Promises to Myself

I make a lot of commitments and promises to myself: I will go to bed at 9:30pm, I will get up before my DD (dear daughter), I will eat better, I will drink 90 ounces of water a day, I will do my bedtime routine every night, etc. I find that I am absolutely terrific at making those promises to myself. Often, I will sit and think them through and follow goal setting guidelines like SMART. The problem is, in practice and application, I often do not keep those promises. I have a lot of words and little action; ideas, but not applications.

Tonight, I was fed up with that. I saw myself starting down that same path that would lead me to going to bed very late. I was avoiding doing what I knew needed to be done, namely clearing the table, wiping the high chair, picking up or vacuuming the dining room and then beginning my bedtime routine. I caught myself just piddling on the computer at 7:55pm. I said to myself “NO! I’m done! I will do what I promised myself.” Fast forward exactly eighteen minutes. I was still sitting at the computer. I was disgusted with myself. “Am I not important enough for me to keep promises to?” I thought. I realized that that was a ridiculous thought! Seriously! If I make a serious promise to myself, I should consider myself important enough to keep that promise.

So, I got up and I did what I needed to do! You know, I have honestly had a really rough day, and it has even been a really rough week for me. I am emotionally and mentally exhausted. But, getting up and getting my housework finished up (which took less than 1/2 hour!) showed me two things. One, my cabinets and drawers are full. My silverware drawer was overflowing, and my plates and bowls are stacked so high. I have so much for which to be thankful. I was reminded of the verse in Ephesians 3 that talks about God being able to exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. And I was so struck by my overflowing silverware that I just had to thank God for my exceeding and abundant amount of silverware that He has given me.

I know that is so silly, but it really changed my attitude. I kept telling God today that my attitude was just downright rotten and I needed Him to change it. Finally, at the end of the day, my attitude is different. I’m going to start my week off with a grateful heart attitude. I hope that I carry it through this week. But, also I hope that this week, I’ll get up and keep my promises to myself, because, it was keeping my promise to myself that God used give me the silverware sign.

 

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September Perspective and Goals

The purpose of this blog was to record my progress on the New Year’s Resolutions I made for the year, as well as to record ideas that I had and their practical applications. So, I am doing that by posting my September goals. I have not posted about my New Year’s Resolutions since the month of May, but I have made some progress on a few of my goals.

This month, I am going to:

1. Continue to follow my Bible reading plan. Actually, I have been doubling up on my reading, because I really want to achieve reading through my Bible in one year.

2. Exercise/Health: I have really regressed in the exercise category in the last three months as I completely stopped walking even though I had no medical reason not to walk. However, since Fall is approaching and cooler temperatures are headed my way, I plan on trying to do a little walking this month. I know it it will be good for me as I prepare to deliver my little one. When it comes to what I have been eating, I haven’t made any progress exactly. I started keeping a food journal in late August and I was appalled at how much sugary snacks I was eating and how little veggies I was taking in. I am working on improving that. I’ll report on my progress at the end of the month.

3. Spanish–Not a goal that I will be working on this month or the rest of the year. It really is not relevant to my life at this moment and many other areas need my attention.

4. Reading–Well, I am working on it! I read Purpose in Prayer by EM Bounds, and I read a biography, The Vow, by Kim and Krickett Carpenter. I am working on reading On Becoming Toddlerwise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam and I plan on buying and reading Wrestling Prayer by Eric & Leslie Ludy. For some fiction, I am reading the Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter.

5. Writing/Blogging: Here I am! 🙂 I am coming back to blogging. I’m also hoping that my new bedtime routine will allow some planned time for journaling on a regular basis.

6. Relationships. Humph. I don’t know what I am planning to do this month in regards to relationships. I am praying about this area of my life, and I think the best plan of action for me is simply to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit on a day to day basis.

7. Love Letters–Will write Luke a love letter this month!
Other goals for the month will be to:

1) Change my bedtime from whenever (or later) to around 9:30pm. The goal will be for me to be crawling in bed at 9:30 and then falling asleep by 10:30pm. I can use the hour buffer to write in my journal or read a book.

2) Keep implementing the FLYLady System. I am working on the morning routine and the before bed routine. I know that as I read her book Sink Reflections, that I will be implementing other habits and routines as well.

So, those are the things that I will be working on this month. I am really hoping to make progress in the areas that I have mentioned. The first priority for me is to be working on my bedtime. I need to go to bed at a decent hour!

I Am Back to Blogging

I am going to begin blogging again. I was recently struck by the connection I still feel with a lot of blog posts written in an on a former blog, and I realized that I am missing out on recording my thoughts in an more formal and orderly way than just writing in my journal. So, here I am at the beginning of September and saying “Hi!”

I will be posting my September goals on Tuesday, September 4th. I plan on using this holiday weekend as an excuse to take a little more time before I post. What I want to mention in this post is two of the biggest influences on my life right now.

The first one is something of a housework/house cleaning system. FLYlady is the name, and “FLYing” is the game. F stands for “Finally”, L stands for “Loving” and Y stands for “Yourself”. The thinking behind the FLYLady system is simply to create a peaceful existence for yourself and for your family. The emphasis is on doing what you can and then knowing that it counts, versus focusing on perfection and then procrastinating. If I follow the steps, then I am better prepared for everyday life and life’s many interruptions. I am really enjoying implementing this system. I am subscribed to the emails, but I have not had a chance to read the book, Sink Reflections. I plan on reading that this month. In fact, I have requested it from the library, but I haven’t been able to bring it home yet.

The second influence right now is Crystal at Money Saving Mom. I have been following her blog for a few months now, and because of the season of life I am in right now, her blog is keeping me inspired to live a frugal lifestyle. I also listened to her audiobook The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year a few months ago and was inspired to really focus on my lifestyle and grocery spending.

I highly recommend both resources! I know that I have benefited greatly from being exposed to them on a daily basis.

Looking Back on Last Week’s Goal

So, I did pretty well on last week’s goal of doing my devotions in the morning before I did (almost) anything else. I have not mastered getting up before my dear daughter yet, but I’m making progress and I can be very happy about that. The amazing thing to me was that I wanted to get up and have that time with God. One day this week I read a facebook message before doing my devotions, the content of the message was definitely on my mind, but I really just almost turned and ran towards my time with God. It was a revealing moment for me. I really struggle in the area of relationships with people. I just don’t feel like I am that good at relationships. I was so relieved to be spending time in a relationship with Someone Who is perfect. It makes the relationship much easier. God loves me and wants me to be in His presence. He is never going to be mad at me to the point that He rejects me. He won’t always like my behavior, but He will always love me. I experienced this in a practical way and the truth was cemented in my head. I’ve been ignoring my relationship with Him when it is exactly what I need. This relationship is overwhelmingly simple and yet so deep at the same time. I really experienced grace and blessing this week. Many areas of my life need the work of the Holy Spirit, but yet, God blesses me where I am at. He walks with me and starts where I am. He calls me beloved. What an awe-inspiring magnificent God!!!!

 

A Goal for the Week of June 25-30

I am coming off of a weekend that was spiritually convicting and uplifting. My husband and I attended the 2012 CHEO Convention and listened to several amazing speakers including Eric & Leslie Ludy and Voddie Baucham. My most important takeaway from the conference was a statement from Voddie Baucham. He siad “When priorities change, structure changes.” That statement was incredibly challenging to me because I looked at my life and the structure of my time, and I saw where my priorities truly were.

So, as I evaluate this week, I realize that my priorities need to change, which will result in the structure of my days changing. So my first and foremost focus this week is allowing those changes.

In May, I said I wanted to make morning devotions a priority, but seeing as the structure of my day never changed, I obviously never truly made it a priority. I guess my main motivation for actually putting my time with Godfirst, was a session about marriage this past weekend. I realized that I haven’t had God and my relationship with HIM as the main motivation to love my husband. I have been loving my husband because he loves me, and while that is great in some ways, it means I’m missing out on what God can do in my marriage and through my marriage because He isn’t first.

And, other than making morning devotions a priority, I don’t think I want to make any more goals for the week. I do not want distractions. I want to have the utmost focus on doing what I have been convicted to do. God will take care of the rest.

May 2012 in Review

42 more minutes until the end of May is official. I am up past my bed time and just starting to write this blog post. Honestly, I’m staying up because today has been a rough day for me, and I have been really good this month about improving my bedtime habits. There is no pausing time before June starts and I begin my June goals, but I want a break for just one night. I am giving myself grace.

I want to review the month of May. This past month, I committed to myself to work hard on my goals and do my best to accomplish them, even if I had to really force myself and discipline myself. I did work hard. I did not achieve all of those goals, and I can’t say that the month went perfectly. However, I am very satisfied with my progress and how much I have learned this month.

I learned that keeping goals that I set gives me self-confidence. Keeping goals that I set is one way that I can be honest with myself. In the goal-making stage, I need to be honest with myself about whether a perspective goal is realistic or not. In the midst of keeping any goals I set, I need to be true to myself and do what I said I wanted or what I said was most important. When I have reached a goal, I can reap the benefits of being able to say that I have integrity. My word means something, even when I am just talking to myself.

Now, I would not say that my integrity meter is very high if you only look at last month’s goals. But, what I would say is it is higher than it was before and gaining experience this month is a building block to accomplish and reaching more of my goals.

As I look back on the practical aspects of May, one of the first things that comes to mind when I ask myself “What worked in May?” is simply laundry. I knew that if I was going to be working on goals then the “have-to’s” of housework had to run smoothly. So, I tried to set up a laundry routine and each week I tweaked it as needed. I am proud to say that as I write this, I am pretty well caught up on laundry.

I think the reason that laundry did turn out to work so well is not because I stuck to my original routine without any flexibility, but rather because I took the liberty to tweak as necessary. I am going to be taking this approach to other housework goals that I set in the future!

So, pretty much that sums up my month of May. I want to leave May looking at what has been done, and not worry about the rest. Spiritually, I have become aware of several areas in which I really need to grow. As I leave May, I am not forgetting or ignoring those areas, but I am going to spend tonight remembering what has been for me on the Cross. I am going to Jesus for His cleansing power, to be washed in the blood of the Lamb; I am trusting fully in His grace this hour, because I am washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Goals for this week

I have a busy week coming up, but that does not mean that I want to forget about my goals or make no progress in my house or life. So, I want to post my most important goals for this week!

The every day goals:

  • Read a proverb with Ayealyn every morning and establish this as a routine.
  • Be in bed every night at 10:30pm
  • Meet all Swagbuck’s goals for the Swagbucks carnival.

Goals that require work throughout the week, but not everyday:

  • Knitting; get at least halfway done with dish cloth for Amanda.
  • Exercise by walking for 20-30 minutes three times this week.

One time goals:

  • Make Homemade Laundry Detergent.
  • Write Luke a Thank you note/Love Letter
  • Complete all “next actions” on emails in my inbox. Clear inbox.
  • Put away all my winter clothes; get out maternity clothes/switch over clothes.
  • Return Mom’s steamer to her.
  • Spend 1-2 hours planning my blog.

This week, I want to keep in mind that the goal is not perfection, just progress! I want to have a spirit of grace and joy in my home, not one of frustration and impatience.