MMXIII

The week between Christmas and New Years usually feels like no man’s land to me. The festivities have ended, the tree is down, and I am so over sugar and carbs I can’t even think of eating one more in celebration of something. We aren’t big New Years eve people, either. I loved it when we lived in Mountain time because I could watch the ball drop in New York and be in bed just after 10pm. In fact, even before we had children my husband and I have set the alarm for midnight just for one sleepy kiss and then back to bed. Even though it is not a date I ring in with over the top festivity I still get excited for the beginning of something new. I can set new, big goals, put them freshly on a list for posterity’s sake, and reflect back on things that have been accomplished and examine myself, thus setting the standard for things to come.

1. In 2012 my goal was to write and post something to my blog at least once a week. It wasn’t a complete failure. I had 21 posts (almost two per month!), not too shabby. The biggest thing I take from this is that I would like to refine what is posted and how I format content. Having a blog that thousands of strangers read is an incredible amount of work and I am sure that I don’t have the time or the drive to seek that out at this point in my life. For now I am happy if my family members and few Facebook friends stop by to read every once in a while.

2. I focused a lot last year on finding ways to enjoy my children more. We made some incredible memories with a road trip, saw amazing things in our home school journey and I also am learning to know them individually and learning to manage my time so that each one gets individual time and attention. This spring we are adding our fourth boy which will make this particular goal challenging in several aspects. I will be divided by four instead of three. Except I don’t think divided is the most accurate word because it implies equality and the demands of a newborn will inevitably take some precedence over the needs of the other siblings in the equation, at least for a time. I am, truthfully, apprehensive about this especially as I feel that I can spin a bit after the birth of a baby. I just don’t really feel like myself and it can take me a while to get back to normal. I plan to be more aware of this and try to keep some balance in my life this time around. It is incredibly trying when it catches you off guard.

3. In my attempt to build this relationship with our children it has also come to my attention that at times the dynamic of my marriage becomes a hazy background, losing ground to the everyday demands of children and life. I wish I could say that I can do this all on my own volition but the hard truth is that I am a wretched sinner and my husband is as well and together (without Christ) we would be an incredible train wreck. There are some practical things I am seeking to change (this blog has a great 30 day challenge for wives). Ultimately, though, I am laying down my own self, knowing I will fail every time I try on my own and I pray that God will keep tilling up the soil of my heart and showing me areas where He wants control. One thing I know for certain is that we are committed to this marriage, our family and to God and that we will succeed because of that no matter the trials we create for ourselves or are called to endure.

4. Personally I am still working on the BBC’s Top 100 book list. Last January I had read 64 books and right now I am on number 77! I am determined to keep at this list until its completion. We shall see if this happens in 2013. There are some great picks on this list and I encourage reading for everyone so this might be your year to pick one up as well.

5. And last, but certainly not least, I am putting the weight loss cliché resolution on my list. I want to lose the baby weight I am so amply putting on and be ready for a sprint triathlon, a 5k or even just a really long walk by the fall. Since I didn’t have any kind of big blowout for my 30th birthday this last year I am making it count for my 31st by getting back into shape and having a much deserved glass of champagne! Even better an old friend is volunteering to do this with me which makes me so happy because I have loved seeing our friendship rekindled and growing through the last year and, hopefully, into the future.

I am anticipating a new year. It brings some big things for our family some that I can fully disclose like a new baby and some that are waiting to be revealed. Shhh! I always try to remember, though, that aside from these big things it is the daily commitment to pick up my cross and die to myself that is really what is important (Matthew 16:24). To apply what Paul says in Acts 17:11, searching the scripture daily like the Bereans to see if what is being taught is the truth of the Word. And the God would keep my heart soft, guarding it from complacency that I might fully live for His Kingdom and not my own. Here goes. With grace and peace and love, Happy New Year!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Aw! A new year. My word this year, much to my dismay (and horror), is discipline. I know its God’s word for my year because on my own I know I wouldn’t pick something like that. I’m excited to see just where it takes me.

    I am also working on the BBC list and have just finished book 61 with books 62 and 63 started and not far behind. That makes nearly 20 books for me this year. So I doubt I’ll catch you, but I am enjoying the challenge of reading books I wouldn’t have normally considered.

    Hang in there my friend! You are a constant challenge to me to be better than I am.

    Love you and miss your physical presence.

    Reply

  2. I know how much children from big families crave one-on-one! I’ve been trying to do that more myself. Grabbing a few minutes to cuddle and talk with one while others are napping, etc. It’s hard, and I’m sure I’ve missed many moments because I just ‘had’ to get something done. Ever since Blake came onto the scene things have been way busy, and I keep trying to remind myself that once he gets older things will be easier. That first year of babyhood is hard with trying to breastfeed and keep track of all the other kids. Then of course the one to two year is hard because they’re walking and you’re trying to keep them from killing themselves… that’ll be my stage starting this late spring/early summer. Hang in there, Ashley! I know the going will be tough, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. And yes, a good reminder to enjoy the journey along the way! Seems like forever ago that you & I just had one kid apiece and we came and stayed with you guys. We’ve been busy, huh!! Baby-making. And I getcha on the husband thing too, it’s hard to focus on his needs when there are so many little people needing your help! But, being a family is a group effort, and everyone has an adjustment to make when a new member is added. Then things will settle into a “new” normal. I love reading your fb posts about all the adventures with your boys!

    Reply

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