Go grab yourself a cup of tea/ coffee/ hot chocolate... it's a long one :)
Some of you know I set goals in every area of my life, and I even cheat in one area I call "fun" because it's about 5 areas in 1 :)
I've done the detailed work through each goal so I thought I'd just share the high- and lowlights here.
I've never been great at consistent Bible-reading but this year, in July, I created a whatsapp group with Julia and Robyn, and we've been reading various chapters for the entire second half of the year.
They are amazing Bible partners and friends - one of us will share any scriptures that spoke to us, to encourage the others, and we needle each other along so that we catch up if we're behind, etc.
I honestly love it!
Thank you, J and R - this group is one of my highlights this year - I'm so grateful to and for both of you.
In other God news, I really had to trust that He would be there to catch me when I "just resigned".
All the things I was slightly concerned about (money) were totally unfounded and instead, I ended up using much less of my savings cushion than I'd anticipated. I've already replenished all the savings I used up and am now better off financially than I was before leaving (and of course, emotionally!)
Earlier this year I ran a course at my church to train people to discover the congregation's passions and gifts.
It's been slow moving getting going but those 5 weeks of training were AMAZING. I just loved it!
I knew going into this year that things would possibly be going pear-shaped so obviously I went out spending madly.
We bought a nice kitchen table, had new carpets put in all the bedrooms and bought a new bed.
And just when I was ready to get other things done, I resigned and froze the spending.
But I have a big list for this year...
Well, work was "interesting".
My word was "shine" and I remember saying to Julia, "did God give me that word for the tears shining on my face?"
I was on those little white pills on any days I had to interact with those people. Fortunately, I worked away for a couple of weeks in a different Jhb branch, Pta, CT and Bloem. All of those days = no little white pills. Main office = a pill a day. Very sad but let's move on.
Then I had 4 glorious months at home with the babies. I worked on my business, blogged and so on. Now that I think about it, it feels like I didn't do enough but I did what I needed to do.
I honestly didn't intend to go back to work so soon but the opportunity came up and it was a good one so there I am :) So far, so good. Am still cautiously optimistic nearly 4 months later.
Hopefully next year there'll be no need for any tears!
I'm so very grateful for that CT work trip - even though I worked my butt off during the day, and some nights til after midnight, I got to travel to CT for the first time in over 4 years and see THREE amazing friends. More importantly, I'm so glad all the diaries worked out.
Thanks so much, friends, for your hospitality. It was so needed and welcome at such a dreary time in my life.
Let's end off on a good note for now, and I'll keep the health and fitness stuff, the category called fun and my business stuff for another post.
Our 4 holidays - well, I do think this was the most we've been away ever. I do this nerdy analysis of our money every year and I remember last year thinking the places where we spend the most money is on holidays... and that's exactly how I want it :)
This year we spent 26 nights away from home - 10 in Ballito, 4 in Drakensberg, 5 in Ballito, and recently 7 in Drakensberg.
Now this is a subject for another post but I'm counting on all of you for super-practical ideas for holidaying with school kids!
I set monthly goals for dates with D, dates with each kid, and me getting in photos with the kids, and on posting pics to the kids' blog, and having those in writing reminding me every month makes me more intentional.
I also set a goal for a fun thing as a family every month and we only missed twice so I'm counting that as a win. Mind you, 4 of those were the holidays :) And Montecasino Bird Gardens are STILL on the list!
How did these life categories go for you?
What was the biggest highlight?
PS These pics were all taken with the Nikon