It's 2019! That number once seemed so distant, but all of the sudden 1999, was 20 years ago! According to the space movies and shows we are supposed to be wearing matching silver outfits by now. But here we are, still trying to decide what to wear. Maybe those silver suits will come in the 2020s.
I love New Year's and the chance to reflect on the past year and think about the future. I gave up resolutions long ago. I get distracted and give up too easily, but I am a goal setter. Resolutions seem like promises you try to keep, but don't break into attainable chunks. My resolutions looked like "Be better at _____, which I would try to do, but fail after a few weeks. Now I make goals for the year and work to achieve these. Some of my goals are about me as a person and some are more about achieving something. I find that when I share goals, I am more likely to follow through because then people ask about them and I have some kind of accountability.
Here are my 2019 goals:
(Drum roll, please!)
Okay, maybe the drum roll wasn't necessary. Goals are always more exciting for the people making them then the people reading them, but now I've shared so I can't go back. Eeek! I've got one more goal that is is bit unusual. Most people make goals to get off their phones and spend more time away from screens. I made a goal to go MORE digital and LESS analog this year. Yeah, that's right. I want to spend more time using my phone. Here you may be thinking I'm crazy, but hear me out. In the past I've bullet journaled and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I find myself spending more time decorating than utilizing it. I end up carrying around all kinds of stickers and markers, but I'm not working any more efficiently or productively. My goal is not to ignore my family or become addicted to a screen, but rather to utilize some amazing apps that will help me do more so I can make time for the other activities in my life.
I recently got the Google Pixel 3 and have been utilizing as many apps as possible, especially ones that will help me reach my goals. Here are the apps that I'm currently using as they relate to my goals.
What are your favorite apps for productivity and getting things done? I've found a few more that I want to test out before I share, but the apps that I've mentioned above have been great so far. Whatever your goals are let's move forward with courage, enthusiasm, and ambition! 2019, here we come!
Merry Christmas to all! This morning we hosted a small gathering and opened a ridiculously large amount of gifts. Some were little. Some were big. All were wrapped and all put a smile on the recipients face. But now that we're done there's a mess of gifts and unopened toys that we haven't had time to play with. Most of the paper made it into the garbage bags, but I'm sure I'll find paper throughout the family room for the next week. Now we've moved onto my husband's parent's house and we've just finished the second frenzy of present opening. My niece's new doll is lying naked because she's ran off to play with her new bowling set. Logan is trying to put on a magic show with his new magic set, but he's performing while reading the directions. His presentation needs some work. Even when Christmas is as perfect as ours has been, there is a mess. That mess is one of my favorite parts of the day. This year it is full of memories of pleasure, but any mess is a reminder of why Christ came.
This was a wonderful year, but they haven't all been perfect. Some years have been full of heartbreak and loss. Some have been exhausting with more arguments than I care to share.
But good or bad, perfect or disastrous everything about this day reminds me that perfection will never be achieved. Even when humanity is at its best we're still a mess. All have sinned and come short of God's glory. No matter what we do we can never to live up to God's standard of perfection. Fortunately, we don't have to remain hopeless. Christ came to save us from ourselves and restore the world. This restoration will take place in His time, but He is currently waiting with open arms for all who believe in His power as the redeeming savior of the world. God loved the world so much that He sent his only son to pay for the sins of the world that whoever believes on Him should not perish, but will have everlasting life.
Look around. Are you alone and missing family this year because of divorce or loss? Is your family separated by sickness or misfortune? Are you sitting in the middle of a room full of love strewn full of paper and gifts? Are you looking at a sink full of dirty dishes from a Christmas dinner? Whatever your circumstances, look at your mess and praise God for sending his son to redeem the world. Thank Him for the mess that serves to contrast His perfection. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
We really love decorating for and celebrating Christmas. Like, a lot. We have multiple Christmas trees, a thriving village, and a great number of other decorations. But today I wanted to write briefly about one of my favorite Christmas items: Logan's tree.
When I worked retail, my manager recommended that parents get a tree for their kids to decorate. Remembering this piece of advice, we got Logan a tree when he was just a baby. At first I decorated it with ornaments that were generic, but as he began to collect ornaments he began to get excited about decorating his tree each year. Bonus: when he came home from preschool or Sunday school with a handmade ornament that I wasn't keen to hang on our main tree, I could say, "That is beautiful! Let's go hang it on YOUR tree." Don't get me wrong. I love a good handmade ornament and have several on our tree, but it's nice having a place where I can send the plethora that come home each year. For many years we decorated it together and I taught him how to put on lights and garland. Now, at 12, he's collected a sizable amount of ornaments and a village to sit under the tree. The independence to be creative with his own holiday decor has given him confidence and a sense of ownership.
Small trees are relatively inexpensive and take up only a minor amount of space. This year let your kid or kids go wild and demonstrate their holiday cheer by decorating their own tree and save yourself the awkward conversation about why the foam reindeer would look best in the back of the tree.
For toddlers or young preschoolers who want in on the decorating action, but aren't ready for their own tree, I recommend a felt tree. Happy toddlers can take ornaments off and on, decorate presents, and happily make a mess all while remaining quiet and safe. Well, at least safe.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one."