It's been a few days and I'm ready to share goal 7 with you, but first let's do some updating on my first six 2016 goals!
1. Reading my Bible every day
I'm doing it. I'm really doing it! Having the YouVersion Bible app on my phone has been super-helpful. I've gone through two full Bible reading plans on there...one entitled "Thankful", written by Joyce Meyer, and one about "Decisions". I'm getting ready to start a new plan tomorrow called "School Days" all about praying for teachers, administrators, and government officials involved in education. I thought it seemed fitting.
2. Putting family first
I'm still committing to no phone at the table and in the evening times, but I am realizing that sometimes this just isn't feasible when there is work to be done that requires the Internet and you don't have the "actual" internet at home. Either way, LOTS of progress being made in this area.
3. Getting financially fit
We are on our way to becoming DEBT-FREE. As Dave Ramsey says, we are becoming "gazelle intense" and "telling every dollar where to go". We have made some big decisions regarding our financial state and are hoping to be completely debt-free, except for the house with 6 months living expenses in the bank by next year. NEXT YEAR! I can't even imagine!
More specifics on this coming to a post in the near future!
4. Getting healthy
I've lost 9 pounds since January 1st. Last night I started the Couch to 5K program on the treadmill. I ran the last 1/4 mile and didn't die, so I'm feeling pretty good!
5. Pursue what sets my soul on fire.
Lots to be said on this front, but let's just say that I am feeling more in-control and more fulfilled than I have in a long time!
6. Inspire others.
Blogging, teaching Sunday school, and planning a women's retreat at Adrian Christian Church for this spring (tentatively set for April 9th, ladies...mark your calendars!).
So there's my update for the first six goals of 2016 and here comes goal number 7...career goals.
7. Teach & Shoot for Jesus
Sounds kind of strange, I know. I just couldn't figure out a better way to phrase it.
Let me explain.
I want Colossians 3:15-17 & 23-24 to be my lifesong.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him...Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
When I teach.
When I take pictures.
Whatever I do...I want to be doing it as a testament to His faithfulness, His wisdom, His love.
I think sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do.
In the midst of paperwork and students that have less than perfect home lives...in the midst of lesson plans that don't go as planned and unplanned days off because of sick kids...in the midst of LIFE, it is so hard to lose sight of our "why".
In the midst of computers that die, sessions that get canceled, sick kids (resounding theme, perhaps?), insomnia...sometimes it's easy to want to sit down and say, "I can't do it anymore."
I can't do the day-in and day-out of feeling like I'm not getting anywhere with a certain kid.
I can't deal with the insecurity of not feeling like I've dealt with a specific situation in the best way I can.
I can't keep overbooking myself, even when I say I'm not going to.
I can't do PEOPLE today.
We all have days that we feel like this and these days cause us to ask "why?"
But by golly, there IS a reason.
And that reason is for people to see Jesus in me.
When I'm able to donate a session to a family because photography isn't my sole job.
When I'm able to love on a kiddo who just needs a hug.
When I get called "Mom" 15 times a day because I get to spend more time with these students than their own parents most days.
When a family is able to share memories of a loved one who passed away shortly after our photo session every time they look at the moments we captured.
These are the moments.
This is the why.
And so this year...I'm going to "lean in" to those moments, to those experiences, to that responsibility.
Working for Jesus.
I'm not sure when or if I'll become a principal anytime soon.
I don't know when I'll decide to officially call it quits and close the photography studio.
There will always be questions about the future.
But there are a few things that I know for sure.
Today, I am a third grade teacher.
Today, I own a photography business.
Today and every day, I have the opportunity to be Jesus in the lives of others through both of these avenues.
Even though I know I'll mess up along the way, Today, I'm gonna go out there and try my hardest.
How can you make a different for the cause of Jesus in YOUR day-to-day life?