My Top Five Goals in Life

I was challenged yesterday, by Nate of ItStartsWith.Us, to take note of my top 5 goals in life.

I had to chew on it for a while, but following his two-word framework, here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Be genuine
2. Listen carefully
3. Love always
4. Organize stuff
5. Enjoy now

If you feel so inclined, I’d love to hear yours!

Christmas Gifts

At first glance, my favorite Christmas gift is my new webcam from my husband. With it I am now able to have great online conversations with my mom and dad, whom I miss an awful lot! And I’m able to give them the “J5 fixes” they need. 😉

J5 and Mommy

The late bloomer gift is my new “The Message” New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, by Eugene H. Peterson. I’m just reading it from front to back. I doubt I’ll use it as a study Bible, but then that was not what it was written for. I’m only in as far as Matthew 14, but I am really enjoying it! I don’t struggle to keep my mind focused – of course I still struggle to have a few uninterrupted moments to sit and read, but that has less to do with the book than it does with a certain 2-year-old…

In talking with Beth last night, I realized that my life needs “exercise and church”. I am going to try to find a way to get connected with one of the churches around here. Most likely, I’ll try to go to CCC. I want to get into another small group and they have morning women’s groups with child care. As for the exercise, I dug out my pedometer (I was allowing it to dry out after a trip through the washing machine). I don’t know yet what I want to do, but mostly I want to get my step count up out of the triple digits…

Sadly, I will be in church tomorrow for the funeral of my Great-Aunt Millie (My Grandma Forman’s sister). She was killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve. She was a super sweet lady. I will be happy to see all the family again. It seems that’s what brings us all together lately. The last time I saw this whole group was at my Grandma Forman’s funeral. It’s that generation shift. Family gatherings don’t seem as big as they used to, but maybe that’s just because I’m one of the grown-ups now.

Well, I’d best be going. My 15 minutes of rest are about up and I need to get back to the “Today” list that keeps growing.

Blessings.

It’s OVER!

I have had a change of heart. And mind. And I’m really excited to see where God is leading me on this: I am abstaining from food. I am quitting food cold turkey.

Ok, so not REALLY….but yet I am.

I have, on multiple occasions, complained to my husband how much easier it was to quit smoking than it is to control my eating. I smoked for over 5 years, and when I quit, I just quit. I was on the way to the doctor’s office and knew that he would once again badger me about smoking. So, on the way there I had one last cigarette. Cashed it out, and said I’d quit. Initially, I did it just so I could tell him that I’d quit, but that really was the end for me. Three days of physical withdrawal, and I was good to go.

Food. Not so simple.

After reading the last couple of posts on Heidi’s blog, I was painfully impacted with God telling me to get off the scale. It was something Heidi said –

“Because the scale stayed at a certain weight, I justified eating even when not hungry…and since I was eating when not hungry, I felt compelled to “keep on top of things” by weighing. Both are reflective of a heart not heeding the voice of the Spirit!”

So, my first change is to get off the scale. I realized that I was using the scale as my “how am I doing” in the hopes that it would be my positive influence. All it really did was judge me daily and find me lacking. I wasn’t using any restraint during the day when I needed it.

And the second change? Much bigger. It’s a new attitude of fasting. When I quit smoking, and got the craving, I would work to distract myself. I wouldn’t sit and visualize smoking, and pout about not being able to smoke, and talk to others about how horrible it was to not smoke. I just put up a wall in my mind about it. I was done smoking. Temptation be gone!

I’m trying this about food. I want to have a mindset of fasting. My relationship with food is over. No more thinking about eating, or pouting about not being able to eat, or talk and talk and talk about how much I miss eating and how hard it is to not eat. I’m done. 0 is my friend.

But lest anyone freak out about this – I am not fostering anorexia. I am letting God feed me.

I will prepare healthy meals for my husband and son. I will plan and buy food for their benefit. And when my body is hungry, I will give it small amounts of healthy items just to make the hunger feelings go away. But I’m done with the love of food. It honestly, truly, has been an idol in my life. I have had secret affairs with it for years and years. The only way to put away sin is to turn my back. I am done with food.

I will eat what God allows me to eat. I will be thankful and enjoy whatever he permits. But I am done preparing anything for myself. And if I get antsy during the withdrawal period, I have God – the TRUE food – and plenty of water to drink!

Writing

Lord, I don’t know what lies within. But this writing is to take the time to listen to You and find. And then, to take up a different life.
— Ann, at Holy Experience

So much of my writing is reflecting on what was or what is, but what it should really become is a way to pour out so I can change.

Lord, I am still just a hearer, and not a doer. I hear a lot of things.

The laundry being spun. The cheerful, but as of yet unintelligible, chatter of a near 2 year old. Squeals of alternating delight and disappointment as his faithful playmate, the dog, keeps a toy just out of his grasp.

A little here, a little there. Playing with building blocks. Squeezing two of them together, but then unable to separate them, squawks in frustration. “Bring it to mommy, and I will help you”, I hear myself say. But he’s thrown the blocks away and moved on to the next thing.

Ah, how much of myself I see in him. I try to do something, run into difficulty, and do not listen when my Father says “Bring it to me, child, and I will help you.” Instead, I decide that this new thing just doesn’t work, and discard it. Moving on to something else. And nothing else satisfies. Nothing else works. And I keep moving and searching and dabbling.

Lord, slow me down. Teach me to see. To wait. To bring all things to you for your help. In the way of a 2-year old, I want to do it all by myself. Trying to exert independence. Why? What will I gain. I come to you to be changed. To start to DO what it is that I’ve been thinking, talking and hearing about. Please show me what this doing looks like. It’s so easy for me to leap into legalism and striving and I know that there is a difference between striving and doing.

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
Luke 11:28

40 Things Before 40

I was wandering around the blogosphere and came across someone who had written a 40 Things I want to do before I turn 40. As I am now 36 years old, I started thinking there might be a few things I want to do in the next 4 years. It’s the closet thing to a “5-year” plan that I’ve thought about making. My goals tend to be SO much more short term, and usually of the “I think I’d like to…” nature.

So, anyway, without rambling on too much more, here’s my list:

  1. Fit into a size “S” something…anything…
  2. Go to Disney World with my family – Scheduled for December 2008
  3. Go on an romantic getaway / cruise / vacation
  4. Find a church home – Now attending CCC
  5. Turn our lawn into something beautiful
  6. Plant flowers in front of our home
  7. Have a small flower/vegetable garden
  8. Visit the Brookfield Zoo
  9. Finish my book lists – both fiction and non-fiction
  10. Finish my sampler crochet blanket
  11. Write my will
  12. Lose 70 lbs
  13. Get my hair cut in an actual “style” – perhaps even a short (**gasp** ) one!
  14. Come up with more things for this list

[ETA: I think I’ll not set my goal quite so high, or I’ll spend the next 4 years trying to come up with what to do and spend none of it actually DOING it.]