Saturday, January 16, 2010

The List for 2010

This might be boring for you - it's my thoughts and plans for the year ahead...

It's a new year... ok, so we are already weeks into the new year. so I'm a little behind. :^) Which is why....I'm not one to make resolutions. I think it's because it just sets me up to fail. I have enough of a complex of wanting to bite off more than I can chew that I don't need to set myself up for anything. But I am a list person. I think because instead of feeling "tied" to something (like a resolution), I see it as a list of things I want to accomplish. To me it's not a list of something I have to do - just items that in my mind have a renewed zest to want to work towards. I know to the average joe that may not seem like a difference... but in my mind it is. And since this is my blog, my new year, and my thoughts.... It's my list for 2010. I'm posting this partly for my own record, and partly because I know some sweet friends out there who will be good reminders for me as I pursue these things, and usually have helpful tips on their pursuits of similar goals.

The list of things that I want to accomplish, or work towards in 2010...

1. Be a Deuteronomy 6 mom. To impress upon my children the ways of the Lord. To be intentional in their spiritual upbringing. This has always been the cry of my heart, but sometimes it's easy to just go with the flow and forget that my children are the Lord's - I am merely a steward of them. In the end, they go back to him. I want to prepare my daughters to live a life of faith, purity, zeal for the Lord... And I know these things are not spontaneous, they occur from purposeful nurturing. Lord, help me to be a gardener in their little hearts.

2. Be intentional in my marriage. This is not to say that there is anything wrong here - there's not. But with the arrival of the 2nd child I totally understand how hard it is to make time for "us" and how easy it would be to slip into an easy schedule where we are mom and dad but forget that we are husband and wife first. I want to take time to be aware of "us" and invest in "us" and be intentional for Tom and I to grow together. After all, we have 2 beautiful girls who we want to raise in a loving home. We want to demonstrate a loving and giving marriage... and in todays world I see too many friends/aquaintences seeking divorce. I think I"m just aware that this marriage is a precious gift and I want to be as good a steward of it - all to the glory of God. After all, our marriage is a portrayal of Christ and the church.

3. Cooking... Ok, nothing majorly spiritual here... With both of my pregnancies I was soooo sick, then having a newborn, and then a toddler who hangs on your leg, and before that it was work.... Basically what I'm saying is - life is messy and challenging and I tend to just not cook. It's not that I don't like to cook (I don't like to clean up afterwards though), it's that I just don't seem to manage my time well enough to do it. I want to make sure that I'm cooking 4-5 nights a week. I have tons of recipes that I have kept for awhile because "one day..." and yet that day never seems to come. But here's to some yummy meals ahead. I've already started this one, and it's been a good adventure with some good new meals the past week.

4. Frugal Living.... Budgeting is not my forte. Tom and I were both raised with a good standard of saving and spending. We don't spend more than we have, etc... but with the addition of another little one it's made me more aware of my spending habits and how easy it is to slowly start adding up $1 items from target and suddenly your monthly budget has been blown - with junk. I have lots of coupons, and started a system to use them and then got so sick with Nicole. My goal for the next few months is to come up with a system that works for me and cuts our grocery bills by 1/3. I want to start this habit now so that the girls grow up knowing God is pleased when we are good stewards of our money.

5. Simplify - wow, this is really a huge one for me. I am amazed at how much stuff we have. Stuff that at some point seemed really important and "needed". And now I'm just trying to figure out how to keep it organized. Especially kid stuff... I've always believed that too much stuff is detrimental to kids. They lose their ability to focus on an activity (too many other distractions), they forget how to entertain themselves, they lose their imaginations (that's a HUGE one for me), and they start to think they need more stuff. UGH. It's an ugly cycle to enter into. We have been so blessed with toys from family and friends. We have a basement full of toys, a toy room full, bedrooms full... and very little of it was out of our pockets. It's been a huge blessing.... and now I'm out to get rid of at least 1/3 of it. It's not that I don't love it. But recently we had a playdate and somehow one of the kids got to toys that I had put away and it took me weeks to get all the toys reorganized and put away. When they are "out of sight" Megan plays so much more peacefully and pleasantly. Maybe it's the distraction issue, or maybe it's just how an organized environment also creates a peaceful inner feeling???? At any rate - I need to simplify and get rid of stuff. How will I determine what stays and what goes? The imagination and growth test..... will this spark Megan's imagination and grow her brain? Puppets, play kitchen, dress up - imagination sparkers (my favorite toys). Puzzles, Books, lacing games, and specific toys that are for large and small motor growth (pounding toys, stacking blocks, etc) - growth toys. Ok, does that sound like everything? Maybe - but seriously, do we need 6 bins of play food? Or perhaps just what actually fits into the play refrigerator and cabinets... And the simplify extends to my world too.... If I haven't cooked with it since we moved into our house, I obviously don't need it and there are probably some families with World Relief who do.

6. Schedule - As a teacher and a mom, I know that kids thrive on a schedule. I'm not talking about a rigid, minute by minute schedule - but in the security of knowing what is to come next. We have somewhat of a schedule - but in order for me to accomplish some of the things on my 2010 to-do list, I feel that I need to help Megan (and eventually Nicole) know how to better steward their time and we are going to purposefully plan some things. We are starting a little mommy school - complete with our time with God and more reading time (with a purpose and activity), and art time. We already do have art time and reading time - and those are Megan's favorite things. Part of this scheduling is to help Megan with the transition of having a baby sister - it's giving her time that is all hers. Learning time with mommy for that big girl! It's also to minimize time that is defaulted to the TV. Now I'm giving myself some grace here as I work to figure out how to nurse Nicole while also taking care of a toddler. But the goal is to move Megan into some more independent activities (she's reverted into not wanting to do anything alone) so that I can start her with a task when it's time for Nicole to eat. I think a more purposeful schedule will give her some security that mommy's time with Nicole does have an ending and it'll be her turn again soon. :^) Oh the joys of little girls - the emotional side of life starts early!!!!

7. Stay in touch with my crafty side... I love to craft. I love to learn to sew, I love making cards, I love scrapbooking, I love coming up with craft want to do lists... But I have a hard time making it happen. Part of it is just poor use of time (darn that TV and computer) and part of it is wanting to do all the other things on this list... I just can't figure out where to put it on the priority list.

8. Cleaning - you know this goes along with the simplify. Sometimes cleaning is so overwhelming - but if there is less to clean, how great would that be. But I do want to figure out how to work smarter and keep the house clean.

9. Get fit.... 6+ years, 2 broken foot bones, and 2 babies later.... I'd like to physically be the person I was when Tom and I got married. Well - it's what I'd like. Reality, I want to pay more attention to what I eat and what I do for my health. This is a tough one for me because it's just overwhelming to think about when I'm tired and still in the new baby transition. But it's on my radar and maybe in a few months (when it warms up) I'll be in a place where I can give this one the attention that it's due.

10. My Spiritual Walk.... wow, this one is the one that is the hardest for me to think about. I think it's because I'm tired (see 1-6 above). It's been hard to find time for any sort of quiet time. I remember the days when I could spend an hour reading God's word, memorizing scripture, listening to a sermon, etc. When I lived in Albania we had 1 day a month where we had a personal retreat - it was part of my job... now my job is so overwhelming at times that I feel like my personal retreat is in the bathroom when I'm praying, "Lord help me to not lose my temper and to be consistent and loving." My desire is to be intentional in my time with the Lord. That's hard with 2 kiddos who have very different schedules. But I also realize that I want to teach Megan that it's important to have time each day to reflect on what God has done for us. So, this goes hand in hand with my #1 on this to-do list. I can't teach my children when my own spiritual gas tank is empty (not can I discipline them properly). I'm still working on what this will look like. Will I join a group? Do a specific study on my own? But I will be in the Word and I will practice what I preach to my babies.

So - here we are, 15 days into 2010 and I'm still thinking through these 10things. I'm sure that there are more things that I could focus on - and will... but these 10 things have been in my mind and have touched my heart in a special way.

See a theme... perhaps intentionality (is that a word?)and purpose. There are so many things to accomplish and so little time. It's a reminder that my babies will grow up too fast and one day I'll be wishing that at midnight I was still up waiting for a baby to rouse for her final nursing of the day. I want to savor every moment of NOW because it only happens once!

1 comment:

Mandy said...

You are such an inspiration to me! Let's get together soon to discuss how we can both make these work in 2010!