Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Journey to Simpler: family purpose statement

Simplicity has been a theme everywhere lately, and my brain is no exception. Here's why...

--In April, we will have 5 people living in a small house (1100 sq ft).

--We would like to move eventually, but that requires us to pay off debt and save for a down payment.

--I would love to not freak out at 5pm over what we're going to have for dinner.

--I want to stock our freezer with meals for nights when I don't want to cook and for when baby Zoe gets here.

--I want to read more.

--I want to have more people over and build deeper relationships.

--I don't want to get completely overwhelmed by the messes that are made in this house.

--I don't want things in our house that we don't love and/or are not useful to us.

--I want to have some idea of what the day will look like when my feet hit the floor.

--I want to be available for last minute play dates and people dropping by without losing my mind over what our house looks like.

--I want to engage with my kids more.

--I want to be available to meet needs around me.

--Bottom line, I want to be more intentional with this life.

So, I'm reading this book right now from Simple Mom's Tsh Oxenreider:

I wrote a little blurb about it here, and it has been really helpful to me. I'm not one to follow people's instructions (read: slightly rebellious), but I am really trying to do everything she suggests in the book so I can get the full experience.

One of the first things she talks about is drafting a family purpose statement. Honestly, that sounded a little hokey (and intimidating) to me, but as she explained that it is the measuring stick by which you will measure many little daily decisions and, therefore, live more intentionally, I was listening.

Though it felt uncomfortable and completely out of character, it made sense to me. Being able to ask the question "does this line up with what we believe our family is called to?" sounds really freeing and a great way to make decisions a little easier.

{from here}

It should be simple, timeless and general, but not too general. You want to be able to put real feet to it. She lists a ton of thought-provoking questions to ask yourself to help you narrow your purpose statement down so I answered them. Questions like,

--What are a few strengths of each member of our family?

--What are the top four priorities we want our family to value?

--If our home could be filled with one emotion, what would that emotion be?

Then she suggests that you have your husband (if you're married) answer the same questions and then come up with a statement together.

This is where we stalled out. I haven't given him the questions to answer yet, but she did give a few examples from her book of her's and other people's statements:

"As a family, we want to glorify God in all we say, do and are.
We will...
-Put each other first.
-Cultivate deep relationships with one another.
-Extend love to those around us.
-Live Simply.
-Be true to who God made us.
-Take care of our health.
-Be good stewards of creation.
-Be lifelong learners."

"To be focused on peace."

{from here}

So we're gonna try it (and I'll be sure to come back and share it with you!). I don't know how exactly it will end up serving us and I'm sure we will change it and tweak as we go, but I'm optimistic. :)

{from here}

Have you ever done this? Has it helped you? Does this sound completely crazy?


Penny said...

Wow...I can relate to everything that you listed. That is something that I have been feeling convicted an intentional life. I am going to have to check out that book..I love the idea of having a family purpose. Thank you for your post.