“No one every built a castle by just thinking about it.
Same goes for a life.”
Almost 30 years ago, at the age of 19, I married a young preacher. We had big dreams. We talked of allowing the Lord to control the size of our family, how we would live off the land, and I’d never work outside of the home. And then life happened….
Somewhere along the way, the perfect storm occurred. I received a scholarship to nursing school, I gave birth to six children when the doctors recommended that I stop having children due to health issues, and we were living in the suburbs. Before long, we adopted 4 children, I was homeschooling, working a full- time job, while my husband became Pastor of a small “flock.” I felt like I was running on a treadmill with no hope of getting off it.
I’m not complaining. Life was good. It’s still good! But what happened to our dreams? Then we entered the year of 2020…covid, isolation, masks, shut downs, and the unknown. Yet, somehow, during these crazy times, the Lord completely redirected our hearts and returned our vision back to our dream…although slightly different, yet very much the same.
Our life is blessed through adoption: Life in a Big Family, One Year After Adopting | Raising Our Tribe
As we embark on a new year many will make those well intended resolutions with a burst of enthusiasm. But what if we call them family goals? Reviving the dreams of yesterday. Living our best life. It won’t be easy. But I’ve learned something in my 49 years on this earth:
If something is important enough,
Even if the odds are against you,
You should still do it.
So now here we are, another new year has begun. And seriously, it’s not looking so good. The world is still insane! But this world has never dictated my life. If you want things to change, we must choose the change. We must be set goals with action and persistence if we want our lives to be different.
Not sure where to begin? It’s simple. Grab a pen, paper, bible, and your man. And coffee…you will need coffee. And maybe some chocolate…just for the fun of it.
Now begin with the basics. What made you fall in love? What were your dreams you shared together? As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, our dreams change. But we still dream.
I’m going to share some of our goals,(in no specific order of relevance), in the hope to encourage you to begin to dream again.
1. Community – Surround yourself with people who want to encourage you along this life’s journey. Not necessarily only those who may agree with you but people who will speak God’s Word into your life with love and challenge you to live up to your calling in this life.
We have chosen are friends wisely, and sadly have walked away from toxic relationships and those who simply sucked the life out of us.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds,
Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
But encouraging one another.” Hebrews 10:24-25
2. Improve our Finances- As a nation we are obsessed with improving our finances, but very few achieve their goals. We began several years ago on the road to financial freedom. We highly recommend taking the financial classes by Dave Ramsey.
Unfortunately, one reason for so much debt, according to Ramsey, is the lack of planning. When we partner with God, and follow His principles, we can become responsible spenders.
We chose to live more frugal, paying off bills, and remained faithful in our tithing and offering. It’s working!
Encouraging blog on God's provision: Overwhelmed With Gratitude - Dare To Be | Raising Our Tribe
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who
is hasty comes only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
3. Deeper Relationship with God- This is the reason most of us read our bible, spend time in prayer, and attend church. But to have a deeper, more relevant relationship with our Maker will take serious action on our part. First, we need to shut out the voice of the World. Today we are always running from one place to another. The noise of this world can be overwhelming. We need to remember to take alone time with the Lord. A time of devotion and prayer. Make His voice louder than the world’s noise.
“…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and
all these things will be added to you.” Matt 6:33
Remember, SEEK is a verb. It will require action!
4. Improve our health-Undoubtedly, this is the most common New Year’s Resolution. But as a family we are choosing healthier choices. No fad diets. Just better choices. (And we have lowered our blood pressure and dropped weight!)
“…Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” 1 Cor 6:19-20
5. Commitment to Study God’s Word with our Children-Much of who we are is formed around the words of the bible. It is our moral compass that guides our life. This year, after months of prayer, we chose to study the book of Daniel together as a family. (I’ll be blogging our biblical journey soon!) We want the Word of God to come alive in the hearts of our children. Not just a storybook.
“…alive and active, sharper than any two edged sword…” Hebrews 4:12
The start of a new year offers hope and potential. Rather than focusing on perfection, focus on doing your very best. And when your best doesn’t seem to measure up, God will.
It's ok to begin to dream again!
For Boy Moms: Buckle Up and Enjoy the Ride! (raisingourtribe.org)
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