Here are some examples of things that come to mind....
- living simply
- public schooling
- social media
- natural living
- animal rescue
There are many more, but you get the idea.
I think when you can identify what you are passionate about and then intentionally pursue those things - either as an individual, a couple or a family - you will create a family culture that is pretty awesome and pretty unique to you. It also helps you live the one life you have well.
I'm pretty sure that when people think of my family they can identify what is important to us by how they see us spending our time and energy.
I've noticed that quite a few of my passions are things I can share with my children and husband...
- sponsorship and advocacy through Compassion International
- music - mostly in the form of violin playing, but it's fun to have favorite family music to listen to together.
- regular adventures (mostly hiking)
- reading - I love reading books on my own, but also love sharing stories with my kids through read alouds. There are several series that we have enjoyed reading as a family, too, and it's fun to talk about them at dinner or on hikes.
Because we have identified our passions, we are able to eliminate excess from our lives and schedules. When opportunities present themselves, we can measure if they will add value to what we are spending our time and energy on and then make decisions accordingly.
It doesn't mean we won't try new things, but it does mean we are intentional about what we add to our schedule and lives. Not too long ago we tried taking karate lessons as a family. After 5 months we realized that although it was a beneficial and worthy use of our time, none of us were passionate about it.
Relationships are also built and nurtured when you are pursuing shared passions. Currently my husband and I are brainstorming ideas of what we can pursue together as a couple. There was a time in our lives where we were moving quite frequently (about every 15 months) to a different state. We grew close as we relied on each other to find our niche in the new community. But now we've been here in the same community for five years and we need a shared passion to dream about and pursue (beyond raising our girls because it won't be long before they are on their own).
One final benefit of identifying and pursuing a passion...freedom from guilt. I can release any guilt I might feel for not doing what other people or families are doing. We are all different (thankfully!) and my thing might not be your thing. That's ok.
So tell me....what's your thing? (or your family's thing?)