I’ve always been a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They haven’t always stuck, and sometimes it can be discouraging to look back over the past year and see certain areas I feel I failed at growth, or didn’t fully accomplish my goals. But as someone who tends to be an all or nothing type person, I have to remind myself to also remember the areas over the past year where I have been successful in personal growth.

Last year:

  • I prioritized my personal health and fitness and lost 21 lbs
  • I started running again- doing it for myself and my mental health
  • My husband and I began going to marriage counseling and it has helped our marriage enormously
  • I survived another year with 2 young sons ;)

My word for the year was Heavenward, and while I think I did live that out to a degree, it definitely wasn’t as much of a daily focus in my life as I wanted it to be. At the start of 2018, I had been reading Jennie Allen’s book Anything, and my husband and I believed that our prayer of “we’ll do anything, God,” was going to be answered with fostering littles. But as the year unfolded, we realized God’s answer to our prayer was different than what we thought. We decided to focus more intentionally on our marriage, and step back and look at our capacity before bringing other young children into our home.

God did answer our prayer of fostering, however, when we decided to invite one of the college students Stuart had been mentoring to live with us over the summer. I didn’t see it as fostering at first, because he was a 20 year old college student, but a conversation with my cousins over the summer opened my eyes to the fact that God was asking us to “foster,” just in an out-of-the-box way. That same student is now living with us again for his spring semester of college, and it’s been such a blessing to see how God has been impacting his life, our life, and the life of our sons with his presence in our home.

Stuart and I have been trying to purge all the unnecessary items from our home, [as a lot of people are, with the help of Marie Kondo’s Netflix special!] and live in a more minimalistic way. This is NOT easy for me, as I think I have some hoarding tendencies, and attach sentimental value to most of my belongings. But in owning less stuff, I can be free of some of the distractions that material belongings bring and have the freedom to focus more on Jesus.

When thinking and praying through what my word for 2019 should be, one main theme came to mind: LESS. And while less is a somewhat negative or unorthodox “word of the year,” it stuck.

I morphed my word a little bit to be LESS/MORE, because I don’t just want to have less stuff. I want good things to take the place of the things I make less.

  • LESS of me, MORE of Jesus
  • LESS belongings, MORE experiences
  • LESS Netflix and TV, MORE reading and time with my family
  • LESS selfish living, MORE serving my family and those around me
  • LESS fighting with my husband, MORE loving him the way he receives love best
  • LESS turning the tv on for my kids, MORE intentional playtime with them
  • LESS being a slave to sleep, MORE time spent with God and others
  • LESS time focusing on my weaknesses, MORE time celebrating and living out my strengths
  • LESS being a Martha, MORE being a Mary [Luke 10:38-42]

You get the idea. Less of the things that enslave me to bad habits. More of what will bring me and others joy. And going along with this less/more theme for the year, I’ve chosen John 3:30 as my verse of the year:

Since my theme has many facets, my goals are simple:

  • Live out my less/more theme.
  • Continue prioritizing my health and fitness, and lose another 20+ lbs.
  • Continue prioritizing my marriage, learning to love my husband better and better each day.
  • Continue to point my boys to Jesus, raising them to love him and be men of character.
  • Reach out to neighbors and others in my community, stepping out of my comfort zone in order to build relationships with those around me.

In order to stay on track with my word and goals, I plan to do “check ins” on my blog every few months to share how well I’m living them out. So stay tuned!

What is your word/theme and goals for 2019? I’d love to hear!