Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!!

It seems quite natural to spend time during the holidays reflecting on the year, and of course the New Year brings new resolutions for our future.  I don't typically make a list of wishes or tasks that I am going to do (or give up) in the coming year,  I am one of those people who is more likely to start the clock to see how long it takes for me to cave in on my new resolutions.   But I did however come up with a goal for 2013 that I think will be helpful. 

My goal is going to be far more intentional in 2013.  I have seen in so many areas of my life, spiritual, physical, and mental where I was swayed by the wind, or beat up by on out-of-control calendar.  So this year, my pledge isn't to lose a bunch of weight, though health will play a big factor in my year.  This year, I won't pledge to shred the credit cards, tackle my reading list, kick my bacon addiction or be a better Daddy, Husband, Brother, Uncle, Friend, etc.. 

In the Spring of 2012, I wrapped up a 27 week study on biblical manhood, and we spent a ton of time sorting through priorities and setting standards.  Because of that class, today I have a much better grasp on who I am, and the identity I want to build for my family.  So this year, I want to focus on being proactive, rather than reactive.  The plan that I designed then becomes the filter through which I run new opportunities and requests for our time. This is being intentional.

Last year, an all too common scenario out was that we would create a menu for the week's dinners, do the grocery shopping, but forget to get to get that key ingredient from the freezer.  Too tired and frazzled from our week to commit the brain power to a new menu, or too little time to throw something together, we would pile into the car for a fast food gut buster.  The simple truth was that our planning was half-hearted at best, and I was getting home from work way too late.  The result was way more entries into our checkbook ledger for a fast food restaurant than any of us would want to see and an expanded waistband.  Funny thing is that we didn't exactly feel like we released any of our stress by this, it just was the path of least resistance. 

Late evenings in the office, early mornings, bringing work home, eating late dinners, a lack of good family time all were factors contributing to lack of joy in our family.  We weren't moving forwards toward something and we weren't enjoying our children.  We were just trying to survive the week, so that we could get to the weekend, so that we could try to regroup, reorganize, and try to recoup before the onslaught of the coming week.  Every week was a crisis, every week was something we didn't plan for.  Sound familiar? 

Our family and our house was greatly in need of a manager.  Someone, not to necessarily DO all the work, but someone who could get the house on a schedule, and keep us organized.  Brenda and I thought long and hard about who we could possibly trust enough to invite into our home to fill this role.  And we wouldn't need to charge them all that much for the honor of filling this role, but the hiring process was just another thing to fill our already maxed out schedules. Instead, we decided to promote from within.  I am so thrilled that Brenda has been willing to leave her job to focus solely on our family and our home.  What a HUGE job this is.  What in the world were we thinking trying so hard to fill this precious role with part-time effort?  This is being intentional. 

Removing Brenda's income is a very scary prospect.  It's going to take some very intentional, very sound decisions on our part, but we both are so sure that this is God's design for our family.  And we know that with that faith and our stewardship that it will work. 

I believe that when December 2013 comes around, if I can look back at my year and see that I was successful in being intentional with our time, talents and treasures, then I can be confident that I will be more healthy, smarter and more fulfilled than I am today.  That seems like a pretty sound investment option to me.

So, here's to being intentional in 2013.  We are off to a great start and we know that big things are ahead for our family this year.  I pray for peace and joy in this year for our friends and family as well!