The only way to decide what I want to improve on in the coming year is to reflect on what didn’t work in the year past. Last year the number one thing that didn’t work in 2018 was my time. My time didn’t reflect my priorities more often than not and I spent more time straddling guilt and longing all year long. This year, the overarching theme is Quality over Quantity. And my word for 2019? My word is Peace.
My life started to look like a watercolor palette- everything seeping into one another. I added a few more titles to my responsibility list and by the end of 2018, I was a stay/work-at-home-mom, wife, homemaker, small business owner, illustrator and blogger. For most of the year, I had zero childcare. I was thinking about work when I was with the kids, guilty for not being with the kids while I finally had some work hours, thinking about what I needed to do that day during my morning time with the Lord and O received less than my leftovers for many months. It was lots of stress, anxiety, disappointment and regret. The system wasn’t broken– there was no system.
December was full of reflection, namely ruthlessly reviewing how I spent my time-mentally and physically. Sure, if someone were watching me with a stopwatch and time-sheet I would have passed with flying colors. I spent a ton of time with my children. Sooo many hours with my husband. But no one could weigh those hours but us and I can tell you with full certainty my three people would say I wasn’t my best self for that enormous pile of hours. I’m so grateful for God’s grace to reveal that to me, to humble me and help me in His kindness to change it this year.
The two questions I ask while planing for the next year are simple:
1.What are my priorities?
2.Does my time reflect that?
I think my greatest fear last year was spending time away from my responsibilities at home. I spread myself to a vapor trying to control everything and it showed. This year, Quality over Quantity. I want to enrich the time spent with my kids by being completely present and intentional during it. My sister will be watching the babes a few hours twice a week so I can tackle whatever work needs to be done that day. Since O is going to be gone all month my nights will be spent painting so it’s not hanging over my head all week long. I’m sticking to a simple cleaning schedule as well as a two-week meal plan and meal prep to take out all guesswork. I’m confident that batch working and planning will make each day richer.
Coming up with my word for the year was a bit more difficult. I had a hard time truly resting last year…maybe rest was my word? I meditated on joy on a daily basis, desperate for it. Was joy the way to go? After rolling many ideas around in my mind for a week, I settled on it. Peace. At the end of 2019 I want to look back and know that I relied on the Lord daily to live in peace. To cling to the Holy Spirit for a work to be done in my heart in such a way that instead of anxiety, stress and shame making regular appearances in my day, peace would rule instead.
The two verses written on my heart this year remind me I cannot do a single good thing apart from the Lord- I rely on Him only and completely to help me accomplish that which is so counter to my flesh:
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. I Peter 3:11
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
And now for some goals, because who doesn’t love a good goal list to kick off the year? This ins’t my full list, but here are a few things I look forward to focusing on and working towards this year by the grace of God. Especially that potato chip one-Lord help me.
G O A L S:
For my time to reflect my priorities.
Create healthier work/life balance and fight the urge to fill every free, quiet moment with work.
Be a more tender, grace filled, patient mother.
Be a more present, servant hearted fun wife.
For my Hashimoto’s to be in remission by the end of the year
To read through the Bible chronologically with O.
To not eat potato chips outside of the weekend.
To give up my phone for a 4+ day stretch every month.
Friends, I’d love to hear your goals as we jump into the new year! What areas were less than stellar for you this year? What areas did you see God do a mighty work in? I’m so excited to jump into 2019!
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Thank you for your post. It resonates with me so much. I stumbled across your instagram page about a month ago and every post is so life-giving and helpful. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability as well. You recently shared that you are doing the “Bible in a Year” study. Can you share again what study that is or where I can find the download? Thank you!
Hi, Jen! You’re so encouraging. Thank you so much for these words. I truly Google ‘Chronological Bible in a Year Plan’ and we go off of that! I hope that helps.