Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First resolution achieved!

January is one of my favorite months for a simple reason. It is the time of the year that we sell the most on About 6 or 7 times as much as any other given month, to be exact. It is the one month that book sales overtakes the book expenses Jon and I have to pay for our current classes. It takes a weight off my shoulders by clearing up some limited space and makes the outrageous text book prices hurt a little less, because I got most of that back. Any books that didn't sell last fall or the year before, have the best chance in January. And this year, it helped us to accomplish our first of 12 goals (aka New Years Resolutions) to pay off our last credit card purely from extra income (rather than deducting from the Off Limits Savings). I didn't think it would happen so quickly, but I finally got around to cleaning out baby bins, old game systems, etc and listed a lot of stuff on ebay (something I'd been putting off for over a year). This made up the other half of payments. The end result is that one area of debt has been completely eliminated! It feels great! One resolution down, 11 to go! Now to work on paying off my school loans....

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Goals

I really love a fresh new beginning. Even if it's only psychological, New Years is a new start and I am all about goals and resolutions.

In 2010 the only goal I didn't meet was reading the Bible (as in from start to finish).

In 2011, again, reading the Bible was the only one I didn't complete.

For 2012, it's not officially on my list. But maybe this will be the year I finally get that done. I didn't give up, it just didn't occur to me. I have been doing bible study for the last year and a half, so I think I felt like I was getting enough internalized as I was prepared to handle. There's always room for more though. :]

In 2010, I had 8 goals. In 2011, a whopping 3. This year I'm feeling extra ambitious. I have 12 for 2012 (purely coincidental). To help hold myself accountable in hopes of actually completing them all, I'm posting them here!

2012 Resolutions:

1.Finish 5 goals asap! Transitioning from 50 hrs of work a week to stay at home mom required focus and organization in 5 areas of my life: school, getting the house organized and functional again, getting my new job current, making time for friends and family, and getting the girls on a schedule. I'm about halfway through.

2. Read 25 new books this year (see last post for explanation)

3. Blog more than last year, and more regularly. This should be easy. And it was an unwritten goal of mine for last year, which I also accomplished. So I definitely think this is doable.

4. Keep up with Bible study. This is a challenge. I'm not very disciplined, so this area really needs work!

5.Complete Associate's Degree. I'm not even sure if this is possible yet, and I'm not going to kill myself trying to get it done. But it's on here to keep me focused and because it would be really nice to finish my degree by the end of 2012 and not carry that burden into the next year.

6. Keep going to church regularly. A lot of the errand-running etc is going to fall on my shoulders alone this year. So again with the discipline. The one day I get a break, I need to make sure that I keep up with going. When I'm so tired, it's hard to remember the church rejuvenates me. So that's a goal.

7.Get myself, Ella and Lily baptized this year. This is really important to me. My parents never got me baptized and while I'd always intended to, I never ended up getting the girls baptized either. So it has officially made the list. I want this more than thananything else on my list this year.

8. Keep up with the house. In other words, now that it is clean, decluttered, and organized, clean up every night. It really makes a difference to wake up to a clean house. Sometimes the girls wear me out and I just want to drop into bed. But an extra half hour makes such a positive impact on my psyche, that it's worth it.

9. Make a budget and stick to it. This is not one I can do right away. I've tried before, but with both of us in school and work hours fluctuating, it hasn't stuck. Here's to hoping.

10. Pay off USAA credit card. We pay off our credit cards in full every month, with the exception of t his one. It actually has such a small balance that I could pay it off with savings right now, but I haven't because I wanted to stay motivated to make extra money to pay it off.

11. Make back Premier investment. This is the chunk that I put into starting my own business. I've gotten back more than half so far, so I would really like to finish this asap and start turning a profit.

12. Pay off half of my school debt. This is ambitious, for sure, but this is what I want to use my Premier income for.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

So Long, Insecurity

I'm going to skip the updates and apologies for the moment and continue on like no time at all has passed.

One of my goals (aka new years resolutions, which I am very big on) is to read 25 new books this year. I love to read, and I love a good story, but the problem is that I rarely stumble on a story that I like, let alone love. Unfortunately the trendy thing is a tragedy. It seems writers feel this is more realistic and therefore a better piece of writing. I like to read because I want to experience something better than reality. I want to read something that shows good triumphing evil, what goes around comes around, and strengthens my trust in hope. I don't want to be doused in a cold bucket of injustice, irony and a clever piece that is so convincingly human, it could pass for the tragedy of something I've experienced. I read to live briefly in a world I can trust, to escape the one I cannot. Sometimes I read to gain a new perspective or experience something I wouldn't otherwise, but it's gotta end with a happy story. It has to keep my hope in humanity alive. I see too much in day to day life that makes me cynical. I want fiction to leave me inspired and fortified. I think, judging by my rant, that too often for my liking, me and contemporary fiction do not see eye to eye.

My point in sharing all of this is that, as a result, I usually spend my time rereading the same set of novels: pride and prejudice, ella enchanted, twilight series, harry potter series, etc. Books I know are going to make me smile at the end of the day.

Therefore my goal may seem small, but knowing that I will continue in this pattern, especially as I am disappointed in reading, 25 new books is a large undertaking for me.

I've finished my first book.

This was a gift from Jon for Christmas. I've been doing Beth Moore's bible studies for the last year and a half and I LOVE them. Love em. Anyway, the more I do them, the more I wish I knew her personally. Jon knew I was interested in reading her books as well so he got this one for me.

It was a little slow moving for me, at first, but I really did love it. I am probably going to be buying this for gifts for friends and family for a while. I don't think I struggle with insecurity a lot, and as it turns out, my biggest insecurity is not the typical one. Honestly, my biggest insecurity is feeling unloved/not valued/unwanted in family. Core family, extended family, step family, in-laws, you name it. I want more than anything to solidly belong, and it's a fear of mine that I don't.

Thanks to Beth's book, I am now facing the fact that wishing things were different, wishing I had more affirmation, wishing people would change is passive and is not going to solve anything. I cannot hang my security on the approval and love of flawed human beings. My security comes from Christ alone. I can't just cry to Jon and feel sorry for myself when I feel rejected. I need to stop letting perceived familial slights shake my foundation. I can still feel hurt, but I can't let that feeling or person claim my security. I guess I should be thankful that I got a particularly strong dose of it less than 24 hours after finishing the book. Afterall, how else would I recognize the situation and feelings for what they were? I remembered the instructions because they were fresh in my mind and now I have a chance at healing and restoration. Praise to God.

I think I can count this first book as a success.