"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There's No Use Crying (or yelling) Over Spilled Milk

*I know it isn't Thursday - but here is a 'throwback' post from October 2012

We woke up this morning to a pretty terrible thunderstorm, in the middle of October - are you kidding me!? I am NOT, nor will I EVER be a fan of storms - and I guess that fear has kind of rolled over into both of my daughters.

Nevaeh sat down at the dining room table for breakfast, 5 minutes later I saw her sitting in the living room, eating her waffle so she "wasn't too close to the windows."

Okay - so this parlayed fear isn't something I am proud of - but I'm working on it.

A few bolts of lightning hit a little too close to home so we shut off the TV and Nevaeh and Lillian spend the remainder of the morning right on my heels, following me through the house, as if they are actually outrunning the storm...then the milk spilled.

Nevaeh was carrying her plate around the house - with her cup of milk on top of the plate. I barely got "please be careful with your milk" out of my mouth, and you guessed it, milk everywhere; all down her school clothes and all over my clean tile. And I snapped!! There she was, a chocolate milk mess - with fear in her eyes as another rumble of thunder sounded.

All she was trying to do was stay close to me to help squander the fear of the storm raging outside our home - when I started raging one inside. 

I saw the defeat in her eyes. I felt terrible. She changed clothes, I cleaned the mess, and we went on about our morning.

We always say our prayers in the car as we're driving to school and daycare - and after prayer this morning, I felt convicted. I stole a little bit of my daughter's joy this morning - all because cleaning up that mess was inconvenient for me. So, I swallowed my pride, looked my 5 year old little big girl in the eyes and said "I'm sorry Nevaeh, I shouldn't have gotten upset with you for spilling the milk. It was an accident and accidents are okay. I'm sorry I yelled at you." And just as any child would, she forgave me and that bright smile reappeared. 

Sometimes I find myself flying through my life - so caught up in the responsibilities of my career and keeping my home in order that I forget how precious my moments are with my two little blessings. Every mistake is a lesson. This morning, over spilled milk, I could have reassured Nevaeh that "It's okay. It's an accident, we can fix this." I could have had some patience and understanding, knowing that she was already a little anxious with the thunder and lightning. But I didn't. I forgot about the importance of the moment and reacted in a terrible way. I wish I could take it back and would have used that moment differently. But all I could do was apologize and try harder next time.

Kids grow up too fast.

One minute it's all nursing and lullabies then the next thing you know it's shuttling from one practice or event to another, homework, bath time, and then...graduation. 

I am reserving to slow down a little bit and enjoy this time with my kids. To play, get outside and run around - to show grace. I just want to soak up their childhood, because all too soon it will be gone and I will be left with a lot of "I wish I would've done this instead". Hopefully, I will learn to appreciate the little moments more - even if it includes spilled milk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Candied Carrots

***I promise to work on my picture quality :)
Our family loves these carrots. They are super easy and taste SOOO good! They make the perfect side dish. I like to serve these with pot roast, mashed potatoes & green beans. The kiddos love these!!
1 pound baby cut carrots
2 tablespoons of diced butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
*additional brown sugar and white sugar to season to taste
1. Place carrots in a pot of salted water and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to a high simmer (I do medium-high, your stove may be better behaved than mine!) Cook 20 - 30 minutes. Do not let the carrots get mushy.
2. Drain the carrots.
3. Reduce heat to its lowest setting and return the carrots to the pan. Stir in butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
 *We like our carrots sweet - so I also add a few pinches of regular sugar here and a few more pinches of brown sugar.
4. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes - until sugar is bubbly. Serve!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

From Chaos to Cozy

Keeping the house clean and in order is a challenge for many of us ladies!! I am a total perfectionist - and well, perfectionism and children just can't live in the same house with one another. This will be one of those areas where you MUST give yourself grace.

You need a plan if you are going to keep your stuff together - trust me, I have learned this lesson the hard way. If you wing it, it won't happen and you will find yourself flying into a tizzy every time someone comes over.

Early in my marriage - the Flylady saved my life - or, at least my sanity. Although I don't adhere to all of her practices now - I took what I learned from her and adapted it to work for our family. 

Here's what works for us...

I do a few things everyday - to keep the chaos under control. 

*Make the bed
I do this as soon as I get out of bed in the morning. The girls make their own beds as well.

*Wash, dry, fold and put away one load of laundry
I do at least one load of laundry a day. Lately, I have been getting up early enough in the morning to wash and dry a load before work. That evening when I get home from work - while dinner is on the stove or in the oven, I fold that one load. The kids put away their own clothes after I have folded them.

*Load and/or unload the dishwasher
I try to keep the sink free of dirty dishes. It just instantly makes the kitchen look better if the sink is clean. 

*Empty Trash
This may not need to be done everyday. Seems like our family generates enough trash for two families!!

*15 minute pickup 
While dinner is cooking or after dinner is over - I like to spend just a few minutes tidying up. I check homework, sign the girls' planners, put away shoes, coats, mail, random lying objects, etc. 

*Swish & Swipe the bathroom (I got this from the Flylady)
Every evening before I take my own shower, I wipe our sink down, wipe down our toilet, give it a good swish, and wipe down our shower. I keep Clorox wipes and a Magic Eraser (they really are magical!) under the sink in our bathroom. Trust me - when someone wakes up at 2am with a stomach virus and they spend 2 hours hugging the toilet, they will be glad its clean!!

*Sanitize kitchen counters
Because I'm a complete germ-a-phobe and have a love/hate relationship with preparing meat - I sanitize my kitchen counters at least a dozen times a day (it seems)

As soon as you get into the habit of doing these things, it just becomes a part of your day. These things really don't take that much time - and in my own experience - really cut down on the madness in our home.

I had read several blogs (Women Living Well and Time Warp Wife) that suggest breaking down the housework over the course of a week. For example: Monday's you clean bathrooms, Tuesday you sweep and mop, Wednesday you dust...etc.

That may work great for you - if so, I recommend checking out both of the two blogs listed above and checkout their housekeeping schedules.

I do a "weekly home blessing" (from the Flylady) on Thursday of each week. Because I keep our home fairly clean through the week - with each of my daily tasks - I can complete my "home blessing" in 1-2 hours. This may take longer or less time depending on the size of your home (and your mess). 

Weekly Home Blessing
Dust and polish all furniture
Sweet & Mop all hardwood and tile floors
Vacuum the carpet in the bedrooms
Clean the bathroom
Windex all mirrors
Swiffer dust the blinds, pictures and artwork on the walls
Febreeze curtains and closets
Clean the kitchen counters

I'd like to add - that my husband and I tend to be neat freaks anyway. We just naturally keeps things tidied up (for the most part) and our girls do a good job (with a little prodding) at keeping their bedroom and playroom tidied up. I know some people don't have this tendency - and this area may be a challenge for you. I encourage you to give it a try. Remember, purpose is greater than perfection!! You will NOT, I repeat, will NOT have a perfectly clean home with children in the house. And you shouldn't spend more time cleaning messes than playing with the kiddos. 

I hope this helps - or at least gives you a good starting point to get your own house under control. Once it becomes a habit, these things run along smoothly.

And yes - I have weeks when I get in a funk and don't adhere to my routine well - but I regret it every.single.time. Playing catch up is no fun, so I feel the extra effort each day really makes a big difference.

Be sure to check out the links through this post for other great ideas!!

How do you keep the chaos away? Are you a planner or a "wing it" kinda gal? Do you do a little each day or one day of cleaning?

**Next week we will talk to-do lists and getting the kiddos involved!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Give Yourself Grace

Grace...it's something we talk about. It's something we encourage others to show to one another or even give themselves. We tell sinners that we are saved by God's grace and they can be too. Grace...it can often be something that is easier to give, than receive.
I know that I am so unworthy of God's grace on my life. Jesus laid down his life and took on my sin - and there is nothing I can do that will ever repay that debt. And that is where grace comes in. No, there isn't ANYTHING I can do to earn it - God freely gives it.
And as mamas, wives, friends, employees, etc. - it's something we have to learn to give ourselves.
You will not be the perfect mom, you can't be super woman, you will fail your husband and your children. All of these are inevitable. However, we as women hold ourselves to such a high standard - we strive for absolute perfection! Trust me, I am preaching to the choir, I know. If for no one else, this post is totally for me...about me.
There will never be enough hours in the day to get it all done. Season after season will pass when you don't do everything you set out to do. And that's ok. Time goes on...
But instead of giving ourselves the grace we often pour out on others - we feel guilty. We live with regret. That monologue of "could have" "should have" is constantly playing the background.
Give yourself grace mama.
The whole reason I started this blog was because I have been in that place. My to-do list was a mile long, I went over and beyond to meet the needs of those around me. And honestly, I wasn't doing it all to the glory of God - it was often to the glory of Michelle. I liked that satisfaction of doing it all or at least seeming to be doing it all. I wanted to be super woman - when really...all I was, was a worn out woman.
And that worn out woman would eventually have enough. My priorities were so skewed. Weariness sets in and gentleness and kindness disappears. We become consumed with the project at hand and forget about the purpose behind it.
You're right. You can't do it all. Your house will get messy. You and husband will argue. You will yell at the kids. You will lose patience. You will be unkind. You will become distracted. You will be selfish. You will be envious of other mamas that seem to have it all together.
You will put on a few too many pounds. You won't cook every night of the week. You will be unorganized. You will lose stuff. (yes, even your mind!) You too will become worn out. You will lose hope. But don't lose sight of this...
God's word says...
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   - 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Mama...God's grace is sufficient for you. When you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and are on the verge of giving up...go to grace.
Yes, God has called us to this wonderful ministry of motherhood. You, friend, are blessed beyond measure. But you can NOT do this on your own. Understand that your parenting, your marriage, your home is your ministry. Do it to the glory of God - and God will sustain you.
Let yourself off the hook. You are human, you will fail and that's ok.
This weekend - don't be so consumed with the to-do's that you forget how to be mama. Remember - earlier this week we talked about purpose being greater than perfection. That is true in ALL areas of your life. 
Have some grace for mama today!!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Fun Friday???

Yeah...so this is what I came home to yesterday...
You know that old saying..."when it rains, it pours"...well - the flood gates have opened at the Collins house.
Of course, this is perfect timing (note sarcasm). My husband and I just started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. What little we had saved is now going into a new bathroom. Did I mention that the bathroom floor literally fell through??? Yes, this is not an intentional remodel. This is a MUST, unless we want to start taking baths in the kitchen sink and using the neighbors' 'facilities'. This is a less than ideal situation.
I should have known better than to ask God to help me with my patience, to help me with my gentleness and attitude - because ladies, this is on.my.last.nerve.
So yeah - this is a HUGE lesson in patience, and gentleness and understanding. Whoever said God doesn't answer prayers has not met my God - and it seems He also has a sense of humor :)
But ya'll, I am blessed with a handsome man that is handy. Where I see this as an inconvenience, he sees this as an adventure. This is one of those times when my weakness are his strengths! Boy did God know what he was doing when he put the two of us together!! And I'm so glad He saw it fit for me to be his wife.
This is one of those times where complaints and laments come easy - but praise and appreciation is what needs to be proclaimed.
I get it...I really do. Thanks for the reminder God. Sometimes He has to let us go through a little inconvenience to truly appreciate what He has blessed us with.
Today I am thankful for the one, tiny little bathroom all of 4 of us share. I am thankful for a husband who works hard for his family. I am thankful for two little girls who haven't even breathed a sign of complaint about this whole mess of a situation...and I'm thankful my parents just live right down the road from us...and have been such a HUGE help during this whole ordeal!!
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!! How is God stretching you this week? Have you seen the blessing in the mess?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Less of Me - More of Him

I have a tendency to over-complicate things - to over analyze, the smallest, tiniest details. (My husband is screaming "Amen" somewhere, over that comment!). For the past few months I have struggled with my ministry, with my walk with God. Often times questioning the very voice of God - "I'm not worthy", "I don't have enough biblical knowledge", "Why me?"! I have spent more time in prayer and in God's word for the past 6 months, and somehow, still feel extremely disconnected from Him - from my life line.

It occurred to me today - or may I just actually slowed down enough to really LISTEN to what God was saying - either way, I am missing it. The big picture - I'm paying so much attention to the details, the minute background pieces, I am missing the big picture in its entirety. And I feel it, that faint, then stronger tug on my heart strings. That tugging that says, "Lay it down, be quite, sit still and listen."

I have spent time checking things off of my To-Do list - feeling that satisfaction that I did get everything done at the end of the day, but never really accomplishing much, at least not in the eternal sense. 


Devotion time...check

Household duties...check

And the list goes.on.and.on.

But I don't feel full, yes, somewhat content that my list is done - but never really "FULL"...

I am missing Him.

I have spent so much time and energy trying to the best wife, mother, friend and ME that I can be - when all I really long for is the best I can be in Him. I pray the words - fast, I read the Word, turn the page, but it never takes root. It stays on the surface for a moment but never plants into my soul. I'm starving - I'm starving for Him. I have ritual - but no relationship.

So...in an effort to uncomplicate my life, to get my fill - I am sitting still. I am praying in the quiet times, listening with my heart. Waiting for His voice. Reading His words, drinking in His spirit, letting it resonate within me.

Yes - I need less of me, less of this STUFF and more of Him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Michelle's Meaty Chili

I adapted this recipe from another recipe I found online. (Not certain of source). Over the years I have made my own tweaks – and we love it. The kids love chili night; and, best of all, it makes fantastic left-overs.
*please excuse my poor quality photography

Michelle’s Meaty Chili

2 lb. ground beef (I use the 97% fat free) *I have also used turkey. It tastes great also
½ onion, diced
1 jar dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar tomato sauce
1 16 oz. jar of salsa (the salsa pictured came from Aldi – and is the best!)
1 packet chili seasoning (we use mild, you can go as hot as you like)
Few dashes of salt and pepper
*If you feel this is too dry, try adding extra tomato sauce or salsa

To garnish:
Cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Tortilla strips

Brown meat and onions over medium-high heat til cooked through

Drain grease from meat and return to stove top

Add in tomato sauce, salsa, drained and rinsed kidney beans, chili seasoning and a few dashes of salt and pepper.

Give it a good stirring – and bring back to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to medium-low or low and simmer for at least one hour.
Garnish & serve. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Homemaking: Purpose > Perfection (Managing Mama)

When it comes to homemaking, purpose is greater than perfection.

Often, wives fall into 1 of 2 categories when it comes to their take on homemaking - either it's a priority or it isn't a priority. Regardless of where you fall in this debate - I hope, today, I can help you find some joy in seeing that YOU can be a blessing to your family by cleaning toilets, washing dishes and folding laundry. And, if you do it with the right attitude - to bring glory to God through serving your family - you too will be blessed.

I understand those who say that homemaking should not be a priority. I get it - especially if you have little ones at home. It feels nearly impossible to keep the house in order. My children are only 2.5 years apart - so I lived those times, with a newborn and a toddler, then a toddler and preschooler, now 2, grade school girlies. There is never a time when everything is done, and perfect, simultaneously. There's always another dish to load in the dishwasher, more laundry that keeps piling up, dust settles just as soon as its wiped away, smudges come almost instantly onto polished furnished - and the windows...forget about it.

If you are one of these moms/wives/women...please release the guilt of not being able to get it all done. There are seasons in life when, well, things will be messy. When you are up nursing a newborn every 2 hours - you need to use your downtime (what little there is) to rest and nourish yourself. There will come a time (yes, I promise, it is coming) when there will be more hours in your day to be "productive". 

But I have to stop here and say I absolutely do not agree with the women who say homemaking should not be a priority. I read a blog post recently that was almost admonishing to women who keep a clean home - like we're all sacrificing time with our children to do a few chores around the house. Through the years I have developed my own schedule and have learned to manage time properly enough so I am not sacrificing time with my kids to clean my house. (And I work a full-time job outside of the home.)

I look at my home like this - God has blessed me with a home to share with my family. I have a responsibility to be a good steward of that blessing. I know that isn't a popular opinion - but it's the truth. The Bible speaks against idleness and sloth - if you have time to watch hours of TV - you have time to clean your home. Homemaking should be a priority - it shouldn't be your top priority - but it is important. 

Sweet friend, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to serve and be a blessing to your family.

A few years back - I was feeling the overwhelming burden of keeping our house tidy, cooking meals, etc. while being a full-time mom to our sweet daughters. I found The Flylady - and while I do not currently fully adhere to her principles - she helped me get my act together. There are still a few tips of hers I put to use that help me keep the house out of C.H.A.O.S (can't have anyone over syndrome - the Flylady's term, NOT mine!) 

As your children get older - give them chores of their own to do. This WILL help you tremendously, and they will enjoy it (at a young age they actually LIKE helping out - I'm sure that will fade fast, capitalize on it while you can!!) Obviously these small jobs should be age appropriate. For example - my 5 year old feeds our dog, makes her bed, helps her sister keep the playroom tidy, loads her clothes in the washer and puts them away after I fold them. She doesn't do these things every day - just as needed through the week. My 8 year old does all the same things except she also helps with loading the dishwasher and emptying the trash. The MyChore Chart app is super - the kids love it!! I highly recommend checking it out. It's available for both iPhone and iPad.

And thankfully - while I carry the biggest brunt of the housekeeping responsibilities - my husband is a big help as well. I don't expect him to help out all that much because I do absolutely NOTHING to help him in the yard, etc. I've never learned how to mow grass, weed or plant flowers, etc. That is his domain (he likes it that way) and the home is mine. 

Monday's - here at Grace for Mama - we will focus on ways to make homemaking an easier task to accomplish in our new "Managing Mama" series. It will take some time for you to develop a good routine that works for your family - and it may take some time to get your attitude about the whole thing in check - but remember, purpose is greater than perfection. No one expects your home to be immaculate - and you shouldn't put that kind of pressure on yourself anyway!! But if you purpose to see housekeeping as a "home blessing" and do it to the glory of God - it may just become something you enjoy!!

**Next week we will discuss developing a cleaning routine

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fun Friday - 5 of My Favorite Things (Right Now!)

Happy Friday ladies!! Now that I plan to get back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis - I thought I would reserve Fridays as our "Fun Day". (Not that the other days here at Grace For Mama aren't fun!!) 

Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite things - right now. I love all of these things and think you just may too!!

Let's start off with vanity, shall we? ;)

1. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Foundation & Concealer
I can not rave enough, about these products. I haven't worn foundation for years. Since I had children and entered my 30s, my skin has changed dramatically!! This foundation is light, but provides great coverage. It smooths out my skin, covers my red blotches, all without looking caked (is that a word?) on. I love, love, love this!!

2. Bath & Body Works Holiday Collection
Ahh, yes! These are the PERFECT gift to exchange with friends and co-workers. Who doesn't love Bath & Body Works? I love all 3 of these scents but the Winter Candy Apple is my absolute FAVORITE!!

3. Chalene Johnson's 30 Day PUSH Challenge
Many of you may know Chalene Johnson from fitness programs like Turbo Fire, Chalene Extreme or PiYo. But she is also an awesome!! motivational speaker/personal development expert/life coach and the New York Time's Best Selling Author of 'PUSH'. You can check out her podcast, The Chalene Show or join in on the FREE 30 Day PUSH Challenge here.

The PUSH challenge is essentially a 30 day FREE course to goal mastery. I start out the beginning of every year doing her challenge. She helps you create and maintain a to-do list that you can ACTUALLY manage and she helps you create goals and realize the potential within yourself to reach these crazy cool goals. I love her!! She also is very vocal about putting faith and family first!!

4. Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University 
My husband and I bought Dave's 'Total Money Makeover' a few years back - and never opened it. This year we embarked on the Financial Peace University journey and we are finding it VERY helpful. His concept just makes sense and we love his 'don't hold anything back' attitude. If your church or place of employment is offering this course - TAKE IT!! It will change your life.

5. Good Morning Girls Bible Studies
Last, but certainly not least, Good Morning Girls!! I have been doing Good Morning Girls Bible Studies for a few years now. I love the accountability. Courtney offers great, FREE, resources on her website to accompany the studies. If you are looking for accountability to get into the word of God, look no further. Right now we are reading through the entire Bible, one chapter a day. I highly encourage you check out the website and jump in :)

Do you have any faves you think we would like? Share below!!

***Disclaimer: I am in NO way receiving compensation or any other benefit from promoting these items, except the hope that they bring you the same joy they bring me!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Earmuff War

OMG ya'll - it is COLD in our neck of the woods. We woke up to temps of 7 degrees with a windchill below zero today. For us southerners - that is CRAZY COLD!! 

Mornings in our house tend to get a little chaotic - my daughters fight ALOT over petty stuff. "She's staring at me" "She made a face at me" "She is sitting too close to me" and it goes on.and.on.

This morning - was no different - in fact, the annoyances were amplified by a two hour delay at school. 

So naturally, just as we're getting ready to walk out the door - the fur flies and the earmuff war begins!!

I told both of my daughters to put on their big coats, gloves and a hat or ear muffs. After the fight over gloves was resolved the earmuff became the center of the Collins Clash. 

All of a sudden, the ear muffs were itchy, they weren't the right ones, "We're not allowed to wear ear muffs at school so I'm NOT wearing these"!

I was DONE.

The fighting was too much! The bad attitudes had to go - so I snapped, just a little bit.

I raised my voice and had an attitude just to tell them how they should not raise they voice and have an attitude...

I got angry. They looked at me bewildered because I became the lunatic going on and on about how they should NOT be lunatics...hypocritical much?

It was not my finest parenting moment and thankfully my husband reigned in my craziness.

I adjusted MY attitude, we made our peace and went about our morning.

Just yesterday I wrote this scripture on a sticky note and posted it on my rearview mirror in my car (because other drivers tend to ruffle my feathers a bit as well) and made the comment that I needed to post it EVERYWHERE. 

So I am going to post it EVERYWHERE so I am reminded ALL THE TIME.

Ouch! God isn't pleased when my daughters fight, argue and get angry with each other and He isn't pleased when I react in anger either.

Somedays I think my kids are teaching me more than I'm teaching them.

What verse helps you get through the day and keep your attitude in check?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs

Comfy in the Kitchen is my absolute favorite site to find new recipes!! I have tried tons of Janelle's recipes and we have NEVER been disappointed. One of our favorites is her Spaghetti & Meatballs. I have made a few tweaks to suit our family's taste - but this is an absolute MUST TRY!! I use my crock pot for this recipe - and it turns out perfect every.single.time.

Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients:
1 28 oz can of tomato puree
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 small tomato paste
2 15 oz cans of water
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp garlic powder (or more if you prefer - I do!)
1 tsp pepper

Turn your crock pot on low, spray with non stick Olive Oil spray and begin adding all your ingredients.

Stir. Now we're ready to make the meatballs.

Meatball Ingredients
2 lbs ground chuck
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 Tbsp of parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup milk

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Form into balls (golf ball sized).

Brown on both sides in hot olive oil.

Cook in crock pot for 6 to 8 hours on low.

Serve with salad and Italian bread.
**We use the leftover meatballs to make meatball subs the next day :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Good riddance 2014. 2014 was a year of many blessings and many trials. I don't think I have ever been this excited to begin a new year, start fresh, turn a new page.

I found my list of 2014 resolutions and was disappointed that I hadn't accomplished even one of them. So, these past 365 days have been spent running in place, sometimes even taking steps, ok, maybe giant leaps, backwards.
But... (and there is ALWAYS a silver lining)...
This lack of progress - or just down right failure - has really inspired me, motivated me, driven me to make 2015 my best.year.ever.
My "failures" in 2014 turned out to not really be failures at all. I have learned, the hard way, WHERE I don't want to be, WHO I don't want to be and WHAT I don't want to be doing.
Yes, 2015 will be MY year. My 32nd year will be my defining year.
Some people choose a word, theme, Bible verse, etc., to be THEIR focus for the coming year. Mine is PERSEVERANCE.
James 1:2-4 sums up my 2014 and what I'm hoping for, for 2015, perfectly:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”
Because I can never narrow it down to just one - here are my resolutions for the New Year:
1. Reform my eating habits, get fit and healthy
2. Focus on my blog and make my writing a priority
3. Cultivate and nurture friendships with women of like-minded faith
4. Be intentional
5. Simplify my life - so I have time to really live and enjoy my life
What do you hope to accomplish this year? What have you learned in 2014?
Share your resolutions with us :)

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