As I was putting Christmas decorations away, I began wondering how my life will be different when I see my ornaments again next year. Will I have a different outlook, a change of heart for the holidays, a new accomplishment to celebrate, a new family to welcome into my home? This holiday season was really difficult for me this year. I’d made a decision to make it a happy time and try new traditions, but all in all I was lonely, uninspired and a little sad. The ornaments on my tree are all dated from years past. Some have pictures, some are ornaments my ex-husbands family had a tradition of buying for us, some are symbolic of what we had accomplished that year, but they all stir up memories and emotions for me that are usually mixed with sadness and regret. I’d love to be in a different headspace next year to see them in a new light.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to cast a vision into the future and imagine how I might make changes today for a different outlook next year. Having so much in my life in limbo can leave insecurity and uncertainty, but it’s also exciting to imagine the possibilities and reengage hope. At MOPS, we have a chat time with our CEO and pose the following questions: “What’s working well that we should keep doing”, “What’s not working that we should stop doing,” “What are we doing that we need to improve.” At church last year we talked about presenting our Big Hairy Audacious Goals to God. They are the things I dream about, get excited about and need God’s help to accomplish. I’ve used these two tools to compile my version of New Year’s resolutions: The Big Harries and More!
THE BIG HAIRY’S FOR 2013
“Behold, I will do a new thing.” Isaiah 43:19
- Education and Career
- Pastor Certification
- Begin Masters Program – Yes, friends I’m going back to school! The more research I’ve done, the more doable an graduate degree is becoming. The government offers many grants for single moms!
- Fitness and Health
- BIGGER first timer triathlon team – Ladies, if you want to do a triathlon or try your first race, give me a call! I’m certain you can do it!
- Half Ironman
- Payoff 2nd mortgage and refinance
- Start an ongoing Single Mom Workshop
WHAT’S NOT WORKING – TIME TO STOP!
- Dating Websites
- I’m getting off the dating website madness this year. No more investing time and money. If you hear me speak another word of this, you have my permission to smack me!
- Bad Eating Habits
- I’m not as concerned with the way I look as the way I feel. It’s time to stop the eating roller coaster, and commit to a healthy diet.
- I never thought I’d say this, but I love writing a blog! You will definitely see more of me this year!
- Single mom curriculum
- Exercise, Hiking, being Outdoors. Being outside centers me, and brings me closer to God.
- Being diligent with my finances has made a huge difference in my confidence, ability to give to others generously and security. If you are at all struggling I would highly recommend a Financial Peace University course. It’s changed my life!
- Early morning bible and God time. When I start my day with a bible verse and prayer, my entire day is more purposeful. I experience more peace and joy.
WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
- Routine and Time With My Boys
- I need to create a better homework and evening routine. I also need to incorporate a regular chore time on the weekends. I will work to create a more intentional game playing or hanging out time at the house.
- Traditions for the holidays and special days give all of us something to look forward to and help set a routine for us. I’m not great at traditions, but I see a need for it in my home.
So there you have it. It’s not sexy, exciting or funny, it’s just me. I hope to look back on this list with excitement next year and say “Wow, I had another awesome year!! I made an impact on my boy’s life, the lives of others, and my own life!” I believe the decisions I make every day have a ripple effect on other people. The effects can be positive or negative, but there will always be an effect. All of the ornaments on my tree represent years of ripple effects. The impact from other people on my life and the impact I’ve made. I want the 2013 ornament I hang to be a representation of joy, peace, adventure and Christ’s light shining on others.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20