Welcome, 2018!

What would you like to accomplish in 2018?

How did you do on your 2017 New Year’s resolutions? Do you remember what they were? I only had one this year – to marry the man of my dreams – which I accomplished fifteen days into 2017. That’s not really how those things are supposed to work, though, right?

I don’t know your life story but New Year’s resolutions have never been a fit for me. They’re a little like dieting in that if you tell me I can’t do something, it’s more tempting to do it. And usually the things I’m  attempting to resolve to do are so unachievable, I set myself up for failure.

I’ve attempted in the past to schedule new Bible reading regimes or plan out a year of workouts at the gym and all the planning and preparation goes great! It’s the execution that fails every time.

This, inevitably, turns into feelings of guilt, failure, and disappointment and the things I was so excited to accomplish loom over my head in gloomy clouds of self-doubt. So, yeah, resolutions are not my thing.

BUT goals are!

When I start thinking of goals instead of resolutions, the pressure immediately comes off. Goals can be worked toward. Goals can be accomplished or they can be postponed. Goals can be met half way or you can have stretch goals – things you hope to achieve if you meet your other goals, but if you don’t, they’ll be on next year’s list. Goals, to me, are so much easier to wrap my head around. They are a way to reasonably target your time and energy as opposed to trying to check off an over-eager to-do list.

So this year, I’m thinking about the kind of person I want to be in 2018 and setting goals to help me focus my time and energy to becoming that person. Here are a few things I’ll be working towards becoming in the new year:

  1. A Scripture-Knower. I want to get back into memorizing scripture. Knowing what God says is not only how we get to know Him better but how we fight our sin. Working towards this goal will have me in the Bible and reflecting on God’s word all the time which is something I need more of daily.
  2. A Precious Wife. Now that Jake and I are nearly one year in, I feel like I have more of a handle on who he is and what my role as his wife looks like. I want to be the kind of Proverbs 31 woman that lifts him up, works hard, and shows humility and patience regardless of her circumstances.
  3. An Intentional Consumer. I want to be mindful of the things I put in my body as well as the things I put in my mind. 2017 was a big year for me as far as making healthier food choices on a regular basis and I hope to continue that trend in 2018. But even more, I want to be conscious of the other things I consume – TV, movies, books, social media – and their impact in my life. I don’t want to live my life through a screen and the first step in that is being mindful of what/how/when I’m consuming too much of the things I don’t want in my life.
  4. A More Available Friend. I’ll be honest, I have not done a great job being a friend in 2017 and I need to do better. It’s been very difficult to maintain individual friendships now that I’m married but I don’t want that to be an excuse for letting amazing people fall away from my life. I need the support and community of God-fearing women in my life regardless of my marital status and improving those relationships starts with me.
  5. A Gracious Host. Now that we have the space in our new house, I want to put it to good use. We’ll be renting out rooms on Airbnb during festival weekends here in Austin but more than that, I want our house to be a place of refuge for those that need it. I want our house to be a gathering point for friends and family, brothers and sisters – I want to love people with what God’s given us.

That’s the kind of person I hope to become in 2018. Obviously I know it’s not something that can happen over night, but I believe these goals are in line with what God wants for my life and I’ll be praying that He continues to provide opportunities to become more like Him in these areas.

This year, let’s challenge each other to keep these goals in mind as life inevitably starts distracting us. Let’s hold each other accountable to growing as humans together. Because I know I can’t do it alone.

Are you doing resolutions or goals for 2018? What kind of person would you like to see yourself become in the new year?

The Fall Bucket List You Won’t Want to Miss

Death to mosquitoes and life to winter scarves, fall has finally arrived! Here are a few things I’m looking forward to doing this autumn!

Adobe Spark (6)Y’all. Last Friday was the first day of fall and if you saw my insta post that day, you know that I’m pumped. Not for PSL’s or Pumpkin Spice Anything. I’m pumped for the decline of mosquito season.

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Austin the mosquitoes have been TERRIBLE this summer. But fret no more, the end is near. Yes, it’s still in the 90’s-100’s outside but soon, my friends, it’ll be in the 80’s.

In celebration, I’ve thrown together a list of things that I can’t wait to do this fall! Some things are Austin-specific, some are not, and I’ve made sure to call out my dog-friendly ideas with a * as well. Stella is just as pumped as I am! 

  • Tailgating.* I’ll be honest and say I’m not a football fan but I do enjoy hanging out with friends and eating junk food in an unconventional way (like off a grill on someone’s truck bed). Plus, Jake’s an Aggie who always appreciates my participation in his school spirit 😉
  • Hiking.* We love hiking the Austin Greenbelt but it’s been too stinking hot lately. I’m excited to take Stella to explore new areas for hiking this fall!
  • Kayaking. Jake just did a ridiculous thing (he bought an inflatable kayak) and we have yet to take advantage of it for fear of being eaten alive by mosquitoes in the evenings. Cooler weather and fewer mosquitoes make perfect conditions for evening kayaking along Lady Bird Lake!
  • Onion Creek.* For those who, like me, have not been to the Onion Creek park, it looks amazing and has a great off-leash area for dogs! The Austin Parks site boasts playgrounds for kiddos and lots of trails for hiking, biking, blading, walking, you name it!
  • Visit a pumpkin patch. I feel like this is just a necessary activity in fall. Like, it’s not really fall until you’ve surrounded yourself with tons of orange gourds. They’re popping up all over the place but if you’re not sure where to go, you can find one around Austin here!
  • Transition my wardrobe. I know this one doesn’t seem as fun but I’m SO excited to put away my summer tanks and pull out all my beautiful winter scarves! Winter capsule wardrobe, here I come!
  • Orionid meteor shower.* Jake and I had our first date watching the Super Blood Moon Eclipse back in September of 2015. Ever since then, I’ve loved celestial events! The Orionid meteor shower will happen sometime between 11pm October 20th – dawn on the 21st and should be able to be seen from most of the U.S. (assuming weather conditions play nice). I’d love to pack a picnic and some caffeine and watch “stars” shoot across the sky!
  • Trying out a Pumpkin Juice recipe. My inner (and outer) Harry Potter nerd has always wanted to try pumpkin juice and what better time to do that than the fall? I’ll be trying out a recipe from friends over at Favorite Family Recipes if you want to join me!

What are you most excited about this fall? Is there something specific you look forward to every year? Have a different Pumpkin Juice recipe I should try? Let me know in the comments!