I have proclaimed 2018 as the year of peace. If you've read my last Hectic Holiday post, you know that I feel like 2017 was a tough year. There were lots of great things about last year, but there were some big challenges, some of which we're still dealing with. My husband is still unemployed and diligently and tirelessly searching for the job God has for him.
As you can imagine, finding, embracing, and maintaining peace (you can read about the acronym I created in my last post, too!) when struggling over financial concerns can be a little difficult. The good news is, by the grace of God, we're making ends meet and should be able to for awhile. But still, it's stressful.
Peace means so much more than just the state of calm most people associate with the word. For me, it means recognizing all the grace and forgiveness God has for me and humbly accepting it so that I can be a good servant. For me, it means choosing not to worry over every little thing. I've decided to give it to God in prayer and trust Him to take the burden and show me what I need to do to please Him. For me, peace means loving my family unconditionally, even when they don't deserve it, just like God love me even though I don't always deserve it!
And, for me, peace means accepting what comes as part of God's divine plan for me and my family. I set goals because that's who I am, but I know that, aaahh, yes, God sometimes laughs at the plans we make! So, yeah, I know the goals may prove to not be part of His plan, and I'll childishly fuss and stomp my feet when things don't go the way I think is best, but hopefully, I'll also breathe, relax and live in His space.
So, as far as these goals go, I'm not posting all of them at once for one simple reason: Life is fluid, always changing, and while I'm committed to my goals, I realize that some of them may prove to be unnecessary, some may prove to require more time than one year, and new goals are likely to present themselves as the year moves along. I've shared several below and will add to them as we go.
1. Love and respect my family unconditionally. This seems like it should be so simple but I know I fall short a lot. Of course I always love my husband and kids but I know I need to give them more grace more often.
2. Renew my focus on healthy eating and activity. I indulged WAY to much over the holidays, and my energy and mood always suffer, not mention my waistline!
3. Spend time just being. Being with my God, with my husband, with myself, with my kids, with no ulterior motive. Finding those quiet moments to just rest and share time together is something that busy life makes challenging but I think it will go a long way towards my bigger goal of PEACE.
4. Make regular blog posts and increase readership. Grow this blog to generate income by the end of 2018. This is a big one and so important to me. It's something I've been dreaming of and working towards for about three years now. The hard part is finding the time.
5. Publish my first novel. The novel is written...actually, I've completed two novels. The first one is most near and dear to my heart and I really want to see it in print, whether via traditional or self-publishing!
6. Save enough money to pay cash for our kids' private school tuition in 2019-2020. This is totally doable if my husband finds employment soon. I haven't discussed it with him yet, so he may feel some other endeavor is more of a priority.
7.Go away for a few days, with my husband, without our kids. We desperately need this but I'm having a hard time finding anything that's going to be affordable, so I'm going to have to get creative...
8. Spend quiet time each day in prayer and reflection. I already do this but my goal is actually dedicate a specific time that is always just for God.
9. Read Love and Respect and The Power of a Praying Wife. I am reading the first right now and the second is on my nightstand. The first book is about marriage and how husbands and wives have different primary needs and how each one's language is defined by that need. The principles teach how to decipher each other's "code" and communicate in loving and respectful ways.
10. Breathe, consider and be intentional. I want to respond rather than react. I want to keep my voice calm and even and my face and posture relaxed during all encounters. I think way too much voice-raising, demanding and pouting go on in our home and changing that will move us toward the PEACE I know we all need and will thrive in.
So that's it...for now. What are your goals for this year?