Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goals for August

Yesterday I shared how I did on my goals for July. Today I am going to take you through my goals for August! 


1. Take the ugly runner off our stairs.

Before we moved to this house in March we painted every wall and baseboard, took down ugly vertical blinds, and anything else we found offensive to our eyes, except this stair runner. Here is a photo of the progress made so far. Basically, we have just painted the walls. Only the stair runner remains but its days are now numbered!

Granted, it is providing a cushy feeling for our tootsies and helping keep the little ones from slipping, but it's time to rip it out and find a better solution. I have had a plan for this stairwell since before we moved in and it is time to get it started. We do also hope to eventually install some board and batten similar to this image down these stairs and throughout the main areas in the basement.

But for the stairs themselves there are two options I am considering for replacing the runner - either painting them exactly like the image on the left (with a special compound you add to the paint that makes it grittier and non-slippery) or replacing it with a pretty new runner like the image on the right. I welcome your input on which one you like better or if you have an entirely new suggestion! Let me know in the comments below. I'll keep you posted as our plans come together and we start making some progress.


But the first step is getting rid of the old! So that's on the to-do list this month!

2. Go on a spending freeze.

Phil and I have done this a few times and we find it's a good practice a few months out of the year. For that month we cut any extra spending - eating out or grabbing a coffee, any home decor items (even if I find a great deal), Netflix, clothing, etc. Anything outside of our regular necessary bills, committed giving, food, and gas is cut out for one month. It's great for the bank account and it's both revealing and good for our hearts. It's so easy to fall into finding pleasure in accumulating or buying the next new thing. But there is great satisfaction to be found in contentment, being grateful for all that I have and remembering I am not meant to love things, experiences, or status. I'm to love relationship, with God and people. As a Christian my treasure and status will be found in heaven, in eternity - not here. So my life and attitude should reflect that. I was really convicted reading through 1 John the past few days.

1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)

"Do not love the world nor the things if offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever."

What an accurate description of our culture today - pride in our achievements and possessions. And a craving for everything we see (hello, that's me on Pinterest!). I too easily follow right along with it and contribute to the problem of comparison instead of love. It's not easy to tame our impulses and wants for a month, but we have always found it beneficial.

Some of you may be thinking this perhaps contrasts with my first goal. It's a valid point and I feel the tension of it. It's something I've been praying through a lot as I've relatively newly discovered a deep passion for decorating my home the past few years, while also wrestling with the excess it can tempt you towards. I think it comes down not so much to whether you decorate your home intentionally or not, but your heart and purposes in doing it. But I could be fooling myself. It's likely something I will blog about in the near future. If you have any thoughts or insight on this, I'd love to hear what you think. 

3. Meal plan every week. Infuse some variety into our diet!

We don't have air conditioning in our house (all the more reason we are grateful for our pool), so during these boiling hot months the last thing I want to be doing is turning on my oven. This means I need meals that are either quick on the stove top, can be grilled on the BBQ, or don't require any cooking at all. The problem is, I am the least creative person when it comes to cooking. I feel like we have been eating very repetitively and expensively because I haven't been planning our meals out. So I'm hoping to see my grocery bills go down as I plan seven days worth of meals and snacks each week and can then shop only for what we need.

If you have a great, simple summer dinner that doesn't involve using the oven, please share in the comments below! I'm desperate for inspiration! 

4. Read 2 more books.

My goal is to read 20 books this year. At this point I have read 11 so far and am right on track to reach my goal as long as I keep up with 2 books a month. Last month's two book selections were not well thought out - I just grabbed what was accessible. They were okay, but definitely not favourites. I'd love any book suggestions you may have for me! What are your favourite reads lately? Leave a comment below. 

5. Have a weekend away at the cottage with family.

I was supposed to have this booked and planned a month ago, so I am going to need to act quickly! We are looking forward to getting away with Phil's family for some quality time together in the sun and water. We haven't done this together since the summer of 2011 so we are really looking forward to it. (And if you have a cottage available for rent near the end of the month, let me know!)

6. Make a blogging schedule.

So far I am a fairly sporadic blogger. I would like to figure out a schedule that works for me and post on the same day(s) every week so you can know when to expect a new post. I am sure I won't always stick to it, but at least a bit of structure could be helpful.

7. Start Jen Wilkin's Bible study of 123 John.

My sister-in-law started this study in July and since I just finished Judges, I thought I would give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John a try too. Feel free to join us as all of Jen's studies are available here for free (workbook and audio)!


So what about you? What are your goals for August? I'd love to hear in the comments below.


  1. Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? SO very good.

    1. I haven't! The women's Bible study at my church did the DVD and study of it this year though, but I wasn't able to attend regularly. I've heard good things about it! Good suggestion!

  2. I love the idea of a spending freeze! Although I'm sure it must be hard not to make excuses! But it must be very eye opening.
    I tend to end up using the oven quite a lot in the summer because I lack good planning too! But the thing I am doing more and more is salad meals... I can send you a few recipes if you want, but here is the one I brought for Jackson's birthday, I think I had never sent it to you: http://www.recettes.qc.ca/recette/salade-de-quinoa-avec-amandes-feta-et-legumes-d-ete-164691
    And yay for 123 John! :)

    1. Yes! Thanks! I am SO happy to have this recipe! I've been trying to get creative with my salads too. And I actually have every ingredient needed for this right now. Thanks for helping me figure out tomorrow's dinner. :)

  3. you're so good at setting goals. I need to set goals! Even just to motivate me more and be a tad more organized.

    1. Haha oh man, well I can set goals like a boss, but it's sticking with them that matters! Thankfully there seems to be something at least slightly motivating about publicly putting them out there that somewhat keeps me on track... but hardly. ;) In reality though, I've really enjoyed it. It's new for me and I've found it a positive thing so far so I'd say give it a go! :)