1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
We saw God provide over $16,000 for us to purchase our next car. That hits on many, many levels for me – provision, faith, trust, not being in control.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
(can you tell it was a year of contradictions?)
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Finding out that we don’t qualify for child income tax credit due to our living situation. Huge financial blow as well as a sucker punch to our faith.
5. Pick three words to describe this past year.
Broken. Clarity. Redeem.
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your year—don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you.
Challenging. Realization. Freeing.
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their year—again, without asking.
Growth. Discipline. Clarity/Realization.
8. What were the best books you read this year?
Bonhoeffer. Ken Follett’s new books about WW1 and WW2. Leading with a Limp. Nourishing Traditions.
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I actually enjoy spending time with my daughter now.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I reached the edges of my emotions and had to function there and beyond. At times it was very dark but I choose to keep moving and eventually came through to the other side. I learned that the love of a parent is about choice, not emotion. Even when the feeling of bonding isn’t there, I can still choose to act on the love I know my child needs.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I experienced the reality that God desires my obedience in the one thing He is asking of me, not the balance of the many things I think should take priority.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Challenged my addiction to sugar and using food for comfort and escape. Tried practicing Holy Yoga. Started walking in the mornings before the kids are awake for some necessary solitude.
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I realized that what I perceive others think of me often drives my response to situations and relationships. Usually that perception is completely untrue and based more on my fears and insecurities and wounds than a realistic response from others. Those lies and myths drive me to operate out of the fear of man instead of the fear of the Lord. I started to recognize those thoughts and speak truth instead of agreeing and being swept away in those fears.
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Doing laundry with Madison (‘fashion show!’). Handing over the Fruitfulness Chart to someone else. Seeing the kitchen system I created actually work outside of my own head and have others improve on it. Long walks with both kids.
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Hunter loves preschool. It was hard for me to come to terms that it’s okay for him to be outside the house for a few hours a week. The first six months of Scott in the CSBS was quite intense with all the hours of homework he had and having to occupy the kiddos so he could focus. It took awhile to come down off of that pattern.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
The self-pity parties I throw in my head.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Choosing to get up in the mornings before the kids and walk or do Holy Yoga. Write. Sew. Pursuing people when I felt the nudge to do so.
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
My children are loved because I choose to love them.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.
A deep sweet breath of fresh air has never felt so freeing as after you’ve been drowning.
Thanks Tsh and this post for inspiration.