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Posts tagged ‘year’

I know it has almost nothing to do with this post, but it's just too cute!

By douglasleemiller on Flickr

It’s the end of the year, and time to think about New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t been one to make a lot of resolutions; some year I don’t even bother to make any at all. But this week I read a couple of blogs that made me think about setting goals for next year. Caroline at The Modest Mom blog talked about several goals she has for the new year. Sarah at Sarah’s Hearts Home reviewed the goals she made last year and shared how she had had succeeded–or not. So I have been inspired to make a list of things I would like to accomplish this next year, and I want to share it with you. (Note about the picture: I wanted a picture, and I just couldn’t resist this one! You should click on it and read the caption under it!)

First Month’s Goals

These are things I would like to focus on during the first month of the year–my top priorities:

Work on obedience with the kids. This will mean keeping them with me more and following through when I issue commands to be sure that they are executed. Gislaine specifically needs to learn to deal with disappointments and to willingly obey the first time, quickly and cheerfully. To accomplish this, I plan on helping her by practicing proper responses to problematic situations, to help her learn how to react instead of just letting her react however she wants.

Make and keep the home more organized. I have gotten a good start on it–I promise to update the office decluttering project soon, but so far it’s coming along.

Go to the gym or walk at least 4 days a week. Just basically more exercise, and that’s how I plan to make it happen.

Spend more time in personal devotions. The next goal is the key to this one; when I can’t get up early, I want to learn how to take time during the day to connect to God.

Go to bed before 10:00 every night.

Have more consistent morning worship. I guess I always thought of this as the husband’s job, and it is so hard to stop my day once it is started… But my husband leaves home just as the kids are waking up most days, so having him lead out in morning worship most days is not practical. I’m not exactly sure how I am going to do this, but I am going to pray about it and then just do something–even if it’s just a song, a prayer, and reading a Bible story. This is very important.

Not get online until the important housework is done

Watch the Goallpower.com seminar. This looks interesting. If I really like it, I may blog about it later.

Wow! That seems like a lot of things to do in January. But some of them are not too involves (like bedtime) and some I have already started (like being more organized), so we wlll see how it goes. I’ll have to post an update at the end of January to let you know how I’m doing–and to help myself see where I need to focus more.

Second Month’s Goals

Come February I would like to add the following items to my 2011 goals:

Structure the kids’ days more so I can keep them with me more. This means that instead of saying, “Go play,” I will try to come up with an activity they can do near me. This will require some creativity and probably some sacrifice on my part, but I know it can be done.

Spend more time playing with the kids. This is one way of binding their hearts to mine. I haven’t done it enough lately.

Get my monthly and semi-annual cleaning on track. This means all the lists of things that need to be done on a not-so-regular basis will get incorporated into my iPod’s to-do list program. That way things will come up on my daily to-do list so I can remember to do them. This will include things like washing windows, dusting baseboards, cleaning the light diffusing bowls, etc. I have lists already made up, but I need to get them where I will actually see them.

Blog more consistently, at the same time limiting my time online. I want to post 3-4 times a week at least, but I need to focus on what I am doing online and avoid surfing and wasting time. I need to plan my posts, too, so that I can be more efficient with my time online.

Eat more vegetables. I like veggies, but they get expensive and sometimes I just forget to eat them. So I’m making it a goal to try to get more of them in my diet–to just be more consistent about making sure they are on the table to eat every day.

Goals for the Rest of the Year

The rest of my list is more of a want-to-do, or else a seasonal activity that isn’t something I could start in the winter. So once I get the above under control, or when summer comes, I want to keep these things in mind:

Try at least 2 new recipes every month. I have gotten into a rut of just fixing the same ol’ stuff all the time. I need to put in some variety once in a while. But I’m not going to stress about it in January; my monthly menu is already made up.

Plant and maintain a small garden. I got gardened out as a kid (my mom once had a 1,000 square foot garden!), but I really want to have some home-grown delights. And hubby has spent so much time and effort on getting rid of the blackberries that overran the garden area…

Spend more time outside on nice days. The previous goal should help this one. And now that I have an iPod, I could go out and sit under a tree and write blogs while the children play nearby. But that won’t be happening for a few months yet!

Knit Gislaine a sweater and everyone some socks. I learned to knit before learning any other related craft. But now it seems so slow compared to crocheting or sewing. But I love homemade wool socks and found some expensive wool at the Goodwill for cheap, so I really should do it. I even found good free patterns online, and my mom gave me a whole set of needles, so I have no legitimate excuses.

Do the bulk of my sewing in the winter when it’s too cold to be outside. Last summer I spent too much time sewing and got burned out by winter, when it’s too cold to be outside. I don’t want that to be the start of a trend. Which means I need to start figuring out what I need to make for next summer soon.

So there is my list. I will review the first two items over the next two months, and then the whole thing at the end if the year.

So what are your resolutions/goals for the new year? I’d love to hear them. If you have blogged about them, be sure to post the link in your comment.

By SamHastings on Flickr

Yesterday, I shared in part 1 how my life has been a series of spiritual ups and downs, characterized by trying to build walls to make others think I was good, while inside I was a mess.

Well, a few weeks ago I just sort of hit bottom. I had been trying to escape reality with compulsive kinds of actions, like reading for hours on end, playing computer games, etc., while my family deteriorated around me. I didn’t know what to do, and I hated myself for the way I was and the way I had allowed things to become. The bad habits of my youth were now maturing into very nasty character flaws that I could see being mirrored in my children, and I began to realize that I had to make a choice.

But I was loath to do it. Make the choice, I mean. Because I basically had two alternatives. Either surrender to God and let Him change me, or reject God and give up on everything I believed. I just couldn’t stand staying the way I was. The problem was, the latter option was just too horrendous to contemplate. And besides, being a Christian was so ingrained into my identity that I would find myself turning to God automatically when in difficult situations–like when I turned into my driveway too early and almost went over edge of the road into a tree!

But surrender scared me.

Why did it scare me? It wasn’t because I was afraid of surrender itself. I had experienced full surrender in the past–at least, as full as I knew at the time. I remember almost having an accident, and actually not getting an adrenalin rush because I had such peace with God. I longed to have that kind of relationship again. But I was afraid of failure. I had tried so many times, and just as many times I had failed. Turned my back on God. Let go of His hand and basically said, “I’m going to do it my way.”

Then I would read verses like Hebrews 6:4-6 and wonder if maybe I was a hopeless case.  But then I knew that any yearnings in my soul for God meant that I had definitely not committed the unpardonable sin, and that meant there definitely was hope for me. (I have stored up a lot of head knowledge over the years, and in times like this it was both a comfort and a torment.)

But I still feared failure. I didn’t want to turn my life over to God and then take it back once again. I wanted to break the cycle of up and down. After talking to my friend from church that I mentioned yesterday, I got in touch with one of my old friends from several years ago and began to pour out my heart to her. In an email, I wrote this:

I realize that to surrender to the extent that I did as a youth isn’t enough anymore. In proportion to the light that I have I must yield, and I have more light now than I did then. So my surrender now must be deeper than it has ever been.

As you can see, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to surrender. But I was afraid. What if I failed again? I didn’t think I could bear it. All my head knowledge told me that God would accept me just as I was, that He would forgive me and take me back with rejoicing. All the promises of His keeping power that I had memorized kept surfacing into my consciousness; evidence of His love was everywhere I looked if I just chose to see it. I began to sense things coming to a climax. I realized that it was only a matter of time before I did make a surrender. But still I hesitated.

Looking back honestly, I think that it was deeper than just my fear of failure, even though that was a very big issue. I was also unwilling to surrender certain things. It’s a lie of the devil, the idea that if you surrender to God, He will take away the things that make you happy. I know by experience that He only takes away the things that make us miserable. But I didn’t want to let go of some of those things. And some things I wondered if He would make me give them up, when in reality He wasn’t so much interested in my things as just in having me. And as I began to take that reality to heart, I began to soften.

I realize that I may not be communicating my thoughts very well. There were so many levels to my situation that I don’t know how to explain it with words. Maybe if you try to feel with your heart what I am trying to  convey, you will understand. I’m sure if you’ve ever been where I am, you can understand. I hope by the time I finish this series, those of my readers who are in the same situation I was will have some answers. That’s my goal, my reason for opening my heart to you. Not that I have all the answers yet. But I have a few. And maybe one or two of them will help.

Tomorrow I will share some of the steps that helped get me out of this dark hole I was in. So stay tuned.