Sunday, January 3, 2010

Planning for the New Year - Part 2

Once the priorities are prayed over then I like to make some specific goals for different areas in my life. 

Homeschooling:  Now is a good time to evaluate if I am on track to complete my intended goals for school.  Are there any areas I am behind?  What can I do to catch up in that subject?  If I am ahead in areas, how can I use that time to do some enrichment in another area that may have been put on the back burner because of time restraints?  What books do I want to read to the children for the remainder of the school year?  Any places of interest I would like to take the children?

Finances:  Is there any debt that needs to be paid off?  How can those things be accelerated?  Do we need to begin saving for specific items?  This is an area I am constantly reviewing.  God has taught me much in the area of finances, much of which I hope to share with you all.  He is also teaching me much in the area of giving.  I have always known that everything I have is ultimately God's, but that has been more of a sentiment in my head, rather than my heart.  If what I have is all God's, then how I spend that money matters to him.  Do I really need a new decoration, or could that money be better used to go to persecuted Christians around the world?  What about widows and orphans?  One of the greatest joys of getting out of debt is the freedom it gives one to actually give to those needs.  I see so many people using up their monies for multiple vacations and hobbies galore and sports and recreation.  The sentiment is, "This is my money.  I worked for it.  Now, I get to enjoy it."  But, that is NOT how God looks at it.  It is HIS money.  I do not believe God doesn't want us to take vacations, or have hobbies or enjoy ourselves.  But, in our western culture, many people live their lives for the next personal enjoyment.  How it must grieve the heart of God to see His church giving so much of their monies to things that have absolutely no eternal value when there are so many worthy ways to give.  I hope to share more on this subject in days to come.

Organization:  Are there areas in your home that could be better utilized in another way?  How about dejunking to create a more peaceful atmosphere in your home?  Purging books, the pantry, the closets, etc.?  Chore charts?  Scheduling? 

Health:  If you don't exercise, how about starting?  How can you incorporate healthy eating in small steps?  What about getting rid of chemical cleaners in your home and finding alternatives, or making your own?  I am constantly trying to look for ways to make our home and the food I prepare healthier for my family.  This is one of the privileges of being a stay at home Mom.  Most healthy food takes a great time to prepare and if I were working outside the home, it would be much more difficult to accomplish this.  So, embrace the awesome responsibility of providing the best for you family and yourself by making baby steps to healthy living.  I have begun many of these, but still have so many more to work on.  I will be sharing some of these baby steps with you along the way.

I do not believe that planning should intimidate us, but rather give us a base from which to work.  I do not always meet all the goals I set for myself.  Life happens.  Tragedies come, sicknesses visit, God totally redirects me, my priorities may change as the Lord shows me more and more of Himself...but it is a good starting place.  Without some sketch of what I want to see accomplished, it just doesn't get done.  So, my exhortation to you is to start small, but to start.  And don't forget to pray about how God would have you serve this year.  If you are an older about being a Titus 2 mentor to someone struggling?  Be deliberate in family evangelism.  Can you increase your hospitality this year?  Happy praying and planning!  Until next time!


Lois said...

This was so good for me to read. Thank you for reinforcing what the Lord has told me. We always spend New Year's eve with the family praying in the new year, reading scripture, and making our family and personal goals. We are attending a new church and are seeking to expand our hospitality to them, as well as airmen from the base. Now, can you suggest a practical plan for me to bless a local chaplain's wife whose husband will be deploying in Jan?? I don't know her well as they are semi-new to the base. I figured I'd ask the expert!!! Thanks. Happy new year to you and your family.

His bondservant said...


I am sure you just extending yourself will be a great blessing to her. Your sweet spirit and encouragement will be something she will need this coming year. There are a few things that do come to my mind, even though I don't know her personal circumstance. First of all, does she have children? How many and what are their ages? If she has little children, just help now and then to watch them if she needs alone time or to run to a doctor's appointment, etc. Having another Godly woman there to give her "adult" conversation on a regular basis would be helpful. Now, her children may attend public school, so she may already get enough "down time." In that case, have lunch or tea with her sometime. If she has boys, maybe you could invite the family over and if your husband is open to it, have him spend some time with them while you spend time with her and her girls (if she has any). Sometimes it can feel awkward being around other women that have their is once again a reminder that yours is gone and there is the feeling of not wanting to impose on "their" time. When I went to visit close friends for a few days when my husband was deployed the first time, the husband (who is a great friend of all of us) took my boys and monitored the children while giving me time with one of my best friends, his wife. That was such a treat. He was mindful of my loneliness and also my need of adult female companionship from a sister in the Lord. The biggest thing would be, just don't forget her during this time. Check on her. Let her know you are praying for her. Sometimes we don't need "help" in areas, we just need friends. I know what I have battled most during this time is loneliness...nights and weekends being the absolute worst. People have the best intentions of keeping up during the year, but that doesn't always happen. They get busy with family and schedules, sicknesses, life just happens. I certainly understand that. But, having one good friend that will at least check up, pray for, sit with, and endure that long year with you will be one of the greatest gifts you could ever give her. May the Lord bless you greatly for your caring spirit. I can already tell you will be a great blessing to those around you!

In Christ,

Lois said...

These are great suggestions. Her 3 kids are from about 12-16. Since they are public schooled, I think lunch might be just the thing. I don't think Texas was their first choice assignment, and the kids have had a rough time adjusting to what I consider a terrible school. I believe she will need a friend, or at least a free lunch! Thank you for your helpful response.
(Texas wasn't MY first choice either, so we can enjoy some mutual moping in our lattes!)

The Girl in the Pink Dress said...

I quite enjoyed reading your posts on the New Year today. This one was especially a real help- I need to focus more on finances and being frugal because I've been letting that slide. Thank you for the reminders today!
The Girl in the Pink Dress

His bondservant said...


I know what you mean about first choices...where we are isn't exactly where I preferred, but God brought us here right when my father passed away and I knew it was in His perfect timing. The fact that you know what other military wives are going through makes you at a wonderful place for ministry. I would love to have someone like you near me! God bless you!

His bondservant said...

I am hoping to write more on frugal living. I think it is a great way for us to get encouragement in that area from one another. I know I always like to hear how others have found ways to save money.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Great post! Wonderful goals that are very similiar to mine. I'm excited to implement them this New Year. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog!