It is time to process the year that just came to a close and think about the year to come. I don't really want to make a list of resolutions, but I definitely want to list some areas that I would like to improve upon. I can do better is so many areas...
1. My walk with God
I want to go deeper in my walk with Him. I want to want Him like I want my next breath. Every morning I am in His Word and talking to Him in prayer, but I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of all the He has for me. I feel this way because I don't always retain what I am studying. I still struggle with worry, fear, discontentment, pride, control... I know what God's Word's says about each area, but head knowledge has to become heart knowledge, in the sense that it changes how I live. Change comes through the Word of God. Romans 12:2 says that I am to be transformed (changed) by the renewing of my mind and that renewal will come through the work of the Holy Spirit as I memorize and meditate on the Word.
To help me, I have joined Beth Moore's scripture memory group that begins January 1st. Basically you pick two verses a month to memorize, a verse on the lst and the 15th of the month...verses that God has revealed to me during my daily quiet times. At the end of the year, I should have 24 verses set to memory. My first one is James 1:5 that I posted about HERE. It says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to Him." I desire wisdom in being a mother. Every. Single. Day.
I love Bible studies but right now I am just reading my Bible. The Bible should be enough, but I miss the topical focus that a Bible study offers, the deep questions that make you think, and the interpretations of others that are smarter than myself. I am praying every day though that He shows me what He has for me as I read "just" His Word. Right now, I am reading the book of Colossians and writing those little nuggets of truth that He reveals to me in my journal.
2. My Marriage
Gene and I are in a great place in our marriage, but we have to remember to make one another a priority. It is very easy to put him at the bottom of the priority list because the girls scream louder than he does. Their needs have to be met by me all through the day, and if I am not careful, I don't have time and energy left for him. We are trying to do better with date nights and making time for uninterrupted conversation, but it can be a struggle. I know that Satan would love to get a foot-hold and tear us apart. He would love to do that to any marriage, but especially a pastor's family, so we cling to each other and pray through the hard moments. I love him more every day and I want to make sure that he knows that. One big way I show my love is through my time and attention.
3. Structure to my day
I have yet to really figure out the best way to manage everything. I want time in each day to study God's Word, to get on my computer and blog and check email, facebook, etc., to clean my house and do laundry without it overwhelming me, to spend adequate time with my children just playing with them, reading to them, and doing puzzles with them, to exercise, to plan and prepare healthy meals, to run errands, to pay bills,.... You get the idea. I need structure. I need a daily schedule. The schedule I created earlier in the year is obviously not working because I don't even know where it is. At the end of the day, I need to feel like I have accomplished something, because as every stay-at-home-mother knows, all things are never done. It is also easy to get lazy in certain areas...because who's checking on me anyway.Well, God is! Full time motherhood is what He has called me to and that is a call to lay down my selfishness and laziness and to serve and sacrifice for my family....and honestly, some days, I just don't feel like doing that. I have got to remember my calling and that I have to work "as unto the Lord". A structured day will help me accomplish that.
She is almost 5....5 years old! Can you believe that? Because she is almost 5 years old, she needs more responsibility. Another thing I have gotten away from is her chore chart. There are things that she can do around here to help me, things that will teach her that she needs to be an "active" member of this family...things like making her bed, cleaning up her toys and her messes, emptying the smaller trashcans into the big trashcan on trash day, helping me empty the dishwasher, etc. This will help her to turn into a more responsible adult, which is what I think I am trying to create.
She also needs a little more structure to her day. She loves television and she has had a little too much freedom with it. She needs more book time, more time with me, more time outside, and more activity/art time. So this brings me back to a need for a schedule of some kind. I don't want every second of her day planned out, but it would be nice to know that at a certain time every day it is "Book Time". When that time rolls around, we cuddle up with books of her choice and spend that time together. The alternative is laying down at night realizing that we didn't read today. That has happened too much lately.
Of course, all of the above applies to Gracen too. But she naturally gets more time with me and her day is a little more structured because of her age.
Discipline has got to be consistent and has to be connected to God's Word so it not only changes her outward behavior but her heart. I am reading Ginger Plowman's book, AGAIN. She does a wonderful job of connecting discipline to God's design for it. She has a chart with verses that go with the various areas of discipline and fair consequences that go with each bad choice that Reagan or Gracen might make. It takes the pressure off of me, when I remember to consistently use it. I have had these resources since Reagan was three and I highly recommend them...
*Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman (She does not believe in counting to 3 but rather teaching "first time obedience".
*Heaven At Home: Establishing and Enjoying a Peaceful Home by Ginger Plowman
*Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Plowman ( a chart to hang on the refrigerator with verses, consequences, etc.)
Another great book is Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.
I have got to work it into my day. I still have 15 pounds from pregnancy on my body that I have just not really cared about. I haven't exercised in months and my eating habits haven't been all that great. These combined make me feel sluggish and tired. Not good with two young children. I am never alone so I am not sure how I will fit cardio into my day, but it needs to happen.
Well, those are the big ones floating around in my mind. That's enough, isn't it? If I can improve upon these areas, then I will be doing pretty good.
In 2011, I want to enjoy my family and spend quality time with all of them. We went to the visitation for a college student on Thursday night and it was heart breaking. She was killed in a car wreck, thrown from the car because she wasn't wearing her seat belt. Life is precious and can be so short. I want to realize the gifts that I have in my life and appreciate them....love them, hug them, spend time with them... I encourage you to do the same.
Until next time...