New Year, New Goals, and New Hopes with Challenges

Yesterday, my wife and I finally were able to attend church services at our home ward here in Marysville, Washington. After having moved from South Everett and into our new home ward, we faced some trepidation in how we can set up ourselves within the Marysville area. Blessed with a spacious home that we are renting, our family has decided to settle down and discuss what the new year has for us. A New Year, New Goals, and New Hopes will have their own challenges. Having put behind us the ventures of 20-10, we look forward to 20-11 with trepidation, excitement and encouragement.

One of the most shocking challenges my wife and I are going to face this coming year is that of a new calling. Both of us have not served in any type of calling in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my wife had her suspicions about what our calling would be. Her thought was that we would be called to serve in the Scouting program because my step-son is actively part of the LDS Scouting troop in our ward. What definitely blew us both out of the water is the extending of Sunday School teacher calling.

A bit befuddled, and after several quick glances between one another, we did not hesitate in accepting the calling. Next Sunday, we will be sustained during the Sacrament meeting service, and then set apart. Not only that, but we will also have our first lesson with the class of 15/16 year olds. This year, the topic of study is the New Testament. And, as I contemplate this new calling and chapter in our lives, the recurring thought is that my wife and I will be sitting down together to study the next week’s lesson together, praying together, and for us, it will be the first time in our marriage where we actually will have to devote some time together in scripture study and prayer.

Outside of this new calling, our challenges we face is one of financial order. In today’s economy, my wife and I are having to cut back (like most families) and live a more providential type of lifestyle. The challenge we face here is that my wife is the sole income provider for our family. Like most men in America today, my previous employment with International Paper has suffered an up-coming plant closure expected to happen on January 28, 2011. Previous to this, I was laid off from my position back in October of 2010. My third lay off with International Paper. While I do miss the work, the many colleagues that I have worked with, and the atmosphere of a truly safe work environment. The loss of pay is significant for my family since we have to become creative in how we set up our new budget and finances. One of the things we are doing is seeking some sound financial advice from those who are truly able to help us navigate the tumultuous sea of debt that we are swimming in.

Regarding employment opportunities for myself, I have decided to investigate a couple of home-based business opportunities. While my interest in becoming a Pampered Chef consultant is still a serious contemplation, I am also entertaining the idea of establishing myself as a freelance editor and run my own independent Housecleaning service. Since writing is a deep passion of mine, I am aggressively setting up a schedule where the focus is on editing and rewriting Mourning Ellyn

Moving from these personal goals my wife and I have decided we need to do our own personal “Clean House” and organize our garage. Our intention is to go through all our “storage” and merge what we are going to keep, and what will be placed out in our first ever garage sale that we hope to have in the spring.

There is much to look forward to for 2011. Some of this is reinventing oneself, others is to tighten the spending belt, while others are to go after a more active and healthier lifestyle. The latter is about my wife and I taking up Zumba classes.

So, here is to a New year of New Goals, New Hopes, and New Challenges for the Berman family.

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