Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Great Lists of Goals. And Kittens.

Way back in January of 2009, I set a goal. Actually, I made a huge list of goals. 101 of them, in fact, to be completed within 1001 days. I know math is difficult for some people, so I'll just help you out and let you know that 1001 days is approximately 2 and 3/4 years. I did ok. Matter of fact, some things were quite challenging and I really impressed myself each time I crossed something off the list. However, I should have called it the "101 in 2180... or so".

As 2014 winds to a close, I find myself going back over that list again with the full intention of closing it down, and starting over. It's been SIX YEARS. Some of those goals were completed within days. Some of them, I'm still actively working on completing to this day. It's quite refreshing to write down goals, and then go back and see how far you've come. I'm going to recommend it to everyone. Now... go do it.

Wait... I'm not done here.
I am also going to recommend that you don't ever throw those lists away. Keep a copy somewhere special, so that when you're in a bad place, you can see what you're capable of doing when you put your mind, your energy and your faith into action. You can do this!

My list included things that others might consider trivial, or silly. For instance, "Adopt another pair of kittens" was listed in there somewhere. Seriously? That's not a huge challenge. I guess for me it was, because my husband DOES NOT WANT KITTENS. No sir-ee! Well, as I was going over my list today, I laughed right out loud giggled a bit when I thought back to the day that my 14 year old man-child came upon a tiny kitten abandoned in the back lot of my husband's new property at work. The man-child son of mine brought forth this tiny baby kitten, fur black as midnight, eyes big and wide like glossy saucers, shivering in the bitter cold, and despite the frigid temps, I completely melted. Then, this man-child son, he looked at us with matching glossy-saucer eyes and said, "Can we keep it??"

"Well of course we can't keep it. The Dad-man says no kittens."

Then I looked at the Dad-man, attempting with all of my might to match the eyes of both my son and the kitten, and I said, "Isn't that right, honey? No kittens?? We should probably put it right back down on the cold rocks where we found it."

*blink, blink*

There was a very pregnant pause, as my other children, who had rushed over and became instantly transfixed by this tiny ball of shivering fur gasped for air and waited for a response.

The Dad-man looked at me with that face that says you have still got a hold of my heart, and he (painfully) said, "Well NO, we can't just leave it here, it will die!"

I promised all sorts of things over the next twelve seconds. I promised the kitten would be his. I promised we would name it "Snap-on" as a way of honoring his partnership with the biggest tool company in... well, anywhere. I said we could get him/her a red collar to match my husband's daily red/black uniform. I promised to love him for ever, and to honor and obey... oh wait, that was a different time. Anyway, the kitten came home on my lap. Or someone's lap. Probably everyone's lap at some point. To make a long story short, not only did our wish for a pair of kittens come true, we were doubly blessed because 21 days to the minute after that growing "kitten" went in to heat, we became kitten parents again! Times FOUR! We are truly blessed *snicker*.

My list also included things that would be super easy for some people, but that were painfully difficult for me. Selling my car. That was a tough one. The really crazy part about it, is that I sold it, but for some reason it's back in my driveway after we bought it back and used it another year! Weird how things come back and bless you once you're willing to let them go.

It also included things that I thought would be hard, but ended up being fairly easy simply because I had written them down and followed through (I guess the hard part for me, is actually following through!) Taking a bag of items from my home to give away each month sounded very daunting. It turns out I got extra credit on that one. I emptied our home of way more than the 34 bags that were required (we're not talking grocery sacks!) of STUFF. Out grown clothes, things I didn't love anymore, things that didn't bless my home or my family. Gone! And, it felt so good to bless others and to be blessed by giving.

Notice the theme here? I've had my socks blessed off!

Even through all these blessings, the past few years have been some of the most difficult of my life. My outlook on things has changed considerably. My faith has been tested. My beliefs have been altered. My relationships with people have changed. My blogging has suffered! I can't even imagine how much more difficult it would have been without the constant reminders that someone bigger than I am, is in control of lots more than I could ever hope to be.

So as I go into a fresh new year, a year begging to be different than the past few, I am excited at the prospect of penning a new list. I want to pay more attention, to be more diligent about following through. I want to be more present, to be more HERE and less THERE. I want to listen more, I want to hug more, I want to inhale deeply the blessings that God has to offer me every day. I want to share more things, I want to be less protective of my heart. I want my family to be proud of their Mom who stands up and does the good things even when those things are difficult. I want to live and I want to love.

Go ahead and check out my Wrap Up post for my 101 goals (please, be kind...)