Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why We Make Goals

 
  
 

I myself have never been a very organized person....just ask my family. This year as many of you who have been readers know that we are on our journey to "simplify." I always adored the perfect looks of fellow bloggers home, and compared myself to them. Why cant I follow through with my goals like them? Why can't I keep a spic and span home ready for company at the drop of a hat? My list of questions was a mile long. I was making goals that were solely born from the guilt of not measuring up to others. I realized  how superficial I was being by comparing myself to someone else who number one I was not anything like and number two I needed to celebrate who The Lord created me to be. Goals are about being a good steward and cultivating what you have been given and where you are in life. I begin to look at my life and realized I was living the ultimate life that I had dreamt of as a little girl. I have an incredible husband, three beautiful children, and living the western way of life on the family ranch. We wanted for nothing. I realized that it was time to look at the big picture and to see where I wanted my family to be in the long run. It was time to do some serious soul searching and dig deeper than what I wanted my life to appear as. 

Today my feelings and prayers were reaffirmed as I listened to the Goal Digger Podcast that a friend had shared on Facebook. I strongly encourage you to take a listen, as a mom who seriously has a limited amount of time for anything extra Podcast have been wonderful. While I'm cooking, cleaning, folding laundry I'll turn a podcast on and indulge in being poured into. I wanted to share a few things that hit home with me through this podcast that I hope can help you in your goal setting. 
 
1) Goals may be for a season 
Wow, just WOW! I've never thought of this in my life. Your goals might be a new business venture or simplifying your belongings. All goals are not long term. Also you totally have permission to change your mind along the way to your goals of how you may go about achieving them. I also love the idea of refreshing your goals every few months. We as people change our minds and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Embrace your goals and don't be afraid of tweeking things in the long run. 
 
2) Look at the Big Picture
When making your goals think of how this will help your life actually be better and not just appear better. Where do you want to see yourself when you're 80? I know exactly where I want to be. I want in my rocker on the front porch keeping my great grandchildren and family dinners every Sunday. I want my life to always revolve around my faith and family. I encourage to always dig deeper when you're making your goals. This I feel has really helped me keep on track. I mean coming into March and I'm still on board...that's saying something for me. It's all about uncovering goals that are already there. 
 
3) Learning from the Past
Lessons we learn from the hard things propel us forward into what is next. Just let that set in for a moment. Just because we don't achieve our goals the first time we set out doesn't mean there was a reason God put that trial in your way. He may be wanting you to learn something to help you in the journey to acheiving. 
 
4) Finding Inspiration
The lady said that she was a personal trainer at one point. She had a male client that wanted to lose 20 pounds. She asked him why and he said because that's what he weighed in college. She said that wasn't much inspiration to keep going each day at the gym. She asked him to dig a little deeper as to why this was his goal. He came back to day because he wanted to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. Wow, now that's some inspiration. Instead of just wanting to look good in a bathing suit why not think of the big picture of being there for family. Be in the moment and make those memories. 

I hope this helped you as much as it did me. I feel so refreshed in my goals in knowing that there's much more than a set goal to comeplete, but a lifestyle change that will help me hang onto these fleeting moments with my husband and children. We will be able to look back and smile at how simple the times were and how we enjoyed each other. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

5 Steps to a Simpler Life

 


2017 has had it's up and downs...yes I know it's only February. But as a family beginning our journey to a simpler life it hasn't been a rose garden. We started the year with the best of intentions jumping head first  into simplifying our belongings. Then we were hit with three weeks straight of sickness that put a complete hold on our progress. This brought great stress as the house in my opnion was in "shambles." I began to feel defeated and frustrated. There has been a lot of trial and error in this journey, and I'm not saying that we've got it all done, because we still need to make a few more trips for donations and the dump. 

Although my intentions were to simplify our belongings it was laid on my heart that life itself was way cluttered and not by just belongings. I wanted to stop and take time to cultivate a deeper relationship with my children. It's hard to accept that I have five years to instill the values we want them to have as a foundation. Once they start school they will have complete strangers "raising" them as they will spend more time during the week with our children then we will. My husband and I have talked about how we want to make the most of the time we have by teaching them responsibility, respect for others and nature, cultivating what they have been given, and love. These are things that aren't evident to us in today's society. We want our children to grow up knowing how loved they are but knowing that they aren't entitled to anything and that honesty and hard work will get you somewhere. 

Even though we are in the beginning stages I have found five steps that have helped us get a foot in our goals for 2017 

1) No Technology
We do not own iPads, tablets, or gaming systems. We encourage them to use their imaginations by lots of time in their playroom and outside time. We have limited television time way back from what it has been in the past. They are allowed two sessions of controlled television time. 

 
 
2) Family Projects
You can make this as simple as you'd like. We started by baking cookies together and washing dishes while having a kitchen dance party. We made a volcano as a family yesterday from mud and grass. You would have thought that we were at Mount Vesuvius by their excitement. This also goes along with don't be afraid to make messes. I was told by a mentor mom that she wishes she would have realized that all messes can be cleaned up and to enjoy the memories being made instead. 

 

3) Practice Compassion
As a ranching family we have plenty of avenues to teach our children compassion. From loving one another to caring for all the animals on the ranch. We care for the horses as family. We feed, groom, and ride as a family. We also have cats and dogs that the kids are very hands on with. Pecos Jane loves that she has the responsibility of feeding and watering the cat. We all know how nice it feels to have a job and be appreciated for it. 

 

4) Be Adventurous 
The weekends have been devoted solely to family time. Even when it was cold we would spend time making paper airplanes and having contest with them. On these warmer weekends we have been fishing, hiking, riding ponies, picnics, and even having naptime in their tent and teepee in the yard. We are going to start a wildflower and bird watching journal this spring as well. 

 

 
 5) Spending more time at Home
I seriously have left the house about three times in the last three weeks. Spending more time at home is a huge help for us financially and in return we are more creative with our time. We always look for the adventure in our days and enjoy the simple things. With summer coming we have already began working on our spaces for our family garden. We have been picking weeds as a family. We talk about how much fun it will to be growing our own fruits and vegetables. Pecos says we will be like our own grocery store. I love to see the excitement we all share for this project. I can't wait to teach them more about hard work, responsibility, and cultivating what you have and multiplying it. 


 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dinosaurs in my Bed

 

I grew up in a house full of sisters. I was stuck right in middle of it all. We were all four years apart, thankfully for the sake of our reputation, we got to do high school solo of each other. It would total social suicide to have a little sister following you around. 🤣 But this didn't mean we didn't have our fair share of fights over who was wearing who's clothes and boys. We had our fair share of screaming matches and fist fights, but hey it's family. But we grew up in a girl's world and that is all I knew with the exception of working like a boy  on the family ranch. 

My life revolved around all things girl until June of 2014 when we welcomed Taos Ray to the family. If I'm being honest with y'all I was a nervous wreck. I had no idea what in the world to do with a little boy. But when I laid eyes on that sweet baby boy I was a goner. I was smitten by his bear like paws and constant need for me. He was a huge mama's joy from the get go. Little did I know this would carry on into toddlerhood. There is just a certain sweet bond between a boy and his mama. 

 

Little boys are a whole new ball game. Give them a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, shoes, and hat and they're good to go. The adventure and imagination that inhabit my little man's body never cease to amaze me with each day. I love that he can play for hours and love listening in on his monologue amongst his trains, cow trucks, dinosaurs, and even when he plays "daddy"'with his big sister. He is tough as nails but has such a tender side when it comes to loving his girls, Mama, big sissy, and baby sissy. 

At the end of the day when they're finally in bed and my house looks like the Red Cross should be arriving any moment, my mama heart is so full. Reflecting on the day of even how much frustration it may have been full of, I think of the day when he doesn't need me to kiss ouchies, wash his hair (as he howls like a cat being baptized), or to fill that milk cup for 10th time. I'm raising someone's future husband and daddy. I know in my heart I'll never feel any girl is good enough to care for my boy as he deserves, but I must remind myself that it's my job as his mother to raise him to be the godly man for my future daughter in law and grandchild. Though this thought makes me cringe it excites me!

 

So as I lay my head down in my bed and feel something stabbing me in the leg and reach under the cover to find a sweetly place dinosaur I'm reminded to pray for Taos. I pray that the Lord would make me the mother he needs and deserves to raise him to be a strong and tender man. I know as he grows up we will face different challenges along the way and my prayers will morph to fit different situations. 

Love this prayer from Proverbs 31 Ministries

1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).

2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).

3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).

4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him, and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).

5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the tools of Your Word and prayer to fight the battle for our sons’ hearts. Help me see who our real enemy is when we are in a conflict. May You be glorified in all I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


 



Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Husband's Love Language

 

As a rancher's wife I spend a lot of time alone. Most days he's gone long before sunrise and home long after the sun sets. It's a very rewarding lifestyle as we get to raise our children in wide open spaces and teach them responsibility, care, and nurturing of God's creations. 

I as a wife and mother take on a lot of responsibilities around the home as my husband spends most of his time taking care of cattle, mending fences, and so on. I find myself becoming very selfish as I feel that he just "looks for things" to keep him from home. The devil tells me that maybe he's tired of me or he just doesn't want to help with the kids. I get in these terrible funks of becoming hateful toward him when he finally gets home way past the kid's bedtimes. When I've spent all day cleaning up mess after mess, feeding, bathing, and tucking in the kids all by myself in yesterday's day spit up stained clothes.  The daily grind gets hard to bare, and when he gets home I'm short with him. 

These days are more often than I'd like to admit to y'all. But today I was poured into by a panel of wonderful and godly mentor mothers. A man's sole "love language" as you might call it is providing for his family. He measures his worth as a man and feels the pressure of judgement from the outside world on his ability to provide. This spoke to my heart and completely broke me. How could I be so cold and frustrated toward my husband when all he wants to do is provide for his family by keeping a warm home, meals on the table, and ensuring he can spoil the kids and I? This kind hearted loving man works his mind, body, and soul to their breaking points for me and his children. What better picture of love could a woman ask for? 

Today he is out there doctoring yearlings in freezing temperatures  and howling wind for us. Today I will not complain that he might get home way after dark, I will not complain that he gets to take an hour long bath while I bathe and tuck the kids in, instead I will shower him with the grace and love that my savior showers me in so underservingly daily. I will have a smile on and a hug and a kiss waiting for him when his boots hit the doorway. I will have a warm meal waiting for him to be put on his plate, because I know he rarely even stops for lunch most days. I will affirm how wonderful he truly is, and ask how his day is instead of complaining of how tired I am. I choose to remember just why I fell in love with him 8 years ago, and reflect on that daily to keep our relationship fresh. There are days I think he's the worst ever and days I follow him around like a lost puppy. I want him to know just how much I treasure him and the sacrifices he makes for his family. After all we have a lifetime to enjoy together. 

I'm excited to feel "poured into" today! I just had to share with y'all today! 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Simplify 2017

 

Happy New Year!! My family is coming into 2017 with prayers of positive things! I have chosen SIMPLIFY as my word going into the new year. There are so many areas of my life that I have allowed to become overwhelming and messy. My heart the last month has been extremely overwhelmed with all that has been on my plate. I have come to the realization that I indeed CANNOT do EVERYTHING. I spread myself so thinly that I couldn't even enjoy the SIMPLE JOYS of life. That just is NOT ok!

So with all this being said I have had to remove myself from all things that I feel complicate or clutter my life, one being fashion blogging. I'm ashamed to say that I was so caught up in "keeping up with Jones" that I didn't ever slow down to spend that extra money and time on my children. I became the mother I never wanted to be. I know I missed out on a lot of cuddles, games, and sticky kisses. I'm thankful that eyes became open to this much sooner than later.  

 It is with regret that I tell y'all  that I will no longer be writing for the North Texas Farm and Ranch magazine, as I'm sure you may have noticed my page missing in this month's issue. I feel that I'm in a different season of life and that there are plenty of talented women who would take the job in a flash. 

 

As I came to grips with my new resolutions for 2017 it left me with much excitement along with a very cluttered home. There are so many articles of clothing just hanging in my closet begging for someone to wear along with clothing that I haven't worn in over a year. I decided simplifying my closet would be a wonderful thing to do. Donate most and sell a few pieces, sounded like a good plan to me. But the more I thought about the new year approaching I got to thinking why stop there? Why not go further? Why not start a new journey? 

I have always adored the "minimalist" look on social media. How beautifully simple it was. So I began to research to truly know and understand what minimalism is. The truth is there are different levels of minimalism. There are people who only own 25 things and just travel with a house or car not being on of those items. There are also people who enjoy the "family life" that own a home and car, but have simplified to having only what is needed. Minimalist are
people who have simplified their lives and found the actually joy of what really matters in life. Materialistic things don't mean anything, it's the people in your life and the relationships and memories that you cultivate with them.  I find sheer beauty in the thought of having just enough, this is what I based my happiness off of in college when I met Cameron. I remember the exact words of "I'd be happy living in a cardboard box as long as you were there with me" coming from my mouth. And now I have fallen into the world view of what success is....buy this buy that.  I have watched people on social media look so happy with all their new stuff, and maybe that did make them happy. I know with me that happiness was very fleeting. It was more like attaining that something then immediately looking to what was the next big thing. And you know what that left me with? Emptiness and a cluttered filled home. 

 

So I am beginning my journey of my very own minimalism. I like to think of it was "ranch home minimalism." I'm starting with myself. I will not only be simplify my own belongings but also my commitments. I need the word of the Lord poured into me this year. I have been deeply hurt by a church so much so that I am ready to move on. I'm ready for my heart to learn forgiveness toward them, but first I have to be poured into. I spent my whole church membership there pouring into others. I'm excited to find a new church home that my whole family not only feels the presence of the Lord but feels welcome and loved. 

I'm very excited about my minimalism journey to begin. There will be a great garage sale in the Finney's future. 

Also this will be the year that I start my own garden. My sweet husband bought me so many seeds for our anniversary and I didn't get a single vegetable grown. Not only do I want to use this as a way to save money for our family, but as a way to teach my children. I want them to learn responsibility and show them that hard work pays off. It will be a fun learning experience for all of us. 

 

I know I have rather large goals set for myself this year, but what I want most of all is to enjoy every little thing. I want to slow down, breath deep, and find the true joy of what the Lord has blessed me with. I don't even really have a complete plan and list as to how I will reach my goal, but I have faith that by taking it slowly and a whole lotta praying I will get there. I pray for steadfastness, forgiveness, faith, joy, love, health, and to simplify this coming year. 


Photography by Sarah Lanette Photography