Is it too late? Can I squeak 'em in?
Well, it's not a crime right? Here goes:
1. Open wide my eyes.
"There's too many problems," "nothing I could do would make a difference anyways," "where do you even begin?" My internal rant of excuses for not opening my eyes to the plight of widows and orphans has been rambling on for long enough. Oh, 'helping widows and orphans' might sound lofty, and it is, but I've been moved, affected, and shaken up by some things I'm learning around human trafficking, the plight of orphans, abortion, and the cause of impoverished women around the world.
So what is one to do to become more aware? What does one do to make a difference? Well, for me, it's going to start with being intentional. Once a week, getting informed. Once a week, making one choice differently, in what I buy, read, or do. In the novels I choose, in the documentaries I watch, in the birthday presents I buy, in the blog posts I write, in the sermons I listen to, in the passages of the Bible I study, in the conversations I lead, and in the prayers I pray, I want to do one thing, each week, that might help the poorest and most marginalized in the world today.
Vague? A little. Possible? I think so. Or at least, this is where I'll start. One thing too is that we're starting to explore adoption and how we can support those adopting or seriously ask if this is in God's future for us. This is what I was reading about this morning "how can you help." Excellent read.
This verse is the verse I really believe God is laying on my heart for this year:
James 1:19-27 "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."
2. Less technology.
I took a step back last year and spent less time watching shows online and less time watching movies. Well, I want to continue in that direction. Less time on my phone while the kids are awake (not so hard when your phone is currently sitting in a bag of rice on the fridge), less time on facebook, more time in face-to-face relationship building.
I think, for now, this means only checking e-mail or facebook once a day and unplugging from everything earlier in the evening. And, of course, texting in the free still moments I have when kids' eyes and hearts are not wide open, waiting for me to listen, focus, and pay attention (aka, they are napping).
The distractions are abundant but I want to teach my kids it's okay to have silence, to just be present with each other, and that they are more important than phone calls and texts.
I was definitely inspired by this sermon about spiritual formation in a digital age (thanks Justine). A few blogs like this and this book: Love Does by Bob Goff (thanks Janet).
Gonna unplug a bit more and be here, now, present in this moment. Thinkin' about making this a weekly thing like 'tech-free tuesday' and especially continuing to incorporate no tech on sabbath. Excited to see what this creates room for in my life and soul.
Still exploring, learning, researching about health and nutrition for our family. Can we afford to go vegan? Can we afford not to? Lots to learn but I want to have a better idea of why we choose to eat what we eat by the end of the year. To have reasons, and be intentional about what we are doing. Nothing like having bad health by accident. Part of this is that I want to get better value for my money. I hate this kind of research but it's more than overdue. Where should I shop? For what? How do I maintain a low budget and yet have healthier choices?
To make this goal more 'measurable' we've decided to focus some energy and time this month on making 3 small informed changes in reducing our sugar intake, and 3 small changes we could make to cut costs and make more food at home. Some ideas we were thinking?
No more juice.
Making granola bars at home with natural sweeteners.
Cutting out store bought cereals and finding alternative snacking/breakfast foods.
We're looking for the biggest difference in our health with the smallest changes. That's why we thought cereal and granola bars might be some 'big bang for buck' options.
4. Write more.
Wasn't this on my list last year? Wasn't this just as vague of a goal last year? Okay, S-M-A-R-T goals, here I come. I want to write on my blog (gulp) at least two times a week. I want to write during my quiet times while the kids are asleep. I want to practice writing poetry again, writing songs, and maybe take another shot at writing more devotional-style writings, kids' books, or something. Oh, and I want to (yuck) learn better grammar. Maybe take a writing class? Attend a writer's conference?
One thing is for sure: I want to write more often, I want to write better, and I want to take more steps of faith with my writing. I hope this also means that I will write more thoughtful, authentic blog posts. I don't want to be a fru-fru writer. I want to write about the meat (in light of number 3, maybe 'beans?') of life more than the stuff that really doesn't matter.
The list will go on... but this is enough to think about for now!