Making a Change: Three Women Start Their 2011 Resolutions

Meet three readers who will be sharing their journeys of personal change in 2011.

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Three women on a beach

We're kicking off this resolutions blog by introducing the three readers whose journeys we'll be following.

Debbie Shelkey-Lawson, King George, VA
Hello! Let me start by telling you about my family. Our oldest child is Corey. He's 19 and a sophomore in college. We have a daughter, Eileen, 17, and a son, Jacob, 16. Our youngest is 13, Kenley, and she's in 8th grade.

My Resolution: Finding time to sit down together for a family dinner!

It's always been challenge for us. My husband and I work full-time and we are chauffeurs to a lot of activities. Not only are we busy with soccer, but also with the swim team (my husband and I volunteer at the meets as timers when we can) and with music lessons and bands. With so many activities, it's hard to find everyone home at the same time. I'm also the youth group leader at our church and we meet twice a month (sometimes more) and I always fix dinner for about 10 teenagers and 2 adults after our meetings. (I told my kids that this counts as a "family supper!")

Sometimes it's not just all the activities that pull us in different directions, I'm just too tired to plan dinner! When I do make dinner, it's always something easy—spaghetti, tacos, Banquet "Homestyle Bakes," chili, a Texas dish called Chihuahuas (that the kids love) or chicken. My husband will grill steaks once in awhile.

When we can all sit down for a "family supper," it's so much fun. We talk about the day, tell stories and laugh. Before we eat, we always sing grace.

Carm Russell, San Antonio, TX
I have an awesome family. Our daughter, Shaleena, will graduate college in March. My husband, David, works from home as a computer programmer for a bank. We have two cats, Belle and Cleo and we have two dogs, Sam and Pearl. They are all rescue animals.

My Resolution: Continue with the good health and spiritual habits I started in 2009 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  

I joined Weight Watchers at over 200 pounds. To get me through the surgery and treatment for the breast cancer, my mantra was a phrase from a Craig Morgan song called, "Tough." No room for fear; full of faith. My scripture verse came via my sister-in-law from Isaiah 43:2. Both of these helped me keep God by my side.  

I have lost over 60 pounds. and have 13.7 more to go. Getting to Weight Watchers meetings consistently in recent months has not been easy but I have continued to lose weight. So I asked for a smart phone for Christmas so I could access Weight Watchers online from work and then use my laptop at home. The journaling portion of their program helps keep me on track and now with their new program for 2011 I think those last 13+ pounds will not be around for long. 

I walk every morning before work and this past summer took up golf. I try to play about once a week. Both help keep me in shape and healthy. As for keeping God close, I have Guideposts Daily Planner along with Daily Guideposts for my bedtime devotional. I also listen to a Christian radio station on my way to work in the morning.

Robin Carlo, Holden, MA
I'm Robin and I'm a lifelong New Englander. My husband, three children and I moved to our current home almost 18 years ago. Two of the kids have since grown up and out, leaving just Ken, me and our son Jay here at home. Because of Jay's special needs, we'll thankfully never have a completely empty nest! I happily work full-time as a reading specialist dividing my time between direct student instruction and providing professional development for other teachers. 

My Resolution: I resolve to listen attentively.

No more listening with one ear while making a to-do list with the other. No more listening while planning my next words. Just listening with my ears, heart and mind wide open. This year's resolution might just be the most challenging I've ever made and it's certainly going to be the most difficult to measure. Pray for me—I'm going to need it!

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