It’s not a bad thing. In life, I’ve learned to embrace it instead of pity myself because of it. When we realize that dead things must go before new things can grow, we are more thankful for the trying times in our lives.
I’ll split out my goals in two different sections—homesteading and personal. This is a little different than last year’s post, but not anything different for previous years. For some reason, last year I didn’t make too many personal life goals, which allowed me to become stagnant in who I had become from the year before. This year, that’s changing.
So, without further ado, here are my homestead and life goals for 2017….in no particular order.
Expand Our Homestead
Keep a Record of Cost Analysis and More
Expand My Holistic Knowledge of Herbs & Essential Oils
Live More Intently
Become More Organized
Be More Conscious of My Words
The year 2016 proved to me just how precious and yet vindictive words can be. Jealous, bitter, and angry people roam this earth. We must never be caught off guard and fall into the snares that could entrap us into being someone we don’t want to be, no matter how well we may get along with someone temporarily. People who go back and forth between the same friends over and over again, and then toss them to the side until they are ready for them again, are people you need to stay away from.
If someone brings out the worst in you, chalk it up to a lesson learned—about yourself, and about them. Better yourself, and move on. You’re not in charge of them.
Pray More Often
I often share my struggles with others online without going into too much detail in hopes to help others who are struggling through the same thing. But believe it or not, there are quite a lot of things I struggle with that I wish not to blast on social media because, quite honestly, they don’t concern any of you, nor should they. I truly believe that my husband and I made it through the first 5 years of our marriage simply based on the fact that we didn’t air out our dirty laundry on social media, to our families, or to our friends. And trust me, we had a lot of dirty laundry that no one will ever know about. Why? Because it tarnishes peoples ideas of who they want to define us as. People define other people on their past often, rather than looking at how far they have come to the here and now.
Here we are, almost 11 years later, two completely different people who are thriving in marriage more days than not. Though we have hard days sometimes, like everyone else, but over very minute issues.
One evening this week, I was struggling with a personal matter. As I sat on my bed, I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or be angry or lash out. I had all of these motions—I need to correct this person, I said to myself. They didn’t realize how much they had hurt someone else. They didn’t realize how unacceptable their behavior had been. They didn’t realize how harsh the words were that they spoke in the presence of this person. I was livid! And yet all these emotions, my goodness, all of them.
I sat in silence, closed my eyes, and in the midst of the chaos I silently “heard”, but you are not their Holy Spirit.
Whoa. Wowza. Ouch. Bing. Heard ya. Loud and mightily clear, God. I got it.
Often, when I am at my worst, it is when I see God more abundantly in my life. I often like to talk about living a holy life, but more often than not, I myself forget to pray. It is a dangerous place to be in.
That night, I began to pray. The following day, I saw God take hold of these two people in a way I had never witnessed before, and I cried. Their journey is not over. Their harsh words echoed but it did not shake them. They apologized and learned from their mistakes. It doesn’t mean they won’t ever make the mistakes again, but they are consciously aware, because they were graciously convicted in the night. Me? I tossed and turned all night long wondering how I could open my big mouth and make things better.
There I go again with my big mouth.
When really, all God wanted me to do was pray.
I am not God. I am not someone’s Holy Spirit. I cannot make others see His ways or become convicted, nor should I ever try to.
Pray. Pray more often. That’s a good goal any year.
…and last, but certainly not least…
Glorify God in Everything I Do
This seems like something we should be doing on a regular basis, right? But it’s often not.
Glorify Him in the hard times, the good times, the dirty times, when you’re gardening, when you’re cleaning out chicken coops, when your kid is sick, when you’re angry, when you’re sad….
When I began blogging over 10 years ago, people often would comment to me, “oh, you’re going to be famous, you just wait.” They did the same thing when I began writing songs (which is just a hobby). I constantly heard as a teenager, “you’re going to make it big one day.” And others went as far as “prophesying” when I would cut my first album. I laughed at it then, and I laugh at it now. I said it then, and I’ll say it now—I have no desire to be famous. If I did, I would have committed to being on the 3 tv shows we’ve been contacted for by now. Sorry, it’s just not me. If God brings me to it, then I want to know that it is for His glory, not my own, or anyone elses for that matter.
Now that I have some sort of following online—that means you, the one reading this—people seem to think that I may act differently than before. Or maybe I think more highly of myself. I assure you, I still have my outbursts of anger. I may cuss like a sailor when you piss me off bad enough. And I could really use Jesus a little more each day. If anything has changed, it is that I have more confidence in my ability to live this life. My outlook on life has never changed. However, they’re right, I’m not the same person.
I am fierce. I am adventurous with writing and helping others. I am ambitious on the journey of natural healthcare and living a better lifestyle. I am courageous in standing up for what I believe in. And I am flawed like every other person in this world. If this makes me some kind of monster, then by all means, cast the first stone. But let me remind you, that the only difference between new me, and old me, is that I am now courageous enough to put my life on display for all to see—the successes and the failures—in hopes that my stories will help every other average day wife, mom, woman, and homesteader in this world.
More importantly, however, I want to glorify God in every single detail of my life.
I was speaking with someone about the time and effort I’ve put into this upcoming homesteading conference. He asked me if he could interview me about it, and I said sure. But the next thing that came out of my mouth was this — …at no point do I want to bring glory to myself in any way. I truly want to bring glory to Him and the benefit of the organization in the long run. While I know that requires I tread lightly (I want to appeal to all homesteaders whether they are Christian or not), I think, ultimately, people know where I stand.
I stopped dead in my tracks and thought to myself, this is a new year goal I need to make. To consciously and intently make sure I am bringing glory to Him in all things, in all works, in all deeds.
I cannot please everyone. Nor will I ever try to. But I can be more conscious of whether or not my post could be seen as self-glorification, or God glorification. Ultimately, there will always be those people who think you talk about yourself too much, or who think you’re a selfish know it all. We all have those people in our lives. But that’s another portion of glorifying God in everything you do—let the distractions fall to the wayside, never taking your sight off of the main goal in life….to glorify Jesus and speak truth and life into those who surround you.
I’ve made some pretty hefty goals for my life this year. The homesteading portion of it seems easy compared to the life portion of it. But that’s just how some years go.
I wish you joy, happiness, love, blessing, and prosperity in the new year. I pray you see the beauty in every single little detail around you. I pray you see how much others truly love you. And I hope that you’ll realize that life is far too short to be bothered with the distractions and chaos.
Here’s to a brand new year—Happy 2017.