30 Things in my 30’s

30 Things in my 30's | The Open Home

Last week I turned the big 3-0 and to embrace this next decade I decided to make a list of 30 things I would like to do in my 30’s. Some are big life goals, the things I dream about and others are simply fun or grown up things I’ve been meaning to get round to. In no particular order…

  1. Get a good camera and learn how to use it!
  2. Go on a flower arranging course
  3. Learn to embroider
  4. Learn calligraphy
  5. Open an Etsy shop
  6. Start a letter writers group in Guernsey
  7. Make a patchwork quilt for each of my girls
  8. Get a pet (maybe a rabbit?)
  9. Try kayaking
  10. Start a veggie patch
  11. Climb a mountain
  12. Make a Will
  13. Become a blood donor
  14. Sign up to be an organ donor
  15. Get fit! (aka. get back to pre-pregnancy weight)
  16. Donate my wedding dress to charity
  17. Walk the entire cliffs of Guernsey (in stages)
  18. Read all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot
  19. Read the Anne of Green Gables series
  20. Read the Little House on the Prairie series
  21. Go to 10 new (to me) restaurants on the island
  22. Go to a West End Show in London
  23. Go on a weekend away with some gal pals
  24. Take my girls to the Lake District
  25. Visit Keighley in Yorkshire (where my Gran was evacuated to during WW2)
  26. Visit friends in Australia & New Zealand
  27. Visit an Asian country
  28. Visit 5 new to me countries
  29. Grow our family through adoption
  30. Celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in style!

What goals do you have on your list?

{My One Word} Discipline

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This year I decided to get in on the whole one word for the year thing.

The idea is to change your life with just one word. To skip the long list of new years resolutions and just pick one guiding word that is at the very essence of what you want to be or achieve throughout the year.

Now I am a big old planner at heart so do enjoy setting a few healthy goals at the start of each year to help me as I journey towards the person I hope to be.

However, this year when setting my goals I started to notice a recurring theme, so much so that choosing  a guiding word to focus my days and encourage me throughout the year made so much sense.

Discipline.

Nothing fancy, pretty unoriginal really, but it’s the word for me.

So we’ll see how it goes! By the end of 2016 I hope that my 365 days with a focus on discipline will have helped me to establish the habits that will enable me to live a fuller, healthier and more intentional life.

For more info or to pick your guiding word for the year check out these sites HERE and HERE.

Do you have a guiding word for 2016?

16 Facts You May Not Know About Me

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It’s still the first month of the year so in honour of 2016 here are 16 things you may not know about me… enjoy!

  1. I have been a vegetarian since I was 11 years old – simply because I don’t like the texture and taste of most meat.
  2. I love a good murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s Poirot is my favourite.
  3. I talk about names a LOT. The meanings of them, why people choose them, what names go well together, etc
  4. I think all the best animals have big ears – donkeys, rabbits, elephants… I rest my case.
  5. I’m a geek and love the timey-wimey-ness of Doctor Who and kinda wish I lived in Hobbiton.
  6. Bats and crabs freak me out.
  7. I make a miserable shopping companion, my Mother will confirm this. MISERABLE!
  8. I don’t drink tea or coffee.
  9. My dream holiday destinations are New Zealand, Hawaii and Alaska.
  10. Autumn is my favourite season (and Summer my least favourite).
  11. I don’t wear black, I’m far too pale and look ill in it.
  12. My favourite Disney film is Tarzan.
  13. If you want to send me flowers I particularly like freesias and tulips.
  14. One day I want to get a British Bulldog and call him Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
  15. I have visited 20 European countries to date (and really must do a post about my favourites!)
  16. I’m an ISFJ for those of you who speak Myers Briggs.

Tell me something I may not know about you?

70 Years of Freedom

70 Years of Freedom | The Open Home70 Years of Freedom | The Open Home70 Years of Freedom | The Open Home

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of Guernsey’s liberation from the Nazi occupying forces during World War 2. Freedom is definitely worth celebrating and as always, I like to decorate, hence the above photos!

My Gran was evacuated to England during the war, along with her younger brother and sister. She left a young girl of twelve years old and returned to the island a young woman of eighteen – five long years away from home. The photo used in my display above is a photo she had taken with her siblings to send home to her parents before they returned to the island. My Gran, Doreen is the girl on the left.

As for my Grandpa, well he stayed on the island during it’s occupation and seemed to have fun causing general mischief for the German soldiers. I always remember my Grandpa in particular on Liberation Day, the stories he shared, his cheeky character and loving nature. Above pictured is his identity card which he used during the island’s occupation, I especially love that his red hair was called hellblond!

I marked the day by taking my girls to visit their Great Granny Doreen in the morning and then headed into the town centre in the afternoon to watch a bit of the cavalcade with my Mum, see some impressive helicopters (which delighted Blossom) and visit The Husby at our church’s Love Freedom family activity marquee.

Calling all Guerns! How did you celebrate 70 years of freedom?

Healthy Goals

Twenty Fifteen Healthy Goals | The Open Home

We’re keen goal setters in this house and write down our goals each year, regularly checking in to evaluate our progress. Technically though, we’ve come to realise that we only really have one main goal each year and that goal is quite simply to improve our health.

Each goal we then make is really just a specific way of working towards improving our health in a certain area of our lives, be that our physical health, spiritual health, marital health or even financial health.

In practice this means that we make both personal goals individually and marital goals together, breaking down our personal goals into 4 categories (Physical, Spiritual, Relational & Professional) and our marital goals also into 4 categories (Physical, Spiritual, Relational & Financial). 

When setting goals under each of these categories we then simply ask ourselves, ‘How do I want to improve my health in this area?‘ It’s a question that I have found to be incredibly helpful, keeping our focus on both the big picture of improving our entire lifestyle and the smaller steps that are required to get us there.

If you too would simply like to focus on improving your health this year then below are some ideas of the sorts of goals you could set under each category.

 

Personal Goals:

Physically you may want to improve your flexibility by signing up to a yoga class, reduce your intake of caffeine or maybe arrange to finally get that dental work done.

Spiritually you could start journalling, set up a prayer triplet or perhaps memorise a piece of scripture each week.

Relationally you could join a social group that will encourage you to build new friendships or book in regular coffee dates to invest in your existing ones.

Professionally you could try a new course of study or block out time each month to work on your CPD. Or if like me your current profession is being a stay-at-home mama then you may want to establish a daily storytime or take your little one out on a monthly mummy date.

 

Marital Goals:

Physically you may want to set intimacy goals together or perhaps you want to find a common hobby and could do something sporty together, maybe even work towards some sort of physical challenge like a race or hike.

Spiritually you could set goals to pray with each other daily, sign up for a marriage course or even block out some time for a spiritual retreat.

Relationally you could invite dinner guests round to your home each month or regularly book in skype dates with your friends living overseas.

Financially you may want to build up your savings to a realistic target, start living on a cash budget or maybe even give more generously to charity.

 

These categories make a good starting point and you can easily tweak them to suit you. For example, if you’re single you can of course still make financial goals on your own! Whatever categories you do choose to use just remember to keep asking yourself ‘How do I want to improve my health in this area?’.

Hopefully with this sort of focus not only will your goals be healthy in the sense that they will be realistic and attainable, but the outcome will also hopefully be healthy too, resulting in you making progress towards the healthier lifestyle, attitude and relationships you desire.

What goals are you setting yourself this year?

Living the Life we Lost

Living the Life we Lost | The Open Home

It’s been over two years since we lost the international life we had longed for in Malawi. After years of planning and four trips to the southern African country, the call we had felt throughout our entire five years of marriage and the dreams we had built together were coming to an abrupt end. We had come so far in our journey, but the door was closing and we knew it was time to stop pushing.

For the past five years life in Africa was all we had dreamed of. We felt called to full-time service and had felt sure Malawi was the place for us to be. We could almost taste our lives in this vibrant culture, our family living on less but gaining so much more.

Instead we were left with the option of raising our family in Britain, something we had never pictured. We dreaded having to be ‘normal’, living a hectic life fuelled by the societal expectations and consumerism that leaves people always wanting more.

We felt lost and bereft and few understood our pain. Where did we go from here?

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