Summertime (& Beyond!) Goals

bitmoji-20170602125601I often wish I had a job where I was off for the Summer! As a former preschool teacher, I appreciated those few months that I had to just have some really good downtime. While I miss that, I do not miss the pay. I remember driving around Austin and seeing the marquee signs of fast food restaurants, advertising starting pays of more than I was making as a preschool teacher! But anyway – Summer is coming! As I think through the Summer and what I would like to have accomplished by its end, I think of sewing, reading, and health.

Last Wednesday night, I was chatting with two close friends about reading. We were discussing books we’d read lately and how they are becoming better readers. Because being a better reader is something I want to grow in, I made a small list of books I would like to read this Summer. I am a frequent visitor at my local library branch and have these books on my virtual bookshelf. I have “Rise” in my possession and have started it already. “Brave New World“, “The Explicit Gospel” , & “Fahrenheit 451” are on the way, being transferred from other branches.

My list for the Summer consists of:

“Rise” – Trip Lee
“Brave New World” – Aldous Huxley
“Fahrenheit 451” – Ray Bradbury
“The Explicit Gospel” – Matt Chandler
“1984” – George Orwell
“Amusing Ourselves to Death” – Neil Postman
“The Screwtape Letters” – C.S. Lewis
“Til We Have Faces” – C.S. Lewis
“The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce” – John Piper

What do you have on your Summer reading list?

Another thing I want to get done this summer? I’d like to continue to grow in my sewing skills & sew at least 10 garments. At least! Sometimes I wish I could have dedicated days to sew, but I have to sew when I get a moment. In one of the sewing books that I have read recently, the author suggests sewing everyday, even if it’s just 15 minutes here and there, and eventually you’ll be done with that new garment. Right now, I am in the process of dropping 20 – 30 pounds so I am focusing on outer garments like this Simplicity 1318 pattern & items that will adjust along with me like a nice maxi dress. I dread making a dress for my current measurements & doing necessary adjustments just to not have it fit me in a few months! So – that is the plan for now. Hopefully, by the end of August, I will be sewing some dresses. I have my eye on completing several patterns, especially some from “Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book” (soooo many that I want to make!)

Do you keep a sewing to-do list?

That leads me to my health & fitness goals. A couple of years ago, I was running & exercising pretty regularly, losing weight & feeling pretty awesome in the process. I had surgery in May of 2015 which sidelined me for some time, then a series of events happened – injuries (patellar tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, hip pain) allergies, moving, and the list somewhat goes on! I have had a hard time being able to exercise consistently which bothers me. I felt so much better when I weighed less. With the injuries & such, the weight came back on and it’s been hard to get it to go away again. My husband and I have goal weights we want to reach and have come up with an ultimate reward, so in addition to the reward of having good health, I have a monetary reward in view. I often look at it like this – the next few months are going to pass whether I am active or not. Either I will weigh the same, weigh more, or weigh less. I’d much rather weigh less & be healthier! I want to be a much better steward of the health & body that God has given me. And so that is my goal for the Summer as well – consistent exercise, weight loss (& maintenance of that weight loss this time!)

Do you have any Summer goals? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


A Few Thoughts on Reading

I remember every summer, my brothers and I, when we were younger, had reading lists full of books to complete. We were always excited to tackle those books, enjoying the new worlds we’d enter as we read. I was reminded of those times last week when I signed up for a library card at my local branch. What great times those were! My little brain could fly through those books at light speed! I can’t say that’s the case now. Now, I struggle to finish books. It’s not that I don’t desire to; my mind gets flooded with all of my other responsibilities – ones I didn’t have when I was a grade schooler.

In this current stage of my life, I am a homemaker. My days are spent taking care of our home, doing some reading, cooking, and running various errands while trying to learn, or improve upon, skill sets. While I have great and grandiose visions of voraciously reading books like I did when I was younger, it’s just not the reality. I have so many books that I dream of completing, and have even made my own reading list, but it’s a struggle.

I admire those pastors that find the time to read book after book, lovingly and faithfully pastor a flock, care for their families well, and even write a blog entry! This lets me know that it can be done.

Oh, Lord, help my mind. Make it able and agile. Grant me a hunger to read those books that would help me in my life as a Christian, as a wife, a woman, a homemaker, and some day (prayerfully) mother. Grant me the ability to retain and help me grow from what I read. May it pour over into all areas of my life, causing me to love and serve more, to desire greater things, and ultimately to love You and understand more of You. Although Your Word is more than sufficient, You have granted and blessed us with authors that have particular wisdom and insight. May I take advantage of all the resources You have placed in front of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.