Just a new route

So my goal this year is to read two books a month.  That’s not an outlandish goal by any means.  But with three kids, it felt like a good goal to me.   So far this year this has looked like a chapter or two a night, or I’ll read some in the afternoon.  Pretty casual.  I’ve been hitting my mark each month, but some months I have to be more intentional about that goal.  Like in June.

Sweet June rolled around.  And we went on vacation, (ooooh a flight, I’ll read then, as I’m chasing my two year old down the aisle), I got to spend time with my best friend (totally worth not reading!!!) and so vacation was kind of a bust on reading.    No big deal, I’ll read when we get home I thought.  Needless to say, my books I picked were hard to mull through chapters, which I do not like to do anyways.  A parenting book that is going to take me six months or more to read, because it’s heady.  Therefore, I only finished one book in June.  Everybody Always, by Bob Goff.  (As I look back now, if that is the only book I read this year it was worth it, great read!)

Now this is where my downfall normally happens when I set a goal.

I failed.

Goal: two books a month, read: 1 book in June.  Those numbers aren’t matching sister!  There’s still one left over which equals fail.  (I’m math minded so I see a lot of life this way.)  

For some reason, I channeled this thinking towards another route.  My books were too tough to thumb through quickly.  So in July, I picked up a few young readers novels at the library about the Holocaust.  Tough topic, but I was confident I’d finish them in a week.  Boosting my self-esteem on not finishing my goal for June.  July pasted and I had read four books!  Boom.

And I read four books without feeling like I was just reading to finish, I was able to absorb.

I love this.  It was simple.  I need simple.  Sometimes our course just needs a little boost or readjustment, not a whole overhaul.

Shift your perspective, give yourself a boost, and continue on those goals you set in January.  You are worth it.  And I bet if you wrote them down, the goals you set are worth it too.

Right where you are

“I’m not healed yet.”  “When I feel more together I’ll serve.  I’ll help.”  “I can’t help that person.  I don’t have time.  It’s too much.”

Some of those phrases are true.  Some of them are not.

Perfectionism says we have to be in the perfect spot at the perfect time to do the perfect thing to help the perfect person get to the perfect place where they feel perfect, completely together.

Wow.  As I write this out I see how ridiculous that statement is and how impossible it is.  No wonder we don’t chase our dreams and goals.  Or just help someone.  We aren’t sure if we are the “one” that needs to help them, or we aren’t sure if we can commit to that sort of time.  These are all valid statements, unless they are statements we use over and over.

Because, at the end of the day we are all busy.  We are all stretched.  Maybe we need to say no, so we can say yes to the things that give us life.  To make room for life-giving stuff.  I don’t know what that is for you.

I didn’t understand this.

So for the past few years I’ve had to say no a lot, to a lot of things.  Three kids five and under can do that.  But I also know there are things that bring me to life.  Writing is one.  Mentoring is another.

Writing I’ve made a purpose to pursue each week.  Mentoring was one I was feeling the itch to add, but I had no idea how.

If we look up, we will see God using us even in these moments.  These moments where we aren’t sure if we are ready or not.  Hint: I will never know if I’m ready or not.  I can’t sit back my whole life, safe, wondering if it’s time or not.

So I moved.  I’ve wanted to meet with a  few of our college girls, and a door opened for me to start a small group with a few of them.  It’s the second small group I serve with.  And it is totally life-giving.  In saying that there’s not one perfect thing to do.  We just have to do, do something.

Two months ago, I was asked to play volleyball for our church and at the time it just didn’t fit in our schedule.  I was pretty frustrated.  Wondering when life was going to let up so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed with the slightest change.

Now, sitting with that truth two months later.  Mondays are the night we were able to meet for this small group.  And it is so completely life-giving.

What is one life-giving thing you can pursue with God?



Not a word I use in my vocabulary very much.  Too much expectation.  Too much fear of failure.  Sounds good, but yeah right.

Just a few thoughts running through my mind about the word: goals.

If you asked people closest to me if I’m goal oriented, it would not be the first phrase they would use to describe me.  I kind of like it this way.  I like feeling some freedom to move, breathe, and change things up.  Sometimes goals set me in a place of inflexibility.  Free-spirited maybe.  But I like challenges, I like doing things, and sometimes goals are necessary to get crap done.  Right?

One of my only goals this year was to read two to three books a month, twenty-five total for the year. (Look I even made my monthly goal none committal).  This is totally manageable for a mom with three kids, right?  Three months in and this month is proving to be challenging.  I have two books that I’m finishing, but it is the last week of March!  Yikes my mind immediately said, yeah its okay, don’t worry about it, you won’t make it this month.

However, I fought that thought.

I looked at my two books: None like Him by Jen Wilkins and The Wind at the Door by Madaleine L’Engle (Wrinkle in Time Book Two).  (Honestly enjoying them both and I don’t really want them to end.)  However, I saw I only had two chapters for each book.  I have one week and four chapters.

Now, this is totally manageable.   (And I finished The Wind at the Door last night and will start the next book today which gets me a little ahead for next month.)  So I’m doing it, little by little, until this month ends.

This makes me think of other goals I have set and at the risk of failing I just stopped, not allowing myself to look ahead to see if I really could do it.  I assumed failure before I even knew if it was true.

So totally unqualified to talk about goals, but I challenge you to look ahead just a little and see if your goal is manageable if you set out a more specific plan.

My husband is doing this.  He’s an amazing goal setter, I look up to him in this area and take his lead a lot because he is gifted at it.  He has a mile amount he wants to run this year, and he didn’t just break it down to each month how many miles, but to each week the amount of miles he needs to run to meet that goal.  And he is doing it.  One week at a time.

This doesn’t take much effort, just courage to look and see if your goals are attainable.  You will see they are if you break them down into smaller chunks.  Like trying to eat your veggies for dinner.

April is coming, a new month, a new week, a new day to set a goal.  Share it with someone who loves you and will ask how you are doing because they want to see you meet your goals and like walking with you.

Break those goals down: yearly goal-monthly goal-weekly goal-daily goal.

See what you can achieve today or this week, and I bet you’ll meet it for the year too.






This is my word for 2018.  Balance.

Have you ever had a word for the year? A word you let God speak to you?

I love this. It is so personal. A magnificent God communicating to each of us personally through one word.  How powerful.

I love that my friends have shared their word for the year with me. Some are joy, humility, to be content and to grow. I’m honestly challenged by many of their words. Through them sharing, I feel like they are letting me be a part of what God is doing in their lives.

So what is God challenging you with this year?

Over the past two years, my word has been rest and I read books on rest and being present and reflecting.

And this year my word is balance. So I’m not only balancing my schedule with my kids and husband but also with myself. Picking things I enjoy amidst the chaos of loving my home and the people in it. I’m taking time for the things that make me smile, and grow me as a person and a believer.

Here are some of the things I will add to balance out my schedule. And most of them I’ve learned the past two years focusing on rest, I like that!

I’m reading more fiction, balancing out my how to and Christian living books. I’m doing yoga and appreciating my time and worth and it has opened my heart to be thankful just by slowing down to do it. I’m taking baths with fizzy bath bombs and painting canvases. I’m doing calligraphy and making artwork for friends. I’m cooking and trying new foods. I’m listening to piano music and nature sounds. But I’m also still doing laundry and dishes and picking up after my kids. It’s both and I like that.

So what’s your word? Pray about it. Share it with your friends! Comment below, I’d love to know too!