Alex and I sat down and discussed our goals as a family and individually over the weekend. We went over our goals for 2011 and realized we met 50% of them...not too shabby! :) I'm really excited about a few of the goals we've set this year. I thought I would share a few of my personal goals for 2012.
1. Read through my Bible. I've tried this before and seem to get behind at some point and then fail to try to catch up. Not this year!
2. Stay in a devotional all year. I'm currently reading Jesus Calling. It's perfect for the season I find myself in as a Mama to a toddler and soon to be Mama to a newborn. Hours of "homework" in a Bible study just isn't realistic for me right now. I just desperately need that one-on-one time with Jesus in my day. That may be while sitting and reading my Bible/devotional. It may be while loading the dishwasher or folding towels. It may be while feeding Sydney at 1am. My heart just desires to have that time with Him and this year I'm not putting it on the back burner because I'm too busy or because I'm behind in my reading. I'm keeping it on the forefront of my mind at all times.
3. Make special time with Alex each evening. It's amazing how fast our evenings fly by. Once Alex gets home from work: we have dinner, he spends one-on-one time with Amelia, bath time for Amelia, read/pray/rock Amelia to sleep. By this time, we're both tired and ready for bed. I've realized it doesn't have to be a date night (though we're going to do better about having those once a month this year), it doesn't even have to be an hour together. It can simply be lying on the couch, talking about our day for as long as we can stay awake. :) It's just important that we stay connected on every level - it's what makes our marriage a happy, healthy marriage.
4. Record sweet memories in my Mom's One Line A Day journal. It's so easy to forget the cute/funny/sweet/silly/precious things that Amelia says each day. And these days it's EVERY DAY that she makes me laugh for some reason or another. She says the funniest things.
5. Respond to Amelia with soft speech. I actually started making a conscious effort last year to respond to Amelia softly. I would watch 19 Kids & Counting and was constantly amazed at how Michelle Duggar responded to her children. Always with a soft, loving, calm voice. I don't yell at Amelia but her delayed obedience (which is direct disobedience in our home) would bring me to a point of raising my voice and I didn't like that.
The Bible speaks quite a bit about our tongue/speech, so it's obviously important:
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." Proverbs 18:21
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
"A gentle tongue is a tree of life..." Proverbs 15:4
I always want to stay calm with her and I can honestly say her response to soft speech vs. raised voice is like NIGHT & DAY. It has become natural for me to respond to her in that way now and I like that. I also want her to respond to us and others with soft speech and she will only do that if we teach her through our actions.
6. Have more friends into our home. I didn't do a great job with this last year and I'm not sure why. I know this year will be crazy with having a newborn but as long as my friends/family don't care to come over to a dusty house - I still want to entertain on some level. Sharing a meal with someone in your home is where true friendships/relationships begin.
7. Do at least one fun project with Amelia each week. She needs this - especially after Sydney arrives. It can be the most simple thing in the world - she could care less. She just needs that one-on-one time and I plan on making it a priority.
8. Cook at least 4 times a week. Now this may mean sandwiches and soup some nights but I live with the least picky man in the world. In the way of - he will eat the same thing every night if that's what I choose to fix. He doesn't have to have a four course meal every night - he just needs me to take care of him in the way of planning/fixing our meals. He's good to me and always takes us out to eat on the weekends. I'm thankful for that break and the least I can do is cook the rest of the week.
9. Show love/encouragement in some way to someone every day. I have lots of friends/family that are all going through different things in their lives. I want to love on them whenever possible.
10. Stick with the budget. I'm excited to say we're going to the cash system in 2012! I think this will be great for our family and allow us to save more than ever before. I want to be the best steward of the money God has given us and I truly believe this is going to be GREAT for our family. I just have to be diligent in sticking with it.
11. Watch less television. I made a point to start this last year and also made a point to cut out any "reality" television that was on my DVR. God just kept convicting me of what I was allowing in my mind and home. I have a little girl that watches everything I do. I want to set the best example possible for her and I had no business allowing that junk/attitudes/drama/language into our home.
12. Give more. We give our tithe and to charities but I don't just want to give more in the area of money, I want to give more of my time and attention as well.
I was reading Passionate Homemaking which led me over to girltalk where Nicole was talking about New Year's Resolutions: things we want to change. She also talked about New Year's Hopes: things we can't change but are hoping and praying that God will allow to happen in the New Year. I encourage you to go read, especially if you have some New Year's Hopes of your own...a baby, a husband, a new home...you'll be encouraged and blessed...go read. :)
Love to all,