A few years ago my husband Michael and his men’s small group came up with this idea of forming family mission statements, and then posting them in our homes. Each family discussed the values important to them and formed their unique mission statement. (See July 21 post for another family’s statement.) Michael did a color wash in acrylics on canvas, and lettered ours with paint pens. It hangs on a spacious wall leading to the family room, and can be clearly viewed from the dining table.
Creating a mission statement brought about really good conversations between Michael and I on our values, our vision for our family, and how we want to be perceived by the world. After much discussion, we were able to sum it all up with the above statement.
We (and our friends who did the same) found this very helpful for multiple reasons:
- Our mission statement helps us prioritize activities and investments. It’s so easy to become overly busy, to have our kids involved in everything, to say “yes” to anyone, and pack our schedules with every event and activity. Now we have a guide to help us pick and choose what we busy our lives with. This has been especially helpful as our kids are growing into the age of extra-curricular activities like sports and music, etc. We ask ourselves, “Does this activity serve others? Is it an investment in one of our passions? Does it tap into creativity?”
- Having a clear vision for our family focuses our plans for the future. We love to dream about all the places we’ll go and all the things we’ll do as a family. In order to make dreams into realities, we need a plan. One passion Michael and I have is travel. We want to take our kids to Europe in about 10 years, so we’re investing in that passion now by tucking a little money away each month.
- Our mission statement helps shape our lifestyle. ‘Unchaining Creativity‘ in ourselves and our kids is very important, so we have set up our home to do that. We have spaces for playing, spaces for creating, and spaces for reading. (see July 11 post and July 16 post). ‘Investing in Passions‘ is a priority, so we work in time for these passions into our everyday routines and weekly schedules. For example, I go to Starbucks every Sunday afternoon to write. Michael tries to see a live theatre production once a month. Westly has ‘quiet time’ every day while the littles nap; he draws and crafts and builds Legos. We chose to homeschool because it’s a lifestyle that reflects these values for our family. ‘Serving Others‘ keeps us from becoming too focused inward, and reminds us to look outward. Michael sings on the worship team at church. I serve on the Women’s Ministry Board.
Really what it all boils down to is intentional living. Forming a family mission statement helps us live with intention, instead of just coasting on auto-pilot and letting our fast-pace culture swallow us up. It’s so easy to get distracted, so having our statement hang in our home is a visual reminder of how we want to live.
And this contributes to the nurturing atmosphere we hope to create at home.