I had grand plans to list all kinds of goals and resolutions and even choose a focus word for 2014. And then I was going to blog all about it. Honestly, I haven't listed one single thing! I have thought about what I would like to focus on for 2014 (and really for the rest of my life!), but I have not put any thoughts on paper.
Where has January gone?
The first week of January, Olivia was still home from college, so my only plans were to enjoy her company and get the house back in order from Christmas. I actually did that in one day--13 hours on December 26 I worked and worked until you would never even know that we had celebrated Christmas in this house! Of course I had lots of help from my hard-working children.
The second week in January Olivia, Julie, and I all had the flu! I also took Olivia to the airport so she could fly back to school. I attempted to do some school that week, but since I was sick I didn't accomplish much.
And now it is the 3rd week in January.
I began school in full force at 8:00 on Tuesday morning. I reviewed our school schedule from the fall, and I tweaked it a little bit.
We are now all meeting at the kitchen table at 8:00 each morning for our Bible lesson. (Previously we were meeting at 9:00, with the plan that anyone up and ready should work on schoolwork independently until 9:00. This gave me time to get my marathon training in before the Bible lesson.)
At 8:30, I move to the schoolroom and sit between Leah and Sam. Julie and Clay work wherever they wish, and I am available to check and/or help with their schoolwork as needed. I move back and forth between Leah and Sam, and we continue in this manner until about 10:30 or 11:00.
Next, I read Sonlight books to Leah and Sam.
Next, I review any math problems that Clay needs help with and critique his writing assignments as needed.
We break for lunch, and then I do science with Leah and Sam and also finish up any necessary tutoring with Julie and Clay.
The rest of my afternoons consist of laundry, housework, running errands, other chores, and cooking supper.
This new routine has served us well this week. I think we have found our groove in our school day, and hopefully this success will continue.
Focuses in 2014
In Joshua's farewell address to the Israelites, he reminds them of all that God has done for them and how God has fulfilled every promise He made to their forefathers. He also admonishes them to remain faithful and obedient, or God's anger will burn against them, and they will reap dire consequences. Two verses in Joshua 23 stood out to me when I read this last week.
"But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day." Joshua 23:8
"So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God." Joshua 23:11
These two verses don't directly relate to the two words that I want to focus on for 2014, but then again, they do.
My words are UNSELFISHNESS and SIMPLIFY.
Brother Earl, one of the elders in our congregation, frequently says that Jesus was the most unselfish person that ever lived. That is so true. Being selfish is something that I need to work on. Not in the sense of "That's my plate! You can't eat off it!" But more in the sense of looking out for the needs of others before my own. Again, it really is not so obvious…I don't buy a bunch of clothes for myself and then have no money left to buy new shoes for my child who has outgrown his…my selfishness shows up more in my personal daily agenda…I have my own selfish goals, and sometimes they keep me from living a life of unselfishness. A life of putting the needs of my husband and children above my to-do list--even though the to-do list contains really good things. Is any of this making sense? Anyway, I think I need to work on developing the quality of unselfishness in all areas of my life.
Simplify. Another thing I really want to work on. As in spending less time planning every detail of my life and more time actually living it. I need to try to not make things so complicated. This will be a work in progress as I ponder what all I want to simplify. I just know that my life has felt cluttered lately, but not necessarily with things.
About the verses--in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord our God (no matter what my focus words are for this year or any other year), I will need to cling to the Lord and take diligent heed to love my Lord. How do I plan to do this? By immersing myself in God's Word and diligently loving Him. I will learn how to be unselfish by reading His Word, and I hope to actually practice unselfishness and simpleness by loving God. Loving God by obeying His Word.