Monday, January 06, 2020

Reflecting on 2019, Part 1

(The photo above is from a previous winter, but I saw nearly this exact scene on my walk this morning.  The only difference is that today the field had a little more snow on it.)

And now ... to the topic at hand.  I tend to vary the ways I reflect on the years just past, but I do think it's a good idea to do so in some fashion.  It helps me, anyway, to clarify my thinking in planning for a new year.  Here are some links to questions I've used in the past:
Four Questions to Evaluate Your Walk with God for the New Year
31 Questions for the New Year
And also the ten questions below, from Holley Gerth:

Any of these would be super helpful to anyone wanting to reflect on the year just past, or to consider how they want 2020 to look. 

This year I decided to do something different and  use A New Year’s Perspective from Denise Cunningham.  There are ten questions and so far I have answered five of them.  I'll put my answers in a different color and font.

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 What hindered my spiritual growth last year?  What moved it forward?

I think the only thing that may have hindered my spiritual growth (although I must add that it didn't feel hindered at all)was that I didn't memorize as much Scripture and I didn't memorize as consistently as I have sometimes done.  That said, however, I definitely did see spiritual growth last year.  I just wonder if I would have seen more if I'd memorized more faithfully.

As far as what moved my spiritual growth forward, one big thing was that my husband and I have been discipling a couple who seriously want to grow in their walk with God.  That has encouraged us so much!  Attending a couples' retreat and, for me, a ladies' retreat, helped also, as did seeking to apply what I was learning.  Also, the more time I spent in the Bible, the more I grew.
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    What did God teach me last year?

One of the main things He taught me was that in spite of my tiredness, sometimes verging on exhaustion, He would give me the energy needed for ministry as I looked to Him.  Whether it was hospitality, teaching, or cleaning the church, the necessary strength and energy were there as needed.  I felt I learned more fully than ever that God's commands are His enablements.  

I also felt that I learned in a deeper way that we can trust God no matter how a situation may look.  He is always good, He always has a purpose in what He allows to touch our lives, and He is always in control.  Another thing He taught me (and gave me a burden for, in the process) is that not all believers understand these rich, yet basic truths about God.
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    What did I see God do in answer to my prayers last year?
Many, many things.  Too many to specifically list them all.  I think I saw answered prayer the most in simple, everyday matters as I definitely saw God answer many of my prayers for wisdom, and prayers asking Him to help me grow and change in many areas of life.
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    To whom did I give my life the most?  Does this need to change?
First and foremost, I give my life to God.  My husband and family come next, then others.  I invested myself in my Sunday School class, the ladies who read my blogs, and those we are discipling.  I think that there's a pretty good balance in this area, and that probably nothing needs to change.
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    What activities did I participate in that I need to repeat this year?
Discipling younger believers, showing hospitality, teaching Sunday School, cleaning the church, family activities, daily walks with a friend.
Which activities should I consider removing from my schedule?
 Hmmm ... good question.  I do think I will take Instagram off the schedule until afternoon each day.  I don't really know of anything else I should consider removing, but I trust that God will show me  if there is something that should go.

So there are some of my thoughts as I reflect on 2019.  What about you?


  1. How wonderful to see so much of what God has done in response to your prayers that you can’t tell it all. I should have written mine all down to remember by. Maybe I should get started before January gets away from me. Yes, I nodded reading what God has been teaching you.

    1. Yes, do write down the answers to prayer you see as they happen. I need to do that myself. (Some prayers concerning an unspoken request of ours have been answered so specifically, but I can't share them here.)

      I think God has likely been teaching us some of the same lessons this year!

  2. These are great questions. I always like to reflect and evaluate if you will. I just think it is a good habit. I once heard such a good sermon on pouring into those that are younger. It was built around the talents. Pouring into those 20 years or so behind us was making sure you were a 10 bagger:)

    1. That does sound like a wonderful sermon, Sandy! And yes, we are definitely pouring into younger believers. It's such a blessing!

      Yes, evaluating and reflecting is definitely a great habit!

  3. A great refection Mrs T. I do know of one situation that hindered me this year and it was a stormy relationship with a family member. I am trying to let it go this year and move on. It is so easy to hold on to hurt feelings. I am reading through the Bible this year. I have done it about five times in the past and it is always a blessing.

    1. You are so right, Arlene, we need to let those hurts go and move on. It is hard -- doubly hard when it's family -- but we can safely leave it with the Lord and move forward.

      I think I've read through the Bible 8 or 10 times or so in the past. It truly is always a blessing. It's probably time for me to do it again.


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