I saw this posted recently, and thought it was worth repeating… 🙂
2011 is our year of living with intentionality…
I have set many personal goals for the year (NOT “resolutions”), and many of them tie in with Proverbs 31. Yes, like many, I am also going to focus on being more in shape this year, but that’s because I’m walking 60 miles in three days in October, and must train in order to survive! More importantly, I am striving to be the best wife to Brennan that I can be…to love him like he deserves to be loved. 🙂 Because I’m an organized person, I needed to map out what that would look like in terms of goals. So, I made a list, and I am working hard to become more Christ-like in everything I do, especially when it comes to my husband.
As a couple, we also set a few goals…
We are being very intentional about spending time with certain friends and family members, recognizing that in the past year we often let months go by without seeing them. This also includes an intentionality of time together as a couple, because we recognize the need to continually invest in our marriage.
We are being very intentional about living frugally, in an effort to be debt-free. As of now, we will be debt-free as of September 2012 at the latest, and we are running toward that goal with “gazelle intensity”, as Dave Ramsey says. 🙂 This is playing out in our lives in different ways: budgeting every dollar (like Dave Ramsey says to do), seeking extra income, planning out meals and using programs such as the Angel Food Ministry to save on groceries (and COUPONS!), and making little sacrifices along the way (“Live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else!” –Dave Ramsey) because we recognize that being debt-free is a far better achievement than the things we might choose to spend money on now. Once we are debt-free, we will hopefully buy a home and start a family. That’s our plan, but God may have other plans, and that’s okay, too!
We are being intentional about serving others and serving our community. I am still the “Community Project Coordinator” for our church(es), but that’s the only church responsibility I hold now (after stepping down from worship team for a MUCH needed break after doing it every Sunday for two years–plus practice every Saturday morning). This will allow me to spend more time seeking projects to benefit our neighbors and to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in Harrisburg, PA. We are still involved in a church plant (The Well at East Shore), and are praying about becoming involved in another one later this year. Wherever God leads…
We have really simplified our lives, cutting out things (even “good things”, like church activities) that were making us “busy”, and that were keeping us from clear ministry opportunities that God was putting in our lives. There are people in our lives that desperately need the love of Jesus, and we were too busy to notice until now. So, now we are being intentional (there’s that word again! 🙂 ) about investing in those people…
2011 is going to be a great year…and we are open to whatever God brings our way!
*Side note on the Angel Food Ministry program: they offer amazing deals on food that is perfectly good–not expired or bad quality, as some assume–and it’s open to anyone of any income! We ordered two boxes of food/fruits/vegetables for a total of $68, and one lady figured out that the $41 box is worth $120! I figured out that the fruit/veggie box ($23) is worth close to $50! Best part is that once I sat down and created a menu for the month of February using the food in the boxes, I was able to get 15 meals out of all that food (for two people), with only having to buy a few items at the store to supplement the meals. We are SO excited to be living frugally, supporting a ministry, AND still eating good, healthy meals in the process!
- This is my third winter in Pennsylvania, what I consider to be my third “real” winter ever. And I’m already finding that I’m not as excited as I was about the first two. It snowed a little last Friday, and rather than be thrilled and overjoyed–as I was the past two years–I found myself saying things like “oh great”. 🙂 Amazing how quickly the newness of snow can wear off.
- We are busy. Way too busy for our liking! Starting tonight, we have something to do/somewhere to be every night until the 28th. How does this happen?
- I really wish we were going to California for Christmas…especially because Papa Fay has Alzheimers, and we don’t know if he’ll remember us next summer. But, I’m excited about possibly having my first “White Christmas” 🙂
- Our apartment is finally feeling like a “home” as we slowly unpack, rearrange, and get rid of cardboard boxes. 🙂 We caved in last week and turned on the heat a bit, because 54 degrees is about fourteen degrees too cold for us.
- I started the “thank you note” process the other night…I have 150 cards to write–and while we are both thankful that we get to write these (because we were so blessed by our friends and family!), the number is a bit daunting…as is the etiquette rule that says you have eight weeks to get them to people. We’re at six weeks now. 🙂
- The band that I am a part of is recording a demo this weekend, as there are a few venues that have opened up to us, but they require a demo CD. Thankfully, our “leader” has a recording studio in his basement. It’s been SO fun to play/sing in this band–but it has definitely challenged me and taken me out of my comfort zone at times. Three gigs last week alone…and more to come.
- I have raised 9% of the $2,300 for the 3-day walk that I am doing in October! Still selling calendars!
- All in all, life is good. We are loving being married, and have determined that it is far better than engaged life. There is nothing like starting and ending every day with the one you love most. 🙂