Connecting in 2015

On the first Christmas after Mr. Kuda and I married in 2007, we received a package from his godmother: in it, some marriage books, a gorgeous wooden nativity scene, and one silver paper star: Humble was the word. And a reference to Scripture was written below. How apt, that word, humble; a word to focus on throughout our first full year of our marriage.

Don't think I didn't see the irony of our word that year. Brilliant, his godmother.

Each year we have received a randomly chosen word (or two) since then. Peace for the year our daughter was born. Self-control for last year, when we moved twice and had a big house we thought we had to fill. Funny, God and His timing, yes?

For 2015
This year, and the past three months in particular, has been BUSY. Like, can't keep my thoughts straight, fifteen things going on, BUSY. But who isn't? My excuses for not staying in touch and not keeping up with relationships have run out, and I've GOT to come up with a strategy to reign it all in.

Turns out, there are other people like me! When I found #oneword365, I about hit the floor, because, well, we've been doing this for seven years! Something about making it public, though, that must be a way to keep me accountable.

I'm not going to make sweeping declarations of resolutions for the year to come, but I have come up with some ways for me to connect more. Stop and listen more. Be intentional with my relationships more. This word connect has been swimming in my mind for weeks, and I think I'm on the right track. And, so I'm held accountable for my goals, I've come up with some measurable ways (I am a speech pathologist... Goals must be measurable!) to ensure I'm doing my best to connect on a personal level with those around me. Join me, as we...
How in the world are we going to do that? I'm so glad you asked!

Date Night
Married or not, we need to take deliberate time out and be with our people. Can I get an Amen? Whether it's weekly or monthly. Put it in the calendar now, and stick to it! For us? Monthly date night with Mr. Kuda. At least two family movie/game nights per month with the kids. No questions asked.

* To emails within 24 hours
* Comment on Social Media, not just "like" posts
* Share someone else's thoughts/blog posts/articles at least once per week

I don't know about you, but I so often think things in my head as I skim through my social media feeds, but just zoom past the post. Why not let others know what you're thinking? Especially if it's positive? This is about relationship, friends, and you only get to the good stuff if you're interacting! As much as we'd like to believe it, "liking" is not interacting!

Brain Dump
I've seen folks with check lists and the like, but this is my technical word: Brain Dump. Part of my problem with connecting this year is that I've been so pre-occupied with, well, everything, that I find myself multi-tasking in my brain while interacting with others. This is the opposite of connecting! In fact, it's quite detrimental to relationships. I've done a trial run this week, and I'll tell you what: It works! If something unrelated to my current task or conversation comes up in my mind, I just write it down and revisit it later. I have a sneaking suspicion this will change. my. life. And while we're talking about multi-tasking...

One Task At A Time
Last night I was talking to a friend on the phone, and it happened: I said "uh-huh," which was a completely inappropriate response because she had asked an open-ended question. Good thing she's one of my besties, because she lovingly called me out on it and wasn't at all offended.

Do one thing. One thing at a time. Interrupted? Stop what you're doing, and make eye contact (ear contact?). Period.

Keep Technology Hours
Writing a blog and running my own business require regular access to either my phone or computer. While I love both of these things, I need to be more specific and deliberate in my time spent online. I hereby declare "internet hours," which I will try my best to keep to:
Monday - Friday: 6:00-7:15, 1:00-3:00, 7:00-8:15, Brief Review at 10:00 pm
Saturday: As needed, no more than an hour.
Sunday: Limited. Check of email and Facebook briefly 1-2 times in the day.

Read the Bible in a Year
All right. Maybe this is a bit resolution-esque, but it's something I know I can do, and one of my people is doing it with me :D  Nothing like a little accountability to keep you going, right? And this: Nothing in this world, your spouse, your children, your career, is more important than your personal and daily relationship with Jesus. Aligning your thoughts with His allows His plans for you to intercede and infiltrate your life. Without daily Bible reading, it's next to impossible to gain this relationship!

I'll end with this...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

It's not necessarily what God is going to do for us. It's about relationship: about us plainly and humbly going to Him. Seeking Him with all our hearts and, as a result, going forward in plans aligned with Him.

Happy 2015, friends! May this new year be full of change, excitement, and relationship! How will you connect in 2015??

xoxo, k.

Want to stay connected with me this year?? Go on up to the top right of my page, and enter your email address to get every post in your inbox! Easy peasy!

Sharing with the New Year's Resolutions Link Up! Pop on over for some GREAT goals and resolutions for 2015!

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