It's a new year, and I can't help but notice that I feel like I can breathe a little easier. I have had a spring in my step ever since I woke up from the glorious nap I had this morning.
I have also been contemplating a lot today. My emotions are conflicted. Here I am, enjoying the first day of the new year, feeling excited, anticipating fresh starts, and feeling nervously hopeful about 2016. My mind races with thoughts of all the things I'm going to accomplish, all the things I'm going to change in my life, and oh yes, this year things are going to be different. I am immensely bothered by my feelings that are associated with the "new year". What makes me think that I should feel different today, feel like today matters more than yesterday? That the goals I make today are somehow different from the goals I could have made a week ago? I do this all the time. I'll start Monday. I'll start on the first day of the month, I'll start in the New Year. Rarely, do I think I'll start now in this moment. A new year guarantees none of this. It doesn't guarantee things will be different, easier, or more hopeful. There is much futility in it all unless it comes from a true change of heart.
My own confusion about it all is, well, confusing.
I suppose more than anything, the reason my emotions are so conflicted is because they reveal something about the state of my soul, something that is not very pretty. If my feelings of hope and fresh starts are so strongly associated with a date on the calendar, a "new year", do I really grasp and understand the concept of God's grace...His new mercies? His new mercies that are offered not just once a year, but every morning and every moment in which we are willing to surrender to Him, to repent, to ask for forgiveness. And isn't true hope a reality based on truth and not on feelings? I think it's apparent I have not yet fully grasped the depth of new mercies.
Still, I will make plans and goals. There is nothing really wrong with having goals as long as we hold our plans and goals with a loose hand and a heart surrendered, seeking His will and not our own.
And, I am so grateful that God doesn't offer fresh starts only on January 1st.
Thursday: New Years Eve...not sure yet...maybe Pizza
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Tossed Salad
Saturday: Salmon, Rice, Broccoli
I have a lot of things whirling around my brain that I want to blog about. I just have so little time right now :-). We had a wonderful Christmas and holiday time with our family. On Boxing Day, we bought ourselves an Ipad, which we are all going a bit crazy over :-D. I really, really like it and am having so much fun finding all sorts of apps for all sorts of things. One of my definite favourites is DuoLingo....it is SO MUCH FUN! I am brushing up on my French with it and hoping to become somewhat fluent. I have a thing for languages...I took Spanish and German in university (just intro courses) and enjoyed them so much. Supposedly, 34 hours of Duolingo is equivalent to taking a university course. It's got rave reviews from professors and it a super popular app. It is sort of like a game and I just love sitting down and working through the short lessons. Our kids are really into the Barefoot Atlas right now and are learning all sorts of things. E is loving a certain timed reading app, and is really motivated to read on it and answer comprehension questions. It is the perfect thing for homeschooling and this mama who loves learning all sorts of new things. I know we are already making such great use of it, and I can't wait to add some more great learning tools on it.
It's a busy time of year for everyone, but our family tends to keep the Christmas season pretty low-key. I do put up a couple of decorations,but we currently don't put up a tree, I do a little bit of baking (but not overly much), and we are also quite low-key with gifts. From us, each of our kids is getting one gift plus a few stocking stuffers. My husband and I actually don't exchange gifts right now. We prefer to use the money on other things like going on holidays or maybe a bigger item. For example, we are considering buying an Ipad for our whole family this year.
This year I baked a batch of cinnamon twist cookies (my Dad's favourite that I make for him since my Mom is gluten-free and doesn't bake with gluten anymore) and about 4 dozen old-fashioned cream cookies (a Mennonite tradition & also one of my husband's favourite cookies). The cinnamon twist cookies did not last very long around here and are already gone. Tomorrow I plan to take some time to decorate the cream cookies with the children. If time permits, I will also make up some snowflake sugar cookies that I usually make for Christmas, but I'm not really sure if I'm going to take time for that this year or not. Maybe I'll get around to it at New Years.
I have decided to keep going with homeschooling instead of taking a few weeks off right now. We will take a few days off (for sure the 25th, 28th, and the 1st,) but I'm hoping to just fit in a bit of extra work in on the other days and keep up as usual. With homeschooling this year, I have found it to be more beneficial for us to take a week off when things get a little crazy or when we are all feeling burned out. Today, we got about 2 1/2 days worth of school work in, so we might be able to make this a 3 day week, which would be great.
Last week was kind of a tough one for us. One disappointment after another has made it hard for my heart to remain hopeful and optimistic many times. Feeling stuck on a hamster wheel, always trying to get off, is not a fun feeling. My head constantly needs to remind my heart to not trust in my feelings, which all came crashing down on Saturday morning.
Thoughts affect feelings, so I force myself to think the right thoughts to try and bring my feelings back around again.
My life exists to bring glory to God, not to bring glory to myself.
My life exists to point others to Him, not to myself.
My life exists to know and experience a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
My life exists not to live out my plans, but to live out His.
When I awake in the morning, the sunrise reminds me of my Father, the One who paints the skies, and He reminds me thatmy life exists, and His purpose for me here is not fulfilled.
..."being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
Welcome to The Homemaking Pilgrim! Thanks for stopping by. I am the grace-saved daughter of the King, blessed wife of almost 10 years to my best friend, and Mama to 3 sweet children. My greatest desire is to point others to Jesus while living the pilgrim life in a world that is not my home. Join me as I share my passion for homemaking, home schooling, home cooking, motherhood, frugal living, and biblical truth.
Our daughter was diagnosed with severe chronic benign neutropenia. As of March 2012, she is no longer neutropenic! For her story & updates, please scroll down this side column to the section called Labels and click on the link "Updates on Little Bittles."
"Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (from Matthew 7:14)
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