1. Get more sleep
For the past 10 years, my sweet husband has been asking me to get to bed earlier. I’ve been telling him that I’m just a night owl and I will never go to bed earlier than midnight. But this year, which happens to be a year when I am reading through the whole Bible, I finally agree with him. My mind is changed. I want to get more sleep. I have a new respect for God’s design: sunset and sunrise. I believe there is a reason why the sun sets earlier in the winter flu season and later in the summer when there is beautiful weather. God knows that his creation needs lots of rest. This year I am choosing to believe that God’s design–sunset and sunrise–is a perfect indicator of when I should rest, even though I don’t fully understand why he designed it that way. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to break my bad habits and get to bed earlier. Like 10 p.m. Any suggestions?
2. Wake up with the sunrise
A handful of times, I have woken up with the sunrise. One time was when I was on APU’s Walkabout with the RA staff, and we had 48 hours of solitude in the mountains of Yosemite. I had fallen asleep the moment the sun went down because there was nothing else to do and I was all by myself in a sleeping bag in the woods with only a tarp, flashlight, Bible, bear whistle, and water pump. That next morning I woke up with the sunrise, ready for a new day. In the wilderness, it is absolutely the natural way to sleep: sunset to sunrise. I loved it. It may sound weird, but one of my goals is to wake up with the sunrise every morning. I believe that somehow, if it’s truly God’s design, it will benefit my family and me.
3. Be ready to give freely
The act of giving is something that keeps my heart soft. I want to be ready to give whenever a person needs help. I want to keep dollar bills in my car so I am ready to hand them to people who stand on the side of the road asking for money. It would be great if I could stop wondering if they are going to use the money for alcohol or drugs. Because every time I judge a person who is begging on the side of the road, and wonder if they make more money per hour than my husband, Jesus challenges me: Is your heart soft toward the poor? I know that giving to the poor is good for my spirit. I want to be ready to give instead of being quick to protect my wallet.
4. Plan more date nights
Date nights? Somehow they don’t happen. I’d really like to spend more time with just Andy.
5. Keep the house tidy
I keep my house clean (except for dusting–I hate dusting.) I vacuum every few days, my girls clean the bathroom once or twice a week, stuff like that … but I have a lot of clutter. That is what I want to do: delete the clutter. This is something that has to happen before the holidays. To start, we are having a garage sale this Saturday. I’m really looking forward to getting rid of stuff! Not looking forward to getting up with the sunrise.
6. Prioritize my time
Remind me to never start a blog, self publish a book, open an Etsy shop (more to come on that), and start homeschooling in the same year ever again. Actually, all of these things have been a huge blessing after years of feeling like I’d lost my identity in motherhood. I can also say that reading through the Bible has helped me achieve these goals as it has helped me to think clearly. But I need to prioritize my time. It is easy to get distracted by the fun stuff, like writing this post, and neglect the final edit of my book.
7. Stop yelling at the kids
As I was writing this list, my daughter chimed in: “Write down, ‘Stop yelling at your kids.'” “Do I really yell a lot?” I asked. “Yes, ” she insisted. It’s probably true. See #1, #4, #6, #9 and #10 for reasons why I yell a lot. According to my daughter, this is definitely something I need to work on. Please forgive me!
8. Go to fun places more often
We actually just went to the Graber Olive House (amazingly delicious olives)
and Logan’s Candies (amazing handmade candy canes)
with the homeschool co-op. So I’m feeling better about this one. But I want to be more intentional about doing fun things with my family. It’s so easy to say no to the extra stuff when I am feeling worn out.
9. Stop obsessing over my blog
This blog is so much fun. I love reading comments and hearing people’s reactions to what I share. But I don’t want to care too much about how many FB shares each post gets. And I don’t want to become narcissistic. Which is a word that originally came from the Greek mythological character of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.
Do I post too many pictures of myself?
Most bloggers have to have a healthy narcissism or they wouldn’t have a blog.
10. Get to ballet class
I finally went back to ballet class after missing a few months due to a broken toe. Ballet is like therapy, exercise, and “me time” all rolled into one. When I was in high school, I went to ballet class every day except Sundays. Now I go once a week–if I’m lucky. It keeps me sane. I come home in such a great mood! I think that’s why Andy and the kids always encourage me to go …