"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy will." ~ Luke 1:38

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

~ Resolutions for 2014 ~

God's grace & love be to all...
So, I revisited last years resolutions and found that, somewhere along the line, I deviated from my original goal,  "Peace".  Ha-ha.  But, I vow to get back on track and make my home a peaceful sanctuary for my husband and children. 
Resolutions are supposed to help lead us to sanctity and holiness of life.
I love St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's resolutions, and often revisit hers to help direct my own.  Especially the first two:
to remember my infirmity and my sin
+ to keep the door of my lips
Finding a balance in life (because of ever-changing circumstances, etc.) can be challenging, exhausting and even disheartening.  Keeping resolutions takes a real conscious effort, discipline and unceasing prayer.

Looking back, it was helpful to keep my past resolutions.  Integrating previous years with the present year helps to form virtues in myself; virtues that can help me to become the person Our Lord has intended me to be.  I have a loooong way to go.  Each year, no, each day that I am given, can be a day that I strive to know, love and serve Him...how I accomplish this is what I resolve to do this new year!
Resolutions may be challenging, but I know I can rely on His grace to make it possible.  Remember:  "All things are possible with God."   ~ Matt 19:26

Speaking of grace...Jenny over at Plain Grace has a "Naming the New Year" link-up.  My "word" came to me almost immediately.  This Advent has helped me begin to peel away the layers of infirmity that I have placed on myself.  I know I need to increase my spiritual reading.  I know I need to devote more attention to my children (and less attention to outside charitable works - as wonderful as they are, they can be a distraction for what God has intended for me).  I know that I need to commit myself to the task at hand.  Meaning, when I am working, work.  When I am reading, read.  And when I am relaxing, relax (guilt-free!).

Below, I mention four categories that are important to me.  Several I have yet to detail out...but for now, this is what I have:


After much thought, I decided to go with the 'simplified planner' from Emily Ley.
I am SO excited to start transferring all my thoughts & plans into this planner!
I will miss the feast day dates that come with my previous Catholic planner, but the format (and space) will help me stay focused on my daily & monthly tasks.  And, I can use my calendar & yearly file system to help plan for the feast days in advance. 
This past academic year I found a planner that I have been really pleased with...but I would have liked some changes (sturdier tabs, larger/organized to-do area).  I found my current one by chance on clearance...it is a lot like the 'simplified planner', minus the sturdy tabs, organized to-do, and a few other features.

What sold me?
  • brass wire-o spiral binding
  • simplicity
  • daily view with 'to-dos' and meal planning
  • full month view (a must have for my brain)
  • weekly preparation list (Sundays, helping me get ready for the week)
  • durable cover
  • color coded tabs
  • protective corners (I haul my planner with me...it needs to be protected!)
  • elastic band holder (small feature, big help)
  • pocket inside (I always have receipts, papers, etc that I need...this is perfect)
  • go-to dinner ideas (making this an all in one

Daily Planner
Meal Planning


  • increase my water intake.  Fill my water container for the day so that I know I am drinking enough. 
  • 20 minutes a day?  at least!
  • sleep is essential; a minimum of 7 hours (this may be a challenge for me, but I know this will give me much more energy and I'll accomplish more each day).  Early to bed, early to rise!
  • eat real food, serve my family real food; hopefully my meal planning will keep me on track
  • properly cleaning and moisturizing (sounds obvious, but I have been know to skip when too tired at night) my face, twice, daily; manicure more often (I nearly always neglect my poor, overworked fingers & hands).


Reading:  Spiritual & Leisure
Doctrine Class:  1x/week


(work in progress)

Oh yes, my "word" for 2014 year is....(drum roll)....

I will SURRENDER all to God,
putting all my trust in Him.
He has a purpose for my life;
I will follow His path,
with His grace.

to yield (something) to the possession or power of another.
to give (oneself) up.
to give up, abandon, or relinquish.
to yield or resign. 

I speak an human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh. For as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity, unto iniquity: so now yield your members to serve justice, unto sanctification.  ~ Romans 6:19.      


  1. Really good post! The world seems to say scratch and kick and do whatever to get your own way. But that is not what the Bible says and not what works for me either,
    Surrender, just saying it makes me relax and take a deep breath.

    Happy new year to you and thank you for this good post.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Rhonda.
      Many blessings to you and your loved ones this New Year!

  2. One thing I've learnt about surrendering to God is to trust Him, with all the strength that we can muster, that His plans for us will be for the good.

    Great post Hand Maid. Thanx.

    God bless.

    1. I do need to have more trust in Him, and not question 'why, why, why?'
      Thank you for your encouragement, Victor. Much appreciated.
      God bless!

  3. Oh surrender...sometimes when a word like that comes to me, I want to say "WHAT!" Just shows I need to surrender more huh? I hope you will keep us up to date on your word for the year. And I loved your breakdown for the coming year. I still need to sit down and joy mine down.

    1. Thank you, Jenny. I know (for starters) that I need to surrender my strong will...even though I should 'know' that God is in control.
      As Victor mentions, surrender & trust go hand in hand...maybe there is something else that I need to uncover and that I need to work on.
      Pray for me! What I do know, is that I am a sinner. I hope that I am able to see all my infirmities...and to not avoid them a day longer.
      Your blog has been so helpful - mini-retreats for my soul.
      Thank you so much!

    2. When I think of the word 'surrender', I think of Our Lady and her "Behold the hand-maid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy Word." She is the perfect example of "surrender", isn't she?

  4. We generally think of surrender as a negative - as giving up something. But it seems to me that our Mother Mary lived surrender as a positive - the adventure of letting God carry her wherever He wished her to be.

    1. You are exactly correct, Anna. Similar, is the word 'submissive'...


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