Happy New Year!!
Last year I began the tradition of having a theme for the year instead of making resolutions. It’s all semantics, as I still have new goals I’m striving for and changes I’m wanting to make or focus on, but I like the idea of a “theme” for my year. My 2011 theme was “LESS” and I feel like I did make improvements in many aspects of the concept.
As I considered what my desires were for the coming year, the immediate word/theme that came to me was EXCEL. I am wanting to push myself in several areas, push my children academically, and not be content with just getting by. As I looked deeper, though, excel means to surpass others or be superior to, and while that may apply somewhat, in that I would like my efforts to be superior to those of last year, I don’t want my theme to imply that I’d like to be better than everyone else. Because I am SO not, and that’s an obvious setup for failure. In searching, though, I think I have come up with a word that sums up my goals well, and that is “STRIVE.”
Strive is a verb… an action word. Which means action is required. The actual definition of strive:
1. to exert oneself vigorously; try hard
2. to make strenuous efforts toward any goal
I feel like in general I settle too often. One of the reasons I chose to homeschool was that I didn’t feel like my children were being adequately challenged where they were. In December, we finished our first full year of curriculum, and looking back I too often just worked to “get through school” each day. I didn’t seek out ways to challenge them. Yes, when I chose curriculum, I looked at what level they actually were instead of what the “norm” may be for each child’s age/grade level, but day to day, I just followed the list of things to get through and did what I needed to do to get through it. I am sad to say, I don’t feel like I challenged them a whole lot.
Now, I’m not saying that I think their last year of schooling was a bust. I do feel like they are learning. I love teaching them and I do see a lot of benefits to their being at home. I feel like even though we still have some areas to work on, their overall attitudes have improved, so I’m happy with a lot of what we’ve done. I just want to STRIVE to raise the bar a bit academically.
I like the attitude of STRIVE in general. Of making strenuous efforts toward a goal. I have already shared with you that I am doing the Couch to 5K program. I want to make positive efforts in that area and not give up. It’s easy to give up. I’ve done it twice before, and have given up on exercise in general more often than I care to admit. We spent the entirety of the past week on the road. While it was nice to be with friends and family and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, I didn’t make the effort to keep up with a running program while on vacation. So tomorrow, it’s back to the pavement.
I want to STRIVE to be a better homemaker. I know this might ruffle some feathers… even mine, but my husband works hard to provide for us. When I chose to stay home, my job shifted from partial bread winner/partial keeper of the home, to full time keeper of the home. That means, my job is to have matters of the home taken care of. It is not my husband’s job anymore. Now, I must admit that sometimes this mindset bothers me, and I do have moments when I may not like it or feel it’s unfair. But in all honesty, it is, and I want to do better at dealing with that reality. No one likes housework, but I do like having a clean, organized home. I want to do better about staying on top of things. Again, not just settling or getting by, but putting vigorous effort into making things the best they can be.
I want to STRIVE in my relationships. I don’t want to be content to just coexist with the people I love the most. I want to work to be a better wife, mother, relation and friend.
Most importantly, I want to STRIVE in my Christian walk. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 says “always strive to do what is good for each other and everyone else.” One thing I was pleased to accomplish in 2011 was to read the Bible in 90 days. I want to read through the Bible again in 2012. Not necessarily in 90 days, but I do want to continue to spend time in the Word.
Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:7-10
So, I guess all that goes to say that I want to take a more active role in my life. I don’t want to sit by and “make it through.” In 2012 I want to STRIVE to fulfill my potential. To live a full life with no apathy or excuses. Here’s to 2012 and to my new theme: STRIVE.