Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on the New Year and Blogging

   For me whenever I start a new year (and at the end of the old one) it is a time to think about my life- what I am doing, what is working and what I would like to change or work harder at. It is a time that I use for evaluation. It is my desire to always live with the purpose of serving God and bringing Him glory and I want to make sure that is what I am doing. In my walk with Jesus I want to be walking forward - not backwards!

  I strongly believe that everything I do whether it be washing dishes, gardening, playing games with my family, etc. can be done to bring glory to my King. It is not just in my times of singing, prayer and bible study that I can worship and glorify Him. So I have been considering all aspects of my life (including blogging) in my thinking about the old year and the new year.

   I have been thinking lately about my reasons for blogging. Some of my reasons are because of what I get out of it and some of the reasons I blog is because I hope to be able to minister to others. Here are some of reasons that I blog:
  • I like to visit/talk/share. I have always been one who likes to express myself. I think growing up I was probably the child that talked the most in our home. I don't know if that is really a good thing but it is the truth. I do think God made each of us with different needs in that way (some people it is rather like pulling teeth to get them to talk- while others are more like me) and I seem to need to be able to talk with others. As a stay at home Mom my visiting opportunities are more limited than for some others and I enjoy using this blog as a way to visit with you all! :-)
  • When I write in my blog it helps me to think and evaluate my life (and hopefully learn from that!).
  • By blogging I can journal and record what is going on in our life which we have found to be enjoyable and sometimes useful.
  • Through blogging I often challenge myself and then feel more accountable to do things (whether it be living more frugally, finishing projects or studying the Bible more) that I want to do but may struggle with the self-discipline to accomplish.
  • I can share with others things that I have learned or project ideas.
  • I hope to be able to encourage others in their walk with God and their relationship with their families.
  • I hope to encourage others in the journey of homeschooling.
  • I hope to be of some help and encouragement to others that are trying to live well within the means that they have.
  • I hope to encourage others to look optimistically at life- realizing that God has blessed them abundantly.
  • I can keep connected with old friends and meet new ones.
 With the reasons I blog stated- here is some of what I hope to blog about this year:

On Sundays I plan to continue having my weekly "Speaks to me Sunday" feature.
This is where I share a verse that has spoken to me during the previous week or where I share some verses from a topic that I have been studying on. In this feature it is my goal to encourage you in your own study of the Bible (which is the only true guidebook for life!) and I also like doing this feature because it makes me really pay attention to what I am reading to find something that I want to share with you.

I will also continue to write regularly about our journey in living more naturally on our little "homestead". I will plan on joining in on the Homestead Barn Hop as often as I can on Mondays and I will be telling about my gardening, beekeeping, preserving food, wholesome recipes, making things for our family and more. We continue in our journey towards more sustainable living and I hope you will join us!

On Tuesdays I will try to have my "Project time Tuesday" as much as possible. I am really thankful that God placed in me the desire to make things and I look forward to doing "show and tell" on here. :-)  I do have some plans this year for having themed weeks, for example: Once a month (on the second Tuesday I am planning, Lord willing) I will share a rag rug that I have made with hopefully a tutorial (or a link to a tutorial that I have found). I have been working on quite a few rag rugs lately and I thought I would be rather fun to feature one each month.

Also in conjunction with this- though I would blog about it more than just on Tuesdays- I am planning on devoting each month to a specific type of item that I plan on using for "do-it-yourself-recycling". For example in November I challenged myself to see how much I could make using old t-shirts and sweatshirts my next plan was to work on the old jeans around my place but that project got rather held up as my sewing machine broke down and then I got busy with holidays and such. So I still have a bunch of denim that I am hoping to turn into something useful. I have made a few things such as the little denim basket below, but I want to make a lot more. So I am officially declaring the month of January as "Denim Days" here on my blog. :-)

I will try to announce the project of the month at the beginning of each month and then on the last Tuesday of the month I will plan on having an overview of the projects of the month.

 Other "Project time Tuesday" projects that I am thinking about are featuring a strip a month of a quilt that I have been wanting to work on for Mara (I thought perhaps it would be good for me to have a deadline each month.) and sharing homemade gift ideas one Tuesday a month.

   On Fridays I am hoping to start a new series where I will talk about what "I don't buy...." In my journey to live more frugally and sustainably I have learned how to do without buying many things. Some I have talked on here before but some will be new. I plan on telling how we have learned to get along without them and what we use instead. I hope you will find it interesting and helpful.

Other things that I hope to blog about are:

~Homeschooling- things we are learning, ideas I have found that work well and books that we like. I am really enjoying learning as much as we possibly can through the reading (together and separately) or good and interesting books and by hands on learning. We still use some workbooks but I am seeking to keep that as minimal as possible.

~Organization, cleaning and such. This is a constant work in progress at my house and in my effort to improve I will probably be blogging about it too.

~Loving my husband and children. This is a calling that I have from God and I want to do the best I can for Him. This is something I pray about often and strive towards. I hope to encourage you in this high calling as well!

I am sure I have missed things- you probably well know that I have a very eclectic blog. Well I guess that is just me- so please bear with me and please share your ideas and the things that you enjoy and are learning about. I really really love to hear from you!


JoannaTopazT said...

Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and all of your topics sound great. I am still trying to figure out some of my goals/plans for the year. We always travel to family in Iowa for the holidays, and it has a habit of putting me behind on things.

becky3086 said...

Ok, maybe this won't be a popular post but I just believe that you have to go your own way with God since no one really knows if their way is the "right" way (they all tell me you just have to have faith but I have faith that I am slowly learning the way God wants me to go and don't need to have it force on me because God will eventually show me the "right way"). So you telling me what God might want you to do, well,that is great for you but that doesn't exactly mean that is what He wants me to do though we do have a lot in common and I would like to learn from you without having to worry about what you think God wants from me because, of course, that is only for me to know.
However, there must be some reason I am reading this blog so there must be something I have to learn here. Thank you for your teachings.

Finding Balance mommy said...

You're a blessing:)

Jane Carlstrom said...

Hi Abbi, Wow! that is a long list. Wishing you all the best in reaching all the goals. I too find the closing of one year and the opening of the new year a time for reflection, review, ruminating, and then some though of where the new year might lead, some setting of goals and ways they might be reached.

Several things in your list caught my keen interest.

1. Will look at hopping on the Homestead Mondays.

2. Refashioning/recycling/upcycling sweatshirts is also an interest of mine. Last April I did a range of "no waste" recycles of sweatshirts. Have been thinking of writing out a tutorial on that, maybe this year is the time to get that done. :D

3. The rag rugs. Do you use the toothbrush as needle and thumb method (similar to nalbinding)? If so would you be available for private instruction(payment, barter, trade friendly)? I have a great desire to learn nalbinding, but am just not getting it as well as I'd like.

While I seldom comment, read your blog in reader and enjoy your articles.

Thanks so much, Jane

Melissa said...

"I strongly believe that everything I do whether it be washing dishes, gardening, playing games with my family, etc. can be done to bring glory to my King."

I completely agree with this....

Abbi said...

Thank you so much everybody for sharing your input! I appreciate hearing about what we have in common and what you like to read about.

Becky, Thanks much for sharing your thoughts- even though I don't agree that we can't know what it "the right way" I respect your opinion and I am glad to have you join me here on my blog even if we don't agree on everything.

Jane, I have used the toothbrush method in the past but don't remember it currently. I am hoping to figure it out this year and if I do I would love to get together with you and work on rugs together.

All in a Day said...

Thank you for your blog, Abbi! I enjoy it. :)

Erin said...

Your blog is a huge inspiration to me Abbi! I only wish we lived closer so I could glean from your wisdom in person. :-) Thank you for bringing glory to our Lord!

Amelia said...

Loved what you had to say here....I wanted to say, Me too! Me too! : )

I just turned 51 and my husband and I have four daughters, all at home. We are in our 22nd year of homeschooling. Our oldest is 29 and our youngest is 18.

Blessings to you, I follow your blog.


Nola said...

I look forward to reading more this year. I enjoy your blog a lot. I especially look forward to hearing more about homeschooling the way you do it (more about life than workbooks). I am doing grade 1 with my oldest but its a bit interesting at times with a preschooler and soon a baby too...I'm just doing things fairly laid back and doing a lot of reading mostly. I think we'll spend two years on grade 1 and it works better for her age anyways.


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