Food For Thought Friday: What's Your Family Vision?

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My church has been putting on this amazing parenting series during our education hour, and last week the topic was Family Visioning. I was all about this, since I've been doing vision boards since before The Secret. I was amazed that when we broke into small groups to reflect on the question, "what is your vision for your family," that many families had not ever considered that question.

What is your vision for your family? Here's another way of phrasing the question; what do you want your family to be known for? When your family shows up an event or a function, what will people say about your family, and how are you working toward being known that way? I loved having this conversation! People who are newer to the idea of visioning get tripped up on the notion that life happens regardless of your vision for it. Then what happens to your vision? The great news is that your vision can change, too! Or it can stay the same? Whichever works for you. People change, lives change, circumstances change, and with that sometimes visions change.

Let me give you an example: My family vision (and remember, this is MY vision - so it need not be yours) is to have a fun, adventurous, playful, and loving family. When the Lindstroms show up, people will say (or think), "The Lindstroms are such a fun and loving family. They look like they really have a good time together." I'll let you in on a secret, that has always been my vision for my family. Even through the loss I've experienced, I have always wanted to have the playful family. Our entire existence reflects that. In many places in our house we have the word "laugh" displayed. Each Friday night (and other unscheduled times during the week) we have a family dance party where everyone drops everything so we can just dance. We create a climate of playfulness, because that is important to us. Does this mean that every moment of every day is fun and playful? No. Does this mean that discipline, tears, and difficult lessons aren't part of our daily experience? Absolutely not. It only means that through the difficult lessons, through grief, and pain, the climate of our home will be fun and playfulness, and while we are not in it, we will hold it as a goal to get back to it as authentically as we can, as soon as we can. Mr. Lindstrom and I model that behavior in our relationship together.

I encourage people to create a family vision. When you're stuck in the day to day minutiae, it can be easy to focus on just getting through the day, the week, or the month, and the big picture falls away. It's important to remember during the minutiae, that you are creating in each moment a future vision. Having that vision reminds you to ask yourself frequently, "are we in line with our vision?" I also think it's helpful to talk about it with your family, and maybe make it a tradition. You could make it an annual conversation on New Years Day, or your wedding anniversary, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. The State of The Family Summit?

Do you have a family vision? Have you formalized your thoughts about your family vision, or do you sort of have a loosey goosey idea of where you'd like to be? How do you embody your vision? A family word? A collage? Art in the home? A family slogan? Share your ideas!

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