fourth quarter

It’s October.

And that means that the final three months of 2015 are here. This year is 3/4 of the way over and only 1/4 of it is left.

I’ve been checking in here all year with my goals and hopeful outcomes for the year.

big-chef_s-2

A reflection going into 2015 can be found here. A little more about it here.

First quarter check in here.

Goals for the summer months here.

Exact mid-year check in here.

As a re-cap, here are the major goals I had for myself in 2015:

I had three over-arching goals for the year. Here they are again:

  • forming good habits and routines (self-care, family care, spiritual care & household duties)
  • writing (like it’s my job)
  • simplicity (less commitments, less stuff, etc.)

Heading into the final stretch of the year, I am asking myself where I stand in these three main areas. In many ways, I already feel like this year has been full and successful, but I don’t want to bail out here at the end. I want to finish strong and make sure I am ending the year as strongly as I began it.

Forming Good Habits and Routines:

For the most part, it feels like there have been some really good habits that have formed and stuck around here. As far as self-care goes, I’ve continued to walk regularly with my neighbor, I get up usually an hour or more before my family, and I have been taking better care of me. I’ve been reading like crazy and meeting with friends when I can.

I’ve been faithful each month to continue teaching our children some basic life skills that are paying off. And Ryan and I haven’t missed a month yet on our monthly date nights. Despite working again, we are still fighting for our family dinners around the table, devotions or read-alouds with the kids at night, and keeping the main thing the main thing. Also, most of my plants are still alive and well!

I’ve mostly kept up with my Bible reading plan for the year but I’d say that the main area where I feel like I could still use some attention falls under spiritual care. We are in a season (and maybe it’s just a ministry thing in general) where I have felt poured OUT but not necessarily poured INTO. Our chapel situation is unique. Due to travel and other commitments we have been unable to be super regular at an off post church. Now that I am working, some of my female fellowship times have evaporated. My heart still longs for a planted, deeply rooted Christian community. God has not provided that yet but I know He is faithful and walks beside me giving me what I need. What I look around and see as missing may just be His sovereignty reminding me that my voids can only be filled by Him alone.

 

Writing Like It’s My Job:

When I think about writing as one of my three main areas of focus for 2015, there is a danger of just putting a check mark beside it and moving on. Write and publish a book: check! But I have had to diligently continue making strides toward keeping writing a regular practice.

I have begun contributing regularly to Ungrind and the National Military Family Association. I have also joined the Georgia Writer’s Association and recently published an article in the college newspaper where I work. I’m planning to submit one more article to the GWA before the year ends.

Finally, I have tried my best to continue writing here at http://www.elizabethclairewood.com My goal isn’t quantity like I was trying to churn out at the first of the year. Rather, I am just trying to listen to my heart and write when the mood or inspiration strikes.

 

Simplicity:

While some areas of my life have been streamlined and simplified, this is an area I’m continuing to work on. I feel like my home and routines are fairly simple. I feel like my priorities have been narrowed down to the essential.

I am, however, planning a big change in the next few weeks. I hope to have deactivated my social media accounts by the end of the year. I’ve found that this particular area has an increasingly “unsimple” hold on me. I have learned so far this year that some things in my life “make the list,” and some don’t. For a time, I feel the Lord prompting me to step aside from Facebook and Instagram. I’ll continue posting to my blog as I feel led.

 

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So that about wraps up the fourth quarter check in. Straight on ’til morning…or 2016 as it were.

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