Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I have a good friend who is in the process of adopting a girl from Ethiopia. While going through the process she and her husband have had to really examine their family and what they want it to be like. They have become very intentional in the way that they live.

She inspired me last week. Truly inspired me. She and her husband have made some rather difficult decisions in order to protect their family and become even more family oriented.

Dave and I sat down and talked about our family for 2 hours on Sunday morning. We created a vision statement, some goals and a list of traditions that we want to continue or begin. It was an incredible exercise. We now have a plumbline on which to base many of our decisions... for example, Nora had gotten invitations to two birthday parties - one on Friday night and one on Sunday. We now have a way of making a decision on whether or not she can go. Obviously, things are not completely rigid and may go through changes over the years, but it is a good starting point.

We also made a list of core values for our family. Values that we want to instill in our children - to teach them and live them ourselves. Again, another plumbline that will help in decision making... does this line up with our core values?

Mission/Vision Statement:
We are a family that is focused on love: Love for God, love for eachother, love for others and love for ourselves.

Our Core Values:
* to be missional - looking outward, focused on serving others
* to be compassionate - look at others in terms of their stories rather than judging outward appearances, feel for them, love them
* to be God-centered - actively pursue together who God is in our lives
* to have integrity - do the right thing even when it is painful or difficult and even when no one is looking; make grown-up decisions, not necessarily the easy ones
* to have self-love and confidence - realize self worth & that its okay to do something for yourself, live confidently in love
* to be loyal to family - defend your family, be protective of your sisters, enjoy each other and desire to spend time together

Goals for our family:
* Have family dinners on Tuesday night & Friday or Saturday night
* Do devotions at family dinners & be intentional about our conversations at dinner (no more conversations over top of the girls' heads resulting in frustration at their interruptions, intentionally focus on family conversations)
* Participate in mission/community outreach projects as a family
* Honor our family traditions
* Cultivate relationships with the 12 people/families we've identified - once/month
* One date night with each girl + 1 parent once/year
* Breakfast dates - 1 parent + 1 girl, each parent goes 1/month alternating girls
* One vacation each year as a family
* One vacation each year as just Dave and Jana
* Manage our money and time with a Big Rock First attitude
* One date night each month
* Protect Sunday as our family day
* Provide experiences rather than things

* Advent wreath & adore-naments
* Santa & reindeer
* Lent - establish this
* Easter brunch with the Fulmers
* 13th birthday: trip alone with mom & dad
* Golden birthday: family getaway
* Labor Day weekend at Gramps & Gram's trailor
* Dykstra campout
* Church each week


April 11:36 AM  

That is awesome Jana!! What a great idea to really work through what is important!!! I love it!!!

Marissa 2:12 PM  

This is such an awesome list. It's too easy to just fly by the seat of one's pants through life (and especially in relationship to family). Much harder, but way more worthwhile, to look at the way we approach our relationships with our loved ones and our community/world in such an intentional way.

johanna 10:06 PM  

I got led to your blog through following links that caught my interest in my wandering through the crafting blog-world.

Your musings, your conundrums, and the way you share your journey are wonderfully honest as well as inspiring. I especially love the intentional living, and the family focusing you and Dave went through and that you shared in this post.

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