Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Roadmap

They say that if you don't know where you are going, you're likely to end up somewhere else. I think that this is as true for family life as anything else. Goals, dreams, and plans for the future are all essential to intentional living, and I know in my family they are also essential to knowing if we are creating the life we wish to live. So after my husband and I spent some time talking about what is important to our family, I took our ideas and created our family mission statement. I've had this mission statement written and available to us for a few months now, but other than a pithy statement I look fondly at sometimes, I haven't looked to it regularly...until recently.

In an effort to streamline important information for our family, I have been working on a family notebook. This notebook includes much of the typical information of home management notebooks  - important phone numbers, information about school, church, kids' activities, family birthdays - any thing we need readily accessible. But as I was trying to gather this information, I struggled with knowing what information was important to include and how to organize it in a binder. The information I was gathering just didn't seem to include what was really important to our family. It was just stuff. Useful stuff, perhaps, but still stuff. 

Then I stumbled across our family mission statement.

In re-reading it, I realized that I had already laid out what is important to our family and why. In other words, I found our roadmap for this journey to good enough. Do I need to care about weekly cleaning checklists or meal planning guides? Only if it encourages our family to live according to our values. For example, our family has decided that what is important to us is to have a welcoming home so that we can foster honest and deep relationships. So, which is more important - keeping my house immaculate by using cleaning checklists...or allowing room in my week for friends to come over to my imperfect house for a cup of coffee? By weighing our decisions against what we believe is most important in life, I find I am able to create routines and systems that work for us, instead of me working for them.  More importantly, though, it allows me to decide how to spend my time according to my priorities - and not someone else's. It's not much, but it's one step further on my journey toward good enough.

What's one thing that has been helpful to you on your journey to good enough?

Our family mission statement

We as a family…

love deeply and honestly, showing the loving heart of God to the world;
laugh often and freely, encouraging an atmosphere of love and joy;
celebrate all for who God made them, trusting that He creates with a purpose;
 value our time together, placing our family above other responsibilities;
   pursue life-long learning, valuing passion, curiosity, and independent thought;
practice healthy living, stressing emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing;
     create a welcoming home, fostering honest and uplifting relationships;
  promote peace & tolerance, striving for compassion in a diverse & nuanced world;
          practice sustainable living, acting as good stewards of God's creation;
                     Enjoy simple living, allowing room for our souls to breath;
…embrace the fullness of life, delighting in both the beautiful and the difficult.