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A Plan for Families on the 'Go'

Fathers for Good

Bo and Stacy Govea and their children, from left: Ryan, Nicholas, Mary Elizabeth, Megan, Michael, and Mary Ellen.

Bo Govea has a story filled with hardship and the joy only faith can bring. He and his wife, Stacy, also have a system of home and family organization that they are brave enough to test at home – with their six children – and market to others as the “10-20-30-Go!” program.

Basically, it is an incentive-based system that encourages kids to spend 10 minutes in prayer, 20 minutes in reading, and 30 minutes in chores. Sound impossible? Read on.

Two years ago, Stacy delivered twin girls at 25 weeks, who spent much of their first year in neonatal units. They both were named Mary – Mary Ellen and Mary Elizabeth. Doctors told Bo and Stacy that Mary Elizabeth was passing away, and they responded with true faith. First, they told everyone to pray – then they prepared their hearts to accept God’s will, for they knew this baptized soul was destined for heaven. But by some miracle, the tiny girl survived. She and her sister are now 28 months old! In the midst of caring for the twins, Stacy became pregnant with her sixth child, Ryan.

Bo, 38 years old, has been married to Stacy for 17 years and they live in Overland Park, Kansas. Their children are: Megan, 16; Michael, 13; Nicholas, 11; Ellen and Elizabeth (The Marys), 2, and Ryan, 1.

Fathers for Good: You have quite a story with the birth of your twin girls – the two Marys – at 25 weeks. How old are they now and how are they doing?

Govea: The girls are 2 years old (28 months). Ellen is off of her gastric feeding tube and is 100 percent oral feeding. She is walking and doing great! Elizabeth is still on her gastric-tube feeding machine for 100 percent of her feeds. She is starting to walk with the help of her leg braces. The doctors are saying she may have a mild form of cerebral palsy, but I want to emphasize mild. We were told Elizabeth was not going to make it. We actually were waiting for her to pass. Considering where she started, she is doing fantastic!

FFG: How is your wife doing? She was able to deliver another child not too long after the twins – a brave woman!

Govea: My wife is just fine. There were some minor complications with Ryan, who was born after the twins. He was born a month early and had to spend a few days in the NICU, but it was a walk in the park after the girls. He is the easiest of all six kids. I think it gets easier after five!

FFG: Where did the idea for “10-20-30-GO!” come from? Trying to organize a home with six children?

Govea: A couple weeks after the Marys were born, I moved back to Overland Park, Kansas, and Stacy moved into the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City. She stayed there while the girls spent the next four months in the NICU. The month they returned home, Elizabeth was transported to Children’s Mercy Hospital here in Kansas City, for another month in the NICU. Ellen was at home on an NG (nasal) feeding tube and oxygen. I resigned from my job and we found out we were pregnant with number six.

Needless to say our life was a little chaotic. I knew we needed some structure and help from the big kids. I also knew whatever program or routine we went with, we needed to have an emphasis on prayer and relationship with God. The idea of “10-20-30-GO!” came to me one morning after my personal quiet time with God.

FFG: The goal would seem impossible for some families. What’s the secret?

Govea: To say we have it all figured out or are completely organized would be a lie. We struggle just like most busy families do. “10-20-30-GO!” is a great tool for helping our family stay focused on what is important. It gives us an avenue to communicate our individual relationships with God and share our prayer life. The chores and reading are really just a bonus.

As a father, my goal is to get my kids to heaven. I have realized that I cannot do that for them.  But what I can do is introduce and facilitate a relationship with their perfect Father in heaven. I am the imperfect father. “10-20-30-GO!” is a reminder to me of what I should be doing, and it has become a family routine.

To learn more about the Govea family’s story and their families functioning faithfully system, visit www.102030Go.com.

Printed with permission from Fathers for Good.

Topics: Family

Fathers for Good is an initiative by the Knights of Columbus.

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