Friday, December 28, 2012


I've never been much of a New Year's Resolution person. Like most, I fall off the wagon far too early and beat myself up far too much for something that was probably not realistic in the first place.

Thanks to Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine, I've been thinking more and more about the possibility of goal-setting this year. This would include setting attainable, measurable goals with time lines and sticking with them. It would also mean re-evaluating frequently in order to be realistic about why they are/aren't working.

I'm interested in your thoughts.

  • Do you set resolutions?
  • Do you do goal-setting?
  • What have you found that has worked in this area?
Help a newbie out...{Leave comments here, on FB, or send me an email @ joskeathley{@}gmail{dot}com

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Grown Up Christmas List

So...even though I don't prefer Amy Grant's music (or voice or...her in general), the Grown Up Christmas List song always kinda got to me.

And now Michael Buble croons it. And my, my, heart both soars and aches at the same time.

I've been working on my Grown Up Christmas List since about the first week of December. It's come together quite slowly, and I have been humbled and happy to learn that I might be growing up a bit. This is the first time in a long time that I didn't really WANT anything for Christmas. I mean, sure, it's fun to open presents. Especially when they're personal and thoughtful. But I'm more of a quality time person, anyway.

This year, light of all that's going on in the world around us and the chaos that just is constantly swirling...I want things that aren't THINGS.

So here you are, friends, my grown up Christmas list.

  • My kids to be happy. And not with the gifts under the tree. I mean...happy. With us, with life, with what we have, with non-tangible things, relationships, each other, and most of all with themselves.
  • My kids to experience joy. Real joy that is not based on circumstances but on the basis that we are so very blessed.
  • My family to have quality time together. Screen-less time. Giggles, stories, and memories made.
  • Us all to be healthy, though I realize this is relative and can change in the blink of a moment. But I don't want to take advantage or for granted these happy & healthy days we have.
  • I want this world to stop selling things to my kids. I want my 6 year old to realize what good he has  instead of seeing what he doesn't have.
  • To fill my children's hearts with compassion. I want them to love without cause, and I want them to give out of a heart overflowing with Jesus.
  • To learn content~ness, which apparently isn't a word. {Contentedness is what "they" want me to change it to, but that just sounds fluffy...}
  • Children to never fear walking into school or a mall or a park.
  • Friends to know they are loved by my actions/words.
  • Marriages to be peaceful and purposeful...not at all revolved around children, but around Jesus.
  • A church that is only concerned with the things Jesus is concerned with.
  • Orphans to be loved and adopted.
  • The unlovable to feel loved.
  • To be generous when we can, as people have been generous to us.
  • To stress less. I want to enjoy days, even when they're rough. {If you know me, you know I REALLY struggle with this.} I want to learn to go with the flow and take things as they come.
  • Ruby's adoption to be final. But yet, I want peace for her birth parents. This can't be easy for them.
  • Broken hearts to be mended. That those that have lost loved ones would savor memories instead of pain...and that there would be no regrets. If there are regrets, may we learn to swallow them and move on and use them as fuel for our current friendships and relationships.
  • Hatred to just...go away. That we would love one another and TRULY be Jesus to our world {instead of trying to be God's judge here on earth}.
  • Families to be whole
  • People to be passionate about things that matter.
  • the world, in our country, in our corrupt state, our little village, and our home.
  • Those that I love to seek. Truly seek God. The Word is truly the only way to do this.

And even though my list will probably continue to grow, I will use this as a basis to reliaze what is my family, church, and relationships. And though I don't do resolutions well (who does?!), I will set goals slowly and prayerfully, hoping that a few of these things will be in 2013.

And to tickle your you go...

What's on your Grown Up Christmas List?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Christmas Time!

I don't know if it's because of my Grampa's death that it kinda snuck up on me. We just kinda grazed over Thanksgiving {believe it or not, I still haven't had any turkey!}, and now that I'm home, I'm READY for Christmas. Everyone's Christmas trees peeking out the windows are making me want to get mine up and going...

Last year, I was battling new baby-ness {& a bit of depression} and couldn't even imagine decorating for Christmas. So this year, so far {and I only have a few things out} - I am just crying tears of joy over the little things. Hearing Big D sing along to the Christmas songs as we put the tree up as a family, how ca~ute this mini tree is that hangs on the wall in our "eating area," and just SEEING all the things I've collected in my {few} short years as an adult.

We're doing an advent calendar as a family {with activities, service projects & treats}, as well as the Christmas Book idea found here. I will blog more about that when they're wrapped! {Yes, it's Dec. 1 & they're not wrapped! But I do have the 24 books picked out and labeled with numbers...progress, people.} I'm also hoping to do the Truth in the Tinsel project with D, but am not sure it will start today, just for time's sake. The Jesse Tree is an idea, too...

I'm not sure what you're doing today, but I'm listening to great Christmas music & decking my walls with Christmas gear! The Hubs is going to put our icicle lights up later, and we're planning on ornamenting our lovely tree, pictured above.

Have I mentioned I'm excited about the Advent season this year?!