June found me in a place of endings and beginnings. Ending the five kids in five different schools year and the high school career of child four took a lot of energy. Beginning the summer did, as well.
In the midst of it all, I tried keeping up with and tracking the goals, though I must say that the vigor of the first half of the year feels faded and worn. I am tired.
- Spiritual ~ Maintain daily quiet time and prayer, following current Bible reading plan. Journal responses and thoughts that result from that time. Spend time in stillness. Read one faith-based book/month.
I finished 1 Chronicles and am moving right along into second. Romans is where I am in the New Testament, and the second half of the year means a second journey through Psalms. Proverbs moves verse by verse throughout the entire year, so I am up to chapter 19. My faith-based book, thanks to the work I am doing this fall was Trauma + Grace by Serene Jones.
- Family ~ Connect with Steve intentionally each week on a heart-level. Risk sharing something scary or overwhelming inside of me with him during that time. Connect with at least one child intentionally each week. Keep track. Make the most of one~on~one impromptu moments that arise with the children. Keep track.
Steve and I have set aside Wednesday nights to connect and hang out. If you are at all curious about Wednesday Night, just ask our children, and you will get an earful. Sometimes we talk, others we watch a favorite Netflix episode or a movie. More topics of hard conversation are arising the closer I get to fall. More temptations to flee and escape are, as well.
The porch swing has offered a great space for us to process life together.
Connecting with the children during the summer looks different than the school year, due to the more relaxed nature of life and schedule. Little Mae and I took a birthday day trip together to Richmond to visit big sisters early in June. I didn’t do well with keeping track of individual times together this month. Some of our times have looked like working on painting projects one-on-one or heading to the pool or sneaking out for coffee or walking to the mailbox to mail a letter.
- Social ~ Connect with at least one friend for coffee or conversation time each week. Say yes to fun. Make an effort to have people over to the house again starting with once/month. Adult kids and their guests are a bonus and not part of this number!
This is going well, as my summer schedule offers open days. I have had friends in for coffee in my corner and met with them at the pool while our kids swam. This is the first year ever when I have been able to go to the pool and just sit on the side reading or talking with a friend. That. Is. HUGE!!!!!!!
Adult kids continue to show up and are always welcome.
- Physical ~ Do 20 minutes of yoga at least five times a week. Longer or more times is a bonus. Improve flexibility in my down dog. Practice presence on the mat. Consider walking Dewey as an opportunity to get exercise and fresh air and not an annoying burden built into my already full day!
I usually am good about starting my day with yoga. It is so necessary, as I notice a difference in my ability to move when I don’t, and that is just a fact that comes from being mid-forty with a bockety back. I have added core work, as well, with the reality that I have to work harder to keep what I have sinking in deeper daily.
- Teaching ~ Organize my teaching materials and office space. Write an encouraging note to one student/week recognizing individuality and strengths.
Of course, it’s summer, and school is out. Teaching has taken the back burner, though I have picked up a few new things here and there for fall and jotted down some ideas. I took a few hours one morning to organize and pack up my desk and am trying not to borrow trouble from fall and just stay present in summer. Mid-August will come soon enough!
- Personal Development ~ Pursue the Allender Center’s Lay Counseling Certificate. Read one book per month related to personal growth.
This is real. It is really happening, and now goals in this area look like booking plane tickets and reading assigned books and beginning the writing assignments. The Healing Path by Dan Allender and A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D., and Richard Lannon, M.D. claimed my reading space this month.
By next month, I hope to have all of the reading complete and the first plane ticket booked. I also hope to have a space on my computer devoted to writing out my first assignment.
- Ministry ~ Attend Stephen Ministry meetings regularly. Participate actively. Return to worship team rotation at least once per cycle.
Summer schedule is here, so this area is lighter, as well. I plan to sing in August, the Sunday before returning to work.
- Financial ~ Take intentional time with Steve to go over the family finances and budget and grow in understanding of our financial goals together.
This continues to be my weakest link. Always room to grow here!
- Writing ~ Schedule intentional time each week to write and work on the blog. Submit one Red Tent post for consideration each month.
I submitted a Red Tent post that didn’t run this month, so I am considering posting it here on the blog. It was excellent preparation for my work this fall. With writing assignments approaching, I really need to be intentional to make writing a priority and not just the thing I get to do when everything else is finished.
There you have June’s goals report. I almost need a sub-category for summer goals. Summer brings with it the hope of finishing some painting projects and getting rooms sorted and rearranged along with a reality check that fall is fast approaching. Oh to practice presence in the moments!