What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, January 07, 2013

2013: Resolved

Confession:  I wasn't wearing makeup so I overexposed this picture on purpose in order to hide my (many) flaws.  Overexposure hides a multitude of sins. 
  
You knew it was coming, right?  

Goal-making.  Resolutions.  A roadmap to a new year and becoming a new, more disciplined person.

The thing I most like about resolutions is not in the beginning (though the lists are fun to make and think about and the expectation and anticipation around it is exciting) but actually, in the end.  The flip side.  The end of the year, when I can look back and see how far those goals got me- through dedication, through (sometimes) hard work, often through diligence and always because I was resolved to think about them, to take notice, to consider those things important.

Even if I don't make every goal to the "T", it is the striving to be better- more complete- more disciplined that makes it worthwhile.  And then, finding out that in the end, I actually WAS those things....that makes it FUN.

This year was particularly hard to consider making any sort of plans for the new year because the foreseeable future seems plenty bleak these days with all the economic woes and Christian blows we are facing in our nation.  A teetering nation, we are.

And yet- I suppose that it is times of unrest that require the most steadfastness and dedication to what is true and noble and good.  So, resolutions I will make.  And there are many.  Some more noble than others, as you will see, but all are mine.

HOPESTEAD GOALS~  
(Matt has his own list for Hopestead.  These are mine.) 
  • Plant several Christmas trees 
  • Plant an asparagus bed
  • Plant several fruit trees
  • Cut back very overgrown Lilac Bushes
  • Prune Apple trees (second year)
  • Begin concrete plans for Hopestead Herb Farm 
FINANCIAL GOALS~

(I'll be frank here.  This economy scares the bejeebers out of me, especially now with Christian businesses potentially going out of business thanks to ObamaCare(s not a lick) so I am putting our family on spending-lock-down this year in order to best use our finances to prepare us for the worst (while hoping for the best).  The figures you are about the read are really crazy considering Matt's take-home pay which is very modest...especially for these figures.  I am being VERY hopeful and maybe a tad-bit unrealistic here.  LAUGHABLE, really..  But, you know what I like to say~ "If you shoot for the moon and don't succeed, at least you are among the stars!"  Any dollars I can set aside toward these goals will be well worth the efforts in the end.  Best case, we get our house paid off faster just because I was unjustified in my fears. Is that a bad thing?  I think not.)

  • Give Matt $40.00 per paycheck (because he's earned it, after all.)
  • Pay $10,000. toward principal of house (on top of mortgage payments.)  
  • Save $5,000 toward a new van (ours has 130,000 miles on it so a "new" one is inevitable.)
  • Save $1,000 to put toward investing
To even remotely accomplish the above goals I need to:
  • Reevaluate our budget and spending and completely overhaul it to accommodate our CODE ORANGE, LOCKDOWN status.  :-)  (Yeah.  Smiling NOW.)
  • Cut all unnecessary spending.   (ouch.  It hurts already.)
I have no idea how we would/could/will be able to do this- but I am shooting for the moon here, people.

PERSONAL GOALS~
(These are the non-trackable, SILLY things.  The biggest non-trackable, not-silly goal I have for myself this year is to be more fearless in speaking the Truth to people who need to hear it, especially those people I LOVE.  This is hard for me because I often don't want to hurt peoples' feelings or make them angry and I worry too much about peoples' opinions of me.  I am going to be working on this but it is not something that is "attainable" or "trackable"- two things that I think resolutions need to be in order to be do-ableThe goals in this list make my life more beautiful- not my spirit, necessaril but are both attainable and trackable..  Silly stuff, like I said.)

  • Read through a not-dorky devotional.  (Any suggestions?)
  • Learn to knit socks. (Tell me you didn't know this was coming...)
  • Decorate, even thriftily, the childrens' rooms.
  • Make something for myself to KEEP.  (My family tells me I have a bad habit of giving away everything I make.  So I will try and KEEP one thing for myself this year.
  • Invite people over for dinner at least once a month.  This includes people around the community as well as friends and church family.
  • Lose 5# a month until I reach my goal weight.  Which, if the "average for my size" goal weight- should be in March; if the "Got Married This Big" goal weight- should be by May.
  • Wake up to send Mattie off to work each morning (while conscious) and make him lunches to take with him.
  • Reestablish family read-alouds 
  • Begin reading the Classics (using Susan W.Bauer's The Well Educated Mind as a guide.)
  • Take one photo a week finding Beauty.  I was talking to a gal a few months back who said that I often take mundane moments and make them beautiful by photographing them.  I love that about photography- it gets you to see the beauty even when it is hard to find.  But that she had said that about me was more than generous, because I haven't felt like I have done that in ages.  So, this year, I knew a personal photo challenge was in order.  Once a week.  My life IS beautiful- this shouldn't be THAT hard, right?  
  • Get a church website up and running...preferably sooner rather than later since the elders of our church have been waiting for two months already...
  • MAKE something once a month.  Maybe a Christmas present.  Maybe not.  Just MAKE.  Because it is good for me. 

Do you have any goals for the coming year?  

13 comments:

Leah T. said...

I always LOVE these "New Year" posts from you! They are so encouraging and motivating to me. :) I think your list looks great and I'll be praying with you as you seek to accomplish each goal.

I have made a list of things I'm resolved (love that word!) to do this year. I'm still mulling over things and adding to the list. Maybe I'll share it if I don't wimp out. I'm not very good with laying my goals and dreams out before the world. :)

Anonymous said...

that picture of you is sooo pretty -

what I most admire about you is your work ethic -- and something akin to your financial goals and is what I plan on wholeheartily embracing for my family in '13 -
sigh - not easy to feed XL teenage sons on a supertight budget -

oh, to have your energy, creativity and skills!

b in va

...they call me mommy... said...

Love this list! It's sweet and simple and to the point. Mine is so cluttery! I might have to go an revamp it now!! :D

You were the gal who LOVED Trixie Belden stories right? ;) I have a little something to send to you and Corynn! :D

Anonymous said...

Oh good heavens! Obamacare is not going to bankrupt the nation, nor will it destroy small business. Didn't Jesus want us to take care of the poor and the sick. Unfortunately, there are few among us that would take care of the sick and provide healthcare out of our own pockets, so unfortunately the government has to step in. We were paying for indigent health care before Obamacare by ER visits for non-emergent care, by paying for serious health conditions that could have been avoided or at least lessened by well visits and preventive care.

It is the warmongering culture that has bankrupted us as a nation. It is pure and simple greed that elected officials are taken care of for life, even if they are criminals (e.g., Tom DeLay).

Amy
Berkshire

Rebecca said...

Leah T.--Oh, I hope you do! There is nothing that puts a fire in your britches (so to speak) than to say OUT LOUD you goals! Do it! Do it! Do it! (no peer pressure or anything.) :-)

B in Va- you keep encouraging me through the year, okay? Because this is going to be HARD. You let me know how you are doing through the year and I will encourage you too, kay?

Amy~ you had a lot more to squeeze into your post including how you did last year. I enjoyed it. And I am the Trixie Belden fan. I wonder what it could be... :-)

Amy~ I am in complete disagreement with you except on one point. You are exactly right that we are to take care of the poor and needy.

That is an individual and church thing- not a big government thing. And it is certainly not the job of government or ANYONE to fund the killing of innocent children. Period. I'll leave my soapbox there so I don't rant and rave all day. That sums it up anyway.

Bonnie said...

Oh all kinds of good things here !
I'm putting in my resume to be a Hopestead Herb Farm-hand. I kill plants pretty easily, but make up for it by being sarcastic, and witty about it.
My goal is to lose 15# by my birthday (march). Z. is set on sabotaging it. Chocolate is presenting a bit of a problem too. But I have new tennis-shoes and cropped pants to exercise in! (Or not exercise, whichever...)
Your weight goals sound completely reasonable, since when you think about it, they're right around the corner.

Anna said...

Two of my favorite devotionals are: "My Utmost for His Highest" By Oswald Chambers, and "Mornings with Tozer" by A.W. Tozer. I liked your lists of resolutions. So far I haven't officially made any - thus I haven't broke any either! ;-)

Leah T. said...

Amy,

I also disagree with everything you accept the part about Jesus wanting us to take care of the poor and needy.

As to Obamacare, we have *already* seen and heard about many *large* companies laying off employees because of the problems this "program" has caused! If it's affecting big companies, it is most assuredly affecting small businesses, too! And as for the nation going bankrupt, do you know that US National Debt is now almost $16,500,000,000,000?!?! For a nice reality check on what that means per citizen and per taxpayer, take a look at this Debt Clock, http://www.usdebtclock.org/ . We cannot keep going like this forever!

...they call me mommy... said...

Oh here is ONE of my want to read lists since you asked...things for the children are mixed in here! ;) Enter at your own risk! :D

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/8231627-amy?format=html&shelf=to-read

Be on the lookout for a small package! ;)

Anonymous said...

Leah T.

Companies are laying off workers because they are too selfish to step up to the plate of providing fair coverage for their workers... Hobby Lobby, Taco Bell, Papa Johns.

They make me sick. Other small companies (including my own) have found ways to provide health insurance for employees (I do through my professional association). Does it cost me some money? Yes. Does it cost my employees money? Yes. But, It is the right thing to do. I won't cop out because of the cost. Because the cost outweighs the benefits. It is my responsibility as a CHRISTIAN to help my friends and employees.

You all make me rather sick--you stay at home, you don't participate in regular society, you hold yourselves above others because of your morals. You think you are better than me, a working mother, Christian who is trying her hardest to get by.

You have your babies, your crafts and your protected life. We don't all have that..but we try to get by in our lives, doing the best we can. Do I have the sin of jealousy yes. but I think you are speaking from a level of protection.

Have you been a single parent, have you tried to feel your children, work, and be a decent member of society on your own? Have you been beaten by someone who said he loved you and would always love you and then left, only to find you are pregnant again and you already have two young children? Have you gone for help and heard how precious that unborn child's life is, and how important it is to protect it and believed it all, and had the child (who I love to the depths of my being) and then find yourself a pariah because you need assistance, you need welfare?

I've been there, I've worked hard, I've struggled through all this, I've lived through the promises and the breaking of those promises. My three children are older now, and more independent. And I've taken advantage of 'social services' to get a skill and own a business. And it wasn't easy. And I just want to make life easier for my employees. And to be compassionate. We don't know all the details of everyone's story.

Judge not, let ye be judged.

I was proud to vote for this President. I am proud of what he is doing for our country.


AMY L. (to distiguish myself)

Berkshire. NY

Terri said...

I've been thoroughly enjoying the Jane Austen Devotional. Good literature and a usually well thought out devotional to go along with it. I find often this author captures my thoughts for the entire day after reading.

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Amy L.~

It is both interesting (and enlightening) that you quote the "Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged" while also saying, in the same breath, "You all make me sick- and so do those companies."