Hello there! March was a crazy busy month, packed full until the very end! It seems to be this way more and more each year. Have you noticed this in your life, or is it just ours?
The PowerSheets (yearly version) are set up with a Goal Refresh before each new season, which means I got to refresh my annual goals right before March. This was perfect timing as I had been feeling the need to reword some of my goals to have a more positive focus. Rather than focusing on what I don’t want to become or do, I want my goals to point to what I do want. I made up my monthly/weekly/daily goals for my Tending List based off of the newly worded goals, but a couple of things happened that kept me from checking off very many of them.
- Some were not simple enough or too vague. Example: Weekly goal “Say I love you in X’s love language.” This might work for some people, but it was not specific or simple enough for me.
- I took on too much for such a busy month. This is more of a hindsight thing. I had a lot of spring cleaning and decluttering that I wanted to do, which both our time and monetary budget ended up not having room for.
- I changed the wording for some of my annual goals, but I didn’t keep it in mind when I wrote my Tending List. As a result, nothing got done with those goals.
- I sometimes add goals that have nothing to do with my annual goals. Example: List the CR-V for sale. We have an old car that no longer works well, and we originally were going to sell it rather than spend more than it is worth to fix it. However, now we have are going to try fixing it before buying another used car.
Here is what my annual goals look like after I rewrote them (you can compare them with the original goals here):
- Become a woman of prayer and consistent Bible reading.
- Cultivate a healthier lifestyle.
- Practice good communication and expressions of love in marriage.
- Learn how to be a mother in a healthy way for ages 0-3 years. (Yeah, it’s awkward. What I mean is learn how to be a preschool mother focusing on what to do rather than what not to do.)
- Continue cultivating a beautiful, welcoming home.
- Practice regular tending of friendships – be intentional
- (This is one I haven’t shared before, but I’m okay doing so now.) Embrace the tension that comes with healthy boundaries and stick to them!
- Fall back in love with music and regular vocal/piano practice.
- Practice good habits that lead to being debt free in 2017!
I love these goals so much more now! I originally kept Courage and Contentment as my words for the next three months, although they didn’t feel quite right. God led me through some wonderful learning experiences in March, and I do have a new word for this season: Humility!
I learned so much about just how deeply my pride affects every area of my life – and how humility and reliance on Christ’s sufficiency (rather than my own strength) accomplishes so much more than I could imagine. I’ll be writing more about that as it specifically relates to marriage and motherhood in a couple of separate posts this month. It’s one of those things that as a good Christian girl you “know,” and yet not “know” it down in the depths of your heart, soul, and mind.
That brings me to another thing I changed with the goals refresh. At the top of the Tending List you can add encouraging words. For me, this has now become scriptures that I want to recall during the month. In March I had 2 Corinthians 9:8, Philippians 2:3, and Galatians 1:10. This month it will be just 2 Corinthians 9:8 – keeping it simple!
That brings us to April. Here are my goals this month, and yes, I still have a few that have nothing to do with my annual goals but must get done this month. Yes taxes, I’m looking at you.
- Gift Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb. I love this album and want to pass it on to a couple of people that I believe will enjoy it as well.
- Read Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson. I heard about this on a Risen Motherhood podcast in February. It sparked the first little thoughts about the way pride affects our lives in every way. I started it at the end of March and it is good.
- Finish Fierce Women by Kimberly Wagner. If you are a strong-willed woman married to a softhearted man, yes, you should read this book. I’ve struggled with knowing how to find a balance. The Norseman on the one hand wants me to respect his leadership, but on the other hand, wants me to “just do it” when it comes to so many things around the house (like our budget!) It’s easy for me to run him over with my strong opinions, emotions, and my desire to “just get it done.” Knowing when he wants to lead, how to encourage him, respect him, and still take care of my responsibilities – yeah, it’s been a struggle. I’m about halfway through this book and it has clarified so much! Fun fact: every time I read a bit out loud to the Norseman to get his feedback, he is usually nodding or getting a sheepish grin and saying, “Um, yes, that is exactly how I feel about ____!”
- Put up house prayers sheets from Val Marie. We don’t have a printer, so this might be index cards taped in each room. I love this idea – things to pray over in each room of the house as you go about your day. More details in her blog post.
- Vet appointment, sell or give away diapers, car tires/oil change/tail light. Henry dog has got to do his annual. ‘Nough said. I have some diapers I don’t need, and the car (not the CR-V) needs some regular maintenance.
- Buy a wedding gift. We have a wedding to attend on Easter weekend, and if I don’t right this down, I will totally forget the gift! Which reminds me: I’m planning a post about some of our favorite, not-registered for wedding gifts. Getting gifts you don’t register for can sometimes be frustrating when you get ten casserole dishes that are exactly the same. But sometimes there are things you didn’t know you needed.
- Movie night with _______. One of my closest friends here. We keep saying we’re going to do this. March was just too busy.
- Taxes – get them done! I used to have my taxes done before the end of January every single year. What happens when you get married that makes the task so much more mundane?
- Truth Journal – Truth journaling is taking essentially “every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) In the past it’s been a great tool for me to gain perspective and focus on truth. It is useful for fighting depression, pride, anxiety, selfishness, etc. For more about truth journaling, here is where I learned about it.
- $75 for groceries – This is one of those “good habits that lead to being debt free!” We went way over grocery budget last month, due to me not sticking to this weekly limit and not meal planning. I went over by $5 this first week because I forgot to account for the grapes in my math. Oops. So next week will actually be $70.
- Check-in with a friend. A reminder to send a note, a text, make a phone call, whatever!
- Meal plan – Yes. This needs to happen before grocery shopping every week.
- Write out the next week’s blog posts. A new one – I have to start getting ahead or the blog will never get consistent. I don’t really have the time to keep writing each post on the day it’s due!
- Bible reading. Going through the New Testament right now, attempting to read each book through at once, or in as few readings as possible. And then go back and study and read it more slowly. There is a handy chart in this article that shows approximately how long it takes to read each book.
- Prayer – I pray with Prima every night, but I want to add another prayer time that’s just me if I can. I also want to try this prayer journal. And of course, the house prayers.
- Gratitude – I need a quick, practical way to intentionally practice gratitude this month. I’ve thought about writing down 1000 gifts like Ann Voskamp, or perhaps using a specific time to pray gratefully (like doing the dishes, or some similar task.)
- Get outside. I mentioned briefly on Instagram that this is one simple way I am cultivating a healthier lifestyle. Prima loves her outside time, and honestly is so active right now she needs this time! She can practice pouring water, watering plants, picking flowers, collecting things in her bucket, and run around like crazy.
- Podcast. I listen to various podcasts that have helped me grow a lot recently. Right now I’m listening to Revive Our Hearts (daily), Risen Motherhood (weekly) and God Centered Mom (weekly). I’m trying out this goal daily, but it may move to weekly.
- Journal. A habit I want to work on this month. Probably in conjunction with Bible Study, but may have to get squeezed in wherever!
- Music time. I’m simplifying my music goals. Every day we will do at least one of these: listen to music, practice rhythm patterns, practice matching tones, or piano practice.
That’s it! Do you have any new or changed goals for April? I’d love to hear!