A Vision for your Family

My daughter and I watched these mice run on the wheel almost mindlessly at the pet store the other day. We giggled as we watched their little legs go as fast as they could to keep up with each other and keep the wheel going quickly in rhythm without stalling the wheel or falling off.

It may seem that way with us bi-pedalers as well. Have you felt that way? Have you felt like all you’re doing is running on a wheel and really going nowhere? You wake up, get the kids ready to go to school, drop them off, go to work, get off work, pick up the kids, take them to practice, inhale dinner, off to bed, squeeze in a workout, watch a funny pet video on FaceBook, post selfie on Instagram, sleep in front of the tv, then repeat the next day?

Surely life should be more than that. It is, however, it is up to us to get the meaning out it all. What I am trying to do that is actually harder to do than running on life’s wheel. I am approaching the wheel with more intentionality. I am finding out that this approach requires living life with vision. It may be foreign thing to do, but have a written mission statement for you and your family. You may believe in having a specific calling on your life to do something that has a positive impact in this world. How does that apply to your family?

Here’s an example of a vision statement for a family.

Our family mission:
To love each other…
To help each other…
To believe in each other…
To wisely use our time, talents, and resources to bless others…
To worship together…
Forever. 

I don’t think there are copyrights to vision statements, and this one may work for you. Find out your core values; the things you won’t budge on because they are convictions of your hearts. If you’re married, ask your spouse. Ask your children. Don’t try to cover everything. Narrow the list down to the principles and goals that are the most important to you.

Don’t assume that you all want the same goals. In my college days, I landed a sweet job working in a youth program that steered students away from drugs and gangs. A young teenager was sent to me by a school principle to give a pep talk to. He had been in a lot of trouble and was on his way to being expelled from school. I illustrated to him the American Dream; the wife, the house, car, and a cool dog in an attempt to give him an alternative future. I remember the boy looked at me squarely in the eyes and challenged, “Why do you think I want that?” I was speechless. It caused me to reexamine my core values. Think about your core values? Are these principles  really what you believe? Are these goals real what you want?

Once you have formed thoughts into words, then write them down. Post it somewhere where everyone can see it. Make it your creed. In other words, make the vision statement words to live by. Live by them. Stick to them.

Don’t “try” it. Do it. Take the first steps. Talk to your family. When you come up with your vision statement share it in the comments below. If you think my message is important please share it.

The Mission at San Juan Capistrano

 I went on a field trip with my daughter’s class to Mission San Juan Capistrano. It is a beautiful place in a beautiful city. I know beneath the beauty are stories of struggle and pain mostly told by those who had no voice.

See the visual essay on Steller.