It's so cliché to say, I know, but how is it already 2015?! We looked back on 2014 in this post and wow, what a year. So much change and so many decisions. I'm sort of glad it's behind us now, but I am glad for all that happened. Now we get to look ahead at 2015 with expectancy for what God will do.
Joel and I started a new tradition this year. On December 31, we stole away from the kids (thanks to the in-laws) and had a nice lunch date together. We brought a printed sheet (from emilyley.com) to help guide us through reflecting on 2014 and goal setting for 2015. Now, we've always done this to some extent, but not very well. Honestly, we hadn't made the time for it before. Now that our pace of life is slower and our priorities have changed, this was a no-brainer (although I do wish we had been better about it years ago).
MORE LOVE, LESS HUSTLE
We decided that this year our theme is "More Love, Less Hustle" (via shaunaniequist.com). Less hustle doesn't mean not working hard. Less hustle for us means less stress & demands so we can focus on loving each other & other people more. It means hustling in ways that help us as followers of Christ, as a family and as business owners. Ultimately, this theme challenges us to spend more time loving our Lord, ourselves, our family, friends & our new community in our new town.
More Love, Less Hustle will require intentionality. Here are some things we've purposed to do this year. I won't share them all, but here are a few:
1. Limit our social media time a lot.
This explanation requires us to be a bit vulnerable: like most people, our alarms go off in the morning and what's the first thing we do? Check social media, email, etc. It's hurting us on many levels:
- It causes us to start our morning with potential stress & demands. Reading emails, statuses, clicking pictures takes our focus off of our priorities of the day.
- It makes us lazy. Instead of getting up and getting ready, we're basically delaying our responsibilities. When the alarm goes off, we need to get up and start our morning routine (sans social media).
- It hurts us spiritually. Immediately our focus is on others or ourself. Not on Him. We should start the morning praying and reading Scripture, if possible. This isn't always an option on busy weekday mornings but it should be something we strive to do.
- It weakens our marriage. Getting on our phones first thing in the morning deters us from even saying "Good morning" to each other. We're already basically telling each other "You're not my focus right now, don't talk to me."
2. Build more relationships.
Moving to a new and very different community has its ups and downs. Luckily, having a church family has helped immensely. We've met some awesome people in our new community and have already started to foster friendships. We are very thankful. But there's always room for improvement. We'll be hosting a small group in our home and setting aside 1 night each week to invite new friends for dinner. Making connections is very important to me and bonus: it helps us keep the house clean! :)
3. Play more games and have more fun.
This fits perfectly with our "more love, less hustle" theme. Our kids (besides the new baby coming) are really into playing games right now. We want to try and set aside 1 night for a family game night and a fun dinner (no dinner table battles FTW!). When the weather warms up some, we also want to do more hiking and exploring outside together. Where better than the Smoky Mountains?
This just scratches the surface of our family and personal goals but that gives you an idea of what we're striving for based on this year's theme!
Last year our theme was "Being Brave" and boy, did we ever. And in fact, we didn't even plan a theme last year but about 3/4 of the way into 2014 I just knew that was it. And who knows, this theme may evolve as 2015 unfolds, but for now, it's where we know God is leading. In fact, we are going to get this art printed and hung over our mantle so we can be laser focused on it.
WHAT'S YOUR THEME?
I encourage you to sit down with your spouse or someone you love & do this! It didn't take long, we had lots of laughs and I got a date with my favorite person! Share some of your goals for 2015 with us - comment below!
Happy New Year!
More love, Less Hustle to you all!
Joel & Jenn