Reflections on 2013

End-of-the-year reflections from past years: 200720082009201020112012

Happy 2014, friends! 

I love how a change in the year is a natural point of reflection and refocusing. I’m doing some of the same reflections as previous years, with a few new questions tossed in and some old questions tossed out.

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

Steve and I joined a group of friends in planting a new church.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

We have had to make a few longer-term decisions that affect our lives in a significant way. We’re actually still in the middle of that process, and it’s been a challenge to discern how exactly to live out particular convictions and choices. Challenging and really good for us. 

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

I experienced so much joy in parenting our two kids, even with all the mess, chaos, and exhaustion.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

Being tired. Like perpetually tired, even when I’ve gotten enough sleep. Tiredness has made it hard to think, remember things, get work done, write, and stay engaged. I’ve had to readjust my expectations and learn how to live within different limitations.

5. Pick three words to describe 2013.


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

The Fault in Our Stars
Simplicity Parenting
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Miracle Work

7. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

built a coffee table. I left my family for a weekend and took a culinary class. We took our kids camping.

8. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

This year I integrated a Daily Checklist into my life. It was simple, and kept me focused on things that are most important to me. I think I’d like to continue with that this coming year. Steve and I are also committed to several eating rules together, including “no eating after dinner” and doing a daily weigh-in.

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
My husband and kids, my parents, a handful of close friends, and our church community.

10. What was your biggest personal change this year?

I took on a brand new part-time role with work that is completely different than what I’ve done before.

11. In what ways did you grow emotionally?
I grew in peace and joy that went beyond external circumstances. I embraced more of my emotional world, and was more okay with feeling angry and frustrated.

12. In what ways did you grow spiritually?
I learned more about living in spiritual authority, and grew in understanding the dynamic between God’s power and my own obedience and submission. I grew in listening to God, receiving what he has for me, and letting go of expectations for my own spiritual journey.

13. In what ways did you grow physically?
I ran and exercised, and increased in strength and endurance. I can now run a few miles, and actually enjoy it a little bit.

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

Certain relationships with friends got deeper through consistent time together and sharing life in profound ways. In our marriage, Steve and I have hit a stride in partnering together as parents, dividing up responsibilities, and making big decisions together. In my relationships with my kids, I grew in enjoying the present moment. 

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Mindless internet browsing. Worrying about a messy home. Shouting at my kids in frustration.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cooking. Sleeping. Writing. Sabbath rest.

17. What was the best way you used your time this year?

Hanging out with Steve at night after the kids went to bed. Meeting with my spiritual director. 

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

How to live with simplicity and focus.

19. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A solid financial plan and budget for our family. A housekeeper/administrative assistant. Less things. 

20. What phrase or statement best describes 2013 for you?

Enjoying the present, and anticipating what is to come.

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