Goal Setting: Thoughts on 2017

If there is one goal that I have for 2017 – one little word even – it’s FOCUS. The hardest thing for me to do when I am at home working and homeschooling is staying focused on something…anything! I feel like I drifted through 2016 for lots of reasons. Some of them because I was just avoiding some things emotionally and others because I just had too many distractions.

I have a tendency to become too goal oriented and list makey and then get so overwhelmed by the lists that I just chuck it all. So this year in an effort to try and manage this I am setting goals monthly and ordering my days differently. Such as, I’m going to have laundry days. I know that Mondays Mal and I hate going anywhere and Wednesdays are my low energy days so these are the days we are most likely to be home all day. So those will be the days I get through the laundry piles and make bread etc. Fridays my husband gets off early so I want those to be my grocery store and general “getting out of the house alone” times. Alone being the key word here.

I want to create space in my mornings to write so I’m hoping to get to bed earlier and get up earlier so I have more time to do that. There are other things I’m processing through in order to reduce my distractions online in order to help me write more – but I’m still processing through those. I know that I want to post here more often and so I’m hoping to have at least one day a week where I devote to posting.

I’m still wrestling with my hopes and goals for Etsy and daisyeyes handmade this year. For the time being I’m working on updating all my pdf patterns and I am continuing to take a break from custom orders. If I had one major goal for daisyeyes this year it would be to start offering embroidery kits again and learning how to screen print. I’m crossing my fingers this one becomes a reality. I’d love to do a video component to my website – offering instruction for adults and kids, but I’m not sure how that might play out.

Garment sewing and working through the Wardrobe Architect project is another huge aspiration. I got the Colette Sewing Planner for Christmas so I’m working through that and I’m loving it.

Here’s my top 6 items I want to sew this winter:


I’ve got hopes for my kiddos to get them helping out more around the house and I’m hoping we can establish a little more rhythm to those things and just our family in general.  All of us thrive on routine and when the routine gets out of wack we all get out of wack so realizing that I’m hopeful we can remedy that a little bit.

And if you need a good kick in the pants reminder that doing anything takes effort and hard work – this is a great read.

This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17–18)



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Reading: My 2017 Book List

I’ve never been one to make a formal book list. I have my lists of “want to reads” in Goodreads and on Amazon, but I’ve never decided ahead of time what I hope to read. One major goal I have for this coming new year is to work on my own learning and personal advancement with goals. I feel like I just keep moving from one thing to the next and never really working ahead. I miss the years of college so much because everything was already laid out for you. I think this is why sometimes I miss working out in the actual workplace versus at home and for myself. I spend so much time planning the reading and learning for my daughter that I felt it was high time I started doing the same for myself. I’m also hoping to be better at writing reviews of what I’ve read too.

2017 Master Book List


Most of these came from the podcast What Should I Read Next which is a total blast to listen to and honestly has become my go-to when it comes to finding good books.

The Nightengale by K. Hannah
The Kitchen House by K. Grissom
The Mill on the Floss by G. Eliot
One in a Million Boy by M. Wood
Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by P. Patrick
Atonement by I. McEwan
The Optimist’s Daughter by E. Welty
Olive Kitteridge by E. Strout
Breathing Lessons by A. Tyler
Shiloh by H. Sorensen
The Little White Horse by E. Goudge
Emma by J. Austen**


Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by KA Brower
The Seamstress by ST Bernstein
The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by S. Johnson
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Zaleski


The Fringe Hours by
On the Shoulders of Hobbits
The Year of Yes by S. Rhimes
Upstream by M. Oliver
Present Over Perfect by S. Niequist
You Learn by Living by E. Roosevelt
Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by A. Jacobs
Wired to Create by
Curated Closet by
Everybody Writes by
The Core by L. Bortins
On Being a Writer by A. Kroeker


Humble Roots by H. Anderson
Love Walked Among Us by P. Miller
Love Henry, Letters on the Spiritual Life by H. Nouwen
Walking on Water by M. L’Engle
Good and Angry by D. Powlison
Finding God in the Ruins by M. Bays
A Grief Observed by CS Lewis
Prone to Wander by B. Duguild
Echoes of Eden by J. Barrs

**already started







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I’m reading a couple of different “thinking books” right now: A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman and Women of the Word by Jen Wilken. I would have never really thought these two books would cross over, but they really do.

I love both of these books more than I thought I would and I am trying my best to read them slowly. To go back over what I’ve read and journal it and to really work through savoring every piece that I can out of both.

Probably my one biggest struggle in life has been identity. Who am I? What am I here for? For a while I was a student, then a teacher, then a wife and then a mother. At one time I was almost all of those at the same time. Then I stopped working and I was “just” a mother and a wife. As we have struggled with finances, my struggle with identity has greatly increased. It was in reading the first chapter of Wilken’s book that I realized that all this time I have been asking the wrong question. It’s not “who am I?” but “who is God?”

So often in my life I have identified with the Israelites. Wandering, complaining and just longing for something better than what they had. Longing for peace and security that they thought would come after they finally made it to the promised land. They wanted to be slaves again because it provided a security that they didn’t have while wandering in the desert.

But now, I’m almost realizing that I’m more like Moses. God tells Moses to “go” and Moses doesn’t say “ok!”, but rather he asks “who am I?” God then tells him “I will be with you.” But that isn’t enough. Moses asks “what should I do and what should I say to them?” And then God doesn’t answer his questions, but rather starts rattling off
who He is
what He has done
what He is doing
what He will do.
Moses begs to know who He is, but God answers with “I AM”.
and that should be enough.

Emily Freeman expands on this in her book by relaying what happened in the Garden. Our identity was challenged. We were no longer content to just be made in God’s image and reflections of His glory…we wanted to BE Him and HAVE His glory.

So all along my life, I have been striving to find my place and my role, when I should have been looking harder at who God is. For in finding and knowing who God is, I know who I am.

In searching the Scriptures to know more of who God is, I don’t lose myself I find out who I am. My identity isn’t lost in Christ – but found in Him.

And who I am is a creation, a poiema, a poem of God. We weren’t just “boom” created by God, we were crafted by Him. We exist out of His inner desire to bring glory to the Father. Every ounce of our being should move out of the place that reflects His glory. That is the core of who we really are.

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. ~ Romans 1:20

I pray that as I walk through this day that people have no excuse for not knowing God because they see Him instead of me.

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running and life

I’ve recently started running a couple of times a week. While I pretty much hate it, I’m convinced that the purpose of running is mainly to provide great metaphors for life. Today was a perfect example.

Our home is situated right inside an amazing park. My typical running day routine consists of me walking the kids to school and then instead of heading home, heading towards the greenway that runs through the park. It’s about a 2 mile run from where I start back to my house. I started out walking more than running and I’ve gotten a pretty good routine of walking some of the larger hills (of which there are 2) and running all the rest. I know where the smaller hills are and I know exactly how much I have to go before I get to walk again. It’s a battle of pushing myself and also knowing that I’ve done it millions of times already so I know I can do it.

Today was a hard day. I knew starting out that my body was not going to cooperate and it was going to be a good mental battle to keep going. There is one long stretch of running I do at the very end. It’s probably about half a mile (although it feels like 10) and I’ve run it successfully at least half a dozen times. But every time I have to battle those voices telling me to stop running, it’s too much, you need to stop and walk etc. So I have to remind myself that I’ve done this, I’ve run this path, I’ve run as far (and a couple of times farther) and I can make it.

I realized that this is my daily battle in life.

My husband and I are walking through the hardest battle that we’ve ever been in. While some of the hills we are climbing up aren’t new ones, there are some parts of this journey that we haven’t been through before. This is where that running analogy comes in.
We’ve been through some tough stuff. I’ve been through some tough stuff and
every. single. time. God has come through for me and for us.

But it’s a constant, minute by minute battle to stay on the course, to keep going, to stay hopeful and rest in the promise that I’ve walked this (or run this) before and will get through it.
Stronger than I was and full of more and more of His grace.

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my heart sings

Yesterday in church we sang the song Forever Reign by Hillsong. I love this song because of it’s simplicity and I’ve heard it and sung it a million times; yet yesterday was so different for me.

heart tree

When we got to the line “my heart will sing no other name…Jesus” I was hit with the question: “is that true?” And I thought, no it’s not. My heart doesn’t just sing Jesus.

My heart sings so many other things rather than Jesus.
And in my desire to be unrelenting, never ceasing, this year.
I choose to clear out all the other hums, songs, lyrics etc that are filling up my heart and enticing me away from singing His name.
I choose to stand confident in His love for me and run into His arms and into the riches that He provides.

One of the ways I choose to change the song of my heart is through counting blessings. I long to develop this as more than a habit and more than a Monday thing. I want it to be my constant.
That in counting my blessings my heart would sing Jesus

3 graces from people I love
morning coffee with my love
holding a sweet girl waking up in the morning (even though she doesn’t wake up so sweet!)
moments on the phone with a friend

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