Monday, March 14, 2011
Lately I've had a bunch of ideas swimming around in my head. Big ideas. Life changing ideas. Fun ideas. And tonight I realized that I just need to WRITE THESE IDEAS down. And then I thought that I should apparently just blog about them too ;)
So, here's my "life to-do list" as of right now, in no particular order....not really a daily to-do list, but more of a list about things that I need to think through, change, or just figure out.
1. Adoption. Adoption. Adoption. I have a heavy heart for Ethiopia right now. If you don't know much about what is going on over in ET read this post by my friend Ashley. She explains it well. I am sad for all of those folks who are currently pursuing adoption in ET who are now just waiting to see what happens. Adoption can be such a waiting game and NOW it will be an even longer waiting game for those families just waiting to bring home their children. But I'm even MORE sad for the millions of orphaned children in ET who are affected by these adoption changes. The longer the ET government takes to process adoptions, the longer the waiting orphans will be in orphanages taking up space, therefore sooo many potential orphans will not even make it to an orphanage. Please pray for this situation to resolve quickly and for adoptions to continue as usual.
Now, what about our family? What is our current status in our adoption process? You can read about our new journey towards adoption here. We are pretty much still in the same place we were a few months ago when I wrote that post. Once we felt called to adopt, we let that resonate for a while and just prayed about the whole notion. Matt and I both feel called more towards domestic adoption of a non-infant. And we feel strongly that we don't want to disrupt our biological kids' birth order, which means that the child we adopt would be younger than Zoe. And Zoe is just now 18 months old, so if a domestic non-infant is what God desires for our family, it could be another year or longer before that becomes a reality for us. We have contacted a FABULOUS ministry called Loving Shepherd Ministries that works with adoptive families. They have given us tons of information and our next step is basically just getting started in the whole process!
Last night we attended a Q&A session with True Vine Ministries, which is an adoption ministry within our church. It was great to get some questions answered as well as connect with other adoptive families. We left the meeting ignited and excited to begin the process! Stay tuned!
2. The Hole in Our Gospel. We joined a new Life Group a couple of months ago within our church. We have sincerely enjoyed getting to know the other couples in our Life Group and are excited about "doing life" with these people. Our group just started reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Oh my. I'm only a few chapters in and its quite good...yet I'm nervous to keep reading because of what I fear God will call me to do. This book is about figuring out what God expects from us. Its about going further and doing MORE than just living an ordinary life and going to church. Its about having a faith in God that literally moves us to action.
3. Finding new ways to live a greener lifestyle. This is something I'm really excited about right now! Our family has already made MANY changes to be healthier and leave a smaller carbon footprint on our planet. We now use all non-toxic (mostly homemade) cleaning solutions, which I LOVE. We have switched almost all of our personal care products to non-toxic (or at least less toxic), organic, all-natural, and/or sometimes homemade versions. (Read more about this process here...and if you have a few extra minutes, check out The Story of Stuff website.) We bring in less stuff and reuse/recycle more. I'm suuuuuper excited that our small town will be initiating a one-can recycling program at the end of March! We'll have one big trash bin where we can put ALL plastic #1-7 (currently we can only recycle #1 & 2 plastics) and all paper to be recycled. No sorting necessary. Yay!
After changing our cleaning products and personal care products, our next step was starting to re-think what we eat, how we eat, where we get our food from, and all that exciting stuff. We have eliminated all partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup from our home. (With the exception of one particular kind of peanut butter that my husband can't live without...) We have switched over to an all natural and mostly organic diet. Literally every week at the grocery store I am in awe that I am able to find organic versions of most of the food we eat! My kids haven't noticed any changes in the food we eat at all. And my husband and I feel much better about the food choices we are making! AND, eating this way is not breaking our budget either. Some of my favorite brands of organic or all-natural products are: Annie's, Kashi, Mom's Best, Cascadian Farms, and Meijer (Meijer has a FABULOUS and affordable All Natural and Organics line.)
So now I'm just in the process of becoming more and more informed. Making even better food choices! Possibly joining a CSA or at least purchasing as much food as possible from local farmers. Learning how to freeze and can food. Phasing out fast food (gasp!) and soda (double gasp!)...the list goes on and on! And FINALLY read Food Matters by Mark Bittman and watch "Food, Inc." I have the book. And "Food, Inc." is on Netflix.....so I have no excuse to not utilize these two informative resources!
4. Coming up with new recipes. This sort of goes along with #3, but I need to spend some quality time coming up with some good new recipes....we're getting bored with the same old meals....
5. Spring Cleaning. Totally dread it. I've already got a mile long list of things I want to deep-clean....
6. Project Life. Still in love with the Project Life concept. Still keeping up to date with it, but just barely. LOVE that so many of my friends are sticking with it! I need to post about how my PL album is coming along!
7. Getting crafty. Lately I am finding that my free time isn't coinciding with my creative energy. This is frustrating for me! I NEED some good crafty projects going in my life. Scrapbooking has been my main avenue of craftiness and I'm feeling the need for some looooong scrapbooking sessions soon.
8. Painting our kitchen. We painted our kitchen red when we moved to this house back in 2004. And I really REALLY like the red. But we also run a daycare and have many MANY dents, scratches, and areas where the paint is chipping. Its become slightly embarrassing and we just need to repaint! Now to decide what color...
9. Finances. Budget. Need I say more? We have a budget. But I'm not proud to admit that we don't really stick to our budget very well....I'm pretty sure this little area of our lives needs a little extra attention right now to make sure we're making wise decisions with the money God has blessed us with. Its not much, by the way, but its enough to get us through! We have eliminated a lot of extra "stuff" that costs extra money. Like a TV service. But I'm certain there are a few key areas in our budget that could be reduced...
So, there you go. A little glimpse into what I've been thinking about lately and a look into my world of lists. I'm sure there is more on my brain at the moment too, but these are the items really sticking out right now.