Friday, January 9, 2009

A Beautiful Life.....

Melissa of The Inspired Room is hosting A Beautiful Life, 12 Months of Goals today, follow this highlighted link to learn more about this link up event that will be featured on her blog every Friday. You can read her post for today as well as join in here.Her desire is to make life beautiful at home by savoring the life she has, not expensive, not perfect, not unrealistic, but living intentionally, finding beauty, contentment, and joy in everyday life.

My goals for 2009 encompass five areas of my life: Heart, Mind, Emotion, Body, and Environment. I
would like to infuse each of these areas with beauty, creativity, and order. Doing one thing in five areas per day is a totally doable goal for me. I plan on posting these goals in a place I will see them everyday as a reminder to keep focused.

For the area of the Heart I chose one verse of Scripture to use as a focus verse for the year and composed a simple sentence prayer to accompany it. I spent time in prayer before searching for a verse to learn from and grow by this year. The verse that spoke very loudly to me is Jeremiah 6:16. (NIV)

"This is what the Lord says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your soul(s)."

My simple sentence prayer is this:

"Cast Your road before me."

My desire is to listen to what the Lord has to say to me in any given moment or circumstance, to practice stillness and watchfulness at each crossroad I encounter this year, asking where the good way is, walking in it, and experiencing rest for my soul. My prayer is that God would cast His road before me, meaning that I will have clear guidance in the direction He wants me to follow, discernment to recognize His path, and the wisdom to follow His leading. I bought a new hardbound journal to record my special verse and prayer in along with what life lessons I learn from this verse this year.To accompany my heart journey along with Scripture reading I have chosen the following reading materials to encourage my goal:

Devotionals ~
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Experiencing God Day-by-Day Devotional and Journal by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
A Memoir~
A Walk With Jane Austen, A Journey into Adventure, Love & Faith by Lori Smith
I began reading both devotionals which are set up for each day of the year, one in the morning and one in the evening, letting them speak to my heart. I also began reading Lori's memoir and plan to digest it a little at a time and hopefully learn from her journey.

My goal is to obtain a beautiful heart that has eyes and ears for others and is dedicated to God.

In the area of the Mind, I simply want to implement more positive thinking and get rid of stinking thinking! An example of doing this cropped up this very week.
I had a choice as to how to respond to Monday morning mayhem here at the Quill. The holiday's finally over and everyone back into a normal routine left me with a mountain of a mess to plow through. When I looked at all the muddy footprints tracked all over my hardwood floors instead of grumbling I smiled and said, "Today I am needed." When faced with enough dirty laundry to outfit and army I repeated, "Today I am needed." This went on with each grubby task I did and it did make a difference in my attitude and made the tasks more pleasant.

My goal is to embrace beautiful thinking.

In the area of Emotion, I desire more self-control and healing. I am relying heavily on the Lord to overcome in certain areas. To aid in this leg of my journey
I will also be learning from other women of faith who have traveled this path before me by reading, Especially For A Women. This volume has entries from many women who offer encouragement, support, and practical advice for the important issues in a woman's life. This is just a small stepping stone in my journey to wholeness.

My goal is to experience the beauty of self-control and healing.

For the area of Body I simply want to find everyday beauty in being comfortable with who I am and how I am made. My desire is find self acceptance for my flaws and to improve in the areas of exercise and healthy eating. One of my goals is to make better friends with my treadmill, the poor girl gets a bit lonely. I won't be
unrealistic in this area, I have not set goal of losing x amount of pounds by a certain date, fitting into a certain size, or meeting a certain number on the scale. I simply want to focus on being HEALTHY. If healthy for me is a bit heavier than I'd like or unrealistic for my body type then I am praying for acceptance for what I cannot change and the will and determination to make the changes that I can.

My goal is to love me just as I am, make the improvements that I can, and to focus on being beautifully healthy.

For the Environment area of my list I desire to create an atmosphere of welcome, creativity, hospitality, and celebration for those who live in my home and for those who might visit. I will revisit and old friends, The Spirit of Loveliness and Welcome Home by Emilie Barnes, which never fail to inspire me to bring order, creativity, and beauty into my life.This means tackling areas of home organization, which began this week in my studio space by assessing my storage needs, looking around and using what I had on hand and clearing away what I am not using by donating supplies to others. Yesterday I cleared off some of the shelving in my studio space, organized my ribbon stash and made a canvas liner for a large wire basket I purchased at a flea market to use as scrap fabric storage. I love the vintage button detail!This also means some home improvement projects that need doing. To keep track of projects, supplies needed, room measurements, etc. I like to use the Gold Fibre Project Organizer by AMPAD. This spiral bound notebook can be purchased at an office supply store or online for around $4 to $5. I have gone through my home room by room to assess my needs and desires for creating a welcoming environment, listing them in my organizer. I use the side column to list materials needed for projects and the larger column to list the goals for each project, any measurements I might need, I glue paint chips or fabric swatches to the page in case I need them for matching purposes as well as attaching room photos. I make notes of where products were purchased, the amount of the purchase, and sometimes list price comparisons for later reference. I find this tool invaluable.

I would also like to include more festivity into daily life, refraining from ordinary business as usual to enjoy little moments of beauty like watchin
g a sun set or sun rise, listening or observing more, creating little vignettes of beauty around my home that please the senses through sight, sound, taste, hearing, and touch. Examples are noticing a certain slant of sunlight, the first we have seen in several days here and enjoying the visitors grazing in my front yard, these were not the only guests, there were six others right outside of this shot.

Lastly, I would like to indulge in more creativity, reproducing through imaginative skill ~ art, writing, photography, and home decor.

To aid in these areas I have begun organization in my art studio space to make creative play more desirable. I am also setting up creative play time with my best friend either in her studio or mine, learning new techniques. We plan to take some classes together also.

I don't have concrete writing goals set yet but I did purchase an essential reference tool for study and submission purposes, Christian Writer's Market Guide 2008 by Sally E. Stuart and am in the process of choosing a conference to attend this year.
I will continue daily writing practice and to complete my study of, For the Write Reason by Marybeth Whalen. I will also continue daily personal jounaling and work on completing two copies of Reflections from a Mother's Heart, my life story in my own words, to present to my son and daughter for Christmas.I want to hone my photography skills and learn to use the camera my sweet husband bought me. I bought a new book on photography and hope to take a class at one of the local collages.

My goal is to create a beautiful life!

In the coming weeks I hope to be able to share the positive aspects of my journey to a beautiful life!

Miss Sandy


Lori said...

Miss Sandy, if you are not already living a beautiful life and sharing that beauty with us...inspiring us to be better too...then i have really missed something on my visits here...i think you are already very beautiful!!!

Barbara H. said...

I agree with Lori. :-)

You have several titles here I am adding to my TBR list.

Teresa said...

What a beautiful way to go about setting your goals- like the areas that you picked- I too would like to work on my "thinking"
You have a beautiful blog.
Have a wonderful day.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

This is incredibly comprehensive, Miss Sandy. Something like this would lay me low...think overwhelmed. But I so admire women who can plan and ultimately create such a life. My cap's doffed to you. What a wonderful selection of books you are reading, too!

I love how you replaced a negative thought with a positive one. May have to snag that "I am needed" one.

vikki said...

wow! how beautiful! love how we make time for His love. so many times in the busy-ness of life we have to do that. whether it is our walks/nature, reading, just listening... i read at nite. love the 'mother' book. is that found at book stores? will have to take a look for that. each day, i too, have been trying to accomplish 'something' not to let the 'negative' keep creeping in. your post today was exactly what i needed! thank*u. you are an encouragement to me & an inspiration. i am grateful God placed you & your blog in my path today. you are a true earth angel, m'dear. hugs & blessings, vikki ♥

Susie said...

These are such well thought out goals that you have set for yourself Sandy. I have no doubt you'll reach every one of them.

But I do agree with the others. I think you already do have a beautiful life.

That's my hope for the New Year-to find some beauty in my every day. Have a great weekend my friend!

Anonymous said...

Miss Sandy, I hope you know what an inspiration you are to so many of us. God bless you and your family in the new year.

Brandie said...

What wonderful goals and told so beautifully! I can't wait to see where your journey takes you this year:)

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage said...

Beautifully written! I love the basket liner you made. I wish I had your sewing talent!

Shopgirl said...

I think you have already captured the lovely flowers of life, thank you for sharing. Hugs, Mary

KathyB. said...

I have just spent the last week going through our home and deciding what things need editing. My craft room is my inspiration room and because of all the needed busyness in it during the holidays it looked like a dumping ground. It WAS a dumping ground. So I have been rearranging and assessing it and made a few changes because I intend my craft room to produce items that encourage, uplift, and benefit our family and Lord and also express my thankfulness to my beloved husband who also thought it important to work 2 jobs so I could stay home and care for and educate our children.

Now that our children are grown there are other things to do and goal setting is still very important , your post is very encouraging and uplifting and one to look back on to help focus and remember why we as believers need to be mindful of our earthly endeavors. Thank-you.

vikki said...

thank*u miss sandy for the info on the books. appreciate you. ♥ your liner & button detail is lovely! love incorporating fabrics & papers. ~ prayerfully i will feel better & git some of my 'stuff' done this coming week. turn my negative into positive energy. hugs & blessings, vikki ♥

Songbirdtiff said...

Thank you for sharing! You have some wonderful goals.

bec4 said...

Wow, what a wonderful post. I love the verse you have chosen as your verse for the year. It is so good I shared it with my family and we talked about it. Thanks for your words and for making me think.

Meredith said...

I've so enjoyed discovering your blog! What a truly inspiring and empowering post - full of practical tips and encouragement. Thanks for stopping by my blog too, I've just started out and it's lovely to have some positive feedback - thank you! Meredith

Helen Read said...

Ah, Sandy, thanks for sharing this post.... I also think you have so much beauty to share. And, your post really resonates with me - so much can encroach ... concerns, busy-ness, the very real worries of life ... I'm trying to learn the same lessons you've so beautifully written about.

kathy said...

Sandy what a lovely blog today -- you always encourage -- I love Emily Barnes and have several of her books also - Have done the Blackaby studies --, but a couple of the women's books are new for me -- will have to check those out - kathy - ga

marmee said...

dear sandy,
you have really layed out a good plan for making your life more beautiful and positive. i truly hope you can achieve what you have set your heart on. so much of it is attitude and starting with the word is always wise. seeking first the kingdom of God...all the other things will be added.
here's to a wonderful year filled with every beauty your heart can hold.

Suzy said...

It will be such an interesting journey, can't wait.


Bonita said...

What a beautiful post and a beautiful life that you share on your blog. You always inspire me.

You chose three very wonderful writing books to assist you this year. One conference you might want to check into is Marlene Bagnull's annual conference in Pennsylvania. I've never been, but I've looked at it online and drooled. Someday.

Catherine Holman said...

How inspiring! I don't want to someday wish I'd lived my life differently. I want to live my life the way I should be living it now with God's guidance. Thanks for sharing your goals and your book choices.

Valerie Dykstra said...

Thank you for visiting me. I appreciated your comment. This is a beautiful list of goals and desires. I've been through Experiencing God 3 times and each time benefitted greatly. I congratulate you on the beginning of a great year. :-)

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