Every year, it seems like the mad rush that takes place from November 26 to December 31 makes me overlook the fact that a year is ending. This year, thankfully, has been different. Our two weeks of snow coupled with a change in my assenting to the "mad rush syndrome" has offered me some real time to think back and reflect on God's goodness to us in 2008. This post takes a look back at the changes we've made in our lives this year (some voluntarily, some not!) and my goals to continually hone in all "All Things Needful" as a mother, a wife, and a Thrifty Oreganic!
This morning I awoke peacefully (I'm still away visiting my sister, thus the leisurely wake-up opportunity!) and realized that we are coming to the end of a big year. A lot has happened in the life of my family as well as our nation! At first I sort of cynically asked myself "Did you even accomplish anything this year?"
As I openly waited for the answer to come from within, I realized that yes, there were some significant accomplishments this year. Major challenges have been, if not overcome, at least met with grace and courage.
Action Steps: Ways I can accomplish this goal:
1. Listen, without judgement when he talks about his day. Be empathetic instead of always so solutions-oriented. (i.e. "Well, why don't you just.......?")
2. Spend less money. I'm not a lavish spender. I never buy myself or the kids new clothes (and by "new", I mean, "new to me") or toys. We have been blessed by more gifts and hand-me-downs than I could ever use! I don't even spend much on unnecessary food, we rarely go out to eat..... but nevertheless, the food (and herbal medicines) I feel that we need to nourish our family is sometimes expensive, even without all the boxed, processed junk.
How will I do this?
A) I've been inspired by Shannon's blog to have "No Spend Months" throughout the year.
B) My goal is to continue to be ever more austere in meal planning. For example, I have a freezer FULL of meat that I purchased last summer and am thankful to say that my freezer is still FULL because I've been able to use that meat sparingly and make the meat I do use stretch for 3 or 4 meals.
C) In an effort to save money on fresh, organic produce, I am going to have a garden again this year. My 2008 garden wasn't a huge smash of a success, but it was my start at gardening and there was definitely a harvest. I learned a lot from the experience and now I'm armed with more knowledge than before, and will begin planning NOW (whereas last year it was sort of an afterthought that I put in too late!)
I plan to create a Square Foot Garden in our community plot and am excited to chronicle its success (I'm being positive, aren't I?) on this blog. I've learned that with a minimum expense initially, I can grow enough food for my family and have some extra to preserve.
D) In that vein, I'm also striving to be more creative about reusing old things and making them functional and useful. This is called "upcycling" and I've been VERY inspired by my dear friend Michele at Frugal Granola who creatively reuses old items in very functional and beautiful ways. Therefore, I'm going to be doing more knitting, crocheting, and sewing (and will not be buying ANY new fabric, only using what I have stashed over the years) to make gifts for my family and for others. I will share any of my success in that arena on the blog as well.
Major challenge #2 of 2008: Daughter's health: If you've been following this blog, you know a little about my dear daughter's health. Using the GAPS diet, God graciously provided much-needed healing for my daughter's constant tummy aches. Through Gaps, God lead us to a new insight about her health. She was recently diagnosed with an attachment disorder due to perinatal neurological damage and her traumatic birth. back in 2005. It's a long, complicated story, and I might at some point blog more about it, but for now, I'll leave it at that. An Attachment Disorder is highly ironic considering how much I do in the arena of attachment parenting, but neurological damage is neurological damage. Thankfully, God has lead us to a program of healing called Neurodevelopmental Retraining .
Goal#2 for 2009: To carve out specific one-on-one time with each child. For Kirsten, this means doing play therapy (she loves intricate stories we make up through playing dolls) and working on her neurodevelopmental program which includes creeping and belly crawling and other floor pattern exercises which work to reconnect neurons in her pons brain that were damaged during gestation and birth. Our amazing daughter is a miracle, and a blessing. I want to keep a positive attitude and remember that her behavior, when it's out of control, has a neurological component that isn't always "her fault". Although I know that brings up some complicated child-rearing philosophies that I don't want to go into right now, but suffice to say, my goal is to continue to show my children unconditional love and joy in all that I do for them and with them.
For Jonathan, this means patiently allowing him to "help" in the kitchen (even when it seems inconvenient) as well as reading more with him (he's so NOT demanding that sometimes it's easy to take advantage of him mellowness!) and trying to integrate my two children's interests together so we can all play (i.e. dolls and cars!) My boy is such a gift from God, so peaceful, so loving, so helpful. He's so much like his patron saint, John the Apostle! He loves nothing more than to be at my side in the kitchen helping. A future thrifty oreganic? I hope so!
Wow, that's a long post with a lot of info. I guess my last goal is a personal one. I have taken the resolution to read Scripture every day. I am going to try to read through the Bible in One Year with a daily reading each day. My goal is to do this before I get on the computer to blog each night!
May God continue to fill us with His goodness and inspire us toward a life of simplicity so that we may bless all those around us, and bring peace to the world!
For more inspiring resolutions, please visit one of my favorite blogs, The Nourishing Gourmet!