FRIDAY REFLECTIONS: What I Learned from 2011

January 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM 2 comments

Onward...and upward!

Well, the results are in!

This past week I took the plunge and interviewed my 2011 using Ramon Presson’s four simple questions…and gazillion follow-up questions.

I came away from the experience with a couple of distinct feelings. One was gratitude. I realized that I seldom take the time to write down the things that went well. And when I did, God’s blessings in 2011 were very clear to see. 

Yet as I reviewed my answers, I also felt a bit overwhelmed. How could I possibly process a whole year’s worth of information? And I almost started to lose focus.

Then I noticed a pattern emerging. I realized that my 2011 had basically given the same answers to almost every question I posed, just stated different ways. I wanted to stay connected with God and live life out of His strength, rather than just mine. I wanted to love and be loved. I wanted to have an impact for the kingdom in my personal life and ministry. I wanted to bring pleasure to the heart of God. I wanted to hear His “well done”…not just at the end of my life, but at the end of each day of 2012.

Yet beyond the generalities, there were also some specifics. I wanted to live a healthier life. To work out more and eat junk food less. To rediscover my ab muscles. To put first things first, instead of second or third, or getting derailed by whatever shiny object crossed my path. To work harder at my craft–to write and speak words that bring love and truth and laughter to those who hear them. To enjoy the daily rhythm of creativity for its own sake, not just for the “end result.”

To get to the grocery store more often, and eat take-out less. To actually cook from scratch once in a while. To see my husband smile more often, and try his patience less. To love more deeply. And laugh more easily. To cultivate a grateful heart, and learn to worship God over every little blessing that crosses my path. To worship Him when things go wrong, knowing that He’s awesome enough to work even that for good. To be present more often, and distracted less. To touch eternity by living in each little moment in simple childlike faith.  To let God train me in His ways, rather than simply “trying harder.”

And naturally there were some personal goals that mean something to me, but wouldn’t mean much to anyone else. I imagine you have some of those yourself. I noticed that some of those were things that I MEANT to do last year, but didn’t quite get to. Which is one of the reasons I really like this interviewing the past year thing. It’s a very handy “elbow inyour back” to do the things you’ve been putting off, or never quite made time for like you meant to.

Like for example, I’ve been meaning to write a new book for a couple years now. I didn’t realize quite how long I’d procrastinated that particular goal. But when you see it written out on a list more than once,  it’s pretty clear. You want to write a book. But you haven’t made the time. Hmm, maybe that should move closer to the top of the list?  Or maybe it needs to be broken down into smaller steps so it’s not quite so daunting. For that matter, maybe I should start with a blog post. Or an article. Or a pamphlet. But for heaven’s sake, don’t just keep adding it to next year’s list! You get the idea.

I’m curious, what sort of things showed up in your 2011 interview? I’m dying to know! Anyone out there brave enough to share an answer or two, or at least a trend you noticed? I’m sure we’d all benefit from hearing…and once you share a goal with others, it’s always that little bit easier to move toward it . Hope to hear from some of you…

But whether you have the courage to post a comment or not, I’m praying we can all learn a thing or two from our past year, and carry it forward with us into 2012. As the old saying goes, “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” May we be those who learn from the past and move on from glory to glory in God’s strength!

Blessings and new beginnings in 2012!


Entry filed under: Friday Reflections. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Aldrich  |  January 27, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Thanks for the food for thought…I’m still chewing on it, but enjoying the meal!


  • 2. Jennifer Nigh  |  January 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    hmmmm! i’ll have to check out Ramon’s 4 simple questions and dig a little deeper!



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Writer... speaker..."growing edge" seeker


Each new day offers a fresh opportunity to learn or languish, stagnate or grow. Like all sincere Christians, I face the ongoing challenge of finding THE GROWING EDGE.


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1. LISTEN without interrupting
(Proverbs 1:8)

2. SPEAK without accusing
(James 1:19)

3. GIVE without sparing
(Proverbs 21:26)

4. PRAY without ceasing
(Colossians 1:9)

5. ANSWER without arguing
(Proverbs 17:1)

6. SHARE without pretending
(Ephesians 4:15)

7. ENJOY without complaint
(Philippians 2:14)

8. TRUST without wavering
(I Corinthians 13:7)

9. FORGIVE without punishing
(Colossians 3:13)

10. PROMISE without forgetting
(Proverbs 13:12)

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