Thursday, January 28, 2016

Making Over My Mornings: Days 9, 10, and 11

Hey All!

So first of all I have to tell you that I am somewhat in a state of mourning. You new favorite mug (the one in that pic up there) broke yesterday. A crack straight down the middle. So now I am in search of a new favorite. (Like I need any more!  LOL)

Anyway! This week as been a bit nuts. My dear hubby, who started that new job last week, was in town for less than 48 ours. Long enough to make it through part of church and Sunday afternoon activities and to get through his first classes of the semester. Then he turned around an went straight back to San Antonio for this week.

While he was preparing to make his way OUT of town my parents were making their way IN to town. They were also on their way to San Antonio and decided to take a detour and come up here for a few days first. It was fun to have them here. They got to attend a couple chapel services and just hang out spending some time with me, Malachi (my brother), and the kiddos. They made their way to San Antonio yesterday afternoon.

As they were leaving town I made my way to campus for my first class of the semester. I am excited about the places this class is going to take me but that is for another time.

I am a bit behind on the Make Over Your Mornings Challenge with the chaos that life has thrown my way. BUT I do have to say that I am proud of myself. Normally, when I get to a place were I get interrupted with a challenge like this I quit. I get frustrated or make excused about how it just wasn't the right time.

This time I purposefully made the decision to NOT let myself do that. Partly because I have been trying to blog my way through it and I like having the accountability that SOMEONE might possibly read this.

That being said, here is what happened for day 10.

Day 10 was all about creating a realistic morning plan. Creating a plan for myself that works. This is the plan I have come up with based on what I want to accomplish each day. So far I have been managing to be up by 6 so I am still working on actually getting out of bed and down the stairs on time but I can say I am noticing a HUGE difference in how my day goes when I am able to accomplish at least half of this list.

I have also made it a priority of mine to do bi-weekly meal prepping (blog on that one to come soon) so prepping dinner has become A LOT easier. Usually it just consists of pulling something out of the freezer or the fridge and dumping it into the crock pot.

I am also working on the breakfast thing. I am NOT a breakfast person. I have never been one to eat early in the morning. But I know I need to do better at eating properly if I ever want to considering losing some of the weight I need to lose. I also want to be setting a better example for my kids. More on that to come.

So there is my morning routine for the most part. Once the hubby gets back and starts working in this area I most likely will have to adjust this some to accommodate getting him off to work or to class.

Day 11 focused on the little (or not so little) lies we constantly tell ourselves. The things like "I'm just not good enough." Or "I will never have it together enough to do_________"

Crystal helped to identify those lies and to say out loud and write down the truth that counter acts that lie.

Today, a day after I went through that lesson, I read through my devotion. The whole focus on this particular devotion for today was that God is the God of creativity. And He created us all in HIS image. God gave us each unique and special gifts and when we deny that part of ourselves by buying into the lies that we aren't good enough or don't have what it takes we are denying part of God's plan.

That was so impactful for me to read. I know that I far to often buy into the lie that I don't have what it takes. I tell myself constantly that if I could just finish school I would have what I need. Or that I don't have anything to say that someone else hasn't already said so who would care."

It is these types of lies that I am struggling each day to combat. I know that I have what it takes to be a great wife, mother, and friend. I know that as I continue through school I will gain information that needs to be shared with the world. And one way or another, I will do just that.

Day 11, today's lesson was all about fitting in exercise and nutrition into your daily routine.

This is also an area that I have really struggled with. I find that I have the same problem here as I do with any type of program. If I get interrupted or I miss a day I just quit. I find one excuse after another not not do it. And it usually happens right when I am starting to see some progress.

I have written several posts about my weight loss journey so I won't go into details about all that here but I will say that I am still using my fitbit each day and I am working on upping my step goal. I am also planning on jumping back into the 21 day fix starting on February 1st. I just have to figure out what time of day that is going to work best now that I have 2 kids that aren't taking naps during the day anymore.

As for nutrition, I am always looking for easy healthy meals. One of the biggest areas we all struggle with in our home is portion control, another area I hope the 21 day fix can help me with again. The meal prepping for a 2 week stretch is REALLY helping keep us from eating out as much as we were, When I know that its already basically done I don't mind trying to cook. I LOVE being in the kitchen and I LOVE cooking but sometimes other things have to come first.

The last few days have been a whirlwind but I can say that even with all the chaos I found I was at peace. I knew things were under control even if it didn't really look like it. I am grateful that this opportunity came along when it did. It was just what I needed

What is your morning routine? Do you fit exercise in each day? What is your favorite type of work out program?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Make Over My Mornings: Day 8

Create a To-Do List

Day 8 is all about creating a workable daily to do list. Crystal tells us to be sure we make our list realistic and easy to accomplish, that way you don't feel defeated before even beginning.

I have to admit that I am one who will over plan. I am really bad at prioritizing. In my mind EVERYTHING is a priority. If it is something that I really NEED to get done the it is important it is has to go to the top of the list. 

This is why, especially, during the school semesters, my whole house tends to go to pot. I know my home and family is my main priority but I also feel very obligated to be focusing on my education. I mean, come on! I am paying ALL this money so I am going to get the most out of the experience.

When that starts to happen I find it hard to function. I don't know were to begin. If I am cleaning my house I feel guilty that I am not reading or studying. If I am studying I feel guilty that I am not folding the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, or organizing the kitchen. To top all that off, if I am doing either one of those things I feel guilty that I am not spending more time with my kids. But if I stop to play with the kids I feel guilty that I am not doing more on school or my home. 

Its a vicious cycle. And one I am striving VERY hard to break.

My first step is admitting to myself I can't do it all

This is an area I really struggle in. My whole life I have always felt like I should be able to DO. IT. ALL. 

And most importantly I should be able to do it all by myself. I don't like the idea of feeling like I am inconvenient or burdensome. I am fully aware that people, especially in today's day and age, are extremely busy. So I don't like asking for help. If I can't figure out how to get something accomplished on my own I will generally just fight my way through it and hope that I did it right. (Not the best method, I know)

However, lately, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I can't do it all. I, more often than not, will need help. 

That is why creating a TO-DO list has become one of my biggest tools in my tool belt. 

About a year and a half ago I discovered Erin Condren Life Planners. I was in love at first sight. It allowed me to keep my schedule organized while also being a creative outlet. (I also discovered washi tape. Which is whole different post!)  I talked about it here.

This year, due to budget constraints, I decided to go with the Create 365 Happy Planner. It is almost identical to the EC. There are a few minor changes but for most part they are the same.

I found that by writing out my daily to-do's in my planner I am more likely to get them done. I like the feeling of checking them off.  The space in the planner is small because I also use it to write out appointments and class assignments so I can't make my list too big. I put the things that have to get done each day in there first. If there is space then I can add one or two more things.

My next step is getting the help!

Now that the kids are getting older I am also aware that I need to be getting them involved with the daily chores. Last week I took the time to throw together a chore board that had responsibilities for each person that lives in this house. Each week we are responsible for one room in the house. Of course I help the kids with their room but they still have things to do. 

I am now working on check lists to go in each room so that everyone will know what is expected. Everyday general straightening will happen along with a once a week "semi-deep" clean. By enlisting the help of the people in the house I am not only teaching responsibility to my kids but I am taking some of the pressure off me to feel like I can focus on some other areas of my life. 

Finally I have to give myself grace

The perfectionist in me wants everything done perfect the first time and quickly. However, the realist in me knows that's not possible. By creating a realistic to do list each day I am able to fuel the perfectionist while keeping the realist at bay.

I am not a master at this yet by any means but I did find today's task in the 'Make Over Your Mornings' challenge a bit less daunting than others because I already have a system in place. Now, I just have to take the time to fine tune it and make things go just a bit smoother.

Do you make to-do lists? If so, do you prefer old fashioned pen and paper or do you like to use an app? If you use an app, what is it?


Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Mom

Photo credit: Jonathan Holmes aka Dad

In just one month I will be turning 30 years old. I have managed to live and make it through high school, college, getting married, and bringing 2 kids into this world. There have also been lots of roller coaster life changes for me throughout all of that. People have come in and out of my life but the one person who has always been there, through everything, is my mom.

My mom taught me how to cook, how to clean and why it is important we know how to do those things. She has taught me what it means to stick things out even when they get hard. She has taught me that words have power, and that usually, the things you say in anger are the things you generally mean because there wasn't time to censor or correct yourself. She also taught me that once something is said, you can't take it back. You may feel remorse for saying it but you can't get it back.

My mom has encouraged me in everything that I have ever wanted to do. When I wanted to play any sport, be in any extra-curricular activity, or take on any new challenge my mom was the one on the side lines cheering me all the way. And if it got hard or wasn't fun anymore she never let me quit. (One of the many reasons I am still in school today! Master's degree work is HARD, ya'll)

My mom is an AMAZING grandmother. Her grandkids LOVE her! She likes to get down on the floor and play with them, read to them, and do all the fun things kids love to do. 

Besides being great at taking care of and loving her family she is an excellent photographer, she can crochet with the best of them, and she is a great writer. My mom is crafty and creative and loves to experiment with all kinds of things. 

She is an AMAZING cook. My love of food stems from her encouragement to try new and different foods. We all know when life gets messy we can find mom in the kitchen. (Which is probably also why my sweet tooth is so bad too!) 

My mom is my best friend and I don't know what I would do with out her!

Thank You Mom for everything you have done for me! I wouldn't be where I am today without you!

Here are a few pics of my mom being AWESOME!
Rocking RaeLynn shortly after she was born

Bedtime stories at Thanksgiving

Me, Mom, and Sister at the Art of Homemaking Conference
on my 29th Birthday!

Making Over My Mornings days 5, 6, & 7 + Some SUPER Exciting News

Hey all!

It's been a few days since I posted but mostly because life has been a bit of a roller coaster around here.

First of all, my brother who has been living with us so he could start college was accepted, registered, and set to go all in a matter of a few days. So we have been in a mad dash to get books and school supplies for everyone in the house for the semester to begin.

Secondly, my dear husband made the decision to change jobs. While he was enjoying the appliance repair job it just wasn't making the money we needed. So when an opportunity for him to make more money came up he took it. However, that also meant he had to be on his way out of town for the next 2 weeks for a training of sorts immediately. So yesterday consisted of packing, cleaning out cars, and getting him on the road out of town.

And, last, I am still battling whatever this horrid winter cold is. The cough is what is getting to me the most. Especially at night. I am hoping to whip up a batch of homemade cough syrup this evening.

Classes start in full swing for everyone in the house next week and homeschool is still rolling along nicely. So there is a bit of an update on what is going on in our world.

Now on to the good stuff!!

I am really enjoying this course on making over my mornings. I haven't been getting up super early consistently like I would like to be but with the cold I am giving myself some leeway on that. I have, however, been keeping up with my evening routine and that has made things SOOO much smoother no matter what time I get up in the morning. There is just something about waking up to a clean living room and kitchen that makes things so much brighter.

Days 5 and 6 were all about setting goals.

Day 5 focused on setting realistic goals for a few key areas in your life. For me those areas were:

  • My Marriage
  • Parenting/Homeschooling
  • My self (Personal time)
  • My Work Responsibilities
    • Children's Ministry
    • Thirty-One Gifts
  • My Education

I was then tasked with writing out 1 or 2 specific goals I would like to accomplish in all those areas.
That part was a bit more difficult for me since I am prone to setting HUGE goals for myself. I am also a bit of a perfectionist so I want to do things right, the first time, and VERY quickly. So goal setting for me has always been a challenge.

One of the big goals that I set was to finish my Master's degree. I have set the goal of having it finished in 4 years. I know that seems like a long time but taking into consideration my schedule, my husband's schedule, home schooling, and everything else going on in my life I think that is a realistic time frame. If I am looking at everything right I need to say consistent with 2 classes a semester (6 credit hours) to accomplish that goal.

Day 6 was focusing on taking those big goals and breaking them down into bite sized pieces, like I did for my degree. I am still sort of working on that as I solidify what my big goals are. I think that part might take some time.

Day 7 was about accountability

Day 7 (today's lesson) was all about finding accountability. Finding one or two people to help hold me accountable as I continue to strive to get up in the morning. Luckily my sister is one time zone ahead of me so she gets to be the person that calls, texts, or Facebook messages me to make sure I am up and moving in the mornings.

The other person I will be relying on is my husband. Mostly this is because he has to get up for work and part of my routine each day is making sure he has his coffee and lunch ready to go out the door with him. I also have my brother who has to be in class at 7 AM 2 days a week. So making sure he is up and out the door on time will help with my getting up and going.

Completing today's lesson put me half way trough the course. Like I have already said, I am definitely already seeing a big change in the way that things are going in our home. I am more relaxed in the mornings and I find myself getting a lot more done. I can't wait to see what then next 7 days bring.

Now on to SUPER Exciting News!!!

I recently found a great website called Hearts at Home. It is a great site with fantastic supportive resources for moms. I love jumping over there to find encouragement, support, and sometimes even a good laugh. I would love to be able to attend one of their conferences at some point but for now I will enjoy the community I get from their Facebook Page and their web site.

Anyway, they are just about to launch a new book all about how in life we are better together. They were looking for women who were willing to read the book and discuss the information within as well as help promote it. AND I GOT ACCEPTED AS ONE OF THE LAUNCH TEAM!!!! They were looking for 400 women and I was on of the ones chosen. So I am really excited to read through the book and share some of my insights from it with you all as I go on. 

Stay tuned to find out how you can get a copy of the book once it is releases too!

What types of goals do you have for your key areas? Do you like to set goals or just fly by the seat of your pants?  Will you all help me stay accountable to the goals I have set?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Making Over My Mornings: Day 3 and 4

The last few days have been a bit of a roller coaster in the Marshall house. Wednesday I was busy with kiddos, school, getting things prepared for the new semester and general house stuff. Yesterday I came down with what can only be described as the plague. I'm talking chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, and a headache so bad I couldn't even sleep it off. Thank goodness I managed to find some pain reliever here in the house so I was finally able to get some sleep. The headache is gone but I am still not feeling 100%. That means I am taking a day off from "Making over my Mornings" but I am going to update you on what happened on days 3 and 4. So, here we go.

Day 3's focus was on "Putting the big rocks in the jar first" 

If you haven't heard of this analogy you can watch about it right here.

The whole point was to make sure that you are scheduling out your time to ensure the most important things happen each day. For some that is daily Bible Study and exercising, for others it might be a specific house hold chore. Either way, you put the "must do" things in first. Then the "important but not dire" situations can go in; those are represented as the little pebbles. After that the sand can go in; the other little things that don't necessarily have to get done but if there is a bit of extra time then use it productively. 

So the big rocks for me, my non-negotiables are by daily Bible study/quiet time, 30 minutes of some type of physical activity, getting school for the kids accomplished, and family dinners at the table at least 4 days a week. 

After that, my daily chores and laundry and my homework have to get done. The rest of the day can be filled with extra things that don't necessarily need to be done but can be. 

Day 4's focus was on Motivation

Day 4 focused on finding motivation to get up in the morning. While getting a good start to the day should, in theory, be a good motivation for getting up early that in itself is not  always the best form of motivation. 

Finding both internal and external motivation, something to look forward to when the alarm goes off in the morning.

For me the external motivators are my one daily cup of hot tea, getting my Bible study done in quiet, and having the opportunity to see Dusty off to work.

The internal motivator is the feeling that I am getting my day started off on the right foot. I like the feeling I have when I am able to get my bearings before anyone else is up in the mornings. I feel more in control and less like the world is caving in around me.

The last 2 days, while feeling under the weather I can absolutely 100% tell you the difference just a few days has made. Getting up and having the kitchen and livingroom straightened up and organized compared to the mess I woke up to this morning is a night and day difference. I know I am sick and that give me some sort of leniency but I can tell you once I'm feeling better I will never go to bed without having the kitchen cleaned up again!

What are your "big rocks" for each day? Do you have any specific motivation for getting up in the morning?


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Making Over My Mornings: Day 2

Well, here we are. Making over my morning for the second day in a row.

I won't lie. I almost didn't do today's lesson. Partly because I didn't clean up from dinner last night and I knew I needed to get busy on my chores for today. And partly because I was super excited to get busy working on my blog today.

You see, last night I took a big step in blogger world. (At least it was a big step for me.) After discussion with my awesome hubby I made the decision to invest in my own domain name for this particular corner of the internet.

So now, when you come to hang out with me and see what I am up to in the world of seminary life you won't have to add that little "" at the end of the webaddress.

We are now just

So naturally I wanted to play around with my investment. 

However, I made myself stop and watch the video and read through today's lesson. And I am really glad I did.

You see, this is how I felt when I sat down at the computer this morning.
I honestly felt like I deserved some type of award. And then I got started on Day 2 and Crystal talked about how to NOT feel that way. She talked about how the best way to have a smooth morning is to set yourself up for success the evening before. 

Crystal laid out two strategies that she uses in her home to make sure her mornings go smoothly.

The first strategy she uses is setting an evening routine. She took the top 3-5 things that cause her the most stress in the morning and she prepares those things the evening before. For example: If getting everyone up and dressed in the morning causes stress, the recommendation is to have everyone lay their clothes out for the next day before they go to bed. This way there is no guess work in the morning. Everyone knows what they will be wearing the next day before they even fall asleep.

The second  strategy is to get enough sleep. Now, I will admit that I rolled my eyes when she got to that one. Everyone knows that sleep is an important part of healthy living. Everyone also knows that it isn't always realistic to expect to get a solid 8 hours of sleep every single day. But as I listened and read more I realized that all it takes is re-examining my priorities and I could be getting more rest during the night.

The project for today was to first identify 3 areas that cause stress in the mornings and develop a plan to get those things prepared the evening  before going to bed each night. Then determine what time I need to get up in the morning, count back 8 hours and determine what time I need to aim for bed time.

For me, the areas that I struggle with the most each morning is waking up to a dirty kitchen, having coffee made and Dusty's lunch ready, and getting him out the door on time. 

So here is the evening routine I have created for myself and our family:

As part of our evening routine we have added in a family devotion time as well as a time for individual devotion. Dusty take Collin in one part of the house and they go through a devotion designed for boys his age group and I take RaeLynn to do a devotion for little girls. 

Here are the ones we are using.
We found all 3 of these at Mardel Christian Book Store
I hope to write a review of all of these as we get further into them. But for now I am looking forward to putting this evening routine into practice! Stay tuned for tomorrow's update on how I am making over my mornings!

Do you have an evening routine? What do you do to make your mornings go smoother?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Making Over My Mornings: Day 1

Today marked the start of the "Making Over My Mornings" challenge that I signed up for. If you missed that you can read more about it over here.

I had grand intentions of waking up before the rest of the house and getting started bright and early.
Road block #1: I didn't get to bed until almost midnight (not that I was all that surprised. Midnight tends to be a standard bed time for me lately)

Road block #2: It is really hard to get up "on time" when you forget to turn your alarm on. Then you find yourself jumping out of bed like a crazy person because you over slept and life is starting out all around you.

So things didn't get started as smoothly as I would have liked. But that didn't stop me from diving in. I took the time to get the kids some breakfast, figure out what Dusty's plan for the morning was, start some laundry, and sorta got the kitchen cleaned up. Once the kids were settled down with food and TV entertainment I sat down to get started.

So here are the details of how this thing works:

It starts out with a 3 to 5 minute video where Crystal (the author and creator of this program) lays out the purpose of that particular day. Today's topic: "Why Are We Doing This, Anyway?"  She explains that the purpose of the course isn't to turn us all into robots getting up before the sun. The purpose is to help teach and train us on how to use the early hours of our day in the most productive way possible so that we feel ahead of the game rather than feeling like we are doing nothing but putting out fire after fire until we crash into bed ready to do it all again the next day.
My planner, Bible, work book, and Hot Tea (yay caffeine!)
Once you finish the video there is a short lesson of sorts to read through in the work book she has provided. You can either download and read the work book from your phone, tablet, or computer. Or
you can do like I did and print out the whole thing. (I like paper, and being able to take notes right where I am reading)
At then end of the chapter in your workbook there is a "Project" for that day.
Hubby snapped this of me trying
to concentrate. Don't mind the crazy
hair please!

Today's project: Make a set time to go through the course each day and commit to it. I made the decision I want to try and get through the 15 minutes it takes for this at 7:00 AM. Dusty should be off to work, the two little ones I watch during the day won't be here yet, and my two kiddos usually aren't up yet.  I am aware that life happens and I probably won't hit that everyday but hopefully I can get there most of the days.

The second part of today's project was to tell someone what I decided on my time and commitment. First I told my husband, since I will need his support on going to bed at a decent hour and getting up
on time. Second, I told the Facebook group I am part of that is going through this challenge. And now, I am telling all of you out there who might read this blog.

Once I finished with that I took a few quick seconds to get into my devotional and journaling while everyone was still occupied. I am reading though The Prayer of Jabez Devotional by Bruce Wilkinson. So far I am really getting a lot out of it but that is for another post at another time!

I am taking time during my morning devotions to write out my prayers. I am also leaving space to keep track of what answers may come from those prayers. I have always prayed for certain things but very rarely do I have any way to go back and see EXACTLY how God answered those prayers. I am looking forward to seeing in a more tangible way how God responds to the requests I make know.

So there you have day 1 of me trying to make over my mornings!
Do you have a set time you like to read your Bible and pray? Are you going through any type of guided Bible study or devotion? Or do you just open the Bible and read?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Making Over My Mornings

There once was a time when I couldn't wait to get up and going in the mornings. I was almost always up, showered, dressed (with hair and make-up on) and ready to go before anyone in the house was.
Our 1st Spring Break

I was also 16 years old.

Then high school graduation happened and I went off to college. That was when "adulting" started to happen.

I was still able to stay up late, pulling all-nighters studying or hanging out with friends. I also managed to make it to almost all of my 8 AM classes. However, mornings started to get just a little bit tougher.

College graduation and my marriage beginning took yet another toll on my attitude toward early mornings. I began my first "post-education" job and that took A LOT out of me. I was also the wife of a the pastor of a very small Southern Baptist church. I had a lot responsibility thrust on my shoulders in
a matter of a few weeks.

Mornings and I started to become more like acquaintances rather than the best friends we had been just a few short years prior.

We finally broke up completely when I became pregnant with my first child. When I had to make the decision between laying in bed for an extra 30 minutes or fight off horrid morning sickness while I dressed for work I quite easily choose staying put under my comfy blankets for a few extra minutes.

The second baby came along, a move to begin school, and a toddler meant I had to start reacquainting
myself with early mornings again. But we just were't on speaking terms. I hurt her feelings, she hurt was all very ugly.

Here we are 3 years down the road and we are just now trying to mend fences and patch things up.

That is why when a blogger by the name of Jami Balmet over at Young Wife's Guide posted on her Facebook Page that she was putting a group together to go through a course on making over your mornings I was all in.

I took some time to read through her post about it and I was ready to go. I was even more excited to find out the course was being offered at a discount! Can you say SCORE!!!

So here we are, just a few short hours from the start of this course...and I bet you are wondering what the heck I am even talking about!
photo credit:

Well, The "Make Over Your Mornings" 14 day course is a program designed to help set realistic and achievable goals to help get your daily life a bit more streamlined. (At least that's what the ad tells me!) Crystal Payne over at Money Saving Mom has designed this course to help others implement a system that works well in her home as well as others who have gone through her program.

So there it is. I am hoping to be blogging my way through this 14 day experience. I will be sharing what the project is for each day, a pic or two of how I am implementing the plan, and how I feel about the over all program. Hopefully I will come out on the other side better organized and ready to take on the morning!

Are you a morning person or a night owl? What tips and tricks do you use to get yourself going in the morning? Have you ever tried a special program or challenge to get you more motivated in the mornings?  Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Word of The Year

One of the things that has become a big action step at the beginning of every new year is choosing a "word of the year". Picking out one word that you will focus on for the next 365 days and strive to incorporate every angle of that word into their daily life.

Recently there was a silly Facebook quiz floating around that would generate your word for 2016. Some people were really liking the word that was generated for them, and of course, others were not so happy with it.

I took the quiz and the word that came up was "Wisdom". I liked the idea of the word and I even considered making that my word of the year. I started to think about what that particular word means and how to apply it to my life. Ultimately, however, I made the decision that there was another word I wanted to focus on. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to focus on wisdom, but the word I have decided to focus on I believe will aid in gaining more wisdom.

So what is the word I am focusing on?


As I took time to think back through 2015 and even into some of 2014 I noticed that I am really good about getting things started. Working out on a regular basis, blogging, reading, journaling, you name it I will start out and do great for about 2 weeks. Then life tends to take over. And I let go of all those promises I made to myself and go back to old bad habits.

I started out by looking up the definition of consistency. There were several options but the one that stood out most to me in this context is:

The more and more I read that definition the more I realized I don't have a steadfast adherence when I set goals or outcomes for myself. 

My next step was to find out what the Bible has to say about consistency. As I expected most of the verses I found focused on the consistency of God. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. When He said He was going to do something or not do something all throughout the Bible He held to His word. That was a clear reminder of what I need to be striving toward.

However, the verses that stood out to me the most, as a biblical application to my word of the year was found in Matthew. It was then echoed in James. 

This verse is a reminder to me that I need to be consistent not only in my actions and my promises I make to myself but I also need to be consistent in the way that I deal with my kiddos. When I tell them I will do something I need to do it. When I have to discipline them I need to be consistent in how I handle each situation. 

As I focus on becoming more consistent in my actions and in my speech I am hoping that I will see a turn around in how things run in my home. WISH ME LUCK!

Do you have a word for the year? If so, what is it? 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Goodbye 2015 Hello 2016

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by. Two more semesters of school, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and lots of growing up has happened.

I would like to be one of those people who recaps everything that has happened over the course of the last 365 days, touching on the highs and the lows, but honestly, I can't really remember all that much. 

So I will share what I do remember:

School is getting harder. I know that is how it is supposed to work, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. With the completion of this fall semester I am now half way through my master's degree. That is both exciting and frustrating at the same time. I am glad to know I am half way there but I would really rather be a bit farther along.

The kids are growing like weeks. In the summer both kids started gymnastics. They both also had birthdays. My now 5 and 3 year old are amazing me more and more each day. 

Collin's kind and loving heart brings me to tears almost everyday. Collin will go out of his way to make sure everyone is being treated fairly and that everyone around feels loved and welcomed. He has the biggest heart in the world and I pray constantly that he doesn't change.

RaeLynn has entered "three-nager" stage. She is sassy and opinionated. She loves her baby dolls and all things My Little Pony. She also loves to color. At least once a day she is asking for paper and crayons to color something new. She doesn't wait for me to put it up. If she thinks its a masterpiece she will put it on the fridge herself. That part cracks me up.

Dusty is still repairing appliances and serving as the family pastor of our church. Work has been tough lately but we have definitely seen God provide when we have needed it. He is considering starting to look into other ministry positions but right now he is taking the time to pray and seek God's direction before making any major moves.

The end of 2015 brought with it a new addition to our household in the form of my baby brother. Malachi moved in with us just after Thanksgiving. He is getting himself set up to begin college here in just a few weeks. Him joining us here in Fort Worth has been so much fun. I am enjoying having him around to talk with and to have an extra helping hand with the kids. 

That is the highlight of 2015. I am sure there are more exciting things that happened but those are the ones that stood out most to me. 

2016 brings with it a whole new level of challenges. We will have 3 adults all working around work and school schedules, and 2 kids needing to be cared for, educated, and kept alive. I am not one for making "New Years Resolutions" but I do like to set goals for myself. 

One of the biggest goals I have for myself for 2016 is that of consistency. I would like to be consistent in my daily routine, my cleaning schedule, and my study habits. 

I am also setting a goal of being active for at least 30 minutes a day. I have a fitness planner section set up in my daily planner that I am using as a food journal and tracking my exercise. 

My last goal is to be consistent in my daily quiet time and bible study. This is an area I always struggle in. I am hoping that by taking time each morning to spent time with God I will be able to change the tone in my home. I want to be more gentle with my kids during the day.

So there you have it. A bit of a 2015 recap and a look into my plans and goals for 2016.