I love the new year. I love the idea that there is a fresh start. A clean slate. It’s funny, because realistically it’s just another day. Another 24 hours. Another sun up and sun down. However, we have put such an emphasis on time that we celebrate the end of something old and the beginning of something new.
2017 was a challenging year in some regards and a very exciting year in others. We had good news and bad. A broken arm and the birth of a new baby. But now it’s time to look ahead at what 2018 will bring.
First of all, if all goes as I have 2 semesters left of my master’s degree. I am planning and praying that I will be able to walk across the stage and get my incredibly large diploma in December of 2018. After that I will be taking 2 years worth of additional courses to get a second concentration in Children’s ministry.
I have decided I will be participating in several challenges throughout the year. I have somewhat of a competitive drive so when I set goals if they are attached to some type of challenge, even when the only competitor is myself, I tend to fair better. Each of the challenges I will be engaging in target different aspects of my life. Here they are:
Young Wife’s Guide Reading Challenge for Christian Women
The first challenge is one that I participated in (loosely) in 2017. It was the first year that she put together something like this and I really enjoyed the challenge to get in more reading and spending less time on social media.
The way this challenge is designed is that she has put together a list of books from several different categories. The categories are things such as Christian living, theology, parenting, homemaking, and classics. There are 2 different tracts, the first one is 13 books in the year or 1 book every 4 weeks. The second is 26 books or 1 book every 2 weeks. There is no winner or reward for completing the challenge other than the satisfaction of getting more reading and growth in life.
I will be sharing my list of books for 2018 soon so look for that blog.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
This is one that I attempted a while back but I never really got far into it. This is a project that was written by Jen Hatmaker. She took 7 areas of her life and she seriously downsized, one area a month for 7 months. She focused on food, clothing, possessions, media, stress, shopping, and waste. Each month she limited herself in one of those areas. I plan to do the same. And I am excited to share that I will have others joining me along the journey (and I don’t just mean my family!) If you are interested in joining in we have a private Facebook group where there will be videos, blog posts, and encouragement along the way. We would love to have you. Just shoot me an email and I will get you added in.
The Home Experience
This one is something I am doing on my own. A couple of years ago I got to hear Devi Titus speak at a woman’s conference and she was just wonderful. My mom snagged us all copies of “The Home Experience” and I have really looked forward to going through it. Unfortunately, I lent my copy to a friend and never got it back. Just recently I was able to acquire another copy of it so I am excited to go through it and implement it in my home. There are 20 chapters all together so this will be a challenge that will take nearly 2 years to complete but I am looking forward to it. I will read through each chapter and put into practice the tips and tricks. There is a study guide at the end of each chapter that I will also be working through those questions as well. I hope you will join me as we work toward making house a home over the coming months.
Some of the major changes I plan on implementing are in the area of how we eat. I was lucky enough to get an Instant Pot for Christmas (Thanks mom and ma!) so I don’t really have an excuse to constantly have take out brought in when Dusty comes home from work. I also hope to implement more physical activity into my day. For now it will probably be a 30 minute work out while the baby takes one of her naps but as the weather gets better I hope to take my activity outside. The kids love going on walks so I hope to start implementing more outside time.
I also hope to change some of the things I use in and on our bodies and our home. I don’t necessarily believe we have to go 100% chemical free but I do think there are better ways to handle things like aches, pains, and keeping the house clean. I am doing a bit more research on essential oils and how to use them. Along with that I have planted my own “herbal tea garden” that I hope to expand into more herbs and things to use for herbal teas as well as in my cooking. Maybe, one day, I can even get into gardening fruits and veggies
Over all, I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for me and my family. I hope you will be joining me on my journey as I make these changes, complete these challenges, and make plans for the coming year.
What are your plans for 2018? Let me know in the comments.