Thursday, January 12, 2012

Booking It 2012

I set a goal to read 2 books a month in addition to my Bible reading.  I'm a bit of an overachiever, so I'm reading 3 books right now. 

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham is a book full of wisdom.  I'm only on chapter 2, but I have already gleaned some great things.  The premise of the book is to pour into your family as the family is a great means God uses to pass on the faith from generation to generation.  

I love the author's use of the Scriptures and his view on marriage.  "Our marriage serves as a strategic command where we plan and oversee the discipleship of each of our children;  it functions as a counseling center where our children come to feel safe in the midst of a frightening world;  and it functions as a laboratory where our children watch and learn what marriage is about." (p. 47) 

What I find interesting is that Voddie did not grow up in a Christian home.   He had a teenage Buddhist mother.  However, God stepped in and taught him how to walk with him and raise a godly family.  There is hope in the midst of unideal circumstances for anyone to know God and follow his ways. 

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy has been sooo good for me.  I struggle greatly with procrastination, so this book is lighting the fire under me that I need to get things done.  Crystal from said it was one of the top 7 books she read in 2011 (and she read 60 books).  Eating a frog means doing the thing(s) that you least want to do at the start of your day.  In so doing, you will be motivated to do other tasks throughout the day because your worst task is already done.

I'm working on putting a new habit in my life every month.  My habit for January is to Eat a Frog everyday.  So far, so good.  I completed our newsletters, edited my husband's paper, did my hair, emptied the laundry baskets, written out our budget, and many other tasks as a result of eating a frog everyday. 

I'm taking notes as I work through this book.  Rules of frog eating: 
     1.  If you have to eat 2 frogs, eat the ugliest one first. 
     2.  If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn't pay to sit and look at it very long.

I have shared lots of principles from this book with friends and I think the author is spot on.  If you struggle with procrastination, I highly recommend this book. 

Another book along the same lines as Eat that Frog is One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider.   I printed out this e-book and I'm slowly making my way through it.  The tasks don't build on each other, so you can start on whatever task would serve you best.  You can see a list of the projects here.

I'm working on Project #1- Eat your Frog, #2 Make a debt-free plan, and #3 Establish a morning routine, #19 Dump your brain.   Three of these four projects really go together for me.  As part of my morning routine, I dump my brain using this to-do list and write out my frog for the day.  I know it's important not to bite off too much at one time, or else I'll burnout and get nothing done.  I think the key here is for me to pick just a few things and get them going really well and then start on others.  After all, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. 

I'm looking forward to finishing these books this month.  In February I want to read Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow.  Eddie picked up a copy of The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller for us to read together.   I'm glad he did that because one of my goals for the year was for he and I to read 2 books together. 

I'm linking up this post to   Go here to see what other's are reading. 

Have you read anything good lately?


Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

I always love the new year.  Turning the calendar from December to January feels like cleaning a slate, a virtual do-over.  I love setting goals.  Though I don't always accomplish them, setting them certainly gives me something to shoot for.  I am a firm believer that small changes practiced over time make a big impact! 

One of the greatest things I accomplished in 2011 was memorizing almost all of Colossians.  I started in February and as of today, I have memorized through Ch. 4, verse 8.  Only 10 more verses to go.  Woohoo.  And get this...I kept up with my spiral index card holder for the entire year.  Now that's certainly something to be proud of.   It's tattered and worn, but I love it just like that.   The crimps and wrinkles are signs that I have hidden His word in my heart.  

I found the plan on Ann Voskamp's site here.  By memorizing 2 verses a week, I have come this far.  See?  Small changes over time make a big impact!!  Slow and steady wins the race.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  I'm a firm believer that this stuff works. 

The other day, I sat down and wrote my goals for this year.  Then I printed them out and laminated the page.  By looking at them daily, I'll stay motivated to keep eating that elephant. 

I divided the goals ito 6 different categories based on my roles.  Eddie and I still have to talk through the details of some of them, so that's why there are blanks.  But believe you me, I do plan to fill them in.

Christmas Day 2011 (16)

1.  Finish memorizing Colossians.  Pick another BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) by February.
2.  Finish reading through the Bible.  (I have attempted this goal many times, but never succeeded).  In November, I decided to start by reading the NT first.  After all, I've read Genesis many times!  So far I have read all the Gospels and Acts.  I start Romans tomorrow!  You can find a plan like mine here.
3.   Read 2 books a month.  I'm currently reading Family Driven Faith and Eat That Frog.
4.  Focus on one habit a month.  For January I want to eat a a frog everyday.  That means I want to do the thing I least want to do 1st everyday.  In so doing, I won't procrastinate and will be better able to enjoy my day because I will know I have already done the worst thing...eaten a frog!!
4.  Crochet a blanket for Mason and the new baby.  I plan to get help from a lady at church to complete this goal.  I taught myself how to crochet when I was pregnant with Halley, and now I want to expand my skills.

1.  Date night ____ times per month.
2.  Read 2 books together (marriage/parenting).
3.  Overnight trip without kids ___ times per year.
4.  Talk time 4 days a week.  (I would like to work up to doing this everyday.  We'll see!)

Twins Combined Party 2011 (16)

1.  Memorize 2 Scriptures a month.  I'm pretty sure they can do more than this, but 2 is a great start.
2.  Do 2 1 crafts per week  month.  (This will take some planning on my part, but it's certainly doable).
3.  Read to kids 3 days per week and increase as it becomes a habit.
4.  Mark chore charts M-F and pay on Saturday using Give/Save/Spend canisters.

1.  Share my faith once a month.
2.  Write 2 cards per month.
3.  Write a newsletter by the 5th of every month.  (We completed January's letter and plan to mail them by Monday).
4.  Meet with ASU girls every Saturday while school is in.

Christmas Day 2011 (19)

1.  Monthly budget meeting with Eddie.
2.  Keep up with our spending using
3.  Pay off $_____ towards our debt.

1.  Blog once a week.
2.  Take pictures 3 days per week.

Crystal from really inspired me to write my goals down and break them down into small bites.  I'm so encouraged by her life and blog.   Her first book is coming out this Tues, Jan. 10.   It's called The Money Saving Mom's Budget:  Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year.   Her blog has encouraged me in so many ways.  Her series called 21 Days to a more Disciplined Life really put me on track to achieve great things at the end of 2011. 

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