Ah, it's that time of year again. Time to break out the new calendar and say good-bye to another year. It's a great time of reflection - but also a great time of hope and inspiration as we enter into a new year. There's something about going into a new year that makes it a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to jot down some goals (or resolutions if you'd prefer) on paper and see them to fruition.
Of course the skeptics out there say most goals/resolutions are broken by Jan. 21. We've all read that it's about making feasible goals - realistic changes that you want to embrace in your lifestyle.
So what are YOU doing in 2012 to make a difference in your life and the lives of others? What are YOU going to do to enhance the kingdom of God? What do YOU see as your ministry in 2012? Here's a glimpse of some goals I have as we enter into a New Year:
Priority #1: GOD - Jack and I are holding each other accountable this year as we read through the Bible. 2012 is going to be THE year we read the Bible from start to finish! We were directed to a wonderful Web site, http://thegospelcoalition.org/
Priority #2: JACK - Jack and I need to get back to date nights. Or at least alone time where we don't talk about the kiddos or what we did that day. It takes work when our schedules are so crazy, but I'm making it a goal to set aside a good chunk of time each week to focus in on my husband and his heart. That may mean a wonderful date night out, but I'm thinking most of the time it'll be simpler - precious time with hubs after the kiddos go to bed. Instead of watching tv mindlessly (or perusing Facebook/Pinterest), I'm going to purposely take that time to go after his heart.
PRIORITY #3 - KIDLETS: I'm purposely going to do more crafts and learning activities with my toddler and simply spend time with her. I recently did a Bible study where I read that the average mom spends only 11 quality minutes with each of her children each day. A day! And that's the stay-at-home mommies! Shepherding her and Brax's heart is obviously at the top of my list of desires, too. We started a memory verse every 1-2 weeks and we'll continue to do this. As for Brax-man, I'm going to soak up all the baby time I can with him. Since (Lord-willing) we're done, this is the last of the baby stages I'm going to go through, and I want to cherish.every.moment!
PRIORITY #4 - HEALTH: I love how hubs sees a need for me to have some "me" time each day - in the form of running/exercise. I'm getting back into my running routine after having Brax and am eager to tackle some races and events in the coming months. I'm making my goals in the running department more month-by-month as my body continues to adjust. For January I'm making a goal to run 20 miles or so a week. I also have some races on my calendar - my favorite Easter Sun Run 10K, the Johnston's Wichita Half Marathon at the end of April - but am also debating whether or not I want to conquer a marathon in 2012. We shall see! Food-wise, I'm being more intentional this year about natural, wholesome food choices. The less processed, the better! This is not only for me, but for my family as well (shhh...don't tell Jack!).
PRIORITY #5 - HOME/FINANCES/WORK: I'm striving to make my house a place of grace. One where my kids and husband desire to be and want to stay. There's nothing sweeter than hearing Mackie say she'd rather stay at home than go somewhere else. After a hectic few weeks, I'm eager to get back to family dinners - and try some new, healthy recipes! I'm also going to spend a few minutes each day organizing/cleaning rather than tackling it all at once. I'm going to attempt to focus on a room/project each day (ie: Monday - bathrooms, Tuesday - kitchen, Wednesday - floors, etc etc). It should streamline the cleaning process.
We've been pretty good with our finances, but I want to organize and keep track of them better. I want to know just exactly how much of that Target trip I really need...or how much a last-minute trip to Wichita costs. Yes, there's time for fun and enjoyment, but we want to be better stewards of our money. Especially now that Brax is in the picture and we have some medical bills to pay! We also have some home projects on our to-do list (finally - wood floors in the kitchen, dining room/living room!) that we want to do without breaking the bank.
As for work, there's nothing like having an 11-week maternity leave that puts life in perspective. I needed that break - not only for my sweet baby boy, but for me to mentally and physically take a break from the demands of my job. I'm so blessed to have a job that I absolutely LOVE (and co-workers who are like family!). However, I tend to be a yes-girl and don't think about hubs and children before agreeing to tackle another project. I'm going to be more purposeful in projects and work harder to put in part-time hours on a frequent basis...not full-time hours. Yes, there are those weeks and times throughout the year where I'm needed more. But I need to be more intentional with my time - and I'm going to do that by bringing back the to-do lists and breaking down how much time I need to spend on each project. (yes, type-A...I know this!)
PRIORITY #6: EVERYTHING ELSE! There's a mile-long miscellaneous list that I'd love to conquer in 2012. I'd love to get into sewing (yes, it's on the list again!). I'd love to have more people over for dinner and impromptu coffee dates or get-togethers. I'd love to keep learning how to be more patient and not stress over last-minute schedule changes (having a second child definitely helps in this department!). I'd love to take on more fun freelance writing assignments as long as it works in our family schedule. The list goes on and on!
Above all, I want to glorify God in all of these priorities this year. He has given me all of these things - salvation and a relationship with Him, a wonderful husband, amazing kidlets, a healthy body, an incredible job and provisions, and so much more! Let us continually remember WHO has given us this New Year....and the new opportunities to serve Him!