Saturday, January 5, 2013


This week everyone is posting about their thoughts for the New Year. Many have resolutions, or wise reflections to start the year off on the right foot. Well, I am five days into 2013 and I feel like I am finally sitting down to catch my breath and focus on the New Year! I'm not big on resolutions, and that's probably because I feel like I have so much room for improvement on the things I'm already doing, instead of trying to add more goals that I most likely won't find the resolve to keep. So instead, I like to "refocus." I like to do that on milestone days like my birthday, the first day of the school year, or New Year's Day (well, in this case, five days after New Year’s Day). So this morning, I am sitting down with cup of coffee in hand, prayers said, and lots of thoughts to refocus in my head. I did some things okay in 2012, but I want to do them well in 2013. So here are my thoughts on self-evaluation, family assessment, and refocusing for 2013 in no particular order:

1. Pray more. I have heard women further along the spiritual path than me share that they wish they prayed more when their children were growing up. I want to refocus my prayer times this year to include more intentional prayer for my children, and my husband. I pray a lot about our ministry, and those we are seeking to impact...I want this urgency to be reflected in my prayers for my family.

2. Have quieter devotions. Our family devotions are often set on a backdrop of kids munching cereal, my husband watering plants, toast popping out of the toaster, and me desperately gulping coffee. When the day starts like this, chaos is sure to follow. Many days I am happy to have any kind of Scripture reading and prayer before my husband and kids race out the door, but this year I want that morning reflection time to be quieter, stiller, more reflective.

3. Spend more time reading to my kids. I am a big reader, and my kids enjoy books. My daughter devours pages at a time, and it’s her favorite past-time. My son also loves books, and he is just learning to pick out words. I read to him most nights, but often it’s hurried, or short and sweet. I want to spend more time reading with my arms wrapped around both of my kids, and I want to share more stories with them that are worth talking about after the last page is read.

4. Find balance (again). Being a wife, a mother, and a missionary is a balancing act that I have not been able to master. That’s why this morning’s refocusing includes the word “again.” I feel like I am a broken record sometimes: “I need to balance my marriage, my kids, ministry, personal sanity….” and on and on and on. I won’t get this right in 2013, but I want to bring it to the front of my mind again, and remember that my identity comes from who I am in Christ. I need to rely on Him more and more to guide me as I make choices about my time and priorities, and that brings me back to refocusing point number 1!

So here we are at the top of a new year. A new beginning to something…a year, a stage, or a season is a wonderful gift. We have the chance to evaluate, to get out of a rut, and to dream about new possibilities.

What about you? Are you a resolution maker, or a re-focuser like me? What do you have in mind for 2013? Do you have any suggestions to making prayer times, devotion times, time with kids, and "balancing" more efficient in 2013? Please share!


  1. I find that getting up before my baby wakes is the best way to have a quiet devotion time. Granted, I only have one child right now... but it still works!

  2. I also always got up before the kids (and still do) in order to have time with God. I found I need it SO MUCH MORE than 20-23 more minutes of sleep. It's what helps me make it through the day.

    I'm more of a refocusing person. I got out the vision statement I wrote for myself two years ago to look at again. Oh, and I added in one mini-goal: 10 minutes of Pilates floor work every morning before my walk!

  3. I want to know if you have a practical way that you're going to work toward #2. :-)

    Personally, I would love to be a re-focuser (or a resolution maker), but I've tended away from that for years now. I just keep going. Maybe this year will be the one that I can start back up with at least reflecting on the past year and thinking about the next?

    And I've never been able to get up before my children. They have some kind of sensor in them. The earlier I get up, the earlier they appear. We'd end up just not ever going to bed, if we tried to beat each other in that game. So, my personal quiet time has to be during nap/rest time or when I'm sitting in the hall supervising bedtime each evening. That's what works well for us.

  4. I've just read a fabulous quote from mark buchanan on balance!!! "Balance is this kind of unicorn, I think, we’re chasing, that we never catch. We catch little glimpses of it–we think–and then we never get hold of it, because I don’t think it’s the thing we’re supposed to be going after. It’s rhythm. And every season that comes upon us has this inherent lopsidedness."