February 27, 2012

Resolutions: How I'm doing

It's been almost two full months since I decided on my goals/resolutions for 2012. I wanted to give an update of how I'm going to far:

Read the Bible through: I am happy to report this is going very well! I started a reading plan with an app on my iPod called "Eat This Book." It's 2-4 chapters a day plus one Psalm. I'm on Exodus 38 and Psalm 28. I'm already further than I've ever gotten in previous attempts!

Finish projects I start (including wedding book and Aiden's baby book): I'm doing decently with this. When I start getting scatter-brained and doing too many things at once, I remember this goal and focus on one thing until it's done. I haven't gone back to other projects yet. But I still have time, right?

Read at least two chapters from a book per day: I was doing pretty good with this in January, but with my previous book selection it was hard for me to find the motivation to read. I was reading the Bible and going to sleep :(  Hopefully with my latest book choice the motivation will return.

Read at least 24 books: I've completed 2, and working on 2 right now.

Be in bed by 9pm 5x a week: I think I might be in bed by nine, on average, once a week. I'm pretty good at getting in bed by 9:30, but I still want to get it down to 9.

Wake up by 7:30 5x a week: Aiden helps me with this one :0)  I'm hoping once it gets warmer I can get up and go jogging with him in the stroller. We shall see.

Exercise at least 30 min per day 5x a week: I bought Just Dance 3 and have been doing the "Just Sweat" program for 35-45 minutes 3-4 times a week. Not up to 5 yet, but...that's why it's a goal!

Not have the tv on while Aiden is awake, except for the Today show and Nightly News with Brian Williams: Embarrassing as it is, this isn't going well. It's fine until 4:30...when Jeopardy comes on. Then it's on, some nights, until bed. Very ashamed of myself!! 

Do daily chores: This is going pretty well. I'll try to do a post on my chore list soon.

Budget budget budget: Ah, the worst for last! Our budgeting skills stink, guys. Like, bad. Hopefully, after we get all this new tax gross-migraine-anxiety business done (yay self-employment! hmph.), we can figure this budget stuff out (and yes, we've been through financial peace). 'Cause we need it. Badly.

So that's how I've been doing. How are your goals/resolutions coming?

Reading List Update

1. Your One-Year-Old: The Fun-Loving, Fussy 12-To 24-Month-Old 
2. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
3. The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity*
4. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman
5. Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
6. The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man--on Purpose and with a Plan
7. Rekindling the Romance: Loving the Love of Your Life
8. One of Us Must Be Crazy. . .and I'm Pretty Sure It's You: Making Sense of the Differences That Divide Us
9. Have a New You by Friday: How to Accept Yourself, Boost Your Confidence & Change Your Life in 5 Days
10. The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year
11. Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment
12. Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
13. Influence: Science and Practice
14. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
15. Networking Magic: Find the Best - from Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants to Homes, Schools, and Jobs
16. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
17. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales
18. Wonderstruck
19. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man: A Novel
20.168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
21. Fool: A Novel
22. A Prayer for Owen Meany
23. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: A Novel
24. The Help
*Did not finish

I started and got more than half-way through The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers, renewing it from the library once. I just could not get through this book! I want to get through 24 books in one year, but with the limited time for reading I have, I've decided if I'm not enjoying the book after giving it a fair chance, I'm not going to waste time reading it. I feel like The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers was written for mothers of older children, like 8-13ish, but she was unsuccessfully trying to make it relateable to everyone. In my opinion. She had good points, but this book just wasn't for me.
I returned The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers to the library today and got I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman. I read the first chapter while waiting to see my chiropractor and was cracking up in the waiting room. I think I'm going to like this book!

February 3, 2012

God's Will vs. My Will

Have you ever prayed for something constantly, knowing that if God would just make your will happen, life would get much better and you would be happy, only to be told no? Why would God do that?   

Although I've been to church all my life, my faith has gone through many different phases. I've had periods of my life were I didn't believe in God, kinda believed in God, really believed in God but didn't trust Him...and now I feel like I'm entering the phase of trusting and believing in Him, although I think it's more of a "learned helplessness" thing. :0) See, God has continually "beaten" me on my head saying, "You are not in control, child!! I Am. Listen to Me. Do as I say." But if you know me, you know I am head-strong and a bit of a control freak (but just a bit haha). I know what is best for my life, so God should do what I tell him to do. Because that is what matters. Me! Ahem, no.

So many of us, in my opinion, have a vast misunderstanding of God. We pray for God to grant our will because that is what we want and we know what is best for us. Because God wants us to be happy. Right? Jesus' final words were "Go preach the gospel to everyone and live as I tell you to and you will be happy and everything you want for your life will be granted as long as you follow me." Right? Isn't that was it says at the end of Matthew. Ahem....no. 

It says: Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. HCSB

Jesus says He will be with us. He doesn't say, ever, life will be easy. We see numerous examples in Acts, Paul's, and the Apostles' letters that life is anything but easy. Paul was ship-wrecked, beaten, stoned, and eventually killed for following Christ! I don't know about you, but if I were being beaten my first thought would be, "Maybe God wants me somewhere else." Isn't that our nature? When life gets hard, we want to leave. Because God wants us to be happy, so if we aren't happy, clearly we are in the wrong place or with the wrong people or doing the wrong thing. Sometimes yes, but sometimes no.

God wants us to bring souls to Christ. Sometimes in doing that, life is pleasant and happy, sometimes it's not. Because God doesn't necessarily want us to be happy. That's not His goal. God wants us to be content. That is the number one thing I have learned thus far. Missy from It's Almost Naptime wrote an amazing post about being content, among other things, here. I really encourage you to read it.

God wants us to live for Him and be content with what we have, not lusting after this or that, just being "happy" where we are. Let me say, I do not think there is anything wrong with being happy. If you are, great! I don't think that means you aren't living for God. I'm just saying we need to re-evaluate our lives and our prayer lives. I don't think it's wrong to ask God for things, but before you ask, think about why you are asking. And if the answer is no, we need to accept that it's His will. Even if life would be much easier if the answer would have been yes, we need to realize and accept that God's will doesn't revolve around our happiness. It revolves around bringing souls to heaven. 

God is not our personal genie. We are placed on this Earth to serve God and bring as many people to Christ as possible. This world is not our home, friends. We haven't even been there yet!! It's waiting for us when this life is through. If this life is good along the way, awesome. If it's not, awesome. The best life is waiting for the faithful. It's open to everyone if you just do His will.

I hope I see you all there.