Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Already? How can that be?

A few friends are doing a couple of "looking back" and "looking forward" posts yesterday and today, and I decided I ought to join in.  This is part of a group where we are encouraging each other to "keep it real" -- so I'm not planning to sugarcoat things in my looking forward  to 2014.  Well, maybe a bit.  You know, 'cuz I'm an eternal optimist, clinging to the idea that this is the year I am actually going to lose weight, get organized, and be a better human being.

It could happen.

So yes, I have re-evaluated a lot of things, looking into 2014.  Setting goals, changing priorities.  Part of that relates to something amazing that happened here this past week.  I had a week off from practically everything.  I was ordered to stay out of my Schoolhouse Crew email for over a week (Dec. 20-29).  I haven't had a real break there in years and had no idea how much I needed it.  Food Pantry happened on Dec. 21 (Saturday) and now we only have Sunday ones until Jan. 11 -- plus, Care & Share is closed this week completely, so there really is almost nothing we could do.  No running into town to shop at Care & Share, almost no running over to church to unload vehicles from someone else going in, and no big days of having people come through.  Bountiful Baskets is taking two weeks off as well, so I didn't have to be up last (or next) Saturday and out the door before 5:00.

My only responsibilities last week were to sing at the Christmas Eve service, to attend practice Saturday night, and to sing at the Sunday service at church.  To feed my family.  To do all the normal family maintaining things.  And I slept.  A bunch.  And thought about how my priorities are messed up again.

At church on Sunday, just to keep me thinking, the sermon was about the new year, how New Year's Resolutions fail most of the time (94%, or something like that), and how we need to be clinging to the promises of God instead of trying to do things in our own strength.

I have no idea what Bible translation, or paraphrase, was being used on Sunday, but the main text was out of 2 Peter 1:5-7.  I jotted down in the margin (and I could have slightly mis-copied) "Make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises."  The notes in my Bible state, "The apostle reminds us that when we entrust our  lives to God, he expects us to follow his will and do our part {emphasis is mine} in the spiritual growth process. As we seek change in our lives, we will share in God's nature and receive the ability to think new thoughts and formulate new behavior patterns."

I spend far too much time trying to do things in my own strength, and not nearly enough effort trying to 'add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.'

Not that I am completely sure what that means for me on a practical level.  But I do know that as a family, while we have moved back to being in fellowship with other believers by attending church regularly and participating in the life of the church (see my Looking Back post yesterday), we have moved away from being in the Word of God on a regular, consistent basis.  All of us.  And that isn't good.

So my biggest goal for 2014 is doing my part to get us back on track there.  Because all of the "work out daily" and "de-junk the stuff" goals are going to be part of the 94% unless I am "making every effort" in God's ways and not relying on my own strength.

Connor is making some decisions about what this will look like for him.  I need to talk with William still.  The other three are going to be working through the God's Great Covenant series from Classical Academic Press.  Me?  Still working on figuring this out for me too.  It depends a bit on what the big guys decide to do.

But we can't be applying God's Word to our lives if we aren't spending time with it... more than just on Sundays.

Of course, as we head into 2014, I have other, more typical, goals as well.
  • Be more active, so maybe I can take off some weight and feel better in general.
  • Be consistent with school, and work with the kids on the not-so-fun stuff, not just the stuff we all love.
  • Get rid of some of the junk in our lives.
  • Get rid of some of the good stuff too, to make room for "the best" stuff instead.
  • Solve the problem of world local hunger.
  • Maintain balance in my life/our lives.

What about you?  Are you making resolutions or goals?  Do you have big plans for the New Year?  And how in the world can it be 2014 already?

You can read what some of my friends had to say about their "keeping it real" looks ahead into this coming year too.  Tell them I said "hi" (and maybe today my computer will stay powered up so I can actually read some posts too!)

2014 - Love, Joy, Peace, Grace, and to Know Him Better by April E. @ ElCloud Homeschool: Busy Minds, Busy Hands, Busy Feet

2014: The Adventure Continues by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

2014 Prayers, Hopes, and Goals by Clara @ A Slice Of Homeschool Pie

Priorities and Goal Setting for 2014 by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

A Peek into My Plans for 2014 by Jennifer @ Conversaving

Anticipating 2014 by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

A Year to Sparkle! by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Saying Hello to 2014 by Tess @ Circling Through This Life

Goals For 2014 Homesteading & Homeschooling by Kim @Homestead Acres

Facing 2014 With Anticipation And Caution by Audra Silva @ Simply Audra Marie

Embracing Real Moments in 2014 by Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm

 2014 Goals and Why We Should All Set Them by April B. @ Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum


Susan said...

I've seen an amazing change in the kids when we are studying God's word together and relating it to our lives. I agree that in all things we need to consider His Way for us---personal strength might lead to temporary success, but ultimately our future is in Him.

Many blessings to you in the New Year!

Kristen H. said...

Thanks for being so real, Debra. I completely identify with losing the time spent in the Word as a family (and as individuals.) I too am still determining how to get that part for all of us.