Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reflections, 2014 Anticipations

One of the healthiest practices I have started in the past few years has been to reflect and plan at the end of each year.  I've never been a big one for New Year's resolutions, but I do think that it is important for Christians to take time of reflection and goal making on a regular basis, and the end of the year is a great time to do this.  Doing this yearly is probably a minimum, and some women I know do this more like quarterly or even monthly.
'Even when you can't see what we're holding, our body language tells you that we're talking on a cellphone' photo (c) 2009, Ed Yourdon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Motherhood can be busy, and sometimes we as mothers can run around wasting our time because we haven't thought through how to use it best.  I encourage you to find a babysitter and get away to a coffee shop or some other place you enjoy to think through these questions.  At the minimum, take a whole nap time (if you are still fortunate enough to have all of your kiddos napping every day!) and sit down in a comfy chair with a hot beverage.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you think through the past year (I like to write out my answers in a journal), focusing on strengths and weaknesses...

1.  What was the best thing that happened to you in 2013?
2.  What was the hardest thing that happened to you in 2013?
3.  In what ways did you see the hand of God in your life this past year?
4.  What are you thankful for from this past year? (Go ahead- make an exhaustive list.  You should be able to come up with 1-2 pages... God is good, even in the hardest years.)
5.  What aspect of your work did you enjoy most this past year?
6.  What spiritual discipline did you grow in this past year?  How did it affect your walk with God?
7.  What were the best books you read this past year?
8.  How did you grow this past year emotionally, physically and spiritually?

And after you think/write through those things, ask yourself these questions to help to be intentional about your time in 2014....

1. What is one thing you could do you to be more satisfied in God this year?
2. What domestic skills do you want to learn or grow in more this year?
3. What books would you like to make it a point to read this year?  Which one will you start with?
4.  What distracted you from God this past year and how will you change that (by God's grace) this upcoming year?
5. Whose salvation do you want to pray for most fervently this year?
6. How can you best love and serve your church this year?
7. What is the biggest step of faith you want to take this year?  How will you trust God with this?
8. What relationship(s) do you want to grow in this year?  How will you invest in them?
9. In what ways would you like to grow as a wife this year?  As a mother?
10. What single thing do you plan to do this year that will matter most in 10 years?  In eternity?

[Thanks to Justin Taylor and Tsh Oxenrider for influencing my personal year end reflection (and contributing to some of the questions above)].

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