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Identifying Your Family's Vision and Purpose

As the new year approaches, most of us begin to evaluate the year that has passed and look forward to the year ahead. One thing that inevitably happens after the holidays as we move back into reality is that no matter our goals or resolutions, we are often governed by busyness--the tyranny of the urgent. There are so many GOOD things and so many opportunities to say YES that we find ourselves spread so thin and can't even remember what those New Year's goals and values were that we once thought were so important.

Many years ago we were challenged by our pastor to think and pray about a Family Vision Statement-- something that would define our values and purpose as a family.

This is what we came up with:

To know, love and serve God.

To know, love and serve each other.

To know, love and serve others together.

We have always displayed our vision statement in our home, first on a simple sticky note on the refrigerator and now in this pretty frame my sister surprised me with one Christmas.

The great part of having a family vision/purpose statement is that it can be a stake in the ground of sorts--something to go back to when we are faced with a decision. For example, one Fall our oldest daughter wanted to join a club volleyball team. When we started learning more details we discovered that some practices and games would be on Sunday mornings. We also learned that the fees would total over $1,000 for the semester. As much as we would love an opportunity like this for her, we knew this would stretch our family financially and leave very little margin in our lives for both giving and serving God and others, not to mention keeping her from being able to attend church on Sunday.

As much as she was disappointed in the decision not to join the team, I believe talking this through with her will help her in the future to make her own wise choices. When we filter our time, resources, and energy through our vision statement it helps us to say yes to things that align with what our family values most. Otherwise we may say yes to things that might initially be good but may ultimately drain us of the time, resources and energy needed to devote to the most important things.

May you and your family discover the freedom and joy that comes in following your unique dreams, values, and vision!

Happy New Year! The Church Family

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