Challenge, Life

Less. So there can be More.

less

Last year was the first time that I ditched resolutions for just one word.  You can read about that here and here.  I was inspired by both One Word 365 and My One Word.  Definitely check them out when choosing your word.

For 2014, I intend to remain “Intentional” and for me, during this season of my life, this means “Less”.  And “More”.  I spent weeks thinking and praying about my word for 2014. So many good ones to choose from!  But I kept coming back. Over and over. I want more from life, but there are so many things I keep tripping over (sometimes literally!) and so many things blocking my way.  In order to get to that “More”, there has to be “Less”.

Let’s start with “stuff”.  The clutter.  You know what I am talking about – those {big} piles of stuff that fill our homes. It is living on borrowed time in my house.  Every closet, drawer, and room in my home will be decluttered {and organized} by 2015.

stuff

I will value quality over quantity. My home is a part of me and I want the message my home is sending to be one of openness, hospitality, warmth, and love.  Not chaos.  I want my home to be an inspiring place to spend time.  I want a home with space to actually live.  I want to look around my home and call it enough.  I want a place to recharge and unwind.  I want to live a more simple life, focusing on people rather than on things.

But…there is also the “More”. More relationship and connection.  But for there to be more of that, there must also be less.  Less stress, less preoccupation, and less  distractions.

busy

I want my heart and my life to be full of more love and more compassion for others.  I want to really focus on living second.  This life it’s not about me…it’s about serving God and loving people.  I want more of that. I want meaningful face to face connections with others.  I want to be content, no matter what circumstances I find myself in. Happiness and joy come from a place of choosing happiness and joy.  You can’t buy that at Walmart or even Nordstrom.  What I have and who I am in each and every moment needs to be enough.

So, here’s where the rubber meets the road.  I won’t include my complete action plan, but every goal had to be a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  I am committing to:

  • 2014 things gone.  Plus one additional item for each one that I bring in.
  • Less social media and technology – every day.
  • More face to face time with friends on a regular (at least monthly) basis.
  • Stick to my budget.
  • Healthier food choices and menu planning every week.
  • More exercise – daily doing something.
  • Prioritizing my tasks, cutting down where I can.
  • Nurture traditions and make memories.

Some helpful resources I’d love to share with you!!  This blog series was really inspiring to me on my journey to less (and more). I am participating in this 2014 Challenge to reduce the clutter in my life.

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Challenge, Life

Effects of Intentional.

So, last year I did something different.  No resolutions, just one word.  I chose Intentional.  You can read about that here.

Now is the moment of truth…did it work?

Unequivocally the answer is – YES.

I am sure that I could have been more intentional and made more, bigger changes.  But in the end, I feel that it made a lasting change.  Just because I have a new word for 2014, living intentionally is something that I do every day now.

I did become more involved in the community and I am more intentional about making a difference every single day.  

I made intentional choices to move towards better health.

I live more simply.  And I focus more on people and less on things.

I successfully met my goals.  There is still room for improvement, but it’s still success.

I can’t wait for 2014.

Challenge, Family, Life

101 Goals in 1001 Days

Inspiration Credit: It Keeps Getting Better Image Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

The Challenge: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

Start Day: October 27, 2013 End Day: July 24, 2016

Blue=ACCOMPLISHED   Teal=NO LONGER WISH TO COMPLETE    Red=NOT COMPLETED

101 goals

  1.  Adopt a child.
  2. Read regularly with my daughter.
  3. Volunteer at Blessings Under the Bridge.
  4. Throw a theme party.
  5. Donate the things that we no longer want/use/need.
  6. Finish updating my living room
  7. Finish updating my office.
  8. Finish updating kitchen.
  9. Finish updating bathrooms.
  10. Finish updating my bedroom.
  11. Finish updating baby’s room.
  12. Finish at least one of the books I have started writing.
  13. Lose 100 pounds.
  14. Spend time in Uganda.
  15. Start my Master’s Degree.
  16. Complete my Master’s Degree.
  17. Complete Baby Step 1 (Dave Ramsey).
  18. Complete Baby Step 2 (Dave Ramsey).
  19. Complete Baby Step 3 (Dave Ramsey).
  20. Read 1 book a month for at least a year.
  21. Publish an e-book.
  22. Fast.
  23. Try geocaching.
  24. Complete 50 random acts of kindness.
  25. Go to one social outing per month for a year.
  26. Go on 5 dates (same guy, different one – doesn’t matter). (Completed 1 of 5)
  27. Grow my blog.
  28. Blog more consistently and/or use a blog schedule.
  29. Try a new fruit.
  30. Try a new vegetable.
  31. Take (and complete) a class.
  32. Go to a waterpark that we have never been to.
  33. Go on a day trip.
  34. Have a family photo shoot.
  35. Spend a week only buying absolute necessities (fuel to get to work, groceries, etc.)
  36. Watch the sunset over the ocean.
  37. Watch the sunrise over the ocean.
  38. Create organization that works in each room in our home.
  39. Make our backyard a place we want to be.
  40. Create more curb appeal on our home.
  41. Stop drinking soda.
  42. Develop a habit of clean eating.
  43. Streamline social media and online activities.
  44. Make bread (grandma’s recipe!).
  45. Help Shay & Fiona with their project — more to come on this!
  46. Have a passport.
  47. Get Fiona’s passport.
  48. Try a new recipe once a month for a year.
  49. Develop a daily exercise routine.
  50. Attend at least one conference per year. (1 of 3)
  51. Do something extravagantly special and personal for Fiona.
  52. Do something extravagantly special and personal for Daveid Michael.
  53. Do something extravagantly special and personal for my mom.
  54. Do something extravagantly special and personal for my dad.
  55. Do something extravagantly special and personal for Krysta.
  56. Do something extravagantly special and personal in memory of Dakota.
  57. Start a garden.
  58. Take a firearm safety class.
  59. Keep a journal and write consistently (at least once per week) for year.
  60. Complete FlyLady Beginner BabySteps.
  61. Find 5 new local things or places that I haven’t been to and go!
  62. Find 5 ways to simplify my life so I can spend more time living.
  63. Obtain 501 (c) 3.
  64. Create an action plan for organization.
  65. Recruit 10 solid members for organization staff and volunteers.
  66. Quit smoking. (Completed 6/1/14!!)
  67. Complete dental work.
  68. Read through the Bible.
  69. Make a workable home office.
  70. Get LASIK.
  71. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  72. Try Zumba.
  73. Complete a 5K.
  74. Run Bloomsday.
  75. Run SpoKenya.
  76. Create a weekly meal plan for a month.
  77. Take The Joy Dare.
  78. Have a will and a living will.
  79. Go on an African Safari.
  80. Visit Leavenworth at Christmastime.
  81. Release a floating lantern. (Done May 2014 & May 2015)
  82. Create a Bucket List.
  83. Run the Dirty Dash.
  84. Run the Color Run (or a similar one).
  85. Mail a flip flop to a friend.
  86. Take a spontaneous trip.
  87. Go on a Zip line.
  88. Get a pedicure.
  89. Get a massage.
  90. Get a facial.
  91. Meet someone I really admire.
  92. Have a girl’s weekend. (Done June 2014.)
  93. Do something significant to raise awareness about orphans.
  94. Spend a weekend technology free.
  95. Give a speech.
  96. Complete a goal that is meaningful and relevant (I already have this goal, but I am not ready to talk about so this is not as vague as it sounds here! More details to come!)
  97. Complete bucket list in correlation with Goal #96 (more to come!).
  98. Learn to take better pictures and have the right tools to do so.
  99. Start an investment.  Even a small one.
  100. Ride a segway.
  101. Start a new list when this one is finished!
Life

For Such A Time As This.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

~ Esther 4:14 (NIV)

Have you ever had a moment where you realize that you are right where God wants you to be?

For the last several months, I have wrestled with wondering what God has for me.  I felt a little bit like what I imagine that the Israelites felt when they were wandering around in the desert.  This promise of a land and thinking you are on the path, forced to rely on God for everything — including where your next meal is coming from.  It’s a little bit scary.  But a priceless lesson to be learned.

Continue reading “For Such A Time As This.”

Christmas, RACK - IACL

Day 4: Nothing beats spontaneous kindness

Day 4:  Today was another one of those days that hasn’t gone as planned.  I continued being a “coupon fairy” at every store I visited today.  I love getting a great deal and I definitely scored some today!  But I was the recipient of another coupon fairy and it totally blessed me!

It was a super busy evening and all day I had been looking for opportunities for a random act.  My nephew was over hanging out while his momma was working, so we decided to go to the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie since it was dollar night.  Perfect opportunity!!  We got to bless the people behind us by buying their tickets!  It didn’t cost a lot. but her whole face lit up when I handed her the tickets.

The thing that I like about this is that sometimes I think about doing these things but I get nervous or whatever, lately it’s been a feeling of being free to give.  The focus has been on just finding ways to bless others…and just show them that someone cares about them.  I didn’t hesitate at all tonight and that encourages me.  It’s becoming easier and easier to act on my faith daily.

Today’s verses were from John chapter 1, verses 29 and 34-37.  The theme was learning that we needed Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  We also read Isaiah 9:6.  We learned that one of God’s name is Everlasting Father.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):  Tuesday, December 4Verse:  John 1:29, 34-37 (We needed Jesus’ sacrifice); Isaiah 9:6 (the Everlasting Father).  Buy movie tickets for the people behind us.

Christmas, Family, RACK - IACL

Day 2 & 3: Kindness is FUN

Day 2:  I knew today was going to be a busy day…I was right!  We had planned to go to the living Nativity near our house and we were so blessed to have not only my nephew join us, but my parents AND my sister!  My parents took us a couple times when we were little (10 and 7) and I still remember it, so I had high hopes these kiddos would love it too.  And they did!!  We decided to grab an early dinner together…perfect for today’s act of kindness!

We got our Random Acts cards ready with quarters and candy canes so we could tape them to the candy machines.  Daveid Michael (my nephew) really wanted to give one to someone…his mom.  He wanted to bless her and I thought that was super sweet of him.  Then, off to church.  It was an awesome living Nativity, that was cold but soo much fun!  They do a great job and it was well worth getting chilled for!

December 2012 001

Today’s verse was Genesis 3:6-8.  The theme was learning why Jesus came, that we needed a Savior because our sin separated us from God.  We also read Isaiah 9:6.  We learned that one of God’s name is Wonderful Counselor.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):  Sunday, December 2Verse:  Genesis 3:6-8 (Why Jesus came); Isaiah 9:6 (Wonderful counselor).  Tape quarters to candy machines.

Day 3:  Catching up from the whirlwind of the last couple of days.  Today was the planning meeting for the Spokane Orphan Summit and once I got home, it was a bit of a rough day for me!  So, we redeemed the day by spending some quality time together.  One of the reasons that I didn’t list our events before we do them, is that they are constantly changing.  So far, we have changed them around every day.  We had a little shopping today and decided today would be a great day to be “coupon fairies.”  We put out tons and tons of coupons that will *hopefully* bless future shoppers.  And we got some great deals so I was able to bless Fiona too.  And we got some great deals for upcoming Random Acts so that’s awesome too.

coupon fairy

 

 

Today’s verse was Isaiah 60:1-3.  The theme was learning about how our world needs God.  We also read Isaiah 9:6.  We learned that one of God’s name is Mighty God.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):  Monday, December 3Verse:  Isaiah 60:1-3 (World needed God); Isaiah 9:6 (The Mighty God).  Be a coupon fairy!  Take all of our extra unneeded coupons and put them with the right item for a customer!

Christmas, RACK - IACL

Day 1: Kindness Feels Good

I love love love random acts of kindness.  I try and do them as regularly as possible.  It makes me happy to be kind.  Fiona loves to join in on the anonymous ones or ones with professionals…she’s pretty shy when it comes to strangers individually.  🙂

So, today…I started off by recycling all of our plastic bags.  This isn’t our “official” one because I always save every bag and regularly recycle them.  I have become a bit of a recycling fanatic…it only goes in the garbage if it has to.  But I think that it counts for an unplanned act of kindness…the recipient being the planet Earth.

Next….we FINALLY started decorating!!  Thank goodness for Pinterest!

Here are some pics of the decorating madness:

My inspiration from Pinterest
My inspiration from Pinterest

My version (not nearly so elegant, but lovely and beautiful:

December 2012 002

Even Fiona got into the spirit:

December 2012 010December 2012 007December 2012 006December 2012 005December 2012 004December 2012 003

 

Our actual act of “Intentional Crazy Love” was to go through our stuff and donate it.  We have been working on this one all week!  We definitely have an abundance of stuff that could be given a new home.  I love that most everything could be given somewhere.  Even stuff not good enough to rehome can be recycled and that is being a good steward of our planet.

Along with each day of Christmas and love, we are reading specific Bible verses.  Today’s was John 3:16.  The theme was that God loves us…that’s why we love others.  We talked about the significance of this verse in our lives.  We also read Revelation 22:13.  One of the names of God (He has a lot of them!) is Alpha & Omega.  He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):

Saturday, December 1Verse:  John 3:16 (God loves us!); Revelation 22:13 (Alpha & Omega)  Go through toys and closets for stuff to donate.  Deliver it!