Another new year. Even though it really is just another day, I love New Year's Day because it feels like a fresh start. Being a list maker, a goal setter, and a task-oriented person, January 1st is a satisfying day for me. Yesterday morning Matt and I lounged in bed until 10. Snapper and Pepper got cereal on their own, and contentedly played together so Mommy and Daddy could sleep. Sweet! Anyhoo, as we were stretched out on our bed in our cozy jammies, we talked together about our hopes for 2010. Even though they are a bit personal, I'll still post them here. That way in the future, I can look back and remember. It will also be fun to see how God fulfills these hopes and dreams. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Purge our home so we are freed up to live more simply and to focus on what's important. We have agreed to be ruthless as we go through every room of the house and the garage. I am so excited to get cleaned out and organized! When I finish here, Matt and I are tackling the garage. Obviously it won't be finished today. But we can make a dent!
2. Drop 2 more pants sizes. I dropped 2 in 2009, and would like to do that again. Then I will be at a body size that is healthy, and doesn't hinder me from doing anything. Right now I'm just heavy enough that strenuous activities (things that I have always loved) are difficult, and often painful for me. I hate that. I'm so over that. This one is not a hope or a dream; it is an essential.
3. Carefully shepherd our children in a few, key, character areas.
Oh, before I forget, Snapper said something hilarious on Christmas Eve as she was talking to Bradley the Bear puppet. "Bradley, these are shepherds. Shep means sheep, and Erd means guarder. So Shep-Erd means sheep-guarder." Her logic was perfect, wasn't it? Ha ha! I'm still chuckling over that one!
But seriously, we do want to focus on character growth. For Snapper is will be learning to set self aside and focus first on the needs of others. It is also working on listening skills. So often she will ask a question, and then not pay attention to the answer. So she'll ask again...and again...and again until she finally decides to listen. That has to change. For Pepper sharing is a high priority. Even as I'm typing this, he is screaming at the neighbor friend of Snapper's who is touching one of his toys. We'll be working on sharing, as well as on first-time obedience, and not whining.
4. This one is definitely a hope and a prayer--that our home will sell quickly and that our move to Orlando would happen in a timely manner. Entirely up to God.
5. We would like to purchase a home in Florida that allows us to accomodate visitors well. I don't want to put our guests in one of the kids' bedrooms. I want our home to be a place where we can serve others, and where they can feel completey relaxed, loved, and at home. I'll have to do another post about my dream home.
6. Add to our family. Whether this means having a baby of our own, or beginning the adoption process, or becoming foster parents for babies (huge need all over the place, by the way), we would love another child. Again, this one is entirely up to God. We're trusting Him to show us His plan for our family.
7. Grow in my faith and in my relationship with God. This one is dangerous. Obviously it has been in my mind for a long time. But somehow, putting it into words is a bit scary. After all, growing in faith usually involves growing pains. In order to grow in faith, you have to let God have complete control. For this organizer/planner/ducks-in-a-row mama, that is never easy. I just have to stay focused on Jeremiah 29:11-12 which tells me that God's plans for me are good, and that I need to pursue His plans. That is what I will do.
8. Move to Florida fully supported. Within just a few months of moving here to Arkansas, our support began to slowly fall off. We have worked on building it up. In fact, it is never far from our minds, and is a regular part of life for us. There have been times of incredible financial blessings from the Lord through sacrificial giving of others. Oh, the stories I can tell of God's provision that is nothing short of miraculous! But there have also been times of drought, where we have gone for several weeks only receiving partial paychecks because giving is so low. We're going to be in that place again very soon, and that scares me. So anyway, we need to identify more people to partner with us financially in our ministry. That is a wonderful, exciting, and fun process that involves sharing our heart and passion with others, and giving them the opportunity to invest in something with eternal value. I can hardly wait to get started, and I look forward to seeing who God has called to join our team. I am looking forward to being able to pay the bills without wondering if I will have enough left over to buy gas and groceries. Yes, it will be good to be at full support again.
9. I really, really want to make a trip to Spokane to visit Matt's family, mainly the nieces and nephews. We have two nephews and a niece that I haven't seen in two years. And we have two baby nieces that I haven't even met yet! I am dying to hold them, kiss them, play with them, and tell them in person how much I love them. If my dream for the trip comes true, it will include a week in Portland visiting my dad's family. I have a wonderful auntie and a whole brood of cousins there that I also haven't seen in two years. I love them dearly, and I really, really want to go spend some time with them.
Well, I think that pretty much sums it up. Lots of hopes, lots of dreams, lots of prayers. Welcome, 2010! I don't have any idea what you are going to look like, but God knows! Bring it on!