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 2017

Personal Goals 2017

As each new year begins and ends, I am always reminded of Isaiah 43:19 which reads, 
"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
God is at work every year, every week, every moment making me new...or really, re-making me into what I was intended to be before sin and flesh muddied the waters of this world. While there's nothing holy or sacred about January one, I think it's as good a time as any for me to pause...reflect...and realign my priorities.

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So, as this new year tiptoed closer, I began thinking about what NEW He might want to begin in me and began praying about my yearly goals.


...because I'm not much of a resolution maker. Maybe it's just semantics, but resolutions always seem to be failures masked as good intentions. They're so rigid and outcome-based, and rarely make it past February...at least in my life anyway. Whereas goals focus more on forward motion...habits...imperfect progress.

I create habits and continue to do them imperfectly knowing that the inevitable two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back still gets me to where I want to go eventually.

After much prayer, I came up with four goals for 2017 that I've patterned after the life of The One I'm moving towards with each new day.

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52 ESV

In wisdom

Towards the end of 2016, I tried my hand at front-post, back-post and fell in love with crocheting in the process. I'm a total novice. My crochet hooks still have that new car smell. But, I hope to put some miles on them in the next twelve months. I'm currently making this slouchy hat for my daughter. But after that, I'd love to spend the rest of the year working on a granny square throw blanket for the end of my bed.

I think that learning and using a granny square pattern will make it easy for me to bring my crochet along with me to work on here-and-there as I am able. Unlike a traditional blanket, a one-square-at-a-time project can easily be tossed into my purse. So, I'll have no excuse but to getter done.

I'm thinking charcoal gray. But maybe grayish-blue to match the shutters? Whatcha think?

learn to crochet a granny square blanket

In stature

This past fall, The Hubs and I began the 17-Day Diet, the Whole-30ish clean eating plan by Dr. Mike Moreno that is neither 17 days long nor a diet. (How's that for misleading?!)

We both not only lost pounds, but also brain fog, bloating, and the crabbiness that comes when one is addicted to sugars, additives, and all the plastic-y kinds of things that we, Americans, fondly call food. 

It was a great plan and we ate well. Really well. But, since so much of the approved food list consists of fruits, veggies and lean meats...but mostly veggies...we found it hard to continue through the winter months when the fruits and veggies at the markets here in the tundra start looking a tad anemic or are so grossly overpriced that a small line of credit is necessary to even afford them. (That might be a slight exaggeration.) So, we modified the diet to include some filler starches and fun foods until spring.

We will rewind and reboot the diet, in its entirety, when the snow melts. Pinky swear.

breakfast banana split

In favor with God

Last fall, I noticed that my quiet time with God each morning was beginning to grow mechanical, as if checking a box of completion was the morning end game. 

Have quiet time. Check.
Ok, what's next on the agenda?

I realized that I needed something new; a fresh look at the Word to bring me back to my first love. And so, I decided that 2017 would be the Study-ALL-The-Names-of-God-Year. However, when I learned that He has over 900 names, I had to edit my plan a bit. 2017 then became known as the Study-MANY-of-The-Names-of-God-Year.  

I wrote out dozens of names to get me started well January 1st. But as I stared hard at all those lovely names, I just couldn't wait another minute. I started that November day and have been researching, journaling, and praying the names of God ever since. So, from here on out, 2017 will be referred to as the Study-MANY-of-The-Names-of-God-Year-AND-Two-Months.

My plan has been simple. I've dedicated two days to each name. I've written it out, jotted down any cultural, historical, or hermaneutical (That's a word, right?) information about it that I've come across in some of my favorite concordances and Bible dictionaries, read passages of Scripture that it's found in, journaled my thoughts about it, and have used it in a brief prayer for one of my children.

In favor with man

Generally speaking, I'm a high capacity person. I bloom in busy. But this year, I plan to bravely take a scalpel to some of my commitments and start saying hard NOs...guilt-free NOs to some things in order that I will have more room to give a solid YES to others. 

The most important YES will go to my husband. I plan to date him again. For two reasons...
  1. He's so dreamy. Who wouldn't want to say YES to him?!
  2. My first YES came in the form of "I Do" over 15 years ago and I want him to know that "I STILL do" each and every day.
Now don't get me wrong. It's not as if I've been putting him on the back burner all these years. We've always had dates here-and-there and have tried to make each other second, just after God. 

But lately due to the busyness of life, our dates have kind of looked more like grocery shopping trips with "jazz hands" than romantic rendezvous. 

So we have both decided that 2017 will be filled with dates. REAL DATES. We will each take turns each month planning an intentional together time...the creative kind that we use to scheme up when we were dating. They won't necessarily be expensive. They'll just be thoughtful. Dinner and a movie was last year's play. And that just ain't gonna cut it this year.

Since it was my idea, I've volunteered to plan the first date. I've signed us up to take a dog sled ride together through the snow. But, don't tell him that. 

dating my husband

Imperfect progress

Continued imperfection is the best I can do with any of these goals on my own merit. And that's just about perfect. It makes me admit my limitations, but also shows that I've not given up midstream. Continuing is an action verb still in process. There's hope in that. It reminds me that one day, on the last day, I will stand perfected in Christ.

For now though, I'll be content continuing in imperfection; in forward motion this year. I'll give myself grace today, tomorrow, and the next day knowing that the idea of "perfect" is just a snare of the enemy to get me to throw in the towel. To admit defeat. No one is perfect...except on Pinterest. But then again, life always looks better through photo filters.


  1. Wonderful habits. I am also studying names.

  2. I love your style of writing, you come across as being very real and humble. Rare in the blogosphere. Thank you. Great things to consider in this post.

  3. Oh, she's real. One of the first times I read an article here was when she included photos of her kitchen. On a day MOST of us would cringe if anyone stopped by unannounced SHE photographed it AND published it! I knew from that moment that reading "Unlikely Homeschool" would be part of my regular routine. I fell in love that day with Jamie's transparency. Thank you, Jamie!