Oh hello, 2017 resolutions. Can we ignore the fact that I’ve not hit the publish button since September 30 and my attempts to blog more often in 2017 fell pathetically short? Regardless, I refuse to let the year end without an official result post, so here we go:
Use my Prayerful Planner
every day WIN. I am being generous here but I did pretty well with this planner. No, every daily page is not full or decorated beautifully, but it’s definitely worn. I probably won’t purchase another one, but I liked it. Positives: the daily pages have plenty of room for writing task lists, prayer requests, devotional notes, and much more. The monthly view is a must-have for me too. Negatives: This planner is pricey. And bulky. For 2018, I’m returning to my trusty (and economical) At-A-Glance weekly/monthly planner from OfficeDepot.
Decorate my office (paint, hang diploma, arrange bookshelves, etc.) – SEMI FAIL. I painted all four walls Bravo Blue (Sherwin Williams) and purchased this bookshelf that was not as easy to assemble as advertised and it does not stand level, which bugs me to no end. I’m keeping the over sized desk that I currently have until I find the absolute perfect replacement and the Ethernet cable that was hanging from the ceiling was rerouted through the wall to an existing plug. I still need to hang more bookshelves, my college diploma, and artwork.
Hire a housekeeper for deep cleaning – SEMI FAIL. Miss A cleaned 5 out of 12 months. Totally my fault. And Husband does not see the value in paying someone to clean. Whatever.
Unsubscribe from excessive blogs, websites, newsletters, etc. WIN. I’m giving myself credit for this goal but it’s an ongoing battle in my Gmail inbox. I need to do a major unsubscribe overhaul before the end of the year.
Clean email inbox every Thursday FAIL. I don’t think I did this even once.
Organize photos and graphics on my laptop SEMI WIN. My organization needs to be more defined but my church files are in pretty good shape. Personal items and photos, not so much. One of my biggest tasks in January, however, will be moving every church-related file from my laptop to an external hard drive.
Read the Bible in a year (using 5-day method and the Slacker’s Plan) – FAIL. Sadly, I did not open my Bible much this year. I led and participated in a few studies, read Scripture in worship services, but reading it for pleasure was nonexistent. But in 2018, I’m doing it. Watch me!
Write a prayer or reflection in a daily journal FAIL. I started a daily Scripture journal but stopped after a few weeks.
Tithe every month to the church – WIN. I tithed once a month, every month for an entire year. Automatic withdrawals are a life-saver!
Begin an Inductive Bible Study – DOUBLE FAIL. Not only did I fail to complete an Inductive Bible Study, but I also failed at Bible Study Fellowship. I went to the weekly gatherings in September and October, and one in November, but then I missed the rest. I could make a laundry list of reasons it didn’t work, but the truth is: I did not make it a priority. And, if I have an opportunity to spend the day with my husband and son, I’m going to take it.
Attend a women’s conference – WIN. First Methodist Joshua hosted its first women’s conference June 2-3 and it was a huge success.
MEANINGFUL TO OTHERS
Deliver a meal to someone in need – SEMI WIN. I delivered meals to five (5) families.
Mail a handwritten note – FAIL.
Participate in “Lent Letter” project – FAIL.
Send an encouraging text 5x/week – WIN.
Host a dinner with friends or family – WIN. I didn’t host a meal every month, but there have been at least seven (7) in 2017.
Get to know our neighbors – SEMI WIN. I’m Facebook-friends with Lacey but I don’t know the other neighbor. I really want to get to know them both much better.
Fun activity with girlfriends – WIN.
Feb 11: dinner and movie with The Girls
Feb 25: dinner and Kurios (Cirque de Solei) with Miranda
March 25: dinner at Fixture and surprise baby shower for Mandie
April 21: attended live performance of comedian Tim Hawkins
June 10: fancy dinner with The Girls at Silver Fox Steakhouse celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, new homes, promotions, engagements, and more!
October 8: dinner at Bread Winners Cafe and crafty creating at Board & Brush Colleyville
Dec 16: birthday celebration at Cast Iron and Varekai (Cirque de Solei) with The Girls
Serve on a mission trip – FAIL.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
Intentionally pray for Husband and Kamden – WIN.
Attend opening day at The Depot – FAIL.
Attend four Cleburne Railroader baseball game – SEMI FAIL. We attended two games.
Monthly play date with Kamden and a friend – FAIL.
Gun range with Husband – FAIL. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was at the gun range, with or without my husband.
Midweek lunch with Husband – WIN. This is a major win for us. With my flexible work schedule and Husband getting every other Friday off, we managed to share many lunches together this year. I’m definitely looking forward to these events continuing in the future!
Do something special for our 10th wedding anniversary – FAIL.
Keep my great-grandmother’s aloe vera plants alive – FAIL.
Prioritize my physical health (renew my gym membership, start jogging again, etc.) FAIL.
Read 15 books – FAIL. Besides Bible studies, I read one book in 2017. One. What is The Bible? by Rob Bell and I enjoyed it immensely.
Transfer this blog to a dot com with new layout – WIN. Obviously Three 31 looks different because Lisa is amazing and her team at Port & Starboard do incredible techie things I know nothing about. I love the way this blog looks and feels now, I’m just disappointed in myself for not utilizing it more than I have this year.
Post to blog 2x/week – FAIL. Do we have to beat this dead horse?
CHURCH MINISTRIES & LEADER DEVELOPMENT
Host staff lunch in my home once a month – SEMI WIN. I hosted staff lunch in my home five out of 12 months.
Launch MOPS – FAIL. This is a real thorn in my side for 2017. I knew it would be difficult launching a new ministry at the church, but I thought MOPS would gain more traction than it did. A major roadblock was a lack of leadership. With my commitments, I could NOT take the leadership role I wanted and handed the reins over to four ladies who divided the tasks and responsibilities accordingly. Unfortunately, one moved out of state shortly thereafter and two others suffered major events in their personal lives and the fourth could not handle it all by herself. I’m not giving up on the idea of a ministry for mothers of young children. We have a preschool on our church’s campus, for goodness sakes! If it’s not the right time, we will revisit and revise.
Create a communications plan with social media schedule – WIN. The church’s Facebook presence has increased EXPONENTIALLY in 2017. I credit consistent (almost daily) posting and utilizing paid advertising for major events and services.
Attend Change the World conference, March (Ginghamsburg, Ohio) – WIN. This was the second year I attended CTW. While the majority of the material was not new to me, it was wonderful reconnecting with friends and ministry partners, as well as getting to meet powerhouse leaders like Olu Brown and Carey Nieuwhof. Plus, 12+ hours on the road with staff and laity is never wasted … and never dull. We had so many laughs and brainstormed many wonderful ideas for the church.
Launch a small group for team leaders – FAIL.
Find a mentor and be a mentor – SEMI WIN. I do not have that one particular person I consider my mentor but I definitely have the mentor title with Courtney. I should do a blog post (spotlight) on her next year.
Create a continuing education and life skills program for adults – WIN. This was a major win for First Methodist Joshua in April 2017. The only role I played was contacting Denton ISD Adult Education Director and coordinating a time and place for the GED classes to take place. They provide the curriculum and instructors while the church (and our amazing team of paid and unpaid servants) provides the space, free childcare for students, a meal, and endless support and encouragement. In August 2017, we added ESL classes. In 2018, I know we will celebrate graduations and (hopefully) add more classes.
Expand the backpack ministry to four elementary schools in Joshua ISD – WIN. The Backpacks4Kids program in Joshua ISD is thriving and I get a front row seat to witness the awesomeness of our unpaid servants who dedicate their time and energy to unloading boxes and labeling, filling, and delivering backpacks to FOUR (4) school every single week. It’s a well-oiled machine and I love how the church and community work together for these students!
visit Lisa / Kaleb & Caitlin wedding, (Virginia Beach, August 3-7) – DOUBLE WIN. This trip was SO. MUCH. FUN. I’m so grateful to Lisa and John (and Diesel) for allowing me to crash in their guest bedroom for a long weekend of fun, food, bicycle riding, sunset cruises, wedding events, and so much more. We laughed until we cried and I had a ball with my new friends at 1701.
Kaleb and Caitlin tied the knot on August 5 and I would not have missed it for anything. I won the unofficial award for the wedding guest who traveled the farthest. And my parents go the prize for the couple who had been married the longest … it was a good night for the Edwards/Hutchison families!!!
RV road trip to visit Mark & Jenny (Ashley, North Dakota, August 10-14) – WIN. It wasn’t an RV road trip but this goes down as THE BEST SURPRISE in the history of ever. I’ll never forget Jenny’s expression when she opened her front door and I was standing on the porch, live and in person. I am forever grateful for their hospitality and getting to visit their family and friends in Ashley, North Dakota. Now, she and Mark are the parents of Levi, a happy and handsome three-month-old. I’m already planning a return trip to get my hands on the little guy.
You can read and see more about Summer 2017 here.
family getaway to Memphis, Tennessee – FAIL.
family staycation to Great Wolf Lodge – FAIL.
Brian & Jessica wedding, (Louisville, Kentucky, Nov 1-5) – WIN. What a way to end the year surrounded by family at a destination wedding along the banks of the Ohio River! This was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever attended. Jessica’s dream for a Pinterest-worthy, yet budget-friendly wedding came true.
What do you say I create another list and do this all over again in 2018?
Happy new year!