Thursday, February 23, 2017

Goal Setting

I know most people think about goal setting at the end of the year as they begin to think of the new year. Who thinks about it at the end of February?  If you only think about goals at the beginning of a new year, how successful will you be.


I have a list of big goals for the year but have broken it down into smaller goals for shorter periods of time. One of my goals for 2017 is to read 52 books that is more than last year. Included in that goal are some specific categories of books that I want to read. One category was classics. I wanted to read six classics this year. I have already read 5 so I might adjust that goal.

Goals require planning. Both planning in what the goal is but also how you will complete that goal. So going back to my book goal, I picked 52 because it is a book a week and is more than last year. I have time in my schedule to read. I take a book with me when I have to wait for school pick up. That is part of the plan to reach that goal.

Meeting goals requires keeping track of information. I have a page in my planner where I track the books that I have read. It helps me to see how I working toward the goal. I enjoy tracking monthly what I have done.

I recently read the messies manual by Sandra Felton. I decided that while at one time in my life I was a messy (I am admitting that for my mother who remembers my bedroom as a child. ) I am no longer a messy. There was a chapter in there about goal setting and she had three C's to reach your goals --  change, commitment, and control. Here are some of my thoughts as I think about these three C's.

Goals require you to change. It might be how you use your time or it time be what you do. My goal of losing weight will only happen when I change what I am currently doing. While it is simple, it really can change the way you act. Are you willing to put in what is required in order to change and reach the goal you have.

Goals require commitment. Some goals take time. In the instant age we don't always want to put in the time that is needed to reach the goal.

Control is what you do to reach that goal. Control deciding saying yes to some things that will help me reach that goal and saying no to things that don't help me reach that goal.

So here at almost the end of February it might be a good time to think about goals and what is being done to achieve those goals this year. What are your goals? Which of the C's is the hardest for you?

Beth
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love

I know ValentinesDay is the holiday created by the card/gift/chocolate companies. While it is that, it is also a time to just focus on God's love for us and from God's love flows the love we have to those around us. I am spending some time personally reflecting on God's love. I need to be reminded of how he loves me.



I have been pondering how God shows his love to us. One of the first verses that comes to mind is John 3:16.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever 
believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (ESV)

I know this is often one of the first verses we memorise but just looking at it we see much of how God loves us.

His love is demonstrated in his giving. He gives us his son.

His love is sacrificial. It is his only Son that he gives.

His love is good. What he has done is so that we won't perish and have eternal life.

When I struggle to love others, I need to just go deep into how God loves me. When I feel that others are not loving me, I need to remind myself that God loves me. I just finished reading Genesis. That might not be thought of as a book about God's love but as you read that book you do see God's love.

There is so much more I could write but at this time I am just going to go and spend some more time reading and reflecting on God's love.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart 
and with all your soul, and with all your might." 
Deuteronomy 6:5

Beth
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Review

It is hard to believe that January 2017 is history. It is time to reflect on the month. That has been good for me to just reflect on what has happened. Putting it here has helped me to be a bit more accountable.


Some of my goals for 2017 might look like things from previous years.

1. Less Unfinished Projects - I wrote the 2017 list here. I finished one in January and my goal is to finish two in February.

2. Focused reading - Last year my goal was to deepen my reading of classics. I did that a bit. I also tracked the books I read and my total for 2016 was 48. I decided that in 2017 I want to read more books and have a varied focus. I want to read 6 classics, 6 books on prayer, 3 books on counselling, 6 books on productivity/life coaching, and 3 books on Christian living. That gives me plenty of time to read other things.

In January I read eight books. I think it was the dark cold evenings that sent me to bed early with a book. I got 4 classics, 1 book on prayer read as well as just some other fun books.

3. Relationships - In May it will be three years that we have lived here. I feel like I know people but I want to deepen relationships and also broaden them. I decided to challenge myself a bit and see if I can build more relationships. So some of the goals are as follows:

Coffee/tea with 24 friends - January 5 different people
Hospitality - 12 times - we sneaked January's in on the 31st.
Letters - 48 - January I wrote 13 notes (maybe I should make that number bigger)
Birthday cards - 48 - I sent 1.

4. Less stuff - I discovered a chart to declutter 2017 things in 2017. I printed it and put it in my cabinet. My January count was 147. I wonder if I can go higher in February.

What am I looking forward to in February? Celebrating someone special's birthday, finishing some projects, going away with Miss K for the weekend, and seeing how many books I can read from my stack.

What have you been doing in January?

Beth
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Unfinished Projects - 2017 Edition

About two years ago I realised that I had a number of unfinished sewing projects. I have a stash of fabric and love to start things but for various reasons they don't always get finished. I don't include all the fabric that I have in boxes waiting for the year that I have hours and hours to sew as that would make the list too long.

In 2015 I began the year with 12 unfinished projects. I finished four projects and did begin one new project. I ended the year with less unfinished projects, 8.

In 2016 I began the year with 10 unfinished projects. (Let's not try to figure out how I ended one year with 8 and began the next year with 10. Math was never my strong subject.) I finished 2 projects.

The other week I went through my boxes and found my unfinished projects. I dug around my sewing project box and discovered a few other things there that I didn't know where unfinished, plus one I began in 2016 and didn't finish. Here is the list of unfinished projects.

1. Summer House quilt - This is one that I began in 2015. I began to piece it. One of the things that is causing a pause is trying to decide if I can sashing between the squares or just put the squares next to each other.

2. Snack bags - I had cut these out along with some others that got finished. I didn't finish all of them. I actually finished those one afternoon so that is done.


3. Christmas yo-yos - years ago I began making yo-yos with the idea of making garland. I have a few circles cut out and I am going to turn those into yo-yos and add it to the garland.

4. Sugar bag quilt - yes, this is on the list for a long time. It needs to be finished.

5. Amish spool quilt - years ago I was into making solid colour quilts like the Amish quilts. This is one that I made but never finished. It is pieced just needs to be quilted.

6. Autumn table runner - At this point all that needs to happen is the binding.

7. Prayer Flag quilt - I need to decide what I am going to do with this quilt. It is sewn incorrectly but it is still nice.

8. Jesse tree ornaments - these are tied with the Christmas yo-yos as the oldest project in the bin. Maybe this is the year to finish them.

9. Give Thanks banner - This is one that I like the pattern but I am beginning to think that the reason I have not finished it yet is it is just a bit more work than I want, cutting all the letters. Maybe I will just turn it into a bunting.

10. Le Petit - maybe it is time for a time to the quilt shop not to far away and see if I can find some backing fabric.

11. Alligator gift bag - years ago I cut this out and even found matching ribbon. It is fun fabric and would make a great gift bag. That can easily be done in an afternoon.

12. Zipper pouch - This was a pattern for a zipper pouch in an afternoon and now months later, I have not finished it. I wonder if I know where I got the pattern.

Twelve projects or one a month to finish and I will have all of them finished this year.

Please tell me I am not the only person with a long list of unfinished projects. What projects do you have unfinished?

Beth
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Overwhelmed

The dishes are stacked at the sink. The laundry is piled on the floor. The to do list is a mile long. The inbox is full. Meals need to be cooked, bathrooms need to be cleaned, the kitchen needs to be swept. The list is endless. Overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.


I felt that way in the autumn. We had returned from holiday and I felt like school was behind, the house was a mess. I felt like I was going from one thing to the next and not getting much done. I needed to drop some of my expectations and get caught up on things.

"Overwhelm - to affect (someone) very strongly; to cause (someone) to have too many things to deal with; to defeat (someone or something) completely" - Merriam-Webster

Being overwhelmed is an easy feeling. At times when you are overwhelmed you don't know what to do or where to turn.

What are some of the causes of being or feeling overwhelmed?

1. Distracted, loss of focus, or wrong priorities

2. Literally too much to do

3. Not using time wisely

Martha was distracted with much serving; she had a lot to do. She was anxious and troubled about many things. Her heart was not peaceful. Martha was busy preparing food, making sure everything was ready, but she was missing the important event. She was distracted, had lost focu,s and had the wrong priorities. Jesus reminds her of what is important and brings her focus back to the priorities.

At times it doesn't matter how focused we are, how wise we are in using our time, the tasks are just beyond what we are capable of doing. Think of the disciples at feeding the 4,000 in Mark 8:1-10. It was overwhelming, the number of people and the amount of food. In that overwhelming moment, Jesus showed who he is and what he is able to do. Sometimes that is what we need when we are overwhelmed.

I am sure at times David could say he was overwhelmed. He was on the run trying to keep himself alive. Later he was running a kingdom. In Psalm 61 when he is overwhelmed, he cries out to God. His heart is faint and he calls out God. What he wants when he is overwhelmed is to take refuge in God. What is the cry of your heart when you are overwhelmed?

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Spend time with God, reading the Word, praying all of that will help you to gain focus and keep priorities in the right place. Cry out to God. He gives direction and peace.

Evaluate your priorities - are you doing the things that you need to be doing now? Maybe you are doing things that should not be done now.

Use your time wisely - Work hard but also take time to rest. It is tempted when we are overwhelmed to just work, work, and work some more and while that might help get things done, it might not give the ability to keep that pace.

At times you might need to enlist the help of others. Ask a friend to help you with an organizing project or decluttering. Ask a friend to watch your children so you can have some time to work alone.

Maybe your are not feeling overwhelmed at this time, offer to help someone who might be feeling that way -- bring a meal, watch their children, offer to help, or just sit and listen.

Right now I am not feeling overwhelmed but I know it can easily happen.

What causes you to feel overwhelmed? What do you do when you are overwhelmed?

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 

Beth
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Meet Me - January 2017




Welcome! My desire is to encourage you in your walk with the Lord and the daily tasks that he has called you to do.

Over the past years I have called a number of different places home, places in Asia, North America and now here in England. Currently we are living in England and I think we are in the most beautiful part of the country. We have been here for almost three years working with a mission organization among a people group from East Asia.

I moved to Asia in 1991 with the company I was working for at the time. You can read about it here and here. There are more parts to the story that have not been written, maybe that will be a project for this year. It was in Asia that I met my husband.

We have two children, a son and a daughter. Our daughter has Down Syndrome so along the way I will share bits of the joy and challenge of raising a special needs child.

I enjoy creative projects. Starting is easier than finishing. I enjoy reading and have been challenging myself to read things that would not be the normal book I would read. I enjoy coffee or tea with friends. I write old fashioned letters and notes.

I look forward to sharing and learning together.


Beth
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Direction for 2017

As I mention in my last post, life is changing Miss K is going to school. That means I have a bit more time in my day. Not much as I still have to do school runs and there is family afternoon and volunteering in the classroom. Yes, I still have one child at home but it is not the same. He is mostly independent and has doesn't have interesting and exciting things to blog about nor does he want to be the focus of the blog.


I have been thinking and praying about the direction for my blog. I enjoy blogging and the people I have meet through my blog. I didn't want to give up blogging but needed a bit of direction for the blog.

I thought about what I enjoy, what is my passion combined with what does God want me to do. After praying, I have decided that the direction of the blog at this time is to challenge and encourage women to do and be all that God wants them to be. It could be encouraging in having a quiet time or deepen your prayers or challenging women to move forward in tasks that God has given them.

I want you to be encouraged and challenged as you read this blog. You might get your toes stepped on but it will be done in love hopefully for your good.

My goal is to post three to four times a week challenging, encouraging, and sharing bits of my own life including parenting a special needs child, my projects, and other things.

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Beth
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