It's March. Two years ago this month I started this blog. In many ways - I have fallen short since then. In many ways - I have celebrated numerous victories since then! Big and small.So, I dare say it again: it's March. Let's bring up those New Year Resolutions...
Are you still going strong? Or are you feeling like you've failed and fallen short? Are you celebrating the good days and steps towards progress? Or did you feel defeated just one month in and have given up already?
Personally, I've broken up with New Year's Resolutions and have said 'I do' to a lifestyle of goal setting and goal achieving crushing! (Yes, I can get slightly competitive/ambitious.) I set goals for one simple reason: to be a good and faithful steward.
I originally shared my goals a year ago in a blog post titled Before 30. These are goals I set for myself prior to turning 30 for simply the desire to be a better me, to grow, and to be challenged to steward well the brain, body, relationships and things I've been given.
These are it:
1. Read 10 books a year
2. Read the entire Bible
3. Grow my baking skills
4. Run a half marathon - √ Done!
5. Have our first child
Goal #1 : Read more books. I decided to read 10 books a year (from birthday to birthday) and I'll admit - I hit a rough patch with this one. Cause how much easier is it to just watch a show (or two) on Netflix or scroll through social media on your phone than to actually pick up a book and get lost in it if free time presents itself. I had put a list together of books to read that I knew would probably change. And they did. I read 3 books on that list, no others. However, I did pick up other books and loved them. The books I've read so far are listed below! (And yes, I recommend all of them!!)
- Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen - √ Done!
- Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist - √ Done!
- Wild Flower by Drew Barrymore - √ Done!
- (Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney - √ Done!)
- (In Our Shoes by Lovingood & Landrith - √ Done!)
- (Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado - √ Done!)
- (Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist - √ Done!)
- (Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham - √ Done!)
- Savor by Shauna Niequist
- Seven by Jen Hatchmaker
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Suess
Goal #2 : Read the Bible. Because Bible reading better be happening if you call yourself a Christian. Especially if you are ministering to others. As a pastor's wife, I'm constantly asked for advice. I'm constantly asked things about the Bible and about God. I have GOT TO KNOW GOD and KNOW HIS WORD. It's a gift; we've been given God's Word to read and know. Morning or evening, alone or with someone... read your Bible! If you are a believer, there are no exceptions. Absolutely none! (Unless you don't own a Bible or have access to one. Email me - I'll send you one.)
So the update I have on this is that my husband and I are reading through the Old Testament together using this particular collection of the Books of The Bible. I highly recommend it. On my own, I am reading through the New Testament. I have read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and starting Galatians. I have also read James numerous times, which is actually one of my favorites! Though I've previously read most of the NT in the last 15 years of being a believer, I desire to really dig deep and know it well, year after year. I want to tell the author one day, when I finally see Him face to face, of how much I enjoyed His book... every single word of it... from cover to cover.
Goal #3 : Grow my baking skills. I've always enjoyed baking. I've tried many recipes and like any other human being... I've had my share of Pinterest fails. (Forget you mini s'more bites!! I didn't need you anyways!) And though we didn't necessarily find this recipe on Pinterest, the homemade Jalapeño Cheddar bread Calvin and I attempted one day due to boredom came out tasting delicious yet had the awkward texture of a sponge cake. Weird. I mean, fail.
Yet I celebrate the sweet small victories pictured above! I have mastered a delicious homemade classic yellow cake with a homemade chocolate icing. (If you want the recipe - comment below and I'll share it!) It's lovely! Picture number two shows you the homemade banana bread I can't seem to live without. It's a replica of the Starbucks banana nut bread. I'm proud to say this was a Pinterest WIN! Not pictured are the amazing Peppermint Brownies I learned to make this past Christmas... from scratch! Goodbye brownie boxes/bags... goodbye!
Goal #4: Run a half marathon.
I DID IT!!! I RAN A HALF MARATHON!!!
On April 23rd of 2016, I ran the Davy Crockett Bear Chase in Groveton, TX. Calvin grew up in Groveton, TX and I knew this would be a fun, small and beautiful race. The first part was rather hilly and on a country road which later led us into the Davy Crockett National Forest. Gorgeous. My two personal goals for the race were to run the entire race non-stop (in other words, no walking) and to complete the race in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I did both! With that said, my current half marathon PR is 2:24:15! Shout out to Jamie, my dear friend, for running this with me, pushing me to do my best and influencing me to run.
Goal #5 : Have our first child. I have no update on this. Ha! I really don't. All I can say is that our church is growing family by family and baby by baby. It's so sweet to have little ones to love and hold. Until these little ones are our own, we will continue loving the babies around us well. And it makes for good practice! So if you have a baby and are looking for a home church - Christ's Mercy Church | Sundays at 10:30 am. :)
I don't share all my goals and victories to rub them in. No, I share them to encourage you. If I can do it, you can, too! And you don't have to wait. So don't wait until December 31st of every year to ask yourself what needs to change in your life. Think it through and start!
I don't always want to run, read a book or take a chance on a recipe that may completely fail but setting goals and taking action teaches us something. Even if we don't reach the goal we've set within the time frame we've given ourselves. If there's a change I know needs to happen in my life... I'm gonna roll up my sleeves and go after it. No matter the time of the year it is. Every day is given to us to live life to the fullest and g r o w.
Grow in the hobbies you already enjoy or try something new. Challenge yourself.
In life, we must let go of the shortcomings and celebrate each step in the right direction.
So go on ahead with your #goals! Set them and go after them. I'll be here, cheering you on!