1. One arts and crafts time with the kids each month
I have been trying to clean out unnecessary items since returning from vacation. The craft closet was waaaay out of control so I wanted to get in there and organize/declutter. I put together a bin of miscellaneous arts and crafts supplies and let the kids go through them to make their own creations this month. I thought J would want to use the paints. He started with Dot paint markers but quickly switched to glitter glue and pom poms when he saw his sister using them. It was nice giving them practically free reign to see what they would come up with. They seemed to enjoy their craft time. We also were able to use or throw away a few things as well. Win-win-win!
|The finished creations|
|K made the pearl bracelet|
I am glad that I cut my very ambitious initial goal of weekly posts in half (per the suggestion of Jon Acuff when I did his 30 Days of Hustle group) before officially declaring my ambition because I would be failing more months than succeeding (thus far I have had four or more non-recurring-type posts only twice in seven months and I doubt they were posted once per week). I have not gotten into a regular writing rhythm yet. I tend to write spontaneously rather than use prompts, which perhaps I should be doing to increase my discipline in writing. I am hoping to be able to write more once both of the kiddos are in school at least part-time in about a month. I enjoy writing and I want my posts to have meaning for me and my audience. I'm sure the quality of my writing would increase with more frequent practice but right now I'm doing what I can.
Anyway, in addition to monthly and reading reviews I blogged about my self-care epiphany, what I have learned from my 3-year-old about building community and thoughts from ten years of marriage. If you have any suggestions for topics I ought to write about, please leave them in the comment section.
3. Grow in gratitude, contentment and generosity
I am definitely grateful for my family, our home, my husband's job, etc. I have not kept up with my gratitude prayers this month. I have spent more regular time in prayer journaling and reading the Bible, which definitely includes some thanksgiving.
Now that I'm back home I have been focusing on decluttering and getting rid of things we don't need. I've done most of the craft closet, the bathroom cabinets, the kids' rooms, our downstairs closet and multiple side table drawers. I've thrown out at least three trash bags from this effort and have a full Goodwill bag. I participated in a consignment sale to get rid of things the kids don't need anymore. I had them go through their clothes and remove things they thought they wouldn't wear anymore. I'm enjoying the process. There's still quite a bit more to go through - my clothes for the second round, pictures and keepsakes, books, whatever's in the attic - but I feel like real progress is being made. I'm trying to make more of an effort to put things back in their newly designated spots so I don't have to root around for them later.
I believe I mentioned doing some yard saling out west. I didn't buy much at the sales (turns out not a lot of people are around to sell things over the 4th of July weekend). Nothing of note. I did do some shopping at the outlets with my aunt and purchased some clothes for my kids. I feel like I was much more contemplative of potential purchases than in the past.
We purchased school supplies for our kids and for a church event. I tried to be more purposeful about being flexible with my daily plans/schedule, allowing for suggestions from the kids and opportunities to spend time with others. This is a big challenge for me as I like to push through my agenda (which tends to be me-focused). I'm slowly seeing changes and growth here.
I have had Ephesians 5:1-2 on the chalkboard in my kitchen since May. I am leaving it up there in the hopes of ingraining it deep into my heart. I could stand to grasp the concept of loving others better.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
What goals were you working on in July? Have you added new goals as the year has progressed? Have you completely dropped any goals started in January? Have any suggestions for blog post topics?