Saturday, December 31, 2011

20 Questions for a New Year's Eve Reflection

I received an email the other day from (in)courage concerning personal reflection for 2011. In the email, 20 questions were given a spring board to get the reflection gears grinding. A printable free pdf version can be found at Simple Mom's website. If you aren't on (in)courage's mailing list, please consider doing so. Every email is so uplifting and glorifying of the Lord.

1. What was the single best thing that happened to you this year?

Without a doubt the single best thing that happened to me this year was rededicating my life to the Lord.

2. What was the single most challenging thing?

Most challenging would be related to #1. It was challenging to change my way of living to reflect a life which glorified the Lord. It was easy to talk the talk, but I found it much more difficult to walk the walk--especially in the beginning.

3. What was an unexpected joy this year?

An unexpected joy this year would be making so many new friends at church. I've been intentional about surrounding myself with others who believe similar to my beliefs. Meeting and getting to know so many women in bible-study was a wonderful, unexpected joy. I tend to be very quiet and reserved around people I don't know well. Many of these women took me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow spiritually and personally.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

We dealt with some family issues at the first of the year. Many feelings were hurt and tempers flared, but we survived--and we still love each other. Also, finding out in Nov that my department was being outsourced, and I would no longer be working with my work "family."

5. Pick 3 words to describe your year?

Overall, I'm blessed

6. Pick 3 words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (Don't ask them! Guess based on how your spouse sees you).

Should slow down

7. Pick 3 words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (Again without asking them).

Experiencing spiritual growth

8. What were the best books you read this year?

I didn't read as much as I'd hoped, but I loved the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Right now, I am reading 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey. It has been so good too! I did finally break down and read Twilight this year!

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

I am blessed to have many valuable relationships. One relationship that I found to be most valuable this year was with my mom. I realized this year how often I have taken her for granted in my life. She exceedingly goes above all of my expectations of what a mom/Nanny should be. (Mom, if you are reading this--I love you so much! And, I appreciate every thing you do for me and the boys even when I fail to tell you so! Just know that, okay?) I also grew in my relationship with my sister. She and I tend to be from very opposite ends the spectrum. But, I realized this year we are more often alike than not. (Leigh Ann, if you are reading this--I love you too! Thank you for asking for my advice. It makes me feel important to you. Thank you for being a wonderful sister and friend.)

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

It may sound silly to some people, but this year I found my breaking point with my "trash in-take." I found myself deleting people on FB who posted inappropriate stuff. I switched TV channels when risque stuff came on. I changed radio stations and now listen to contemporary christian all the time. I decided that it would be easier for me to reflect a Christian's life by monitoring what I was taking in--and guess what?!? It seems to be working (and a lot easier than I would have ever thought it would be)!

11. In what ways did you grow emotionally?

I learned to have lesser expectations of people and to expect more from myself.

12. In what ways did you grow spiritually?

I started and completed my first bible study. I've only taken one other study which I did not finish. I was so thankful to have been apart of the One in a Million study by Priscilla Shirer.

13. In what ways did you grow physically?

My hair color changed at least 3 times! Does this count? Seriously, I can't think of any physical growth--mainly emotional and spiritual growth.

14. In what ways did you grow in your relationships with others?

It's kind of the same as #3. I met many wonderful people this year at church. I've grown very close to many of these women. My relationship with my husband also changed this year. I found myself falling more in love with him as I watched him turn his life around. I also learned that in order to maintain relationships, you must dedicate time to each one. This is so hard with the busyness of my life, but something I plan to be more intentional about in 2012. A big way I have experienced growth in my relationships is by praying for other people--especially my sweet friends who are still in waiting on their miracles.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

Work: My co-workers!!!! Home: My Family!!!

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

Work: Staying on task =) Home: Staying caught up with housework

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Probably all of the time I spent on FB. Shocking, I know.

18. What was the best way you used your time in this past year?

Using my blog to witness for Christ and record private thoughts and memories for my family.

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this year?

To give people flowers while they are alive instead of when their dead. (read into that further). I also learned to choose my words wisely and to evaluate an entire situation from all points of view. Lastly, I learned some things never change and you have to just say, "it is what it is" and be done with it.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.

I copied this from one of my friend's FB status' but I couldn't have said it any better myself:

‎2012 is hours away. As I reflect on 2011, there have been highs and lows, good and bad times, tears and laughter, losses and gains, deaths and births. Through all of it, I have been gently cradled in the Lord's arms as He carried me through the lows. His footsteps were visible as He walked beside me in the highs and good times. 2012 I will continue to trust "His Unseen Hand" and "Give Him the Glory".

The truth is, I have experienced His Unseen Hand in my life--probably more times than I realize in 2011 alone. I've experienced God's Grace and His mercy. So 2011 was a great year. I'm looking forward to the next!

Happy 2012 Sweet Friends! May this be the year the Lord returns!

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I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.