Ideally, they exist to give direction, meaning and vision to something. They keep you on track, and hold you accountable.
Have you ever seen or heard of a Family Mission Statement?
Me neither. Until I read one of my now favorite books, Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider.
On the first hearing, a "Family Mission Statement" sounds uptight, strict, legalistic or even boring.
That is until you read from Tsh's book the vision behind creating such a vision for your family.
We've all heard "those kids grow up before you know it" and "life happens so fast" and the like. If we're not intentional about how we want to live, how we want to leave this world or what we want to be about in the grand scheme of things, we'll completely miss it. It'll all be over "before we know it."
Tsh's book is amazing. Yes, it's an organizational book. But before she gets anywhere near de-cluttering schedules and cleaning routines, she challenges her readers to think much deeper than the surface of how your home looks. She wants you to get to the root of what your home, even your life is going to be about. What your family is going to prioritize, value, strive after and accomplish. If you know these things, then whatever you chose to bring into your home and your life will match those priorities and hopefully your 'stuff' filling and cluttering up your home & life isn't what defines you. That's all I'll say for now, she does a much better job of explaining the why's and how's of Family Mission-making, but suffice it to say that I was incredibly inspired by her words of great wisdom and set to put it into practice right away!
Over the winter break, Jay & I spent a couple hours together talking through the prompts & questions Tsh outlines. Things like :
-what do we want people to feel inside our house?
-how do we want our family to look in 10 years: relationally, spiritually, financially....
-what are we good at? what are we not so good at?
-what values do we want our children to grow up and also value?
From there we started seeing trends and repeated ideas, went to our favorite 'life verses' and began crafting a mission statement. (She also gives great examples and head-starts on formulating your statement).
What we came up with is not something rigid that boxes us in, but rather a few short statements or key words that we hope will be a helpful guide in making decisions of how to 'spend' our life and a tool to come back to in evaluation of our current state in the future. It's message is timeless. Hopefully it'll be as relatable to our season of life with grown children as it is with babies.
I had our hodge-podge of ideas/words/scriptures made into a custom Wall Art piece by a Graphic Designer here in Denver that I found on Etsy, her shop is here: A New History. Her work is unique and beautiful, and I knew she'd be able to handle taking a bunch of words & ideas and turn it into a beautiful piece of art that we'll display in our home for years!