Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year Goals

I am really excited for 2010. I find writing and saying 2010 very strange. Anyway, I've been reading a really great book called Homeschooling and Loving It: Create Your Best Homeschool Year Ever. The book has given me so many great ideas. One of them was to make a family mission statement. I was going to share the mission statement, but Wyatt thinks our mission statement is too personal to share.

At the book's suggestion, the kids and I also set life goals and semester goals. Ellie has already achieved her first semester goal...only one week into the new year! One of my goals this year is to spend time reading the Bible every day.

Ellie was looking at her Precious Moments Bible in the kitchen on Thursday while I was making lunch. She was looking at the back of it and said, "Mom there's a calendar at the back of my Bible."

I said, "Do you mean a time line? Let me see." So I went over to look and it was a calendar for reading the Bible in a year.

I explained to her what it was for and she said, "Cool! Can we do it?"

I was so excited because I've been wanting to read the entire Bible for years! I've started two or three times and never finished. So, I said, "Yes!" and told her how I've been wanting to do that very thing for so long.

So, at this point, we were six days behind (because the day was January 7). We had a lot of reading to catch up on. We got all caught up on the New Testament reading, but not on the Old Testament reading. We tried to catch up on the Old Testament reading on Friday, but we still didn't get caught up...then we got behind on our New Testament reading. Ellie was getting discouraged and was thinking maybe we shouldn't try to read through the Bible in a year.

That's when I got a brainstorm! We shouldn't try to read through the whole Bible in a year. I suggested that we just read through the New Testament this year and then we could do the Old Testament next year. Ellie loved the idea and so did I.

So, that's what we're doing, reading the whole New Testament this year. I've never done that either. It's pretty cool to read the whole thing in order. I've always read in bits and pieces that went along with a study, church service, my own just flipping, or looking for verses in a concordance that were on a certain subject.

Ellie and I are also starting a study together, Raising Up Maidens of Virtue. We started last week. I think we're going to make that a weekly study. Now we just need to pick a definite day to work on Maidens of Virtue each week.

My other goal this year is to tie strings with my children. It's an expression from Michael Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries. Forgive me if I'm not saying that exactly the way he does. The basic principle is to make real connections with your children. I want to spend not only quantity time with Ellie and Wyatt, but quality time. I want to do things they like to do. I've said before, I really do like my kids as people. I enjoy spending time with them. They are smart, creative, thoughtful, caring, and loving. I want to understand the things they like and share those things with them. I want to cultivate our relationship and I want them to know how important they are to me. My start this year has been playing family (in their new playroom with dolls), tea party, and coloring with them.

This sounds as if I am excluding Wyatt from many things. He listens to Ellie and I as we read the Bible out loud. He has also been much more of a man's little man ever since I got sick before Christmas. He avoided me because I was sick, and he didn't want to get sick again. That was really a blessing.

I find myself thinking how strange I feel when Wyatt picks Thomas over me to spend time with or do things with, but I am glad. I know that he needs time with his Daddy and the other men in our extended family. He needs to grow to be a strong Godly protector...and though I would protect him (and Ellie) with my life, I cannot teach him to be a man. I bought Thomas the book Raising a Modern Day Knight for Christmas this year. I look for that to bring my men time together with God.

I looked back at my first post last year, which was one year and one day ago. My goal for 2009 was to slow down and enjoy life and the people in my life. Unfortunately, at that point I was committed to quite a few things that I couldn't (or didn't feel I could) back out of. Slowly but surely, I did slow down.

About that time, Thomas bought me shelves and I went to work renovating our basement...still in progress, but nicely coming along. In painting shelves and the basement, rearranging, reorganizing, etc., I did involve Ellie and Wyatt in some of the things. Some of the projects I excluded them from...and I missed the time and camaraderie with my children.

They are such precious gifts from God. I know however long we have together will be so short. Many may find this strange coming from a homeschooling mom, but I already feel I have missed out on so many opportunities in my children's lives. I have spoken with other mothers about those times that we are physically in the same room with our kids, but not really with them. I think many moms may identify with that. If you can't, then you are amazing and I strive to be more like you.

The most precious gift from God is His Son. This year I want to improve my relationships, I want to connect with the precious gifts God has given me: His Son (Jesus), my husband, my children, my family and friends. To connect with Jesus, I will spend time daily in the Bible. To connect with people, I will make the most of the opportunities God gives me. I will try to be more Christ-like so that I can make the most of those opportunites. To become more Christ-like, I must spend more time with Him...which brings me back to the Bible and prayer. I really love it when things fit togther like that.

Part of our family mission statement that I will share is to dedicate one day each week to Family Time. So far so good. We spent of first offical Family Day of the year together last Friday. We also continue to have Family Reading Time, which we try to do each day. We are still working through the Kingdom Series books; an allegory of the Bible by Chuck Black. We are on the last one. After that, we will start reading the Knights of Arrethtrae again, also by Chuck Black. Our family loves the parallels to the Bible. We enjoy indentifying the stories and lessons.

Well, I think that sums things up for my goals for 2010. Lord willing, I'll be looking back on the page a year from now. Happy New Year!

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