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Posts Tagged ‘hopes’

Today is the end, and tomorrow the beginning of a calendar year.

If I were to make one New Years Resolution that I need to follow through with, it would be to awaken EVERY day viewing it (that day) as a brand new start.

Last week I got a head start on resolution-type promises. I attacked areas I could improve in my marriage, as a parent, and tried really hard to put my goals on the page that I might have with regards to my walk with God. Today is the easiest list to write, but maybe the most difficult to get around to actually completing … the goals I have for my own life.

So, here they are, my goals for my own Earthly existence for 2013:images-4

  1. Finish editing my book – Well I thought that it would be completed by the end of summer, but it is so far not done. I need to finish it this year … for me, and then I will see what I want to do with it after that.
  2. Continue with weight loss – Last June I saw the picture and was sickened by the image staring back at me. That photo brought me to tears also brought me to an awareness of my need to lose the weight that has been hindering living fully, and I must continue in this downward direction.
  3. Increase physical activity – This has been the most difficult part of trying to improve my overall health. I know that weight would drop faster, and more consistently if I was more active. Surely I can make time for three walks a week to start.
  4. Read one book each month – Another goal that means I need to ‘make time’ for something.
  5. Think before I speak – Is there any more that needs to be said about this? I think not!
  6. Call my parents more regularly – This is one thing I need to do, for them and for me. I will aim for every two weeks …
  7. Stop procrastinating – This one really applies to all of my goals for 2013! In all things in my life, from finishing my book to responding to phone calls, I need to just get it done.
  8. Take more time for girlfriends – This one does not come naturally for me, but it is one that I know I benefit from when I do it, and it feeds my heart and soul so greatly.
  9. Get away for a writing weekend – Just me, my laptop, a place to walk, and time to pray …
  10. Dream – I need longer term goals to plan for and dream about, not just surviving, but aiming for more out of life, this I need.

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As the Christmas celebrations wind down and the New Year looms nearer and nearer I am in the midst of saying good-bye to the successes and failures of 2012, and saying hello to the goals for success in 2013.

The goals for 2013 that I have shared so far have been about my Earthly loves … my family. They are the ones who I consider to be such sweet gifts from God.

images-3For today, though, I am considering my goals in my walk with God.

These goals are not easy to come up with, compared with my goals for my marriage and goals for my children. Maybe it is because I feel rather ‘pious’ in considering trying to improve in my walk with God … as though that is possible, not because I am so ‘good’, but because He is truly so good to me.

I could say that my list includes goals like reading my Bible everyday, witnessing to at least one person each week, or doing random acts of kindness for total strangers. All of those are good goals, but is that what God desires of from me?

The more I have tried to write goals, the less valuable them seem to be, in comparison to the grace, the freedom and the love that God offers to me (to us).

As I understand that the point of doing this in regards to my relationship with my husband or my relationship with my kids, I realize that my goals in those relationships are intended to improve my relationships with those people … they are self-improvement goals, for my benefit. I hope to improve something in their lives, thereby improving my own.

As I ponder my goals in my relationship with my Savior, and consider how I might improve my relationship with Him, I realize that there is nothing that I can do to change it, increase it, improve it. My relationship with my God is not dependent on my changes, or my actions, or my goals. My relationship with God has always been complete from the first moment that I handed the keys of my life over to my heavenly father. From that wonder-filled moment I was reunited with my Creator, and there was no altering my steps from that moment on.

Each day I awaken with Him in my first breath. He guides my every step, and when I side-step Him, He is still right beside me. He makes me aware of His presence in the wind through the trees, the joy of watching my children grow and learn, the scent of my hubby when he kisses me goodnight. He never leaves my side, whether I walk through rain or sun.

My goal for 2013, in my walk with God …

is to believe Him when He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake youโ€ (Hebrews 13:5)

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So, I am now at day number two of my Top 10 Goals for 2013, and this time the focus is hubby.

He REALLY does not appreciate posts about him, that mention him, that use him as an example … so, in honor of his preference that I not write about him … heck, I’m just going to do it anyway!

P&C Cropped

He has to forgive me … comes with the whole “love, honor and … forgive” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are my Top Ten Goals for my Marriage for 2013:

  1. Do not go to bed angry – I mentioned this yesterday in regards to our kids and it doesn’t hurt to say it again, โ€œdo not let the sun go down while you are still angryโ€ (Ephesians 4:26).
  2. Get away – make time for at least one night each season to get away together, sans children, as a couple. It is so easy, with all of the demands of life, to forget that the family we created started with us, just us, and for this family to continue we need to invest in us.
  3. Respect him – As I write it I just know that some poor, misinformed lady is going to interpret respecting your husband as some kind of response to an archaic male dominated patriarchal society or religion. That is NOT what this is about! He is a child of God, like me, and as such I need to respect him …
  4. Make his life easier – I am sure that there is at least one thing I can do each week to make his life easier … from answering the phone (instead of letting him, because it is always for him), to doing his dinner clean up once in a while (not too often, as I do not want him to get too used to being relieved of ‘his’ chore).
  5. Thank him – so often when we live with someone it is so easy to forget our manners. Please and thank you are words I know I need to use more often with my man.
  6. Let him decide – … and be okay with his decision! My hubby knows that if I say “you choose” his whole future is at stake. I need to trust him to make a decision, and trust the outcome!
  7. Surprise him – there is nothing like veering from the normal, everyday, meatloaf every Monday stagnant way of living to bore a couple to mediocrity! Start seeing excitement and refreshment in someone else. I WILL surprise him … and the details of that, well those are between the two of us ๐Ÿ˜‰ .
  8. Remember the past – I need to reflect on those days, so many years ago, when we only knew adoring love (aka, before we were married ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) … not bills, crisscrossing schedules, and to do lists.
  9. Forget the past – we have baggage, and that is a reality, but the past is the past, and needs to be left there. We cannot move forward if I keep looking back.
  10. Plan for the future – “Where there is no dreaming for the future, the marriage relationship is dead” (that is the Carole Wheaton interpretation of Proverbs 29:18) … enough said.

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If you are reading this, then yes, you have survived the chaos that can be associated with Christmas Day.

For me, Boxing Day means two things; one is that I am ready to take down the tree, and clean up the house, and the other is that I start to think about next year.

Over the next few days, my posts will be related to my thinking about next year. Each day I will share Ten Goals that I have for myself, my children, my marriage and my relationship with God.

Today, I am starting with my ten goals for 2013, related to my three children.

Wheaton+Family-38-2-1602627366-O

God has blessed hubby and I with three healthy, productive, God-fearing/loving children. There was a time when we wondered if we would even have children with our own DNA. There was a time when we understood contentment with one, believing that our chances of carrying another to term would never be. There were dark and sorrow-filled times, times when we cried out to God, times when we grew to understood that today we only see a part (1 Corinthians 13:12) …

As parents we have taken those experiences, that pain, of the past and promised to not forget the gifts that these children are to us. Oh, we fail – daily we fail as parents, but our hearts desire is to not take them for granted, not forget our responsibility to be active in their lives, and to daily hand them back to their Creator.

My goals, as their mom, for 2013 are:

  1. Be intentional in spending at least one time per month with each child – they are individuals, and I need to know them individual
  2. Pray with each more often – so easy when they were young, but it is still such a beautiful thing to lay our burdens at His feet together
  3. Be more involved in assisting them with school work (even unsolicited … mostly unsolicited) – I often am so desiring that I give them independence in their school responsibilities that I forget that they still need help, and I am able to help them!
  4. Tell each child, every day, that I love them – I cannot just think it, for their benefit I need to give wings to my thoughts
  5. Do not end the day, or go apart angry – this applies to so many relationships (every relationship). There is wisdom in “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26)
  6. Laugh with them – Oh how sad to spend a day living under the same roof and not sharing a laugh together … what sweet memories laughter provides!
  7. Tell them why I love them – not just ‘I love you’ but ‘I love how you ….’, ‘I love that you ….’
  8. Tell them that I am proud of them – I do believe that success breeds success, and if I let them know of the successes I see in their lives, I believe that it will magnify their ability to do even greater things
  9. Praise their father, in their presence – although hubby and I do not parent exactly the same, we are one, united front when it comes to our kids, and our kids need to know that we love each other, and that we respect each other … and thinking it is not enough … I need to give words to my thoughts.
  10. Give them wings – I cannot hold them too tightly, I need to hold them with enough flexibility that they can come and go. God’s example to us is to give us the choice to come to Him … there is no better parenting example! And there can be no greater gift than having my child choose to share their life with me.

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Twenty-five years … can that really be possible?

Twenty-five years ago today I walked with my peers, down the aisle of our high school gymnasium to “Pomp and Circumstance,” wearing a burgundy cap and gown, smiling happily, thinking that this was the most exciting moment of my life. In my mind, life was about to begin, once that diploma was in my hand, and my cap was tossed in the air.

I graduated from a small rural school, in southern New Brunswick, along with fifty-eight of my classmates. Most of us got to school by bus. Kindergarten was not experienced by all, or even most of us, as kindergarten was still a private business.

Most of us started school in 1975.

We started school in the days of the ‘strap’, and graduated in the early days of the more emotionally feelings-based, psychological approach to discipline. We went to school in a time when you actually did not know if you would ‘grade’ until you saw your report card. We had mid-term exams in December, and finals in June. Our passing grade was not half way (50%), but 60%.

We dressed in bell bottoms, shoulder pads, miniskirts, turtle necks, neon colors, leg warmers, and Aviators.

We had wings, afros, and mullets. We parted our hair in the middle, to the side and had bangs. We used gel, mousse, Love’s Baby Soft and Brut.

We listened to disco, pop, country, heavy metal and classic rock.

The futures of many were to continue studies, but there were at least as many who were heading directly into the workforce. Since that night of anticipation of the future, we have had peers who have already passed into death.

As a group, we have had marriages and divorces, children and pets. There are those who have never moved from the village (yes, I grew up in a village … my own kids thought that villages were only part of fairy tales, and laugh loudly when the subject of my home ‘town’ comes up), and those who have lived around the world. We have worked in commerce, in business, in so many trades, in education, in health care, in marketing, in peacekeeping, in childcare and in our homes.

Many have done what they intended to do twenty-five years ago, and many have taken very divergent paths.

Our school motto, “esse quam videri” means “to be rather than to seem.” This sounds like a great motto for a high school, for I would hope that a young adult would leave school understanding that reality is better than imitation, that being yourself is better than being like everyone else.

As I am no expert in Latin, I checked it’s deeper meaning, and it’s origins. It would appear that it comes from a writing by Cicero. He was a wealthy Roman, in the last century of BC. He was a lawyer, a politician, an orator, a philosopher. Our school motto actually was part of a larger sentence in his writing “On Friendship”

“Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt

Which translates; “few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so.”

Maybe it is because I am old, or maybe it is because I work in a high school, or maybe it is because I am the mother of teens, but I have much greater appreciation for the entire text than for the three part motto twenty-five years later!

Virtue goes beyond being real. Virtue is moral or ethical excellence. It is not just being yourself, but it is being the best YOU, that you can be. It is not just being excellent in and of yourself, but so that you can impact those around you. It is not perfection, it is effort! Truly it is the work of blood, sweat and tears. It is not about being, it is about doing.

Twenty-five years later, I have learned a precious lesson. My life did not begin when I had the diploma in my hand and my cap tossed in the air … but every morning that I awake, with the opportunity to chose to be the best I can be (for others) … that is when life begins … again, and again, and again. It is a life that is new and fresh every morning.

To those who I share this anniversary of common place and time, my thoughts and fun memories are with you today. May we all live the next twenty-five knowing that life has neither begun nor ended yet.

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I love to anticipate things to come. I love to plan vacations, and times away with hubby. I love to count down weeks to school breaks (currently only five more weeks of work until summer break starts …). I love to dream about concerts and other events that I have tickets to, I awaken and my mouth starts watering as I contemplate what I will prepare for dinner.

My brain loves to focus on the good things to come. It is a survival tactic, to get through the more mundane parts of life (this is my undiagnosed ADD talking). It is my way of focusing on the prize that is to come.

I plot and plan, I dream and scheme, all with the hopes of ordering my future fixation … whatever it might be.

It is not bad to look forward to good things that we anticipate coming our way. It is just that we must keep in mind that our planning for future events and experiences is not guaranteed.

I might plan a vacation, and then something comes up that requires I change those plans. I might be looking forward to a summer off, but when a job comes up that could ease our family finances, I need to take it, and forgo that time of R & R. A concert that I have tickets to might get canceled. I might plan something amazing for dinner, but because I end up taxiing kids all afternoon, that gourmet dinner is substituted with hot dogs.

In the midst of my plotting and dreaming, my hopes and dreams, life happens. It is rarely what I would have chosen the path of my life to be.

Even worse, though, than having my plans not be fulfilled, is that I can be so fixated on what is to come, that I forget to enjoy and fully live in the present moment. My eyes can be straining so hard to see the future that they cannot focus on what is currently before me.

That might mean that I am missing out on the beauty, the lessons, the preparation for whatever is around the next corner. In my preoccupation with the future, I might be missing out on the gift of the present time.

“Today is mine.
Tomorrow is none of my business.
If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future,
I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly
what is required of me now.”
Elisabeth Elliot

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