Category Archives: “Finish Year”

2012: “Finish Year” – Goal #5

My “Finish Year” goal-making is coming to an end.

During the past week, I’ve made a total of 4 goals for my 2012.

If you haven’t read my other posts, you can easily catch up by going here:
Goal #1 — check out some new cover options for the new book by going to my Facebook page.
Goal #2
Goal #3
Goal #4

What’s my grand finale?

Goal #5 is to achieve a personal goal I can’t talk about on my blog.

Now I realize my vagueness is going to lead to disappointment. Before you dismiss me, though, please hear me out.

There’s just some things you can’t say online that could be easily traced, or should I say, you shouldn’t say.

I thought really long and hard about writing about some other goal, one that I could actually articulate. I thought through all these other things that I plan on trying to do in 2012 that would have made a better blog post, but in the end, I remembered something: I vowed when I started this blog that I wouldn’t write to please you. Don’t take offense to that. I just don’t write for a certain stat number. I write for the continual renewal of my soul.  So, since I just don’t really don’t have another goal that means as much to me as this one, I’m going with this one, as opaque as it is.

God knows. I know. My husband knows as do my close friends. If you are really dying to know, and are willing to pray for me as I pursue this goal (and aren’t just trying to be a snoop), email me and I’ll tell you, too.

It’s nothing sensational, believe me. Any rumors that are started that tell you I’m getting a divorce, that we’re using a surrogate (though we’re not opposed to such a thing but that goes against goal #4), that John and I are starting a local TV series like Giuliana and Bill (though that would be super fun), or that I’m fulfilling some long-lost dream of running for some political position (though that also sounds fun) are all untrue.

This goal coming to fruition depends on a lot of factors, many out of my control and others that don’t seem to have the easiest of answers. If it doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, life will move on. If it does, though, I’m going to be really, really happy. I’m going to do my best to happy even if it doesn’t, which I know I can’t do in my own strength.

I’m praying for contentment as I wait and see what happens, for contentment in all things.

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2012: “Finish Year” – Goal #4

My “Finish Year” project is well on its way.

Goals #1, #2, and #3 have already been posted.

Today’s focus is Goal #4, and it’s a very personal one.

Goal #4 for 2012:
Let go of my tight grip on my desire for motherhood and realize God is still good even if I never get to be a mom, whether through having a biological child or through the beauty of adoption.

To be frankly honest, I really wanted one of my goals for 2012 to be becoming a mother, but unless the Lord intervenes in some miraculous way, that won’t be happening this year. Lord-willing, it will be next year, though. 🙂 Even if it doesn’t, God is still good, and I must remember that fact.

After many very long and hard conversations with my husband, and ultimately the Lord, we have decided for a myriad of reasons that it’d be best if we wait to actively embark on parenthood (either through both trying to have our own children and adoption or just adoption — that is still TBD) until 2013 instead of this year as previously planned. I can’t say I was exactly thrilled when my husband came to me in early December with his concerns about moving forward as we’d previously planned. In fact, I was extremely upset, angry and even bitter for a few weeks. I’ve since moved past my initial emotional response and have a much clearer head.  Through prayer and remembering my husband is not the enemy, I am understanding more clearly my husband’s heart and desire to responsibly lead our family. He isn’t out to “get” me — no, not at all. I am very thankful for that fact. I won’t lie, though. Embracing on a daily basis our now-mutual decision isn’t easy.

It’s no secret to those closest to me that motherhood in 2012 (or at least the path to it) was something I’d been looking forward to all throughout 2011, something that I’d been planning my life around, especially my current career choice, for quite some time.  The influx of adorable babies born in our circle of friends during the past year didn’t help my baby fever, either.  I just wanted, and still want, to be a mom, to leave a lasting, Godly legacy to my children and their children’s children.

Like every other good gift from above, the desire to be a mother (or father) is Godly and good but also can turn into a foothold for Satan, if we’re not careful. It can lead to parenthood (or marriage or whatever) becoming the end-all-be-all. It can become a god, one that falsely promises completion and other self-satisfying desires.

It we’re not careful, our Godly desires can become ungodly obsessions that ultimately take the focus off of what life is really about.

What would that be, you ask?

  • Being satisfied in Jesus alone and desiring to do His will, no matter what
  • Loving God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and loving our neighbor as ourselves. 

That, my friends, is what really matters.

The pursuit of anything above Him and His will is just, well, wrong.
We must let go of Godly desires and praise Him whether He gives them back to us or not.

What does that mean for me?
Just like years ago when I was deathly ill, I let my desire to live go, I must let go of my desire to be a mom. I must lay it down on an altar of praise and say, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

Letting go of my desire to be a mother, whether biologically or through the beauty of adoption, has been hard. I realized something during my time of  extreme hurt. Don’t misunderstand me. John never intended to hurt me through his desire to change our plans, I know that and you should, too. In fact, now a few weeks removed from all the emotion, I firmly believe God has worked through my husband’s  desire to wait for us to wait to start our journey toward parenthood to continue to purify and sanctify me to His truth. As I look back, I think I was so deeply hurt not because I’m a woman who has a Godly desire to be a mother, which is far from sinful. My humanity caused some hurt, yes, but much of the stinging pain stemmed from how my desire to achieve motherhood was starting to unconsciously become a god, one that needed knocked down and submitted to the Father.

As I embark on 2012, I am daily submitting putting my desire to be a parent down on the altar of praise. I am thanking Him for an awesome husband who is far from perfect (as am I) but who truly loves Christ first and me second, even when I fail to give him the benefit of the doubt. I am asking Him to daily fill me with the Holy Spirit and help me find my completion solely in the finished work of the Cross. I am continually praying for our future children and asking for wisdom to raise them, whenever – and however – they get here, to revere and proclaim His name.  I am not shying away from my desire to be a parent next year, but I am also not bowing down to it, either.  I appreciate your prayers as I surrender this desire to Him and as we prepare for what will surely be a long and hard road ahead when He does give us the green light to move forward with starting our family.

I encourage you to give Him your greatest desires, as well, and praise Him whether He chooses to give them back to you or not.

He alone is good, no matter what.


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2012: “Finish Year” – Goal #3

2012 is “Finish Year,” at least according to Jon Acuff.

Like thousands, I’ve joined the bandwagon and am making my 5 goals for the year.

So far, I’ve blogged about Goal #1 & Goal #2.

Like Goal #2, Goal #3 is once again a personal one – this time on a spiritual level.

In 2012, I want to read through the Bible using the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan.

I have read the Bible all the way through many times, but to be honest, I haven’t always been real intentional in my daily Bible reading. “Intentional” as in not just studying it for another motive (even really, really good ones)  but instead retaining its Truths for me, for my growth instead of my GPA’s or the growth of others. I’ve been working on this more the past 2 years but still am experiencing the effects of unconsciously neglecting personal study for so long.

This was especially true during college. Not that it’s an excuse, but when you spend 3 1/2 years completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies, and your Bible becomes your #1 textbook (meaning you’re using it up to 6 hours a day), it’s kind of hard to get excited about opening it for the sole purpose of hearing from God with no string attached. You feel burnt out and like you got more than enough Bible time in each day, even if 99% of that time was for academic purposes and not intentional spiritual growth, or at least I did.

At the same time I was also traveling the country sharing my testimony with literally thousands of people. I wasn’t comfortable, nor did I think it was right, to just talk about me the whole time. Therefore, through sharing Scripture, I always made sure I incorporated an attribute of God and/or theological point that went with my story (in particular, His sovereignty and goodness amidst human suffering) into each of my speaking engagements. My goal was to ultimately help the group to whom I was speaking grow in their knowledge and understanding of God through the telling of my walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I wasn’t out for fame or a good pat on the back from a person from each state of the union. I was in love with Jesus, even if He allowed me to experience the effects of the Fall in painful ways. Glorifying His name was all I cared out when I was out on the road. I mean that. I also know, though, that this calling required a lot of preparation and time in the Word – for motives not focused on my own spiritual growth but others’ instead.

I was also directing a teen-related ministry and also teaching ladies’ Bible study once-a-week, two activities that had me once again focused on helping others grow in their walks with the Lord, and you have one very burnt out Christian.

My burn-out was my own fault, though. I know that now.

I had poured out so much from the Word to everyone else but failed to fill myself back up. I had made excuses for how I was “already spending time in the Bible” when I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge to take time to hear from Him outside of my school work or group preparation.

I’ve learned the hard way that:

  • Studying the Bible for others’ benefit, or for your Christian college education, doesn’t mean you’re growing yourself.
  • It doesn’t mean you’re submitting yourself daily to the Holy Spirit’s leading just because you crack open the Bible for hours a day.  
  • It doesn’t mean you’re living in God’s will just because you have X amount of passages memorized or have mad exegetical skills.

As we look to get back out on the road during 2012, I am praying that I will not let my personal study become lax like I have in the past when my schedule has been filled with Godly things, activities that in the pasts have had me daily in the Word but not for the purpose of asking, “God, how do You want to change me today?”

May that be the question on the forefront of all of our minds during 2012.

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2012: “Finish Year” – Goal #2

As we embark on this new year, I’m in the middle of my “Finish Year” posts.

If you recall, after being inspired by Jon Acuff, I’m sharing 5 goals I have for 2012.

So far, I’ve shared Goal #1.

Today’s all about Goal #2, which will be a personal goal.

Goal #2 is:
Finish the Couch-to-5K running plan at least 2 times during 2012.

Last year, goal #9 of 50 was: “Run 5, if not 6, days a week (currently doing 3-4) until we can get our bikes back out.”

HA. Yeah, totally didn’t do that.

Oh, well. Let’s not dwell on the past but instead move forward and embrace the present!

I think my new goal is much more achievable. After taking classes with a friend at our local YMCA for the past several months (and paying a lot more for them since I wasn’t a member), John and I both became members of our local YMCA yesterday. What a great birthday present from my hubby! This means, though, that I won’t be hitting our treadmill as much as I usually do during the winter months but instead will be balancing my time at the facility with both my friend and my husband. I’m really excited about being able to get off the hamster wheel at home and take full-advantage of the Y and not having to leave after my kettle bell or Les Mills’ CXWORX class ends. My body always responds best to both regular cardio and weight training, so with this membership, I have absolutely NO excuse for not being in good shape. I’ll just have to hit the treadmill either there or at home 3x a week during the two 9-week spans that I choose to complete this program – no biggie.

As for whether I’ll actually run a 5K this year, we’ll see. I always am hesitant to run outside since I have such horrible sinus and allergy problems, but with more training, I think I will feel much more equipped to cross that goal off my list. With inspiration from a friend that ran them several months pregnant, and another friend that is seeking this year to qualify for the Boston Marathon(she’s my hero), I definitely want to at least run a 5K before I die.

Goals #3-5 to come!


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2012: “Finish Year” – Goal #1

Of my of my favorite authors/speakers, Jon Acuff,  has deemed 2012 “Finish Year.”

I’m taking him up on his dare to write down 5 things I want to finish while I’m 26, minus 2 days.

Yes, today’s my birthday. 🙂  To kick off being a new age, instead of doing a “26 while 26” goal list, like my 2-part “25 while 25”  last year (wayyy too much), I’m just going to focus on 5 things I want to finish with excellence instead of 50 goals I’ll end up doing semi-well, if at all.

Here’s to finishing the following during 2012:

#1. Releasing Breathtaking, the Revised Edition, re-launching the ministry’s website, and hitting the road again to speak with my hubby, though on a smaller scale than I was doing when I was single. YAY! 🙂 In my mind, this is all one goal; one things leads to another.

This goal is well on track to being achievable. We were hoping for this all to be accomplished by Christmas 2011, but if you know anything about the publishing industry, things never seem to happen the way you planned. 😉 It’s kind of hard to be out speaking about a book that doesn’t exist yet, so first things first. We’ll definitely keep you all posted, though, and would really appreciate your support! No matter how out-going of a person you are, it’s rather nerve-racking throwing yourself back out there when your last book was published four years ago (so hard to believe!) and you’ve been off the speaking circuit for over two years. For someone like my husband, who is pretty reserved and only writes because it’s required by his job, this goal that has required him to not only write several pages of text, but also help turn a ministry I started as a single lady into a corporate venture, has been more than daunting. We’re still praying and talking through how this is all going to look, but we’re a much more united front on this matter than we were a year ago. I’m so proud of him, though, for no longer being afraid of the task God has given us but instead being excited about what we’re going to be privileged to do. As one who is an extremely “big picture” person, my counterpart’s ability to consider every – and I mean every – detail comes in handy with the day-to-day operations of the ministry and keeps things running smoothly.

I haven’t enjoyed all the countless hours of behind the scenes work that has had to go on the past several months, but I know it’s all going to pay off soon when a new book is in our hand, a nifty new website that clearly communicates what we’re all about, and Lord-willing many platforms to tell our story for His glory.

Goals #2-5 to come! Stay tuned!



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