Friday, January 31, 2014

Looking Back: Reflections on January

With all the goals I have for this year, and a focus verse to help guide me, I decided that pausing for reflection at the end of each month was important.

My focus verse is Proverbs 31:27:

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness

Here are the areas I wanted to focus on for this verse, and how I've been doing. 
Home Decorating
Haven't done much of anything here.  Still need to work on it.  Want to make hearts with kids for Valentine's Day. 

Some kind of needle work--knitting, crocheting, needle point...
 I watched some videos on crocheting, and had Jayme help me.  (She took a class on it once, and is pretty good now.)  I can do the basic stitches.  But I can't seem to get the hang of counting stitches.  I always insert my hook in the wrong spot and end up with more on the bottom than on top.  I definitely need more practice! 

Organizing Clothes and preparing better for season changes.
Okay.  I went through two of my drawers to organize them.  I threw out some really ratty things, and made a small pile to go to Goodwill.  Now just a bunch more to go! 
Not being idle & exercising more.
I've been exercising!  You can see my reflections on that below.  I'm excited! 

Not eating when bored or for other emotional reasons.  
Doing better on this one.  I've been eating way less, and really focusing on putting better foods into my body.  I even threw out some candy I had left from Christmas.  Do you know how hard that was at first?  But I did it!!!
Ensuring that I eat "spiritual" bread and spend time with the Lord daily
I didn't get my Bible studying done every day in January, but I did it more often than I didn't.  Weekends are hard.  We aren't on our normal schedule.  I need to make sure to do this early in the day on those days since we don't always take quiet time.  
Praying has become a bigger part of my day as well.  When I'm getting frustrated, I stop for a few moments to pray instead of reacting.  I am amazed at how much calmer I feel when I'm finished. 
Other Goals: 

Read at least one book a month

 Those of you who know me know that I used to read all the time.  I have a master's degree in reading even.  Well, teaching reading, but still.  I love reading. 

If I love reading so much, why do I have to make this goal for myself?  I got to the point where I loved reading so much that I was neglecting my responsibilities.  I'd be in the middle of a good book, and didn't want to put it down.  I'd read instead of play with the kids.  I'd read instead of clean.  I'd read instead of...well, just about anything.  I had to get control.  With the Lord's help, I did.  I can now pick up a book, read for a bit, and then put it down and move on.  I know the book will still be there the next time I get to it!

My book for January? 

I thought it was going to be Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin.  I checked it out from the library and everything.  I started reading it.  And then...

Bryan and I watched The Hunger Games. I heard about these books when I was teaching.  Some of my students loved them.  After reading the synopsis, I decided it wasn't the type of book I would read.

Until Bryan heard about the movie and watched it one evening.  He told me I had to watch it with him.  And I did.  I actually stayed awake for the whole thing (which means it was really good!)  I usually fall asleep. 

I requested the trilogy at the library, and have picked up the first two.  I read the first one.  Here are my thoughts.

Then, as I read it, I couldn't help but analyze how close we are to a culture to allowing things like this to happen.   Look at how obsessed the nation is with reality TV.  Look at how disconnected the government is from reality.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  If we all think that the government is really doing us a favor, who knows how far we'd allow it to go.  Baby steps is all it takes.  Look how big the government is now compared to twenty years ago. 

After reading the book, I started comparing it to The Giver and 1984.  Interesting themes in all three of them. 

I didn't think I'd say it, but I will be making sure Jayme reads this trilogy in high school.  I think it's important.  And it wasn't nearly as gory as I thought it would be. 

All in all, I really liked this book!  I've already started the second.  And am looking forward to finishing all of them. 

Complete the Couch 2 5 K Training.  

Just did Week 5 Day 3!!!  Well, I attempted the workout.  I was supposed to jog for 20 minutes.  I jogged for 5 up the huge hill.  Then I had to walk for 2 to catch my breath.  Then I jogged for the last 13 without stopping!  I ran for 13 minutes!!! That is amazing!  I couldn't do that at the beginning of the month.  No way! 
  Sew one item for the house and one item for someone (or me) to wear.  

Um...I got my sewing machine out once.  And mended a few items of the kids' that desperately needed them.  Otherwise no progress made. 

Blog at least three times a week.  

Yup.  I express myself so much better through writing than talking.  I'm a big open mouth insert foot person.  Writing allows me to get it all out and then edit.  Before I hit send or publish or anything.  I like that!  Very relaxing.  

Take a picture a day.  

I thought this would be hard.  But it's not really.  I've been doing pretty well.  I like posting them on Saturdays.  I also like learning more about using the iPhone camera. 
Ellie loves this rock, and asked me to take her picture while she was sitting on it.

How are your goals coming along?

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