Goals for a Year

    I just wrote a post about how important Goal Tracking has been to me in the past. It has been a means of encouragement when my life is overwhelming and too full. This is not the case for everyone. For me, when I have a million things on the To Do List, it is good for me to have One Big Thing. If I can’t accomplish everything that is on the Big List, I can at least go to sleep knowing I did the one thing for the day. This gives me hope and motivation each day. For others, this can be more discouraging, to have a list of goals at the beginning of a week. In the past I have felt that way about New Year’s Resolutions. The mere idea of having them written down and then lost by the next year was too much for me. And this year I felt that way also, but I also heard God telling me to work on them. So, I have been working on making some goals for the year. As I worked on them, they have buoyed me out of some of my discouragement. I began writing goals and realized that they were doable. I will have to work at them, of course, I didn’t think of things like Breathe, for instance. But they are things I want to do, I want to have higher on my priority list, and yet, somehow many of them just keep falling aside.

    I know that one of the things that Louis and God have wanted me to learn is how God sees me, rather than becoming consumed with how others see me. One of my biggest struggles in Lebanon is with raising Davy. I feel stuck whenever someone gives me a “Should”. Don’t should on me, people. I really can’t handle it, I have been learning. I take each one as gospel truth, even if it goes against what God has told me. With potty training I wrote a letter to myself for whenever I want to quit, and I used it already this week twice.

“There are a lot of ways in which we are ready, and some in which we aren’t.

This will always be the case in our lives.

We will always have something big happening or a phase of not following instructions.

Davy has wanted to learn, and it is time to figure it out.”

    Even though I wrote it, and Louis and I prayed about it, it can still feel like I must be doing everything wrong with David because other parents can train their kids differently. But our method, timing, motivation, are all coming from somewhere different than the ordinary parent. Davy is a Third Culture Kid, he is going to be spending the majority of his formative years outside of his parents’ culture, and this is part of that life: To be flexible all the time, living in different places, and learning things at strange times.

    So, I took time while making new goals for Davy to reflect on all that we have accomplished, all the positives. We began Homeschooling him in September, and with a few breaks we have been successfully moving forward through the Bible curriculum and the Academics. He is able to count to 10 already and this week we are “starting” the number 5. He also began, all on his own, to play the “B b Belly” game, and to try out other letters. He is super smart, and he is learning how to sit quietly, to follow directions, and so much language! The successes are easy to pass off as just because he is smart, but I know that a lot of them took the repetition, the practicing, and the patience that I have worked on with him. It will be these same building blocks in his toilet training.

    I have gone through our lives several times in the past two years of preparing to go to Lebanon, going, and returning, to reflect and prioritize. So, as I worked on goals this time I already had my priorities ready, and realized that I wasn’t really prioritizing them because I didn’t have goals. How funny that God was telling me to write goals! It is like He knew I was struggling to act on my vague list of priorities. (Can you feel the sarcasm dripping from the page?) So, I stared at my priority of Davy, Louis/Marriage/Romance, Kyrie….and stared….and couldn’t think of much more than: Go to the Zoo a lot. So I wrote that goal down and then began praying and searching Pinterest (not simultaneously, I stopped to pray first, then kept praying as I looked through Pinterest).

    I tend to go on and on in these blog posts with little details, but as I was looking at other people’s lists it seemed as though ideas of goals just came to them, and I want to assure all of you that there are a million ways to go about this. For me, January is not putting me behind on this list because it is already well under way. January is the month that I get to reflect and look forward. A whole 31 days to think about where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. And I am excited by that buffer zone because I can take the time to think, with no impending family holidays (Although the Gem and Mineral Show is a big deal to me, and it starts January 29th) or events to plan. So, if you feel overwhelmed by whatever God is calling you to do. Take time to just stop and think about it. In my 1 Samuel study I was reminded again of how important it is to stop and pray, and wait on God. But so often we have deadlines and we can’t figure out how to accomplish everything in the perceived time, so we rush on in our lives without God’s advice to guide us. God will answer us when we pray and call out to Him. Trust Him to know about all the deadlines (He even knows more deadlines for your life than you do), and let Him speak.

    So, today, I will leave you with my Goal Topics. These are the items of my life that need to be kept on the priority list when everything else may be pressing in to get done:

  1. Bible Study
  2. Family
    1. Louis/Marriage/Romance
    2. Davy
    3. Kyrie/Preparation/Birth
    4. Me
  3. Grouping & Fellowship
  4. School
  5. Arabic
  6. Blog
    1. Lisses to Lebanon
    2. Mommy Book Blog
  7. Fundraising & Budget

This order has quite a bit of interlocking and overlapping pieces and there is quite a bit of ebb and flow to them, but as we flesh out the goals in the upcoming days I hope it inspires you, and also gives you a window into our lives.

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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