A New Year is Coming & 2015 in Review

Last year I spent until the end of February to settle on goals for the year. Since then, a year ago, I have been looking forward to getting a start on this in December. That excitement lasted until I started, of course. Since I haven’t posted in quite awhile I will sum up that the past year has been one of the hardest ever. There have been “worse” things to happen in other years, but I found this year to be the hardest because I had built my faith, diligence, prayers, consistency, and hope so much. I have healed from so much and have grown in ways I never thought imaginable, so the struggles of this year were a blow because I did not handle them all well.

My focus last year was on giving myself grace, but that never seemed to be fully achieved. I still struggle with forgiving myself and letting it go. This has made the process of goal setting even more important. As I write my goals I make sure to write in notes to myself that explain the expectations I have. For instance, last year, in my Bible reading plan was built in to take a few months off when our second child was born and again when we moved back to Lebanon. I have been in Lebanon a month now, but have had unrealistic expectations on myself that are feeding into the lies that I have to do it ALL.

    So, I am planning on working my way back to posting my weekly goals as a way to keep myself accountable, and also to visually give myself grace.

Let’s Look Back at 2015

Well, it has been over a month of preparing for this post. Here are my goals broken down into their categories:

  1. Family
    1. Family
      1. Walks: Two to Three Times a Week
    2. Marriage
      1. Read 6 Marriage Books This Year: Check out my Blog Post focused on Books I Read in 2015.
      2. Encourage Louis’ Photography: Monthly I did take time to do this, and it was wonderful to take the time away from things I have a passion about and to focus on what my husband cares about. Even when he was in Lebanon and I was in Arizona this was something we could share.
      3. Play Killer Bunnies: Twice a Month (When We Return to Lebanon)
        We just got back one month ago, and have played once and already put the next time on the calendar. Yay! Already getting on this focus on relationship and taking a break!
      4. Make At Least 3 New Music Mixes Together: We made a list of music for Kyrie’s birth, but didn’t get to really take the time to focus on this with the hectic year we had. This year we are recommitting now that we will have more months together.
      5. Read 1 Book Together: This goal we have recommitted to for this upcoming year. We took time together to share in great detail about every book, devotion, and Bible chapter we read, but with the 2 months apart every three months, it was challenging to commit to beginning a book since we were never sure if we would actually be together until the end of the book. Now that we are spending a dedicated two years in Lebanon TOGETHER we can try again. This is a goal that is a hope for the future rather than a failure in the past.
    3. Kids
      1. Organize Clothing: Monthly
        This goal was focused on putting clothes that didn’t fit into storage in the right size groups. I had a lot of help from both my mom and mother-in-law to get this accomplished while in the States. Additionally, within a few days of being back in Lebanon we were able to get all the clothes here organized as well!
      2. Write Love Notes: Monthly
        I wrote far more than 12 Love Notes this year. Only four of them ended up being to the kids because I added Louis into the mix. But the goal was accomplished. This year I think I will keep this goal. Louis and I both wrote the goal separately to write an encouraging letter once a week. He is including friends and refugees, so I think I am going to go along with his goal and expand my view beyond the file for my kids. It was a great habit to think each week about writing one, and when one took me longer to write it still fit within the month. A weekly reminder and monthly goal is probably what I could stick to again, but writing something weekly alongside my husband is looking exciting.
    4. Kyrie
      1. Nursing
        Accomplished for the first few months until she weaned herself.
      2. Headbands
        1. Create them This was one thing I gave up on. Maybe in the future, but for now this is one I am happy to let go.
        2. Wear them
          We moved from headbands to tiny little hair bands because of her tendency to take out the bows and try to eat them. We have made it a habit, which was really what I wanted, to have a bow or hair tie to look feminine and keep her hair out of her eyes every time we go out.
    5. David
      1. Improve Routines (ex. Teeth Brushed)
        1. Use abcjesuslovesme.com past self-care skills and manners
        2. Toilet Training: Daily
        3. Teeth Brushed: Daily
          All of these goals are being accomplished especially now that we are stationary for a little bit. We are also using these routines from the 2-year-old curriculum of abcjesuslovesme.com to teach Davy Arabic at home. It is a good start for us. I am sure I will post about potty training and new routines in a few months, so stay tuned.

  1. Education
    1. Homeschooling
      1. Crafts: Twice a Week
    2. Arabic
      1. Homework/Practical Sentences: Weekly
      2. Pimsleur CD’s: Twice a Week
      3. Study Plan: Make Weekly Project Goals
        One of the things that I find myself beating myself up over when I should be congratulating us is Arabic. No, we didn’t really study in America much. But now that we are back Davy and I both are trying to learn new things each week. In only a month we really are attempting to build language routines again, and I have faith that we will see fruit soon.
      4. Make Arabic Books for Davy and Kyrie: Before We Head Back to Lebanon This turned out to be too hard without being in the same city together long enough, so Louis and I put this one aside and are going to see if we can find a print shop here that would help in the future for Kyrie, but for Davy we are letting this go for a little while.


  2. Ministry
    1. Bible
      1. Morning Quiet Time: (Work Back Up To Full Quiet Time in Morning When We Return to Lebanon Take 3 Months) This goal extends into the New Year, so I will check back in with this in coming posts. When I made many of these goals we thought that we would all be back in Lebanon in May instead of only the boys, so some of these goals have been altered by that timeline, so I am reevaluating them for adding to next year.
      2. MemVerse: 4 Times a Week This felt like a Should all year. I had it as a goal, but wasn’t motivated to do it. When I got back to Lebanon I found the opposite was true. All the Bible Lists that had been giving me life the past year were hard to read while Memverse felt like living water. Seasons are changing for us, so now I am doing this every day!
      3. Listen to 12 Online Sermons I never did this. I felt overwhelmed without Louis near, and when he was with me I didn’t really remember why I had this goal. As Louis and I discussed goals for next year we remembered that we wanted to do this while in Lebanon as a way to bolster us past the language barrier found in attending church here. So we are going to begin this again for 2016.
      4. Read 6 Good Quality Christian Books Check out my Blog Post focused on Books I Read in 2015.
      5. Make a Digital Prayer Binder & Gratitude Journal & Write in Them Daily
        This was one thing I am so proud of. I had such a beautiful prayer journal that I made myself from a composition book and beautiful printables that I colored myself, and trying to limit books I was doing my prayers digitally, but taking time to create visually appearing pages on Word was worth the time and makes me look forward to my prayer journaling again. It also makes it so simple to journal and pray.
      6. Read Entire Bible
        1. Read Entire New Testament 10 Times Through (Basically Once a Month & Giving Myself 2 Months Slack for Kyrie and the Move Back to Lebanon) Kyrie ended up needing more than 2 months slack, so this will probably be completed in 2016 but I am pretty close. Look forward to my Bible Review post coming up.
      7. Do 2 In-Depth Bible Studies: One Topical, One Book I still haven’t finished 1 Samuel, but I still plan on it soon.
      8. Attend Bible Study: Monthly
        The entire time I was in Arizona I attended the Bible Studies as often as I could. Amidst my depression that was one thing that I could do.
      9. Increase Giving
    2. Fellowship & Grouping
      1. Find an Arabic Church in Lebanon
        This is probably one of the most exciting goals for me, so I will probably write a post on it at another time. When we were here over a year ago as a family we were searching for a church and it was very challenging for my spirit to not feel a church was for us. When Louis was here by himself and with Davy he prayed and looked on his own. When we came back as a family we had a church picked, and this time we are committed through God’s calling us. I want to share all about it, so look for that in coming posts.
      2. Attend Church: At Least Twice a Month Focus on Fellowship More
      3. Invite More People Over & Visit More People: Aim for Once a Month

  1. Lisses to Lebanon Blog
    1. Posts Planned
    2. Two Posts Per Month (Hopefully, one written by Louis each month at least) Now that we are back in Lebanon I hope to make these goals a reality.

  1. Personal
    1. Mommy Book Blog
      1. Read 24 Books for Fun
        Check out my Blog Post focused on Books I Read in 2015.
      2. Post my Book Reviews
        Check out my Blog Post focused on Books I Read in 2015.
      3. Post Weekly Goals
        It has been awhile since I did this, but I will be starting again soon.
      4. Post Something Every Week
        It has been awhile since I did this, but I will be starting again soon.
      5. Get Blogs Organized and Usable
        I didn’t really take the time I had hoped to do this, but I started on it, so I think I got a reasonable amount done for the year we had.

Coming Soon

So, there were quite a few Blog Post goals mentioned for upcoming Blogs. Stay tuned for:

Books I Read in 2015 & Hope to Read in 2016

Weekly Posts to the Mommy Book Blog

Every Other Week Posts to the Lisses to Lebanon Blog

Arabic at Home


Potty Training

New Goals & Routines

Our New Church in Lebanon

Morning Quiet Time

Reading the Whole Bible in 2015-2016 & My Bible Plan for 2016


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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