Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Stewardship Update

Well, it's been over 2 months since I've looked at this list so I'm hoping I'm still on track :)  God has been 'helping' me realize the priorities He has for me, I haven't been too off base and a lot of what I've desired to be a good steward over in my life is good, just not top priorities for me at this point in my life.  I think it was about 2.5 years ago I started to feel 'the winds of change' in my life blowing, it was just a breeze but I was right, and I think I'm feeling that breeze again.  Only God knows for sure where He is leading me but I am very happy where He brought me then and I'm looking forward to where He's leading me now!
But for now, while I'm still figuring things out, I'm not completely abandoning these stewardships, but my progress may just be 'on hold' :)

Stewardship of My Finances
1. Before buying anything new first consider reusing/recycling – I've been trying to do this with clothes but haven't really been doing a lot of buying period.  The sewing machine is on hold because sewing is on hold :) I do have a long 'one day' list of items I want to re-purpose or re-upholster that I am certain I'll get that sewing machine one day.  Just not this year.
2. Pay off ALL debt and invest smarter – paid off the last loan we have other than vehicle and mortgage. Now most of that payment is going to pay off our Journey faster. I also moved my failing RRSPs (which was all of them) into company shares, which even in the worst have times have shown an increase, starting this month.
3. Give more tithe than we already give – we have the cash value pay out sitting in savings until December when we'll hand it over to our Church building fund.

Stewardship of My Home
4. Better scheduling of Fly Lady cleaning tactics – even with my re-arranging of these tactics I find it hard to fit these in.  I try to do as much tidying as I can on Mondays, and have concentrated effort not to let the areas that don't get tidy-ed get any worse so that in a pinch they are easy to clean up or hide. It's just not the season for having this as a priority. I already have to squeeze in bigger priorities, like my health!
5. Establish a Meal Plan – I am almost at the end of my planned meals but I'm thinking of taking a short break over the summer months and doing a mini-summer meal plan version.  Some of my planned meals still have a fair bit of prep, mostly because I've never made them before, and some of them I 'scheduled' not thinking it would be 31 degrees the days I had planned to turn on the oven. So, I want to make a summer plan to make only the easiest meals with as little use of heat possible. I'm hoping to do that this weekend...we'll see!
6. Make as much food from scratch as possible – well, I think this is one of those goals that, while admirable and a great lifestyle change, I won't be learning any new 'scratch' techniques on purpose for the rest of this year.  That means, no homemade bread in the foreseeable future. I will continue to use any 'scratch' techniques I have already reverting!
7. House Improvements – the shingles have been replaced and Sean's on to talking about the next thing he wants done, electrical and our sidewalks.  I'm hoping we have enough money for that next year as well as a trip, since we haven't GONE on vacation for 3 years already, by next year it will be 4 years.

Stewardship of My Body
8. Wake up at 6 am for strength training – This is one of those priorities I've been fiddling with to try and find the best way to fit it into my life so that it sticks.  Work got crazy busy so fitting it in at lunch wasn't happening, I was getting no time for lunch. And during making dinner I've been trying to use that time to keep my kitchen clean. So back to waking up early, but now it's at 6:20 for Pilates only for 20 minutes.  I've managed 2-3 times per week to accomplish this so I'm happy with this new schedule. Other than being tired for a myriad of reasons, but I'm determined not to let that be an excuse, and discipline myself to do this anyway.
9. Lose 8 lbs and maintain that weight – the goal weight I’ve had for myself is back to 18 lbs away! I haven't been able to shed the 10lbs I gained back in April. My food choices really haven't changed other than I've been allowing sugar and snacks after supper. Even with my pre-planned meals, the side dishes are 50% unplanned so I've been sorely lacking on the veggies as well, partly because of lack of time and partly because I'm tired and can't seem to summon the desire to stand in the kitchen a little longer to add veggies to the meal.  I'm going to have to look up some ways to pre-plan veggies and make ahead like I do my main dish. As much as I'd love to be as intentional about this as I was back in November, again I just don't have the time.  I find it interesting my weight gain coincided with 2 things, one of them being an increase in my busyness by adding a small group. The other was something I'm not quite ready to share yet, but wasn't a physical change, rather an emotional and spiritual change. I've been hearing from God that all my health knowledge and implementations are just my way of controlling my health rather than being healthy. To a point I feel I need to know this stuff so it can assist me in making healthy choices, but it's not about the knowledge, it's about turning to food rather than God. This is another one of those areas that He's shown me it's not so important to work hard at this every day but to work hard at turning over my weakness to Him in those moments when making an easy healthy choice feels hard instead. He's helping me make peace that my body may never change on this course, but this is the course He wants me on right now. He just wants me to be healthy, not have a bikini worthy body, even if that means I have to live with this flabby stomach forever because He's got more important priorities for my life.
I'll talk about the running in the next point.10. Run/Jog the Father’s Day 10 K – Well this goal went off the beaten track early, as it was rooted in running with Tami who I knew was pregnant when I made this goal, and I guess I thought I could find another partner but life got in the way. So this did not happen, and I've found someone willing to do this with me next year, but I'm encouraging both of us to just see what happens because while we both have this as a goal, it is not a priority goal in our life, we both have a few other things that trump it. 
In the mean time the Couch to 5K app has helped a bit, a well as Googling some tips on getting faster, I am slowly getting faster but I've dropped down to one day a week with busyness going on.  I've easily fit it in once per week, but I while I want to be more intentional and disciplined about adding a 2nd run in each week, it will have depend on the other priorities in my life on a week to week basis. Again, trying to turn to God when I come up with excuses not to run and see if He deems them legitimate or not.

11. Quit an unhealthy habit – For over a month now I've found myself not getting quality sleep. I don't know if it's because I've been lax on the sugar, I know partly it's because my allergies are at their worst and I'm congested and likely not getting a lot of oxygen at night. Long story short, I've been drinking coffee every day for about a month. That's where a big source of my sugar has come from, since I've already admitted I can't drink it anyway. Caffeinated tea does nothing for my alertness, the only other thing that helps is a sugar boost, either way, it's added sugar. So now, it really is a habit, and when I have a moment (hahaha) I'm going to have to find a way to nip this in the bud.

Stewardship of My Earth
12. Continue composting and gardening – hahahahaha, that's me laughing at my last post 'I feel like my garden this year will be much more promising.' Well, that isn't happening after all either. Between busy weekends and weather that seems to only cooperate when I'm busy, I'm going to have a few carrots, maybe potatoes, the peas are piddly, my spices had to be replanted and died, my Farmer's Market visit was postponed too long so no tomatoes or peppers, only my oregano is going strong...of course!  And as for composting, not being able to keep up with the weed pulling, it turns out my compost started growing as if seeded, so without regular maintenance a compost dirt pile is not a good idea.  I really do need to get one of those self-containing units to keep this up. Valiant effort Lori, but once again, I'm having to say 'on hold' to the gardening life this year.

13. Eating local – I'm still figuring out local lamb, the local beef is still in the meal plan although the taste difference takes some getting used to in the steak cuts, I may just get roasts and ground beef in the future. I forgot to stay informed on the local chickens through my friend and missed that boat but that's ok, I think I like roasting turkey better for taste and size. Need to find some grass-fed turkeys instead :)
14. Acts of Green – nothing new here, or it's on hold.

Stewardship of My Talents/Purpose
15. Blog/Journal- I think I've been keeping up with this one fairly well, I've been journaling a little more, part self-evaluation we've been learning about in recovery, partly to document the more personal things that I don't want to share on the internet :) Of course there are the "I wish I had more time for" moments because my creative journal has sat untouched for awhile know how that story goes already.
16. Capture memories in scrapbooks and photobooks – as previously mentioned, working on finishing the wedding scrapbook finally.  I think I'll set aside time specifically for that after summer, once I'm tempted back to the couch again and I can work on it at the coffee table.
17. Continue developing my creative tendencies - as I've blogged about extensively already, the collage paintings are addicting. I've finished another one I'm waiting to give away shortly, another one to be finished in a few weeks and another one that is yet to be started but doesn't have a deadline.
18. Continue my work at Celebrate Recovery – I'm still enjoying my time at CR, we're still figuring things out, shuffling things (and me) around to accommodate the needs at this point.  We're going to a CR conference in California at the beginning of August, really looking forward to that and finding better ways to do things.  This is probably one of the biggest priorities God has shown me in my life, but I think He's also told me it's only going to be this big of a priority for a time. He's showing me other things He's created me for as well, and only He knows the timing. For now, I'm doing my best to do my part to help CR flourish and become what we envision it could be.

Stewardship of My Communities
19. Marriage community – this is about the same as last time, still going well. Sean and I are really enjoying our drives to talk and on the long weekend we were still so deep in conversation after our drive we sat out in the back yard and talked until almost 3 in the morning! I love those talks!
20. Winnipeg Community – I finally donated blood! It went awesome :) I can actually go again already, which I will try soon.
21. Friend/Family/Neighbour Community – at LOVE Winnipeg we handed out water bottles to those who were working hard to clean up the trash out of Elmwood in the heat.
22. Aunty Community – haven't done any babysitting this year yet but I will be going to spend a day with my sister and her newborn son this coming Tuesday, yay!!! Then a quick visit with my other sister and her 3 kidlings for the afternoon.
23. Friend Community - well, we haven't hosted or been the one organizing a friend get-together in awhile, but there have been so many get-togethers already we just haven't been able to squeeze in any more! We are in no shortage of being able to spend time with our awesome friends, and there are quite a few more opportunities competing for time in July and August!
24. Church Community – we've had 1 out of 2 hosted events at our house with 2 couples from Church, thinking another one in fall will be nice.
25. Small Group Community – we're still waiting to figure out more details on the small group we will potentially be joining in fall.

Stewardship of My Growth
26. Continue to step out of my comfort zone – avoid labelling ‘that’s not me’and just try things first!
27. Media fast Tuesday evenings – I have been back on track with this for almost a month ever since I've made it non-negotiable for exercise and reading my Bible time. The only exception I made was to drive out to Winkler last Tuesday when my nephew was born, if there was ever an exception that is IT!
28. Read at least 6 books, at least 4 non-fiction – I have now made another part of my routine to read from 10-10:30 Mon.-Thu, so that I get to bed at a decent hour and finally can start plugging away at my books!  I have in the last 3 months finished The Case for the Real Jesus, The Me I Want to Be, Sun Stand Still, and I am now starting Chasing Daylight, all non-fiction.  I also have 2 other non-fictions on the go, that I read when I just have some downtime I want to fill, one about poetry as a healing tool and the other about the end times.
29. Bible Reading and Prayer – My Bible reading has been improving now that I have dedicated Tuesdays to 30-45 min of reading in a row, uninterrupted because I go out in the sunny backyard :) Funny how the sun will come out every Tuesday for that but not for the days I'm free to spend in my garden. Of course, this is more important.  I'm also still trying to find ways to consistently increase my prayer time, and I think having a variety of 'motivators' I'll call them for lack of a better word, because I have a mish-mash of ways that remind me at different moments in different circumstances, like a prayer journal that sometimes reminds me at night because it's next to my book.  Or a prayer bracelet, different colour for each day and each day is for a particular group of people....I just need to fix it because it broke. And although I have lacked in intentional listening to God, He has really been speaking into my life unexpectedly and I am feeling I am hearing Him quite often in the form of intuition. I have never been good at intuition, I've read so many people wrong, or been clueless in some circumstances where everyone else seems to get it. It's been a real blessing and I look forward to God using this much more in my life.

Stewardship of Living My Life
30. Take a short road trip within Manitoba – I've taken 2 road trips down south since the beginning of June, a birthday party in Altona for my nephew who turned 2, and then as I mentioned down to Winkler for the birth of his little brother.
31. Go to some kind of art showing – maybe next year WAG.
32. Pamper myself – I had a lovely soak in the tub on July 2nd while I had the statutory holiday to myself.  Although, not thinking, I ran my bath hot like usual, forgetting the extremely hot and muggy weather outside and just about sweated myself OUT of the tub. Hopefully there is a pedicure in my future, a birthday month tradition.
33. Relax – I have been getting much better at recognizing when I am doing too much, and I promptly take an evening, or afternoon on weekends, off from all my lists and goals. I felt that way on July long and so my Monday to myself was all relax, no agenda. It was very nice and recharged the batteries to start full tilt all over again :) 

I am still strongly desiring to get to the point this isn't done out of need so much as back to my original intent of quieting myself so I can rest in God and hear Him.  I'm making progress but the point I want to get to is almost a complete re-wiring in me, I'm just not hardwired that way and so it will be a long work in progress.  I read in The Me I Want to Be that we all have different ways to connect to God, and not all of us are wired to do it the meditative way, which isn't to say we shouldn't try, but find ways we know connecting to God works for us to keep the relationship strong. I felt strongly like I was doing much better than I thought after reading that book, and although I still want to grow in my meditation and stillness, it's something I've recognized is going to be one of those life long disciplines because it doesn't come natural to me.

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