First my reflections. 2008 was actually a really good year for us. The kids and I deepened friendships, made new friends, experienced new things, read great books. It's just been the last 2 weeks that have tainted the year. I refuse to focus on those last two weeks. Instead I'm going to focus on the rest of the year. Here's a list of a few favorite things in 2008:
Favorite new activity for the kids - We've gotten to do so many wonderful things this year that it makes it hard to choose! I think it was meeting the folks at Galloping Grace Youth Ranch and watching the kids learn to ride horses. This was not something I would have ever sought out on my own. I think that makes it even more special. The kids have learned about hard work, gently communicating with animals many times their size and the exciting self-confidence that comes with accomplishment.
Favorite book I read - Another tough one for me to narrow down. I don't read as much as I used to. Since having kids, I have a much shorter attention span. Plus I don't have the luxury of immersing myself in a book like I like to do, especially with fiction. I mostly have been reading non-fiction lately. Hmmm, I loved The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. We've been trying to be more mindful of our eating choices and how they affect our bodies and the planet, so these were two great reads. The other book that I recently posted about, Jesus for President, was definitely a favorite this year too.
Favorite project completed - I didn't do as much crafting in 2008 as I did in the previous year. Some soap, my Christmas projects, some unfinished sewing projects. But, I think my favorite completed project was my Cari-sized hula hoop. I love it! I haven't used it in the last two months so I'm definitely going to get it back out now! The one A is using is her own that we haven't decorated yet. I can't believe I don't have a picture of mine - mine is white, yellow and orange.
Now on to 2009. Several of my favorite bloggers have chosen a word to focus on for the coming year. I love that idea but have struggled to come up with one as I've thought about it over the last 2 days. Because of our current situation, I keep coming back to things like hope, perseverance, survival. I just don't like those words at all. Then today I thought "sustenance." This seems like a good fit. Here's why. Even without the layoff, my husband and I were hoping to move towards a simpler way of life. With the layoff, instead of a gentle stroll in that direction, we're having a major shove. We have had to reduce our expenses, something we had wanted to do anyway. We've had to cut all the meals out. Again, something we had wanted anyway. And this brings me back to the word "sustenance." Focusing on the simple requirements of living. Whole foods, growing some of my own food, reducing clutter, focusing on more handmade things and depending on God for His provision.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.Matthew 6:9-11 (King James Version)
Give us this day our bread. Our sustenance. Focusing on this day, I hope, will automatically reduce our waste. And hopefully, after we figure out our finances, can help us look beyond ourselves to other's daily bread. Maybe we can remember what it feels like to wonder about our daily bread and give in a way we haven't given before. That's my hope for 2009