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

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Year That Was: 2017

These pictures brought to you by a kind and talented 15 year old Millie, who spoiled Ineke with a lovely new knit bonnet. 

Now that the Christmas stuff is tucked back into cardboard boxes and the festivities are over,  the fact that it is now a spankin' new year is pretty apparent.  (The freak 55 degree, spring rain day doesn't help either.)

Oh, the opportunities!

About this time I like to slow down and do some introspection. Where am I headed this year?  What am I going to do with this new year stretched before me?  This new opportunity?  What changes would I like to see happen?  What things MUST happen that I need to prepare for?  How can I grow this year?   

But before I do all that, I like to look back and see just how far I've come with the previous years' goals.  Did I meet my goals?  Was there positive change and growth?  How did my life change at the end of 2017 from what it looked like at the beginning? 

I'm not sure how interesting this sort of thing is to read for you, but I've found it is pretty helpful for me.

How did I do on 2017 goals?  

Over all, on many of the goals I made last year, I didn't do as well as I had hoped.

I did really well on my goals until about July.

I wrote letters, saved money, didn't touch soda,  read aloud to the children, read the Bible to myself on a daily basis, practiced memorizing scriptures, hung art on the walls and curtains in the living room, planned homeschooling better, participated in Hillsdale Colleges' Shakespeare course and listened occasionally to Wes Callihans' Histories.  I even was exercising often.

And then July hit and BOOM.  I had a particularly excruciating week of no sleep so I drank soda to keep me awake.  It was hot so I stopped exercising.  I was busy so read-alouds stopped and so did personal, daily Bible readings.  We were entertaining more often so I went shopping more often.  Once I drank soda- it was easier to have. I drank it a few more times.  And then December hit and I had fallen so far off the bandwagon, I didn't hesitate to down a coke when I was running on no sleep.  Which happened more times than I care to admit.  I probably had soda 15-20 times last year.  :-(

I lost ten pounds- gained a few back.  Lost another 6 more lbs- gained a few more back.  I lost well over 17 pounds (the goal) but it doesn't count if it is lost in increments and then gained back.  After Christmas, I am basically back where I first began.  (I don't want to talk about it.)

I never bought yarn but used only what I had on hand.  :-)

I set aside money for Matt each paycheck.  I saved $900 for the girls' room re-do through selling stuff we had.  I'll tell you, puppies came in handy there.  ;-)  I investigated insurance and changed car insurance over, saving us money.  I switched our phone company, almost halving that expense but getting faster internet in the process.  (Why didn't I do that sooner?)    I used the envelope system for cash better in the latter half of the year but still not perfectly.   I bought cheap chicken nuggets at the Burger King drive-thru more than I should have.

I put money toward medical bills, but we made more.  ;-)

Other things I forgot entirely that I had resolved to do... like I totally forgot about painting the living room or saving money to put towards Andrews' dental work. 

I remembered the first few months to memorize scripture and then forgot that I had made that a specific goal.  I memorized no where near to 12 passages of scripture but I spent a lot more time in the Word this year than in the last few years.  I read all of the new testament and quite a bit of the old too.

I kept track of the books I read in a new 'Books Read' journal, which I plan to do from now on- it is fun to see what I have read.  It often feels like I don't accomplish any reading at all- and while my list may not be impressive...I can see that, even if I am just reading a bit each night before bed, it does add up to completed books.

Here was my 2017 Personal Reading List:

* Bandersnatch Glyer (Loved!)

* Killing Lincoln O'Reilly (really interesting)

* Teaching From Rest MacKenzie (encouraging)

* Out of the Silent Planet Lewis (fun)

* The Things We Couldn't Say Eman (loved.  drew me closer to my now deceased Dutch grandparents-they lived inside this story)

* Perelandra Lewis (fun)

* A Fine Romance Branch (a fun jaunt through Europe)

* Destiny of the Republic Millard (really interesting! Looking forward to reading this author more)

* Peace Like A River Enger (Beautiful.)

* Gilead Robinson (Wonderful.)

* That Hideous Strength Lewis (Great)

* Something Wicked This Way Comes Bradbury (a new genre.  Not my fave.)

* A Square Meal Ziegelman (good)

* To Kill A Mockingbird Lee (really good)

* Coolidge Shlaes (Enlightening.  Coolidge was a great president and man! We should all know more about him.)

* Hamlet Shakespeare (It's Shakespeare! Enough said.)

* The Best Yes TerKeurst (meh)

* The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and The New Deal Murphy (good!)

* Ghost Boy Pistorious (heart-wrenching and profound.)

* Queen of the Reformation Ludwig (putting a face on Martin Luthers' Kitty)

* FDR Goes to War Folsom (enlightening.  FDR was an awful president.  We should all know more about the REAL him.)

Don't pick on me- I know my list is miniscule.   Still, I am happy to see I finished some books.

Overall, I feel both disappointed and pleased with my 2017 goals.  In some ways, I utterly failed.  And that is majorly disappointing.  But in and around those failures, I can see definite progress.  Growth.  And I can see how great the benefits were when things were working.  They are very valuable changes. 

So I know it is worthwhile to keep chugging along.

I'll be back with 2018 goals next.


Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying your blog for quite some time. Love the pictures, information and the honesty. I was wondering were you buy and/or order your seeds from. Amelia C.

Abigail said...

I intended to leave these comments a couple of hours ago but didn't sit at the computer for more than a few minutes before something (someone!) came up. Ah, but now, success! I think you did wonderfully with your goals. As you've said before, the worth of making goals isn't found in meeting each one in a shining blaze of glory but in the place the attempt takes you. (Okay, not in those exact words, but still...)

So you drank soda 15 times-- big deal! You DIDN'T drink it for six months! Hurrah!

Seeing what the Lord strengthened your hand to is a great encouragement. Your regular time in scripture alone would make the whole 2017 goal-making worth it. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing your goals for 2018. Looks like you did pretty well in 2017. You need to be kind to yourself.