On Creating a Family Culture that speaks Identity, Acceptance and Love
By Angela Sunshine Doell | Twitter: @adoell
Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.
-Charles Henry Parkhurst
I love God’s wisdom in choosing to place humans in families. We hear a lot of talk about tribes–our need to belong in a group; run in a pack. We’re intrinsically wired for community. As a mom, I’m aware that one of my most vital responsibilities is creating culture in my home. If my children were created to crave acceptance and identity, I want them to find it first right here in these walls.
There are things that make your family unique, and mine. Nobody gets you like family does (at least, that’s how it’s supposed to be.) In our home we use the same shorthand–we share a unique culture, laugh at ridiculous inside jokes nobody else would find funny, share the same memories–both sweet and bitter. We all know what it is to lay awake at night because Dad is snoring … We share a love/hate relationship with the crazy family dog. Our home smells and sounds familiar to us alone.
I believe it takes some carefully thought-out action to develop lasting culture–the kind our children will carry with them, that marks them positively for life. It’s cultivated when we develop family traditions, when we carve time out of busy schedules to connect at the dinner table, and when we purposefully remind our children who they are, and why they belong.
A Statement of Culture
There’s a large chalkboard in the foyer of our house. It holds valuable real estate because it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door. When my husband and children walk in at the end of the day, I so want them to feel the peace and ease of home–where they’re known, where they’re celebrated. A little while ago I decided to overhaul the chalkboard, wiping the slate clean to write out a simple Family Manifesto that I found and just love. It’s simply who we are, and what we do:
In this home…
We do second chances
We do grace
We do real
We do mistakes
We do I’m sorrys
We do loud
We do hugs
We do family
We do love.
QUESTION: What would your Family Manifesto include?
Angela is a lover and a fighter. She and her husband Rod have been married for 17 years and they have two beautiful children, Madison (15) and Miller (11). Angela works with the creative & media teams at Relate Church in Surrey, BC where she oversees graphic design, art direction and marketing. She loves finding beauty in everyday life and is passionate about communicating hope and the reality of a living Jesus through media and design.