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!

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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.

What I learned from Washing Feet

I just had three tween girls over at my house for a sleepover. As part of the sleepover, I gave them an unprofessional pedicure. I washed and scrubbed their feet with an exfoliating scrub, and then painted their toenails. One of the girls was hesitant once I said “feet”. She was embarrassed about her feet. I was quick to reassure her their was nothing to be embarrassed about after finding out why she was embarrassed.

I wondered if I should have insisted that we do our feet, because maybe it was insensitive to gloss over her embarrassment. But at the same time, I wanted her to know there was nothing to be embarrassed about. Each of us has physical characteristics that make us less than perfect, but none of them take away from our beauty as a creation of God.

I contemplated on the whole feet washing incident and compared it with how Christ washed the feet of the disciples. I realized that in some ways, Jesus showed just how much He is willing to see the good, the bad and the ugly in our lives by washing His disciples’ feet. After all, I think it is pretty normal for feet to be dirty, especially back in Jesus’ day. Those feet would have been outright disgusting. But Jesus dealt with the physical disgusting and He will deal with the spiritually disgusting.

Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” I remember discovering that verse as a teenage girl. I remember being so excited about this particular verse because it meant that God wanted to hear me. Not only did God want to hear me, but He also wanted to hear everything in my heart. What a beautiful concept. Many embarrassing and even sinful things exist in the heart of a teenage girl, yet God wanted me to pour out my heart to Him.

God wants all of us so that He can have His will and His way in our lives.

Goals for May

My goals for May are as follows:

1. Bible Reading–continue to follow the plan for shirkers and slackers.

In regards to my spiritual life, I want to make morning devotions a priority. Lately, I’ve just been reading/praying/journalling at the end of the day, however, I want to learn to seek God first. So, morning devotions is a goal this month.

2. Exercise/Health–I will continue walking for a half an hour 3x a week. I need to get more focused on adding in fruits and vegetables into my diet however. One way that I will do this is to prepare fruits and vegetables to have on hand for snacking.

3. Spanish–I never got a Spanish resource from my local library, but I have a few resources on hold to be picked up this week. In addition, I will be attempting to listen to some Spanish Christian radio.

4. Book reading–I did not finish Career Renegade in April, so I will go ahead and finish it this month. In addition, I am reading a book about blogging. If I finish those and have time, I would like to read Purpose in Prayer by E.M. Bounds.

5. Writing and blogging–I want to blog 3x per week or approximately fourteen times during the month of May.

6. Relationships–this is a hard one, but I am going to put time and effort into spending time with two different girls my age who are also mothers.

7. Love Letters– I need to sit down and write two this month!

I also have two other goals for this month that are not related to my resolutions. I want to earn $15 in Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks. I also want to complete two knitting projects that force me to learn a new skill or stitch.

Hopefully, I will be able to report some progress at the end of the month!

 

Alcohol and drunkenness

This Wednesday night service at church, our pastor spoke on what the Bible says about alcohol and getting drunk with alcohol. Personally, in some ways the message did not apply as I grew up away from the temptations of alcohol and even in my adult life, alcohol has never really tempted me. I have seen what alcohol, most specifically getting drunk with alcohol, can do to a person and to others around them and I just do not want to deal with the consequences. However, in the midst of listening to the message, I had a few thoughts.

One of the most striking verses in the Bible relating to drunkenness is Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be ye filled with the Spirit;”. This verse strikes me powerfully because it contrasts being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit as if they are opposites. So, as I half-listened to the message, I began to think about the consequences if being drunk with wine (alcohol) was the opposite of being filled with the Spirit.

I realized that being drunk with alcohol removes inhibitions and reveals your true sin nature. Alcohol removes all the “rules” one has learned about behaving around other people and allows one to say what they want, take what they want and do what they want. The human sin nature is ugly and repulsive to God; it is the opposite of His character. We were created for fellowship with God, and any sin in our lives breaks fellowship with God. When we take action that causes us to sin without any restraint we are keeping ourselves from God and from who we were created to be. God’s plan is to refine, purify and sanctify us so that we can become more like Him.

Being “drunk” with the Holy Spirit also can remove inhibitions. It just removes different inhibitions. When we are drunk with the Spirit we can be released from our flesh and sin nature. Think about how fear often rules our life when we think about expressing and living our faith. Being filled with the Spirit should release us from the power of that fear and give us full and total confidence in our God. God’s goal and plan for each of our lives is to make us more like Himself and He does that through His Holy Spirit.

I remember my first encounter with someone who had been drinking and become drunk. I was four years old on a train with my mom and sister headed to a different state to visit family. I was coloring with the girl in the seat beside me, and this guy approached us and wanted to help us color. It was a little weird because he was quite persistent. Had that been the only encounter, I do not know that I would have remembered it. But hours later, this man caused a ruckus and was confronted by a woman who worked on the train. He threatened her. I was only a few rows away from where this was all going on. I remember being very scared of what was going on. Nothing major came of the situation; I think he eventually calmed down. But to this day, drunk people make me very nervous because that encounter is so etched in my mind. Last night, I realized something, whether you are drunk with alcohol, or you are “drunk” with the Spirit of God, anyone who encounters you will not forget that encounter. If you are filled with the Spirit, you might be witnessing to someone and despite the working of the Holy Spirit, they reject Christ at that time, but I guarantee you, they will not forget your attempt. You may be the first person that they have met who has actually been “different” because of  their faith; maybe you are just one of many, but no matter what a person filled with the Spirit of God is unforgettable.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance; those fruits are what come out of us when we are filled with the Spirit. What are the fruits of being drunk with alcohol? Lust, anger, loudness, gluttony, impaired judgement, stealing, violence and even sometimes death. What kind of fruit do you want to have coming out in your life?

April Update

It is already almost halfway through April and the last time I published a post here was the eighth of January. This utter neglect of the blog shows that I have failed miserably in my resolution of blogging. I could explain all the reasons, why I have not been able to blog, or have chosen not to blog, but I feel like they are of no consequence because they in the past. In having these New Year’s Resolutions, I wanted to focus on the present or the future. I was going to do that by breaking my goals down by month as well as by continuing to try again when I failed. So, here I am, trying again!

Though April is half-past, I intend to continue my resolutions, picking up where I left off, or tailoring the goal to my present situation.

So, in regards to my Bible reading, I definitely am glad that I chose the plan for shirkers and slackers, because I have definitely shirked and slacked in that area. However, that is in the past, and for the rest of April, I intend to pick up right where I left off and press on with due diligence.

In regards to my health, I have been working on eating more fruits and vegetables. I slipped away from my plan to slowly add in more and more servings of fruits and vegetables in a way that I could track, but I definitely am confident that I am eating more of them on a daily basis. One factor that has aided me is my increased appetite due to pregnancy.

Exercise goals have changed as well because of my pregnancy. I am no longer working on sit-ups and push ups, but I am aiming to exercise by walking for a half hour three times a week. I really want to be in good physical shape when it comes time to deliver this baby. I want to have stamina for labor and delivery.

Spanish has gone the way of my other goals, but I am going to get up and try again. I plan on doing this by getting another Spanish language resource from my local library this week. In May, I want to try to go to the Spanish language group that I found online.

I have actually made some progress in my book reading. I know that I am behind, but I also know that I have at least tried to keep up a little bit. I know that I will be able to catch up just fine. The book I am currently reading is Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Jonathon Fields. By April 30, I want to have finished it and have written a review here.

Regarding my writing goal. I have to say that although I have not blogged, I have written. I have journal-ed as well as writing a few blog post drafts. So, I have not disregarded the idea of writing altogether. However, for the remaining two weeks of April, I want to write six blog posts. Preferably, I would like to have written three per week.

My second to last goal/resolution was regarding relationships. I am not going to lie, this is one that I let myself forget. I will redouble my efforts though. I will try to connect with at least two other girls over the next two weeks.

The last resolution was to write Luke twelve love letters. I am honestly not sure if I have written any at all. I know with the craziness of the past few months, he definitely deserves them! I am going to make time in my schedule to curl up and write him a  letter very soon!

My goals for the rest of April are concluded. I will report back on my progress, and hopefully have some other more interesting things to post as well!

My New Year’s Resolutions

This year, my resolutions are more involved than they have been in the last few years. First of all, I think that this is fine for me because I am not working outside of the home anymore. Hence, I do have more time that is free for me to use. Yes, I am a mom and that does take up a lot of my time, however, I can learn to manage my time much better in order to accomplish my goals.

So, in the process of making this years New Year’s Resolutions, I decided to travel through time in my mind. I thought about December 31, 2012 and I wondered what I would want to be looking back on.

I want to have read the whole Bible through, in a year.  I have read the whole Bible, but never in a year and I definitely want to make it this year. I found a plan for “Shirkers and Slackers” that seems like it will work well for me and my husband!

I realized when I look back on 2012, I really want to be able to say that I invested in my health by eating more whole foods, more vegetables and more fruits. I have a guideline I came up with that will help me to increase my daily intake of fruits and vegetables. I want to exercise consistently. One of the ways I would like to do this is simply sit ups and push ups about every other day or at least three times a week. Quantitatively, I would like to be able to do 50 sits ups and 30 push ups. Now, I will put a qualifier in here. I personally expect to be expecting at the end of 2012. I would be extremely surprised if I was not. So, with that in mind, if I am expecting, I will not be doing sit ups and push ups necessarily. However, I still would like to be in good physical shape.

I want to be able to speak Spanish. I want to achieve at least an intermediate level of Spanish this year.

I want to have read at least twenty books. This is less than two books a month, so it should be completely doable.

I want to have written. I quit blogging back in 2011 and while I definitely needed a break and that blog was definitely over, I really found that I missed writing. Realizing just how much I missed blogging and writing prompted me to begin this blog. My goal is to write and post at least three times a week.

Another thing that I really wanted to focus on this year is relationships with people. I have never put much emphasis on friendships with other girls/women and I think that it is definitely time for me to do that. I want to have three friends at the end of next year that I did not have this year. I want at least two “mom” friends that have kids themselves, preferably close to Ayealyn’s age. I also want a friend who is at least ten years older than me.

Also, at the end of 2012 I also want to be at least as much in love with Luke as I was at the end of 2011. This is a resolution that I think will probably be somewhat easy to keep, but I know that it is the little things that will throw me off on this one. One of the ways that I will protect and nurture our relationship is to write Luke 12 love letters this year. I enjoy the love letters because the ones we have from the past are a record of our love in the midst of either good or bad circumstances.

Like I mentioned in my post about how I make New Year’s Resolutions, I will be making monthly goals and evaluating the month before it begins. I plan on choosing what to read based on my circumstances somewhat. Although, I definitely want to get into the subjects of apologetics and prayer. Other topics I wish to cover are practical ones such as housekeeping, parenting and early childhood development. I will be trying to at least list my reading list and report on any ideas I find to be particularly interesting.