Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year, New Title, New baby!

It's been a while since I have written on my personal blog for several reasons including but not limited to 1. I am pregnant and that has required me to work and then fall asleep directly after getting home, giving me no time to be creative and assertive. 2. I have been trying to keep Max's blog up to date so that people are aware of what's going on in the pregnancy and with him and that has been the blog I have centered on for the last 7 months....and 3. I haven't had much to say with my placenta brain forgetting every thought that enters my consciousness.

Today, it is December 30th and that means I am gearing up for my annual resolutions. I have always been a firm believer in making New Year's resolutions. I love a fresh start even if it is a Monday and I just want to do better in getting my chores around the house accomplished. I love goals and find that in my life, I have never achieved anything without having a goal in mind and steps to achieve it. Also, I am a psychotherapist by trade and that makes me very centered on measurable progress. That all being said, today's post is about changes.

This year brings not only a fresh year in 2013 but I gain a new title this year, Mommy. I have already accumulated several titles including Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Therapist, Tutor, Wife, Friend, Christian, and now the all encompassing,....Mommy. Some of these titles mean the world to me like Aunt, Sister, Daughter, Wife and then others are things that I love doing and being but they hold much less power for me like Therapist, Tutor, and anything else that is about my own personal achievements. The one that stands above all others and guides all of the other titles is Christian. This year, I am really hoping to focus all of my attention  on resolutions that bring that title into focus more readily.

Another thing that has been a focus in the past is writing several resolutions as well as learning experiences from the previous year. I think that has been very helpful for me in finding out where I am with God, learning about myself, learning about life in general, and gearing up for another year of learning. That being said, I will start today's post with five monumental things I feel that I learned in 2012.

1. I learned that nothing is within my power in terms of life/death. Making a baby is "easy" according to some but in our case it was a journey. I learned that when I gave up my control and fasted/prayed and trusted God that maybe I wasn't going to be a mother at all, I gained peace. I gained peace over my losses and peace over my future.

2. I learned that taking care of oneself is the best gift you can give your husband, your family, and  yourself. Being able to step out of your medical comfort zones and take a leap of faith really does pay off. I was able to commit to the insulin pump in August and my health has been better this year than in the last 17 years of having Type I diabetes.

3. I learned that being pregnant doesn't make me any more special than I was before. When I was watching woman after woman get pregnant and face enormous amounts of jealousy after losing my first child, I was so centered on them being "special" or called. The truth is, this is not a calling or does not make me any more special. My relationship with Christ makes me have worth. My relationship with my husband makes me feel loved. My being created fearfully and wonderfully makes me know that Christ died for me and all others. There is no division line between moms and childless women. We are all in this together and I pray that this learning extends to other areas I struggle in.

4. I learned that where you live has little to do with your happiness level. I used to think because I lived in California, had tons to do, and great weather...that was why I was happy and moving back to Indiana would make me miserable. I have been happier in the last year of my life than any year of my life. I am happy in my family, in my marriage, in my mental health, in my physical health, etc.... It is doing what is good for your soul and your spirit that makes you "Happy!"

5. I learned that the best friends I will ever have are the ones who will embrace my husband and my son as their own family and pray for them, be concerned for them, and always speak kindly of them. Those people will also respect my boundaries and not get involved in ways that are not welcome or give unsolicited advice. They simply pray and support. Thank you Lord for those friends.

Those are my 2012 learning experiences and now onto the resolutions. My resolutions will be broken up into my top five priorities and there will be 5 resolutions under each priority for a total of 25 resolutions for the year of 2013!!! I hope you are making your resolutions and believing you can get them accomplished.

Priority #1: My relationship with Christ

-- This year, I want to make a goal to read my bible all the way through again. I have done this in years past and each time I do it, I gain more from the word and the daily discipline of being in God's presence. This year I would like to dig a little deeper and focus more on the language of the times, on word meanings, and focus on where I am at as a mother in the word.

-- This year, I want to find a church in Southern Indiana that I can put roots down in. I would like to find somewhere where both Anthony and I feel at home, has a great children's ministry area, and places for Anthony and I to serve in our faith community with our spiritual gifts. I would like to visit churches in the area with the prayer of God leading this journey and not my preconceived notions of where I should be or what a church should "look like."

-- This year I want to clean up my language, thought life, and critical spirit. Although I am certainly not a trucker in my language, I use far too many negative words, far too many critical words, and spew a lot of ugly at times. This is something I would like to focus on in 2013 and become someone whose fruit is more sweet than bitter and sarcastic.

-- This year, I want to develop my spiritual disciplines to be something that is far more consistent. I would like to observe my prayer life, quiet time, solitude, church attendance, service, etc... and really focus on getting closer to God in a more consistent way. I want to have far fewer gaps in our conversations and far more moments of reflection on where I am in Him and where I am supposed to go.

-- This year, I want to focus more on developing my Proverbs 31 qualities by praying towards that, learning more about that and focusing my other goals on those tenants. I want my relationship with Anthony and Max to reflect those qualities and really see myself make improvements in this area this year.

Priority #2: My relationship with Anthony

-- This year, I want to make more focused time for Anthony on set days. We have (for several years) observed Married Monday and kept Monday quite sacred and do not commit to other people, projects, work, or obligations on that day. We have slipped a little from this and need to get back on having a more consistent time that is focused on us. I would like to make it better from my end by taking the time to plan every other Married Monday, get really ready for our dates by grooming more appropriately (I know all the ladies hear  me on that!), and silence the cell phone and remind others in my life who "need" me that it is a special time for our family and it is something we are not willing to budge on readily.

-- This year, I want to make a concerted effort to lower our debt that was created during a period of unemployment and has gone on due to the move and several other factors. I would like to focus myself more on spending less on luxuries, making better financial choices, and exercising self control when money gets into our bank accounts. It is easy to build pressure and frustration in marriage when finances are out of control. Anthony and I have been lucky that we do not FIGHT over money but I would like to eliminate all areas of un-needed pressure especially in adding another person to our household and new financial obligations.

-- This year, I want to contribute more to our household by holding up my responsibilities better. I would like to have a real conversation about what would make Anthony's life easier in being a husband, father, and worker. My job as his wife is to be a helper and I would like to start to make those things a priority more than they are now. Anthony is exceptionally helpful to me and sometimes I feel less helpful to him.

-- This year, I want to focus on keeping our marriage passionate through our first year of being parents. I know that this will prove to be more complicated than it ever has but I would like to make an effort to keep our time together important and focus on our connection daily so that Max sees the parents that created him, ones that are IN LOVE and enjoy each other.

-- This year, I want to help Anthony in regards to meeting his own goals. Anthony would like to start taking college courses and further his education, learn how to play guitar, and really enjoys watching movies. I would like to make it my position this year to encourage those goals, help in any way I can, and participate in ways that would make him more excited about his personal goals.

Priority # 3: My physical health

-- This year, I want  to develop a more consistent relationship with diabetes. I am currently on an insulin pump and that has drastically helped my diabetic control. I need to be more consistent with eye examinations, dental examinations, taking blood glucose daily, eating more regular meals to combat highs and lows, attending all dr appointments and following up with dr's orders, and exercising more for better glucose control.

-- This year, I want to develop a better eating schedule. I eat better than most people do, however, I often skip meals and make myself extra hungry in the evenings. It would be better for me to get back to eating 6 smaller meals per day and focus on nutritionally dense foods. I have improved my eating habits exponentially but there is certainly room for improvement.

-- This year, I want to develop my exercise habits back. When I lived in California I was very good at making daily exercise a priority due to the beautiful weather. It was considerably easier there. This year, I want to take advantage of having my sister as a walking partner, a willing and supportive spouse to walk with a new baby to take out in the fresh air. Although the weather is bad part of the year, I have multiple sources of exercise available to me and need to develop that habit again.

-- This year, I want to have better sleeping habits. Although I will have a new baby, it does not excuse not taking the time to rest and be rested for his well-being and mine. I need to set a more regular schedule for sleep and take advantage of my husband's offer to trade off getting up with Max and doing the care of Max during the day. I want to take the naps I need, get the rest I need, and not overdo caffeine in order to compensate for rest not gotten.

-- This year, I want to keep my home organized and free of clutter in order to make me feel less stressed and more at peace. I am one of those people who feels incredibly anxious in disorder and having things orderly and organized helps my mental and physical health. This year has been a very disorganized year with family crisis, being pregnant, and just adjusting to a new place so I am hoping next year I can develop more stability in these areas.

Priority #4: Mothering

-- This year, I want to spend as much time enjoying Max's first year as I can. I want to be less consumed with being perfect and more consumed with being with him. I want to learn who he is, appreciate him, pray for him, and learn how to be a good mother to him.

-- This year, I want to take better care of me overall in order to model that for Max. I want to be kind and patient with his wonderful daddy, help him see the love of Christ and make a happy home for him to grow up in.

-- This year, I want to make sure that complaining is far from my lips. I realize that being a mother is the hardest job on the planet but I also realize that people would give their left leg for the opportunity. To constantly complain about being a mother is an insult to those that struggle and spitting on the amazing blessing of Max's life.

-- This year, I want to keep Max's family here and in California well updated on who he is becoming and allow him to have the amazing privilege of having relationships with extended family. I am lucky to have really great family on every side and he is too. It is important they feel like a priority and he gets to know them while they are here.

-- This year, I want to take every opportunity to have family time that I can and keep that time sacred. Anthony and I have already specified time on our schedule that is focused on the three of us and I want to be sure that I am using that time to enjoy my family and not just be productive and busy. Sometimes soaking things up is the best way to appreciate them.

Priority # 5: Family

-- This year, I want to take my older niece and nephew one day per month on a date with Aunt Erica. I enjoy them so much and the younger ones are not yet ready but Shawn and Kaylea really enjoy that.

-- This year, I want to spend more time with the younger nieces and nephews by visiting them once per week and getting to know them more personally.

-- This year, I want to have a better relationship with my mom and sisters by delegating tasks in taking care of my mom better so that I am not resentful, frustrated, and overwhelmed.

-- This year, I want to make more of an effort to be in touch with my in-laws regarding Max and other topics so that we can build our relationship better.

-- This year, I want to help my sisters out more by offering my baby sitting services to them if possible one day every other month for them to get a break.

Okay, these are my goals/resolutions for 2013. My goal is to write on each 1st week of the month and update where I am on these goals and hopefully keep myself accountable for a better and more fulfilling year. You have probably noticed that most of my goals are relationship based and that is purposeful. For years, I have focused on achievements and accolades and this year, I am focusing on what REALLY matters for me and my home. Thanks for stopping and Happy New Year everyone!


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