Posted by: spaghettipie | September 23, 2007

Stewardship Goals Update

Here’s a summary of where we are with our goals. Overall, I believe using these goals is truly inspiring a change in our thinking about being holistic stewards, which is really the point of the goals. After our first month of living with these goals, we did make some modifications based upon what worked for us and what new things we wanted to try.

Finances: I never reported on our month of not spending any additional money. Although it’s tough to tell an exact number (how do you estimate what you would’ve spent?), based upon our previous patterns of spending we figure we saved around $500 by not eating out and refraining from buying necessities. Best of all, I have begun to use more discretion in my choice of how I spend money. For example, in deciding whether or not to go out with friends one night, I weighed in my head whether I would rather spend that twenty bucks on a cover charge and two-drink minimum in a loud piano bar or use that money to have coffee with several different friends one-on-one during the week. I don’t want to feel guilty for spending money on non-essentials, but at the same time I like being intention and weighing my choices. So, we are now allowed to go out to eat, but we try to keep the mindset that it’s a special treat and a way to connect with others, not a lazy option or an every day occurence.

Time:  We have definitely been sticking to our two nights a week at home goal, and I appreciate it! In the beginning, I had a harder time turning activities down, but nothing can replace the little bit of additional time I have to concentrate on my family and our home. TV watching has not been a struggle, but with the new fall shows coming out this week, it may be more difficult.

Resources: This area will be an ongoing focus. We’ve worked hard on all of these goals, and we’ve even added additional pieces like cloth diapering. However, I’ve found that when I’m in a hurry or feeling tired, this is the main area where I slack off.  I need to continue working on this area so that I choose the “right thing” more often than I default to the “easy thing.” (note: I totally recognize that the right thing can be the same as the easy thing. But you get my drift, right?) We’re using cloth diapers probably 70% of the time, and I do like them. We’re still narrowing down the right diapers for specific times (ie sleeping versus playing), as we’ve had some issues with leaking during nap time and overnight. But we’re getting there, no doubt! The food co-op is also great, and I will pick up our second order this week. A friend is looking into another co-op for meat and eggs, so I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

Body: Half of these goals are going well. I love my gym, and for the most part, make it there regularly. The drinking enough water and getting enough sleep are my problem areas. So, I need to keep focusing on those.

Relationships: We’ve really enjoyed getting to know some “new” people this past month. I say new to mean we don’t know them very well, not that we haven’t met. I’m stuck on figuring out a plan to know our neighbors better. Anyone have any suggestions? I also need to find a way to expand my circle of friends beyond our church friends (and, frankly, our ethnic group). That’s something I’ll be giving some thought to over the next few weeks.

That’s all from here! I’d love to hear other ideas on how you’re becoming better stewards.

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Responses

  1. In the neighborhood, a simple coffee invitation can be really effective. An open invitation to stop in for coffee on Tuesdays, for instance. Or just one time, to see how it goes. Or if you want to involve everyone, a weekend bbq or dessert. One invitation like this goes a l-o-n-g way in building community in your neighborhood. And it just takes one person to get the ball rolling!

  2. another thought is that with Halloween coming up, have fun stuff in your yard to do/see for the little ones coming by. ( Make them “fish” for their treat, anything that will cause them and their parents to stay longer then “Trick or Treat” and then they are gone.) It could be your own little mini-festival. Granted, you will likely get people from outside your street also, but it also may open up some good conversations.

  3. Another thought…do people play in their front yards where you’re at? We set up soccer in the front yard…or T-ball…and pretty soon our yard is teeming with kids (and Moms!)

  4. LM and MEH – Thanks for the tips. I’ve been thinking about trying to host some sort of block party sometime. I’ve tried reaching out to my neighbors before, and the gesture has never been accepted or reciprocated. I’m sure once my daughter gets a little older (and in school) it will help. We have noticed that as the weather has gotten nicer and we’ve been working on our yard, we’ve met a few more people. I’ll keep working on it, but am always open to ideas!


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