family on a mission

Since I have worked in non-profits, I have fallen in love with mission statements. They are simple, direct, complex and hopeful. They guide decision making and simply state an organization’s purpose, its direction.

The Mountain Man and I have been working on a family mission statement. We’ve been kicking around our “key words” for a while, and we’ve come up with some ideas. We may need to narrow it down, but for now I feel like all of these things are so integral to our family that none could be removed.

I am going to paint this on a big canvas or framed piece of wood one day, and it will hang in our home.

I took this blurry picture of a piece of wood with stenciled letters along the same lines as what ours will be. It was like $200. Crazy!DSC_0501

It will be centering for us, it will define us, it will guide us in decision making. It’s a list for how we will live.

In this family, we love

We are kind to one another

We are compassionate

We live in a simple, natural, responsible way

We live below our means

We are active, we explore. We go on adventures

We eat well, we laugh

We spend time with nature

We never stop learning

We strive to be better people than we were yesterday

It’s such an interesting process, to put down on paper the things that each family member values and try to make them one cohesive thing. There’s no striking down what the others value, but there is weighing what is a personal value vs. a family value. It’s enlightening. I recommend it.

This is a process, a statement in progress. We may come back to it after some time and decide to make some alterations. It was fun to work on, and I am so, so excited to put this in my home. It may be a while before I can get around do it. I’m probably going to have to wait until after my convention in May. But my heart is so full with this right now, I can’t wait to put this up in my home so I can see it, be reminded every day of what we value, what makes us happy, find guidance, see what we stand for as a family. I think it will be centering when things feel a little out of control. When I’m tired and overwhelmed, it will remind me that I am making choices every day about how I am living my life and raising my family. It will be my mantra.

I’d love to hear other family statements, to get a glimpse into what you value and how you’re building your lives!


  1. That is such a great idea! Steven and I will have to discuss this, I will get back to you with our list :)

  2. I'm not sure that this is the finished product - we'll revisit it when I have time to paint it, and make sure it's still in line with our interests. For now this is how we try to live. I wanted to include "calm" in there somehow, but haven't figured it out yet. I kind of want short & sweet, so I don't want to add too many pieces...but I think it will be really nice to have my personal philosophy on my life and my family on the wall for those rough days when i need a reminder... enjoy working on yours!

  3. Megan,
    Love this idea. What about cutting all the supefluous stuff and just getting to the essentials? As in:
    Love, Kindness, Compassion, Respect, Accountability, Nature, Laughter, Adventure, Learning, Improving: Us.
    (Also, I like the idea of making it be 10 things, the "us" is like the sum of everything else.)
    And what about spray painting it (with stencils) on different smaller pieces of wood and combining it all together--sort of like a collage (or ransom note?!).
    In the mean time, write it all on a post-it note and stick it to your bathroom mirror. :)

  4. Wow, excellent ideas! I love the "word cloud"/ransom note thing! I was thinking about making a just-for-now something with just printed text, but thought it might look ransom-ish. I think I LOVE the word cloud wall art idea. OMG I might do it.

  5. Yay! Glad you like my idea. :)

  6. ooh the craftiness of it all is really fun.

    i read a parenting book for work either before or during pregnancy that advocated getting clear on your family mission, basically boiling it down to one or two things that are really important for you in how you are raising your children. something about it was so clarifying. it was really nice to sit and explicitly discuss, well, if I could bring one thing to my child in my parenting, it would be kindness, etc.

    can't wait to see the final project (and also the interim one if there is one).

  7. i think kindness is probably the most important feature to us, too. being thoughtful & responsible are probably the most valuable lessons i can teach my child. (and of course being a hard worker...) it is nice to have this bit of clarity, and i am excited to be able to bring it with us and have it as a constant reminder wherever we live, whatever we're doing. it is nice to have this piece of direction at a time when we have so much uncertainty!


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