Happy Monday, friends! It's rainy in the most picturesque way outside, and I hope you find a moment today to curl up with the quintessential cup of coffee, blanket and book to get the most out of this dreamy weather.
Toward the end of every year, I pray that God will give me a word that will serve as an all-encompassing theme for the next year. Something to focus on, to give the upcoming year a direction and meaning.
The word that He whispered into my heart for 2016 is thrive. For several years now, I've felt that we've been in survival mode: three pregnancies in four years, a job loss/career change/financial difficulty, health issues...We have grabbed life by the coattails and held a tight grip, just trying to hang on. We have been getting by with a bare-bones, no-frills attitude, doing only what is necessary, enduring the circumstances we can't control while making the things we can control as easy as possible. Meaning, our kids watched a lot of Netflix and ate their weight in PB&Js! Can I get an amen?
But back in the fall, after I'd stopped breastfeeding and we got through the gritty newborn phase, the Lord began stirring within my heart a longing for more. I was created for more than this. It's time to start thriving again.
There is a Bible verse that God brought to my attention that hit me like a hurricane and left permanent marks within my heart:
"Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." Proverbs 4:26
Give careful thought to your ways. In so many ways, I was choosing to do what was easiest instead of what was best for myself and for our family. When you're in survival mode, the standard is lower, but no ground is really gained. In order to thrive, every area of our lives needed an overhaul this year. So it was time to set some goals, to restructure our days and develop new habits, to strengthen my resolve and exercise more discipline.
Here are a few of the goals I set for this year:
- Be intentional about mealtimes; serve foods that will benefit our family.
- Stay on top of grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation.
- Drink a gallon of water a day.
- Eliminate grains, sugar, and refined carbs from my diet.
- Go to bed by 10 most nights of the week.
- Hit my goal weight by the end of May.
- Exercise at least three times a week; strength train at least twice a week.
MY SPIRITUAL WALK
- Get up every morning at 6 and spend time in worship, prayer, and the Word.
- Do some type of fast every three months.
- Finish the worship songs I have started writing.
- Lead a small group.
- Balance the checkbook every month and keep the register up-to-date.
- Develop virtual "envelope" system with savings/checking accounts.
- Take voice lessons.
- Write one blog post a week. (Clearly this one needs more work!)
- Learn all of the features on my digital camera.
- Date night with the Mr. once a month.
- Renovate our bathrooms.
- Put and keep our home in order. Clean out everything we don't love and use consistently.
- Donate clothes and sell items we don't use or need anymore.
Now that we are almost through February, there are several of these I have already been working on, and others that need work. But the main goal is to be more intentional about my actions, to make the most of my time, and to be a good steward of that which I have been made responsible for: my health, my family, my home, my ministry. No more using my kids as an alarm clock and rolling out of bed in the morning when I can no longer ignore them calling for me. No more wasting time in the evening watching Netflix until I fall asleep with my makeup on, instead of getting ready for the next day and taking care of my skin. No more zoning out playing on my phone while the kids watch a movie, instead of engaging with them and making the most of this time while they are at home with me all day. No more last-minute drive-thru dinners because I am too lazy to make a nutritious meal. I'm not saying I will be perfect, and I know there will be a need for grace from time to time, but it's time to reach new levels of personal and spiritual growth, time to choose what is best and make the extra effort needed to move forward, to take some risks. It's time to THRIVE!
Did you set any New Year's resolutions or goals for this year? How are yours coming along? I'd love to hear in the comment section below.