Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Goals

Below is part of a devotional I recently wrote for Encouragement Cafe'. It goes along with setting goals for a new year...

What Are You Aiming For?

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

I love this time of year. The busyness of the holidays are over and life starts to get back to normal. The first week of the new year I like to spend a little extra time reflecting on the past year and planning for the new year. This helps me to be a good steward of the time/talents that God has given me. Our time belongs to Him.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

I use this time to look back at the past year not to have regrets about what I didn’t accomplish, but rather to encourage myself for the things I did do well. I also spend time in prayer about the new year, and ask God to show me the goals He would have for me. Someone once said that if you aim at nothing, you will hit your target every time!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

After some time in prayer I pick three main goals to focus on for the new year. I then write each of these goals on an index card. On the back of each card I write little sub-goals. For example one of my main goals might be for my home to be a place of refuge for my family, so I would title one card, “Home: A place of refuge”. On the back of that card I might have three small goals that work together to accomplish that one main goal. My three small goals might look something like…

1. Keeping the house clean by cleaning a specific room for 15mins every day.
2. Planning a weekly menu/grocery list so meal time is not chaotic.
3. Character training in kindness, love and patience through family devotions.

When I finish this process with all three of my index cards, I then pick a place to keep my cards so they will be a visual reminder of my goals for the year. I choose to keep mine in my bible. I separate the cards through my bible and periodically as I come across one I will then take the time to review that card. This process has been a tremendous help and encouragement to me.

So how did I do in 2009? Pretty good. I definitely have more work to do, but the good thing is I can see the goals I did accomplish and the ones I still need to work on.

Now on to 2010. Here is a sneak-peak at my 2010 goals.

Even though I didn't make my goal of reading 12 books in 2009 I am bumping my goal up to 13 books for 2010. I really think I can do this. I just need to be more diligent about it.

So here is book 1/13... "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper

This is a good read, but a hard one. Hard in two ways. One, Johns writing style is deep. It's kinda like you read a paragraph and then you have to chew on it for a minute and then maybe you even have to read it again for it to sink in. It took me December and half of January to get though the book.

The second reason it is a hard read is because he really challenges you to not waste your life. So he describes what a wasted life looks like (something about watching TV every evening and just focusing on your own family) and how to change.

It really made me think about how I live my life and it spurred me on to improve the way I show the love of Christ to others. It just wasn't a happy read.

no warm fuzzies here.

That being said, I do think it was worth the time and effort it took to get through it. Just be prepared to have your mind stretched and your toes stepped on.

Friday, January 15, 2010


This week I got a late Christmas present...

One day while surfing the internet I stumbled across blog2print, which is a company that will print your blog. I was so excited because I love the memories that I have here, but my one complaint was that I didn't have a hard-copy like you do if you have a scrapbook.

I told Mike right away that's what I wanted for Christmas. I patiently waited until after Christmas to have it bound because I wanted to include all the 2009 posts.

This definitely is now one of our new family traditions.

i love it!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas In January

Seth finally had his Christmas piano recital. Because of the bad weather we had in December, his recital was rescheduled. He thoroughly loves playing the piano. Seth amazes me everyday, it seems, with a new song he has taught himself to play by ear.

Even though I don't play an instrument music is HUGE to me. I love hearing my boys playing their instruments and constantly singing. Music brings a lot of joy to our home!

Here is Seth with his piano teacher "Miss Denise"

Encouragement Extreme Conference

Hey, I'm back! After the holidays our family decided to go screen-less (no TV, computer, video games etc.) for a few weeks to get organized for the new year and to work on some much needed character training.

mainly mine!

Anyway, now that I've come out of hiding there's a lot to catch you up on.

The most important thing is another reminder of our first Encouragement Extreme Conference coming in just a few short weeks. You can find all the information about the conference at

God is doing some amazing things in the lives of the women involved in putting this conference together. Each of us is being continually pushed out of our comfort zones. I know He has big plans for the Conference and the women who attend. So get moving to the website and get registered.

Also remember that the radio show is still broadcasting every Saturday at 2pm. (Check the website for a local station or to listen to the show live.) This past Saturday's topic was "Clean Slates". This happened to be one of my weeks to write for, so check out the website for the daily devotions.

But, most importantly don't forget to register!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning

Here are a few last pictures of 2009. We started a new tradition this year. Several local churches came together to throw a huge Christmas party for the city. It was called "Christmas for the City". This was only the 2nd year of the event. For some reason we did not get to go last year, so I was looking forward to checking it out this year. The downtown Civic Center was rented out and each room of it was filled with different activities for people to enjoy. The best part of all... it was a free event! There was live music, a Putz, a love feast, crafts for the kids, face painting, art/craft shows, and lots of free food. (Our church alone donated over 2,000 cookies and I think I heard that they went through something like 10,000 just in the first night!) They also gave food and clothing to those in need. I'm sure there was a lot more there I just can't remember it all, nor did we get to see it all. The party went from 5-9pm for 3 nights.

Our family went the first night to volunteer in the craft room. We helped out at the woodworking tables. It was very chaotic at first because there were soooo many people there and we had no idea what we were doing, but we soon adjusted and the night flew by. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to go again the next night and just enjoy the activities. It was so much fun! I can't wait to go again next year.

Another family tradition we have is after celebrating Christmas Eve with Mikes side of the family we go home and open our stockings. We let Mordecai go first.

he really got into it... if ya know what i mean!

Next was Seth's turn.

Then Joshua.

And Noah. He found a few pair of his favorite socks and...

something else I'm not suppose to tell!

"i see london... i see france... i see Noah's .... hey, he didn't say i couldn't give you a hint!

Now it's daddy's turn.

I guess Mordecai forgot who's the alpha-male around here... he tried to attack daddy while he was opening his stocking.

i think he's got it straight now!

Christmas morning was a lot of fun.

Everyone opened their presents.

And just went it looked as if all the presents had been opened...

...there was a note hiding in the tree. It was an impossible mission to find the missing present. The first clue took them into the kitchen.

They each took turns reading the clues.

Now off to our bathroom. Still another clue!

What does that one say?

Get your shoes and coats on and go to the garden?

yes i know i'm mean, making them go outside in the pouring rain! ...but it was so much fun! MWA HA HA HA!

When they came in they found a nice surprise... HOT CHOCOLATE!

and another clue!

After finally finding their big surprise they said it was worth it.

actually they loved the scavenger hunt and i already have another idea to try for next year.

On New Years Day we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family.

This has been a great Christmas!

Mordecai loved his gifts too.