Well. Even though this is for sure a new years cliche: "not this year!" This time, the goals are here: in permanent ink, on the computer, the internet no less, to help me be more accountable. [Gulp]. Better make these easy goals!
1. Pray more. Not just in quantity, but in quality. Not because I should or because I have to but because I want to. I want to learn how to pray, how to actually connect with God daily, intimately, in moments of free thought, when I'm washing dishes, when I'm driving in my car. It can't be that spiritual life is seperate from physical life. So how do daily habits of living become spiritual events where I do the things that sustain life for the glory of God instead of for duty? On this topic, I especially want to pray more for my husband and sons.
2. Learn to be content. For me this means a few things that might help towards this aim:
- complain less. I am such a whiner. I whine about aches and pains, daily chores, my house disorganization, a broken washer, a sick child, a sleepless night. I complain all. the. time. Not just with my words, but in my mind and heart.
- worship more. I figure if I am giving thanks more often for all I have, for who God is, this will help me be more content.
- serve others. If I give to those with less, I will be more thankful for what I have. If I help take care of someone else who is sick, I will be more thankful for health. If I serve and give and offer and help- I think it will contribute to my overall sense of contentment.
3. Find a mentor and mentor someone else.
4. Let go of having a perfect home. [What?] I will take the advice of a dear friend and aim to keep one space of the house clean. One. Not the whole thing. One. That way, when I need a reprieve from the disaster, the messes, the chaos, I can have one space to think, rest, journal, pray and well BE, where I am not utterly frustrated at the mess. Thing is: people don't have it all together so why do I pretend to be by making such a fuss about cleaning incessantly.
Okay, how do I make that possible? Maybe have a 1-chore-to-do-per-day and a 1-chore-to-do-per- month? Maybe prioritize it less- below prayer and other above activities? Hmmm, will have to think on this.
5. Get creative. I LOVE being creative. Baking, making, crafting and well exploring the world through creativity. How come I don't do it? Because I'm either a. cleaning or b. dulling my mind with mindless entertainment (such as perusing useless internet information, rechecking my e-mail 16 times a day, or watching stupid shows or movies).
which leads me to:
6. Limit my internet/screen time per day. What am I modeling to Silas if I am constantly on the computer? For me, this means taking and keeping the computer off of my dining table and putting it in our office so that I am not on it constantly throughout the day. I'm not sure if I should limit it per day or per hour or how to keep track. Maybe set a timer? For me it should be maybe 1.5 hours a day maximum. Or less?
7. This one may seem silly but I'm tired of complaining that I don't know anything about fashion or don't know how to do my hair or don't know how to do makeup. I kind of want to learn how to do these things. As a woman, I want to take better care of myself and learn how to wear things that are becoming and feel better about myself in general. Comfort gives way for style every time with me. This doesn't, however, mean that I want to spend more money on all of that, but I want to be wise, to study and learn how to do these things.
8. Shop better. This one I am especially terrible at. Blame it on upbringing or laziness or I dunno, greed... no matter what way you slice it I am not good at being patient when it comes to shopping. I need to be better, for my family's sake, at shopping around for better deals, keeping closer to our budget with grocery shopping, and just living more frugally. How do the dutch do it [?] I know it takes precious time, but maybe if I'm spending less time on the internet I'll have more time to prioritize this.
which leads me to my second to last goal:
9. Give more. I would love to challenge our family in the way of giving. Giving away things we don't need, sharing meals with others, sponsoring another child or two, etc. I want to give until it hurts.
10. Get informed [and do something about it]. Jason and I kind of live in a bit of a bubble. We don't read newspapers or read the news online (sorry Cheryl, isn't that terrible?) We don't really know what's going on in the world. The problem with this is that we don't hold ourselves responsible then, to do something in response. This quote just hit me last night :
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
- Edmund Burke
Ouch. That's me right now. I get so overwhelmed about big issues like sex trafficking, or obstetrical fistulas in ethiopia, or whatever is going on in the news. Because it's so overwhelming, so appalling, I don't read about it, don't get informed about it, forget about it, and walk away.
But what if I didn't do that. What if I did read about it, and heaven-forbid got moved by it, and then actually did something about it. Not anything big, maybe just pray about it consistently. But something is most certainly better than nothing, isn't it?
Big list. Short year. Better get on it. And if, for some reason, I am super-woman and conquer that list [ha ha] and am looking for something else to do, here are some more goals [just for kicks]:
permanently organize my tupperware, join a cycling club, travel to Asia, learn another language, finish my quilt, lead a missions trip, take a counseling course, run a marathon, be a better nurse, learn how to garden, host an international student, eat more organic, record an album, write a book, sell a photo I've taken, help someone find Christ, invite a homeless person to live with us, start a home business...you know, and end hunger and poverty.