When I was younger, I used to write the dreams I had for my life all the time; pretty much My List of Things to Do Before I Die. Then I grew closer to God and realized life is about so much more than having a list of selfish ambitions like wanting to swim with dolphins, meet Bill Cosby, and back-pack through Europe. I became content with "going with the flow," God's flow, to be cheesy, and I stopped writing down goals I had for myself. I figured God would take me where he wanted to take me, as long as I was following and submitting to him, and that he wanted me to spend my time growing closer to him, caring for the poor and needy, and being content with whatever situation I am in. Ultimately, this change was very good for me, because I learned to not be concerned with the things of the earth, but instead, to be concerned with the things of heaven.
The other night, John talked to me about having goals for myself and writing them down. Even though I did this all the time as a kid, it was a novel idea, in a sense. It hadn't crossed my mind, and I was used to that meaning writing down petty things, and most likely things I would never accomplish. (I highly doubt I will ever back-pack through Europe. However, if God ever wants me to do so, I will happily oblige.) So here is my new, revised, and sensible list of goals for my life. I prayed over them and even took a few out. Everything on my new list is generally things I've always had in my mind, but never took the time to write them down, or even actively try to obtain them. I feel like nothing on this list goes against what God's will is for my and John's life, and that rather, everything is pointed towards his plan.
My (New) Grown-Up List of (Sensible) Goals and Aspirations :)
1. To live for heaven. To be concerned with the things of heaven instead of the things of earth. To be mission-minded, and to love and serve Christ.
2. To be able to see and unselfishly submit to God's will for my and John and our family's life.
3. To be married to John for the rest of my life. To continually learn more about him, love him with a 1 Corinthians love, and respect and honor him. To grow with him and mold our relationship into one that is pleasing to God.
4. To be a good mother to my children. To be an example for them to follow, and to teach them wisdom. To lead them to follow Christ, love people, be content, and have missionary hearts.
5. To homeschool my children as long as it is God's will for our family and each individual child.
6. To start up my photography business and be successful. To acquire a small business license, design a website, have adequate advertisement, and perfect my skills and creative vision as a photographer.
7. To finish school and earn my bachelor's degree. To stay focused and on top of my schoolwork, and to pass every class.
8. To pay off all my and John's college debt in a matter of a few years, not twenty or thirty years.
9. To buy a house that will be conducive for our growing family.
10. To be able to support a large family.
11. To adopt a child or children.
12. To write a book and have it published.
13. To be able to help and support my children financially when they go to college and start off on their own.
14. To be more creative and to actively create.
15. To live and eat healthily and exercise, and to teach my children to do the same.