So, no lofty specific goals from me this January - but I can't let this new year sneak up on me without sharing some general goals, hopes, dreams, etc. 2015 was filled with ups and downs - and no doubt, 2016 will include the same - BUT, there is something about a new year - a fresh clean slate, pages of a book that have no tears or regrets or pain written on it yet....another chance for God to do big things in our lives and through our lives! I can't help but start this year hopeful - for we serve a POWERFUL Lord who can work in our lives in huge ways!
Here are my spiritual, relational, financial and health goals or guidelines for 2016. As you see, no specific plans, numbers or timelines - just goals of improvement in these 4 categories. Over the course of a year, I will fail and improve in these areas at various times but my hope and prayer is that at the end of the year, I will see overall improvement and growth in each area.
(1) GIVE IT A YEAR: PRAYING THROUGH 2016
I want prayer to be a big part of my life this year. I want to document requests and struggles and confessions so I can see how God is answering in both big and small ways, to see how He is molding and growing me. I want to hope and believe that God can answer in over the top ways and pray for myself and others with this kind of boldness!
Personally, there are a few things in my life that I just want to see changed - circumstances, relationships, sinful struggles, etc. I know you can all relate! And I have lived long enough to know that some change will happen simply by time and prayer.
Years ago, God placed a little personal motto on my heart - "Give it a year" and I have clung to that phrase ever since. I can do a year. It's long enough to see change happen, but not so long that it can be daunting. And, so when waiting and hoping for answered prayers- be it a spouse, a baby, a job change, relationships, finances, etc, I often tell myself that in a year, things could be better. So, in 2016, I commit to give it a year, to dedicate the next 12 months to faithfully praying - and to seeing how God chooses to act - and how He grows me in the process.
(2) READ THE (CHILDREN'S) BIBLE TO ANNE DOUGLAS
I know she will be too young to comprehend a lot of what we read - but I want scripture and prayer time to become a parenting habit. I look back at my life and do not remember a time when scripture reading, worship and prayer were not a part of my life. I am grateful that my parents started with Bible study even before I could comprehend - and this year, I want to start that with our daughter.
(1) IMPROVE MY MARRIAGE
Dave and I are very happy together, but like most couples, we bicker and criticize and fail to show grace at times. We both have areas where we can and should improve. This year will be filled with lots of crazy good changes - and some of these changes might add stress to our relationship. So, my goal is to still take time to focus on Dave - and to work on ways that I can love and serve him better. I do not want to forget to work on my marriage just because I am working at motherhood.
(2) GIVE OURSELVES GRACE IN PARENTING
Being mommy and daddy will be so new to us - and we will fail just as many times as we succeed. I have lots of parenting goals - a happy well balanced baby, a child that sleeps through the night, breastfeeding, etc. But the reality is that babies can't be controlled - and parents are humans that will fail and learn and figure out better ways. So, my prayer is that we can give ourselves a little grace as we learn!
(1) SAVINGS AND BUDGETING
Dave and I have worked hard to save a decent amount of money over the past couple years- but we could always do better with our finances- especially with our budget! (we don't necessarily overspend, but we don't always stick to a budget). My financial goals for 2016 is to keep saving (even if it's less because of baby expenses, just putting a little away each month helps) and budget better.
Confession: We are not the best at tithing. This stems from the fact that we moved right after we got married and were not members at a church (and still aren't) so we mostly just gave our tithes monthly to various ministries and missionaries instead - with an occasional donation to the church. I think this was fine for awhile, but the reality is that we are now invested in a local church and are involved in their programs and ministries - and need to be giving monthly to a church (members or not). So as we learn to budget better this year, I want to add tithing to the church into our budget.
(1) LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT
Goodness, it couldn't be a new years resolution post without including some talk on weight and health right? In case you haven't noticed, I have put on some weight over the past year (ha!) - and after AD arrives and we settle into our new life, I would like to get back in shape and lose as much of the weight as I can.
Over the past several years, I have become a runner - not a terribly fast runner, but a runner just the same. I quit for awhile, but managed to pick it up last spring and train for 10K with my friend. Soon after the 10k, I became pregnant and sick and quit running. So, post baby, I want to pick it up again - train for a 5k, then maybe a longer race. Picking small running goals like races helps me stick to it!
(3) SCHEDULE BETTER
I am not sure where this goal "fits" in so I am including it in the health category. Two things have become abundantly clear to me as I read about parenting and think about how we will both work full time, raise a baby, keep up with other activities, etc: (1) some commitments and fun things will get cut and (2) we will have to become schedule people (this will be harder for Dave than me as he goes with the flow a lot more than me!) I am not sure what our schedule will look like - but we will have to work together with a plan of when things like gym time, baby, etc happen in relation to AD's eating and sleeping schedule.
Well, there you have it, folks - my "general" goals for 2016. I hope I succeed at improvement in all areas, but I am realistic so if I improve in half of them, I will be happy! What are your goals for 2016? Something big and specific? (run a marathon or save 10,000 dollars, etc) or general areas of improvement like me?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!