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Intentional 2014

It’s 2014! Wow!!  When you are younger, time seems to go by so slow.  I remember as a young child and even as a teenager waiting for a specific event (like prom or summer!) and it felt like it would never get here.  These days, time goes by so fast that I barely have time to think.  My little man just turned 3 and I don’t understand how that is possible!  Wasn’t it yesterday that we were at the hospital waiting for his sweet arrival?

selfie family

Happy birthday little E!

It’s a new year and with a new year comes resolutions.  There is something about a new year that makes us feel like we can have a fresh start.  In reality, there is no difference between December 31st and January 1st, but something inside us says “it’s time!” to get our acts together and change.

Resolutions are great, but often after a few months, they get set aside.  Yep I’m even guilty of that.  My resolutions didn’t always stick because I put myself at the center of them.  Bad idea.

With proper motivation, we can stick to our resolutions.  As Christians, God should be the center of all of our resolutions.  Do you want to read the bible everyday because it sounds like a good thing to do, or do you truly want to grow spiritually?  Do you want to lose weight because your body is a temple or because you feel insecure in your body?  Whose at the center of your resolutions?  You or Christ?

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Many people pick a word for the year that summarizes their resolutions.  Our families word for 2014 is:


Time goes by so quickly.  Before I know it, my resolutions are tossed to the wayside and I’m living for me and not Him.  Aren’t we all guilty of that at some point?  We have chosen this verse to go with our word and I am going to plaster it all over the house:

I am the vine.  You are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5


Dr. Smartypants and I were blessed to be able to leave E with the grandparents and take a few days away to just be together.  It was AMAZING.  We went on a “vision retreat.”  We first heard of a vision retreat from Jimmy Evans at a marriage conference last year.  A vision retreat is where you take a few days away with your spouse to discuss the new year and come up with a vision for your family.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip to a tropical island (but if you can, more power to you!).  It simply must be a distraction free zone where you can spend the morning discussing and praying over the plans God has laid on your heart.  The mornings are spent planning and the afternoons are spent having fun together as a couple.  It’s like extended date night! Ya!!!  It should be fun, relaxing, romantic and invigorating.  And it was!

We went to Indianapolis to a sweet little bed and breakfast.  On our first day, we got snowed in with 8 inches of snow.  It was SO MUCH FUN! I loved the atmosphere of the old Victorian home.  With our bible open and our minds prepared to ask God for guidance, we began to discuss our new year, and here is some of what God laid on our hearts.

Spiritually: Our vision is to draw closer to Christ and to teach Eli the foundations of our faith.  To do this, we are going to study the word together.  We are doing the Love and Respect study guide as we reread the book Love and Respect.  We long to put Christ at the center of our marriage.  We have declared Tuesday as “No TV Tuesday.”  After E is in bed, we discuss the homework questions that we have answered and surprisingly, we can spend like 3 hours discussing it.   It is really awesome to see into my husband’s heart as we talk about deep topics.  We plan to dive into the Word deeper with bible study and spending daily time in the word.  As for E, I am putting together a tot school curriculum to teach him the foundations of our faith, and part of our bedtime routine is a bible story.

Intentional prayer:  Dr. Smartypants and I have been praying every single night since August 9th 2013.  We haven’t missed a night!  Before we would pray sometimes together but we often did it individually on our own.  My mom and dad pray every night together, and we were inspired by them.  There is something very powerful about praying together.  To keep us accountable and to be more intentional, I bought a calendar planner and we write prayer requests of each other, our family and our friends, and we intentionally pray together over our child, our marriage, our friends and our loved ones.  This has been an amazing experience!

Work/profession/career:  As a stay at home mom and blogger, my vision is to continue to grow my blog as a ministry.  I feel God has blessed me extremely when He made my Elf on the Shelf Jesus Style post go viral.  That was a total God Thing! I really feel that He wants to continue to use my writing to bless others.  I make very little money blogging and although that would be a nice perk, that is not my goal.  I do it simply because I feel God has called me to.  He has also put it on my heart to write a book!!!  I said “Really God?  I don’t really know the first thing about doing that on my own!”  A couple months ago, I received an email from Emily Ryan who has written several books and has already given me advice and offered to give me guidance.  Divine appointment much?  I am only in the research phase and I don’t want to reveal to much yet, but I am extremely excited about it!

The hubby’s vision is to simply get a job! We discussed how we completely trust that God has a plan for our future, but how anxious we are to have him reveal them!  As you know, my hubby graduated with his phd in May 2013 and has been teaching at Texas Tech as a part time instructor since then.  We couldn’t figure out why God was waiting so long to reveal his plan.   On December 18th, we received a call that Cory’s dad had unexpectedly passed away in his sleep at the young age of 62.  Cory got off the phone, looked at me and said with tearful eyes, “I know why God hasn’t given me a job yet.”  We are thankful for the fact that He has kept us here so that we could enjoy time with his earthly father and that we could be close to family during this time.

We opened the bible and started looking for verses that talked about God’s plans and found so much comfort in the following verses:

I cry out to God most high, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. Psalm 57:2

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

We really feel that God will reveal his plan soon.  We are so thankful for a mighty God whose timing is PERFECT down to the millisecond!

Health and fitness:  Dr. Smartypants and I have set some big goals in the fitness department.  We want to be intentional about what we eat (healthy whole foods) and how we move our body.  The hubby’s goal is to lose 50 lbs.  He plans to do this by attending spin class 3 times a week and lifting weights twice a week as well as incorporating some running and biking.

Although I haven’t had a ct scan yet, my chiropractor and I believe I have a stress fracture on my left ankle.  My ankle has been hurting since April of last year, but I worked out on it anyway for 2 months (not a smart idea!)  My chiropractor advised that I stop running so I took a 6 month break from running and did yoga instead.  But it seems that no matter what I do, my ankle turns bright purple and hurts like crazy anytime I work out!  I plan to see a sports med doc soon to do something about it (we are changing insurance and waiting for all that to take place.)  Because I can’t do anything that puts impact on my ankle, I have made a huge goal of biking 100o miles this year!  I have a trainer and soon the weather will be great for bike rides!

Time Management: God has really placed it on our hearts to be intentional with our time.  We really do not know at all when He will call us home.  This is one of the key reasons that intentional is our word for the year, and we were reminded of that with the sudden passing of my father in law.  We need to be intentional with our time because we really don’t know how much time we have here.  Intentional about our relationships with others, our friendships, our relationship with Christ, our children, our loved ones, our activities, our service to others, our health, everything.

We are really excited about this year.  We can feel God’s presence in our lives and we are excited to see what He has in store.

Here’s to an intentional year!

Have you chosen a word for 2014?  Share it in the comments!

Linking up with Christian Mommy Blogger for Fellowship Fridays!


Reader Interactions


  1. The entire time I was reading this post I was nodding my head. Sounds like we are on the same page! In fact, I’ve been working on my goals for the year post, and now I wonder if I should just forward everyone to this. 😉

    I am so excited to see how God uses you this year. In the last year He has done some much with, for, and through you and I’ve been able to see it through your posts and our chats. 2014 is going to be amazing! I can feel it!

    Still praying for your family as you grieve, and so sorry about your ankle. It sounds so painful. 🙁
    Angie recently posted…Emily’s Goals For 2014My Profile

  2. I love everything about this post! Can’t wait to see how God uses you this year, and while I don’t know it all when it comes to book writing, you know I’ll share anything I do! Blessings to you, friend!

    • Thank you so much!! And you are a blessing to me! I really believe that when you emailed me out of the blue that it was a divine appointment! I’m thankful for you !

  3. I love your word of the year choice. Intentional is such a great word and something that seems so easy but can be so difficult. I also love the idea of a vision retreat. I always try to take some time with my husband to set some goals for the new year, but it seems like we rarely get anything more than a night out at dinner. Finding someone to take 4 kids is a daunting task! 🙂

    I look forward to reading more about your goals and will be praying that the doctors are able to find the cause of your ankle problems!
    Lisa Thompson recently posted…Crazy 8 Graphic Tees Only $2.99 Each {Today Only}My Profile

    • The vision retreat was so much fun! You could totally do a “vision date night.” 😉 Or have a vision retreat date night in- after the kids are in bed!


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