I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Personal Goals for 2015 {A Look at His Chiseling}

Personal Goals for 2015 {A Look at His Chiseling} The Unlikely Homeschool

With the turning of a new year comes a chance to reflect on what was and look ahead to what will be. It's a chance to evaluate and make adjustments. I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. A lofty plan is often unattainable and a precursor to failure. I have no desire to start my year out with feelings of defeat. But, while I never make resolutions, I'm always resolute. I'm firm in my resolve to make slow-and-steady progress. To let go and let God do His work refining me…chiseling away at all my rough parts.

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Over the last few days, I have spent some time appraising my progress of my 2014 goals. And now with the start of a new year, I am resolved to let God perform NEW things in my life. He reminds me in Isaiah 43:19,
"Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert." (ESV)

Although I am obviously open to whatever NEW He has for me this coming year, I hope to make forward motion in the following specific goals:

Personal Goals for 2015 {A Look at His Chiseling}

Help Launch Truth Guards

This month marks the launch of Truth Guards, my husband's father/son adventure club and discipleship ministry. As his God-given helper, I've spent many months helping him to plan, organize, and write materials. In the coming days, I hope to continue this effort and do all I can to support my husband as he follows God's call to encourage and equip fathers to train the next generation bold, Christ-followers.

Make Meals for Those in Transition

I used to bring meals to new mothers, sick friends, and needy neighbors quite often. I had gotten into the habit of making extra freezer meals for this particular purpose. But, somewhere between baby three and five, my meals-to-go have all gone and in their place excuses of "I'm too busy" have crept in to stay. Recently, however, the Builder and family suffered a disastrous property fire which displaced them to a hotel for weeks. They were in need of many things…hot meals being at the top of the list. In an effort to streamline the meal deliveries, another mutual friend put together a Meal Train schedule for them.

As a novice Meal Train participant, I was really reluctant to sign-up. But, wanting to help this much-loved co-op family in any way that I could, I signed up for my first meal-to-go in quite a while. I made it. I delivered it. And I loved it. (Hopefully, they did too.) I had all but forgotten what it felt like to be the hands and feet of Christ in the very tangible, but a small act of providing a meal for someone in need. Falling back on some of my tried-and-true meal-to-go methods, I was able to bless some dear friends and in return receive the blessing that comes when the members of the Body serve each other.

My Plan:

I hope the success of this first meal will be a launching pad for many more meals to come. As I know that busyness will always be a threat to my ministry efforts, I've decided to form a helpful plan of attack. 
  • I will utilize Meal Train whenever possible as it is wonderfully efficient for both the meal giver and the meal receiver. 
  • I will do my best to always have consumable serving containers on hand so that I don't have to make a last-minute run to the store. I've purchased a handful of aluminum one-time-use casserole pans and will begin to stockpile a small hoard of emptied and sterilized food containers. While heirloom, glass casserole dishes are pretty, they are not very practical for meals-to-go and require washing and returning.
  • For me, half the battle of preparing meals-to-go is deciding WHAT meal to make. So, I've decided to compile a list of three complete meals that I can whip together with ease. I hope to come up with a soup, a pasta dish, and a casserole of sorts that can be repeated often for any number of needs. Still thinking...
  • Lastly, I hope to make an extra loaf of bread every few weeks in order to have some readily available for giving.  Although giving an entire meal may not always be possible, a loaf of bread is certainly doable.

Personal Goals for 2015 {A Look at His Chiseling}


Living in a teeny-tiny cottage-style house necessitates living simply. Every available space is prime real estate and must be used with the utmost efficiency. Hanging onto stuff not only clutters my house, but also my life. So much time and energy are wasted cleaning, repairing, and finding space for STUFF. In fact, I find that when my home gets too full, I begin to feel like a cornered squirrel. Caged-in. Stealing a phrase from my husband's advertising verbiage, I'd conclude that my personality demands "white space"…a little bit of emptiness on the borders of the "page" in order to fully appreciate the rest.

My Plan:

For that reason, I am instituting a "one in, two out" rule for my year. If one new or new-to-me item comes into my home, I hope to get rid of two items that are currently just taking up space or collecting dust. I've sort of been practicing this concept since last spring when we put our house up for sale. For over a year, I've had a bag sitting in an out-of-the-way spot. (With a tiny house, there are very few spots that are, in fact, out-of-the-way.) As I've come upon an item that I know I don't need or won't use, I've put the item in the donation bag. Once the bag has gotten full, I've driven it to a local church-run thrift shop dedicated to providing much-needed items for the marginalized and homeless of our area. I hope to continue this newly formed pattern through 2015 with a bit more intentionality.

Personal Goals for 2015 {A Look at His Chiseling}

Finish Two Quilts

I'm almost embarrassed to add this goal to my list. I've been making the same two quilts since my middle son was born. He's now six-and-a-half. If truth be told, they've sat on the floor of my crafting studio for a year and a half (That is except for the five minutes it took me to take this picture for our "house for sale" montage...and if you're wondering, NO the boys' room is NEVER that clean. This photo was S.T.A.G.E.D!) with only the hand-stitch part of the binding left to be completed. SIX YEARS! For six years I've been plunking away at these heaps of fabric. But this year? THIS is gonna be the year I make the final stitches on them! If not…if I end 2015 with nearly-finished quilts sitting on the floor collecting dust...I give you full permission to capture me and send me to some kind of quilt-making sweatshop until I can produce two fully-completed, bunk-bed-sized quilts. They will get done…they WILL get done…THEY WILL GET DONE!!!! (They'd better get done.)

Go To Bed Earlier/Get Up Earlier

The close of 2014 found me in a not-so-great pattern of melding one day into the next…of going to bed around the same time that others were beginning to wake up. Well, OK, so that's a bit of an exaggeration. But, I was definitely not ever getting to bed until the AM hours of the day.

Consequently, this caused my RISE to have very little SHINE. I was living in a constant state of "falling behind"…or at least feeling that way. In the coming months, I hope to find rest in these sweet words from Psalm 127:2

"It is in vain that you rise up early    and go late to rest,eating the bread of anxious toil;    for he gives to his beloved sleep." (ESV)

With the mounting duties of homeschooling, helping to run two online ministries, teaching a class at church, not to mention the everyday responsibilities of being wife and mother to the six most important people in my life, I've come to the realization that everyone…including me…needs a "clock out" time…a time to be done with the day even when everything in the day did not get done. I want to be able to wake up feeling not only refreshed, but also eager to tackle whatever awaits. I think my staying up past one every night has gotten me into a bad cycle of sluggishness that, in the end, has greatly affected my productivity level and has forced me to stay up even later. It was a slippery slope, that I hope I can rectify for my own health and the overall rhythm of my household.

Personal Goals for 2015 {A Look at His Chiseling}

Return to Journaling

For three years, I kept a homemade sentence-a-day-journal. I wrote a month and day on each page and left space to write. On each day's page, I would write the current year in the margin and then jot down a one-sentence summary of the day. I did this for 365 days until I was back to the start of the year and could begin all over again by adding a new year in the margin and a fresh sentence. Over the course of three years, I was able to see how our lives transitioned and could keep our daily happenings into perspective. Things that seemed oh.so.important one year, were painted with glorious hindsight 365 days later. My entries would include things like "Started snowing today and it's the end of MAY!" or "The kids got to say the Pledge of Allegiance on the radio." None of my musings were earth-shattering, but they were vignettes of my life worth remembering.

Unfortunately, a newly-crawling baby got to my journal one day and it was given a sad wastebasket funeral moments later. There was no repairing it.

Since then, I just have never had the gumption to begin another journal. Until now...

The Hubs took my not-so-subtle hit (I sent him a Facebook message saying something like "I want this journal for Christmas! Please buy it for me. Please, pretty please [insert batting eyelashes].), and bought me this Q & A a Day Journal. To be honest, I'd much rather just journal than answer a random question each day. But most of the time, the questions are rather intriguing. So, I've decided to try to squeeze both the answer AND one sentence about our day into the three or four lines allotted for each date.

I already have a morning routine of Bible reading (I'm currently in Matthew...good stuff!) and prayer journaling with A Mother's Prayers for Her Children as inspiration. So, I'll tack on a couple of extra minutes at the end of my quiet time for my Q & A Journal.

A Final Word

As I sketch out my tentative goals for the year, I am reminded that all my days…all my successes, failures, and best-laid plans...are in the hands of a loving God who has already written my story. If you, like me, have spent these first few days of 2015 in reflection, may I remind you that God is in the business of making broken things beautiful. No matter how many plan Bs you faced in 2014, God can make all things NEW this new year. He's on your side, if you're on His, and will keep fighting for you to the very last round. Trust in that. It's a resolution that can not fail!

Got any goals for 2015? I'd love to hear them!


  1. They sound like great goals, Jamie! I've made a couple myself, since I've learned that without them I find myself in a bit of a rut. I'm taking a cue from the scripture in Luke that tells us Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. So...

    I'm working out with a DVD program (almost) every day. I started in mid-December since starting at the New Year was almost too cliche to be successful. ;)

    In addition to regular church attendance and various Bible studies, I've downloaded an app to help me read through the Bible in a year (and thus far I'm on schedule!). I'm expecting God to develop and grow me a lot this year!

    I'm going to learn guitar. I've always wanted to, but never really had any *reason* to. However, I just keep getting the nudge to learn some BASIC guitar (not planning on starting a band or anything), so I'm going to give it a shot. Learning to garden and can fruits and veggies is another area I'm wanting to try.

    So, being mom to a 3 year old and 3 month old has reallly crushed my social life (if you don't count Facebook), so I'm making a point to get out and spend time with a friend at least once per week. So far it's going great and I'm getting to catch up with lots of people. I hope I keep this one up!

    So that is the gist of my personal goals for the year. Are you sorry you asked? :-) Ha! Wishing you the best and a blessed 2015.

    1. I love, love, love this list! I love patterning life after Christ's. All your goals seem like great AND doable ones. Wishing you a great year as you yield to the molding of God.