John and I have been discussing/thinking through what our purpose is, as individuals as well as a family. We are trying to come up with a purpose statement of sorts for our family. Its been an insightful exercise. John and I go about processing these kinds of things COMPLETELY differently. But we are learning more and more how to somehow mesh our learning styles together when needed. Some of the questions that have been especially helpful in fleshing out some stuff are the following: (taken from this book)
Collectively, we are at our best when we are….
Collectively, we are at our worst when we are….
If we had a completely free day together as a family, how would we spend it?
Name three things you could do better as a family.
What would you like for people to say about your family as a whole in 30 years?
If your home could be filled with one emotion, what would it be?
Name three adjectives that you would like people to use to describe your home?
If you could name one principle from which you want your family to operate, what would it be?
What are the top four priorities you want your family to value?
What is one way you are unique as a family?
We still haven’t defined our purpose statement, but in answering some of these questions and talking, we are discovering some recurring patterns, values, issues, ideas that will help us flesh it out.
Doing this exercise at this particular time in our lives when I just lost an amazing mentor/friend to cancer a few weeks ago, makes me feel a real sense of urgency to really dig into life RIGHT NOW. I don’t want to keep coasting and just “deal with it later” or try to get it right later. All we have is right now. Right here. We aren’t guaranteed anything in this life. I am not assured of a tomorrow with my kids, my husband. I so desperately want to GET THAT. I squander moments, minutes, days, weeks on a regular basis. What carelessness on my part, and short-sightedness. How deep my regret will be if I continue on this road. Have you ever been there…. when you stop yourself in a moment of time and KNOW without a doubt that you will regret whatever you are doing or not doing 10 years down the road? Its sobering. This ridiculous power struggle with my 3 year old that evokes harsh words and unrighteous anger from me? I WILL regret that down the road. It will not matter. So Chels, just stop. Choose your words, your tone, your actions, your battles purposefully.
This is further being driven home by the testimonies coming out of Alabama after the tornados. One of my dear friends, Chris, (who was a groomsman in our wedding) has been deeply affected by that disaster. First of all, his father had a heart attack the day of the tornadoes, so he and his wife were not at home. It was a good thing, too, because their home is now gone. Chris and his family built that home when he was 12. His parents have lived there and ministered to so many people using their home for the last 20+ years. But thats not all…. Chris’s sister’s family sheltered 4 families in their basement… with a total of 25 kids inside, while the house above them got completely leveled. All were spared in the basement. And no, that is not all… Their good family friends, the Lee family, are the ones who lost their father as he huddled on top of his entire family (12 kids) giving his life for them all as their house collapsed on top of them. All of this happened in a mere handful of minutes. Life changed instantly for hundreds of people in those moments. Chris’ life has changed. He flew out there from Colorado to help his family through this tragedy.
You know the saying, “Life is a vapor”? These people get that. Chris no doubt gets that clearer than ever before. My friend Lisa got that. Do we? Do I?
So why am I here on earth? What is my purpose as a woman, daughter, wife, friend, mother, neighbor? What is our purpose as a family? These are all such poignant questions to ask ourselves… TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Today.