1) 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........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. Hopefully it will be something that will take us further down the road of simplicity.
After visiting several churches in our area, we just could not find what we were looking for. Amazingly, God brought us together with other like-minded families, and we have truly been blessed this past year to get to know these families and worship with them in a home church setting. Did this take us further down the road of simplicity? I can emphatically say "YES!" So much of the stress that we had been under previously was done away with. Less stress definitely equals more simplicity.
2) Also along this path we’re taking, we feel like God has finally given us the liberty to try and sell our home....... 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.
We're still trusting God's timing on this one as it's still for sale. One lesson I've learned in all this is the need to be content with where I am and not stay focused on what may or may not happen in the future.
3) Our other plans for this year involve continuing to move towards being debt free.
Still moving towards that goal. We were able to implement a budget and pretty much stick with it for the whole year. Our only debt is our house and one vehicle. This is amazing considering the extra income we lost when Brad resigned as pastor last year. God has continued to provide, and we really haven't noticed much difference. It's one of those things that doesn't really work out on paper, but nonetheless it does work out.
4) 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.
It was a blessing to be able to keep up with this goal throughout the year. Sometimes I feel like I'm constantly cleaning out (although I'm really not). But I do clean out and try to maintain at least every month or two. If I only did it once or twice a year, it would take forever! In fact, we had a cleaning out day this past Monday. With all the wonderful new Christmas presents, I didn't want to put them away without first removing some things and making more room (i.e. Emilie Barnes - if you get something new, get rid of something old to avoid too much clutter). We cleaned out all of our closets and were able to do this in one day. Too much stuff can definitely equal stress, and although we probably do still have too much, the periodic cleaning out surely helps.
5) 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.
As of yesterday, I completed my goal of reading the entire Bible this year! I also feel I've been blessed to be discipled by others this year (in person!). I've also read some good books but not as many as I wanted as it seems most of my reading was regarding child birth (but this time last year I had no idea I'd be doing that!).
6) My husband and I have a strong desire to truly implement family worship in our home.
It's been implemented! We're still working on the "when" and the "what," but it has been occurring this past year and is a blessing to our family. How do we do it? Sometimes we'll sing and we always have prayer. For our Bible study, we've tried several different things. Right now we're using Balancing the Sword. It's very straightforward with no fluff. You read the Bible text and answer questions about what you read. Very simple.
7) 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, 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.
This is a continuing process and takes time and effort - definitely a repeat for 2009.
8) 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!
And I'm trusting Him again for 2009!
I hope your 2009 is filled with wonderful blessings from above! Happy New Year!