Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Double Oh Nine - And a long wordy post to kick it off!

As I've been reading so many of your blogs about resolutions, goals and your 'word of the year', I wanted to share with you my own course of action for 2009.

Goal setting and vision casting has always been something that grabs my heart. Perks my ear. Turns my head. You know, that kind of thing. I'm the type of person who is always making lists. Who keeps mini-notebooks stashed in her purse to jot down ideas, recipes, craft projects, quotes, Bible verses, funny things people say. I'm the type of person who likes to chart a course - have a plan, a vision. That's not to say that I always follow through. I'd be such a phony liar if I said that. But, the idea of having a plan gets me focused and keeps me steady for the course.

2008 was quiet a hard year. I was adjusting to being married, a new wife, a new homeowner, being away from my family and close friends. I was jobless (still am, but that's another story for another day) and our debt load was up to our eyeballs. We were struggeling to keep food in our fridge - let alone in our stomachs. Many times my inlaws bought us groceries to carry us through - coupled by the fact that we ate at their house a few nights a week. There were times that Shane went to work with cereal for his lunch and chocolate chips as a treat. It was sad. We were fighting. And life was hard.

I had hoped to get back on staff at our church doing youth ministry - as they had fired the youth pastor just two weeks after I had moved back to Canada. After a lot of prayer and a meeting with the senior pastor, I realized it wasn't going to happen as I had hoped. But was later offered the interum position as junior high youth leader in March until the beginning of summer. But once that position was through, I really began to question where God wanted me in ministry. Or did he want me there at all? It is all that I have ever truly wanted and dreamed of. To work in ministry. Serving. Speaking. Discipling. Training. Praying. Teaching. Learning. Sharing. And more Serving. Life was hard.

But, then the winds shifted and things began to change. We were able to pay off all of our credit card debt, our truck and my school loan. We were debt free and feeling so good. We were finally able to start getting our finances back on track. I started to really become somewhat of a whiz in the kitchen, learning to rework meals and discovering how to feed a man with a GIANT appetite on a tiny budget. I discovered the love of blogging and all you sweet gals. I began to find community here as being home alone each day from sun up until sun down can become lonely.

When 2008 was about to close its curtain, I was at my inlaws house. Which has truly become my second home. You know those places where you feel so at ease? Where you feel like you can be you - that you don't put on any airs? Usually it is your own home, the one you grew up in and perhaps your best friends house - those places that you can just be you. That is my inlaws home. I married into a great family! It was good to be there, with them, celebrating in our own way. There was no giant ball. In fact, the Canadian television was just running commercials at midnight. We clinked our wine glasses filled with Pepsi and smiled at the thought of what the new year was to bring.

And truly, I'm hoping for great things.

My word for the year is "ABIDE".

I have been making "words of the year" since about 2001. It's been fun and exciting to implament those attributes into my life. I usually search out and do a bible study on that particular word to help ingrain it into my heart better. ABIDE. Here is what I am hoping this words means for me this year.

1. to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
This is what I hope to embody this year:

John 15:4-11
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

2. dwell; reside
This year I hope to make my home the haven it is meant to be. I will get things in true order. Organize. Create a space where we can mingle and mix and be. To celebrate. To find refuge. To be able to offer hospitality. To create a sanctuary. To truly make this space my home. To truly dwell here. To embrace Canada and this, my still new country, as my own.

3. to remain steadfast or faithful to; keep: If you make a promise, abide by it.
And this is my goal to become steadfast in my quest to become healthy. I have already begun to rearrange my lifestyle to prepare for this. I officially began Weight Watcher's yesterday. I'm so very excited about this and really hope that I can do this. I'm setting myself up for success because it is time. I am ready. And I am going to do it.

ABIDE. 2009. Here I come!


wendy said...

Inspiring post and wonderful word. I'm curious as to what words you've lived to in the past.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Great post! I'm linked to your blog from mine :)

Shannon said...

Hey! Yes, my husband is VERY neat and tidy so that helps a lot!! I am also a very organized person so everything has a place. We work well together because I am happy knowing we have a place for everything but I can leave it out of its place overnight or something but Cody is so tidy that he has to put it up right away. :) I also straighten up the house every night before bed.

Ronnica said...

Your paragraph perfectly describes me!

"Abide" - what a great word!

Mandi said...

Glad you had a wonderful New Year. We are right in step with one another. I am starting back with WW next week and I have so many other goals very similar to yours. Still trying to think of my word for the year, but Abide is a great one. Cheers to 2009!

tara @ kidz said...

What a great word, post, sentiment, scriptures. I'm so glad I popped by. I needed to read this. Thank you and best wishes for 09!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

These sound like good goals to me! I love the word "abide." It sounds like exactly what it is, and I like that. Way to go with the Weight Watchers, too! I will be right there with you when I have this baby!

Barb said...

Being a PA gal I am happy to have found your blog, you are very wise, and I appreciate that you share your wisdom and your honesty! *Abide* love the word for 2009, please share more with us!

Stephanie said...

I think 2009 will have some wonderful suprises around every corner. You have a great attitudes towards life and it appears as though you inspire many!
Happy New Year!!

Mary said...

Hang in there Mandy; life is full of bumps in the road. Keep moving! Love, mom

Tracey said...

I found your blog through Domestic Fashionista.. I think it was meant to be. I Love your New Year's statement.. the word, what you are tying to achieve. Remember , you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I had started blogging last year and find it wonderful to find people with the same faith and trust in Christ. I hope your 2009 is filled with Love, joy and peace. My daughter went to Prep School in Port Hope, Ontario at Trinity College School and we have friend in Coburg. So I was immediately drawn to your blog. Hope to stay in touch and come visit me at my blog as well.. blessing to you..

The Browns said...

I'm sorry you had such a rough year. It's good to hear that you two were able to work through the challenges and have come out on top.

I pray you have a successful and happy year!

Tonya said...

Hey there sweet friend! I've been checking your blog almost daily to see if you were "back". I'm glad you are! ;)

It hurts my heart to hear about your rough 2008. As you commented on my blog, I believe God does take us through seasons that are uncomfortable and out of our comfort zone to teach us something...usually for me it's to rely on Him for everything and not on myself. Btw, thank you for your encouraging words on my blog! Today was a much better day!

I can't imagine how hard it's been for you to leave your family and friends...your comfort zone...and move to an entirely new country. I'm proud of you! I don't know if I could do it.

I'm reading a great book right now..."In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day". I'm only on like the 4th chapter, but it's talking about facing those things in life that scare the tar out of us, trusting that God has us in that scary situation for a reason and that He will give us His strength to make it through. If you can get your hands on a copy, you'd love it. Let me know if you can't find it, I'd be happy to send it to you.

I love that you've had a Word of the Year...what a great idea! Abide is a great word...something I sure need to work on.

I'll be praying that God proves Himself faithful as you abide in Him!

Holly said...

Wow, I'm impressed, and inspired. Great post, and wonderful goal-setting. My little Bible reading seems piddly in comparison, but I have read every day so far!

Cherry's Jubilee said...

I am right there with ya...I started working out..doing the biggest loser dvd. LOve it. I am also a note and list maker.

The Blonde Duck said...

I wanted to say hi from a fellow SITS-ta! Wonderful blog.

Jessica said...

I love this post! We share alot of the same struggles from 2008! Being a newly married couple is hard! But yay for us we made it! :) And it can only go up from here! I love your words of the year! They are very inspiring! Good luck with Weight Watchers!! :)


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