Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thoughts Running Through My Head...

So, it has been a while since I have blogged.  I use blogging as a way to process things in life and also put into words what I think God is teaching me.  However, most of the time I am careful what I share.  Today though, I want to share all the thoughts that are going on in my head.  This is a busy time of year with the holidays, my son's birthday, yucky weather and then throw in there the ups and downs of life and it can be interesting. 

Negative Thoughts:
1.   If I don't work out, I will get fat (I wish this thought had never appeared)
2.   Why do I not have very many close girlfriends that I feel I can share most anything 
      with?
3.   Why are so many people not committed to things in life and why are we all so busy?
4.   Our house sure needs cleaning, but boy do I not feel like doing it
5.   Am I spending enough time with my son?
6.   Should I feel bad that I do not know a whole bunch of things to do with my son?
7.   I am trying to eat less sugar but why do I keep craving sweets?
8.   Why are we having such a hard time having children?  Can't we figure out the
      solution to make my body get fixed without much effort?
9.   Can we move somewhere else?  I really don't like winter.  I need sunshine! 
10. Every where I turn there is something that is bad for us...how do you decide what is
      best?

Positive Thoughts:
1.  I am so thankful for Matt and our son.  They are huge blessings in my life.
2.  I love having family live close to us.
3.  I am very thankful to live in a small town with a bigger city close by.
4.  I love Christmas!  God made me a giver and I also love to receive gifts. 
5.  We have a great church family and body of believers we are apart of. 
6.  Matt and I are both so blessed to have great jobs that provide so much more
     than we need so we can give to others!

As you can see, I have far more negative thoughts running through my brain than positive.  So...I sure am thankful for the grace that God gives us through his son Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross.  He gives us a fresh start each new day and the Bible to refocus us on His goodness and love.  Without this, I would not have the hope in this life that I do.  Praying you can find some HOPE this time of year and always! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Being Fruitful, A New Perspective

In just a few days, a good friend of mine and her family will be moving away.  She has a little boy that is 2 1/2 years old and he and Caleb get along so well.  We have been blessed to have some very fun times with this family and I would say have become better friends since having children.  In fact, my friend and I were talking about how people change a lot when they have children. 

Lately I have been reading a short book called "Loving the Little Years, Motherhood in the Trenches," which I would highly recommend.  In Chapter 6 it reads,

"Think about yourself and about the things you do.  Look at it like fruit.  Are you holding yourself back on things, afraid that the end result will not be worthy of your labor?  Are you afraid to fail?  Is there some domestic activity that you would love to know how to do, but don't want to try in case it doesn't turn out?  Are you afraid to try new recipes?  Are you afraid to put energy or money into something that might turn into nothing?" 

It continues ..."I think that in some ways we have let our cultural admiration for efficiency get into places that it doesn't belong.  Speaking for myself, sometimes I am working away on something and just cannot shake the question, 'Why am I doing this?' Is this a ridiculous use of my time?  Should I be doing something that matters, rather than (say) knitting a costumed mouse?  But it is very freeing to laugh at yourself -- laugh when you know that apple you were working on may very well fall to the ground, and who cares?"

The start of the final paragraph of the chapter reads, "Some of those apples will fall to the ground and rot.  But God uses rotten apples -- to fertilize the ground, to start more apple trees after little animals plant them, and just to make the air smell sticky sweet.  You cannot know the depth of His plan for your fruit."

This whole chapter has really challenged me personally.  We so easily try to control our day to day situations and outcomes without even knowing it.  All of our time, resources and giftings belong to God and yet we try to figure out how they should be used, when they should be used and want to make sure they get used.  I can think of many things that I have been afraid to try or do because either I know that I might not be so great at it (pride) or as it states above in the book, is it practical?  What if it will amount to nothing? 

I feel as if God is constantly reminding me that our life is to love Him and love people.  All the rest of the details are really up to him.  We are called to give generously and not wonder how what we have given will be used.  That is again left up to God. 

The desire that Matt and I have is to live each day with a hope and trust in God that frees us up to be used by him.  When  you don't hold onto fears, wants and expectations it is amazing how freeing your outlook can be.   

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Season of One....

Matt and I finally got to watch the movie, "October Baby" last night and would highly recommend it.  It is such a good reminder that each baby is a true miracle and that God cares about the 'least of these.'

It also hit close to home because of the current season of our family...being a family of one child.  I think I have mentioned this in my blog posts before but Caleb is a true miracle to us.  We had a very difficult time conceiving a child and as we think about the future of our family, we have to wonder...will we be able to conceive another child?

I am currently finding it hard to adjust to this new stage of parenthood.  At times I find myself bored.  Caleb does not "need" me in the same ways he did in his first year of life but he still needs me to watch over him.   He has a very short attention span and there are many things that I need to get done but am still not able to get done because he would either be into everything while I was doing it or I would get interrupted every 10 minutes or so.  I like to take him places like the library, play areas, parks, etc. but that can also get a bit overwhelming and exhausting if I am not mentally and physically prepared.

The other aspect of this season that I find hard as an extreme extrovert is finding people in Mount Vernon or even in our church in Cedar Rapids that want to get together.  Most people are either with no children, have a baby in their first year or have more than one child and are just naturally more busy because they have more things to do with more children.  When we go out and about I am tempted to spend more money which I do not need to do.  I keep asking myself, what is the best use of my time to glorify God?  My family definitely comes first but there is still room to do other things as well.  Many times I often think....maybe it will get better when Caleb is older and he can do more things?  However, I don't want to wish these years away.

As a mom and also as a couple, Matt and I desire a deep community.  We want to truly have  relationships with other believers that will grow us, keep us accountable and help us to process life through the lens of God's word, The Bible.  Have you found that community? A great passage from Hebrews reads:

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."   (Hebrews 10:19-25)

  


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Transition Time

I have had so many different topics that I have thought about blogging on during the past month and a half but with so much change and happenings it has actually felt a little overwhelming to figure out what I actually want to express.  So...here we are, writing about Transition!  :)

Yesterday, I started a new job back at our church, Stonebridge Evangelical Free as the Children's Ministry Assistant.  It is part-time and I am very excited to be back working at a place that I love and using some of my gifts to further God's kingdom.  However, it was also very hard to leave my job for the past two years, a barista at Wit's End coffeehouse.  These two jobs are so completely different and yet I love both of them!  It is at times of transition that I always am reminded that I do not do change well.  I firmly believe that is why God made me a passionate person.  He helps me commit and dive-in full board right away with things I am excited about so that when I get into what I am doing and think, " I can't do this," or "What am I doing," I realize that I need to forge ahead and it will go just fine!  After all, God is the one in control and if he has given me the peace about a decision, I must be following His will!  Below are two pictures of my last days at Wit's End! Such a great place to work with wonderful co-workers and customers!   
Mondays were called "Red-headed Mondays"! :)
 August also means that Matt heads back into work at full steam.  Since he works in education, we are very blessed to have a chunk of time out of the summer that he is off.  We cherish that time and Caleb loves spending time with his "Da-da".  This summer we were able to go out to Colorado for a week to visit friends and family.  Below is a picture from our trip there.  

"The Crew"
Recently we have also found out about a few friends that will be moving away in the near future.  Many of my close friends over the past 10 years or so have all moved away.  I have come to see this also as a way that God pushes me out of my comfort zone.  If my friends that I get along so well with were where I lived and always stayed near me, I might never reach out to new people.  We only have so much time in our lives for relationships so this is one easy way to help me to reach out to new people! :) 

Last but not least, Caleb is transitioning as well.  He is no longer a baby but a toddler!  He has his own likes, dislikes and wants to be independent.  It is fun to see him develop but can also be frustrating at times.  Matt and I are in a new season of parenting and it requires a lot of patience, prayer and asking God for wisdom!  Many days we just look at each other and think...."We have no idea what to do!". :) 

Hiking in Colorado!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Savoring Each Day...

One of the biggest things that parenting has taught me so far is how to better rest and savor each day.  Your children are growing all of the time and learning new things each day.  If you don't sit and watch, listen and enjoy, you truly will miss out on seeing them grow as people.  The past few weeks we have been out and about a lot since the weather has been so nice.  Here are a couple of pictures that make me smile!
Caleb loves his wagon! 

Cars!
I also love the fact that you as an adult can now go again to playgrounds, parks, pools etc. and you have an excuse to go!  It has always seemed silly to me that once you become an adult you cannot do simple things such as these to have fun.  Or even more silly is the idea that adults are not to have fun.  So much of adult life is cleaning, meeting deadlines and a lot of other things we would rather not do.  Living simply is the way to go! 

 It says in Matthew 6:34 (NIV) "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I was recently studying this verse and realized that many times when I am worrying it is not so much what I am afraid of but what I am afraid of not getting.  We all want the best in this life but most of the time we don't know what that is for us.  However, God's plan is good and perfect.  After realizing how much time we waste by worrying and how little control we have over things in our life, you start to realize what a gift God has given us to just live each day for what it is!  Go out and enjoy each day to the fullest!

  
Photo courtesy of Melanie Rissi Photography

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trusting God...

Various circumstances and happenings in my life recently have made me ask myself the question....Do I really trust God and believe he is in control?

As a child, I had a pretty "safe" upbringing and did not see much of the hurt, pain and loss in this world.  My parents both had good jobs and we did not want for much.  I was fortunate enough to be involved with many activities throughout my school years and then went on to attend a private 4-year college, earn a degree and meet my wonderful husband Matt.  I became a follower of Christ at a young age and have been growing steadily in my relationship with Jesus ever since then.  

However, now more than ever I feel like my faith and trust in God is being tested.  As Caleb starts to walk, climb and become his own person, I feel this great desire to make sure that he does not get hurt.  I know this is something that is built into us as mothers and I am thankful for it, but frankly anything revolving around injuries/medical happenings I do not do well.  

Recently, Caleb had a tumble from one of our window seals.  As it happened I rushed over to him and panicked and then started to cry.  I am so scared to lose him because I love him so much.  Right then, do I really believe that God is in control and wants what is best for Caleb?  I pray that as I walk down this path of parenthood that God will continue to grow me in this area and that one day I will not fear the circumstances themselves.  I told Matt that I pretty much know nothing about medical things because I do not like anything in this area which is probably why I feel so helpless!  And yet, all the more reason to put my trust in God.  

Another example of trusting God lately is seeing three different people I know battle different kinds of cancer.  Physical sickness is such a hard area in life.  God chooses to heal some and chooses to take others to heaven with him and yet we don't know why except the fact that ultimately he wants to be glorified.  

Through most of these happenings lately I have been able to identify once again that an area in my life that is a battle ground is health/fitness.  I definitely rely on myself way to much in this area and desire to always have the best.  However, I am so thankful for God's grace and willingness to daily help me through this struggle and that He wants to change my heart, soul and mind to be more like Him!         

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Life Is Going So Fast These Days...

Caleb in his Jersey
People have always told me that life just keeps going faster as you get older.  I believed them but you can't quite understand what that means until you experience it.  Sort of like when you have children...you can't understand it until you experience it!

I feel like the past 5 months after Caleb turned one have absolutely flown!  I think part of it was because I was wishing away some of the months due to the horrible weather that we had.  I am such an outside/sunshine person that the "late" winter that just kept hanging on this year was pretty miserable for me.  However, I have also been spending time just watching and enjoying all the ways Caleb is changing and learning.  It is simply amazing all of the new things he has learned in the past 5 months. He started walking, using utensils, started to understand all kinds of things like knowing where the vaccum goes, climbing up and down stairs, words like ball, outside, go-go and the list goes on and on.  To see a child develop is one of the coolest things.  I feel so blessed.

Another reason that I feel this way is because I know God has been working on my heart as well.  I was convicted about a month ago that I was not content with where God had me in life.  I love Caleb and my husband Matt and I was so thankful for everything but not at peace and content.  I started to realize that this was an issue in my life and not pleasing to God.  I was in a sense saying to Him, where you have me in life is not good enough.  After being humbled about this and really starting to focus more on God's way and not my way, I have found so much more joy in every day.  One thing in particular that is a symbol for me going forward with this continued journey of finding contentment are flowers.  I have never been a big fan of flowers because I see them as something you spend your money on and then they die.  However, in one of the Biblical Counseling sessions that I was sitting in on at our church, the pastor told the person to go that week and put flowers on their table.  These flowers were a symbol and reminder of all the things that God has blessed us with.  A flower is a beautiful creation by God and such a wonderful thing to remind us of His goodness.  After I thought about this and with all that God has been teaching me through parenting, I have started to realize the simple beauty of life just like the simple beauty of a flower.  This summer I hope to put many flowers in our home and on our table and enjoy them for what they are! ;)   

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Running the Race...

This weekend Matt and I are having the opportunity to go and run a 10K together.  We don't get to go and run at races much these days, especially both of us together. We are excited and thankful at the same time.  In running, I usually prefer the longer distances as I am not a fast runner.  I have run 4 half-marathons and hope to run another one in the near future if time allows.

As Caleb is getting close to 1 1/2 years old and really starting to change and show more opinions on things, I have really been having to sit down and evaluate my own heart.  One of the things at this point in his life that is frustrating for him and us as parents is the fact that he can only communicate with sign language, a few verbal words and lots of non-verbals.  This makes things interesting and hard to manage at times.

I have recently been convicted that I do not persevere very well in life and situations, especially if it is not going the way I had planned.  Each day this is heightened if Caleb is stepping out of the expectations that I have for him.  However, I also have realized that one of the reasons that Caleb is very draining for me is that I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.  I have no background with children.  I hardly babysat and so each day that I navigate being a parent, I get more frustrated because I have the fear that I am not doing it well.  Which brings up another area of my life that I believe God is continually working on -- pride.  

Growing up I was very successful at most things I did in life and if I did not do well at something I would just not do it.  Some of this has to do with my personality of being an ideas person and only staying with something for a short while, however, a lot of it has to do with my heart.  I am prideful and do not want to fail at things in life, including being a parent.  Even though I have no idea what I am doing.  For me, the easy thing to do right now would be to find a full time job and let someone else guide my child, but I feel that God has given me this opportunity so that he can change me and grow me in these areas through Caleb.  Believe me, I have to repent of grumbling quite often and keep reminding myself that this is what God has planned for me and that it is a blessing!  Why does the grass always look greener on the other side? :)     

Matt finds it fun and intriguing that after Caleb goes to bed 3 out of the 7 evenings, I go and bake or cook something.  This is an outlet for me.  It is something I enjoy doing and I know how to do it!  Furthermore, it produces something yummy with instant results.  Unlike parenting...which I would prefer to be more like a short 5K run with fast results.  However, I know that it will not be this way which is why I need to keep trusting in God and praying for strength and patience.  I also need others to come around me and remind me of all the good things that we get to experience with our children.  The amount of love you can have for a little one is simply unexplainable and for this I am grateful.  


"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  - Hebrews 12:1  


 

  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Scared...

Last night I was laying in bed waiting for Matt to get home from a late meeting for church and spending some time in prayer.  Why is it so hard to give things up to God? 

The last few days we have noticed that Caleb has officially turned into a toddler.  He is almost 16 months old and seems to really be starting to show his personality.  He is into everything in our house and talking up a storm!  I am excited for him and to see how he will develop and yet a part of me is scared beyond words.  The next steps of parenting are one of the reasons that it took me so long to want to have children.  I don't have the faintest idea of how to raise a child. :)

Selfishly, I know it is going to be a lot of work.  Teaching, guiding and disciplining take a lot of time.  I am an information seeker and have a lot of good head knowledge, but my follow through is not always so great.  We have taken a couple of parenting classes through our church, one being Shepherding a Child's Heart.  This way of looking at how to teach your children and help them to understand why they should obey and align their behavior with Jesus Christ through scripture is excellent.  The trouble I keep struggling with here is when to know that they can understand more and to help them to start to see how and why they might have made poor choices to lead them into bad behavior/situations.

I want our children to think of discipline as more than just a "law" or "because mom said so."  A book that I would like to read is Give Them Grace:  Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.  When I heard this author talk at a Biblical counseling conference that I went to recently, she posed the question to us all, "what makes your parenting Christian, not just some very well behaved children?"   

I have also been looking at my own heart and thoughts through all of these worries and realizing that there are also a lot of sinful motivations to parent well.  I want others to think I am a good parent.  I don't want to be that parent that has a disruptive child.  When I was a child, I talked a lot and my parents had to talk with me about not saying everything that came into my head.  Caleb is pretty social already and sometimes I think about this and pray and hope that he is not this way.  On another note, forging ahead with this parenting role I have also been convicted of a prideful perfectionist tendency.  I have always done well in many things that I have done in life and tend to steer clear of things that do not come easy to me.  I am still thinking through the question am I really OK with failure or do I just avoid it? 

A passage in the Bible that has been brought to my attention recently about this is James 1: 2-4 which says:   

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I have always thought that the trial that you may be experiencing is what produces maturity in your faith and yet what it really says is that the perseverance from the trial is what produces the maturity.  Let's just say....I don't persevere very well in things that are hard.....such as parenting.

Last night I was feeling very defeated and helpless about this because the fact of the matter is I am going to have to parent Caleb alongside Matt.  I have to remind myself that he is a gift from God and that I have the opportunity to disciple and raise him up to glorify God with his life.  However, the best news of all of this is the fact that I don't have to do it alone!  It was amazing how much better I felt after praying and asking God for his help through the Holy Spirit.  He is ultimately the one in control of Caleb's life and I need to trust him to help me. 

Help us all to remember this each day.  Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Overjoyed!

Prince Caleb & Mommy!
Life is a blessing!  After my last post of being so frustrated with not feeling fulfilled, God has showed me so many ways that I am extremely blessed!  It also helped that Caleb, Matt and I all got the stomach flu that same week.  You always forget how horrible the stomach flu is until you get it. :)

This little guy who is now a little "person" just turned 15 months and boy is he a joy!  He is walking everywhere and understanding so many new words, objects and entertains daily!
This week is Matt's spring break and being able to spend the extra time as a family here at home and getting some stuff done around the house is really nice!

One of the things that was so encouraging after my last post was the amount of people that reached out to me and shared words of encouragement and that I am not alone!  Again, I was reminded about why we are called to live in community and also be open about what we are feeling/thinking.  If we never share, how can others know that we need encouragement?  It is not always easy as you have to humble yourself and throw pride right out the door, but that is truly what God wants us to do daily in our life anyway.

I have also had a couple of other situations with family and friends that have recently shown me how life definitely has its ups and downs, but God is still sovereign and good through it all.  He gives us new mercies each day and the only thing we truly have to do each day is love and serve Him and love others.  A key verse that has been popping up a lot lately as well is Matthew 6:33-34,  

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

It is very hard to "need" God in America.  We can so easily control all of our physical needs and also try to control our spiritual growth as well. 

This past weekend we had a baby shower for a couple that had been apart of our small group but had moved away about a year and a half ago.  The baby came a whole month early so we actually got to have the baby there for the shower.  It was such a good time of fellowship with so many other young couples and a time to pray and encourage this new couple in their new role as parents.  We are in this life together, so let's spend some time together!  

My challenge for you and me is to focus on living a simple life so that we can find the joy in the many blessings that God gives us here on this earth despite the hardships that will come.  I am going to stay focused on serving and glorifying God with my life, loving my husband and children and loving others.  When we take our eyes off of those simple things, that is when we get so sidetracked that we start to go crazy!  

  
My two favorite people! :)
    

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Conflicted

The past two weeks since I have returned from a Biblical Counseling conference with 11 others from our church has been a bit harder than I had expected.  Many times when you go to these types of things you are on a "high" of sorts.  With this one I just found myself re-focused as to where I need to change in my own spiritual walk with Jesus Christ and also praying that my thoughts and decisions would be more inline with what God wants me to do to glorify Him.

However, tonight I am sorting through many different thoughts, emotions and feeling conflicted.  I know that my identity and purpose is in Jesus Christ and yet where I think I am supposed to be, just working part-time and staying home with our son Caleb has become repetitive and not very fulfilling.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to not have to work full time for an income for our family, however, I also struggle with the fact of not having a lot of social interaction and feeling extremely drained daily while caring for our 15 month old son.  I love spending time with our son, but also miss that "control" that I used to have of my schedule before he was born.

Being a parent is a lot harder than I imagined when I longed for God to bless us with a child.  I don't want to fill up my life with things that will just keep me busy and yet I do desire to have meaningful relationships with people in my life so that we can help each other along the way as we all stumble along in God's grace.

What is the balance?  Am I searching after something that is not possible?  Praying for wisdom in this....      

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Paleo Lifestyle

It has been a year since I started to try and change my eating habits to align more with the "Paleo" style/diet concept.  If you aren't familiar with this concept, click here for more information. 

When I first tried it, I went the strict route except for dairy.  I felt that I was always hungry and it was hard to stay full.  However, over the past year it has evolved into my own healthy lifestyle.  I have seen that by cutting out most gluten and trying to eat protein, fruits and vegetables and not a lot of processed foods, I definitely feel a lot better and don't crave sugar as much.  Another great benefit that I have really enjoyed from eating this way is snacking on nuts a lot. 

The biggest challenge for me is breakfast.  A lot of our typical breakfast foods are carbs or sweets.  Eggs are great, but most of the time you do not have time to fix them.  I usually resort to greek yogurt, some kind of nuts and dried fruit or a protein or fiber bar.  This lifestyle has also helped me even eat breakfast.  I used to be one of those people that would rarely eat breakfast.  I knew it was important, but I just wouldn't. 

My brother-in-law just introduced me to this company called graze.  If you click here you can try a box of their yummy snacks that will get delivered to you at your house for free!  I haven't received my first box yet, but it should arrive this week. 

I was reminded today of how all of our body; physical, emotional, and spiritual are all connected.  If we are not striving to be healthy in all of these areas, we will always crave something not good for us.  God has already brought me through a lot of unhealthy thoughts and actions with my physical body and eating habits for which I am grateful.  However, I am even more grateful that God will continue to change me because he loves me so much!   

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finding Refreshment

January is always a hard month for me as I really depend on sunshine, being outdoors which is usually pretty difficult in the dead of winter and time with people to boost my spirits! 

Unfortunately, this January has not been any different.  Matt and I have both battled discouragement during the last 2 to 3 weeks.  We had a lot of committments to start the year off which was hard because of having so much "together" time in December with Christmas break.  Drastic changes are hard in life no matter how much you prepare for them or experience them.  We also got sick with flu/cold symptoms that have hung on for at least a week and a half.  Furthermore, we were not getting much encouragement from other friends and family as many were drained themselves.

With this all going on we asked various people in our lives for extra prayers and reached out.  Once we did this and started to focus our energies on other things besides ourselves, we started to be encouraged.  We had an awesome turn out at our Community Group that we lead, we were finally starting to feel better and I was hungry to read the Bible and be encouraged through God's truths.

Why does it take us so long to share with others and turn our thoughts and eyes on God, the giver of good gifts and promises?  Everyone on this earth is struggling or will struggle with various things in our lives.  We are called to encourage one another through God's word and deeds.

Who might be someone that you could encourage today?   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Shall I Do With My 365 Days This Year?

A regular at the coffee shop came in yesterday, the 2nd of January and shared about how someone she was listening to on the radio mentioned about how each year is made up of 365 days and how are you going to spend them.  When you hear the number 365, that seems like a lot less than a year.  Isn't it funny how our brain works?  I like this perspective on the upcoming year and it is making me ponder how I would like to spend each day and what I would like to accomplish this year.  However, first, I would like to think about all of the things I am grateful for in my life.

- My husband Matt and son Caleb
- My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that I am a new creation with his death and resurrection on the cross.
- The Holy Spirit for his ongoing conviction in my life and bringing me back each time to want to be more like Jesus
- Living in the wonderful community of Mt. Vernon
- Matt's job so that I can only work part-time
- My job at Witte's End Coffee shop that I absolutely love
- Lattes and espresso
- My family and friends who are so supportive
- The ability to run, walk and be healthy
- Our church, Stonebridge.  It is filled with so many wonderful people!
- food!  I am a foodie, it is true. :)

This time last year with a newborn, I had a lot of desires and goals which I wanted to do but knew that it was not the time.  Now with a one-year old, I have some goals and hopes as well but I realize that things have changed; in a good way and my goals will be more realistic and simple!

My goals/hopes for 2013:

- Pray more
- Spend more time reading my Bible
- Keep our kitchen counter mostly clear
- Continue to exercise regularly
- Spend as much time with Matt & Caleb as I can
- Invest in people and share about why I have hope in this life here on earth

Do you have any goals/hopes that you look forward to trying out this year?