Getting Started: Our Family Motto

David and I have been spending the last month taking care of business. It's been a mix of household, heart, and lifestyle evaluation and re-alignment. I was reaching a point of daily frustration that life and time seemed to be in control of me. Our house seemed to be in constant CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and yet I was always cleaning. So I started doing some serious searching. I came across many wonderful helps which I'll be sharing over the next few weeks.

But today, I want to share our family motto. In the process of all this, I found Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenrider. This is a fabulous book, even for those of you non-A-type personalities. She is gentle, but firm in her encouragment to declutter, live simply, and define your focus. It sounded silly at first to make a family motto. I mean--who does that?!? However, the more we thought, the more it made sense. When I decided to go for my masters in Library and Information Science, I had a set of criteria which I used to determine what schools to apply to. If we were going to be serious about living simply we needed a practical standard by which to base our decisions. 

After an evening to talking and writing and listing and rewriting we came up with the heart of our home in words--

Our Family will live lives of faithful stewardship by valuing simplicity and togetherness while shepherding each other in love and integrity.

Now when I'm at the book store and I see a book that I think we have to have, I ask myself: By bringing this into our home will it promote simplicity, togetherness? When wondering if Tabitha needs to have another pair of shoes, I ask myself if this is living (and showing) a life of faithful stewardship? When deciding if we should participate in a weekend outing, we can ask ourselves is this bringing us together, are we showing love to one another and others or is it just cluttering our schedule?

Again, it sounds silly to state, but this has been such a freeing exercise. Not only is the pressure off me to always have the "right" answer, I now have something that allows me to be guilt free when I do purchase or participate in something that is aligned with our motto. With this motto firmly setting the tone, we moved on to other areas. More on that soon...

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