Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting on my 2012 year

I saw this series of reflection questions on the (in)courage website and 
decided to give them a try...

Besides, I'm at home spending New Year's eve while my daughter sleeps (thankfully) as she battles a nasty cold.  Poor thing... I hate seeing my children sick, and it's even more heart breaking when your 17 month-old can't hardly breathe and eat due to some serious congestion...  :(

So, I have a few hours before the ball drops in NY... and yes, I'm a sucker for watching it on TV (every year)!!!  Since I'm sitting by my still-lit-Christmas-Tree, I thought it would be fitting to get reflective and think back on my 2012 year.  

Here it goes...

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Having my mother move to the US at the end of March and seeing my siblings all together after many years of being apart.  It doesn't happen that often.  :)

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Going through the sale of our home in Cleveland.  It was a long... hard... expensive... frustrating process.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Joining Blessings Unlimited as an Independent Consultant and experiencing the blessing of sharing my story, my heart and passion to encourage others, and being able to meet some amazing women in the process.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Realizing I was battling post-partum depression and facing many days of emotional and spiritual darkness.

5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
Growth, prayer, giving.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012—don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you. (If you’re not married, have fun guessing the answers from other friends and family, or just skip this question.)
Acceptance, reliance, prayer.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012—again, without asking.
Discipleship, prayer, growth.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
Ephesians (in the Bible, of course!), Out of the Spin Cycle, Becoming More Than a Bible Study Girl, Divergent.

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
My husband Joel, my children Joshua and Elsie, good friend Krysten, and sister Shirley.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I'm definitely a more prayerful mother and wife.  God has given me a sensitivity to His Spirit to lift my children and husband up to Him throughout the day.  

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I've learned to be "okay" with my emotionally-charged times of the month, especially since dealing with my post-partum depression.  I've learned to identify my triggers and respond to them before having to face ugly consequences... but also allowing myself to truly deal with what I am feeling at the moment.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
Due to my amazing support group of women at MOTTTS, I was able to challenge myself to spend 40 straight days in prayer and in intentional times in the Word with the Lord.  I grew to understand how much God longs to spend time with me regardless of how much/little time I have in His presence.  God's desire to have an intimate relationship with me is due to His unconditional love for me as his daughter.  Isn't that what I long to have with my own children?  God taught me so much about how his relationship with me reflects the kind of relationship I want and need with my own children and husband.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Hmmm, not sure on this one.  I'm drinking more water and learning that staying hydrated is key to healthy skin, hair, and nails.  

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I made sure to let people know how much I appreciated them by sending them cards in the mail.  I made that a goal for this past year.  I hope I succeeded!  

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Since I only "work" at home, I think the most enjoyable part of my day was seeing my children develop new skills.  This year Elsie learned to crawl, walk, say her first words, and everything else that comes with her first years of life.  This year Joshua finally became more verbal, using his words to communicate with me.  He also attended his first "class" at the local library, going in "all by himself" for almost a full hour!  I saw him feeding chickens, driving a tractor, and helping dad in the garden.  

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Accepting my role as a full-time stay-at-home mom was a real challenge for me this year.  There were so many days I "wished" I could go back to work.  But I realized that this is truly a short season in my life, and that God has called me to stay in the home with my children.  And what a high calling this is!!!  

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Facebook and YouTube!

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Writing and sending cards in the mail.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
God knows me and cares for the details of my life.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2012 for you.
"Not for a moment, did You forsake me" - Meredith Andrews


What about you?
I encourage you to take some time and reflect on your year as well.
Some of you had a really blessed 2012, others of you had a rough one, I know.
But DO reflect.  
And look forward with expectation, for the Lord DOES have good plans for all us.

Happy New Year!

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