A Plan Explained

A Plan = A Language, A Toolbox and A Community

“Every respectable military strategist, educator, business manager, political leader, and effective parent will agree that achieving positive outcomes rarely happens by chance. It is almost always the result of good planning and diligent implementation.”

George Barna in Revolutionary Parenting

Ron and I became parents in the spring of 2002! Maya and Ada entered our world, and Carson soon followed in 2003. You are seeing the picture, right??? We had three “little people” – all of a sudden in our house! Though there was quite a bit of time when the goal was meals made, relatively clean clothes on all five bodies, and some sleep to be had, we did begin to put sentences together again and start thinking about parenting and quotes from smart people like George Barna.

And we agreed. “Planning” is a good idea. But what do we do? And where do we start? On Monday morning at 7:00 am, what is happening at our breakfast table that illustrates any kind of “good planning and diligent implementation?” Are you kidding me? But if it is important, it should show up there in our words and conversation or at least at some consistent point in our week together!

The Plan (you know that picture of a peach at the bottom of this page) is the result of such questions, a lot of exploration on the matter and our part in the conversation. It is our attempt to get the main things at the top of the list, in the midst of our calendar and part of our conversation. It is the picture of where we are headed and what we hope to give to Maya, Ada and Carson before they leave our home. At least what we know so far!?!?

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First, let’s start with some possible common agreements.

1. We believe the Bible as God’s holy word. It is the truth and our road map for life (Psalm 119).

2. We believe in Father God, the creator of heaven and earth and the creator of us. He is the only true God and the only way. We believe in His story – a story of love and calling to us. He sent Jesus Christ, “the Son he loves,” “to make peace through his blood shed on the Cross.” Jesus Christ, fully man and fully God, came to earth, walked among us, shared the story again with us face to face and fought for us. Through his sacrifice of death on the cross and resurrection from that death, he made a way back into relationship with our Father God. He has also given us the Holy Spirit to “give life” and to keep reminding us of this love. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Romans 3:22-26, 5:1-11 and 8, 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:3-7 and Philippians 2:6-11).

3. His story invites us into a relationship and asks for our response (Hosea 7:13b-14 and John 3:16). In brokenness and acceptance of our need, we reach out to Jesus and ask for his help. We testify to his story of grace – his resurrected life from death and the invitation to live in his victory cleansed from our sin and choose to live under his authority and blessing.

4. When this life ends, we believe that the friendship we have started with Father God on earth will continue in heaven. For those that believe and choose him, there is life eternal with him. Heaven is with God forever, and he has promised us that nothing can ever separate us from that love (Romans 8:37-39).

5. We believe there is no better way to live – sitting at the table with Father God, our maker and redeemer, in conversation and working it out each and every day (Psalm 23:5, Hebrews 6:1-2, Philippians 3:12-13). He leads us and loves us as we move through our days, and we respond to this love. We get to know him and what is on his mind. Our actions and thus purpose move from self-sufficiency and self-absorption to a hunger and thirst for the only thing that can quench it, a life lived in relationship with the only true God, one that we call “abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). We move in the direction of what he promises in John 10:10, “a life to the full.”


There are three parts to The Plan – a language, a toolbox and a community.

A Language

For our answers, we start with the Bible. But you can’t very well hand a Bible to your kids and say: “learn this” and let me know when you got it. We had to figure out a way to take the main things and organize them for our kids. People have been doing it for a really long time; it is called systematic theology. But most of the language is pretty complex and difficult for a child to embrace. So, I began working out a language that encompasses those big words in pictures that are important to my kids and words that are simple to understand.

The Story Cards, God cards and Me Cards are the result of this journey. And it is far from over. This is just what we have figured out thus far.

The Story Cards tell the story of our life. You can also call them systematic theology.

The God Cards describe the main character. Often these are called attributes of God.

The Me cards describe us. In light of the story and God’s action on our behalf, we receive a new identity in Christ.

Together, these cards paint a powerful picture. They are your foundation – your lens and your language. A vision for where you are headed and a common language to communicate that vision is a great gift to your children. George Barna cites in Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions four cornerstones if we are to give our children a “solid foundation” – the Bible, a commanding knowledge of biblical content, the identification of organizing principles and a burning desire to obey God. When you work through these cards on a regular basis, you are giving your children this “solid foundation.”

What you do is simple!

1. Get the God, Story and Me cards at our store.

2. Go to a Plan for this year to figure out what card we are doing together or choose a card on your own. There are 54 cards – 5 Story Cards, 42 God cards and 7 Me cards, one for every week of the year and a couple extra.

3. Read the “Getting Started” information on the poster that comes with the cards and watch the “how to” video on the Story, God and Me Cards.

4. Gather your family together and work through a card using the information above to know what to do with the card. It usually takes us 30 minutes or less.

The Hagan family has worked through the cards in so many ways. There is great freedom to figure out how to weave the cards into the fabric of your family. There is a card on the Family Board (post) at all times. Sometimes that card just stays up there longer than others. The card ignites the conversation, leads the prayers and keeps us focused on a single topic. We work through the Story Cards once a year. Though I didn’t plan this one, we have been doing the Me Cards every other year. And then the God Cards fill in the gaps. You will find a rhythm for your family. And it will probably change through the years depending on the ages and events of your house. The hope is that by the time our children leave our house, we will have moved through these cards several times, over and over, impressing upon them the very truths of the Christian faith in a story language that inspires them, draws them and moves them.

For the sake of some leadership, you can use our Plan for this year based on the liturgical Christian calendar with the new year starting in November. We will walk together and perhaps get through all of the cards in a year. I am just not sure. Sometimes, I can’t even plan a day much less a year. And even when I plan it, it goes awry. So, I would love to invite you into our family’s conversation, and if you want to walk with us, that will be cool. But your family might take a different path with a different card. Or my family might take some crazy turns that you would rather not take. There is great freedom. Now that we have been doing the cards for several years now, Maya, Ada and Carson have begun leading and choosing. And Ron and I will always jump on that. Or sometimes Father has put a card in front of us through a word or experience, and we will follow his lead. So, the Plan for this year is a guide but written in pencil and subject to change!

This endeavor is dangerous, you know. The first part of John 10:10 says: “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy.” You need to remember that the enemy does not want you to be intentional. He wants you confused and without a plan. He wants you deferring your opportunity to lead your children in the truth to someone else. He wants you feeling ill-equipped and guilty for never doing enough. And if you do think about a plan, he wants you ruled by responsibility and obligation so that you just give up when something doesn’t work out. So, you must stay loose and focused on the main things – the intention of your heart, the Bible as your guide and honest conversation between Father and your family!

I was putting the girls to bed last night and praying over them. In my prayer, I began going through some of the God card statements – “Father God, I pray that Maya and Ada would know that you are their line leader and muscle tomorrow at day camp. When they are afraid, may they depend on your strength. Tonight, would they rest in the fact that you are their nightlight.” And so on. I mentioned several more when Maya chimes in – “Mommy, don’t forget Father God is our. . . . “ I bet she named five or so more God cards. It was beautiful. I celebrate that Maya knows Father God, that she was able to rattle off attributes of him and that together we called upon him in our places of need to be that for her and Ada tomorrow at camp. This is the fruit of the Language, a Jeremiah 9:24 moment! We can’t wait to hear your stories.

A Toolbox

These Tools help you as a parent fix things, solve problems and ease the load. They have empowered us as we disciple our children, and we believe they will do the same for you.

Pray – Wouldn’t it be cool to pray the entire Bible over your children before they leave your home? I thought it would, so I started writing prayer cards as I read books in the Bible. So far, I have written cards over Psalms, John, and James.

Breathe – Speaking of time out, wouldn’t it be healthy to stop the movement and reflect? I know that it is noisy sometimes once you stop; your thoughts rush at you and scream for attention or ridicule your attempts at whatever. Sometimes it has been so long since you stopped, you don’t know where to begin. Sometimes you can’t remember the last time you were able to put a thought together much a line of complete sentences. But, I came to the realization that stop I must, and I started journaling these thoughts in my head however disorganized or crazy and also listening to his still, small voice.

Talk – Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have some worthwhile conversation at dinner beyond “how was your day?” and “what is on the calendar for tomorrow?” I thought so; so I started writing questions that we could all answer as we ate dinner. It became a game and one they started initiating!

Post – Wouldn’t it be right to remember what we learned once we had the family time? My days move fast, and I need pictures to remind me of the lessons we are teaching, and I need it in a place that we frequent as a family. We put up a family board above our kitchen table.

Date – Wouldn’t it be rich to keep building into our marriage? Life and the responsibilities of parenthood are tough. We need a time out and once there, we need some good questions to help us get to the heart of the issues and remember our love together. We created some questions to get the conversation started as we shared some dinner alone.

Sing – Wouldn’t it be fun to put all of this that we are learning into a song? My kids remember it better that way, so I started writing songs based on the nursery rhymes they loved, and I found Seeds CDs that put God’s word into great songs that my kids love.

Evaluate – Wouldn’t it be right to assess the journey? Our time is so precious; our days are moving quickly and if we don’t think about where we have come from and where we are headed, we might end up in the ditch or just aimlessly running in circles. So, we started creating some markers in our year to consider these important questions for our family as a whole and our children as individuals.

Eat – Wouldn’t it be novel that while I am doing all of this for their spiritual and emotional well-being that I take a minute and consider their physical well-being? If the car doesn’t have gas or have the right gas, it is not going very far no matter how good the car is equipped. Our body is his temple, and we need some ideas for healthy eating. So, I started cutting and creating, researching and refining, and this is what I have learned so far.

Study – Wouldn’t it be good to know how to teach your children to feed on God’s word? If the Bible is to be the guidebook for their living, how do we teach them to use it? It is all about simple steps, building blocks of understanding threaded with a belief that his Word is alive, powerful and speaking. We created some routines and activities to help us on the way.

Together, these tools add some great richness and ideas to the journey. Just spread them throughout your home and throughout your year. Put the Pray cards on your windowsill or in your car. Put the Date cards in your purse for the magic moment when you are on that date! Put the Talk cards in the middle of your kitchen table. Put the Sing cards or the Seeds CD in your car. Put the family board (Post) above your kitchen table. Put the Eat ideas in your refrigerator and your pantry. Put the journal (Breathe) next to your Bible in the quiet corner in your home. Put the Study ideas in your Bible. Put the Evaluate tool in your calendar. And off you go! These tools are now splattered throughout your world helping you along the way!

A Community

Just as Father God works together in community with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we too should work together with other friends headed in the same direction. We cannot do this alone. Our community will flesh out in different ways, but all that we offer at The Whole Peach is intended to keep the conversation going. We don’t have the answers; we just want to walk together.

There are words to share via this site.

There are physical times and places we hope to gather.

  • Date Nights
  • Parent Retreats
  • Family Dinners
  • Family Adventures

Become a regular on the site, a friend on Facebook or a follower on Twitter for your daily dose of encouragement! In your own community, add some of the Language or Tools to the mix of your small group. Share with the Whole Peach community your story! Or join us for a dinner, retreat or the next adventure!



What is most important on this journey of “spiritual formation” is the conversation – between you, Father God and your children. The Whole Peach gets the conversation started; the power will come from your heart seeking after him and the experiences shared amongst your family. Father God is not looking for your completion of a task or a curriculum to master; he wants “time at the table” sharing words and experiences (Deuteronomy 6). He wants your heart and attention directed to his solutions. He wants you to know how much he loves you, and he wants you to tell your children.

“The responsibility for raising spiritual champions, according to the Bible, belongs to parents. The spiritual nurture of children is supposed to take place in the home. Organizations and people from outside the home might support those efforts, but the responsibility is squarely laid at the feet of the family. This is not a job for specialists. It is a job for parents.” George Barna in Revolutionary Parenting


“May your household provide a nurturing environment of faith, love and spiritual growth so that the emerging generation of children will be all that their creator intends them to be.” George Barna in Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions

With his vision as our guide, with a good plan in place and with your hand to hold, we can experience great things. And we can raise up this next generation in light of his love and life!

So what do you do now?

1. Get the God, Story and Me cards at our store.
2. Go to a Plan for this year tab below to figure out what card we are doing together or choose a card on your own. There are 54 cards, one for every week of the year and a couple extra!
3. Read the “Getting Started” information on the poster that comes with the cards and watch the “how to” video on the Story, God and Me Cards.
4. Gather your family together and work through a card using the information above to know what to do with the card. It usually takes us 30 minutes or less.
5. Once you get going with the cards, choose a tool to add in the mix. There are 9 to choose from. For example, purchase the Pray cards and begin praying God’s word over your children. Read the ideas on Evaluate and ask those 2 questions the next time you have dinner to help you focus on the here and now. Etc. Just slowly add the tools into the life of your family.
6. Last, check out our Community page and figure out when we are getting together or how you might converse with us via the site.
7. And never hesitate to email us at info@thewholepeach.com with any questions you might have.

View plan for this year