Goals for 2018

Prayer for my Family
After nine years of marriage and six years of mothering, I still haven’t gotten into a good habit/routine of praying for Jeremy and our children. And sometimes when I do pray for them I get a little stuck, wondering what exactly should I be praying for. It’s time for that to change. So I spent some time googling “prayers for your husband” and “prayer for one’s child” and compiled a little prayer booklet that includes some rich and lovely prayers. The plan is to say these prayers upon waking in the morning, or, after the baby arrives, when I’m nursing.

Reading Journal-7

Blustery Thanksgiving Day family photo taken by my sister, Kristi.

Making Friends
Having been at home with our children most of the last four months, I haven’t made many friends in the area yet. But now that we have a second vehicle and are moving closer to church and school, I’ll have more opportunities to meet and get to know other women. I tend to be a bit of a hermit, and am rather slow at forming friendships, but seeing as we’re planning to live here for the next 5-10 years, it makes sense to prioritize friendships! For this, I plan to attend the wonderful Mom and Tots group held at a local Catholic Church and begin getting together with other homeschooling families.

Everything Has a Place, and Everything in its Place
We’re moving mid-February and one of my goals after we move is to give all our belongings a set place. There are a number of ‘collection points’ in our home right now – the kitchen counter, the dresser in the living room – that house extra books, pages the kids have coloured, and other miscellaneous items . . . and this always leads to more and more things cluttering up the area. Hopefully having a spot for everything will keep that at bay!

Sunday Keeping Hour
I started reading several books from Ambleside Online’s Year 7 back in September, and began keeping a reading journal a few months later after reading Celeste’s blog post on the topic. It has been such a joy so far! I include quotes from the books, small illustrations, maps, lists of characters, even a small century chart tucked in the back! I’d like to keep doing this on a regular basis this year so I’m scheduling a Sunday Keeping Hour for making these entries.

Reading Journal

Reading Journal-2

Reading Journal-4

Reading Journal-5

Weekly Nature Walks & Nature Journaling
Our new home is close to a nature trail – hurrah! I’d like to get into a habit of weekly nature walks and nature journaling… though my guess is this will likely begin in the late spring, some time after the baby is born. I have a daybook set aside for journaling our ‘firsts’ of the year (first robin sighted, first crocus blooming, etc.) and I can’t wait to begin using this, too, once we move!

Reading Journal-8

Reading Journal-2-2

Reading Journal-3-2

Word of the Year
I used a ‘Word of the Year’ generator and it gave me the word kindness. My stomach dropped when I read it, as I’ve been feeling convicted lately that the way I speak to my children is more cantankerous/snippy than kind/encouraging. So speaking kindly is another goal for the year!

Saint of the Year
I also used a ‘Saint of the Year’ generator and it gave me St. Bernardine of Siena. This man (whom I first mistook for a woman based on his name!) lived in the 1400s and showed great selflessness by tending the sick during an outbreak of the plague; joined the priesthood and spent twelve years in prayer (rather than preaching) because of a weak and hoarse voice; and then was healed and preached so fervently the pope called him a second Paul. Quite the life!

Check out this prayer to Saint Bernardine; it ties so neatly with the habit of speaking kindly (just had to include it in my prayer book): “Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus’ mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Please pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus’ name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen.”

St Bernardine


7 thoughts on “Goals for 2018

  1. Tanya says:

    These are some great goals! I love the start of new year for the opportunity for reflection it provides, and hopefulness for the year ahead. Love your reading journal, looks like a nice creative outlet. I will pray over your goal of making friends – definitely not easy putting yourself out there. I used that word of the year generator and it gave me the word ‘greet’, made my stomach drop a little too 😉


  2. jrdeleeuw says:

    I second what Tanya said about making friends. Not easy to throw yourself out there, but I hope that you do find some wonderful women out there that you connect well with! Friends are a huge blessing!
    I like your goal about everything having a place! Our kitchen definitely has it’s collection corners. Our bookshelf as well 😛 (how high can i stack these board games on top of the bookshelf before I have to run them back downstairs, haha!)
    The word generator gave me the word “return”. Haha…not too sure how that will apply to the year 😉


    • arenda says:

      Hmm, ‘return’ is a pretty unusual word! Returning to… books you’ve previously read, friends from long ago, familiar places? Hmm!


    • arenda says:

      Thank you, Celeste! Your post was very inspiring! And helped me get over my urge to write down all my commonplace quotes from one book before moving on to the next. 🙂


  3. BRC_MacKenzie says:

    Thanks for joining my link-up. What great goals! I’ve recently been convicted about praying for my family more too and love the idea of making a prayer booklet for that. And what a gorgeous reading journal. I’ve stolen Celeste’s idea for that too but I might have to start a keeping hour because I have a post-it note with things I want to put in it but most of the things haven’t actually made it in it yet 🙂


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