Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Stacy Averette

It’s 1981 and I’m sitting on a church bus headed to an evangelism conference when a girl and her boyfriend sit down in front of me. I don’t know them very well but I notice the button on her sweater that says, “PBP GINF WMY”.  My thoughts drift as I try to figure out what the letters mean when I hear her explain, “Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet.” “I want one of those buttons,” I think to myself.

Tonight, some forty years later, I sit on my couch and think, “God still isn’t finished with me. I’m glad He’s a patient Father!”

And then I remember that God isn’t finished with any of us yet. We’re all a work in progress and as the Body of Christ we have the privilege of sharing our lives with one another (successes and failures), learning, growing, encouraging, praying, forgiving, listening . . .

Whatever is lovely

. . . think on these things. Philippians 4:8

In this season of life, “I’m finished” in a lot of ways. But new seasons bring new adventures and new stories to tell by how we live. Aren’t you glad that God invites us, challenges us, and helps us as we keep growing and learning in every season of life?

What a lovely thought!

Today I’m sharing a few of my intentions for this year. They’re simple and gentle changes that I hope will help me as a wife, mother, friend, writer, and business owner.

1. Pay attention to my health and fitness

My health and fitness goals have changed a lot over the years and that’s okay. Different seasons demand different intentions.

    • I’m carrying a little more weight than I’d prefer because I like to eat and I like a second helping! I’m trying to be a little more mindful about that.
    • I’m not as strong as I used to be and I know that’s part of aging. So I intend to work out 4 days a week for about 20 minutes. These days I prefer to work out at home. I follow a short DVD workout that only requires a few dumbells. There’s no dance moves (Lord, help me if I had to dance!) loud music, or hyper-fit instructor yelling at me. I don’t have any fancy or expensive exercise equipment either.

Progress report: Haven’t lost any weight. Still eating a second helping too often. (Hey, I’m a good cook!) I’ve exercised a few times a week (early morning before work) since the second week of January. I feel better and stronger already. Today I finally put the Christmas decorations in the attic. The storage boxes have been sitting in the garage since the last week of December. I’m calling that my exercise for the day!

2. Establish a daily writing habit

I love to write. Writing helps me think and make sense of my ideas. Most of my writing is done privately in a journal. I write out my prayers, questions, all kinds of lists, notes, and ideas. To be honest, I write for myself first. It’s my way to acknowledge and honor my relationship with God and tell the story of what He’s doing in my life. It’s nice to think that someone else might read what I write and be encouraged or inspired by it but in the end, it’s really just an ordinary act of obedience. It’s just me being me doing what I believe I’m supposed to do.

Progress Report: This has been a fairly easy intention to keep. I always have my journal with me and I write down what I don’t want to forget!  I’ve written on the blog consistently, too, even though that takes a lot more discipline. Write. Delete. Write. Edit. Write. Delete. It’s part of the process.

3. Get My House in Order

I’ve been decluttering for 35 years! I intend to go room by room again this year and get rid of stuff I don’t need or want anymore. (Also, I’m always making room for more good thrifted treasures!) I have 2-3 spaces in particular that I intend to focus on. Our garage, a closet downstairs full of boxes of pictures that date back to our childhoods, and our basement storage.

Progress Report: No major decluttering so far. During January, I decided to only focus on the 2 intentions I mentioned above  I’ve learned if I try to commit to too many changes at once I usually don’t follow through with any of them! I’ve taken a few things to the thrift store but I’ll focus more on decluttering in February!

4. Take more pictures with my Nikon

Eric bought me a good camera several years ago and I even took a photography class through Jacksonville State University’s Continuing Education program. It was all a little overwhelming and I didn’t keep practicing and I fell back into only using my iPhone. But my iPhone is an older model and doesn’t take great photos, especially for use on my blog.

Progress Report: I’ve made a little progress! Caleb’s girlfriend gave me some tips during the holidays that made a big difference in the photos I took on our vacation. Click here to see them. A friend from church who takes beautiful photos came over and spent two hours answering all my questions, giving me great tips, and encouraging me to practice! We had so much fun! I haven’t practiced as much as I’d intended because I’ve stayed focused on my first two intentions.

5. Focus on my family

Empty nest life is a new adventure but we LOVE our kids. They’re our favorite people in the world! Our oldest son and his wife live two hours west of us, our youngest son lives two hours east, and our daughter and her husband live 30 minutes south. They’re not that far away really but we’re all busy and have different schedules so it’s not always easy to get together. We’re all trying to be intentional about spending time together this year!

Progress Report: Well thank goodness for cell phones! We text and talk to them often and we see Maddie and John for just a few minutes at church each Sunday. “Hey, let’s meet halfway for lunch” is our February strategy!

6. Get Back to the Budget

In this new season, we’ve had to readjust to how we spend and save. Empty nesting brings some financial freedom but we’ve been 100% self-employed for two years and that’s quite an adjustment with lots of new expenses. I feel like I’m having to relearn how to manage everything all over again!

Progress Report: Last October I lost years of financial data I’d saved on my computer. I was frustrated with my bank (long story) and angry with myself. I spent weeks trying to fix it with the help of some “experts” but in the end, it couldn’t be fixed. Starting over forced me to simplify and get back to the basics and it’s been the best thing I could have done! Technological progress isn’t always “progress”!

The Takeaway

God isn’t finished with us yet! Every day, every month, every year is a new opportunity to start over. Let’s be kind to ourselves, be honest about what we can actually accomplish and what’s really important to us.

I am thankful for His compassion and patience, aren’t you!

Do you have any intentions for the year? I’d love to hear about them. You can send me an email or comment below.

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