You girls know I keep it real over here. This whole Togethergirl title came from a girl worn out from years of trying to be super. I hung up my cape and have not looked back.

I still get comments from well-meaning, yet obviously deceived women, who think I possess super powers. I guess because I’m not wearing a straight jacket and appear to be functioning normally. Raising six children is definitely challenging, especially during the school year. Actually, keeping the peace in the summer is no cake walk. I barely survived last summer and was counting down the days until school started.

Do you have unrealistic expectations for yourself? I fight them daily. I found freedom from the girl I thought I had to be, but I can easily slip back into bondage if I’m not careful. My former super hero wanna be self would arrive at the first day of school or the first day of a new year like arriving at the rim of the Grand Canyon. I would stand at the edge and make grand plans (based on my insane expectations of myself) to build a bridge across using only a box of toothpicks and duct tape.

(If you want to read more about my journey to freedom and how I hung up my cape, read my first blog posts.)

I want to be purposeful about this school year. I want to set goals for myself and teach my children to do the same. That’s healthy IF YOU KNOW WHAT HEALTHY EXPECTATIONS ARE. Once I finally understood that life was not about me getting it together, it got a lot better. 

So…in the spirit of keeping it real, here are my 2014 School Year Goals.

#1 Read to Sweet Son at bedtime.

#2 Pray for my children.

#3 Clean underwear for all.

#4 Refuel myself so I don’t become empty and bitter.

#5 Date Hot Pastor every chance I get.

#6 Look at my color-coded calendar and super long to-do list and know that it is full of the blessings that I asked for in life. Every dentist appointment, open    house, football game, cross country race, volleyball match, and booster club meeting is there because I have a loving husband and six beautiful children.

At first glance, my goals may not seem impressive. Girls, if I can live these six things out this year, “Wahooooo!” It’s a win.

Yes, it’s a new school year. We all want to do it better than last year, but let’s do it in freedom. Check your expectations. Are they yours? Are they of God?

I feel like God gave me a beautiful picture yesterday of the whole “yoke is easy” verse. I was wearing a yoke like oxen wear and Jesus was right beside me. We were in it together. He had one arm around me and sweat was pouring down us both. He was smiling and encouraging me to keep going. He was laughing because as we pulled, our feet were deep in mud. 

Whatever he has asked of us, he does along side of us. Careful, if he didn’t call you to it, then you may be sweating in the mud alone, plowing the wrong field. 

There is amazing freedom in knowing that I don’t have to plow every field. I’m not in this work that he gave me alone. I am not pulling an impossible load. 

Yeah, it’s gonna get crazy over here. i have six goals I believe are from the one who ordained these days for me. He is not expecting my life to look like my Pinterest boards. He has invited me, instead, to live in the freedom of today. 

28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”