Saturday, December 31, 2011

365 Choices.

I'm not usually the 'New Years Resolution' kind of girl.  Probably has something to do with needing to commit to something for longer than 2 days.  I'm not great with commitment - I start something, fully intending to finish it.  Like a good book.  I love to read.  I love to sit down under a warm blanket with a good book.  Do I ever do this?  No.  Never.  Because halfway through, I let other things get in the way...and the book goes completely unfinished.  Then guilt sets in.  Yes, I'm serious.  Unfinished book guilt.  "If I were a grown up, I would finish this."  or  "If I were more cultured, I would read this to the end.".  Ridiculous, but scarily true.

This year, I'm going to do it.  I'm going to resolve to make some changes.  Easy, good changes.  Changes that are actually attainable.  And once I hit the 'publish' button here, then it's out there for the whole world (well - the 200 or so that read along) - and then there's no going back.  Because how embarrassing would it be to be caught with unread books lying around my house after I resolved to read cover to cover?  Humiliating, I'm sure.

My Walk.
+Praying for my guy each day.  I fail at this most days.  No more.  
+Speaking positively.  I can be a bit of a negative nancy.  I think it's because those negative things are what stick out from my day - so that's what I talk about.  Fail.  
+Giving more time to the Lord.  Spending more time in His word.  Being intentional about it.  With a little boy running around - I need to be intentional.  

My Blog.
+Since this is the 'scrapbook' of our lives, I need to be intentional about spending time here.  Make it count.  And then walk away.  No - I don't spend hours here...usually just an hour or so during nap time.  But even that has become a bit too much.
+Aside from our own 'scrapbook' - I want to use this blog to honor Christ.  I'm not sure what that looks like yet - but I want it to be a sacred, holy place.

My Family.
+Praying together more.  Instead of a quickie prayer before each meal - a true, honest, heart-felt one.  
+Forming mission-minded kids.  Yes - Carter has been home less than 2 months.  And yes, the learning starts now.  We have several families in our church whose kids are constantly reaching out to help others. Others in their neighborhood - others across the world.  I want kids like that.  But it doesn't just happen.  It requires work - and I'm willing to do what I need to.  
+Growing in the word - together.  Carter included.  He'll know it - and he'll know that we love it, by watching us study it. 

My Home.
+How about forgetting about perfection and just striving for 'good'?  More time with the little boy, and the big boy.  Win-win.  
+Making real meals.  Enjoying myself while I do it.  There will be burnt meals, there will be 'interesting' flavors...but it will be real food, enjoyed by the fam.  
+Keeping the home a safe, spirit-filled watching what I say and how I say it.  By making sure the movies, TV, & music in this home are honoring.  By choosing wisely the people that we allow into our home.  By welcoming Christ into our day, every day.  
+Waiting to turn on the TV until nap time.  Most days, I succeed.  I don't want my kids to see me sacked out on the couch.  I don't want my butt glued to that spot - eyes on the tv.  I've seen so many mamas do this - and I refuse.  

See the problem?  That tilted frame.  I will not let the fact that it's ALWAYS slightly crooked drive me nuts!
My Dog. 
+Yes, my dog.  He gets neglected now that little boy is home.  And I feel bad about it.  I'll be making sure this guy gets the love & attention he needs.  A treat here, some extra pets there....because he's family, too.

+Reading a book.  I'm starting with one, people.  Cover to cover - no stinkin' excuses.  Got a good suggestion?  Let me know what you like to read.  Under 400 pages, please :)
+Feeling okay about where I am.  Knowing that I'm a work in progress.
+Spending more time working with little boy.  On all kinds of things.

Feeling overwhelmed?  I am.  A little.  I know that I will fail at so many of these things.  A year from now  - many of these things will be on my 2013 list....I just know it.  And that's okay - because I'm a work in progress, remember?!  I'll do what I can, when I can.  And that's good enough for me.


A friend recently emailed and invited us to dinner with him and his wife.  He said he was celebrating a big milestone anniversary, and he wanted us there.  It wasn't until later that we found out what they were celebrating.

7,500 days of marriage.  And for each day, he gave her a penny.  When he pulled out that big jar - I couldn't help but think that each penny represented a memory.  A meal at the table.  A day in the life.  The birthdays.  The Christmases.  The bedtime tuck-ins.  The arguments.  The good times.  The bad times.

Each penny represented a choice.  A choice of blessing or cursing.  A choice of positive or negative.  A choice of worry or worship.  A choice of joy or bitterness.  A choice.

7,500 choices, actually.

And it reminded me that each day - I have a choice.  You have a choice.  What will I choose?  Somedays, I'll choose wrong.  And I'll go to bed sad and hurt.  But the good news....?  The next day, I have a brand new choice.  

A brand new shiny penny, which I can choose to spend however I wish.


2012...filled with 365 choices.

One Thing I Know For Sure: All resolutions aside - I'm choosing wisely, this year.


  1. I've been following your blog since before you met Carter the 1st time - thanks for sharing your journey. I'm not an adoptive mom, but I am an adopted daughter, so following adoption blogs is of interest to me & I believe God is using them to shape and mold me for something in my future! You asked for book recommendations & I have 2, you can pick: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp or Real Mom, Real Jesus by Jill Savage. Jill Savage is having an online book study with her book via Facebook beginning 1/9/12 if you care to participate you can check it out. Blessings to your beautiful family in the new year!

  2. Very nice perspective Ashley! I think I will take you up on this good advice! btw I defiantally recomend any book by Karen Kingsbury! My favorite has been Unlocked.

  3. Read "The Help." Excellent book.

  4. Wow, I've missed a lot on your blog recently! Glad the holidays went well, and happy to hear Carter seems to take life all in stride. What a blessing.
    The newspaper article was so special, as are the photographs of Carter. They are fantastic! What a cutie, and what a extraordinary photographer you are. You could have a career. I'll keep you in mind for Aidan's next photo shoot. Thanks for sharing all your resolutions. It really is about living each day to the fullest. But the old soul you are already knows that. I have crooked pictures, and way too much clutter. Drives me bonkers. I want more space, a bigger house, yada, yada. Perspective would be a greater gift.

  5. Ashley, first, I love your pictures! 2nd, your perspectives on life are so refreshing to read about. I love keeping up with your new life with Carter and how positive you choose to be. Bless you girl! Say hi to Jake for me, hugs to you all!! :)

  6. I just found your blog and I love it! I’m definitely following! I love your new addition and actually had my eye on him for awhile. He’s a keeper! Congratulations!


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