Family is essential to our homes. Family stretches beyond home-out into the church, friendships, community, etc. The skills we learn as we develop in a family effect and impact all areas of our life. However, more often than not life is chaotic, we live our life in a little bit of frenzy. “Frenzied Family” is a series on the simple things the Chambers family does to recalibrate, so that we are doing more than surviving the frenzy–we are thriving in the chaos.
My youngest, Judah, is a late teether (and also bald). He received his first “toof” (as my girls say) about a month ago. Seriously, if you give him a cigar he’d look like Baby Herman from Roger Rabbit. It was so cute..until….the other four started popping through this week. Yeah…I’ve had many a sleepless night, and have been surviving off of an IV drip of caffeine.
In moments like these, when I’m at my breaking point, having mental madness, physical feebleness, and altogether an extremely pleasant attitude….I often have to remind myself that there’s a bigger mission for my house and my heart.
When our twins were 3 months old and I was newly pregnant with our youngest, we looked ahead and knew that life in the next several years was about to be a smokin’ hot mess. Literally, for own sanity, we created our own family mission statement to create a common goal and direction.
It has helped us so many times to evaluate what is important to us and what we want to accomplish in our home and with our kids. It also has made it easier to prioritize our lives and get rid of the “unnecessary” clutter of life.
These are the steps we have taken:
1. Develop. What does “family” mean? What do we want our home to be about?
Cole and I separately sat down and evaluated what we wanted our family, marriage, and home to be about. We searched scripture and listed out what we felt like were necessary things to include. We also looked at our families and evaluated some traditions we wanted to continue in and some we did not.
Then, we sat down together and shared our list. We were surprised at how many things were mutual.
2. Create a Framework.
We created our “family” framework so that the purpose remains the same, no matter what “Season” of life we are in. Then every year, we set the types of “evolving” goals within that framework. For example, next year one of our goals is to be involved in our community by doing our laundry at a laundromat once a month, for the sole purpose of meeting someone new in our community. (Extra Perk: I get “caught” up with laundry)
3. Use the framework, to establish boundaries and expectations.
It set the bar for behavior, and an outline for making decisions. I really believe that this was a moment that defined our marriage in a new way. It gave us a manageable do-able goal instead of a lofty idea or assumption or expectation we had.
We came to an agreement about the standards for our behavior towards one another. Now, instead of pointing fingers, we can utter, “Hey remember we both agreed to ______, and I feel like we both might need to evaluate our behavior”.
4. Re-evaluate often.
Each year we re-evaluate it and see how we’ve measured up to our family mission. We also evaluate what else needs to be added and determine what may need to be removed.
Here is our framework (minus specifics):
Our family exists to communicate to each other and every person we welcome into our home or we spend our time with that are pursued by God, that we care for them, and that He wants them to be in a healthy and vibrant community centered on His son Jesus.
Here is how we will know that we are “on mission”:
- We will daily seek the heart of God.
- We find personal satisfaction with our time alone with God and allow Him to continuously change and mold us into obedient followers.
- We will reconcile our home life and our family relationships before attempting to build outside ones.
- We will pray consistently for our ministry, our family, and for the people we are ministering to.
- We will intentionally spend quality time with our family, co-workers, neighbors, and friends.
- We will encourage and serve one another .
- We will intentionally give our resources to our church and community.
- We will be transparent and vulnerable with the intention of having honest relationships built on trust not a facade.
- Sometimes truth is painful (whether it be about ourselves, each other, or about God), but we will strive to offer grace instead of judgment to members of our family and to others daily.
By the grace and blessing of God we will continue down this road He has led us on. We trust that He is good but we acknowledge that He is dangerous and His ways seem to “mess” things up for us, but we wouldn’t have it any other way because we know that “messy” is also beautiful. Mess makes us mold-able.
1 Peter 3: 8-12 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here’s what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you’re worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he’s asked
What is your family mission? What are some things that are important to your family? What are topics that you’d like to discuss in the “frenzied family” series?
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