Friday, January 7, 2011

Your love oh Lord.....

"Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies."
Psalm 36:5

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goal #1

Goal #1---To become a "better" Mommy
As I stated in my last post (click HERE to read) I have made MANY goals for this new year. Not just for this year but for my lifetime. YES, I did say lifetime. I do NOT want to achieve these goals then quit. My goals have to do with my life and not just something I change then revert back to how I was or what I was doing. At least that is the plan. I'm not saying I'll be perfect and NEVER go back. But if I do..then something needs to change and I need to re-set my goals.

I talked about 7 different areas of achievement in my last post. Financial, Physical, personal development, family, spiritual, social and career. The goal I worked on setting today (I'm just TOO busy with the kids to sit down and write out ALL my goals in one day--so I'm going to take this whole week to get my goals set) is in the area of family. I stated at the end of my last post that I wanted to be a "better" wife and mother. What exactly is better? I don't suppose you ever get to the point of being the "best". Who is the BEST mother out there? I believe everyone would have a different opinion. For me, I just want to become the BEST that I can be. I know I can be better. I know I have MANY things I need to work on. I'm not saying I'm horrible but I know I can ALWAYS do better in certain areas. I have done some research in my Bible and in a devotional book I have called "One Hundred and One Devotions for Homeschool Moms". It has great little nuggets that has helped me through each day. They all pertain to motherhood whether homeschooling or not.

Today I wrote out five notecards of things I want to work on and KNOW I need a constant reminder of. I decided to put them on notecards so I could put them up somewhere where I would see them on a daily basis. It wouldn't help me to take notes on things I wanted to change but then have that notebook shoved away somewhere where I would forget to look at it. I am going to keep them on the fridge so I can see them daily (many times a I seem to spend most of my day in the kitchen especially since we do school at the kitchen table) and have a CONSTANT visual reminder of what I'm working on. I also put Bible verses on the back of the cards that go along with what I'm working so I have some biblical encouragement as well.

Here are the five things I'm going to DILIGENTLY work on. I'm going to word them JUST as I have them on the notecards--then explain them further. Here goes.

--My words MUST be KIND!!!
--It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

This is one I feel I need MAJOR help with. I don't mean to say things in a not so nice way...but I know there are times (too many times in my opinion) I don't use a "gentle tone". I let daily frustrations or circumstances dictate how I talk to my kids at times. I need to talk to them just as I would a friend or even a stranger for that matter. I need to always speak kind and speak "gentle". I'm not saying I say "mean" things to my kids. I'm just saying that I don't answer them kindly all the time. Example: My child: Mommy, come here for a second. Me: HOLD ON! My child (a second later) Mommy, come here! Me:I SAID HOLD ON!! My child (a few seconds later): Mommy, are you coming?? Me: I told you to HOLD ON!!!!! I'm not saying I"m screaming as in YELLING VIOLENTLY at them or anything. But I am sure there is frustration in my voice. I am just not speaking kindly. You get my drift right? I could say the EXACT same thing, but say it in a sweet, gentle tone. And throw in a little patience in there for myself as well(by knowing..that in the mind of kids..that few seconds of waiting is an ETERNITY!). I don't mean to candy coat it into something fake either. I just mean talk to them how i would answer say the cashier at the store or a friend. And this goes not only for how I speak to my kids but ALSO my husband. It doesn't matter what took place during the day or how I'm feeling. I shouldn't talk to him without using kind words or tone either. Sure, I'm with these people day in and day out which is ALL the more reason to speak gentle to them. I love them more than words and tone should reflect the feelings in my heart for them. Not the feelings I have towards the pile of dishes in my sink.

--Meek=mild, not easily irritated.
--Quiet=still, peaceful, calm, not troubled.
--when irritated remain calm and keep your mouth SHUT!

"blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth" Matthew 5:5

There are SO many times that I just speak out of frustration rather than bite my tongue. Not even at anyone in particular just at myself! But still, I'm not having a meek and quiet spirit by doing that. What is that showing my kids? I respond to circumstances. If things are going GREAT then I act on that but if things aren't going so hot I react on that too, unfortunatly in a negative way at times. Trying to keep my mouth shut at times is hard and when I do actually do that I still have those negative feelings inside. So I didn't "act" on them, yet I still feel them. Isn't that ALMOST as bad? Wouldn't that make me be a meek and quiet person on the OUTSIDE but definetly not have that type of spirit? A true meek and quiet spirit stays calm on the INSIDE as well as OUTSIDE. Something I am making it my goal to work on. I need to not only bite my tongue but also pray and ask God to change my spirit into one that is meek and quiet. As it states in this scripture verse:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

--Laugh Together Often

"a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance"
Ecclesiastes 3:4

This is something we do...but I want to do it more. There are times that I laugh with my kids, but I laugh on the inside so I want to make it a point to laugh with them. It will lighten up the load when we can just have fun and laugh. This is a simple thing and a fun thing. I didn't want all my things I wanted to change to be difficult. I needed something light like this.

--Don't make promises you can't keep.
--Follow through on what you said you would do.

"But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." 1 John 2:5 KJV

Many times right before bed I've had my kids say to me "Mommy, you said we were going to (fill in the blank) today". Yes, I did indeed say we were going to do something. And when I said it, I had every intention to do it. But as the day went on and got busy I forgot and then was reminded of it right at bedtime when there was not time to do whatever it was. My heart would sink. I let my kids down, again. I want them to know they can count on me for stuff. I don't want them to think I make empty promises. When I say we are going to do something, we are going to do it! It's better to not say anything and then at the last minute tell them we are going to do something than it is is say something and then not do it. I do realize that sometimes things come up and we can't do what was planned but I don't want my kids to see that as something that ALWAYS happens. Our kids may not remember down the road that one thing we said we would do and didn't do but they WILL remember that we did NOT keep our word. Our dependability is questionable. I do not want my kids to think I'm not dependable.

My last notecard is COVERED with writing. I didn't know how to write it in a few i wrote all that I could fit on it. Here is what it says:

--Let the BIBLE be your source of STRENGTH.
--Take 5 MINUTES to refresh with God's word!!!!

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Sometimes I get SO stressed out and overwhelmed when I think of everything I have to get done. Nothing is going right. I just can't possibly keep up. I don't know where to begin. I walk in circles trying to be productive when in fact I'm getting NOTHING done. I mutter prayers to God. I ask for help, I ask for strength. But I forget to read my instruction manual in those stressful times. The answers are in God's word if I would just take a few minutes to refresh and read. I decided I need a constant reminder of that so I wanted this on a notecard to remind me of that.

So there you have it. The first of my MANY goals is set into action. I may add to those note cards as I find more places I need/want to change.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

January 1, 2011.

I love new beginnings. Fresh starts. I love waking up in the morning knowing it's a new day. Whatever took place the day before is in the past. Today is a fresh, new start. Don't you just LOVE that feeling? As much as I love the beginning of a NEW day I love the beginning of a New Year EVEN more! Every year I make some sort of resolution. However, I don't even remember what they are. So obviously I only make them because "it's the thing to do" when I know very well I won't keep that resolution.

My husband has been REALLY challenging me lately. For the past few months he has been talking with me about goal setting. He has really inspired me by the changes he's made in himself. He has been reading a lot of books related to this. Two of the books are "See You at the Top" by Zig Ziglar and "48 days to the Work You Love" by Dan Miller.

"With definite goals you release your own power and things start happening" --Zig Ziglar

The book "48 Days..." talks a lot about setting goals. It's not just a book for those trying to find the work they love. It's MUCH more than that. There are some chapters that you may possibly want to skip over as it has to do with resume writing and things of that sort which may not pertain to you. It doesn't pertain to me.

So instead of a New Year's Resolution I have decided to set goals for myself in all areas of my life. There are 7 areas for achievement that Dan Miller talks about in his book "48 days...". I will go ahead and list those 7 areas:
1. Financial --income & investments. If you can't dream it, it won't happen. Nothing is unrealistic if you have a clear plan.
2. Physical--health, appearance and exercise. Do you know that physical exercise is a cleansing process that can dramatically increase your creativity? Can you give yourself 30 minutes a day to relax?
3. Personal Development--knowledge, education, and self improvement. It is said that if you read 3 books on any subject you will be an expert on that subject. Your success, financial and otherwise, will never far exceed your personal development.
4. Family--your success as a family, our success as a society, depends on what happens inside YOUR house.
5. Spiritual--church involvement, personal commitment and Scripture study. Can you say you are living out God's purpose for your life?
6. Social--friends, community involvement, etc.
7. Career--ambitions, dreams, and hopes. Your career should be a reflection of the LIFE you want.

These 7 areas are all integrated. When one area suffers then other areas begin to suffer and it all spirals downward. We need to have a balance in all these areas. The book talks about how all the 7 areas are connected. I suggest this book as a great book to read to start off the new year!(I haven't read the book yet, just the chapter on goal setting and a few other tidbits but my husband has read it and told me A LOT about what it says so I know it has GREAT information and can't wait to read the whole book)

I could keep on writing quotes from this book. Every one of them that I read I think "oh this is good!". I definitely suggest this book to read. I'm excited more than ever now to read it. I got so caught up on reading other books thinking I didn't need to read this book but now as I thumb thru it I see how beneficial this book will be to me even though I don't need to find a career path. Like I mentioned earlier I will probably skim over some parts but for the most part read the entire book. As my final thoughts on this idea of "goal setting" here are some quotes I found in this book that I thought were rather profound.

"The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and hving no time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vauge fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have not time for anything else--we are the busiest people in the world" --Eric Hoffer

"The best way to predict your future is to create it" --Stephen Covey

"Begin to weave and God will give you the thread" --German proverb

"It is good to dream, but it is better to dream and work. Fiath is mighty, but action with faith is mightier. Desiring is helpful, but work and desire are invincible."--Thomas R. Gaines

"Now may the God of peace Himself snactify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for hte coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23)

"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small" (Proverbs 24:10 KJV)

So I write all that to say "HAPPY NEW YEAR!". Here's to a GREAT new year filled with MANY positive changes and many blessings. I have so many "goals" I want to achieve and pray that God will help me to change myself into a better person, wife and mother.