Successes: The Last Six Weeks Reviewed

What began with merely misposting for a week became no posts for a month. The first week of February I thought I posted my goals for the following week, but when I came back the next week, while the document saved to my computer said that the goals had been published, something had been lost in the meantime. With internet and electricity problems I worked to continue making my goals, but ended up with no computer.

It is a long story that I think my brain is crying out to be told because this blog is a major encouragement to me. Being connected to people back in the States, being able to share my thoughts and refer back to them in a way that my friends can stay up to date. This blog has become very important to me. So, this past month I have somewhat grieved the loss of it. When my computer died with all my half written posts I was so sad. It wasn’t not having a computer, but that I had so badly wanted to share those things while they were relevant. It is hard to explain because, as I wrote in my post about this time of being Unplugged, so many positive and amazing things came from not having a computer.

So, I am going back through my drafts that never came to your eyes, and I know the majority of people would be like “I am so not reading this, that’s crazy!” And that’s cool. There are a few people who read this blog who read the most mundane and they bless my heart with their prayers and responses and the way they know me, so I am writing it anyway.


January 31-February 6:

DISHES!!! I write in all caps because dishes was finally a success. For the first time since arriving here 2 ½ months ago all of our dishes were clean. Not just once, but three days in a row! Of course, as soon as I would finish dishes Davy would get hungry and I would have to use a plate, fork, etc. but they were all clean! That meant the counter could be cleaned! And it was!

Kyrie got very sick this week. Her tummy has been in a lot of pain, and while she has medicine that is helping, both Louis and I have been very concerned for her. The successes here are that I am finally learning how to care for someone who is sick without anger, which I am learning in The Highly Sensitive Person, is my nervous system getting the signals wrong and translating stress into fear more quickly. I have been worrying more than I want to, but I have also been able to stop worrying and get some sleep so that I can be well rested to care for the family again the next day. These are big changes from when the boys or I have been sick in the past. Another success, of course, was being able to know where to go to get medicine, how to ask, and to know that we chose a pharmacist we could trust. Kyrie has had the medicine for several days now, and each day she is obviously feeling better.

Delegating. Louis and I have both been making huge strides in doing things to help each other and support each other. When I needed groceries and some kitchen tools, I was able to send Louis out to get them so I could stay home with the sleeping baby. Instead of giving into my codependent need to be with Louis all the time, I was able to just be content staying home and continuing to work or play or read. This was also a huge change for me.

Meal Planning. Each week I am using the Bikini Body Mommy Meal Plan, and it is working out so well for us. I go through the list and pick out the recipes that I think we would actually eat, write up a grocery list, and go grocery shopping once a week. I send Louis after some of the things that are farther away so he can pick them up on the way home. Now the great part, with Kyrie sick this week I didn’t go shopping at all, and because of my effective planning and taking time each week to build up pantry items, we had food all week to rely on. *Another reason we had so much extra is that my Dump Soup this week ended up being a triple portion due to a salt explosion on my cottage pie (shepherd’s pie with beef instead of lamb), which when added to soup needed lots of help to stop tasting like eating straight salt. While that failure of a meal was not a success, the calm we used to handle it was a huge success.

Davy has been getting very excited about reading multiple chapters in his Children’s Bibles, so I am going to have to find a time of the day to do my Bible Plan on my own with this new shift in the bedtime routine.


Last week I didn’t read because I was focusing on my Go-To-Bed-Challenge, and didn’t want to keep myself up with a book. Reading is never boring enough to not finish the next chapter, and the next chapter. So I have stopped reading in bed. This week my Kindle Archived books, which meant that while I can redownload them, most of my books got removed from my device beyond the cover photo. At the times I would grab the Kindle to go read I often had to download the entire book before I could read, which was very frustrating.

76% + 6% + 3% + 9% + 4% + 6% + 22% = 1.26 books read this week

Without bedtime reading I am floundering in the book world, but it will come back to me. I am not concerned.

Where did the time go? I did not spend the time typing or reading that I would have hoped. I will just need to try again next week. Taking care of a sick baby took precedence here. In the times I would usually spend sitting and typing while the two kids played, Kyrie needed to be held so we watched TV instead to distract her.

Louis wrote up blog posts and started on our SAS plan and also went through pictures to find good ones. However, we did not take the time together to do this because of other commitments to the center that Louis had to do this week. We easily readjusted our expectations to fit the current situation, and will be able to account for this earlier on in the future.

I was able to add these things to the calendar, and Louis bought hooks to hang our calendar up. It was very successful as we worked out a plan for all these things that come up.

February 7—13:

Internet has been iffy.

9% + 76% + 14% + 5% + 9% + 78% = I read 1.91 books this week. Pretty close to 2, especially since the 5% in the History of the Moravian Church is 44 pages and almost 4 chapters. It is also pretty crazy to have read out of so many of my books. I am very pleased with how this week went in the reading category.

I took a little time to write this week, but realized that last week’s goals didn’t post and tried to post them again unsuccessfully. Then I worked on book reviews and Louis and I getting back on track. Without internet a few of the projects were challenging due to the time it takes to figure things out without internet some of the time. I felt that at the end of the week, I had made an effort, made time to do it, but in the end I don’t have much to show for it. So 50/50 is how I feel about that goal.

February 14—20:

Even though I have not been able to post my goals each week, I am diligently typing them up for accountability. Hopefully our internet will continue to be progressing toward the status of “fixed”, but right now it oscillates between working and not working.

Last week I did not write out successes. As I went to write the goals for the week I discovered that the previous week’s goals had not been posted, and got distracted for a time. Eventually I gave up, but ended up leaving the document incomplete as far as success for the week. This week I am taking the time now to write down some successes because this is proving to be the most encouraging part of my goals each week.

Laundry! I think I completed three loads. I also broke the dryer, but that turned out okay because we had a few sunny days to dry the clothes with only one windy afternoon that knocked over the drying rack into the dirt on the balcony. Oh well, it was a success to get so much laundry done!

In addition to getting the laundry done we were able to keep the kids’ room clean, spend time cleaning the school room, and making Davy’s drawers easy for him to use to pick his own clothes each day.

We went to the mall as a family. It was part of our plan to go each week as a family on an outing. The mall is easy to get to, and we were able to find the toy that Davy left the house hoping for. A red dragon. In fact, we bought him a Toob (that is the brand name as well as the container the toys come in) of dragons. They are pretty awesome! Kyrie didn’t want anything. We also had fun sitting at a bench seat that put the kids next to us in a “kids’ table” and we were able to have a partial date while they sat together peacefully eating. Davy even fed Kyrie some of his fries.

Louis mopped our house this week. Mopping has been one of those chores that feels like too much for me, so Louis did it one day while I did school with Davy. We felt so accomplished, and the house smelled so clean, still does actually. We got a new welcome mat, pepper shaker (we tried to get both salt and pepper, but we ended up buying 2 pepper shakers so we will fix that this week), a muffin tin, and a few other odds and ends that added up to feeling more and more like Home.

We took the baby food jars we have been saving and turned them into spice jars. I am hoping that we can even hang the spice shelf we were planning on using as a book shelf for Davy and using it as a spice rack instead in the kitchen. Exciting! Super domestic, but also super exciting. It will open up a drawer or two for us, which we are planning on turning into a Kid drawer. We are going to put snacks in bags and such so that Davy can get himself snacks sometimes.

I finally took the time to budget and plan our first visa trip. As each little piece of our lives begins to work itself out we feel more like we can live and survive here.

Last week I did not read the Bible at all. The week before I only opened my Bible twice. This is very unusual to be a continuing problem. I came to Louis crying about it when I realized how little I had read last week. What makes this Bible Reading Plan ideal for me is having a time set apart for this every day, but with Skype meetings in the evenings it has been challenging. It is hard to start and stop and have to find my place all over again after a few days’ break.

In addition, I have been spending so much time staring at screens that I had one eye completely flip out and I had to take a complete break from reading for a few days and limit my screen time as well. Now I am trying to find a new part of the day that can become a Bible Quiet Time for me. In this time of late night Skype meetings we have been giving Davy his alone time and quiet time when he first wakes up, and we sleep an hour or two past him waking up. He eats and plays and then when I wake up I start the day fully investing my time in him. This removes my own alone time and quiet time. At night I am exhausted after our late night meetings and debriefing them and planning after them with Louis, so it is just another transition to work through. I did however, take time to work on Memverse this week. With internet going in and out that has been another frustration.

I read 1% of The Highly Sensitive Person. I didn’t read this week it seems. Sigh. I suppose that eye thing freaked me out and I don’t have a reading time set up for myself either.

Louis wrote many posts this week for our blog, so as soon as we get internet working I will be scheduling those posts. I was working on a book review when my eye freaked out, but didn’t finish it yet because this is really the first thing I have worked on since that night.

Yes! Office Hours is back on track. Now that we plan around these Skype meetings and other work tasks, I am feeling successful!

The next week is when my computer completely gave up on living, and I stopped diligently keeping up.

Summation of the Previous 6 Weeks:



List 1: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Luke (44 Chapters)

List 2: Acts 17—End (2nd Completion of Acts so far this year) & 1—3 (15 Chapters)

List 3: Numbers 29—End, Exodus 8—17 (18 Chapters)

List 4: 1 Samuel 17—24 (8 Chapters)

List 5: Proverbs 22—End, Ecclesiastes 1—2 (12 Chapters)

List 6: Jeremiah 29—36 (8 Chapters)

Total: 105 Chapters Read


State of the Onion (A White House Chef Mystery Book 1) by Julie Hyzy 24% to Completed = 76%

Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle 4% to 17% = 13%

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo 21% to Completed = 79%

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% to 44% = 23%

Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach 16% My Kindle it turns out, cannot hold all the books the three of us are currently reading (especially since Louis just downloaded War and Peace) and along with the visitors we have at the center we took a break on this book for the time being.

The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton 35% to 56% = 21%

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 12% to 41% = 29%

Bossypants by Tina Fey: Completed = 100%

Yes Please by Amy Poehler: 0%—Completed = 100%

Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy: 0%—Completed = 100%

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 0%—9%

Total Read: 550% = 5 ½ Books Read

Books I am Dipping Into Currently:

More-With-Less: Recipes and suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited resources by Doris Janzen Longacre

We made Meadow Tea, a concentrate made from sliced lemons and fresh mint. We didn’t add it to water because we each like it a different level of concentrate. I made Pomegranate Juice ice cubes and that is how Davy and I drink it! So fun!

Dear Jesus by Sarah Young

This is a little devotional I keep in my bed room for staving of anxiety attacks. It works a lot of the time.

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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