Friday, January 03, 2014

Reflecting on 2013

This gorgeous graphic is from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
I saw some reflection questions for 2011 from Simple Mom and thought they would help me get thinking.  I did this exercise for 2011, but apparently skipped doing so for 2012.  I'm hoping that reflecting on 2013 might help me in my goal-setting for 2014.  I'm still not sure about that, but thought I would post the reflection questions and my answers anyway.  So here they are. I will put my answers in italics for easier reading.

Reflection Questions for 2013
1.  What was the single best thing that happened this past year?  I was going to say the birth of a new grandchild in June.  But for the single best thing with eternal consequences, I would have to say the new birth -- a decision for Christ -- a five-year-old grandson in May.

2.  What was the single most challenging thing that happened?  I don't know if there was any one challenging event.  The entire year was just challenging in various ways.

3.  What was an unexpected joy this past year?  I can think of a few.  A fun road trip to Idaho with our daughter and family from Nevada.  Being able to take our two oldest granddaughters to some spiritually enriching events at The Wilds of New England, Dublin Christian Academy, and Trinity Baptist Church.  Being able to encourage other ladies in unexpected ways.

4.  What was an unexpected obstacle this past year?  My biggest obstacle is clearly myself -- I tend to get in my own way.  Isn't that interesting that this was also my answer for 2011's question?  Tiredness, too, was an obstacle of sorts.  And, in the past few months, I've also felt more under attack by Satan than ever before.

5.  Pick three words to describe 2013.  Challenging.  Busy.  Stressful.  But also rewarding.

6.  Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2013 (don't ask them; guess based upon how you think your spouse sees you).  Stressful.  Stressful.  Stressful.

7.  Pick three words your spouse would pick to describe their 2013 (again, don't ask them).  Challenging.  Busy.  Stressful.  But also worthwhile.

8.  What were the best books you read this year?  I didn't read a lot of books, but the best were probably Essential Virtues, by Jim Berg; Finding Your Purpose as a Mom/Building Your Home on Holy Ground, by Donna Otto; and A Woman's Guide to Making Right Choices, by Elizabeth George.

9.  With whom were your most valuable relationships?  My husband, my daughters, my grandchildren, several e-mail friends.

10.  What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?  I must admit to a negative change.  Completely falling off the exercise wagon.

11.  In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?  In general, through most of the year, I was able to trust God, not my wildly wavering emotions, and was able to keep my emotions under better control.  This was an answer to my ongoing prayer to grow in emotional stability.  The past couple of months, though, my emotions have again been a challenge.

12.  In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?  I definitely deepened my knowledge of God as revealed in His Word, and was reminded again that the better we know God, the better able we are to trust Him.  I've also seen some progress in various sin issues in my life; selfishness, in particular.

13.  In what way(s) did you grow physically?  I regressed pretty seriously in this area.

14.  In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?  I'm learning (I hope) to have more of a heart for other people and to become more sensitive as to how God might want to use me to help meet their needs -- spiritual and otherwise.  And I grew much closer to my husband; we were especially encouraged by a couples' retreat we attended in October and a nice getaway up north too.

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

16.  What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?  The day-to-day discipline of routine things that must be done.

17.  What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?  Procrastination(Would you believe this was also my answer for 2011?)

18  What was the best way you used your time this past year?  Writing, studying, encouraging, and teaching (both ladies and granddaughters); also, visiting faraway family.

19.  What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?  This is something I already knew, but I saw it more clearly than ever: God wants to use us in the lives of other people.

20.  Create a phrase or statement that describes 2013 for you.  "Being used of God in spite of myself".

Now to think these things through in relationship to my goals.  I hope to share my 2014 and January goals tomorrow.


  1. Mrs. T,
    I enjoyed reading this. I will be praying that you have a less stressed year in 2014!!

  2. Thanks, Nikki! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my simple reflections -- and I'm especially thankful for your prayers!


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