It’s 2015. I’m back, and I have some goals.

Like it or not, it’s a new year, and I’m back to blogging!

With a new year come new goals.

My verse for the year is Ephesians 4:29. Words can hurt, or words can help. I get to choose. God has given me the gift of words; it’s my opportunity to use them to His glory.

Here are my two simple goals for the year:

  • Finish organizing my office.

My fantastic mother-in-law has set me up for success with this one. She not only spearheaded the effort to put together the shelves I purchased for the room, but she also has unpacked most of the boxes in that room. All I have to do is purge some things and organize it. Really, it’s that simple.

  • Build relationships.

I’m great at making plans that never happen. Months may pass by before I realize I have no idea what’s happening in a friend’s life. This year, I’m not going to wait until that “perfect moment” to get together with someone. This year, I’m just going to invite someone over for tea, or supper or whatever. It doesn’t matter if the kids interrupt 150 times, or if I haven’t mopped the floor in a while, or if I still have a messy pile of mail on the table. People are important. Relationships are important. Letting God use you in someone else’s life is important.

Do you have any goals for the year? Please share!

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Celebrating 10 Years of Marital Bliss (Mostly)

Today, Ben and I are celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary. 10!

Ben and Brie

Ben and me during a recent weekend trip to the lake

It’s been one heck of a 10th year:

I guess we like to lump all of life’s major events into a single year. You know, to get all of the really stressful life events out of the way all at once.

Ten years ago, back in 2003, it was a similar scene. Here’s what was happening:

  • My parents split up.
  • Ben and I bought our first house! (We were young and dumb. It was a great learning experience.)
  • I graduated from college.
  • I started a brand new full-time job.
  • Ben and I got married!
  • We both moved for the first time out of our parents’ houses.

It’s hard to believe 10 years has already flown by. When people tell you time flies, believe them. It does.

After one decade of marriage, we’ve certainly learned a lot about each other, ourselves and life in general. I won’t bore you with a long list of Lessons Learned. There’s really only one that’s important:

Put God first.

Always.

When you follow this rule, everything else falls naturally into place. Ben and I didn’t start out that way, and sometimes, we still need reminded. But when God opened our eyes and hearts to this simple Rule for a Successful Marriage, things changed, for the better. Way better.

 

So Long, 104 Madison

One last family photo in front of the house

One last family photo in front of the house

As of today, we are done with 104 Madison. It was a whirlwind of a month, but we did it. (Read about how we sold our house on April 2 here.)

It’s kind of a bittersweet goodbye, but mostly sweet.

We’ve got great memories:

  • It was Ben and my very first home. As he said, “I carried you over the threshold at that house.” Awwwww. That was in June 2003.
  • I learned how to cook in a kitchen that one of my friends describes as “the smallest kitchen I have ever seen.”
  • We learned how to put God first in our marriage. This was a game-changer for us. Do it. You’ll see what I mean.
  • It was a good “practice” house. Ben completed lots and lots of home renovations and repairs (with lots and lots of help from friends and family) during the last 10 years. We really learned a lot about what we do and don’t want in our next place.
  • We discovered that a toilet can be a real conversation piece. Many of our friends told us that we had “the only black toilet I’ve ever seen.” It came with the house, complete with a wooden toilet seat. It was hideous, but we never changed it because we always planned on gutting out that bathroom and starting over. We never did. You know how those things go.
  • We learned the importance of budgeting!
  • We brought home our first baby and our second baby to that house.

But, it was time to go. That charming little house just wasn’t working for us any more. So we’re living with the in-laws until we find a new place.

So long, 104!