March is coming to an end. And what do I have to show for the past couple of months? I had promised myself that I would aim to meet the goals I set in place before the "new year" began. Let's look at them again and analyze what's been going on.
1. Blog more.
2. Make time to draw and paint every week.
3. Spend time with God everyday.
4. Read more. About anything that matters to me: ministry, art, food, marriage, etc.
5. Learn more about organic food and healthy cooking.
6. Build better relationships with my co-workers and customers.
7. Make more time for others.
8. Plan a meal schedule for each week. This will save time and money, I am certain.
9. Bake more.
10. Learn to budget, save money, and be a good steward of what God has given me.
11. Be more outward focused.
(1 and 2) The very first one on there, to blog more, has been completely neglected. Why? Because the following one has been severely neglected as well.
(3) My relationship with God has been up and down. Not the quality of my faith in Him, but the time I put into learning about Him. Reading the Bible and praying and the like. The time I do spend with Him has been awesome! He reveals to me things I hadn't thought of, or just shows me more of who He is and where I need to allow Him to work on me.
(4 and 5) LOTS of reading these days. Books, articles, recipes, magazines... I've been reading on pretty much all of the things I find an interest in. Theology, ministry, The Zeitgeist Movement, food, do-it-yourself articles, information on anything I don't understand, etc... It's been very engaging and challenging and wonderful! As for food, my favorite everyday thing I do homemade now is hummus.
(6) Always a progressive thing to build relationships. I haven't seen them much lately though because of all the oral surgery I've been getting. These freaking teeth issues! Which maybe I'll get into in the future. But I've been learning patience at work. I'm already fairly patient, I think, but it helps to be challenged and thrown out of one's comfort zone. Some days are harder than others, but ultimately I enjoy the people I work with. I think there is still room for much growth in how I build those relationships. It's more than just putting up with or listening to people. Effort must be put forth in engaging them and learning about them.
(7) I'm not sure how to gauge this exactly. I've been wishing I could be more like God, able to give my attention to anyone and everyone equally, to love everyone I know fully by being there for them and pouring time into them. But I am not God. It has been so hard to not just reach out to those I am friends with, but to give my time to them. Life has been ridiculously busy. The only people I have truly been able to engage with are the people I see every week, whether at work or in youth ministry. And I have to say that my most intentional and sought after time outside either of those is with the students I serve as a youth leader. I am able to meet with them every week in person and on Facebook. However, while I cannot be everywhere and be with everyone I'd like to, I'm finding that one way to be with people and support them is through the gift of prayer. To be able to pray for someone is something I often overlook. Being in a physical world makes it easy to think that the only way to reach out to others and help is by doing a physical act, whether giving money or moving furniture or driving somewhere. It's so easy to forget about the spiritual needs of people. That is something I have been learning.
(8,9,10) Adam and I have been taking a Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace course. We are now on a budget, planning meals, and doing all of our cooking at home. No more eating out unless we have gift cards that allow us to. I have not been baking much, but all the cooking definitely keeps me busy. Being on a budget is one of the best things we've ever done for our marriage and family. Knowing where your money is going is an amazing feeling!
(11) Yeah... gotta work on this. I think being outward focused is a lifelong goal, and a learning process at that.
I've been playing guitar more, too!
Life has been busy, and there are things I must adjust, but I'm feeling pretty good about this year so far! God is good, life is good. Some really crappy things have happened this year, and those times have been rather brutal, but I still have to say that I love my life. And it's time I start acting like it!