Archive Monthly Archives: December 2020

Create a Family Vision Statement

Businesses do it, non-profit organizations do it, universities do it, so why shouldn’t families do it?! I’m talking about creating a vision statement for your family! If this is something you haven’t done yet, I would highly encourage you to do so. Our family created our vision and mission statements, and our core values, and they have become something that filters both how we live as a family and how we parent our children.

We decided to do this years ago when our daughters were young. Some close friends shared with us how they created their family vision statement and the intentionality behind this really impressed us. The idea of living a more intentional life, built on firm foundations, and leading our family with conviction and not leaving it up to happenstance, was very appealing. 

We have always been a family that follows God and trusts in His plan for our lives, but up until this point we didn’t make a conscious effort to put the framework of that plan in writing.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

So yes, we know and believe that the Lord will always be the one that establishes the path for our lives, but we also feel that it’s our job to build a solid framework that becomes the scaffolding that God can build on. 

I’ll share with you how we created ours, but first let’s start with what a vision statement is. As it relates to a business, a vision statement gives the company it’s direction. It’s where that company would like to see itself in the future and what it aspires to be. The same thought process works for families. Your family vision statement should be a general statement that encompasses what your family is about and what motivates you to be better as a unit. 

After a vision statement typically comes a mission statement. This statement differs from the vision statement because it is more specific. A mission statement breaks down the company’s objectives and the approach it will take to reach those objectives. 

Lastly, are the core values. Core values are the beliefs of a person or an organization. These are essentially the nuts and bolts of how the organization is going to operate and determine what is right and wrong. 

All three of these aspects, the vision statement, mission statement, and core values should be considered and created when you’re doing this for your family. Each one provides more clarity and direction as it relates to having that “filter”, and I can tell you as a parent who is currently raising children through different phases of their life, this is so helpful. 

One of the things I loved about including our core values is they give us easy nuggets of truth that we can pull out whenever our girls need a little “behavior check”. For example, when they were still very young it was easy to remind them of one of our core values, “Be kind and love others”, when their actions were showing otherwise. Kids get that. Simple, but powerful. 

Creating your vision statement doesn’t have to be a daunting thing. When Andrew and I did it, we simply prayed and asked God to give us His wisdom. Then we got out a notebook and a pen and started jotting down favorite scriptures, and what we envisioned our family values to be. We started to see those values aligning with verses in the Bible so we starred the ones that began standing out to us. 

Then we organized them into the three categories of vision, mission, and core values. After a little more massaging and wordsmithing, we were left with what we felt really represented our goals, hopes, and desires for our family. 

At the time that we did this, our girls were too young to effectively participate in this process. However, if you have children that are old enough to give feedback and aid in the creation of your family’s core values, then by ALL MEANS include them! This will give them ownership in the process and in the final product. 

You may be thinking that this ship has sailed for your family, and that it’s too late to create something like this. Maybe your children are in high school already or even off to college. But, it’s never too late! Remember, establishing these values in writing now can be a legacy that you leave for your children’s children. It could be a family creed that gets passed down through generations. What an incredible gift you can give them!

Your family vision statement should be your own, but I will share ours with you. You are welcome to use whatever you would like if it fits the dreams and framework you would like your family to live by too. 

After we finalized each section I asked a graphic designer friend to create a piece that now hangs in our home at the base of our staircase. Every morning as we come downstairs to start our day, this is what we all see and are reminded of… 

The Dahl Family

OUR VISION

To be the family God desires us to be through faith and obedience. 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

We are a family that intentionally utilizes our unique gifts to give God glory through hospitality, leadership, service and love. 

OUR CORE VALUES

Love Jesus with all our heart, soul and strength.

Live bravely.

Humbly serve. 

Be kind and love others.

Respect our differences and celebrate our strengths.

Get Out of Your Head!

How many times do we hold ourselves back because our “head” tells us we’re not smart enough, clever enough, pretty enough, or liked enough? Or maybe your head is on overdrive and you’re over-thinking a situation or making assumptions that aren’t really the case.

A few years ago my husband and I were traveling, and we stopped at a restaurant to have lunch. A large neon sign was affixed on the wall in front of our table and it said, “It’s All In Your Head”. The gravity of this message struck me instantly.

You may not realize this, but there is a battle raging for control of your mind. The enemy wants to have a foothold over your thoughts because he knows that when he can control your thoughts he can control you. 

It’s very similar to when a dog trainer uses a gentle leader leash on a dog. This type of harness fits around the animal’s muzzle so the trainer can control the dog’s head. When the head is turned in a certain direction, the animal will move in that direction. The same concept applies to us!

Think about those classic Looney Tune cartoons. If something delicious was baking nearby, the cartoon character’s head would turn toward the wafting smell and the whole body would lift off the ground and float toward in the direction of the aroma’s origin. The same goes for us, but instead of finding a tray of homemade cookies, our negative thoughts can lead us into despair and destruction. 

Here’s the good news. 

You can regain control of your thoughts and resist the enemy’s schemes. When you start hearing those lies begin creeping into your mind, fight back by swinging your sword. Your sword is the Word of God. Speak TRUTH over yourself, and I mean outloud! Jesus fought back the devil in the desert by speaking truth. We can do it too. Here are some examples of verses you can speak over yourself when you’re fighting the “mind battle.”

Lie: I am inadequate or ugly. 

Truth: Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Decree (what you say out loud): “I am made in the image of God and I am beautiful! I am created for good works! God has prepared these works for me, and I WILL walk in His plan for my life! 

Lie: I am alone. No one loves me and I am unlovable. 

Truth: Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” 

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Decree (what you say out loud): God knew me before I was born and He is with me always. He loves me and delights in me just the way I am. He rejoices over me with singing day and night!

Lie: I am dumb. I will never amount to anything. 

Truth: Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” 

1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Decree (what you say out loud): I am smart, and the Lord gives me wisdom, knowledge and understanding FREELY! I have the mind of Christ and He is renewing my mind!

Get out of your head and don’t let the enemy or YOURSELF be your biggest roadblock. Flip the script in your mind and believe that you are created for such a time as this! Go rock the life God has given you, and if you start sinking into the abyss of self-doubt, fight back the lies and SPEAK TRUTH!

Clean Those Makeup Brushes!

We clean our face morning and night, but do you think to clean your makeup brushes too? This is such an important step in every clean beauty routine for multiple reasons. It’s a simple thing to do and I will explain the quick step by step process, but first let’s chat about why you need to be adding this to your list of healthy habits. 

Most of us women use makeup brushes everyday to apply our foundations and powders, and over time those brushes can get thick with dust, excess makeup, oils, and dead skin cells from our faces. Gross, right?! I know, I’m not painting a very pretty picture of getting glammed up am I? But hang with me for a second. 

All of that ickiness I just mentioned is a breeding ground for bacteria, and that bacteria when mixed with those old oils and dead skin cells can clog pores and exacerbate acne issues. It can leave your skin looking dull and lifeless. And even if you have a fantastic skin care routine, if you don’t clean your brushes, that routine will feel like two steps forward and one step back. Any makeup artist will tell you that the best canvas for beautiful makeup is clear skin. So why not do everything you can to keep that canvas looking great! 

Brushes, when cleaned regularly, will also last longer and do their job better for you. Brushes are meant to blend the product into your skin evenly, but if they are caked with oils and old makeup they can’t do that effectively. You’re also not getting the benefits of the true color of the product because it’s being subtly mixed with all of the other colors you used in the past. 

Are you convinced yet? 

It’s easy to keep your brushes looking ship shape and here is a quick step-by-step process to get you started. This is what you will need:

  1. Warm water
  2. A gentle soap or shampoo (There are specific cleansers for brushes out there, but I use my Beautycounter Daily Shampoo)
  3. Clean towel

First begin by running your brush under warm water. Then gently massage the bristles with a little bit of gentle shampoo or soap. I like to put a dollop of shampoo in the palm of my hand and swirl the brush in my palm. Continue to massage the bristles and run them under the warm water to rinse out the product. This may need to be repeated a few times until you see your brush is completely clean.

Then, I lightly squeeze the excess water out of the brush with my hand and tap out any remaining water. 

This next step is very important. I have found that laying my brushes flat on a clean towel to dry is better than standing them upright in a cup. Certain brushes keep their bristles held into the handle with glue and letting water stand at this junction point weakens the glue and the bristles will potentially fall out over time. 

Lastly, once the brushes are completely dry, I fluff the bristles with my fingers and they are good as new! 

A good habit to get into is cleaning your brushes once a week. Set a day that is “brush cleaning day” and wash them quickly as you’re getting ready for bed. They will dry overnight and be ready for the next morning!

And a good makeup brush makes ALL the difference when applying your makeup. I love the Beautycounter brushes and didn’t realize how bad my old ones were until I tried these.

Do Not Fear

I was standing on the Kawarau Bridge on the South Island of New Zealand overlooking the 141 drop to the river gorge below. Strapped to my ankles was a large bungee cord, or essentially a glorified rubberband. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I could faintly hear the water rushing below me. The wind was whipping at my cheeks as the bungee worker began yelling the countdown in a loud booming voice. Three, two, one… All I felt at that moment was….fear.

“What in the heck am I doing?” I thought to myself in these final moments of the countdown.  “I’m getting ready to throw myself off this bridge and hope and pray that I don’t go plunging to my death in the icy waters below. Have I lost my mind?” Some would probably say I had, but even though fear was for a moment holding me back from jumping into the abyss, it didn’t win. On that final count of three I jumped. 

I jumped because I knew that something was holding onto me, and I trusted that it wouldn’t let me go. I began to free fall, head first, and found myself instinctively shutting my eyes tightly out of fear as the wind whistled past my ears. But then something incredible happened. I began to feel a slight pull on my ankles and my descent began to gradually slow. I felt a tension develop that eventually stopped my rapid fall and that tension started to gracefully bounce my body up and down. I immediately opened my eyes and threw my arms out like wings of a bird. It was the closest sensation to flying I had ever felt. It was a gloriously freeing moment that I will always remember. 

I would have never had this experience had I let fear rule in that moment when I was standing on that bridge. Fear. The “False Expectation of something Appearing Real”. Fear has the potential to cripple us and keep us from moving forward into what God has prepared for us. 

The Bible has more verses written around the command “DO NOT FEAR” than any other concept. In fact, I was reading the book “If You Want to Get Out of the Water You Have to Get Out of the Boat” by John Ortberg, and he said that there are 366 verses about fear to be exact. One for every day of the year including leap year! Obviously, God knows that fear is the enemy’s most powerful weapon that he has to keep us down for the count. 

If God’s people are immobilized with fear, they can’t mobilize for His kingdom. 

Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” 

“You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.”  Deuteronomy 3:22

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  This one is a direct command for us to not be afraid. Not just a suggestion, but a direct order from our commanding officer, God. 

In order to not live in fear you need to trust. Just like I put my trust in that thick bungee cord to keep me from failing, we need to put our trust in Jesus. Trust that He will carry you through whatever storm you are facing. Trust that He will protect you when the waters and the world are raging around you. And trust that if you push past your fear and take that leap, He will catch you and send you on the ride of your life. 

Open your eyes, spread your arms, and get ready to fly.