Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Years goals for 2014

This time of year is such a blessing!  We always need fresh starts and new beginnings, don't we?  It's been so encouraging reading and seeing others' New Year's Resolutions, and our kids wrote up their goals, and all the while, I have been pondering things in my own heart.  I know how important accountability is when it comes to follow-through, so I thought I'd just put it all out there, for all of you to read, pray with me, and encourage me.  Please let me do the same for you - please share your goals and let me encourage and pray for you!!

My goals for 2014 are...

"One word" tradition
Have you ever heard how some people pick one word that they focus on, reflect upon and try to grow in throughout that year.  I've always wanted a "word", but never put the time and effort and prayer into selecting one.  This year, I did.  And, <bam!> it just hit me LOUD and CLEAR!  My one word for 2014 is order.  Some of you who know me quite well, are probably laughing right now - "she already is Miss Orderly" or "she's one of the most organized people I know".  I guess I got ya fooled.  I am a (mostly) last-minute type of gal, who often gets by with the minimum.  I do "get by" though because I'm not a quitter, and maybe that's why I've came across as someone who already has "order" in my life.  But, goodness, do I need improvement - A LOT of it.  First and foremost, I have created an orderly schedule for our school days.  In the last week, I've created and re-created and re-created and it is still a work in progress.  Even with a schedule in place, I am constantly reminded who is the Master Scheduler and the need to be flexible.  And I LOVE when He completely takes over, flips our schedule upside-down, and takes the wheel!  The kids and myself included are already seeing benefits in our schedule, and I know that as we get more practice with it, it will be even more of a blessing!!
"All things should be done decently and in order."
~1 Corinthians 14:40 


GET UP!!!!! 
Having the blessing of staying home and schooling our children also comes with its downsides.... and one of those is that I would lay in bed til the very last minute possible.  Kids crawling into bed with me falling asleep becomes too tempting to want to stay there and snuggle.  Or, I would have kids yelling and jumping on the bed, "Mom, we are hungry!!"  Or, after a really rough night with a nursing baby or coughing toddler or staying up too late (which never happens with me - lol!), it's way too tempting to just let the kids watch a couple cartoons in the morning - doh!  So...  I have actually set an alarm and am getting myself up, showered and ready BEFORE the crew wakes up.  I think this will be the hardest one for me, truly....  Please pray for me to get myself out of bed.  I'll take wake-up calls!!  ;)
"She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household."
~Proverbs 31:15

Read aloud to the kids - every day
I have always loved to read aloud, but never truly understood how much I do until I read a post from this sweet momma.  I was never a reader growing up, but there is something about reading out loud to all the kids that brings  so much JOY to me and them!  The kids just hang on to every word, and beg for me to read more.  I actually love (and giggle to myself) how they all sigh when I tell that "that's all for now".  It's such a special time together and I will do this every day with them in many different ways - both educational and fun reading. 
our newest read-aloud

Adding to my spiritual life
Following, loving and serving Our Lord is the heartbeat that keeps me going.  He guides me, strengthens me, corrects me, loves me, teaches me, and gave His all for me.  I can add to and give a little more of myself every year to draw closer to Him.  Here is my plan for this year....

1)  morning offering:  the kids and I pray the Morning Offering prayer before breakfast and have done this for years.  In helping the follow through of my "own word" of ORDER, and being reliant upon God's grace, I am adding a morning offering as my alarm is ringing and I am hopping out of bed.  I will start my day with a "serviam" (I will serve you, Lord!).  Then, I will add the devotion of praying "3 Hail Mary's" for holy purity.
2)  daily examination of conscience
3)  33 Day Consecration (I am doing a weekly study for this at a local church)
4)  Full Rosary at least once a week:  we already pray a decade of the Rosary for our evening family prayers, but would love to work our way up to a full rosary.  Again, I know attempting to do this every night may be too much.  So, we'll take steps and aim for one full Rosary a week.   
5) Behold conference  
6)  monthly confession as a family:  one of those "game changers" that Matthew Kelly suggests
7)  blessing after meals prayer
"My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice, these are my invincible arms; they can move hearts far better than words, I know it by experience." 
~St Therese

Get moving!!!!
What New Year's resolution post would be complete without a goal related to exercise?  Well, I've never been good at follow through when it comes to this one, nor do I have a concrete plan on how to do this and be successful still.  I have never forgot (and kinda use this as an excuse) to not be consistent, how a dear priest friend of ours "okay-ed" and released the guilt I have from this.  He said, "There are seasons in life when this is easier and better, but right now I need to focus on my family!"  I still agree and feel very strongly with what he said, but think I am be able to work something in, even if it is once a week.  I NEED prayers for this part and am open to any suggestions!!  Thanks bunches!! 

Some other ideas:

***Related to the "one word" tradition, I wanted to share something a close friend of mine does...  She not only pics a word for herself, but also a word for her husband and three sons.  She is in my weekly prayer group and as she has done this tradition for years, it is AMAZING to hear about and see where God leads each of them throughout the year and how that "one word" has true meaning behind their major happenings.  Total GRACE!  For now, I will pick the one overall word for myself, and after I can stick with that, then I'm hoping to take on this tradition in future years.  Don't want to overwhelm myself too fast!

***Scripture memorization - again, another year for us!  

May God bless you all abundantly this year!!!  
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