Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Small, Insignificant Goals for 2013

This is the post where I am supposed to tell you all about my New Years goals. It is not that I don’t have any goals, I do. But they seem a little silly to be writing down.

I think my goal this year is to just live fully where I am and to be content. I’ve learned to plan, but hold those plans loosely, knowing that the Holy Spirit will guide me and direct my ways.

In 2013,

I want to be a good mom to my five children. I want my children to be happy in their home. Happy.

What makes a happy childhood and how does this translate into goals?

It means making approximately 300 family dinners this year to be eaten and enjoyed over family conversation.

It means washing and folding 260 loads of laundry and washing endless dishes every day/365 days a year.

It means talking to them during everyday life about our God and all that He does for us.

It means spending HOURS of time teaching them math, english, history, science, music, and art.

With so much to do, it can be easy to forget about nurturing your child in love. Oh, you can educate your child without love, and get all kinds of results, but the bottom line is WHY would you do that?

Love and tender feelings for your children affects generations. THAT is what touches the heart and leaves an impression.

They know when you are just bathing them to get it done, or feeding them so you can move on to more important things. You know, the really big things in life. They feel it.  You can serve without caring, but you cannot “lovingly serve” without caring. This means seeing what is in front of you. Living without distraction.

Today my littlest one is sick. She has the same cold and flu I’ve had all weekend. Being “all there” with a sick little one means entering into her world and problems.

Today, it looked like this:

My little sickie with JTB.

Me: “Hope, which owl would you like? JTB, Frederick or Howard?”

{readers note: These are the names of our owl rice heating pads. Our kids name every stuffed animal or thing that enters this house and they take on a life of their own. For instance, JTB stands for John the Baptist because this owl really believes he is JTB. Frederick Owl is a total believer that JTB is who he says he is, but Howard Owl, well, he’s a skeptic. He is always looking for holes in JTB’s claims.}

Hope: “It depends. Is JTB behaving today?”

In the end, several owls were called in.

I should have known. JTB is always the favorite, probably because of his eccentric ways. :)

Just this little exchange shows her that I care about her situation. I could have just heated whichever and given it to her, but this little bit of nonsense touches her heart and bonds us.

AND, Curious George tried to convince us that he was also sick, but we suspect it was just a ploy so he could watch movies and drink Gatorade.

2. I want to be a better wife to Peter. I want to be happy and make Peter happy. I tend to get weighed down by responsibility and am not always as joyful as I should be. This needs to change. Men are pretty simple. They want a happy wife–a friend.

3. I want to get to know more about my Lord.  This is a basic, I know, but really, it is foundational to everything. Whether you find yourself spiritually healthy or spiritually callous right now (not sure? here are 40 evidences that  you have left your first love) you can never go wrong by spending time seeking God through His word. The goal is to know Him. (not to use Him to get what we think we want.) Whether you feel great about your current spiritual state or not, just do the next right thing. Feelings are secondary to obedience.

I am totally enjoying the book Forever by Tripp and would encourage you to read it if you haven’t already. It has helped me see life a little more clearly, expecting more of God and less of others. We bristle at injustice and poverty, war and crime simply because we were not created to live in a broken world. We were created for something better–Eternity. Here is just one amazing quote from the book:

Here is the bottom line.  Here and now is simply not forever.  This world is not the paradise we were designed to live in.  As you live in the here and now, the brokenness of this world will collide again and again with the longing hardwired inside you.  Yes, sin twists and bends that longing, and it becomes scarily self-absorbed and self-focused.  Yes, you will always find ways in which to insert yourself into the center of your world, the one place no human being is supposed to be because it is God’s place.  You will have times when you moan and complain in your self-absorbed disappointment that life doesn’t operate according to your sovereign plan.  In your disappointment and anger, you will lash out against the people who live closet to you.  You will doubt that the world is under any control whatsoever and fantasize about how much better the world would be if you had the controller in your hands.

Sadly, we all do these things in some way.  But with all the ways sin causes us to lose our way, we still get up every day and hook our hope to something.  Everything we do is somehow attached to hope.  So here is what we need to keep in mind: the brokenness and longing that intersect in our hearts are meant not to drive us to cynicism and despair, but to God.  As we begin to realize that in this broken world we cannot look for reliable hope horizontally, we are at the edge of what we were designed to do: hope in God.  And as we begin to place our hope in God, we get connected to the promise of eternity, where all that is broken will be fixed and made new again.  And as we do this, we look at life in a radically new way.  We no longer ask the broken people, places, and things to be the source of our hope.  We know they can’t be, because they are broken and in need of renewal just like we are.

I want to assess my Proverbs 31 qualities by asking questions like Am I virtuous, trustworthy, energetic, industrious, God-fearing, kindhearted, unselfish, economical, prepared, giving, charitable, honorable, prudent? THIS could take me a whole year to assess. 😉

I do have a few small things in mind for myself for the year, like learning a little more about photography and continuing to write in my free time.

What about you? What small goals do you have for this year?