I am the QUEEN of making New Year’s Resolutions and breaking them all within the first week of January. This year, however, I felt like I was way ahead of the game. I had unearthed some GOOD goals with the help of the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets. I was all ready to hit the ground running in 2018, and I did. But as is often His way, God asked me to slow down and finetune my goals. So I want to share what my goals were at the beginning as I started out 2018 and how they have morphed even in these first few weeks. I am giving myself permission for them to change many more times throughout the year as I become more in tune with God’s plans and purpose for me. Change is healthy; unwillingness to yield costs us so much fruit.
My first goal for 2018 was to cultivate a life-giving, simplified, and joyful home. This included both the aesthetics of our home and the flow of our days within this space. In January I made so much progress in decluttering and making sure everything has a place to go at the end of the day. We have minimized decor and added an emphasis on function to each of our spaces. Though this has been key to me not feeling overwhelmed with household tasks, I’m finding that our greater need as a family (especially me as a mom, wife, nurse, homemaker, and blogger) is for predictable routine and learning how to budget our time well. Each of us wastes so much time and then complains about not having enough of it at the end of the day. This can be seriously overwhelming when you know that God is asking big things of you and your days are already “packed”. Prior to this year I knew I needed to work on time management, but now I am realizing that this is essential to me fulfilling the roles that God has given me and will bring peace to our home.
Three additional goals included cultivating a deeper, more powerful faith; making parenting a priority; and living out of the knowledge that I am deeply loved by God. Progress in each of these areas has led me to realize just how linked they are. As I study the Word to cultivate my faith, I am learning about what a good and loving Father we have and it is spilling out into how I desire to parent my children. I am also learning of the power that we have over sin in Christ’s death and our indwelling of the Holy Spirit. My excuses (though I never would have admitted them to be excuses before, I would have claimed that I was a victim of circumstances) like having a bad day, dealing with depression, insane toddler meltdowns, or difficulty in marriage just don’t cut it for crappy parenting. But I feel free to admit that because there is no condemnation in Christ! God is not up there watching for me to screw up again, He is cheering me on in my pursuit of righteousness. He is unchanging in spite of circumstances and this is one character trait of Him that I am claiming growth in this year as I learn to rest in Him. So I am combining these goals into one overarching goal of continuing my pursuit of God in 2018.
Another goal was to pursue holistic wellness in 2018. 2017 was an extremely difficult year as I battled depression for the majority of it. Praise God He has since healed me of my depression and I have done the hard of work of healing from some emotional trauma/pain in my past. I have also made great strides in the area of positive self-talk over the last couple of months. Though this is something that I want to continue to be mindful of I am realizing that my physical wellness needs to take priority now. Mama does not have the energy to keep up with two wild boys and gets sick ALL. THE. TIME. Literally you can look my way and if you have a cold I will catch it. But seriously fitness and diet changes are in order ASAP.
This year I also want to pursue financial freedom. And no I don’t mean I plan to win the lottery this year. I mean I want the freedom that comes from stewarding our money well. Mark and I were rockstars at the envelope system for approximately 3 years of our marriage. We are both spenders so money is challenging for us. I also grew up experiencing less than pleasant conversations surrounding money (still love you mom and dad!!) so I always go into conversations about it ready for a battle and the hubs is like “calm down.” haha Thankfully we do not have any credit card debt but it is past time to start being mindful with our finances again. This goal is not changing, but I do need to list some specific action steps.
I want to cultivate my marriage in 2018. Everybody has those days where they can’t stand their spouse and unfortunately, I think in our 7 years of marriage that has been true more often than not. Mark and I have been experiencing such a sweet change in the atmosphere of our marriage in the last few months and we are so excited to press into that and experience the blessing that God has for us as we pursue righteousness in this area.
Another goal of mine was to build my brand/ online ministry. When I started this blog years ago I had in mind that I wanted to reach women for Christ and empower them to seek and fulfill their callings. For awhile however, I got caught up in the world’s standards of success and took my eyes off of my original target. At the beginning of this month I did feel renewed in my calling to build this space but I did not have clarity in the purpose. In January God asked me to be still for a week. This was different than any other time of inactivity on my blog or social media. This was intentional. It also wasn’t what I typically think of as a break, when I continue to do my thing on social media but consume less of what other people are doing. He didn’t need me to silence their voices, He needed me to silence mine! I have come out of that week of silence with great clarity as to my purpose in this space. My focus right now is to share my journey in my relationship with God, to inspire young women and mothers in their walks with Him, and to faithfully share my creative interests. I feel called to create content and focus less on strategy, trusting and accepting that God will bring restoration to my original calling in all of this and acceleration to my ministry in Him. I am even more excited to see what this year has in store!
One of the few goals that remains the same is to be a woman of my word. In the past year I have consistently overcommitted and then proceeded to beat myself up about it when I was unable to come through. NOT ANYMORE! This year I will not overcommit. I will simplify the commitments I do make. For example, instead of promising or pressuring myself to make a handmade gift for a friend I will just purchase something. I will follow through on the things I do commit to, including giving the boys the attention or activity I have promised. I don’t want my boys to grow up seeing me constantly stressed out because I’m juggling too much or consistently having to apologize for not being able to come through on a commitment.
Lastly, I started out the year wanting to cultivate a joyful homeschool. Greyson and I have been struggling to find a groove in homeschooling. There are many factors at play that have caused our difficulties, but two of the main problems seem to be that I am juggling too much with all of my many responsibilities in and out of the home, and that Greyson gives up when learning gets the slightest bit challenging. He is incredibly intelligent and has proven that he CAN do the things I ask him to, but he doesn’t want to if he has to work at it even a little bit. He came by that honestly, I’m afraid. I’m beginning to realize that I may not be the right fit to teach him how to not do that, because to be honest I’m still learning. So this goal has shifted in that we will plug away for the rest of the year [joyfully] but I now have an openness about his education next year. I look forward to praying over it in the coming months and seeing where God leads us.
It feels so good to be moving forward with purpose in this new year! What are you working towards in 2018? Please comment below and feel free to link your own blog post if you have written about it!