For the last two years, I have tossed aside the idea of resolutions and focused on a word instead. One word that serves as inspiration, as a challenge, as a foundation and a starting point to begin a year of growth and change. Last year, our word was "rebuild". We dusted off our shoulders in 2013 and rebuilt our lives following Shawn's accident. We started venturing out more, getting involved with the social activities we had missed so dearly while Shawn was recovering. We rebuilt our health: committing to a lifestyle of clean eating and regular exercise. And we rebuilt our finances: taking on the overwhelming amount of medical bills with a vengeance. It was a really, really good year that brought us closer to each other and to ourselves. It was a year filled with challenges and struggles: no one ever said rebuilding is easy. But, we have made it to the beginning of 2014 renewed and ready for the next chapter, the next word.
Our word for 2014 is DEVOTION.
1. This year, we hope to devote more time to nurturing our family and raising our children in the healthiest, most encouraging environment possible. Shawn and I are constantly analyzing our parenting skills and searching for ways to improve our home life. With Shawn now staying home full time with our children while I go to work, we have noticed significant improvements in our kids. Having a stay at home parent is invaluable to our kids and they have responded so positively to having both of us home more. This year, I hope to read more with our kids, delve deeper into family prayer life, and open our home to other children in need of our time and devotion. This year, we will devote more time to each other without the distractions of TV, phones, or computers. We will go on as many adventures as possible and devote more time to nurturing musical and athletic talents.
2. We hope to devote ourselves to spiritual growth. Shawn and I were lucky enough to find a group of friends this year who are walking the same spiritual path that we are: young families who are devoted to loving their families, our community, and those in need. They have inspired us tremendously and we are excited to devote ourselves to our young adult group. This year, we plan to return to the spiritual retreat we went to last year, bringing the kids with us this time. Our hearts are so open right now, so inspired to do more and be more. In devoting ourselves to the Lord and accepting the plan He has so perfectly laid out for us, we can only imagine what amazing things will come our way this year!
3. I have vowed this year to devote more time and energy in taking care of myself. I need to sit down and eat a whole meal, I need to go to bed earlier. I need to get a pedicure every once in a while, get a haircut, buy new underwear, read a whole book and start that novel I've been dreaming about. I want to sink deep into my yoga practice and become as strong and limber as I was before getting pregnant for River. I want to lose at least 10 pounds. By devoting time for myself outside of my role as mother and wife, I will better serve my family.
4. This year, I want to devote more time and energy into preparing for our future. I recently had a will drawn up and took out a life insurance policy. Next, I want to increase my retirement plan contributions and commit to placing more money in savings each month. After Shawn's accident, we went into survival mode as far as our finances were concerned. We were buried in medical bills and found ourselves abandoning the valuable lessons we learned from Dave Ramsey. This year, we are jumping back onboard the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover Plan, cleaning up our debt, saving more money, and sticking to our monthly budget.
Here's to a year of devotion! A year of growing, learning, loving, and being ever mindful of the things that matter most.