In this Home we do Second Chances; in this Home we do Love


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?

About Angela:

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.

Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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