Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking Forward

Tomorrow is the last day of 2014. A day of reflection and a day of planning.

What did I accomplish in 2014? Am I pleased with those accomplishments or disappointed? What new thing did I try that worked or failed? Is 2014 ending on a higher note than it began? Am I closer to God on December 31 than I was on January 1? Am I happy? Did I bless others? Are others better off because I was a part of their lives?

Some of these questions can't be answered in the here and now. One is never really sure how they touch and affect the lives of other people. I mean, so often it is the little things we do each day that makes a big difference in the lives of others, so it's hard to really know the difference we make in a person's life.

But....is our debt smaller or bigger? Our savings account? How is our job going? Is our business growing or losing ground? Did we weed through the clutter or has the mounds in our homes, garages and shops grown? Did we learn a new craft, a way to be more thrifty, less materially minded? If not...why not?

Did we leave 2014 better than we found it??

Tough questions for this lady to answer.

I guess for me it has been a lot of one step forward and sometimes two steps back. We can scream, "YAY!!" to a few of the afore mentioned questions and we can moan, "Ohhhhhhhh........." to some of the others.

However, one thing I can say that I am truly leaving 2014 with is the knowledge that while some things have worked well and some things have failed,

 I am taking knowledge into 2015.

I realize that I need to journal statistics a bit better. With our goal of being more self sufficient, I need to make sure I write down everything that does work and everything that does not...and why.

I need to become a better example of, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without", and I also need to share that with other people.

While Christmas was, financially, a bit less stressful, I have learned many things that will make next Christmas even more simple and I also learned that I need to start much earlier in the year to accomplish that!!

And I learned that Deb needs to embrace the life she desires. It is very hard to strive to live more simply and be surrounded with so much that screams otherwise. There is no room for laziness or excuses. I need to plan my days better so that the end result is a calmer, more satisfying life. I need to stick to a schedule and I need to fall deeply in love with the goal.

When striving for change, you have to realize change seldom comes easily. In realizing that, you aren't so blindsided by the hurdles and problems and forks in the road that are bound to pop up. When making changes in lifestyles you have to mentally prepare yourself for those who are always steering your focus away...and they probably don't even realize they are doing that...but when you are striving to get away from commercialism and live more simply, even a trip to the dollar store can be a real test!!

So, in looking forward to 2015 I have no idea what it will bring. A few things I do know though:

1) God is in control. I have to let Him have control and then I have to trust that He loves me so much that everything will work out for my good.

2) Each day will have it's own blessings and struggles. My job is to focus on the blessings and leave the struggles in the hands of God. (see number 1)

3) In all of the ups, downs and unknowns I am blessed beyond measure. I must never forget that and I must never dwell on the downs and unknowns. (see number 1)

4) God has this. It's not my job to try to figure it out.....(just see number 1).

Welcome 2015!!!! Let's begin this year great and finish it better than we find it!!

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