Saturday, January 5, 2013

Goals and Dreams for 2013

 For some reason I seem to be having trouble uploading new pictures on this blog. I am not sure what is going on but hopefully it will be resolved soon. I have trouble posting without pictures!

 But I shall persevere..... (smile)

I have been wanting to write about some of my dreams and goals for this year... both here on the blog and in our home life (which basically go hand-in-hand). So this post will contain my jumble of thoughts for this new year and hopefully as I write them out I can kind of get them organized too!

  There are a couple of sayings that I have long appreciated and tried to apply to my life but this year they are going to get even more thought and attention. They are:

    "Use it up ,    
    Wear it out,    
     Make it do    
 or do without."  
    "Have nothing in your homes   
 that you don't know to be useful  
      or believe to be beautiful."       

I have been thinking a lot about simplifying, using our money more wisely (to help us be better prepared for the future and also so that we are better equipped to help others), being more organized and about concentrating more on the people (including my husband and children) around me in simple ways with the goal of encouraging everyone that I am around to walk more closely with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  As I think about the things that I want to work on in my life they seem to just intertwine and work together which is a blessing but it also makes it feel challenging to write about them in a short and concise way. Oh well that has never been my gift anyway!


  Some of the things we are working at in simplifying is to have less stuff. We have been, and will continue throughout this year, working on getting rid of things we don't need whether it is by giving them to friends that can use them, donating them, throwing them away, bartering them or selling them.  Another way that we are working on having less stuff is by not buying things. This is something I have long worked towards but I have challenged myself to step it up a notch in this area this year.
  Another way we are striving to simplify is be going less. I have never been one of those "soccer moms" that is constantly running their children to some event or another but it is still pretty easy for our homeschooling family to find reasons to run around as well. I am challenging myself to see if I can limit my motor vehicle trips away from home to an average of 3 per week. I am not sure how this will go as we have 3 church services a week most of the time (though for the winter months we have only 2) but this past Sunday we walked to church (it is a mile and a half) and we are hoping to do that more as it was pretty fun. In the Summer we like to bike places. The benefits of driving places less is that we save money, we save time (if we simply go less) or we have fun making an adventure of our outing and get some exercise and have some quality time together if we walk or bike. The three trips a week (on average) is a goal that I am shooting for but if I feel that I can minister to somebody in some way and I need to drive to do that I will not let me no-driving goal stop me however a trip to a store can definitely be put off. :-)


This also goes along with simplifying. I have been finding as I get more organized (something I have been working on more seriously this Fall/Winter but haven't blogged about yet) my life feels much simpler as well.
  In our organizing we have been doing things like creating habits like washing the dishes as they are created, keeping my e-mail inbox cleaned out and keeping many of our flat surfaces cleaned off and more (and I have more that I still want to work to created) which has been wonderful for having a less stressful life!
 I have also been working on being more consistent with my menu making and I have been working to revamp our chore lists.
 I am also trying to be more organized concerning taking care of our health and learning and using natural remedies.
  I am looking forward to share more about my organizing journey with you throughout this year.

Money Management....

 We have always tried to be careful with our money. I don't like to spend much and Ken is good at budgeting. We do have room to improve however. Sometimes we have not been all that great at communicating about money but lately we have really done much better at discussing money issues and that has been very nice!
  One of my dreams has long been to get rid of our mortgage and be completely out of debt. Over a year ago we were able to refinance our house and turn our 30 year mortgage into a 15 year one (and save a lot in interest!) but I still had dreams of paying that off early. Ken didn't really get all that excited about that idea but is willing to humor me but he thought that first (and rightly so - it just doesn't seem as exciting to me) we should have a fully funded emergency fund (3-6 months living expenses) so this year that is our big goal to both save money and earn extra money so that we can get that taken care of and then... on to the mortgage!
 That is where the "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or do without" really comes in. This year I plan on doing this like never before. It is my goal to buy ONLY things that we need this year - no wants. (except the debatable emergency preparedness items that we are working to get at our house like a wood stove, a hand pump and other things of that nature.) This does 't mean that I won't buy things until we need them (like not getting more oil until I run out) as financially it makes more sense to stock up when I find a good deal but it does mean that I won't be buying clothes (I have a lot to wear already- though I will look for better winter boots for Mara as hers are getting small and those are rather needed here) or any other unnecessary items. I am hoping we can pretty much completely avoid going out to eat.
I have a lot of fun project and post ideas concerning things that I will remake or "make do" in some way. Stay tuned if repurposing and saving money interests you!
I also have lots of ideas for family fun that don't cost any money that I am looking forward to blogging about.
  My homesteading hobbies like gardening, beekeeping and wild food foraging I believe to be very helpful for money saving. As usual I will be blogging about some of my adventures here throughout the year.

Ministering to others.....

 I often struggle with being so caught up in my own life that I don't really pay attention to others the way I should. Part of my goal for this year is to slow down so that I can see the needs of others whether it is my child or somebody that lives on the others side of the world.
  God has been so good to me, I want to share that love with others.
One area that I believe we can minister to others is through hospitality. I am hoping that this year I will finally do the series on hospitality that I have been thinking about for a long time.
  My series that I just started on building up my (and your!) marriage goes along with this theme of my year as well.
 Teaching my children at home is another of the ways that I can minister to others (my children) and I am very passionate about doing that. I hope to share some of my thoughts on homeschooling throughout this year.
  In order to minister to others in any way I need to be working on my own relationship with God. I believe that prayer and Bible study are critical tools for growing in that relationship. I will continue to share some of my thoughts on scripture each Sunday.
Those are some of my Goals and Dreams for this year. I hope you will join me! I so enjoy hearing from you and sharing ideas and thoughts with you.
 May God Bless you throughout 2013 and whatever it might bring!


Dagelijks Brood said...

I wish you the best for the new year!! May God bless you with all your plans!

Stephanie Wilson said...

What a great post! Motivated me to write out my goals for the new year. I think it's good to write out goals. I think it helps us in this crazy busy-and-distracted culture to slow down and focus so we can actually grow in one area rather than jumping around from one idea to the next and never really getting anywhere with any of them. (Like I do!!) Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie Wilson said...

I'm making a link to this post in my blog, Abbi. Hope that's okay.

angie said...

Very ambitios, Abbi! I am looking forward to several of your emphasis areas.

Abbi said...

Thank you all for your encouragement! Having you input really helps me to stay motivated to get things done.


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