2023 Faith, Family and Freedom

I’ll save you the new year resolution post. Each year I am tempted to do ALL THE THINGS. You know, the diet, the workout and every other healthy habit I can think of to start my year off with a bang. I’ve realized I am just setting myself up for disappointment and really there are other areas in life I should be more healthy. In the mere forty years I have been on this earth I discovered that change can only happen a little bit at a time. Striving for one percent improvement everyday has been my goal for the past ten years.

Ryan and I have also found a fun and easy way to catalog our previous year and categorize them into two lists, a positive column and a negative column. The idea came from Tim Ferris. The goal is to review your year and write down things that you would want to repeat and things you want to avoid in the coming year. This practice has become a fun way to relive our year and discover why we had a positive or negative experience. Ninety-nine percent of the time the negative experience comes from poor planning, lack of self control or not listening to the Holy Spirit. All signs point to walk away but I still fail to see the writing on the wall as I walk blindly into it.

Our mission for every year is to always focus and improve our faith, family and freedom. Faith because nothing is possible without the provision and grace of our Lord. Family is next because through parenting and nurturing our relationship with our family members we can change the world and inspire others. Freedom because life is meant to be lived and enjoyed without the invisible ties that society tells us we need in order to provide for our family and be happy.

Things that will be repeated in this new year are striving for a stronger faith life. God has not always been at the forefront of our lives. We have seen the difference when our worldly desires take control of our decisions. Our sense of contentment with our lives becomes skewed. How easy would it be to just do what is trendy and what the world advertises? To live a holy and peaceful life is not easy. The past year we have been listening to the daily gospel and praying a rosary every night. This year we are listening to Fr. Mike Schmidt’s Bible in a Year podcast on Hallow.

Although disconnecting from the roots we have in Texas has made focusing on our family much easier, we still run into the same worldly distractions we work to avoid daily. While life will always keep moving forward, we have found ways to slow down a little and make more connections with our children. Our daily schedules from our previous lifestyle in a house seemed much more demanding. We had events, practices and meetings during the week that interrupted family meals and our time together. I was surprised how even being nomadic, we can be easily pulled away from family time. I work to really focus on my children. I put my phone away and spend time memorizing the tiny features of the ever changing face in front of me. I ask questions and actually listen to their answers. A present parent has been the biggest gift I can give to my children and myself.

Freedom means being able to choose how and when we educated our children. Freedom means creating our own schedules to include quality time with our family. Freedom does not mean we play 24-7. Quite the opposite, in order for us to fully enjoy each other, work must be done first. Finding the right rhythm for us to thrive in a small living space, clean, cook and learn has been a challenge. Creating a lifestyle that allows us to have quality time with the family needs communication, cooperation and clear direction. I sometimes fail at all of these but having Ryan keep us accountable has been the biggest catalyst for change in our family. His task driven, list keeping superpowers have been the glue to this life we build. Our expectations of what we need from our family in order to make things run smoothly have become reality. Our meal planning saves us time in the evenings. Our daily and weekly routines give us freedom to day trip at a moments notice. Freedom is defined in our home as the power to choose how we live and work in order to provide the most holy and happy life for our family.

Our year will be filled with more trips to visit places we have never been. We of course will have a baby in the spring and enjoy family while we are staying in Texas. We plan to visit more churches and shrines that make us stop and give thanks for this lifestyle. We will travel to see spectacular views that this world has to offer. We plan to take everything that we have learned and use it to plan a future that is more intentionally focused on faith, family and freedom. Here’s to a new year and living out our dreams. To God be the glory.

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