2018, I’m Coming For You

In my last post I shared about gearing up for the new year and said I would be sharing my goals for the new year this week—and I am. But before I do I’d just like to say that I wrote this post a couple weeks ago when I had time to sit and think through my hopes for the new year and since then I’ve been reminded often that while it’s good to have goals and a plan to stay on track, it’s equally important to remember that no matter how successful or unsuccessful I am in the upcoming year, absolutely nothing I do or don’t do will change my standing in Christ. I’m His. He’s mine. The most important work is already done in Him on my behalf.

So yes, I’ll do my best this year. I’ll wake up early. I’ll work hard. I’ll make progress. I’ll make mistakes. I’ll end 2017 with a messy house—dishes in the sink, bags not yet unpacked after arriving home late last night. I’ll roll out of bed tomorrow—the very first day of a new year with all these hopes and goals bound up in my heart. But I’ll also wake up the same person I am tonight. Those dishes will still be in the sink waiting to be washed. My preschooler will need the same correction and love as he does today. My baby will still need diaper changes and middle of the night feedings.

It will be a shiny, brand new year. And I like that. But I’m reminded all over again tonight to start that shiny new year with realistic expectations. Slapping 2018 on everything doesn’t really change anything unless I do. All the same hard work will still need to be done, all the same battles fought.

I hope the New Year is full of hope and growth for each of you. Thank you for being here and reading along as I tap out my heart and share my story here line by line; your support and encouragement mean so much to me ❤

That was a lot of words—sorry about that 😉 For the sake of holding myself accountable and perhaps inspiring you in your own goals for the New Year, here are my plans for 2018:

I thought through my resolutions in the categories that mostly make up my life—myself, my marriage and children, my faith, and our home.

For Myself

I will write my heart out in 2018. While I’ve written off and on for years, I want to write on a regular basis going forward. Darren and I worked out a system where I have some quiet time each week to focus on writing and I’m so thankful for his help and encouragement.

I will manage my finances well. I need to focus on a few heart matters concerning money—contentment, self-control, patience. How I spend or even think about spending says a lot about my heart and it’s an area needing improvement for sure.

I won’t yell at my family. I wrote about this more here.

I will use my phone and social media with discipline and intention. Practically speaking:

  • I’ll stay off my phone on the Sabbath and in the evening when our family is together.
  • I won’t scroll mindlessly, especially if it’s pulling my attention away from things that matter more like my children or a conversation.
  • I won’t carry my phone around with me everywhere and I’ll leave a book within arm’s reach to give me another option.

A few other things— I want to dream and live with a little bit of whimsy again; I kinda lost that after having kids. I also want to read a couple books each month and spend more time outside.

Spiritually

I will practice the Sabbath. Sunday, for me, is a really frustrating day. You want to sleep in but kids wake you up. You’re trying to get yourself and everyone else ready for church. After church, it’ a race against over-tired kids to get back home, eat lunch, and get everyone down for naps before a total meltdown (from the kids or me…depends on the Sunday).

After all that, I often find myself using Sunday as a day to play catch-up around the house, trying to get things cleaned up and ready for another week. So instead of heading into a new week rested and refreshed, I’m usually as tired as ever and frustrated about the weekend.

All that to say I’ve really felt God moving me to take the Sabbath seriously and to use the day for rest and worship as He intended.

I will test the power of prayer. I will start keeping a prayer journal for the first time this year and I also bought some really beautiful prayer journals for my kids to keep record of my prayers for them over the years. I want to see what God will do when I ask Him in faith.

I will dig into God’s Word each day and memorize specific passages of Scripture. 

Marriage & Children

I will invest in our marriage by creating time together and making the man I’m so lucky to love a top priority in my time and attention.

I will build our home on love and truth. Not on yelling and frustration. Not on ever-changing boundaries and expectations. But by daily, consistently living out love towards two of the most precious people I’ve been given to love and lead well.

I will block out time with my kids. It’s easy when you’re a stay-at-home mom to feel like your kids have more than enough time with you since you’re always there. But I’m learning being physically present and being really zeroed in on my kids are two very different things. To make sure I’m giving my children the individual, focused time they need, I’m blocking out a couple hours each morning to spend with just them doing what they love. I’m also blocking out time to take Roman on a special outing just the two of us each month.

I will start the day before my kids. Because momma needs coffee and five minutes alone before all the things. For me, this means getting up stupid e a r l y and I’m not even a morning person 😥 but I know it needs to happen so it’s gonna.

Home 

I will make our home a place we love. This needs its own blog post but I want home to really feel like home.

I will simplify and organize. I have this idea in mind that I always want to be “moveable.” And by that I mean, if we decided to pick and take off one day, I don’t want clutter and material things to slow us down. I want to own what we need and use and pretty much let everything else go. Which means I have some work to do.

I (and by I, I mean Darren) will (finally, officially) finish remodeling this house! Just. All of it. That’s all.

A n y w a y.

I know that’s probably more detail than some of you wanted or needed but it helps me to hash things out here and it also holds me accountable because now you know. So, if ever you catch me on my phone scrolling through Pinterest and yelling at people…well, you probably already knew that was wrong…but ya, nail me for it 😉

I know this word is really overused, but if there’s a single word I think sums up what I hope for 2018, it’s intention. I just want to live with intention, on purpose, thinking through our days and hours and not just showing up and trying to keep my head above water.

That and love. Love is kind of the thing that sums up all the other things and I really want to do a better job loving…loving God, loving people, even loving the life God’s called me to. I want to really live out love in my words and actions and not look back at 2018 wishing I had made more time and loved my people better and more.

So what are you all up to in the new year? Any great expectations? Do share ❤

 

I Am Resolved

IMG_20171213_180459_897.jpgThere are a few things I like that maybe most people don’t—Mondays for instance. While I’m no happier than anyone else to see the weekend over, I always enjoy a fresh start and Monday feels crisp and new at the beginning of another week. I get bogged down after a few false starts and mistakes and by the middle of a week or month, a fresh start and a little grace is certainly something to look forward to.

Soon people will be writing their New Year’s posts and sharing resolutions. Often, when doing this, people say something like, “I don’t normally do this,” or “I’m not a big fan of resolutions but…”. Well, I’ll just be up front and say I love the new year and I love resolutions. I like challenging myself and looking forward to the next step and I especially love a clean slate as we say goodbye to one year and start over with another.

I realize I won’t perfectly keep and fulfil every resolution I make—but it’s something to strive for and measure myself by when I’m knee-deep in living out what I originally set out to do.

This year I decided to try something different with the hope it will help me be more successful—and that’s to start practicing my New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of December instead of the first of January.

Por que?

Well, I figure a month-long trial run to work out the kinks and settle into habits early can’t hurt anyone, right? This gives me the opportunity to test out my goals and see if there’s anything that’s clearly not going to work with the season I’m in. And if I find that to be the case, I can axe it off my list now rather than feeling like a failure and getting discouraged right out of the gate come January.

This also gives me the opportunity to settle into habits and routines—which are basically how I survive right now with all the noise and chaos around me with littles. I get distracted easily and can’t deal with a lot of different things going on at once so it helps me a lot if I can go on autopilot for certain things and leave my mental energy to really concentrate on a few other things

So here’s how I’m getting myself organized for the new year and learning to live intentionally every single day:

I’m crushing hard on my day plannerlike, I might even name it 🙂

I’ve always liked pretty paper goods and keeping my head space cleared out by writing stuff down. But this coming year I’ve decided to be stupid detailed about it.

I found a planner that gives me a space to note birthdays and anniversaries by month. This way I can just look at the beginning of each month to see what’s happening and not stress about remembering everything in the moment. I have approximately 30,000 nieces and nephews who have a birthday every single year so a little help remembering is appreciated 😉

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In the same section, I made a list of family activities to try for each season. We often get to the weekend and want to get out to do something as a family but waste so much time trying to decide what to do that we don’t even end up going. So this will give us some ideas to look forward to and help get us out of the house and exploring. I included everything from visiting an apple orchard in the fall to spending the day at the ocean in the summer plus simpler things like getting ice cream, running to the lake, or going to the movies together.

Next, in the monthly section, I went through and wrote down absolutely everything I could anticipate happening in the next year from doctor visits to remembering to renew a driver’s license. Then I worked backwards making notes in the month before about what I need to do ahead of time to be ready for the next month. For instance, if there’s a birthday the next month, I note that and give myself time to get a gift before I’m on my way to the party. If there’s a prescription that will expire, I make note to schedule a doctor appointment before I need to head to the pharmacy.

I realize this is tediously detailed. But I realized something else too—this stuff is going to happen whether I’m prepared or not and planning ahead gives me the opportunity to stay on top of things instead of always running two steps behind like I normally do. I know things will not always go as planned and certainly there needs to be room for flexibility. But the goal is to autopilot the tedious things and leave margin and peace for the important stuff. Many of the things we do are really quite routine and predictable so there’s no reason to feel surprised, rushed, and frantic all the time if we think ahead a little.

IMG_20171218_053020_004.jpgStress and frustration do not get to rule in my heart and home this year. I want to create enough margin and a calm enough environment to focus my heart and time on what really matters to me—these three.

One other way I’m using my planner is to write down all of my goals and hopes for the upcoming year. And when possible, to put a due date on specific goals and write those dates down as a way of accountability throughout the year. I’ve set goals for myself personally, for my marriage and family, spiritually, and for our home and I’ll share more specifics about each of these in my next post.

Anyway, I hope this gets you excited thinking about a fresh start and a new year. His mercies are new every morning and how very thankful I am for that ❤