1. What is one small thing, if you accomplish it in 2017, that will make you feel successful?
A small success would be following through on my 2017 resolutions, which are 1) learn how to bake layer cakes by making one a month 2) making my own bread again and 3) completing the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. I have reached the conclusion that New Year’s Resolutions like “lose weight” and “eat healthy” or even “pray more,” just set you up for discouragement. These things are lifelong struggles that we all continually work at. And depending on our circumstances and season of life, we’ll have varying rates of success at improving our mastery of these things. So my New Year goals have become fun little challenges to improve or enjoy a small area of life.
Just to briefly outline the goals, in an effort to hold myself accountable!
1) Baking layer cakes. I love to bake, and I’m proficient in a number of recipes. But layer cakes intimidate me. The only kinds I’ve made with moderate success are carrot cake and German chocolate cake. So I’m choosing a special day each month and a different cake to try! For January, I’ll be making a double chocolate cake for my birthday!
2) Baking bread. Two years ago, Bobby gave me this book. I really enjoyed trying the recipes and making bread more regularly. But then I got pregnant and stopped having the energy. This winter, I’m opening the book again and I’ve already made two batches! Hoping to keep fresh bread around. I hope it will make a good snack for my ever-hungry two year old.
3) This will be the third year I attempt to complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge! I’m going to do the “fun” list, and my first book this month, the one I choose for the cover, is The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
2. Have you picked a “word of the year” or patron saint of the year?
On to the spiritual resolutions for the year! The word I chose this year is “trust,” with verses from Isaiah 12 and 26: “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid… You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you…Trust in the Lord forever.” With so many potential changes in our life this year, my need to trust the Lord is very great indeed. We need to move, a need another job, my husband may start a second masters program, and our daughter will be starting school. The words “dawn” and “light” have also been recurring for me, and I’m trying to wait and listen to what the Lord is saying to me with those words.
St. Joseph and St. Teresa of Calcutta are my saints for 2017. St. Joseph because who better to intercede when you’re looking for jobs and houses? It has been on my heart to read more of the words of Mother Teresa ever since August, when I was reading 33 Days to Morning Glory for my Marian reconsecration on September 8. The words of Mother Teresa really resounded with me then, and I’ve borrowed a book of her private writings to mediate on.
3. What are you looking forward to in 2017?
Having a place of our own! God willing, things will come together so we can purchase a house of our own. But even if we end up renting for another year, come June we should no longer be renting my parents’ house! My parents are retiring and moving into our current home this summer (which they bought five years ago in anticipation of retirement). I’m grateful we’ve had this large house and yard to enjoy for four years, but it has put a strain on our relationship with my parents, and we are very eager to have place of our own. We also plan to move closer to my husband’s job, hopefully reducing his commute time by at least half (so 40 minutes each way instead of 75 minutes each way!) But I know I will miss this view.