*All studies are digital unless otherwise noted.


As I reflect back on the year, I can hardly believe 2018 is coming to a close. This has by far been the busiest year of my life, and it shows. Not just with the checked boxes next to things I wanted to accomplish, but it shows in the (hopefully not permanent) circles under my eyes, the late nights, the early mornings, the ten years I feel I’ve aged in this last trip around the Sun. When thinking about all the things we have done, been through, and experienced this year, these are my top three:

  1. Our son’s birth. Without a doubt, this has been our biggest blessing. A third child was not on our radar, but God had big plans for us! We welcomed our baby into the family and completed his adoption this year.
  1. Homeschooling. This is the first year I am homeschooling our oldest two children. It has had its ups and downs, but we are growing closer and learning so much about each other. My favorite part is the kids are helping me grow and are teaching me new things every day!
  1. Firefly. This dream realized makes my heart happy. Years in the making, Firefly has become like part of the family in only six short months. We have been blessed to share our nature study resources with so many.

This year has taught me plenty, and for that I am grateful. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that I need to take time in 2019. The word I am focusing on is “intentionality” because I want to make sure I spend the next year purposefully engaged in my life and the lives of those most important to me. So, I am setting three goals for the new year. Goals I will work on every single day.

  1. Praying for my family. This sounds like a no-brainer. Of course, I am already praying for my family each day. However, I want to make my prayers more focused and intentional. Rather than a quick prayer shouted out when I need something or the kids are driving me nuts, I want to sit down at the beginning of each day with a plan. I have a particular subject in mind to pray for each child and my husband. I will write these down to make them more concrete. I am a visual person, so having a notebook where I can bullet journal each day is essential for me.
  1. Being thankful. Of course I am thankful. We all are. I am thankful for God’s faithfulness, for my children and their birth mamas, for my husband, for my parents’ constant support, for our home and our land, and for Firefly. But I tend to get whiny, to be ungrateful and to forget the blessings God has put in my life. So I’m going to be intentional about being thankful. To start and end each day with a prayer of thanksgiving.
  1. Slowing down. There is no need to rush. The laundry will always be there as will the dishes and the unswept floors. I admit it is hard for me to leave those things, to let them be until I have spent quality time with my kids. To choose my family and our relationships over rushing around like a madwoman trying to do it all. So, I am going to slow down, relax, and hug my kids while we read and create and explore. Because that is what life is all about.

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