Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year...Refocus

The baking is done. The gifts have been given. The decorations are down…well, maybe not quite. Another holiday season and another year are behind us. I hope you have had the opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, and remember God’s faithfulness through 2010. Now it is 2011—a new year with new opportunities, challenges, and goals. It is important to set goals even as moms, not necessarily in a business setting. You know the saying, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Solomon said it like this, “Where there is no vision, the people perish [run wild]” (Proverbs 29:18). So I’m curious, this first week of January, what are you aiming for this year spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically—for you personally and for your family? It might be something specific or maybe one word that you want to be a theme through all areas of your life. These are questions that I asked Sharon and Laurie on this topic. Here is some of our conversation.

How has setting goals helped your success as a mom?
Sharon: If I plan the week or even the day before, I usually have a better day/week. Last night I started to plan my tomorrow, but first stopped and wrote what I was thankful for today. That really helps me put things in perspective. That is something I want to do with my kids this year as they go to bed…let them review their day and remember what they are thankful for.

Laurie: I am not naturally an organized person, so it goes against my grain to plan. However, with four kids it is necessary. Our weeks seem to go more smoothly if we can get together on Sunday night and compare calendars and discuss weekly activities, schoolwork, chores, etc.

Have you noticed your goals shifting as your children get older?
Sharon: As far as discipline, I used to focus on behavior more. Now I think I’m focusing on the big picture – how will this affect them in the future…what does this behavior reveal about their heart?

Laurie: Because I don't have babies that awaken me all through the night (I just have teenagers that keep me up all night!), I can have early morning quiet times. I desire to get up and spend my first minutes of my day with Him! I am more of a night owl so this is a challenge for me; even so, I have found that my day runs much more smoothly when I fix my eyes on Jesus first thing!

Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. (NIV)

Most of us have goals to be healthier this year in one form or another. Do you have any advice in this area? How do you find time to exercise and eat healthy?
Sharon: We have used e-mealz…it has made it easier to have meals at home, which is always healthier. I play outside with the kids as much as possible for exercise. Basketball is great for some exercise…wish there were some tennis courts close!

Laurie: E-mealz has made my life easier in 2010 and I am ready to get back on track in 2011 that. It saves us time and money! As far as physical fitness, I am going to begin working-out with some girlfriends three times per week. We meet at 6 a.m. This is the only way I can be consistent. If I try to workout any other time, other things get in the way. I feel better physically and emotionally when I am exercising. (Wondering about E-mealz? Here is a link.)

What is one of your goals this year?
Sharon: My main goal this year is to be more like Jesus. I think if I focus on Him, everything else will be much more likely to fall into place. The Scripture passage God is putting in front of me to focus on this year is Colossians 3, especially verse 12.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (NIV)

With His help, I can clothe myself with all those great attributes. If I don’t, it’s like I’m running around naked! I also want to set a priority on my family. That means I’m going to have to let go of some things.

Laurie: I desire in this New Year, instead of fretting about the chaos in my life, enjoy every minute of it. Embrace right where God has me! I also desire to put my husband’s needs a little higher on my radar. It is so easy to be consumed with children and their activities, that I can ignore my husband at times. That saddens me. I want to think of him more often!

Father, You are the author of our stories. You are so faithful to walk each day with us. Thank You for loving each of us so personally. Thank You for the responsibility You have given each of us to be the mom in our families. It is a really big job and what we do now impacts future generations, so we ask you for wisdom and a vision to guide our families in the right direction. You are the One who sees the end from the beginning, and we ask that You direct our steps today and this year in such a way that next January we will look back and see Jesus all over 2011! We love You, and hope that we will honor You in what we do and say. In Jesus Name we pray…Amen.

Psalm 86:11
You crown the year with Your good blessings, and You leave abundance in Your wake. (The NET Bible)

We would love to hear from you. What are your goals for the New Year? Do you have a one word theme or a focus verse for the year?

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