July Goals

July.  You read that right.  JULY.  I know some of you are just now getting out of school for the summer while some of you are counting down the days 'til school starts again.  Target has moved in all of their school supplies (in my area anyway) and we're already getting back-to-school flyers in the mail. Seems like the rush happens earlier and earlier every year. 

While I love planning and prepping for a new school year, I love savoring every bit of summer, too.  It goes by quickly and I don't want to miss any of it!  I thought it would be fun to ring in a new month with a little list of "goals" I've set for myself.  I'm not saying I'll follow through with it all, but writing it down and being able to cross it all off makes me eager to try.  I love checklists.  They motivate me :)  

1.  Read three professional development books - I'm pretty sure I can do this.  I think.  I asked for some suggestions on Facebook and got a TON!!!  These seem to be a common theme and topics that really interest my teaching heart, so I'm attempting to read these first.

2.  Start a new Bible study - This is an important one.  Our bible study group just finished A Confident Heart by Renee Swope and I can't recommend this one enough.  I realize how important a good bible study is in drawing me nearer to the Lord.  I CRAVE His word.  Any suggestions?!?!?

3.  Perform 36 Random Acts of Kindness on my birthday - I've been DYING to do this.  I'm finishing up my list of 36 RAKS and I've asked my ENTIRE family to join me this day.  I want us all to do them together!!!  My husband did something for someone on Mother's Day that inspired me to keep paying it forward on "big days".  I absolutely CAN'T WAIT for this one!!!

4.  Wake up an hour earlier for intentional prayer time - I've been feeling really convicted lately about the time...or lack thereof....I spend with Jesus.  I pray every night and tons of time in between, but I don't start my day in prayer all the time.  I want quiet time with Him.  I want to wake up, pour a cup of coffee, open my Bible, and pray without any distractions.

5. Clean out my closet and donate clothes & shoes to a local women's shelter - I've been meaning to purge for months.  But if I'm keeping it real, I need to tell you that I've been far too lazy.  Not just too lazy to clean out my closet, but too lazy to do any real cleaning at all. #hotmess  I want to take what I have to the local women's shelter and then see about volunteer opportunities while I'm there.  

6. Take my boys to the Science/History/Art Museums - we have an AMAZING museum district here in town and I don't take advantage of it like I should.  I know my boys would love going if I would just take them.  I thought it would be neat to organize a scavenger hunt to make it really interactive.  They tend to do a lot better & get more involved when they have a goal or checklist to keep them on track....kind of like me ;) #theapplesdontfallfar

7.  Start summer theme days with the boys - I want to have fun summer theme days kind of like I would in the classroom.  Lemonade Day/Week, Bubble Day/Week, Watermelon Day/Week, etc.  I thought it would be fun to do little activities with them (math & literacy) and then follow it all up with a science experiment.  I won't do these everyday, but I do want to incorporate these here and there.  My boys would LOVE it.  I just need to get off my lazy rear and plan it!  

Do you have any goals for the month?!?!  I'd love to hear them!


  1. I am currently doing a Beth Moore bible study with a few ladies from my church. We are reading Esther. It's GREAT!! I can't wait to get her new bible study!! I've got to check out the one that you recently finished!
    Mrs. Christy’s Leaping Loopers

    1. My ladies' Bible study did Esther a few years ago and we loved it, too! We just LOVE Beth Moore. Can't wait to do her newest one, either.

    2. I've just completed Esther recently too! Anything Beth Moore does is just fabulous!

  2. I LOVED The Reading Whisperer and her other book Reading in the Wild. Both made a huge difference in my classroom. I also adored Nancie Atwell's The Reading Zone, which is along the same lines.

    Morning quiet time with the Lord has made such a huge impact on my life. I keep a prayer journal with my Bible to keep me on track (adult ADD) and it's been such a blessing to go through those journals from years back to see how faithful the Lord has been. At night I'm too tired to feel like I'm giving God my best.

    My goals for July include organizing my 20-some years of teaching materials (blah!) and weaning myself off Mountain Dew. I'm not sure which one will kill me first...


  3. I would love to get a peek at your summer theme days. I have four boys who would also really enjoy something like that!

  4. Oh my goodness!! I loveeeee Comprehension Connections, it really revolutionized the way I teach shared and guided reading. You will love the simplicity of it!

    As for bible studies... Restless by Jennie Allen is an awesome, challenging study. It follows the story of Joseph and how God uses each individual for a unique purpose here on earth!! It's definitely deep and heavy at times but TOTALLY worth it! A good summer study!

    Thanks for sharing, I'm always encouraged by your posts!

  5. You are amazing! I am rereading, "one thousand gifts" byAnn Volskamp. I think you would enjoy it.

  6. Tanny McGregor is about to change your teaching life, my friend!! :) :) You are going to love it!! :)

  7. I know that RAKs are personal and supposed to be kept private, but I'd love to get some ideas... no details needed! =)
    *My mom always taught me to do for others, but keep it a secret between me and God.

  8. Cara, your blog was one of the first I ever discovered. You have so inspirational in my life. I love your kindness and spirituality! Thanks for the book recommendations!

  9. Correction: You have been so inspirational in my life. ;)

  10. Cara, I agree with these ladies--we love your blog. It's inspirational and we feel like we know you! I'll definitely check out the study you recommended. Have you done No Other Gods by Kelly Minter? Best wishes for a wonderful time at the conference.

  11. Our district started using the Comprehension Connections book in conjunction with their toolkit and I absolutely LOVE it! The kids use the language from the books just like it has always been in their normal vocabulary!

    As for a bible study, if you have never done one by Priscilla Shirer I would highly recommend her! Discerning the Voice of God AND Preparing to Hear from God are both AMAZING!