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2013 – Goal Oriented

Last night, while watching one of the Bowl games, I was struck by a commentary one of the analysts made about one of the football players.  Forgive me for not remembering specific details such as the player’s name and team he played for.

Those things aren’t what’s important in this post.  What is important, however, is the lesson of the commentary.

The analyst relayed the story of how this particular football player had heard a speaker lecture while the player was in middle school.  One of the things the speaker had the students do was to write down one goal they had for that year.

The now-player did so and accomplished his goal, whatever that was.

He continued writing his goals and accomplished every one of them as he progressed through school.

Even while in college, this young man has written down his goals…before every season.  He is proof that setting goals is the key to achieving success.

This commentary inspired me.

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve never really kept the ones I’ve made.

However, I like the idea of setting goals.

Perhaps it’s just semantics, eh?  You say po-TA-to, and I say po-TAH-to.

😉

Either way, I am a task-oriented kind of gal.  I derive much pleasure from finished products.

Thus, I’m creating a list of goals for myself.

Career

  • Finish Reading Endorsement (anticipated finish date is Fall 2013)
  • Finish three ESOL classes (hopefully the FLDOE will not require me to complete the full 300-hour coursework since I’ll have my Reading Endorsement soon)
  • Keep my lesson plans SIMPLE…don’t overthink so much!

Personal

  • Take time each day to maintain some semblance of cleanliness in my home, whether it’s scooping poop from the back yard, vacuuming dog hair, or cleaning the shower
  • Allot time each day to just “be” without thinking about work
  • Stay away from my tweezers unless I have a splinter (I get a bit tweezer happy…it’s a habit I am determined to break!)
  • Listen more
  • Talk less…or at least less about MYSELF!
  • Stop visiting Starbucks
  • Buy one toy or some other type of “gift” once per month…saving these items to donate next Christmas

Spiritual

  • Spend time in God’s Word to reconnect with the One who I owe EVERYTHING to
  • Be more purposeful about getting up and worshiping on Sunday mornings

Yarn-Related

  • Knit at least ten minutes four or five days per week
  • Finish knitting the Omelet Shawl I began last summer
  • Participate in a sweater knit-a-long (KAL) with my friend, Christina, and knit my first pullover sweater!
  • Learn to crochet

My hope is that by writing these things down, I’ll be able to revisit this list, refocus when my priorities get out of whack, and live life more purposefully.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Things to Ponder Going Into 2012

My weekly issue of People magazine arrived in the mail today, so I, as usual, casually perused it.

Then, when I saw the article, “Remembering Patrick,” I slowed down and read carefully.

I’m a child of the 70’s/80’s, thus it should come as no surprise that Patrick Swayze danced his way into my heart in the movie Dirty Dancing

What a heartthrob!  His death saddened me…hence my interest in the article.

His wife, Lisa, has written a book about her life with Patrick, and the article contains excerpts from it.

I caught my breath, though, as I read the following…

Patrick rarely talked about his ‘dark thoughts.’ ‘Where am I going to go if and when I die?’  When he said [that] out loud, my heart would jump out to him.  I wanted to comfort him.  ‘You’ll be in heaven.’  I knew what I wanted to believe, but there was no way I could be sure.

I’m not God, so I can’t even begin to know the condition of Patrick’s soul when he departed life.  Did he have a relationship with the Lord?  From the above quote, my guess would be no.  Nor does his wife.

How very sad…to live your life without the SURE knowledge of where you’ll wind up after you die.

You want to know the ironic thing?

Patrick knew he’d be somewhere.

Here’s the hard truth, folks.

When we die, we will go either to heaven or to hell.

If you accept that Jesus Christ, the only man who ever walked this earth without committing a sin, died for your sins and was raised after three days, then you WILL spend eternity with the Lord.

The alternative is…well…it’s not good.

As we bid farewell to 2011, we will, undoubtedly give thanks for another year that we either managed or feel blessed to have survived.

But what lies beyond…in 2012?

We’re not guaranteed tomorrow, folks.  There are no do-overs…no Groundhog Days, despite what the movies would like us to imagine.

Salvation is serious business.

It’s the life and death stuff.

After all, when you strip our lives down…take everything away from us…careers, family, friends…all that’s left is our individual selves and our souls.

Tough stuff…not the lightest questions to ponder going into the new year…but important, nonetheless.

Where do you stand?  If a loved one was going to write a book about you after you died, what would that person say?

Would that person be floundering for words, trying to figure out where you “landed” in the afterlife, or would there be a sure knowledge that you were in heaven, praising God with everything you had, anticipating that person’s own arrival one day?

Happy New Year to all of my bloggy friends and those of you who have never commented but either faithfully visit or got lucky enough (*cough, cough*) to land here today.

AuburnChick Cleans the House

What better way to start the new year than with a clean house?

Rooster and I worked our hineys off to get the house clean.  Soccer Chick and the Mr. are on their way home from the tournament, and I wanted the house somewhat sparkling clean when they get here.

I know it’s strange that I took pictures of the house, but, as you’ve probably experienced, clean houses don’t stay that way for long.  When my house starts looking like a tornado hit it, I’ll visit this post and drool over what once was…

Notice the lack of dishes in the last picture?  Rooster washed a small stack of them last night…nothing like the mountain of dishes he usually faces.

Happy New Year!

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s 2009 already!  Time flies when you’re having fun, eh?

Today is New Year’s Day.  I’ve declared it Pajama Day in the AuburnChick home!  Rooster and I worked so hard yesterday that I figured we deserved the break.

So, here I sit, in my jammies and fluffy robe, pondering what New Year’s means to me.

I’m not sure that I’m big on resolutions.  They never amount to much for me.  I guess I just have a bad way of following through with them, despite my good intentions.

Between this post on the True Woman ’08 blog (make sure you read this list in the middle of that post) and this post on Mrs. Pivec’s blog, I’ve been more reflective than past years.  Both blogs offer much food for thought.  I like that Mrs. Pivec selects one word to focus on during the year.  I also love the ten questions that are presented in the True Woman list.  They are not for the faint of heart.

I pondered the words I had read.  Over and over, I kept hearing the themes of time and debt in my heart.

I think I need to do a better job of managing how I spent my time.  I’m not dedicating much, if any (I’m ashamed to say) quiet time reading God’s Word.  I’ve used the excuse that the kids and I do devotions on school days.  However, that’s no way to build a relationship with God.  Relationships require an investment of time to truly get to know the other party involved.  A man and a woman who desire a serious relationship do not spend all of their time together in the presence of other people.  They spend time one-on-one, listening to each other, speaking the words that are deep within their hearts.  Sometimes, they are content just to be together, not even saying a word but simply enjoying the quiet presence of the other person.

The same can be said of growing a relationship with God.  Yes, we need corporate worship time.  However, we also need one-on-one time.  I think of some of the greatest people in the Bible.  Men like Abraham, David, and Jesus (I’ll count him even though he IS God) spent many, many hours in solitude, praying and desiring to be close to God.  I need to be more like them.

The other issue that’s been on my heart is debt.  With the down-turn in the economy and the severe cut in my pay, I’ve felt very convicted for the financial choices I’ve made over the years.  I think I’ve confused wants for needs.  Somehow, as salaries have increased, my savings have decreased.  More money in the paycheck?  Now I can up my cell phone plan, subscribe to more channels on the cable box, and maybe even buy more yarn.  However, I should have been putting more into savings, paying down things like the car payment and other debt, tithing more, and looking for more ways to give.  Putting God first.

Ugh.  How I wish for a clean slate – someone to come along, pay off everything for me – and let me start over.  But I think that I wouldn’t learn my lessons well that way, now would I?  I would probably revert back to my old ways.  Metal cannot be purified without going through fire; nor can I be changed and molded into something new without bringing the impurities of my life to the surface so that they can, ultimately, be removed.

So, those are the things I’ve been pondering lately.  I didn’t mean for the post to sound depressing.  When I reflect, I often do not focus on the good things I’ve done.  I look for ways I can grow, and this usually involves peeling back the superficial layers in my life to reveal the blood and guts of that lie beneath…not a pretty picture but present all the same.

Oh, and a few last words before I end this post.

Last night, while watching THE ball drop on TV, I was struck by something one of the hosts said.  He said that people are happy to see ’08 go and are looking forward to the new year and the HOPE that it will bring.  It was a reminder that each new day presents a fresh ray of hope to start anew.  God, in His infinite wisdom, did not make life on earth one long, endless day.  I think that would be rather depressing.  The rising of the sun each day symbolizes the chance to start over.

God is SO good!

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