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FREEDOM: My Word for 2018
FREEDOM has been on my mind as my word for 2018 for a while now. I’ll delve into why I chose FREEDOM, how I’ll strive toward that goal and some encouragement for the journey.
Can you believe that 2017 has come and gone already? I know I can’t. It seems like just yesterday I was writing my word for 2017.
What’s this “Word” thing?
I’m not exactly sure where the idea of having a “Word for the year” came from. It’s a great alternative for those that aren’t exactly keen on having New Year’s Resolutions. Setting New Year’s Resolutions have been a yearly habit for me, but like most of the population, I rarely if ever achieved them.
The main premise behind having a “word for the year” is to give your life some focus on one particular area you would like to embody. Some like to choose a phrase, others a single word. One of my favorite bloggers had the word “Create” this year, and she set out to create things; scrapbooks, products for her business etc. Jami also talks about how to pick your word, so I encourage you to check out her post if you’re interested in those details.
My friend Kristin from the Peculiar Treasure chose the words Free and Disciplined for her words this year. Mine was Savor (a review of how I lived by that word will be out soon!). You see, you can choose whatever you like. As long as you do your best to strive toward that word, any progress, no matter how small is still progress!
Freedom has come up constantly in conversation with Micah (my hubby) this year. It became a natural progression to make it not only my word for the year but OUR word as an entire family.
We’re striving toward freedom in 3 different ways.
Freedom in Christ.
Micah and I are Christians, by the Grace of God, and we strive to live daily by His teachings in the Bible as well as show and share the love of Christ with others.
We want to continue to share that love with others through our time freedom and financial freedom. As an overarching goal for our family, it provides us guidance as we work toward living a life of stewardship.
Our ultimate “seems like it’ll never happen” dream is for Micah to “retire” from his day job and be able to work from home full time with our home based business(es). We have several pokers in the fire to achieve that goal but that dream of ours comes as a result of our deep-rooted desire to have more time together as a family.
We look forward to traveling more and experiencing the world through our son and any future children. Spending holidays and vacation time away from home every once in awhile without having to worry about asking for time off or vacation time.
Hundreds of families experience this kind of time freedom. It will take a lot of hard work and discipline. We want to be added to that list!
Financial freedom goes hand in hand with the others. Come to think of it, all of these are intricately woven together.
It has always been a dream of ours to give freely with open hands without stressing out about how we’ll be able to provide for our own needs.
We understand that all things come from God and are His. We also believe that God gives us the ability to be good stewards of our finances and what He has given us. Our family wants to be able to live off of 10% of our income and GIVE 90% of our income. The list of missionaries and organizations we want to be able to support is long. We look forward to the day where we can write our checks to them freely and with joy and gratitude to our Lord for giving us the ability to support His Kingdom work and keep missionaries on the field.
How we’re going to achieve these goals has many layers.
First off, we’re going to pray. Pray for wisdom and guidance on how to spend our time, money, and resources wisely. We have slacked on being involved with our church family so our first goal is to go back to being in worship twice on Sunday (morning AND evening service, even if it means our son will go to bed later than he’s used to that day) as well as continue going to Sunday School.
I would also like us to get back into Wednesday night prayer service but that’ll take a little more logistical planning and coordination (since it’s a work night).
Getting Out of Debt
Paying off our van is the first big financial goal. We needed a more reliable vehicle and since we knew we were going to be adding at least one more little one to our clan we got a mini-van. Haters gonna hate on that mini-van life, but I LOVE that thing. So much space, it gets GREAT gas mileage for a vehicle that size and it has automatic doors. I could write an entire blog post about how amazing our van is but I’ll digress 😉 haha!
There are many goals after this one but this is our first goal to reach. We keep to a budget and so far have done well with making sure we don’t overspend in certain areas. It gets easier as you get used to it!
Tracking Our Time
Micah and I want to be better stewards of our time. Instead of sitting down and watching TV after TJ goes to bed, we want to be more intentional with our time. This is hard for us because we both enjoy watching our favorite shows. TV isn’t being wiped off of our list of enjoyable activities. We’re just going to be more intentional about when we watch them and for how long.
Some questions we’re going to ask ourselves before we potentially watch something:
“Can we be doing something towards one of our goals right now?”
“Do we have anything else pressing we need to do?”
“When was the last time we watched a movie or show?”
In addition to that, we’re going to make sure we aren’t wasting our time on social media and being more intentional with our time scrolling. As many of you know, social media can be a HUGE time suck. Our time is precious and we don’t want to waste it mindlessly scrolling and keeping up with unnecessary gossip. If we’re going to be on social media, it’s going to be for business related things or intentional time to peruse.
It seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? At first glance, these goals and dreams feel completely out of reach. However, I’m a firm believer in taking small bites first.
I’m well aware that we probably won’t achieve Micah’s “retirement” from his full-time job this year, but we’re going to really push for it so that the end is closer than it was at the beginning of the year.
If you’re wanting to pursue any kind of goal, I highly recommend that you write it down.
Once you write it down, break down your smaller goals that will help you achieve that big goal. I could write an entire series on achieving goals, for the meantime, I encourage you to go here and read more about it if you struggle with goalkeeping/achieving.
Freedom has never been sweeter to me. For the first time in my life, I’m striving for a goal that I know will have incredible implications for my family. Freedom in Christ, time freedom, and financial freedom.
It won’t be easy. There will be hardship, the desire to give up, and a constant need to rely on Christ for strength as we push through. However, I know that this is a desire that can be achieved. Micah and I have prayed long and hard about this particular goal. If for some reason it wasn’t meant to be, we have no doubt that it will be made clear to us that God has other plans. In the meantime, we have not sensed any red flags in the process of dreaming and planning.
Whatever your goal or word for 2018 is, I pray that you lay it at the foot of the cross. Pray for wisdom, clarity, endurance, and guidance as you run the race that God has set before you.