Our family purpose statement, displayed (Red Letter Words giveaway)

About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

When I first wrote about our family purpose statement, we were a younger family living in a different country. I was in the throes of depression, and we were one person short.

It’s not that we’re old hats at the parenting thing now, but I can pretty confidently say we’ve grown and wisened-up a bit in the past few years. We’ve been through a lot, and we’re a little different. More of who we were made to be.

But what’s refreshing is that I look at our purpose statement, and it still rings true. We wrote it to be as timeless as possible, while still being specific enough to be useful.

Our family purpose statement

We will:
Put each other first.
Cultivate deep relationships with one another.
Extend love to those around us.
Live simply.
Be true to who God made us.
Take care of our health.
Be good stewards of creation.
Be lifelong learners.

This summer, Dee of Red Letter Words sent us a canvas emblazoned with our purpose statement. I may or may have not teared when it arrived in the mail.

I love that her talent sits in our living room, purposed as a reminder for us to be who we are. To be the Oxenreiders.

Dee’s family purpose statement hangs in her house as well. Beautiful reminders, they are.

And this weekend, Ree would like to give a Simple Mom reader the chance to get his or her family’s purpose statement printed as a canvas as well. To remind you to be you.


To win your family’s purpose statement on a 20×30 gallery wrapped canvas print in any color from Red Letter Words, please use the widget below (if you’re reading this via email, you’ll need to click over to the blog to enter the giveaway):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Important: Because the cost of shipping something this size is rather costly, Dee can only offer free shipping to a U.S.-based winner. If you’re outside the U.S. and are chosen as the winner, you’ll need to pay for the difference in shipping to your country. Thanks for understanding.

This giveaway will end Saturday night, October 20 (that’s tomorrow!), and I’ll announce the winner soon after. I hope you win!

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  1. One word to describe our family. Kind. We strive for kindness with each other and to extend that beyond our family.
    Catherine´s latest post: DIY Felt Tablet Sleeve

  2. gifts
    Jennifer Lambert´s latest post: I am going to Allume!

  3. The first word that comes to my mind is “united”. We have moved across the country twice in the last year, and have had to start over in a brand new place both times. We have learned to depend on each other and be closer.
    Amanda´s latest post: Having One Of Those Days? Rescue Yourself!

  4. Respect
    Jen @ Martymom’s Musings´s latest post: Day 16: At Home with Jessica

  5. I would love to describe my family as real. No matter what we’re going through, I hope my family is a place where everyone can be free to be themselves and still be loved and safe.

  6. My family is loving

  7. avatar
    Sara Arrigoni says:

    one word: attached

    With two very young ones, I often feel like they are attached to my hip, but I also value the love and unity that we share as a family.

  8. avatar
    Leigh Sabey says:

    This is hard! I would say, maybe, refining. We have lots of room to grow and improve and we strive to do better every day.

  9. Loving. Our family is very loving to all. Family, friends, or strangers, we love to show love & kindness.

  10. One word to describe our family would be active.
    Nikki Zyp´s latest post: Biblical Principles for Politics, Part 2

  11. unique!
    Jenn´s latest post: It’s graduating time!

  12. Blessed

    We have much to be thankful for– health, a roof over our heads, food on the table, each other… and a God who loves us so.

  13. The first word that came to me was “Connected.” A lot of love and connection.
    Cluttered Mama´s latest post: Fast, Easy, &…

  14. One word: funny. We’re all making each other laugh all the time.
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s latest post: 31 Days of Awesome Kids’ Books: Recommendations From You and For You!

  15. Simple.

  16. One word: together. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com´s latest post: 2012 Third Quick Tip Week: Removing Ink Stains

  17. hospitable (or at least we strive to be!).
    coleen´s latest post: learning to wait

  18. Loved. By each other and by God.

  19. Beautiful!! This would be lots more fun than my computer printed version:)

  20. Tight. As in “holding on tight to one another in this crazy, wonderful world!” Tsh, I have always love your family’s guiding words. I used them as a jumping off point in my first mission statement four years ago. Thanks for the inspiration and giveaway!

  21. Connected

  22. loved

  23. Blessed!

  24. Hopeful.

  25. One word to describe our family: Faithful
    Morgan´s latest post: L’s Birthday Interview

  26. We are “One.”

  27. Our family is striving to grow by Faith. Everyday we learn to trust and use faith in all we pursue.
    Thanks for a beautiful giveaway!
    Leslie Wilson´s latest post: Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake (Southwest casserole)

  28. I would like to think Caring fits us.

  29. Hmmmm…I like what Leigh said, refining. That seems closest to the truth.

  30. Thankful. Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!!

  31. i’d say the one word is “thoughtful.”
    Krista Vossler´s latest post: at last

  32. avatar
    Marissa Skipper says:


  33. avatar
    Lauren Sobaje says:

    We are “united”!

  34. One word is hard but compassionate I think is where it is at for our family right now.

  35. One word: Hugging.

  36. avatar
    katherine says:


  37. Faithful. My husband is in the USMC and after two deployments we have learned to blindly trust ourselves and our love, as well as our little baby girl :)

  38. One word that describes our family: funny. We all have a sense of humor, and love to laugh. We are all compassionate and tender too.

  39. Vibrant!! Our girls are so excited and lively and colorful!
    Deanna´s latest post: Tabled

  40. One word to describe my family: faith-filled

  41. Joyful! We are trying to live Psalm 100 as we love and minister to the Sukuma people in Tanzania.

  42. One word to describe our family would be “crazy”. We have a lot of fun together and try not to take things too seriously :)
    Gretchen N.´s latest post: The Year of the Phone

  43. Love

  44. The one word to describe my family is, “small,” but, I’d love to win this so I could convince my husband to sit down and help me write a family purpose statement before the baby comes.
    Rachel´s latest post: 18 Weeks

  45. Grateful

  46. Blessed.
    Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)´s latest post: Clara’s first Connecticut vacation

  47. Stewards. Of creation, relationships, and all God has entrusted to us.
    Kristin´s latest post: Real Girls Run

  48. Love these! Thanks for the chance to win.

  49. What a wonderful idea!

  50. Loyal
    keely´s latest post: Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

  51. Dynamic.
    My little family is dynamic in many different ways. We consistently change and grow and progress. We also have great intensity, but it varies based on moods, projects and ambitions.
    Love this idea. Love love it!

  52. Tight-knit (Is that two words?) :)
    Candice´s latest post: Asher Pics

  53. Loyal

  54. avatar
    Robin from Frugal Family Times says:

    One word? Kind.
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: Smart Free Apps for Kids

  55. one word….I’d have to choose “blessed”

  56. One word to describe our family… loving. We really try to love each other the best we can each day!

  57. My family is following. Following His way.

  58. Committed – to each other and to what God calls us to do!
    Sandra´s latest post: Tips to Help You Get Ready for NaNoWriMo

  59. We are a work in progress family! But one word? Blessed.

  60. Growing

  61. Blessed! Richly!

  62. Active!

  63. avatar
    Heather Curry says:


  64. We haven’t gotten that far with a purpose statement. Beautiful idea. I will work on that.
    Mom off Meth´s latest post: Mean girls suck.

  65. learning.

  66. Love this idea! What a beautiful way to keep our mission at the forefront.of.our.minds.

  67. Blessed!
    Pamela´s latest post: A horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day

  68. wow! that is just beautiful! I love her work!
    Erin´s latest post: Week Wrap up

  69. Blessed! Or Humorous :) Love Red Letter Words. Please count me in!

  70. Purposeful

  71. avatar
    Beth Gillespie says:

    Growing. In love for each other, in trusting the Lord, in how to live rightly, in our to make our mark on the world, in number of children too!

  72. United. That would describe out small family.

  73. avatar
    MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    “What is ONE word to describe your family?”


    We are committed to each other through the good, bad, ugly and amazing. There is nothing we cannot survive when we push through together.

  74. As of this moment, our family is spirited! :)

  75. Loud….4 spirited kids make our lives loud, and we love it!

  76. Flexible.

  77. Growth…in our relationships and in our faith!

  78. Our one word we try to stive towards every day is generous.

  79. avatar
    Connie Tacazon says:

    One word is together. We like to do things together always.

  80. dedicated

  81. Energetic. I think that describes us very well. xo
    meghann´s latest post: trick-or-treat

  82. one word: love

  83. My family is love. God’s love shining through us and our love for one another.

  84. learning

  85. My family is precious.

  86. overflowing!

  87. Young. Been married just over a year and still growing into what are family wants to be.

  88. One word to describe my family: eclectic.
    There are so many of us, and we all look different and have different interests, but we all love each other so much, and it helps that we have the same sense of humor!

  89. avatar
    Carolyn S says:

    My one word to describe my family: Aspiring.

  90. Compassionate!

  91. Quirky :)

  92. One word to describe our family is, simple.

  93. Lots of words describe us, but one that comes to mind is appreciative. :)

  94. Inique

  95. intentional
    allie´s latest post: Matching Grant!!

  96. The word that best describes my family is FUN!

  97. One word/phrase to describe my family? Trusting. We constantly learn to put trust into one another, trust in ourselves and trust in God–that He will guide us where we need to be and to put us in front of those He wants us to serve.
    Anne´s latest post: I heart faces photo challenge | summer fun

  98. one word? mine.

  99. avatar
    Heather G says:


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