A Year in Review: Intentional

Photo Credit: marianna armata (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit: marianna armata (Creative Commons)

 

Way back in January, I decided that my word for 2014 would be intentional. I listed several areas in which I wanted to be more intentional with the way I spent my time. So…how did I do?

Before I get to the specific areas, I want to just come right out and say, I started the year strong, but really fizzled out pretty quickly. I still spent way too much time on unimportant things, or just not being intentional about my time.

Here are the areas I wanted to be intentional in:

  1. My relationship with my husband – This year turned out a LOT different that I planned, in a lot of ways.  But I do believe that my husband and I have a stronger relationship today than we did a year ago. We are talking more, not just sitting next to each other (though, that happens too!), we are learning to depend on each other more, and more importantly, to depend on God more. What could we have done differently to make this year better? More intentional time together away from the kids…date nights, maybe even a weekend away here and there.
  2. My relationship with my children – Wow…this one is hard for me. There are days that I feel I did REALLY well here, and there are days that I feel I failed miserably. Don’t we all feel that way sometimes though, mamas? I do think I’m still learning and growing here, though. I think I’ve become a more observant, attentive parent this year, I’ve learned things about my kids, and I’m enjoying them more. I still need to work on this area, and one way I know I can do that is by spending more focused time with each of them individually.
  3. My relationship with God – I started out so strong here, and fizzled so quickly. I’ve let the demands of my day, the busy-ness of my life, the exhaustion of mommyhood fill me…instead of seeking to allow God to fill me. Sure…I have days (even weeks) where I truly seek Him…and then I have days/weeks/months at a time when I barely crack open my bible (electronic or actual pages). I do believe that my prayer life is stronger, as I find myself praying regularly throughout the day…whether a praise, prayer of thanks, or call of “HELP ME!!!”
  4. Reading/completing books – I’ve actually done OK here. No, I’m not reading every day…but so far, I’ve finished all but one book this year (the one I’m reading now…I have 4 days, maybe I’ll actually finish it before year-end?). I’ve read a mix of fiction and non-fiction books…books that have challenged me, encouraged me, and even some that simply entertained me. I look forward to reading more in the new year.
  5. Making my house a home – I started out the year printing a cleaning schedule. I knew I’d have to slowly work my way up to completely every task every day…but I was doing a decent job of doing a few cleaning tasks each day. Then, we decided to put our house on the market, and the cleaning got intense. I really felt like all I did was clean for a couple of months. We moved in August, and I’ve made it a goal to try to keep up with laundry and dishes…but there is SO MUCH more I could do every single day. I could do a much better job of cleaning up after my kids (and getting them to clean up after themselves), as well as general pick-up/cleaning throughout the day. But…I don’t want cleaning to be the only thing I do all day. So, I’m still working on finding the balance.

Overall, I actually feel that I did better than I originally thought. However, I still see room for improvement in all 5 areas, and that’s why I’ve decided that intentional will once again be my word for 2015. I’m going to do things a little differently this time around. For starters, I have 2 sweet friends who will be praying for me, checking in, and holding me accountable, and I will be doing the same for them.  Also, I will be making my relationship with God the most important priority. I know that none of the other items on my list will work if He is not first in my life.

What was your word for 2014? How did you do?

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10 Books I Love, 1 I Hate, and 7 I Want To Read

Photo by Daniel Y. Go (Creative Commons)

I  love to read. Books, magazines, blogs…you name it, I will probably read it. I was the kid that sat in the  backseat on long car rides reading the entire time (or at least until it got so dark that I couldn’t read  anymore). I have always loved the way a book can take you to another place, give you better understanding  of a topic, or even help you learn more about yourself. As I’ve gotten older, my love for the written word has  not diminished, but sadly the amount of time I give myself to read seems to have shrunk. Even though I don’t  read as much as I’d like, I would love to share some of my favorite books with you.
  1. A book that changed your life: The Bible, still changing my life! You’re Already Amazing (Holley Gerth), Same Kind of Different as Me (Ron Hall & Denver Moore)
  2. Books you’ve read more than once: Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers) Tons of kids’ books (The Very Hungry CaterpillarBark GeorgeThe Little Engine that CouldLittle Quackthe list goes on. I am the mother of a 2 year old and a former K-2 teacher!)
  3. One book you’d want on a desert island: The Bible
  4. A book that made you laugh: No David!
  5. A book that made you cry: Redeeming Love – made me laugh, cry, angry, and everythign in between!!
  6. One book you wish had been written: Wow…that’s a tough one! I honestly have no idea!
  7. One book you wish had never been written: Walden, (Henry David Thoreau). I had to read it in college, and was seriously bored to tears. Immaturity or is it really that boring?
  8. Books you’re currently reading: You’re Already Amazing (Holley Gerth), What Women Fear (Angie Smith)
  9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Just one?? My Kindle has a “Books to Read” folder. Currently in that folder are: The Fitting Room (Kelly Minter), Erasing Hell (Francis Chan), Forgotten God (Chan), A Confident Heart (Renee Swope), The Holiness of God (RC Sproul), Leota’s Garden (Francine Rivers), 31 Days to Clean (Sarah Mae). I probably should add a little fiction to that list…

OK, so I know some of you are readers. What are you currently reading? I am always looking for additions to my “Books to Read’ list!