On making goals: a look back at year 2017

On making goals: a look back at year 2017

I started the year by making 10 goals. In the past, I’ve tackled 2 or 3 ideas that I wanted to accomplished each year, but this year I went all out. I was inspired by another local blogger who seemed like she was having such fun knocking things off her goal list. I definitely felt that way about certain items on the list, but for others, they became a headache and guilt trigger. I concluded in month 2, that I had to drop one item off my list because it was a vanity item that was causing more stress than assistance. Others, I found I just didn’t care that I stopped working on them. Apparently, those things I didn’t really want to accomplish.

9) Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

Take this one. In some esoteric way, I wanted to move each month through another spiritual discipline, until I had a dozen sacred “belts” earned. I honestly wanted to see if the discipline of Bible reading, memorization, prayer, simplicity, service, fasting ,etc. would open the door for a deeper spirituality that I find lacking. I can’t tell you if that would happen, because I didn’t accomplish it. Life, like spirituality, isn’t routine. Its more rhythmic. At least for me. At least this past year.

Perhaps the key to this goal is to focus the entire year on one or two disciplines. I believe I actually did that this year with Bible reading and service. I read through 2/3 of the Bible, and was pleased to offer my services in two major commitments this year. I was trained and sworn in as a CASA, and am advocating for my first child. I also re-connected with our ESOL Alpha at Westminster Chapel. I adore this opportunity as it makes me interact with international seekers and Christians I would not normally connect with. It has been a source a great joy this year. I just love looking at those faces below!DSC_1323.JPG

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

I completed 14 credits. Perhaps exceeding this goal will cancel out the ones that I didn’t make? Nah, I don’t think it works that way.  I am 46 credits into my 94 credit degree – almost halfway!

7)   Connect with one person a week.

The purpose for making this goal was to get me out of my cloistered existence. It rather goes hand in hand with my spiritual discipline goal, as I often find “hanging out” a chore. Well, at least the process whereby you make friends close enough that I can simply “hang out.” All the folks I’ve been closest to are far removed, and so connecting with others is rather a bother. I judge this goal as accomplished, even though I didn’t accomplish it exactly as it was laid out.

I didn’t write a 12-week study, but I did write a 6- week study that incorporates the material I hope to include in the 12-week course. I plan on teaching this Bible study in May-June 2018. Its called The God of the Matriarchs: women at the beginning.

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

4)    Complete 12 house/yard projects. 

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I had a small project on my list. I wanted to make a reading plank for the bathtub. I had an old piece of cedar from a stash we had from my childhood home in Georgia. I also took the hutch off my childhood rolltop desk and painted it.

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We finished tiling our front steps and completed the exterior siding and sealed our upstairs patio.

We replaced our main bathroom light fixture and Stephen built a new linen closet.

I re-designed my garden layout and Stephen built new garden structures for me.

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3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

Accomplished! In fact, I’d say I got at least 30 minutes every day.

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2)   Fix my teeth. 

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1)  Hike to 12 new places.

This one was only half completed. I gave up on it after summer. I didn’t make the time to make it happen. Hikes completed:  Twin Falls, Little Si, Snoqualmie Tunnel, Franklin Falls, Stone Mountain, GA, biked Milwaukee Trail.

So to wrap up, out of the 9 goals for 2017,  2 goals were only half completed, but 2 goals were exceeded! 4 goals were accomplished, and 1 was not met. I am grateful for the health and ability to hope, plan and attain a little more from my life.

 

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2017 Goals Weeks 23-33

2017 Goals Weeks 23-33

9) Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

This goal has gone by the wayside. Perhaps I can jump back on in September

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

I completed my 2-credit summer course, and that puts me at 8 credits completed this year. One of my fall courses begins in a few weeks.

7)   Connect with one person a week.

This has been going well!

I spent a few days concentrating on writing the last week. It was sheer discipline, but I ended up enjoying myself, like I always do. I have the bulk of four lessons completed and I feel encouraged by the direction its taking.

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

4)    Complete 12 house/yard projects. 

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I had a small project on my list. I wanted to make a reading plank for the bathtub. I had an old piece of cedar from a stash we had from my childhood home in Georgia. I also completed the cover for our sofa. We picked up a free leather sectional off Buy Nothing, and we hated sitting on it because it was slippery. I made bottom seat covers that are way more cozy.

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  1. Exterior siding in progress…
  2. Upstairs patio in progress…
  3. Bathtub reading plank Complete
  4. Sofa seat covers Complete

3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

Easy peasy to make this happen every day.

2)   Fix my teeth. 

1)  Hike to 12 new places.

I dragged the kids out to Franklin Falls, but I’m not sure we actually got to the end? The pictures I’ve seen of the place don’t look like what we saw. We climbed around the hills and went off the trail trying to figure out where we were supposed to end up. We saw little falls, but not the “picture perfect” end.

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Henry and I climbed Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia. I climbed it as a teenager. It is an impressive sight. Henry wasn’t thrilled, but he did it.DSC_0953

January: Twin Falls.

May: Little Si.

June: Snoqualmie Tunnel

July: Franklin Falls & Stone Mountain, GA

2017 Goals Weeks 20-22

2017 Goals Weeks 20-22

9) Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

June’s discipline is service. This is a perfect discipline for me coming off of May. I tend to hibernate in May since Awana is complete for the year, its between seminary classes and the kids are still in school. I do a lot of reading and gardening, but not much else. I start to feel the isolation in June, and am ready to get back into service.

“Serving typically looks as unspectacular as the practical needs it seeks to meet. That’s why serving must become a Spiritual Discipline.” (Don Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, p. 143.)

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

Starting my summer class this week: Theology of Cultural Engagement.

7)   Connect with one person a week.

Complete!

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

4)    Complete 12 house/yard projects. 

3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

I missed two days in the last 3 weeks, but I have been very active…which is the point.

2)   Fix my teeth. 

1)  Hike to 12 new places.

Stephen and I biked the Snoqualmie Tunnel this weekend. We also went 2 miles down the hill and biked back up. The tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel that goes under Snoqualmie Pass. Its 2 miles long and completely dark. I thought it would be creepy, but it wasn’t because there were a lot of hikers and bikers inside to keep us company.

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January: Hike to Twin Falls.

May: Climb Little Si.

June: Snoqualmie Tunnel

2017 Goals Week 19

2017 Goals Week 19

9) Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

For the rest of May, I will be translating and meditating on the book of Matthew.

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

Half-way done.

7)   Connect with one person a week.

I’m hibernating.

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

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From the waist upwards he was like a man, but his legs were shaped like a goat’s (the hair on them was glossy black) and instead of feet he had a goat’s hoofs. He also had a tail, but Lucy did not notice this at first because it was neatly caught up over the arm that held the umbrella so as to keep it from trailing in the snow. He had a red woollen muffler round his neck…he was a faun. – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Mr. Tumnus is almost complete. I ordered white-white wool to make snow for his base, and I have to figure out how to make an umbrella for him. I also started on the armature for a Mary, Joseph and Jesus trio. I have 10 sculptures complete so far.

4)    Complete 12 house/yard projects. 

3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

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Chinook Bend Natural Area was a short 20 minute walk in Carnation. I needed on excuse to visit Carnation’s Tolt Yarn and Wool, and I had spotted this the week prior on an jaunt to a local farm. I consider this a walk, not a hike.

Twice last week I walked up a gravel road to the top of the hill behind our house. The view is so pretty of our valley from there. I was surprised the first time by a flock of sheep with half-a-dozen lambs “mbaa-ing” at me. They followed me a ways down the road from behind their fence. I’ve been back to visit them 2 times since!

2)   Fix my teeth. 

1)  Hike to 12 new places.

January: Hike to Twin Falls.

May: Climb Little Si.

2017 Goals Week 18

2017 Goals Week 18

April was a draw.

DSC_0569April was crammed with fun stuff and responsibilities. I accomplished many things, but most of those things were not goal related, so the updated list looks sparse for April. I organized the carnival for the Egg Hunt at church.

DSC_0523Train season also started this month which means I was training new docents most Saturdays or giving tours at the Northwest Railway Museum.

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Spring break took us to the coast for camping and exploring!
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Easter brings a lot of activities to prep, plan and enjoy as well!

9) Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

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The majority of my spare time has gone toward this goal. I wrapped Greek Syntax with a massive translation exam on Galatians, and read 5 books on women’s history in the church which will culminate in a paper this week. I’m registered for a 2 credit course in June with my favorite Prof. 6 credits completed!

7)   Connect with one person a week.

This happened, but not intentionally.

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

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No, I didn’t needle felt this guy, but she did donate wool toward my stash!

3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

Every. single. day.

2)   Fix my teeth. 

1)  Hike to 12 new places.

PANO_20170504_102734We finally had a few sunny days last week, so I renewed my Discovery Pass and climbed Little Si early Thursday morning. There are a lot of single women with tiny dogs on the trail early in the morning! There was also a lot of loud talkers. I spent a lot of leisure time on the trial letting them pass by or get farther ahead of me when I heard them.

January: Hike to Twin Falls.

May: Climb Little Si.

2017 Goals Week 12-13

2017 Goals Week 12-13

Week 12-13 of 52

9)   Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

 

The last two weeks of March saw less and less of prayer. I have some big requests that I keep banging on the door with, but I struggled to make prayer a disciplined effort. Lack of faith is the problem.

April is the month for worship. This is going to be tough one. Worship as defined by Don Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is focusing on and responding to God. If focusing on God is a discipline, it is an easy one for me. I am preoccupied with God. Response is the problem. How can you respond to something you don’t experience? Whitney recognizes that the discipline of worship is both an end and a means. Since, responding is not something I can discipline, this month’s focus will be on the means: listening to Christian worship songs, reading Scripture and continuing in prayer.

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

April has a lot planned, so my schoolwork has to be planned and organized. This is where the majority of my time is going. I have a lot of reading and translation work.

7)   Connect with one person a week.

Nothing. Guilt. Shame. 🙂

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

Nothing. I’m not feeling inspired on this faun. I don’t have the wool in the right colors, so I need to dye a batch, and that’s not my favorite part of the process. I will start on more sheep this week.

3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

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Every day except a Thursday a week back! Even in the rain. The skunk cabbage is out and stinky!

2)   Fix my teeth. 

1)  Hike to 12 new places.

Nothing new.

January: Hike to Twin Falls.

2017 Goals Week 11

2017 Goals Week 11

Week 11 of 52

9)   Practice 12 spiritual disciplines.

March is the month for prayer. In Mark 13:18, Jesus commands those who are listening to his signs that the end of the age is near to “Pray that it might not be in winter.” I find inspiration in his words.  Jesus taught that God knew the exact time of “the end” already (Matthew 24:36), yet he compels his listeners to pray for a specific time anyway. The verb Mark chooses to use when he writes Jesus’ words into Greek is a verb of uncertainty, of probability. “It might not happen” means that there is potential for the time to change. Our prayer influences the time that God has set.

Jesus was certain that our little old requests might persuade the mind of God. Isn’t that rather stimulating?

 

8)   Complete 12 credits toward MDiv.

Working…

7)   Connect with one person a week.

My course load is taking a lot of my spare time, so that’s my excuse for not working on the study this week.

5)    Learn how to needle felt and create 25 sculptures. 

3)    Move at least 15 minutes a day.

Accomplished! This is getting easier and easier. My favorite walk is to climb the hill behind our house. It gets my heart pumping and I can do it while reading, so double-tasking wins!

2)   Fix my teeth. 

1)  Hike to 12 new places.

Nothing new.

January: Hike to Twin Falls.