What is Stopping You?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am going to share something today that many of you will want to come running to help me fix my thinking on, and others will possibly be offended. However, this year I am learning to own myself. I have mentioned in my weekly goals that I have begun reading The Highly Sensitive Person, and I am also doing a Go-To-Bed-Challenge. In both of these endeavors I have been encouraged to know who I am, how I am motivated, and what makes me tick. Instead of feeling like I have in the past, that something is wrong with me and I must be going crazy, I am finding that I am a rare and special specimen of creation. My perfectionism has flaws, of course, but there is also a depth to the tasks I undertake that makes for lasting systems. Instead of being angry about how other people don’t care I have been learning to recognize that there is value to people who are able to make snap decisions. There have been huge lessons for me in this, but today I felt compelled to share just one piece of the puzzle. This may seem like a bunny trail, but don’t worry, I am going to get back to the question I posed at the beginning.

The Go-To-Bed-Challenge from Red & Honey includes a daily email where she talks through different aspects of why we stay up late, and why we need to sleep. In one of these emails she shared about her personality type and how it has helped her to know her personality type when thinking about motivations. I related to some of what she was saying, but not all of it as she went letter by letter in her personality type. She shared the site she had used to investigate herself, and I decided that instead of playing video games with Louis during our computer time after the kids went down I could look at this site. I took the test and what I found was amazing! It was not brand new information that I am INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging), but the way it was presented. It mirrored exactly my experience in reading the beginning of The Highly Sensitive Person.

For years HSP (Highly Sensitive Persons) have been diagnosed and labeled all over the place: neurotic, gifted, mental processing disorders, crazy, shy, loner, and so many others. The result is that I have felt strange, different, unnecessary, and unwanted. It is hard to be my friend on the level I want to be friends. So I have built a defense of thinking that no one wants to be my friend, and if they do they will run away soon. I dive in so deep with people I make them uncomfortable, but I would rather they know who I am right away, and I can’t stand to waste time on small talk. This is just a small, tiny, blog-size portion of this of course.

But now I was reading on this personality test results:

The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats (NF), they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

I am currently beginning to memorize 1 Peter 2:4 “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,” and this clicked right away with that verse. God is telling me, “The world has rejected your way of living, but I chose you before you even lived that way.” It is chilling and exciting, goosebumps all over, to realize that.

Then other things jumped out from the personality test results, and I realized, I am wanted and needed. I have a purpose among the rest of the body.

INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.

The positive way that these test results were shared made me like myself, which is a rare thing.

So, back to my original question.

WHAT IS STOPPING YOU?

If you read that and had an emotional response of any kind, I don’t need to ask the question before. I don’t need to tell you what it is that you aren’t doing, but know that God has called you to do.

My answer is this: God has called me into many things, but others are intimidated by my doing them, so I don’t. I act like I don’t need more friends when I desperately want friendships. I pretend that I am happy with my relationships as is so that I don’t rock the boat.

I read over 10 chapters of the ESV Bible every night to my three-year-old son. I plan on reading two entire books each week (plus a cozy mystery most weeks). I want to memorize Scripture, and I want to write a book, and I want to solve anything I can within our organization here in MENA. I want to revolutionize the way Lutherans look at the world, and make Lutherans into missionaries again. I want to speak Levantine Arabic, Formal Arabic, Swahili, and possibly French. I want to adopt and have more children so that I have at least 5 children.

What is stopping me?

When people comment on my weekly goals they are shocked. It doesn’t matter how few I have, there will always be a shock ripple through people when they see what I expect of myself. So, I stop. Yes, it is people pleasing, but it didn’t occur to me how damaging it was to the things God has called me to do on this earth.

I shared recently about my goal to memorize 52 verses this year. Well, I was encouraged by Joy Houssney in this goal, which is how I finally got that blog post written. She shared about her own story and when she came to Christ how she was encouraged to memorize 1000 verses. I was awed by that, and as soon as I was the one sighing in amazement I realized, people are not judging me. I didn’t feel like I had to go memorize 1000 verses right away to continue being her friend, and I don’t expect anyone else to follow my goals. I am seeking God, seeking His Will for my life. And I am going to stop letting what other people matter as much. I do want to memorize 1000 verses now, so I am going to keep looking for that many verses that I want to know, and I am going to keep going to Memverse every day so that I can eventually get there.

All of you are an encouragement to me, and when you reply to these posts I am reminded that I am God’s Princess. I am not in need of pleasing others, but by pleasing God I will soon have even my enemies at peace with me.

3 New Goals: Setting Myself Up For Success!

As some of you have been following my Weekly Goals, you may have seen that a few goals have been falling flat repeatedly. So, it might shock you to see today’s title. Adding new goals when the old ones are obviously failing might not be what you would recommend, but God, and a few timely emails from my blogs and workout plan have turned me around on that very argument. This blog post has been drafted several times now because the goals I am presenting here are based on failures or things I am not good at. I am not good at consistency, especially. Sharing these three goals with you is rather personal for me. But I know it is the right thing to do because you are all my accountability, and I am so blessed by those of you who email me and ask me how the specific goals are going. Thank you all for reading and praying and being there for me.

In this current season Louis and I are shifting our own routines and trying to see what is going to actually work for a healthy life. Currently several factors are causing sleep to escape us: Kyrie is teething, it starts to get dark outside at 4:30 in the afternoon, Davy keeps waking up in the middle of the night to come sleep with us or sit in the hallway outside our room and cry which wakes Kyrie, I am still struggling with depression and we are all struggling with culture shock. So, sleep is just not happening when it should. I usually go to bed around 2-3am around the time Davy climbs into bed with us (or later if we try to get him to go back to his bed), and wake up around 8 hours later. I may be getting the recommended amount, but I wake up with few hours of sunlight left in the day, which is bad for me, since I already hate cloudy days. I need LIGHT! No matter what I have tried, though, to try to wake up early, I just roll back over in the morning. It is wearing on me.

UNTIL NOW!!!

I finally told myself that enough is enough – and I challenged myself to change my bedtime habits as the first step toward better health and happiness in 2016.

So I did.

Yeah – really, simple as that. It turns out that the key to making yourself go to bed earlier is simply this: want it badly enough.

Yup. Simpler than you thought, right? No tricks, no timers, no bribes. That’s the thing about human nature – if you want something (realistic) badly enough, you’ll generally find a way to get it.

–Beth: Red & Honey

I saw others trying wake up early challenges, and it just made me shrink thinking about attempting to wake up earlier, but then I saw one my brain could latch onto: The Go-To-Bed-Challenge. Simple enough, and the way she presented the challenge was just what I needed. And guess what, it is working! I have an 8 day streak of going to bed on time! My on time is 1-1:30am, and I have immediately been waking up earlier in the morning (8hrs. later so 9-9:30am)! I am so proud of myself!

The second new goal is even more measurable:

What if you memorized 52 verses this year?

(Click on the question to read the inspirational blog post from rachelwojo.com)

This was the email subject of an email I saw in my inbox, and it convicted me. I already have added working on memory verses to my morning routine, and I highly recommend the site I am using to anyone interested in making memory verses a habit.

GOAL 2: Memorize 52 Bible Verses in 2016

I started the year with 38 verses memorized on the site, so I plan on having 90 verses memorized by the end of 2016. (If measuring consistency is something you are interested in, the site has an excellent graph of the time spent, the number of sessions completed, the number of verses in process and memorized.) I am thrilled that I have already been keeping to about a verse a week, so I believe this goal will be great.

GOAL 3: Lose 30 Pounds (13.6 Kilograms) in 2016

 

This goal is what has kept me struggling with posting this. I found Bikini Body Mommy some time ago. I started one of the challenges in the States to see if it would be a viable program for Lebanon, and I love it. Briana Christine has put together a program that is accessible to anyone wanting to lose weight after baby. It is perfect for me. In Lebanon I started this when our jet lag was getting us up at dawn, but in the latest crash of sleep problems I gave it up for January. The on again off again craziness of our life made me want balance more than exercise. I am planning on working back to working out with this program beginning again in two weeks. I am using the meal plan as well, and that is working out so well!

The success so far: I have already lost 15lbs. (6.8kg)! Of course, cultue shock, moving and the increased walking and stress are all helping with the weight loss. But that leaves me only 15lbs (6.8kg) to lose this year.

Weekly Goals & Successes for the Week of January 25, 2016

Before I begin checking off what I accomplished of last week’s goals I want to share some successes from the less measurable parts of life. There are many parts of our lives that are not written into measurable goals, and this week was full of many such accomplishments.

This week we had many visitors. Last year this was one of the things I wrote goals for in anticipation of our return to Lebanon, but Have More Visitors Over to Our House is not a measurable goal in all honesty. The goal is one that I was happy we were able to accomplish this week. One of our visitors even cooked for us, so our messy kitchen was somewhat cleaned and allowed for her to come cook us delicious food! Another “visit” was actually a chance I had to send Davy with Louis for the day and go shopping with a friend.

This week Louis and I had a communication breakthrough. It has felt as though we were ships passing in the night in many conversations lately, but this week we had a conversation that turned it all around. God spoke, we listened, and our communication has changed drastically. There are no goals to break through the walls that build up sometimes. There is not always a book, prayer, or habit that can achieve a change in paradigm and perception, which was necessary here.

My guilt also took a big hit this week! I suffer from feeling guilty in situations that are ridiculous to feel guilty. Through several conversations (with the wonderful visitors throughout the week) several sentences pierced that darkness that is the shadow of guilt hanging around my shoulders like an invisible wet drape, weighing me down while no one can see it. One of my friends pointed it out with clarity, and it has changed my views already. Specifically in the area of tucking Davy in. The bedtime routine for Davy is long and parent laden, as often the case with a toddler when brushing teeth, using the potty, and getting dressed and undressed are all still dependent activities for him. Louis has been offering to help, but I have held onto it with white knuckled fingers. This week I gave Louis several days of the week to be completely in charge. Davy did not adjust well the first night, after Louis finished he started crying for me to come read him the Bible. I read him anywhere from 1 to 16 chapters of the Bible every night in addition to any stories he wants to read from his children’s Bible. I love that he wants to read them, that he asks for more when I think he is almost asleep. But there are some nights that I just don’t have the energy to read out loud 16 chapters of the ESV, 5 stories from his children’s Bible, and 3 children’s books. But when he begs for the Bible is when that guilt cloud laughs maniacally at me because Satan twists the truth, “You have to read him the Bible, otherwise he will lose his love for it and it will be all your fault.” I truly believe that this is an opportunity that will pass, but that is because eventually I won’t be reading to him at all before bed, and he will be able to read to himself eventually, and will discover so many books. The Bible might not always be his favorite. However, Louis getting to tuck him in and work on memory verses with him is a special time, too. So, goodbye guilt! (At least on this)

Finally, this week was full of fellowship and the possibility of friends. I normally say, “I have enough friends” which is a good way to remember not to be a people pleaser, and to focus on what God is calling me to regardless of who would be happy with that idea. It helps me to say the truth instead of buttering people up. However, this week I feel like I gained some more friends, some of that cup overflowing David talks about in Psalm 23. I attended a baby shower and met other women my age, with kids around my kids’ ages, and I spoke with them easily. I was so blessed to be there and to recognize the hope and joy that is ahead. Some of them attend the church we have started attending, so Sunday our kids even played together! Yay God!

Last Week’s Goals

Bible Reading Lists: With my new plan to give Louis two nights (at least) a week of tucking Davy in, I am also going to take two nights off from “Required Reading” of my Bible lists. I might still read the Bible those nights, but if I don’t I want my goals to reflect a more reasonable plan.

    List 1: New Testament—1 Corinthians 13—16 (End), Mark 1-11 12-16, 2 Corinthians 1—8

    List 2: Acts 8—13, 14

    List 3: Prophecy—Jeremiah 19—24, 25

    List 4: History—1 Samuel 11—14, 15-17

    List 5: Law—Numbers 20—25, 26

    List 6: Wisdom—Proverbs 14—18, 19-20

Reading for Self & Marriage:

    Read 2 books. I took last week’s goal setting and knowing that, if every week I fail to meet my exact percentages, eventually there will come a day that I feel like I am failing and will forget the joy of reading. The percentages help me because I also look at my blog to remind myself of my goals. This is where I write it. So, I am going to loosen up the way I write some of the thicker, headier, tougher books’ goals. It may seem crazy to read so many books at once, but I need a whole week to process each chapter sometimes, so here are books from many different fields that I want to read 1 chapter of each this week.

Read 1 Chapter of Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo (88% Remaining)
I did not entirely finish chapter 1, but Louis and I did have our meeting together about how to do the Blog Study, so I was able to start working on using the book, which I think was just as important as reading it. Read 9%.

Read the remaining 12% of A Time to Grieve: Comforting and Counseling Those Who are Grieving by Robyn Ledwith Mar

Read ½ – 1 Chapter of Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach This book is for my marriage goal to read a book with Louis, so he is reading it to me and explaining it to me. (85% Remaining)

Begin Book 2 of The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton. Read 1 Chapter.(I previously read Book 1, which brought me to 32% of the book complete.) Read 2%.

Begin The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. Read 1 Chapter I read the Preface, which was full of the testing and reasoning behind the book. I retook the test which I had taken last year. Last year I had been on the fence about whether or not HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) was what I was dealing with, but now I am sure of it. Some of the questions I had answered last year with pride, but now that I have been self reflecting for a year I recognize that there are things I do to prove to myself I am not affected when I actually am. Read 11%

Read 1 Chapter of Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle (95% Remaining) I actually read only 2 pages = 1%.

Find books for each of the remaining categories in Light Reader of my Reading Challenge: Biography, Book With the Word “Gospel” in the Title, Book Your Pastor Recommends, and Book About a Current Issue, Bedtime Book (One that is not heady or tough, but light and fluffy to read on my way to sleep) I didn’t really even think about this goal until Friday night, and then we ran out of internet over the weekend, so I couldn’t search, but I also came to the conclusion that for some of these categories I am just overthinking it, and when it comes to choosing a new book I will have to just choose.

Also read:

Grace Among Thieves (A Manor House Mystery Book 3) by Julie Hyzy 100%

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo 21%

Smoothies for Kids: Quick and Easy Healthy Meals for Children by Jake Rhodes 100%

State of the Onion (A White House Chef Mystery Book 1) by Julie Hyzy 19%

9% + 12% + 2% + 11% + 1% 100% + 21% + 100% + 19% = 2 ¾ books this week!

Blogging:

    This time with Louis and I agreeing about the goals on our shared blog before I post them.

    Lisses to Lebanon: Create a year long blog plan

    Both: Advertise / explain the study for Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo

Mommy Book Blog: Post about Memverse & Bikini Body Mommy

This week these last two goals just turned out to be unreasonable. We were very busy, and I think that I will just keep working on getting them out this week.

Marriage/Routines:

Office Hours Plan for this week with Louis:

Have “Office Hours” at least 20 min. five days this week with a topic for each meeting.

  1. Blog Plan
  2. Serving as Senders Blog Study Plan
  3. Guest House Binder
  4. Make Over Your Calendar
  5. Wild/Free Choice
  6. Staffing the Guest Houses
  7. Defining Office Hours & Summary/Conclusion of Other Office Hours Discussions

We did have Office Hours every day this week and it was so helpful. It put us on the same page and started to give us the full picture in areas of work. Louis mostly led, so the two that I have more control over didn’t get discussed. I realized that Louis came thinking about those things and ready to discuss them, so I will have to do that with my topics as well.

This Week’s Goals:    

Bible Reading Lists:

    List 1: New Testament—2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians 1

    List 2: Acts 14-18

    List 3: Prophecy—Jeremiah 25-29

    List 4: History—1 Samuel 15-19

    List 5: Law—Numbers 26-30

    List 6: Poetry—Proverbs 19-23

Reading:

    Read 2 Books. I am not going to set any goals for specific books, I will just post what I accomplish at the end of the week. I am posting where I am at in each in progress book to record how far I get in them for my fun percentage math.

State of the Onion (A White House Chef Mystery Book 1) by Julie Hyzy 19%

Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle 4%

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo 21%

Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo 21%

Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach 16%

The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton 35%

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 11%

Blogging:

    Louis and I met about blogging over the weekend and I feel like I can have a Fresh Start here.

Both Blogs: Advertise / explain the study for Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo

Mommy Book Blog: Post about Memverse & Bikini Body Mommy

Office Hours with Louis:

    Serving as Senders

    Blog Planning

    Orientation/Guest House Binder

    Make Over Your Calendar

    Wild/Free Choice

Weekly Goals for the Week of January 18, 2016

Last Week’s Goals

Bible Reading Lists:

    List 1: New Testament—Romans & 1 Corinthians 1—12

ADDED NEW List 2: Acts 1—7 (Last week I just didn’t get much out of reading Acts, and being a missionary I really wanted to get more out of it, so Louis encouraged me to read it again, and I decided to read it over and over for awhile alongside the other lists to get more connections and to let it soak into me over time.)

    List 3: Prophecy—Jeremiah 13—19 I read to 18.

    List 4: History—1 Samuel 5—11 I read to 10.

    List 5: Law—Numbers 13—19

    List 6: Wisdom—Proverbs 7—13

Reading for Self & Marriage:

    Read 1 ½ books
I finished the first two books on this goal list in one day. Much of the rest of the week did not go as planned, however, and I picked up other books to complete this overarching goal of reading 1 ½ books. I want to share with anyone who reads through all my goals that I hope that in your own reflections on the week you are able to give yourself grace and mercy and remember that God establishes our steps. He knew how well I would follow these goals, and by writing them I was able to focus. I was also greatly encouraged by three different individuals checking in on my reading progress this week besides my husband. I felt that loving warmth that comes with fellowship as well as the motivation that comes from accountability. I hope that you all take time to look back at what you accomplished in your weeks and how God helped you.

    Read the rest of Copy Cap Murder by Jenn McKinlay (42% left)
I love this book series, love this author, loved this book!!!

    Book That Has a Fruit of the Spirit in the Title: Read the rest of When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy by John Piper (33% left)

Book By or About a Missionary: Read to 79% of Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo I read 12% this week. I have read most of this book already, and in rereading the introduction and first chapter I realized that this book needs some time and space to breathe itself into my life and our newsletters, so I took a day after reading the first chapter to journal my thoughts and pray about the study group we are hoping to host via LissesToLebanon.wordpress.com

I also read:

A Time to Grieve: Comforting and Counseling Those Who are Grieving by Robyn Ledwith Mar—Read 88%

Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach—Louis read to me 15% This is part of a goal for my year for us to read one book together, and his goal for the year to disciple me in tough areas that I normally avoid due to the quantity of humungous words.

A Dickens of a Murder (Canterville Book Shop Mystery 1) by Joyce Lavene—Read 100%

Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle—Read 5%

42% + 33% + 12% + 88% + 15% + 100% + 5% = 305% (I read 3 whole books last week!)

Blogging:

Down below in Routines I will write more about my utter failure this week in this category. Without Louis, these first two goals were impossible, and they just weren’t part of the things he needed to do this week.

Create a Year-Long Blog Plan for Lisses to Lebanon with Louis

Begin on Both Blogs: Mommy Book Blog and Lisses to Lebanon to Advertise our Upcoming Series on the Book Serving as Senders

Edit Blog Post about Educational Books in Review & Future I felt called to write a different blog post than I had planned, but I have actually only written three sentences. It is turning out to be hard to write. Hopefully, however I will get it done and it will encourage whoever God is asking me to write it for. I know that it is going to help me to share things and stop being a perfectionist, so that might be His only goal.

Routines:

    This category is not working out as hoped. I sat with Louis this week because I have realized that these routines all depend on commitment by he and I together. Whether it be a morning routine, and evening routine, a routine to tuck in the kids, or a routine for learning something or reading something. In this time of transition and adjustment we are not seeing eye to eye, or reading each other’s minds. Even if we plan and discuss and make realistic goals it seems that we are not able to accomplish the things I am hoping, even if we agree to it together. So, please pray for this for us. We are in survival mode, the world feels like it has crashed down around us, but I know there is hope. I know God called us to live here, and told us we could LIVE here. He did not call us to flounder and drown, He called us with a glorious purpose in mind. Knowing myself, and knowing my kids, and knowing Louis, we both know and discussed over many days this week at varying volume levels that we need to find routines in order to get our feet stable and begin moving toward thriving. We are going to start fresh. I don’t know what it is going to look like, and I might remove the category from public altogether, but I am hoping that with smaller steps we can work toward a thriving life. Several people have stepped into our lives and into this conversation at just the right time, and I have great hope that this will start looking up very soon!

    With that said, the low point of this week was that we did not follow any routines: The morning routine which I had been getting into regularly fell completely apart. The evening routine never really has stabilized, and the most upsetting is that we have not really done any Arabic as a family or couple. I have shame and guilt sitting on my shoulders about it. HOWEVER, today we began something I know will be worth it, and realistic and great. We are having one of the young men Louis is discipling (Rizzan if any of you remember praying for him before) to our home to discuss culture, theology, and language. We played UNO in English for him to practice and then in Arabic for me to practice. I was so honored and grateful. So, already your prayers are beginning to be answered!

    Another routine that we started that has so far been successful several days in a row is for Louis and I to have 30 min. of “Office Hours” together. We did not let the kids interrupt (much) and we talked through the projects we are both a part of or that I would like to become more of a part. I was very pleased with this.

    Finally, GRACE. Grace is a dangerous commodity. It gives us so much freedom, and Satan would like to twist that freedom into shame. I had several truly awful nights staying up with one or both kids so that Louis could wake up and go to work the next day. Then, I did the unthinkable. I slept in! In the past this would have caused me to bully myself all day, and the first day I did. One morning I woke up from a horrific nightmare and was angry all day as though the bad things in the dream were real. I even yelled at Louis about them. But I gave myself grace, was able to pray and forgive myself for being a mean mommy for a day or two, and then I was able to wake up today from another truly horrible nightmare and just cry about it. I was able to remember that we are all in various stages of culture shock and transition and teeth coming in and start fresh.

This Week’s Goals:

Bible Reading Lists:

List 1: New Testament—1 Corinthians 13—16 (End), Mark, 2 Corinthians 1—8

List 2: Acts 8—14

List 3: Prophecy—Jeremiah 19—25

List 4: History—1 Samuel 11—17

List 5: Law—Numbers 20—26

List 6: Wisdom—Proverbs 14—20

Reading for Self & Marriage:

Read 2 books. I took last week’s goal setting and knowing that, if every week I fail to meet my exact percentages, eventually there will come a day that I feel like I am failing and will forget the joy of reading. The percentages help me because I also look at my blog to remind myself of my goals. This is where I write it. So, I am going to loosen up the way I write some of the thicker, headier, tougher books’ goals. It may seem crazy to read so many books at once, but I need a whole week to process each chapter sometimes, so here are books from many different fields that I want to read 1 chapter of each this week.

Read 1 Chapter of Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo (88% Remaining)

Read the remaining 12% of A Time to Grieve: Comforting and Counseling Those Who are Grieving by Robyn Ledwith Mar

Read ½ – 1 Chapter of Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach This book is for my marriage goal to read a book with Louis, so he is reading it to me and explaining it to me. (85% Remaining)

Begin Book 2 of The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton. Read 1 Chapter.(I previously read Book 1, which brought me to 32% of the book complete.)

Begin The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. Read 1 Chapter

Read 1 Chapter of Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle (95% Remaining)

Find books for each of the remaining categories in Light Reader of my Reading Challenge: Biography, Book With the Word “Gospel” in the Title, Book Your Pastor Recommends, and Book About a Current Issue, Bedtime Book (One that is not heady or tough, but light and fluffy to read on my way to sleep)

Blogging:

This time with Louis and I agreeing about the goals on our shared blog before I post them.

Lisses to Lebanon: Create a year long blog plan

Both: Advertise / explain the study for Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo

Mommy Book Blog: Post about Memverse & Bikini Body Mommy

Marriage/Routines:

Office Hours Plan for this week with Louis:

Have “Office Hours” at least 20 min. five days this week with a topic for each meeting.

  1. Blog Plan
  2. Serving as Senders
  3. Guest House Binder
  4. Make Over Your Calendar
  5. Wild/Free Choice

Weekly Goals for Week of January 11, 2016

Last Week’s Goals

Bible Reading Lists:

List 1: Blog Bible Study—Read 1 Samuel Chapter 26 Three Times & Write Post

List 2: New Testament—Read Acts

List 3: Law—Numbers 7-13 I made it through chapter 12

List 4: History—1 Samuel 1-7 I read through chapter 4

List 5: Wisdom—Proverbs 2-8 I read through chapter 6

List 6: Prophecy—Jeremiah 8-14 I read through chapter 12

Last weekend I took all weekend to review my goals, and this week I decided that my goals should end on Friday and begin on Saturday to give myself the slack I need to edit this weekly post. Therefore, while I will complete these goals over the weekend, I am making the cut off early. Some of the books came closer to getting completed because Davy woke up in the middle of the night Thursday night from a bad dream and requested that I keep reading the Bible to him, so we read through extra chapters in Proverbs, Jeremiah, and Acts that night. What a blessing that little boy is!

Reading for Self & Marriage:

Book That Has a Fruit of the Spirit in the Title: Read First 50% When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy by John Piper I read 67% of this book this week. I am really glad that I picked two books for the week because it is giving me the opportunity to process the book some more while I read books about other things.

        Book By or About a Missionary: Read First 50% Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo

I only read 4% of the Serving as Senders book. During the week a book I had preordered arrived on my Kindle because it was released this week. In the midst of struggling with culture shock and stress it was like a letter from home. So, I sat down and read 58% of that book instead. So, I did accomplish my goal of reading “an entire book” by adding my percentages: 67% + 4% + 58% = I read 1.29 books this week. And I am going to read more tonight of my cozy mystery, so I might move myself up another level on the reading challenge soon (not a goal, more of a joke).

Marriage:

        Play the Leonard Maltin Game together We also started playing a new game, which was super fun in addition to this. We are getting better at hanging out together at night.

        Set aside a day for picture taking for Louis It has been rainy and cold, so we didn’t actually get to do the full extent of Louis’ picture challenge, but we planned for him to go with another missionary in the next few weeks to take pictures for the both of us, and he also had a day where he snapped a few shots of us hanging out having family time.


Blogging:

Create a Year-Long Blog Plan for Lisses to Lebanon with Louis

Begin on Both Blogs: Mommy Book Blog and Lisses to Lebanon to Advertise our Upcoming Series on the Book Serving as Senders

    Write Blog Post about Educational Books in Review & Future
Mostly this post overwhelmed me, so even though I worked on it, I didn’t really get it to a point I had hoped.

Okay, so blogging just did not happen this week. I will have to use these same goals next week because this didn’t work out, but Louis and I did get a chance to discuss the value of both of us having the same goals and priorities in this area so that it does get done. Next week should be better.

Routines:

Create an Arabic Routine including:

        20-30 minutes each day for Davy

        20-30 minutes each day for Annie

        Clear, measurable goals.

This actually caused quite a bit of stress and disagreement this week, so be in prayer that our solutions come to fruition. In the end we finally took the time to sit down together and discuss why our plans keep falling apart. Hopefully the plan will start being implemented today.

Additionally, my morning routine did not work out very well this week because we didn’t have internet for my memory verses or workout some of the days, other days we woke up late, and overall it was a hard week. It is time for a FRESH START!

This Week’s Goals:

Bible Reading Lists:

List 1: New Testament—Romans & 1 Corinthians 1—12

List 2: Prophecy—Jeremiah 13—19

List 3: History—1 Samuel 5—11

List 4: Law—Numbers 13—19

List 5: Wisdom—Proverbs 7—13

Reading for Self & Marriage:

Read 1 ½ books

Read the rest of Copy Cap Murder by Jenn McKinlay (42% left)

Read the rest of When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy by John Piper (33% left)

Read to 79% of Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo

Blogging:

Create a Year-Long Blog Plan for Lisses to Lebanon with Louis

Begin on Both Blogs: Mommy Book Blog and Lisses to Lebanon to Advertise our Upcoming Series on the Book Serving as Senders

Edit Blog Post about Educational Books in Review & Future

Routines:

Our new Arabic Routine has the potential to change our lives in positive ways.

Monday:

While Louis is at the center, the kids and I go grocery shopping which involves shopping in Arabic.

When Louis comes home he does Arabic practice with the family.

During my homeschool planning time in the evening I review the Arabic of the Week for Davy’s school time.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday:

During homeschool Davy and I do the Arabic planned

Followed by me using my Pimsleur Language Program on iTunes in the same room as Davy so he can hear that as well.

Thursday Louis will put together the “Arabic of the Week” chart for the following school week.

Wednesday:

Louis’ office day. While home Louis will do LAPs (Language Acquisition Projects) & Language Games with the family.

Saturday:

Louis will again be in charge of the Arabic with the family. Hopefully will be a day to go out as a family and do LAPs out and about.

Sunday:

Church in Arabic. Immersion for Davy in Sunday School.

Weekly Goals for Week of January 4th

Last Week’s Goals:

Bible Reading Lists: 8 chapters per night

    For my Bible Reading I decided to continue to read the books I did not read in 2015, so somewhere near the beginning of this year I will finish the entire Bible and will make note of that when it happens. Therefore, my lists are only slightly adjusted from the lists I used last year. This time I am going to read the whole Bible during 2016, so the lists are now made in a way that I can restart the list when I finish and continue to read the Bible in an ongoing method.

List 1: Read Matthew

    List 2: Read Jeremiah 1-7

List 3: Read Judges 1-7
I finished Judges this week! It turns out I had a bookmark in Judges form starting it prior and it had just been forgotten in the many other chapters and the move, so I picked up where I left off meaning before I even began the week I had accomplished a goal, yay!

    List 4: Read Numbers 1-7

    List 5: Finish Psalms As I mentioned in my Success Post about my Bible Reading in 2015, I finished the entire book of Psalms with Davy! All 150 Psalms were read to him. He loved it. He would ask me many times to read another Psalm instead of moving onto the next chapter for the night. This week we also began Proverbs and read the first two chapters already, so next week’s reading plan, found below, will reflect that.

Reading for Self & Marriage:

Finish The History of the Moravian Church Book 1
This book is long enough to contain several books, so I finished the first book this week. It was intense and funny and interesting. I love the writing style. It is a book that will qualify for several check marks on my reading challenge for 2016. It is over 100 years old, and is a book about church history. Normally a history book sounds boring, but this one has me engaged and crying. The stories of faith, martyrs, Reformation, hope, and change are encouraging my own faith and challenging me to dive deeper with God.

Marriage

    Play Killer Bunnies together: Instead of this we watched three movies together. That allowed us to spend time together even when Kyrie was awake due to teething and her cold.

    Find a Photo List for a 2016 Photo Challenge
Louis and I are very excited about this method of encouraging each other. I found a great list to start us off. It is a City challenge instead of a January themed challenge. The comments about it were that it would be a great way to get to know a city, and I think it will be a great way for us to share some of the life we live here on the blog, and for us to share with each other some things we like here, to find some beauty and have good conversation about the place we are living.

Blogging:

    Mommy Book Blog: Bible Goals Met
CHECK OUT THIS POST HERE

    Lisses to Lebanon: Make a Blog Plan with Louis for the year We made a blog plan for the next blog post, but we spent the holiday week working on other projects and getting caught up on emails and work.

Routines:

    This week I finished Make Over Your Mornings again! This course has helped me multiple times through the many transitions to retake initiative and be intentional with my days. I do not wake up feeling behind. This is why I have this category for my goals. I know that it will take several weeks to establish habits, and focusing on one set of routines each week will help me to make sure I am being realistic and working toward my goals instead of hiding in bed from responsibility.

Focus on Morning Routine consistency EVERY DAY

        8:00 Alarm clock: WAKE UP

        8:15 Coffee: My main incentive for getting up, & Healthy Breakfast

        9:00 Memverse

        9:30 Exercise, Shower, Dressed for Day

        10:30 School, Planning, or Church

Waking up at 8:00 was not always met, but I followed through with the steps of the routine at whatever time I woke up regardless. With both kids waking up in the middle of nights and staying up odd hours Louis and I decided it was unreasonable to hold myself to the time, but I was able to follow through with the steps and get each day back on track. Success for consistency!

This Week’s Goals:

Bible Reading Lists:

    List 1: Blog Bible Study—Read 1 Samuel Chapter 26 Three Times & Write Post

List 2: New Testament—Read Acts

    List 3: Law—Numbers 7-13

    List 4: History—1 Samuel 1-7

    List 5: Wisdom—Proverbs 2-8

    List 6: Prophecy—Jeremiah 8-14

Reading for Self & Marriage:

    Reading Challenge: (Last week I was able to read an entire book amount during the week, so I am hoping to move up to trying out the Committed Reader level, which is one book each week instead of one book every two weeks, we will see how it goes.)

Book That Has a Fruit of the Spirit in the Title: Read First 50% When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy by John Piper

        Book By or About a Missionary: Read First 50% Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo

    Marriage:

        Play the Leonard Maltin Game together

        Set aside a day for picture taking for Louis

Blogging:

    Create a Year-Long Blog Plan for Lisses to Lebanon with Louis

    Begin on Both Blogs: Mommy Book Blog and Lisses to Lebanon to Advertise our Upcoming Series on the Book Serving as Senders

    Write Blog Post about Educational Books in Review & Future

Routines:

    Create an Arabic Routine including:

        20-30 minutes each day for Davy

        20-30 minutes each day for Annie

        Clear, measurable goals.

    

Successful Bible Reading Plan (Looking Back at 2015 & Already Reading in 2016)

    

    SUCCESS!!! This is a word that my melancholy, often guilt ridden brain doesn’t know much about. Even though I have many successes in my life, I often think they are meaningless or not good enough. However, accomplishing my goals this past year has helped my negative thinking be curbed quite a bit.

    I spent most of January last year praying about the method I wanted to use to read the Bible. I wanted it to be a priority, and I knew that I was going to have many transitions in my life that might interrupt and distract from reading the Bible. Therefore, I made multiple documents (letters to myself, Excel sheets, web pages that I copied pieces from, etc.) to make sure that when I skipped a week of Bible reading the goals were not going to be failures.

My Goals for Bible Reading in 2015 were:

Goal #1: Form a daily habit of Quiet Time. In my post 5 Daily Goals to Thrive By, I shared about five priorities that made every day abundant, instead of staying in survival mode. On that list was Morning Quiet Time. By scaling back my expectations I was able to say that just doing anything that could be part of a quiet time was the important thing, and reading the Bible every day was one of the ways that I felt like I kept from drowning this past year.

Goal #2: Follow my Bible Reading Plan. This is the exciting one! It took me until March to finalize my Bible Reading Plan, which was fun because for two months of me researching Louis was in Lebanon and it gave me purpose and distraction. Also, taking the extra months forced me to rest and come up with a plan that takes very little adjustment to work for every year coming up. The 2016 Bible Reading Plan took me about two hours to plan, receive input from Louis, chart, and explain in writing. Perhaps I will post some of that writing in an upcoming post. If you want to see the method I used for creating my Bible Reading Lists, CLICK HERE. I had a goal for each list:


LIST 1: Blog Bible Study. Complete 2 Blog Bible Studies. This goal was based on finishing 1 Samuel while in the States and then beginning another book once we returned. Originally we believed it would only be seven months in the States, but instead I stayed Stateside for 12 months. That extra five months is where this goal went, but because I set the goal based on returning, it wasn’t a failure, it was just delayed a few months. Now that we are back in Lebanon this will be back on the calendar.

LIST 2: Read the Gospels & Acts [Repeating Cycle: Up to Five Chapters a Night]. I wanted to get a bigger picture of these books instead of one chapter at a time. I read Matthew 5 times, Mark and John 4 times, and Luke and Acts 3 times in 2015.

LIST 3: Read the Epistles [Repeating Cycle: An Epistle a Night]. Since these books were written as letters I wanted to read them like letters. This was where I hit a bump a few times because the longer letters were not always completed and a few times I stopped reading the Epistles altogether because I felt guilty not following through. However, I came around and kept reading.

(Repeating Cycles: I wanted to read certain books over and over during the year, to focus on them. So, I made lists that were shorter, and if I read every night I could read everything in the list each month all the way through.)

LIST 4: Genesis & Deuteronomy [One Chapter a Night]. These two books were on my heart, so they got their own list. I enjoyed reading this books tremendously.

LIST 5: Poetry & Prophets [One Chapter a Night, with 2 Psalms]. These were books I was interested in reading, so I just went through them with the books of Psalms split up amongst the list. I only had seven books left in this list at the end of the year. I also read every Psalm to Davy, which is pretty exciting. If Davy fell asleep during our Bible reading each night or I didn’t tuck him in I didn’t read the Psalms that night. So when I finished book 5 of Psalms this past week, I was thrilled because it meant that Davy had also read the entire book. Also, we read Ezekiel 3 and a half times this year because Davy wanted to read it each night. This was also pretty amazing! This list was a huge success!

LIST 5: Bonus Reading: The Rest of the Bible. [One Chapter a Night]. By the numbers if I read every night I would have made it through them in a year this way, but I didn’t plan on this list in my goals, it was bonus. I began reading from this list after I finished Deuteronomy, and so anything I read from this was bonus.

For 2016 the books in this list have a higher priority, and have made all my lists into repeating cycles so that I have the option of continuing again once I finish each list, the way the original inspiration for my lists The Horner Bible Reading Plan actually works.

Books of the Bible Read in 2015

1 Samuel, Jeremiah, Numbers

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Exodus, Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Revelation, Genesis, Deuteronomy

Ephesians, 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, 2 Peter, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John

1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, James, 1 Peter, Luke, Acts, Jude, Ezekiel

Philippians, 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, Mark, John, Romans

Matthew

This table shows the books I read in 2015 by the number of times I read them. The graph on the side uses the same key for colors.

    

Here is a glance at my 2016 Liss Lists:

LIST 1: Blog Bible Study [1 Chapter per Week]. 2016 GOAL: Complete 2 Blog Bible Studies with this method.

LIST 2: New Testament [4 Chapters per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read all the Epistles and Acts 4 times, Gospels and Revelation Once.

LIST 3: Law [1 Chapter per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.

LIST 4: Historical Books [1 Chapter per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.

LIST 5: Wisdom Books [1 Chapter per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.

LIST 6: Prophecy [1 Chapters per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.