Friday, May 25, 2012

Creating a Family Purpose Statement

Before leaving for Disney I had spent 1/2 faithfully every day decluttering, and I finished the kitchen cabinets that wouldn't close!  It is so nice to open those two cabinet doors and see it nicely organized and ready to be easily accessed.  I bought a pot lid holder to keep in there and it fits great, keeping pot lids accessible yet put neatly away.  I have a growing pile of things to give to Goodwill as well as another area for garage sale/Craigslist items.  I love the feeling of ridding the house of unnecessary items and freeing up space!  I truly believe that all the stuff can weigh me down and cause me to feel defeated.  It has been relatively easy so far to spend just 1/2 hour per day evaluating what I have in these cabinets (and other areas as well) and getting rid of things.  I am still struggling to give things up that I "may need just in case," but I've been making progress.

Last night I spent 1/2 hour working on the shoe rack/coat rack by the back door.  This is one of those areas that can get out of control quickly/  I would have thought it would take me a lot longer to clean out that area, but I was finished in exactly 1/2 hour!

Here is what it looked like before:  Pretty horrible, isn't it??  This is humbling for me to post, but it's so good for me as well.  :)

And here is after:

Much better!!  Pretty good for 1/2 hour of work.  Not perfect, I know, but how could it be with 11 people's stuff store there??  What I love about doing this is that I set my timer for 1/2 hour, and when it goes off, I'm done, even if I'm "in the middle" of something.  I put it away and save it for later.  I have oftentimes said I don't have time to decluttter, etc., but the truth is that I do, but I waste a lot of time thinking of how little time I have instead of just digging in and doing it for a change.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I have also been spending time daily thinking about and praying through some questions to help us come up with our family purpose statement.  I'm hoping to get Todd to think about these things as well so that we can develop our family vision/purpose statement together. After all, what good is a purpose statement if my hubby isn't in on it?!

We have in the past stated our purpose to be this: The Erdner Family exists to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, and to make disciples for His kingdom." I think the new statement will basically be this with a few additions to be a little more specific and help us line up our choices of activities.

 Here are some things I am thinking about to compare notes with my husband. These questions come from Tsh Oxenreider's book _Organized Simplicity_.

1. What are some strengths of each member of the family? I'm thinking talking is one of the gifts shared by everyone in this family,  :)

2.Collectively, we are at our best when... Playing games as a family. Camping together as a family, having people over for dinner and/or to ride the horses.  Doing things together, like working on a project.

3. Collectively, we are at our worst when we...are in a hurry, everyone is thinking only of themselves, or if we are bored.

4.  If we had a completely free day, how would we spend it?  Go to the pool, play soccer in the yard, go for tractor rides with the younger kids, maybe a walk for the whole family.

5.  What are practical ways we can serve each other?  Chores for everyone in the household!  Pray for one another.

6.  What are practical ways we can serve others outside our family?  Practicing hospitality.  Service project like meals on wheels, Little Helping Hands, etc.  Signing up to bring meals to those who need them for various reasons.

7.  Name three things we could do better as a family:  thinking of others first, going above the call of duty, taking the initiative.

 8.  What would people say today about our family as a whole?  I think most people would say we are a fun, LOUD family with convictions.  Most people who know us would say we are a family who enjoys having people over for fun, casual times, and that we make just about anyone feel welcome and at home.

9.  What would we like people to say about our family as a whole in thirty years?  We would like for them to say that we are a family in which all the members love God with their heart, soul, mind, and strength and that we are all walking with and serving Him!

10.  If our home could be filled with one emotion, what emotion would that emotion be? Love/Joy

11.  List three adjectives we would like people to use to describe our home environment.  Warm, Welcoming, Christ-centered/Spirit-filled

12.  If we could name one principle from which we would like our family to operate, what would it be?  Honor with Grace

13.  What are the top four priorities we want out family to value?  Loving God, practicing hospitality, serving others (community, etc.), sharing the gospel

14.  What is the main purpose of our home?  To be a vessel for the work of Christ in and through us.

15.  What is the secondary purpose of our home?  Fun place to live and grow a family, and have people over (our enjoyment and the enjoyment of others)

16.  What is the individual purpose in life of each member of our family?  To know God and make Him known.

17.  What is one way we are unique as a family?  One way?  Ha!!  We are a big, happy family with a very unique, casual way of life.  We certainly go against the mainstream culture!

18.  Describe the status of our family in ten years:  Financially: debt-free, but with lots of college age children?? Intellectually: homeschooling, college kids, still discussing stuff Emotionally: stable, relying on God, so joyful Relationally with each other: love, strong bonds as a family Communally in our environment:  nature important, on the farm Physically: healthy, vegan, exercise  Spiritually: strong relationships with the LORD! He is our LIFE!!

19.  Where is your family in 10 years?  Still homeschooling, close, kids adults still happy to come home.  Home is the haven.

20.  What is the purpose of life? To know God and make Him known!!

I'm excited to watch how this may unfold into a family statement.  Do you have a personal or family purpose statement you would be wiling to share on my page?  Share it here or on FB.

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