Since we are here at the beginning of June, I thought I would check in with the goals I shared back here since this puts us halfway through the year.
Health/Exercise - Our eating habits have definitely changed here! I am still eating gluten free and feeling good, and I've drastically decreased the amount of gluten the rest of the family was eating. As a result, we have noticed positive changes in everyone's attitudes and behavior. Don't get me wrong - we still have our moments! Especially when, after the kids have been eating gluten-free for a few days, and then they have something - maybe a hamburger bun, or tortilla shell, or a cookie somewhere - we see a switch in them that causes some difficult moments.
Tim and I have been exercising 6-7 days a week. Tim especially has surprised me. He gets up between 5:30 and 6:00, exercises to online videos, reads his Bible, spends some time doing paperwork for his business, and then gets ready for work. I am so proud of him! He is creating some great habits. My friend, Carrie, and I have been working through the guide to running a 5K that is laid out in a good book called, Running Made Easy. I know, the title made me laugh, too. Running - easy?? Yet, we've only been running for a little over a month and are already up to 2 1/2 miles this week. On days we don't run, I try to do arm workouts and just added abs in this week. I have dropped 2 dress sizes since January and best of all, my body FEELS so much healthier! There are 2 different 5Ks I am planning on running later this summer, and in the fall, my friend, Jen, and I are running our first 10K.
Finances - About a month ago we started meeting with a financial adviser/counselor. He has been so helpful. It's like being in a counseling session yet covering finances as well. I didn't realize how much stress and tension is relieved by having an outside party to referee/mentor us. Is there any couple out there who is able to talk about finances together without tensing up? I would love to meet you!
Part of our challenge is that Tim's business is growing (a praise! Thank You, God!) but we want to be staying on top of things and making sure we're doing things correctly and well. Owning a small business is no small deal, and we don't want to drown ourselves with a lack of knowledge or by being too prideful to ask for help. Since we started meeting with Jim, he has helped us see how we need to separate business and household. It's a lot of learning and challenges, but we can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and things should run smoother.
So as for being debt-free, I think it's possible still. Actually, I almost think it's more possible since we have more of a plan in place. We also have added a goal of taking our first family vacation this year. We'd love to go to Florida - not Disney, though.
Homeschool - we have finished our first year! We all survived! The kids and I sat down together last week and talked about the positives and negatives of this past year and what they would like to learn about next year and what kind of changes we could make. We are all excited to begin again in the fall. We'll still review things we've learned throughout the summer so that things stay fresh in their head. I don't want to spend the first weeks back into our fall reviewing everything they just worked so hard to learn. We are also excited about different families we know who are also starting the homeschool process in the fall, as well as some different opportunities we'd like to participate in.
Faith - I have been using the devotional book, Jesus Today, by Sarah Young, and continue to be so blessed by it. The Lord really uses that little book to speak to me, encourage me, correct me, and remind me of His love. This is also the first stretch of time that I have consistently used a prayer journal. I have tried it in the past and never get more than a couple days into it, but now it has become so much a part of my quiet time and I love having documentation of prayers that end up being answered. I think one of the greatest things is that when the kids see me sitting with it and my Bible by my side, they know that is my time praying and spending time with the Lord and they know that is a time when Mommy is not available unless it is an emergency. I try to have it done before they wake up in the morning, but that doesn't always happen.
And to go back to the verse-of-the-year for our household:
Hebrews 12:11-13 - "For
the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later
it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been
trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."
Our hands are drooping less and our knees are getting stronger, but we're still learning discipline - and feel like we're failing at it at times - but praise the Lord, He keeps healing us!