on how single parents can create intentional family rituals amid the challenges that face a divorced or widowed parent. We also talked about why goals are more than just a destination and everyone took a few minutes to write down five of their goals for the next two years and then shared them verbally with everyone. It was very enlightening and inspiring to hear what everyone was going to work on during the next year. Mailee and Dan ended the evening with a “story round” involving the children where one person starts a story, builds it to a point and then passes it to the next person. Each person puts their own twist on the story however they wish. With seventeen of us, the story took some pretty wild turns. Day one ended at about 10:00 pm and we were all pretty tuckered out-I think everyone was still on Utah time, so it seemed like 1:00 am. It’s pretty tough trying to doze off with the ocean breeze blowing through the condo and palm trees rustling outside the window, but we managed to lull ourselves to sleep within minutes.

From our Family to yours,

Doug and Sharee

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