So: traditionally I choose a focal verse of the year. I also write a few resolutions. This year will be much of the same.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
There will certainly be much to rejoice about this year. There is also much to pray about: safety and health for baby and mommy, Matt's selection process into the U.S. Army (which we have learned not to take for granted), Josh's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, wisdom for Matt and I as we rearrange our priorities and finances etc., general prayer for all our loved ones and whatever will come in this next year. Matthew and I need to keep our focus on having the joy of the Lord in all circumstances, not just the circumstances that are preferable. Hopefully everything will go smoothly for the last trimester of this pregnancy and our transition into a family of three. Hopefully everything will work out for Matt to enter the U.S. Army sometime this year. But if one of both of those things do not work out how we expect, then we need to let the Spirit work through us.
1. Daily devotions. Once travel season hit for work I faltered in devotions. It is especially important to remain steadfast with my little guy on the way. I hope to train him in the faith from the very beginning. In order to properly teach him I must be sure to be ever seeking myself.
2. Be ever supportive and respecting of my husband. We have a long road ahead of us in the selection process and then if he is selected there will be many more years of flexibility and patience. I am called to be his helper and lover. Sometimes this is not an easy task, as any honest wife will attest to.
3. Clean out the clutter. There is so much junk in this house! It needs to be discarded, hopefully before baby comes. I need to honestly evaluate what I need compared to what is excess. There are many bags and purses that are not longer used that should be donated. I have 3 stacks of textbooks that should be sold. I have trinkets and flat out junk (binders, notebooks, etc) that take up too much space. Getting down to the bare minimum is what I hope to do. (just in time to fill up the excess space with baby things!)
4. Read at least 100 books this year. Now, this shouldn't be a problem as I am an avid reader and no longer have textbooks to fill my time. But I want the goal in writing. I am currently re-reading the Left Behind series with the first two finished. I don't anticipate reading them all back to back, but I hadn't read them since they first came out. I want to start this year by re-reading Sacred Marriage. Love and Respect will probably get a re-read this year too. Always good to have fresh reminders. I hope to read some history books as well- Presidents, the great world leaders, wars.
5. Create a budget and stick to it. For the first 3.5 years of marriage Matthew and I have not really needed a budget. We pay all our bills, buy things we want when we want them (for the most part), and put the extra in savings. Now will baby coming we should keep a budget and put as much into savings as possible. Thankfully, we only have credit cards for emergencies and have continued to live within our means thusfar. As I plan to nurse and we'll be using cloth diapers, then the electricity bill may go up for more loads of laundry... but hopefully other baby expenses will stay relatively minimal for the first stretch. But a good budget and a loaded savings account is always beneficial.
6. Learn crafts. I'm keeping this broad because I don't want to limit myself. I may learn to sew or knit and find out I hate it. But I want to learn to do something that will give me a hobby (besides reading) and may be beneficial to the family. Sewing baby clothes?
7. Make good use of my gym membership and my jogging stroller. I have personal goals for being back in my regular clothes post baby and then everything being tightened up. Definitely doable if I don't become lazy and stay at home all day.
8. Be less critical of myself and others. Self explanatory.
9. Learn to cook. I have some time to work on this before the baby comes now that I don't have school work to worry about, but especially once baby comes. I want to learn to make more than just the basics. I want Jackson's friends to want to come over for dinner!
10. Seems silly... but put away the laundry and dishes right away when they are done. I do the laundry every week. I do the dishes every week or sometimes twice a week. But... I am horrible at putting it all away! I usually leave it where it is until I have to do it all again. That is a good goal for this year!
Ok, an even 10 this year. And... they were a little more casual than usual. Again, having it in writing makes me more likely to do it. Some people may not be that way. Most people probably don't act on their resolutions. But It will be encouragement for me.
Here's to a great 2012! Baby. Hopefully news on the Army. Hopefully being done with work and being able to stay at home with the baby (barring any disaster at Matt's work etc). Hopefully plenty of trips to visit family and friends with baby. Or possibly none (but the first) of the above. Either way, here's the making the most of 2012!