July is gone and August is here to usher the end of our summer days. I love the feeling you get when a new month starts. Turning the calendar to a new page is like a fresh start to new adventures and to work on the areas you want to improve.
There is one area that has been on my mind ever since I took Elizabeth Foss’ Restore course back in spring. (I blogged about it here.) I went back and reread Elizabeth’s essay about having a well ordered day. I felt like everything she was saying was just what I needed to hear, again. It also had me thinking about setting goals in my life. I always admired how Ashley at The Big White Farmhouse had her yearly and monthly goals that she wanted to accomplish. I loved the idea! I also noticed today that Jenna over at A Mama Collective also made a list of August goals she wanted to work on.
I never gave much thought to having life goals before now. (Well, except for the huge goal of finding a good husband when I was still single. ;-)) Seriously, I always imagined “goals” as being grand, lofty things like starting a business or going back to school or writing a book or something. It seemed ridiculous to make those kind of goals when I was just trying to make it to the end of the day with my sanity and perhaps a clean load of laundry. Lately, I’ve definitely been surviving, not thriving. Then I read what Elizabeth said here:
What do you want your life to look like? What do you see as your unique calling? These might be grand, lofty, complex things, like starting a ministry or taking a mission trip. But they might also be less grandiose, but deeply textured things like running a well-ordered home and opening your doors to your neighbors. Honestly, for right now, in this season, one of your primary goals might just be to get some sleep!
Well, that made sense. Thankfully, I’m at the stage where all the kids sleep through the night now so I’m getting enough sleep for the most part. (Except for those fave TV show binges on the weekend.) But I can feel that things in my life are shifting a little. Matthew, the youngest of the kids, is not a toddler anymore. He is three and will start preschool next week. I’ll have a couple hours three days a week when I’m alone and can get things done. But what? What does God want of me? I am reminded of Elizabeth’s words again:
Think about where you want to be next month, next year, five years from now, twenty years from now. Think about who you want to be. Ask God what His unique call is on your life. Our goal in life really is to use ourselves up. Our goal is to pour ourselves out in doing what He intended for us. Our goal is to be fully present in the love our Creator. Now, look at your calendar? Do you see the goal being lived out there?
Thinking where I want to be 25 years from now seems a little daunting! I want to be..alive? For now I’ll start small. Today I am just going to focus on where I want to be by next month. So these are my goals for August 2014.
1. Dust off my planner.
Once school was over in June and we left for our vacation in Lake Tahoe, I happily put my daily planner aside and wanted to just enjoy the leisure days of summer. Well, that was fine in Tahoe but once we got back home it has been a whirlwind of swimming lessons, summer activities, doctor, dentist and ortho appointments, home improvement projects and numerous family obligations. I am floundering with the chaos of it all. I feel like this has been the busiest summer in years, and not in a good way. I have been trying to keep it all straight in my head, randomly writing post-its or leaving reminders on my iphone and IT. IS. NOT. WORKING. I have a terrible memory and if I don’t have it all written down in one place, you can forget about it happening! My concrete action – Go back to writing everything I need to do in my planner and not scraps of paper.
2. Do a better job at beginning and ending my day with prayer.
Sometimes it is hit and miss, especially my night prayer. My concrete action – I need to do my evening prayer before I lay down in bed. Praying in the horizontal position is no bueno for me!
The gratitude journal I won from Sarah’s contest at Fumbling towards Grace. The cover says, “In everything give thanks.” I love it. 🙂
3. Be more grateful for the little things.
Truth be told, too often I let all the little crosses of a mom’s life overwhelm me. (I can hear my mom say, “Well, that’s a shocker.”) Seriously, there has just been a lot going on with Brian’s cancer and the kids and life…and yada, yada, yada that I sometimes forget just how incredibly blessed I am! I want to have more glass-half-full moments than glass-half-empty ones. My concrete action – When I do my nightly exam I will return to writing down 5 things that I am grateful for that day. On good days it’s easy. On rough days, not so much but I still need to do it.
4. Make time for a few moments of creativity each day.
I get such a real joy when I am doing something that requires creativity. Whether is taking a photograph or working on my Project Life album or scribbling in my journal or making a scripture meme for the blog…all those little things can draw a person closer to God who is the master Creator. My concrete action – To help me keep that goal I’ll be doing #31daysofgratitude on Instagram.
5. Make a master goal list.
I seriously have numerous goals in my head right now, particularly in the homemaking department, but I need to hone my ideas. I think the next best step would be to take more time to sit and pray and ask God what He desires of me. Where does He want me to be a year from now – physically, spiritually and emotionally? I’ll them break down those bigger goals into smaller monthly and weekly goals. My concrete action – Sit down and fill out the Laura Casey Powersheets that Elizabeth recommended.
Do you normally set goals? What goals are you working on this month?
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