No one knows what a year holds in store for them, but thankfully I know Who holds and takes care of my years! At first glance, it would appear that 2008 will hold several BIG changes for our family, the first of which occurred last night. Brad resigned as pastor of our church, and it was so much harder than I ever dreamed it would be. It really was like a funeral. We love those people dearly, and we will miss seeing them every week, but when God says it’s time to go, you have no other choice. Of course, we could have stayed for our own selfish reasons and been out of God’s will and would have never experienced the joy of what He has in store for us. We’re still not sure exactly what God has in store, but we do know that He was not going to reveal it until we took that step of faith and were obedient to what He asked us to do. We will continue at the church through the month of January, and then we will see what February brings. Hopefully it will be something that will take us further down the road of simplicity.
Also along this path we’re taking, we feel like God has finally given us the liberty to try and sell our home. We hope to find some land and build a simple home that will be a better fit for our family. My husband says we’re looking for a place where I can pick up the chicken eggs in my PJs without worrying about the neighbors. Not sure if we’re on the same page with that one, but I think we basically have the same idea! The housing market is rather slow right now with lots of foreclosures in the area, so it may take a while to sell. We’re just trusting God’s timing on that one.
Our other plans for this year involve continuing to move towards being debt free. Yes, I know I just said we plan to buy some land and build a simple home if this one sells. Thankfully, we do have a good bit of equity, so we’re hoping that will help in that area, and we are planning to be very careful and do a lot of the work ourselves – just like we did in the home we’re in now. We recently became participants in the Dave Ramsey program, and I guess that will be the next book on my list to read. We’re doing the envelope system, and it is really working out nicely. We’ve always been debit card users and rarely toted cash around. We’re now operating pretty much on a cash-only basis, and it’s working out well. I set a record at the grocery store this week! Where I was spending $130-140 a week several months ago before we started this, I spent $88 this week! Yay! Throughout this year, I hope to learn even more in this area and to continue to find ways to use my husband’s hard-earned money wisely so that we can use what is left to work towards any debt.
Another goal is to continue to clear our home of the clutter that can take away our peace and cause more work than is necessary. I decided we’ll not start back to school until Monday the 7th, and we’re going to use this week to get our home ready to show and to make cleaning up easier. Hopefully, Brad can finish the tile in our bathroom. I am going to work on the yards and the storage side of the basement. I am going to do it as if we were packing up and moving next week. I don’t want to keep anything that I wouldn’t want to take with me. (I did that last week as I was packing up the Christmas decorations. Anything I didn’t use or don’t think I’ll use again went into a donation pile. I have a huge bag of stuff to drop off that I’m sure I’ll never miss.)
Of more importance, I also want to read the entire Bible this year and continue to study God's Word and be discipled by others (hopefully in person but also by reading books, blogs, etc.) in the areas of being a better wife, mother, and keeper at home.
My husband and I have a strong desire to truly implement family worship in our home, especially after reading the Voddie Baucham book (not quite finished yet). It is my goal to help in that area in whatever capacity I can so that it can become a reality and normal way of life in our home. We don’t want church to just be on Sundays and Wednesdays, we want it to be a daily experience.
I also want to be better about THIS (once again, Mrs. E has wonderful words of wisdom to share). I want to commit to discipling my children more and spending time with them and teaching them things that are worthwhile like instilling in them what it means to be a keeper at home and how to love others (and each other), bless others (my children love to give gifts, and I need to show them more ways to be creative in making and giving gifts - in fact, I need to do this myself!), and to truly love God and have a desire to do His will.
Overall, I just want to love God more and seek to be more Christ-like in every area of my life. I want to be pleasing to Him, and I know that if I ask Him what I need to work on, He'll show me - day by day.
I hope to look back this time next year and see that we were able to make our lives simpler in 2008, but only with God's grace, provision, and help will we be able to accomplish these goals. I certainly trust Him for that!