Monday, January 05, 2015

Reflecting on 2014

Graphic from Baptist Bible Hour
I saw some reflection questions for 2011 from Simple Mom and thought they would help me get thinking.  I did this exercise for 2013 and found it helpful. Again this year, I'm hoping that reflecting on 2014 may help me in my goal-setting for 2015.  I'm still not sure about that, but thought I would post the reflection questions and my answers.  So here they are. I will put my answers in italics for easier reading.

Reflection Questions for 2014
1.  What was the single best thing that happened this past year?  I would have to say unexpected blessing and healing taking place in a very difficult situation.

2.  What was the single most challenging thing that happened?   The entire year was challenging in various ways.  But I guess the biggest challenge has been an increased burden of eldercare due to the sudden death of my only sibling.  It has caused depression and increased confusion in our elderly parent.

3.  What was an unexpected joy this past year?  I can think of a few.  A fun road trip to a different part of Nevada with our daughter and family while visiting them.  The birth of a new granddaughter in November -- a surprise to all!  Being able to encourage other ladies in unexpected ways.

4.  What was an unexpected obstacle this past year?  Needing to give much more time to my elderly dad.  Aside from that, my biggest obstacle is clearly myself -- I tend to get in my own way.  (Isn't that interesting that this was also my answer to this question in the two previous years I've reflected on?)  Tiredness, too, has been an obstacle of sorts.  And this year I've also felt more under attack by Satan than ever before.

5.  Pick three words to describe 2013.  Challenging.  Interesting.  Stressful. 

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.  Frustrating.  Stressful. 

8.  What were the best books you read this year?  I didn't read a lot of books, but the best were probably Off Script, by Cary Schmidt; Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, by Crystal Paine; and The Power of a Godly Grandparent, by Stephen and Janet Bly.

9.  With whom were your most valuable relationships?  My husband, my daughters, my grandchildren, several e-mail friends; the ladies in my Sunday School class.

10.  What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?  My sibling's death threw my dad into depression and further confusion, requiring me and my husband to spend much more time attending to his needs.

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.  I definitely lengthened my fuse.  This was an answer to my ongoing prayer to grow in emotional stability.  I think I have also become more empathetic, which is a good thing.

12.  In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?  I became more dependent on God and deepened my knowledge of Him.  I've also seen some progress in various sin issues in my life.

13.  In what way(s) did you grow physically?  Again this year, I regressed pretty seriously in this area, although there have been some isolated areas of victory.

14.  In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?  I felt that I grew much closer to my husband; we were especially encouraged by a couples' retreat we attended in October and several nice getaways.  On the one getaway, we were able to go over a lot of the material that had been covered at the retreat.  It was great for us.

15.  What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?  Creativity; using my talents and spiritual gifts.

16.  What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?  Caregiving is easily the most challenging.  It doesn't come naturally to me.  I also found it very challenging to try and balance that with homemaking, ministry, and so on.

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

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

19.  What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?  I truly can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.

20.  Create a phrase or statement that describes 2014 for you.  "Unexpectedly challenging, but no surprise to God".

Now to think these things through in relationship to my goals.  I hope to share my 2015 and January goals tomorrow.


  1. You had a very eventful year both good and bad it seems. The good thing is tat 2014 is gone and we're on to 2015, the day is new and we are making 2015 history as we speak.
    Loved reading all your answers. Hope you have a great week!

  2. Thanks so much, Tori! You are such an encourager!

    Hope you will have a wonderful week as well!

  3. Mrs T, you have had a stressful year. I will be praying for you as you care for your dad. Thank you so much for your prayers for my family.

  4. Arlene, thank you so much for your prayers. I think I didn't completely realize how stressful the year had been until I was doing this reflection on 2014. It has been exhausting and looks as if it will continue that way for some time to come. I am more thankful than I can say for the prayers and encouragement from my blogging friends.

  5. You've had quite a year, Mrs. T!!! Your transparency is an encouragement, knowing that others go through challenging times & seeing how God helps them through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I need to do this one again too!

  6. Thanks, Susan. It *has* been quite a year. I am so thankful for God enabling me through it all. Although I am very tired, I do feel as if the Lord carried me and lifted me above the hardest times.

    Will you share your reflections once you've done this exercise? I'd love to read them!


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