And there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Are you nervous about this new year?
Are you unsure if things will continue as they have been, or take a new path?
Do you have a long list of goals you plan to accomplish this year, only to find the list daunting and impossible now that it's down on paper?
Do you long for change but don't know how to make the change or you're afraid you won't stick with it?
Do you know things are about to change in a big, big way and are fearful of how it will all turn out?
You may have guessed, but these are all things going through my mind about the upcoming new year. 2010 was a very tough year for many Americans, myself included. Along with a bad economy making life financially more difficult, our family found itself in the midst of many trials. 3 car accidents, several trips to the ER, the loss of a beloved family member (my uncle Mike Rodgers lost his fight against cancer early Christmas morning), personal struggles, marital struggles, parental struggles, disorganization, chaos and just overall frustration. Yes, these are all things that happen in life, but for some reason it felt like everything came crashing down on us in 2010. I'm thankful to see this year leave and to welcome the new year and all the newness it brings to the table.
Our family does have a lot of changes headed our way. For one, I will be bringing another beautiful daughter into the world. Layla Paige, Lord willing, will be joining us sometime around the 3rd-4th week of April. Since I will be having a planned c-section this time around, it will be before my due date of the 30th but I don't know exactly when yet (I'm hoping we will discuss this and possibly set a tentative date at my next appointment this coming Tuesday). We are obviously overcome with excitement to welcome our 2nd child into this world. Brooklyn doesn't know what's going to happen but I believe she will be thrilled to have a "beebee" around the house (her word for baby). She loves all her baby dolls and I know she will love her little sister.
But with a new baby coming there are a lot of preparations to be made which I began over this Christmas break. I haven't made any huge progress by any means, but, I got a start. The logistics of fitting a crib and a toddler bed along with a dresser, organizer and changing table have yet to be ironed out!
I do plan on breast feeding Layla as I am mentally prepared for how difficult and painful it will be. I was nowhere near prepared for the frustrations and difficulty of starting the breast feeding process. I gave up all too soon and if I had a chance to do it over again, I probably would stick it out more. I truly believe it is completely the parent's choice of whether to breast feed or formula feed and I'm fine with either (obviously!), however, I would like to give my child the benefit the breast milk does provide along with the financial savings it brings along. I will also try to cloth diaper again since I quit a while back with Brooklyn. It was hard to keep up the cloth when I was the only one wanting to use them and the one who took care of her the least (once I went back to work). This time around, I will be with my girls more and working less and it will be worth the effort and time to do it (as well as the money saved and getting the use out of the diapers I bought!)
Which brings me to my next big change for 2011...we are working towards me not having to work full-time and being able to work part-time only (and hopefully VERY part-time!). I haven't turned my resignation in or anything of that sort yet. All the details aren't worked out yet and we will need to be very sure that this is what God is leading us to do. Right now we feel like it is, but we know things can change so we are keeping it in prayer and our hearts open. It's hard for me though, I'm not going to lie. I get completely giddy at the thought of only working part-time and getting to be with my kiddos more and actually feel like a real housewife!
With the new year always come goals and resolutions to make changes in our personal lives. I have for a long time had the desire (admittedly the desire comes and goes in waves) to make daily Bible reading and devotional time a habit that I can't live without. Sadly, I have failed miserably after many attempts. I always start the new year off strong and then, quickly, life's daily grind distracts me and I allow myself to be pulled in different directions and never end up following through. I think the longest I've managed was getting through February...how sad for a pastor's child! I believe that part of the reason I've always failed at this is because I go from not reading daily to trying a reading plan that is too ambitious and unrealistic for me. So this year I'm taking this challenge in a new light. I'm looking at two different reading plans which both pull at me. One is reading through the NT in a year along with Psalms and Proverbs (you read through those all the way through every month). The other is a topical reading plan that focuses on different aspects of doctrine. For example, the first quarter of the year focuses on theology, the study of God. All the reading passages focus on just that. I'm not sure what the second quarter is about because it has not been posted to print off. The passages of the second reading plan are shorter, so I wouldn't be reading as much, however, they are focused on a topic and I could easily make my devotions more focused and write in my journal with a purpose more-so than if I'm reading straight through a book, which lends itself to reading quickly and not focusing on what I am reading (at least that's MY personal experience). You can get both reading plans here at Kathy Howard's website (she's awesome by the way!). Make sure to look at her recent post titled "What's Your Plan" to get the links for the free downloads for each plan. I'm hoping that with either plan, and a lot of leading from God, I will stick with this and begin a habit that will enrich my life for years to come. Waylon is also joining me in a Bible plan and he will be using one of our yearly Bibles we have. It's a great habit we can do together and hold each other accountable to. I'm looking forward to it.
It feels good to write about my goals and hopes for the new year. It brings me some excitement, after all, it's only days away! How are you feeling about your upcoming new year? Please share!