Friday, January 30, 2015

Looking forward...

Another day in paradise
Forgive me for doing one more/ hopefully last "new year" post... since the day after tomorrow is February.  Ahem.  

Well, anyway, the thing is, January 1st is not really such a good time for me to write a lot of deep, forward-thinking thoughts.  I'm still stumbling around after all the craziness of December going, "Ummm... What just happened here?"  But by the middle of January things have settled down a bit. Then comes a time that brings a couple anniversaries of things I like to remember as well as one I don't, plus the birthday of one of my favorite people in the world (Skyler), plus this year's excitement of finding out I was having another girl... and frankly it's a far more introspective and clarifying time for me.

I wrote in my last post about my desire for authenticity this year.  But there are a couple more things I'm working on as well, that you will see reflected here on the blog in various forms.  And in order to work on that "authenticity" thing, I'm going to tell you about them here.  So if you'll bear with me, here's what I'm looking forward to doing in 2015.

1. Figuring out what enough is.  Okay, truth be told, I think this is a process, so I don't think that by December 31st, I'll be able to say, "Got that one.  Check!"  But it's something I've been thinking about in these areas: 
  • Learning to set and be comfortable with boundaries I create.  I lean heavily toward being a people-pleaser; I am not good with boundaries.  I usually just smile and say, "It's fine!" through gritted teeth... until it's obvious to everyone around me that it's not fine any more.   And then it gets ugly.  Sometimes very ugly.  The thought of setting boundaries as a pre-emptive move tears me all up inside.  When I do say something firm -- "This is what I'm going to do." or "I don't think that's a good idea." -- I spend hours, if not days, agonizing over it ("Will they still like me?") or stewing about the fact that I had to say it at all ("I shouldn't have had to say that was not a good idea!").   I want to be someone who can say things I believe without agony or ugliness.  I know this is going to take a lot of work and prayer.
  • Determining better what "enough" is as far as our possessions go.  A couple years ago, as we were anticipating another move, I started to think a lot about what we had versus what we actually needed.  I started examining my shopping motives and reading things that really made me stop and think, like The Daily Connoisseur's 10 Item Wardrobe... which led me to other blogs like Un-Fancy and The Project 333.  And those led me to books... Anyway.  I'm getting ahead of myself.  But basically, I came to realize that we had a lot more than we needed. I've swung wildly from, "Hey, we're cool, we don't need anything..." to "I MUST BUY EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!"  I think I'm learning the balance, or at least starting down the right path at long last.  And it's a good path to be on.  I hope to learn more this year, and share here what I'm learning.
  • Along those lines... Practicing better stewardship of our resources.  By this I mean, learning to use what we have creatively and responsibly.  I know we lack no good thing, but we are having our fifth baby this year.  It's kind of a "gotta-do" situation.  I'll be sharing ways I'm trying to do this here on the blog.
2. Trusting.  I don't do trust well either.  I do worrying great, though.  There are things that I can see coming this year that are big and vastly important (like... oh, you know... having a baby) that take mountains of trust.  But also trusting God for the little things, or things I feel anxious about in the coming years (my eldest heading to college, for instance.  *sob*).  Yeah, I need a LOT of work here.  You'll see some writing here about times when I have learned about trust, or what I'm finding.  I hope you have some insight to share with me as well!

3.  Obedience. Okay, I really don't do obedience well.  My dog Milo is a dachshund, and while I usually love his (many) neuroses and think there is no better breed... He can drive me cuckoo.  He'll stand outside barking at who-knows-what, and I will stand at the door calling and calling him.  He gives me this look like, "In a minute, Mom.  Can't you see I'm busy?" and goes back to barking, and I want to tear my hair out.  BUT, I'm kind of just like him.  God might be nudging me toward doing something, and I stand there ignoring Him as long as I can.  I'm busy with my own stuff.  This year, I want to be more receptive to the proddings and nudgings (I don't think God usually talks to me in a booming voice) and moving on them quickly.  I don't expect this to be easy.

So that's what I'm working on and moving towards!  I hope you join me on my journey here!  What goals are you striving toward this year?


  1. I really, really love this post, Joy. And count me as one who is working on the boundary thing right alongside you. I hesitate to set boundaries and then wonder why I'm so exhausted and frustrated. *sigh* We're all a work in progress, right?

    Love, love, love scrolling through your Hawaii pictures! Are y'all military (I assume so based on your man's haircut. :) ) We were stationed in Hawaii from 2007 to 2010. What an experience that was!

    Congrats on your new baby! Prayers in abundance for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. Have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks so much!! I'm so grateful that, so far, this pregnancy has been very smooth and healthy! And yes! We are a Navy family (more on that is under my 'Start Here' tab if you're curious)! Been here for almost two years. How fun that you were stationed here, too!

    Thanks for commenting!


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