Over dinner in May of 2011, on our second anniversary, Dave and I discussed family values. We both came to the table with our own ideas, and after much deliberation, we decided on 5 core values for our family.
More than a year went by, and while this discussion was not forgotten, it was something that took a back seat to life.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012. Baby boy number two joined us in April, and we moved (again) in June. Life in the THICK weeds. Unpacking and decorating commenced, and so came an opportunity to display our family values.
I searched on Esty and found numerous artists that customized word art. In my hunt for the perfect design, I came across several options. We decided to make the values actionable by including “BE” in the middle, and also decided to add just a few more. The result is this sign…
Displaying this in our home has caused a bit of a crisis of conscience for me. Do I emulate these values in my own life enough to expect them in my children (and husband for that matter)? My goal is to find a way to parent that incorporates love, determination, curiosity, honesty and consideration into daily life. With awareness, (and more sleep) I am sure that it is possible.
I was very fortunate to have grown up in a family full of love. I have fond childhood memories of parents that modeled a loving marriage. I fully realize that this was a fabulous and rare gift that they gave to their children. Yes, every parent has flaws, but we were verbally told that we were loved often, we felt safe, and we received affection. Dave and I will/are doing our best to model love for our tiny men. I also know love because of God, who sees the depths of my heart, and loves me the same (to quote Chris Tomlin). It is my heart’s greatest longing that my boys will know the love of Jesus, and that they would love people openly and without reservation.
I get distracted easily. I wander to places of doubt and worry when trouble hits. I need reminders of where I am going and redirection in times when I lose my way. Determination for me means staying the course; riding out the storms and challenges without giving up or wavering. I already see glimmers of determination in both T and L who are both quite persistent. Of note: I am choosing to see their behavior as being determined instead of stubborn.
In our boys I want to foster curiosity in such a way that their minds are creative and challenged. I want them to ask questions about their world and their place in it. Dave would really love for me personally to be more curious about new tastes and ethnic foods specifically. I have never had a very expansive palate sadly. Can you say garlic salt and lemon pepper?
I feel like I need to go on the hunt for a book on how to raise honest kids. (Suggestions welcome) We are not in the age of fibbing yet…but it is coming for us. Unfortunately, kids do not have to be taught to lie. As for me, I will model honesty by letting my YESes be YESes, and my NOs be NOs both at home and at work.
Consideration was one of the last items added at our anniversary dinner in 2011. We talked and dreamed about serving our community as a family, and putting others before ourselves. In the minutia of the day to day, this has gotten a bit lost. It is an item I intend to focus on in 2013.
I am humbled by Dave’s willingness to endure my faults, and for his encouragement and companionship on this journey. Bottom line…I am flawed, and I need to remember that it is all a process. Most days, of all of the words on our wall, it seems like the only thing we do well is being silly. Silly lives at our home, and it makes the seriousness of life melt away.
So very grateful.