Wednesday, February 6, 2013

making changes: overhaul vs. process

First post of February... I've been really busy doing lately.
In the doing, I've realized something about myself.

I am not a complete overhaul type of person. I am a "have-a-vision-and-take-tiny-continous-steps-over-a-long-period-of-time-until-it's-finally-a-reality" kind of person.

Sometimes I feel discouraged because the progress is slow, and I don't always see immediate results. But if I try to overhaul, I get completely overwhelmed and totally stressed. And I think I'd rather have occasional discouragement over constant stress.

So, that being said, it's really no wonder that a post that would have been more relevant Jan. 1st when everyone else was talking about New Years resolutions is just now coming out of me in February... it took a while for me to figure out what kinds of things I want to do differently, and I'm not really one to post about something I plan to do until I've actually started doing it. SO. Onto the changes themselves.

1. Be a godly mommy. 

I want to be the kind of mom that trains up her boys to love, know, and be in relationship with their Savior. I feel like a mom is your ultimate teacher in life, and above all I want to teach my boys to desire, crave even, the presence of Jesus in their lives. I want to put into action his love, his selfless-ness, his steadfastness... all so much easier said than done. I have this vision of having these mighty warrior men of God grown up sons someday... and being that quiet, encouraging, voice of wisdom behind them always pointing and directing their eyes upward. So how do I go about accomplishing this vision? It is going to take lifestyle changes, unwavering determination, and intentionality about what goes on in our days. For one, we had the tv on way more than I ever went into motherhood intending. It's been off for several weeks now. Not to say they never watch movies, or there's never cause for an occasional snuggle time watching something educational. But if I hit the power button to the tv, it is with intention, to accomplish a purpose, rather than mindlessly or because "that's just what we do." For another thing, we have started reading the Bible in the morning and at night. (And at nap time for Drew too) I had this desire to start early Biblical education for them back in the fall, and step one was buying a children's Bible for Drew for Christmas. But Shaun and I have made the decision that I'll read the Word to them in the morning, and he will do it at night. So we begin and end our day being intentional about filling our lives and thoughts with God's word. There are a lot more things I'd like to do and begin incorporating into our daily lives to point Drew and Isaiah to Jesus always, but this is our start. Like I said, I'm a one step at a time, gradual kind of girl.

2. Become more professional when it comes to photography 

Also something that's been on my mind pretty constantly for a long time now. But the new year seemed a good time to start making some of my ideas into reality. First, the identity package my sister designed for me is finally being printed (business cards and cd labels, specifically). In addition to having a new logo, I also came up with some really cute packaging ideas for my cds to make them a bit more professional when I deliver them to my clients. Second, we just bought a new computer yesterday so that I could load my new editing software onto it and begin upgrading the range of edits that I have available. In addition to the new computer we also got a 2 Tb external hard drive to back up our photos more reliably and free up space on the computer itself. And beyond that, I just recently purchased a new wide angle lens and a much better flash & diffuser for my camera.
But besides just the packaging and equipment side of things, I feel like I've really learned a TON when it comes to understanding and operating my camera to it's fullest advantage over the last year.
I am at the point where I am finally and fully comfortable calling myself a professional photographer. :)

3. Get some house projects done already! 

This one kind of relates to the previous one a bit... feeling more professional made me want/need a space that felt inspiring and organized to work out of. So we are partially finishing the unfinished side of our basement to be a shared office for me and Shaun. I have the paint for the concrete block walls but haven't gotten to start yet because I need Shaun's help moving some of the big pieces of furniture that are down there and he's been busy re-finishing furniture (a table for Darren and Steph, plus about three other things to go after that) Once we get the concrete walls painted the next step is to dry wall one wall (the one that my desk will face) and paint it a fun color. Also on the list for this project is refinishing my desk. (right now my beautiful new computer is set up on a makeshift desk of ply wood and random shelves...) Trying so hard not to feel impatient/discouraged when it comes to #3 and instead just be thankful that we have taken steps forward!

4. Begin eating more organically. 

This is something Shaun has been asking for us to do for a long time, but I felt too overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. (Because I was viewing it as something that had to be an overhaul rather than approaching it as a process) But some of the thoughts I shared in my last post have been inspiring me to really, seriously consider taking steps in this direction. We have taken what I consider to be step number one. Instead of buying our milk from the grocery store, and in a plastic container, we are getting it in it's raw form from Shaun's parents' dairy farm. We bought half gallon glass mason jars to store it in too. And yesterday morning Shaun made homemade butter from the cream! So exciting to me!! So with milk being our "step one" I would like to learn some uses for the buttermilk we got as a by-product of making butter, and I'd also like to learn to make homemade yogurt and sour cream from the raw milk. Hopefully I'll have gotten a few of those things accomplished by spring time, because that's when step two comes into play... I'd like to grow a little bit bigger of a garden than we did last year and preserve more of our own vegetables this time around. (Because going organic can be expensive, and we really don't want to increase our food budget, these seemed like two realistic ways to start the process) Another "one step at a time" idea that I had was that as we run out of things we have stocked in our pantry I will try to replace them with healthier options. For example, when we run out of sugar instead of just buying processed, shur fine sugar again I will replace it with organic sugar in the raw... that way we don't have to throw out or not use things we've already bought. Even if we never make it to being 100% organic, I feel like just these small changes can make a big difference for us.

Why do we want to eat more organically? Because every single thing we put into our mouths affects us. Every. Single. Thing. What's the first thing a doctor will tell a diabetic, or someone with high blood pressure, or someone with high cholesterol? Watch what you eat. Control it with your diet. Why does our society have such trouble with migraines and obesity and cancer and random aches and pains? Could a lot of it be traced back to diet and the fact that we eat so much processed, genetically altered, hormone injected junk? We've advanced our technology medically to make up for the fact that we eat things that are horrible for us. So we counter putting garbage in our mouths by taking medications that aren't natural for our bodies either. Could that be the reason why so many elderly patients suffer from dementia and are on a whole host of medications these days? I don't know. Maybe. Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for the medical community and for advances in medicines and technology and I'm thankful for grocery stores and the fact that I don't have to spend all day every day just surviving and doing everything myself. And I have a feeling it's going to be really hard to give up some of my favorite foods that don't end up fitting into the organic category. But I just think that maybe if our society took the way we eat back to the basics we could eliminate a lot of the problems we've caused for ourselves. Alright, I'll quit the rambling now. Onto thing 5.

5. Be more organized. 

I've been taking one thing at a time around our house and getting it organized and into a better system. Our master bedroom closet, my recipes, our laundry room, our office, etc. I'm working on a whole week of posts on organization to share things I've learned and to feature some guest posts by some friends who I think have a lot to offer when it comes to organizational advice. :) So I won't elaborate on this one until then... :)

So, are you a complete overhaul or a process kind of person??

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