Monday, January 30, 2012

Reflections on 2011

How did January move so quickly?  Here we are at the next-to-last day of the month, and I haven't yet posted about any goals for the new year.  Dare I say I haven't even written any down?

Before I posted about goals, I wanted to post about reflections on 2011.  I saw some reflection questions for 2011 from Simple Mom and thought they would help me get thinking.  Furthermore, I felt that reflecting on 2011 might help me in my goal-setting for 2012.  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 2011
1.  What was the single best thing that happened this past year?  I was going to say the birth of a new grandchild in August.  But for the single best thing with eternal consequences, I would have to say the new birth -- a decision for Christ -- of two grandchildren, a 5-year-old in July and an 8-year-old in August.

2.  What was the single most challenging thing that happened?  Having my husband spend days and weeks away from home for work.

3.  What was an unexpected joy this past year?  Having my two oldest granddaughters here for much of the summer.

4.  What was an unexpected obstacle this past year?  My biggest obstacle is clearly myself -- I tend to get in my own way.

5.  Pick three words to describe 2011.  Challenging.  Exhausting.  Rewarding.

6.  Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don't ask them; guess based upon how you think your spouse sees you).  Challenging.  Tiring.  Stressful.

7.  Pick three words your spouse would pick to describe their 2011 (again, don't ask them).  Challenging.  Exhausting.  Worthwhile.

8.  What were the best books you read this year?  I didn't read a lot of books, but the best was easily What Do I Know About my God?  by Mardi Collier.

9.  With whom were your most valuable relationships?  My husband, my daughters, my granddaughters, and two good friends.

10.  What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?  I realized that I could get through anything in God's strength and with His help.  I have been through extremely hard things in previous years and thought I already knew this, but I learned it in a new way while my husband was working away from home.

11.  In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?  In general, 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.

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 also learned, more than ever before, the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:13, that God will not allow us to be tested above what we are able, but will, with the temptation, provide a way to escape so we will be able to bear it.

13.  In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?  I grew closer to my granddaughters as they spent so much time here during the summer.  And I grew much closer to my husband; we were especially encouraged by a couples' retreat we attended in October.

14.  What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?  Being able to exercise creativity and also making things orderly.

15.  What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?  Using my time wisely.

16.  What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?  Procrastination.

17.  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.
18.  What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?  Not anything new, but again that God is trustworthy for every situation we face in life.

19.  Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.  "Another opportunity to trust the Lord."  This is not an original phrase with me; I borrowed it from Elizabeth George's fantastic book, Loving God with All Your Mind.  But it fit my year so perfectly, I decided to use it.

Now to think these things through in relationship to my goals.  Hope I can share something concerning my goals tomorrow, while it's still January!


  1. I loved reading through your thoughts on last year. I bookmarked several similar reviews, but I have yet to choose one and answer the questions. Thanks for the motivation to do that, even with one month already gone by. I'd guess it's never too late to do some evaluation!

  2. Thanks, Susan! I am glad I finally got these down on paper (this past Saturday I found a few quiet minutes!) and now in a blog post. I agree, it's never too late to do some evaluation. We tend to feel we must do something in a "perfect" time frame and that if we neglect to do that, it's just too late. Not so! In the case of the new year, we still have eleven months before us, and I think having done this review will definitely help me in setting goals for 2012.

    Thanks for reading and leaving such a sweet comment.


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