Wednesday, January 2, 2013

new year, same stage.

I like setting goals.  I enjoy writing to-do lists.  Fresh starts make me feel like I can do anything.  In the past I've been a bit ambitious when it comes to talking about the "new year"--last year was no different.  In many ways, I was quite successful with the the ambitious list.  I set out to focus on my priorities first and line up goals from that---and I loved thinking about goals from that perspective.  I stayed on top of bible reading for several months, finished more than the 12 books I hoped to read, completed many DIY recipes, and managed to get out of the home at least once a month for a date with my husband.

But somewhere in the midst of 2012, my husband landed a new job, we took a huge leap and decided to become foster parents, we took in a 17 year old who was months away from being on her own and in need of a LOT of independent living skills...and, we found out we were pregnant with baby #3.

This year, while still setting some ambitious goals...I'm also working really hard to be realistic about our stage of life.  In a few short months I'll have 3 children under the age of 4, and while we aren't planning to do any more long-term foster care placements---that could change and we are planning on doing respite placements in the meantime.  I've also fought really hard against playing the comparison game...or letting things like facebook and pinterest define me.  It's easy to see a facebook status or a pinterest pin and think "wow, I'm a terrible mom...I didn't send Christmas cards/sew my child's dress/schedule a play date/make playdough from scratch."  It's a terrible process, and I'm hoping to continue to focus on MY priorities and MY roles, it'll help keep me from comparing myself to others.

I thought about a few words to define 2013 and came up with: be intentional. less, less, less. good enough. create margin.  I want to be intentional in my relationships with others; specifically with my husband, children & whatever children stay in our homes temporarily.  I want less stuff, less TV, less computer, less of myself.  I want to be able to say "good enough."  I want to breathe, time to rest, evenings free from stuff and noise.

As I thought about the upcoming year, I really enjoyed some thoughts from Tell Your Time.  She has a few exercises throughout the book, but what I appreciated most was "identifying my roles".  She takes you through a process of asking  What are your roles?  What kind of person do you want to be in those roles?  And what steps do you need to take on a daily/monthly basis to get closer to being that kind of person?  I haven't finished the book---but I HIGHLY recommend it!

Right now, my 4 roles that are the most significant are:
-I'm a person
-I'm a wife
-I'm a mother
-I'm a homemaker

As a person, I want to be authentic, compassionate, informed, aware & full of grace.  Some of the activities that help get me there are daily bible reading, additional reading, being active in our church, and taking care of myself.

As a wife, I want to have a growing relationship.  I want a strong friendship.  I want to respect and encourage my husband.  Some activities that help get me there are daily one-on-one time with my husband, monthly dates out of the home, reading marriage books together, etc.

As a mom, I want to be present, intentional, encouraging, creative, life-giving, consistent, fun, and full of grace.  Some activities that help get me there are planned "school" time, intentional 1-1 time with each child, working to develop habits with each child, special monthly outings, visiting the library regularly, saying "yes" more often, etc...

And as a homemaker, I want to be "good enough".  While I enjoy a tidy home, I want my family to be able to live and play freely.  I want to strive to grow in organization.  I want to continue to try new things & always be on the lookout for saving my family money.  Some activities that help get me there are returning to coupons and deal shopping, re-assessing our budget & looking for more ways to cut costs, continuing to DIY cleaning supplies and misc., etc.

So yeah, there is a loose set of goals---some I hope to share.  I'm planning to read at least 15 books this year, continue with the monthly date nights & return to coupon shopping after taking a several month hiatus.  But most of all I just want to enjoy time with my children and husband.  That's what I want 2013 to be about.