Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Fresh Beginning

I just love the way a new year stretches out before me like a blank canvas waiting to be painted. It has a fresh feel - a feel of a new beginning. It evokes feelings in me of things I want to change, improve, continue, focus on and persevere in.

Words like clean, tidy and organize take on a new desire this time of year and I'm planning a major cleaning out when we return home.

This year, I have been feeling buried and overwhelmed under the weight of mothering littles. The demands that this season has on me physically, spiritually and mentally are taxing to say the least. In addition, it is a season that I don't want to wish away or forget to enjoy.

My list of things I'd like to change or work on this year is mountainous in size - as usual. So, I won't burden myself by even beginning to write it out - that would turn me away faster than anything! I do think it is good to have goals - to not become stagnant, but to grow in where we are in life. Yet - I know that personally, I see so many areas I want to grow in that I feel overwhelmed at my needs to change and grow. That is what God is for isn't it!? He knows how we need to grow and learn and I can trust this completely to Him!

What I do want to do is slow down, live simply, enjoy the little pleasures and peaceful moments in life. I want to grow in my love for God and honor Him with my life. And, of course, I want to continue to learn to love my family and contribute to them knowing our Lord and living for Him.

What does the idea of a new year stir in your heart?


Catherine said...

I echo what you said in the last paragraph - be less busy, live more simply and have time to enjoy and focus on those things that really matter. I also have on my list learning to give my time over to God and let him use it for unexpected things and *people* --which he tends to do anyway, but because I fight what I see as interruptions to MY agenda, these tend to leave me feeling overwhelmed and out of control. We so like to keep hold of the reins ourselves, don't we?

Anonymous said...

This is so beautifully written! I, too, want to grow as a homemaker and find balance between that and enjoying the little, everyday moments with my children.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! to your last paragraph. I echo what you expressed there. I too am looking to live every aspect of our lives. Right down to getting rid of cable. I agree writing out a list would exhaust you before you even try. Take it day by day with the Lord's help you can do it.
I Thessalonians 5:11

Wendi said...

"What I do want to do is slow down, live simply, enjoy the little pleasures and peaceful moments in life."

That is exactly what I want for this year and always! I am in the mist of removing the clutter. I am cleaning out all of the visible and hidden areas. When my home is cluttered I feel so cluttered. Wishing you a peaceful 2009!

Anonymous said...

I love how you express your feelings about the New Year streching out like a blank canvas waiting to be painted on.

I have a word for the year, Focus. With the hope that I will focus my on things daily that will help achieve the goals I see for my self this year.
Like you I want to grow in my love of God. I want to teach my family gently of his love for them. Other goals are still underconstruction. As I take January to look at where I am at, and what I am doing. I am also going to pray about them this year. Which is different from years past. I want to invite God more into my life in every way.

Have a Good!

Kisha said...

What a wonderful post and insight to the new year.

Along the same lines as your post, I have contemplated my new beginning of sorts. Although, I like to see the new year, a birthday, and my wedding anniversary as the starts of new years for those specific things. However, in general for the new year I hope to also be able to grow in the Lord and reconnect as I feel that through the chaos of he season I have had a bit of a disconnect. We are embarking on a new journey this year, and I hope to be able to walk through it gracefully.

Elise said...

I feel the same, Monica. My husband and I were talking a while ago about what we wanted for this year and he said to make more positive memories with and for the children. We basically want them to have what we didn't, but I know the overwhelming feeling of caring for them and feeling like I am banging that up. I just have to pray that God's love will come through me onto them and others. It also helps that I don't schedule ourselves to death anymore. Now about that mountain of laundry...

Anonymous said...

My new year's goals are similar to yours... enjoy my family more, grow in my faith.

Interestingly enough, I received a book recommendation in my email inbox this morning, and it looks like a good one for overwhelmed mamas: God's
Whisper in a Mother's Chaos: Bringing Peace Home by Keri Wyatt Kent

I can't personally endorse the book, because I haven't read it, of course, but it was from a mom in my Christian homeschool group. I read your blog and then checked my email, so I thought I'd come back here and pass the recommendation onto you! :)

angie said...

January usually finds me purging a bit. This year I have loaded my porch with pick ups from Freecycle folks. It feels good to know that my unwanted stuff will find a new home, not in the landfill.

I have committed myself to starting a blog, but it has only been baby steps so far.

I have also started accepting some organizational jobs (1-2 days/week). I think that I am more efficient at home when I am busier. I also think my attitude is better when I am doing something I love.

I need to build a set time into my daily routine to do some sort of exerice. I start out with too hight of expectations, and then burn out quickly. I am trying to think..."slow and steady wins the race."

Looking forward to 2009!

Mrs. Hurzeler said...

Since this year has rolled around to 2009, I have really been thinking hard about how my life fits in accordance with what God wants out of me. And I am sure as we all know we can and do always find a plethora of areas that need working on. But for that I am so thankful, God only chastises those He loves. And isn't it a blessing to know we will never be this exact same person tomorrow? That everyday will bring new growth. It may be a little thing, or something bigger, but there is never a day where learning is not beneficial.
I have has some Spring Fever lately even though it is only Mid January, and so out with the Winter stuff, and in with the milkglass, hand embroidered doilies, and jadeite glass. Anything floral is perfectly welcome, and of course the blinds are drawn up. I think Spring had better come quick, I am not sure how much more smiling my husband can take. LOL. God Bless!
PS. Didn't mean to make this so long! :-)

Willys and Elizabeth (Lizzie) said...

I think you described it perfectly! Thank you!

Unknown said...

My word for 2009 is simplify! :) So, I totally second what you are saying! At beginning of last year, I did better with not over committing myself, but let it slip a little when "school" started for my dd! I am determined to just stream line our lives and pick and choose what we really can be apart of! I am also excited about my flexible schedule that I have found that is working good for us... this is super important as I will have a new baby in a few months also and that is ALWAYS an adjustment period! Thanks for the reminder! I love the thought of a clean slate! Anne of Green Gables quote here, "A new day, with no mistakes in it...yet!" :)

God bless!
FYI-I changed my blog address...I think if you click on my "they call me mommy" link you can get it! :)

Tracey said...

Monica, I have given you an award...check it out

Sheri said...

Monica, I couldn't have written my thoughts any better than your statement: "I want to grow in my love for God and honor Him with my life. And, of course, I want to continue to learn to love my family and contribute to them knowing our Lord and living for Him." Amen my dear sister in the Lord! And, thank you for sharing your heart for 2009.

Pattie - Chicagoland, IL said...

I too am looking forward to fresh beginnings for 2009. I wrote about my plans at the beginning of the year and so far...well, let's just say that I am working on it!

I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself and to learn to forgive myself for not being perfect. That is such a hard one to get rid of isn't it?

Anonymous said...

This is a very special year, because I have been blessed with a lovely granddaughter, with which I get spend a couple of hours everyday.
Also, my family inspired me to have a website,which is very new, and I plan to keep it growing as my as God will permit me to.

joysmallpack said...

Monica, What a special post for me to read. Paragraph 4 particularly resonated with me. The reason why is because I have been to so many blogs where they had it all nailed down in a neat package- goals for 2009. That is awesome :), but I related currently more to your sentences of, "I see so many areas I want to grow in that I feel overwhelmed at my needs to change and grow." And then your very next sentence which is the hope, "That is what God is for isn't it!? He knows how we need to grow and learn and I can trust this completely to Him!" It was so refreshing to read... good to know I'm not alone, :), and encouraging to be reminded that God is with us and He is trustworthy, in all these coming days of 2009 with our desires and needs. I then went on a search today to find a verse that tied in with those sentiments exactly... one to hold onto for this area. I am still on the lookout... Does one come to your mind? So far I like Psalm 25:4-6, Psalm 86:11-13, Psalm 33:20-22, and Psalm 9:10... Thank you for sharing with us!

Linda said...

The silly thing about newyear is that it's in the middle of winter (a more or less dead season) in most of the world.

Now, in the caribbean they tackle newyear BIG.... Since the weather is the same every day of the year anyway, they have their 'spring cleaning' right when January begins..

I love the idea, but with all this snow and icy cold, it's really not practical.. I still try to do little bits though.. like entirely cleaning out a closet or cabinet a day..

Greetings from VERY cold Holland ;)

Step said...

Yes, the new year symbolized just that -- renewal. I always love to put away the Christmas decorations, much as I enjoy them, because it's as if I've reclaimed my home.

This year, my husband was off work from Christmas Eve until the 5th of January, so we got so much accomplished in the house. It was so nice.

I was also able to write down some New Year's goals (I don't do resolutions) in several different areas that I want to focus on in 2009. We might not get to everything on that list, but we'll get to some of them!