Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goals 2015

This year has been a year of rest and recovery after leaving a place that was stressful to live in.  How wonderful it has been to feel that we truly have a place we can call our home. God bless those who have helped this to be so!

Our house is small and we have found it a bit of a squeeze for the 9 of us.  We knew from the outset that it would be so.  We imagined it would be a temporary move, and I guess not too much time has passed yet, however circumstances do not seem to be offering anything different on the immediate horizon.  Some of my children are fast coming to the end of their childhood and there were things I dearly wanted for them to experience, as children.

I find myself wavering between two thoughts.  To build this place up as our home; plant a beautiful garden, simplify so that we fit in better, buy new curtains, paint the walls, be a part of the neighbourhood, and so on, and so on. To put down our roots...

And the second thought.  Our dream.  To get out of suburbia and live semi rural in a greener place. On a property big enough that the kids can go on adventures and come back worn out but satisfied at the end of the day.  Where I could do the same, planting veggie's, walking amongst the tree's, listening to the birds, joining in the children.  A place we could enjoy walking around; we like leafy trails not rows of houses.   A place that ultimately some part of me feels would be best for us.  The place of a healthy childhood.  The place where we would all be happiest.

Oh I know many things can be done right where we are, and that is what we shall do at this point.  Enjoy the blessings of this house, the community of those who surround us.  And wait for the will of God to be known.  In patience.  But it keeps coming up in my mind, time is running out, time is running out.  We'll go on a drive for a couple of hours to the country side, and as we return to the suburbs there's a feeling of disappointment.

I want to give our current place a good try though.  I will do the best I can to see if there isn't some way to keep where we are, yet do some of those things we long for.  I don't want to ruin the blessings of the day by pining for something which may never be.  And which attained, may neither hold happiness, nor be good for us.  I have done too much of that already; thinking I know best and finding that I don't.  Thy will be done O Lord, not mine!

Things to do this year:

  • go bush-walking on weekends
  • trail-bike riding
  • in-term tennis and maybe swimming
  • soccer for the boys
  • go for a brisk walk with the eldest two on the mornings that Dh is home
  • get an aviary in the next few months, get Scarlet Chested Parrots, Bourke Parrots, Brown Quail, Star Finches, and Double-barred Finches.  
  • establish a new children's choir at our parish
  • get the kids watching more 'engineering for kids' type video's on youtube
  • learn to sew using a sewing machine and make our own clothes
  • kids to learn piano online
  • make themed cakes for birthdays
  • Take the older children, individually, for tea, cake, and a chat with Mama every now and then.
  • have a games night
  • low carbs meals for me.
  • start composting!
  • Make Prayer booklets for the kids and me.
  • Go camping, at least once.
  • Buy a good wooden chess set.  (Did you know that St Teresa of Avila and St Maximilian Kolbe, two favorite saints of mine, both loved chess?  Just found that out myself.) 
  • Get a box to store gifts in.  Buy gifts to put in it!
  • Try to make the nine First Fridays, starting this week(?)
  • Obedience, listening, to speak in charity always, manners, and eye contact - for the kids
  • for me - to guard against sloth knowing that 'sloth is not doing what you are supposed to be doing when you are supposed to be doing it'.
  • to become more disciplined with praying the office, rosary, and to read my Bible and 'Divine Intimacy' daily, pray the 'three Hail Mary's' morning and night.
  • to integrate the Rule of St. Benedict into our family life.
  • move to an emphasis on reading books to the children for family fun rather than movies though not excluding them.
  • To find peace in the Lord. Heaven or hell starts now.  I choose Heaven.


  1. Like the list idea! Some great plans there!

    1. I started writing this list out in full, and then realised that my aims were lost in a sea of words. So I cut it down to bullet points so I could see clearly. When I get a printer again soon I'm going to print this off and review it each month. Last year was a year of rest. This year I hope to get a bit more done if I can. Hopefully this list will help.

  2. So inspiring, Sharyn! I take comfort in the fact that at least in my little house and tiny suburban lot there is a limited amount that I have to clean/maintain. And I don't do a terrific job with either, since I much prefer doing other things!
    When we lived in Egypt it was of course not a long-term post, but we received the wisdom that we would go into the next place as we left that place. In other words, if we invested in relationships and made things beautiful even in that temporary place, we were that much more prepared to do so when we got to the next (probably more permanent, but we never know, do we?) place.
    It's not fancy, but my husband and kids really like this magnetic chess set he got for Christmas last year: Being magnetic allows us to move it mid-game for instance if we need to set the table for dinner. :)
    Children's choir sounds wonderful, and I'm also planning to emphasise reading aloud this year.
    Hope you have a blessed and joy-filled 2015!

    1. That has been one of the blessings of this house. Our last house was maybe three times the size of our current house. That's a lot of cleaning! The garden took a lot of work too. Now everything is much more manageable.

      Will give the Chess set a look, thanks!

      A blessed 2015 to you too! :)

  3. Can totally relate. My spiritual reading Book 1 In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez on the 7th of Jan read like this about St Joseph in Egypt....... p 338 ref 45.3 Fortitude in our ordinary life - After a time, when the danger was over, there was nothing to keep Joseph in that foreign land, but he stayed there for no reason other than that of being faithful to the fulfilment of the Angel's instruction - there remain until I give thee command (Matt 2:13) And so he remanined patiently in Egypt, without displeasure or protest, doing his work as if he were never going to leave that place. How important it is to know how to be and to stay where one should be, getting on with ones' own work, without giving in to the temptaion of change places continually. Fortitude is needed to do this; a fortitiude which teaches us to appreciate the human and divine value of patience (St JoseMaria Escriva Friends of God, 78) THe person with fortitude is one who perseveres in doing what his conscience tells him he ought to. He does not measure the value of a task exclusively by the benefit he derives from it, but rather by the service he renders to others (see brackets above). We have to ask St Joseph to teach us to be strong........ This helped me at the time where I again thought, 'Oh an extra room would be great right about now', well right about now, we simply don't have i!t So I pray for peace and contentment and then make more space by throwing out or giving away what we do not need, and googling ideas of 8 kids in a smaller space :) I feel relief off my shoulders when I have less to clean because of this and I'm grateful. I want to keep a fresh picture in my head of the stable our Lord was born in and really reflect on what that means for me - I'm hoping 2015 can be the year I really accept and live God's will in my life, where ever that may be. Thanks Sharyn for helping me get there, blessings and love, xx

    1. 'I'm hoping 2015 can be the year I really accept and live God's will in my life, where ever that may be.' Same here Leigh! Thanks for this excellent reflection! I have come to understand recently that my looking for something new, looking for the 'golden' situation where all will be well is looking for peace in the world, which is not where it can be found. As a Catholic I knew that peace was not to be found in wanting wealth, or living it up, or whatever worldly pursuits, but I then assumed that it could be found in 'good' things, like raising your children just right, or schooling them in a perfect way, or finding the place of 'all happiness' to settle down and live in happily ever after. And as good as such aims may be there is a divergence between God's plans and mine and I struggle against them. 'If only you will do what I want God , then I will have my peace', I say. And He calls to me, my Good Father, and says 'Seek ye therefore first my kingdom and all these things shall be added unto you'. And I pray, I pray for the strength to desire it!

      Amen to doing God's will in 2015 Leigh, Amen.

      God bless you in abundance!

  4. 8 people, not 8 kids....yet perhaps ;