The Fin15h List

Hi friends! I have made a New Year’s Resolution for the first time in– a really long time. Maybe my whole life. You wanna know what it is?

Finish stuff.

As much as the teacher in me hates that resolution because it’s not measurable, or specific, or that other thing that goals and objectives are supposed to be (I know  think there were 3…I can only remember 2), it’s the only one I had the energy to make. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as a rule because I never finish them. And that’s a bummer every…February. A big, fat bummer.

I’m a really good starter. I am great at getting ideas, writing out plans, and thinking about how awesome something could be. I’m terrible at finishing things.

When I finish something, I’m going to let myself write about it here to celebrate and to keep track. Then at the end of the year, I’ll be able to see how much stuff I finished.

So fart (I accidentally typed that, and I’m just gonna leave it that way, because legit.) I have actually “finished” two things already! The first is this: I took a serious look at what I had in my closet and I cleaned that baby OUT. I am in the process of developing a capsule wardrobe this year, and it has been so much fun so far. I am loving how much easier it is to get dressed and how much more focused my clothes shopping (read: $20 trip to Goodwill) is.  I would love to write some posts on it, but I also don’t want to be boring, so just let me know if you’re interested!  The second thing is this: I finally finished my final exam to become a certified childbirth educator!  I had to teach two classes before I could take the exam, and the exam was mailed to me on the day Phoebe was born, so…I just finished it.  I’m just waiting on a grade and then this process will be over! I’ll have my full certification! Then I will have a lot of thank you notes to write and little gifts to send out to my wonderful support team. This has taken a little bit longer than expected, but I’m so glad to be so close to finished!

I’m also really excited about a couple of other things on my “Fin15h List,” (see what I did there?) some of which are kind of big and exciting (and might be coming to a blog near you soon!), and others of which are small and silly like hanging up all the things I’ve been collecting for the “gallery wall” that I am supposedly going to have in my living room at some point. So far, the few things I’ve finished have given me momentum to continue following through on goals both big and small that I have set for myself in the past and then abandoned.  It’s a good feeling to look at my closet and think I wanted my wardrobe to be like this, and I did the work to get here. I’m not always so good at actually following through on things, especially when I’m not sure they’ll benefit anyone besides me.  But this year, I’m committing to doing things differently. And I’m excited to look back and see what things I’ll have finished by this time next year.  Am I alone in this? Anyone else have a “Fin15h List?”

Is this getting old yet?

If you’re just joining us. 

If you just missed out on yesterday. 

If you want me to shut up.

And today, I recruited my daughter to shamelessly manipulate your emotions.

See that little “P” (for Pinterest!) button at the bottom of this post? Go ahead and give it a little click.

5 days left, friends!


And muchas gracias to those of you who have already donated/shared/encouraged me! Seriously, I’m so encouraged by the words many of you have shared in the last few days.

seriously. srsly. for reals.

Help a Momma help other Mommas

There is Always a Way.

I recently had the opportunity to join some amazing women for a panel discussion with some college students.  One of the questions we were prepared for was this one: “If you could go back and tell your 20 year old self something, what would it be?”  Oh, the possibilities! Now, my twenty-year-old self isn’t much younger than my present-day self, but I feel like I have a lot to say.

Dear 20-year-old self,

Enjoy this time.  Enjoy being stressed out by papers and long chapters to read.  Enjoy watching LOST for 12 hours in a row and not feeling guilty.  Enjoy being able to stay up until 2 am every night.  Enjoy it.  Enjoy the fact that when people ask you what you’re doing with your life, you have a nice short, sweet answer to give them.  Enjoy no one taking you seriously.  Enjoy it.

Up until now, you’ve probably felt a lot of pressure to figure our where your life is going.  Think about the questions you’ve been asked since you were a child.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  “Where are you going to college?” “What are your plans for after graduation?”  All of those questions deal with the direction of your life.

Somewhere along the way, someone told you that you needed to find the magic key to your life.  They called it your dream.  They told you to live it.  To chase it.  To spend yourself in pursuit of it.  They told you not to give up on it.  To hold on to it.

So you came to college to work on your dream.  To throw yourself into everything that you hope your life will be.  Why?  So that you can give a good answer to people who ask you about your plans for after graduation?  So that everyone around you can see what a full life you’re living?  Out of obedience to God?  To meet your full potential?

Let me tell you something no one else is going to tell you.  Knowing what your life is about is so much more important than knowing where your life is going.  Where your life is going can change in an instant.  car crash.  fire.  rejection letter.  pregnancy test.  marriage. recession. cutbacks. war.  All it takes is one moment outside of your control.  Your dream flickers and the light goes out.  In an instant, the map is blank.  Your life is going nowhere.  You have no choice but panic.  You have no option but to frantically map out a new dream.

But what if you know what your life is about?  What if your life is about being faithful to a God who doesn’t need you to chart a map?  make a plan?  chase your dream?

There is always a way to be faithful to God.


When the dream flickers and dies.  When the house is gone.  When the war begins.  When the bank account is empty.  There is always a way to be faithful to God. Always.

Please, please remember that what you’re doing right now isn’t a bunch of grunt work that you have to do to get to the future on the other side.  Please remember that what you are doing right now is vital to the kind of person you are becoming.  Please read books.  Have adventures.  Serve.  Meet people.  Travel.  Work hard.  Try new things. Seek the Lord.  Not because it will look good on your resume.  Not because it will make you a better teacher. doctor. writer. scientist.   Not because you desperately need to know what to do with your life, but because you want to understand what your life is about.  Become a person who is faithful to God.  There will always be a way to be faithful to God. Always.

And finally, 20-year-old self, please get a hair cut.  Leave those edgy bangs to people who don’t go to the Hair Cuttery.  Please.  Also, clean your dorm room.  It’s a disaster area.