Thursday, January 7, 2010


I love lists. Ask Mike. Ask the girls. Everything important, or even unimportant, always begins with a list.

What do I need at the store? Let's make a list!
What should we plant in the garden? Let's make a list!
Who has ideas for Family Home Evening? Let's make a list!
What projects need to be done around the house? Lets make a list!
What should I do today? You guessed it...Let's make a list!

I'm NOT exaggerating.

Unfortunately, just like Danielle, I'm a great starter, but a lousy finisher. I think that's why I felt so drawn to her notion of New Year's resolutions. No lists. (gasp!) Nothing to fail to check off...yet again. Just a simple theme. A way to live rather than living by specific details that tend to be overwhelming, at least for me. Perfect. Now, what should this theme be? What do I really want to accomplish this year, and how do I embody the intent of my resolutions for 2010 in one word?

I started looking for inspiration in some of the changes we (our family) and I have been diligently trying to make over the last couple of months.

Just like last year, Mike's work has slowed to a halt during the holidays, so we've really been feeling the pressure of having no income other than the mortuary since before Thanksgiving. I went through my couple of days of deep depression, and plead with the Lord for some direction. The next day, Mike came home from a sweet lady's house with a book in-hand. Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. I'd heard of him. I'd heard great things about him. But I had never taken the time to listen to him or read his book. I sat on my "spot" on the couch and proceeded to read the entire thing in one fell swoop. It was like drinking water after crawling through Death Valley. I knew this guy knew what he was talking about and I knew we had to follow his program if we wanted our life to change at all. Once again, I felt impressed that we should sell the Expedition. Up until this point, I had rationalized keeping it every time I got that impression. This time was different. We immediately cleaned it up and put it up for sale. It was gone within 2 days. The timing was impeccable because the kids were out of school, so I didn't have to worry about carpool for a while. We've figured out that the truck will do until next month when we get our tax return and we'll buy an old used van for a few hundred bucks. (Fingers crossed it will not turn out to be a lemon...)

Our next step was to start selling stuff. We've been taking an inventory of the things we own and have realized we simply don't need it all. has become my new best friend and everything I've posted has sold within a day. Providential? I think so. Even without an income, we've been able to meet our financial obligations thus far.

The old addage, "Fix it up, wear it out, make it do or do without," has become somewhat of a mantra for me as I've reorganized, purged and cleaned with a fierceness I haven't felt before. Dixon's crib has gone from girly white to a deep espresso that looks fantastic against his newly painted sage green walls. My Grandma Martindale's dresser and vanity have become a labor of love as I've stripped and sanded and scraped and stained and varnished for 3 days to get them back to their former 40's/50's glory, and it can now be passed on to my children and their children as a kind of heirloom.

Not only have we been giving ourselves a financial makeover, but Mike and I have resumed our morning gym visits and are overhauling our meal choices. We're certainly feeling better because of it.

So, with lots of time spent away from the internet over the last couple of weeks, I've pondered deeply what kind of life I want to lead in 2010. I really couldn't have encapsulated what I envision my year to be like any better than this:


1. the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment.
2. the state or fact of being restored.
3. a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition.
4. restitution of something taken away or lost.
5. something that is restored, as by renovating.
6. a putting back into a former position, dignity, etc.

I will live a life of restoration this year, and I can't wait.


Tasha said...

That's awesome Amanda! I loved that idea on Bloom too. But I haven't come up with my word yet. Yours sounds perfect and I am so glad you guys have been able to make ends meet during this time. It's always amazing how things work out when we follow the promptings we get. Scary but rewarding. Thanks for the inspiration.

Jen said...

I love this post and the idea of a theme. I too, get caught up in lists and while I accomplish them, they don't seem to move me closer to the real goals we have set for ourselves. I'm constantly putting out fires instead of "nourishing" my forest. Make sense? Thanks for the inspiration...

Meredith said...

We talked about lists on Sunday. How do we all accomplish everything on our lists? One girl said she makes a list at the end of the day of all the things she accomplished and she gets to cross everything off of her list. So if you still have a need to make a list (which if I know you well, you do) make one that builds your self-esteem! Love you!