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This week members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing some of their goals for 2017.
When I heard the word goals in the past, one of two things usually happened, either I got all excited and wanted to start planning and writing with my favorite pens...or I said "whatever" (in my head) and moved on. Why the drastic difference between my two responses? I think life had been such a challenge for so many years that sometimes I was afraid to write out my goals. What if I didn't achieve them? What if God had other goals for me?
A few years ago, when I first heard about those people who choose a "Word for the Year" I wondered if God would ever give me year that looked normal. Then I realized, my version of normal, and His version of normal, are vastly different. I had been lulled by the society we live in into thinking that easy was normal. God reminded me that He never promised us easy, He just promised never to leave us!
At the realization that I could make plans, but I needed to leave them open to God's directing them and changing them, I realized what He was teaching me was not about one specific word, but about being transformed.
Transformation to be more like Christ cannot start with me, it has to come from within, where God is working on my heart and mind.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 KJV
Hopefully you now see what I did: I needed to let God show me what He wanted my focus to be. So while I have learned there is great value to setting goals, and working to achieve them, I've also been matured by God's refining fire to realize that my goals always need to be second to His plan.
Throughout 2016 God had shown me that He wanted to transform my prayer life. I had not thought it was bad, as I prayed a lot, but He showed me a better, deeper, truer prayer life that has transformed how I approach prayer. This new approach to prayer, using the model of Christ's prayers, has given me a peace I've not often had before. God is building my foundation surely, solidly, and ONLY upon Him.
I did not chose a word for 2016, but God chose Prayer to be the theme of His transformation of me in 2016. Will that continue to be His theme for my life in 2017? I think yes, but I have the feeling that He is going to be working on me in other areas as well.
So where does that leave me today, and how do I set goals for the year when I know He will likely change them?
It leaves me squarely in His presence, resting under His mighty arm of protection and love. It allows me to write out my goals for 2017, and know with certainty, that if He changes them, it will be for my good and His glory.
My goals for the blog for 2017:
1. Continue to be an encouragement to families, especially Moms
2. Get some more of those great Road Trips we have taken written up and the photos cropped so we can share them with you
3. Continue with the Scripture Writing posts, and occasionally share some of the stories of WHY God is using that particular verse in my life
4. Write honest, yet tactful, posts about the joys and challenges of Homeschooling during the High School years
5. Always keep in mind the four themes God has shown me we always seem to crave: forgiveness, fellowship, honesty, and community
6. Try to have at least one post every month that focuses on one of the themes from #5
7. Keep glorifying God. Whether it is a curriculum review, or just a weekly look back at our lives, search out the times where God shows up and blesses us again and again and help other to see Him at work in their lives as well
Do I have any personal goals for 2017?Maybe, possibly, yes. Subject to change at God's direction.
1. Focus on JOY
2. Continue to study God's Word and allow it to transform me to be more like Christ
3. Learn to be a better wife and mother
4. Be myself!
Learn how to be content being me, and being OK with the idea that I am not like any other person out there!
5. Declutter the house again. I'm joining in with my friend Michele and her 34 Weeks of Clean. Less stuff means more freedom to enjoy my life
Any other thoughts on goals? Just a few. I'm hoping to join up with Annette and Amanda and a bunch of our other friends as we blog through the alphabet. I want my theme to be on the joys of homeschooling, and the realities of finding the moments of joy when working and homeschooling. As more and more families are being directed by God to begin educating their children at home, I want to shine a light on the great amount of grace He gives to those who still need to work outside the home, even as they take on the responsibility of home education. It is rarely easy, but always rewarding if we remember to look for the blessings!
I really want to work through the keyboarding class at SchoolhouseTeachers.com so I can finally learn how to touch type. I think this investment of time this Winter and Spring can reap great rewards as I can get more of what is running through my brain out onto the page, and then begin editing it to share with you.
I would like to read more. In 2016 I finally got smart and started writing down the books I had read. If I could find the time, I would like to read one fiction book each month, and one non-fiction book each month. To do this though, I'm going to need to focus on getting the decluttering tasks done each week, and keeping up with my to-do list each week. Other than Bible study, reading needs to come after my other work is done, so some weeks, it just has not happened.
Have you set any goals for 2017?
Stop by the Crew Blog and see what others are sharing about their goals for 2017