Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Year Older

Birthdays to me are a lot like New Year's ... they are a chance to start anew.  What's done is done and God has granted me another year to make the best of  my time on this ol' ball of dirt.  With that in mind, I decided to do a little "soul-searching" and come up with a few things that I could challenge myself to do over the course of the next year.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
Les Brown

Assuming Mr. Brown is right on the money, my goals for myself for the next year in no particular order are...

Spend more deliberate time with God.  I go to church. I pray before meals. I pray with the kids at bedtime.  I pray myself at bedtime.   I have been known to crack open the Bible and read every now and then. I rely my faith in God to get me through this craziness that is my life, but I know in my heart my faith could be soooooo much more. I want to make time everyday for God. A quiet time where I can just be still and connect with The One who gives me strength.

Hug more and yell less.  Being home with my chicklets 24/7 is a blessing and I am grateful beyond words that I can do it  but... I am only human.  There are days, weeks,  moments when I am amazed that the human race has continued to survive.  I jest (a bit), but I must admit I sometimes (all too often) find myself raising my voice in anger when maybe I should just cork it, grab my offspring and wrap 'em up in a big ol' hug instead.

Make more time for me.  It's easy to put myself at the bottom of the list.  Being a wife and mother (more specifically, a stay at home, homeschooling mother of three ... including at least two with special needs)  were done by choice and I respect that with those choices comes a lot of self-sacrifice.  It's easy to get so caught up in the mayhem and not take time to "recharge" myself. Not only do I end up hurting myself, but those who depend upon me suffer too.  Time out for me needs to be a top priority and not just something I do every once in a blue moon.

Take a step (or two or three) outside my comfort zone. This one can apply to so many aspects of my life. Next weekend our family has signed up to go door to door collecting can goods for the local food bank. It's one thing for me to make a donation, but to go out and encourage others to do the same is a real stretch for me. On a much less altruistic bent, I am planning to take a stand-up comedy class at a community college next month. I don't fancy myself a comic, but I can't think of a much bigger step out of my comfort zone than "exposing" myself onstage. Basically, I just want to take more chances and push myself to do things I might normally shy away from.

Become an author. I blog with some regularity, but I would like to challenge myself to write something even more substantial ... like a novel.  It is something I have tossed around inside my head for a while now.  I've done a lot of the groundwork.  I've read a lot --- not only books on the craft of writing, but books in the genre I am most interested in.  I've contacted authors and picked their brains for advice.  I think it's time to stop over thinking it, and just do it.  Someone told me recently (that'd be you Courtney) that "if it's in your heart to do it, go for it...and you may never know what may come of it, but I've heard many teachers say that even if you're never published, God can use your writing to speak to your soul..."  and goodness knows my soul could use a little speakin' to :)

Well, that turned out to be quite a list.  The bottom line ... I am going to not only make time for God in my life, I am going to make time for me.  I am going push myself to do more, be more, live more and love more.

Sounds like a plan :)

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

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