(Adjective): Done consciously and intentionally

Looking back over 2017, and quite frankly, since John started Seminary so many years ago, I've spent a lot of time living in a manner that left me feeling at loose ends.  I had to pick up a lot of things that John had to leave behind and drop a lot of things that meant a great deal to me - like my degree work (though I never dropped out, I had to take time off from the program).  In 2017, John settled into his First Call as a Pastor and our lives relaxed quite a bit on many, many fronts - schedules, finances, and family health (this last having nothing to do with John's Call).  We're now been more than a year into First Call and it's been wonderful - the congregation is everything we could ask for and more, we've established a routine, people have been gracious and kind, and we've been definitely blessed.
During this time I've allowed myself to heal, both physically and mentally. I still have PHN.  I still have a couple of other medical conditions that need to be kept in check.  I ramped up both my exercise and sleep as much as I am able and now I'm working on eating as well as possible within the limited budget we have and all the rising food prices this past year.  I am so grateful that I am feeling more energized and my health is more consistent, rather than the roller coaster it sometimes seemed to be.  I'm still often tired and sleep 10+ hours on more than one day a week but I'm getting to a point where I can sleep 7 1/2 hours (what my body appears to actually need when everything is right) all week and not be completely exhausted by Sunday.  After years of wondering if I'd ever be able to have a "normal" sleep schedule, this is a definite improvement!  I had dubbed 2017 "The Year of Taking Care of Me" and in many ways it was. 
The funny thing about resting though, is that you have plenty of time to think and ponder.  I realized that I've been drifting - living reactionary rather than intentionally - and this causes enormous stress to me.  My husband has always lived that way and doesn't see it as stressful but, for me, it is a huge cause for anxiety and worry and makes me feel very, very uneasy about both today and the future. 
That's a really long introduction to how I chose my word of the year for 2018.  I've never done this before - I've tried, but I wasn't clear about defining what my word actually meant so the word kind of fell away after a couple of weeks and life went back to mostly normal.  This year, I decided it's time for a real change.
My word for the year is DELIBERATE.  The adjective form: done consciously or intentionally.
My goal for the year 2018 is to be deliberate in the following areas:
* How I use my time - what I choose to do most moments of the day
* Building in margin into my day (I'm notoriously bad at that!)
* Spending time with both my immediate and extended family
* Managing and using our money
* In my teaching (this is something I'm pretty good at, but there's always room for improvement)
What does that mean for daily life?
* No more random Internet or Pinterest browsing - I can still look, but not just randomly for hours
* Planned time with my family and a few close friends
* Planned time for work, relaxation and my health
* Intentional work on what is truly important rather than procrastinating (something I'm quite good at currently)
This makes it sound like I am not going to doing anything spontaneous or fun this year - that's not true.  My goal is to make myself more aware of what I'm doing and how I'm spending my time rather than "wasting" time, randomly doing something that isn't necessary, or just plain procrastinating. For example: Our son asked me to help him build the new Lego set his received for Christmas, so I have built extra "free" time into my week this week to help with that.  In the past I would normally say "Sure" and then it would get pushed back until it never happened.  My son is thrilled and, frankly, so am I!
Along with this, John and I have some big plans for this year in two areas - finances and family.  Look for another post soon about these two areas.  We have other goals too that I may or may not share as time goes on, but these I am going to share these both for my accountability and for (hopefully) your encouragement.
Did you choose a word of the year or a phrase of the year?  If you did, I'd love to hear what yours is!


  1. I love your word! My words are calm and health. We have had 2 1/2 years of extreme duress on every front, which were proceeded by eight years of involved medical issues with one of our children. In 2017 things began to even out a little bit, but I am going to eliminate things from my life in a big way in 2018. I must create calm so I can create good health again.

    1. What a great set of words for your year!

      Hope and prayers for a calm and healthy and less stressful year for you and your family.



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