Vision / Mission

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

As a parent, I learned that boundaries had to be set. Amazingly, I also learned that the kiddos were looking for boundaries – What are the limits? How far can I push them? What can I get away with? It turns out that everybody needs boundaries, guidelines, rules to help them navigate life. Maybe not everyone needs the same boundaries, but boundaries nonetheless.

My wife and I were enjoying lunch with some very good friends, a wonderful couple that we feel very close to. They let us in on a great adventure they were planning with another couple (close family) and it was exciting. How about nineteen days at sea, ending up in Genoa by way of the Caribbean, Morocco, and Barcelona? Maybe a few train trips around Europe before flying home? It was incredibly inexpensive as it was a cruise ship repositioning, and we could have a room with a balcony, all inclusive, for just too cheap.

We were in.

Until we weren’t. Of course, there was airfare at both ends, the travel and expenses in Europe would not be free. It was a lot of time to be gone from home. And the general complexities of extended travel. But none of that killed the idea.

We realized that we were operating without boundaries, that we needed to focus on the best way to use our time, energy, and resources. Not because we were frugal or poor. But because we have a lot of eyes looking at us.

We have been blessed with four children, all grown up, all educated, all working and paying taxes, all married. They have collectively given us five grandchildren, ranging from newborn to seventeen. And we like them all. They are all very different, they all pursue life on their own terms, they all have their hopes and dreams. As far as we can tell they like us and want us to be a part of their lives and share in their hopes and dreams.

We are in!

Now we just needed a plan to keep us headed in the right direction. It became imperative that we know what we are going to do with our time, energy, and resources. Statistically, we may have twenty years or so left of a good life. We are trying to get and stay healthy, so we have the energy to make it through those twenty or so years. And we have been blessed, not with great wealth, but with plenty of resources to enable us to live comfortably and share those resources with those kids and their families.

I took a play out of my working days, and we sat down and developed a personal Vision / Mission. I know it sounds all corporate, but there were no suits and ties involved, no PowerPoint presentations, no reams of data in corporate-colored folders. We mostly hashed it out over wine in the hot tub and coffee in the morning.

And we ended up with this. A couple notes first though about what exactly is a Vision / Mission, and why do we need one:

Vision – this is where we see ourselves headed, the endgame of our life work.

Mission – this is more specific and deals with how we will get there.

Our Vision / Mission will help keep us on track, guide our decision-making process, keep us focused on how we use our time, expend our energy, spend our money.

Here is what we came up with:

Vision / Mission


“Our vision is to be a significant and beneficial part of our children’s and grandchildren’s happy, healthy, prosperous, and successful lives.”

To facilitate that vision, we will focus on core activities, our mission.


We will endeavor to deploy our time, energy, support, prayers, input, and resources to help our descendants live their best lives.

Practically speaking:

Time – we will focus our time on the lives of our children and grandchildren, trying to be a part of their activities to the degree that we are able and that we are invited.

Energy – we will expend our energy helping to ensure the success of our children and grandchildren, while at the same time using our energy to promote our own health and well-being as we focus our lives on our stated Vision.

Support – we will try, to the best of our abilities and within our worldview/faith, to fully support the direction of the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Prayers – we will pray daily for each of our children and grandchildren, by name, and welcome requests for prayers for specific needs.

Input – we will share, to the extent that it is welcomed and/or requested, our considerable experience of living life, including all the knowledge and skills we may possess from our marriage, work, and education.

Resources – we will focus the utilization of our financial resources towards our children and grandchildren, prioritizing needs, helping when possible, and carefully stewarding our resources to that end.

Kenny & Diana Fleshman / March 2023

Basically, we set ourselves boundaries. And we took it another step further and made it public – we sent each of the kids a copy and had a conversation. That brings accountability, as we have now publicized our intent and we will make every effort to follow what we have declared. Fortunately, our kids have strong enough character to hold us to it!

Oddly, we don’t feel cheated out of a nice vacation. Instead, we feel settled and comfortable in what our future will look like. We no longer feel the need to flip and flop about decisions concerning our future, where we will live, what we will buy, where we will go. Because, quite simply, for us, and to quote every politician ever:

“It’s about the kids!”

Like boundaries set for your kids, our little plan may not fit your life. But I would encourage you to look deep inside, find out what really matters to you, discover what legacy you intend to leave behind.

We can’t wait to hear all about that fabulous and exotic vacation our dear friends are taking. They will share in fabulous detail every port of call, every great meal, every good bottle of wine drunk. And we will laugh and have a good time reveling in their adventure.

But we have decided that is not for us.

We have set our course for the rest of our days, and our Vision / Mission will guide us home.

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