As the calendar takes a turn to the new year, it feels apropos to reflect back on all that this year held. unless i make myself write it all down, anything i learned will float about in the air and i will forget and whatever it is will be lost in space. when i force myself to do the work of organizing my thoughts and writing them down, i am more likely to remember. and when i forget, i can look back and be reminded-and eventually new found freedoms stick!
Here are some things i learned about myself in 2014 along with a few of my favorite pictures from the year!
1. The idol of being understood is not worth its price.
it is a breath of fresh air to be understood and quite painful to be misunderstood. this isn’t really news to me, but the awareness of how much energy i waste on anxiety, fear, and stewing over it along with other sins i commit because i’ve made being understood into a god was a new area of learning. i’ve decided it’s not worth it.
2. I can be the boss of our money.
i learned some new lessons on being the boss of our finances rather than the victim of them. just like it is in the management of my time, saying no to some things means saying yes to others. This year we more fully owned some of our choices to be frugal and thrifty in some aspects of our budget so that we could be extravagant in others.
3. I have tendencies towards recipe living and series writing.
my eyes were opened to ways i’d reduced prayer to a recipe. somewhere along the way i bought the lie that if i could just fine the right ingredients i could control the outcome. once i saw this i began to see other ways i’ve applied the recipe principle in my living. catching thoughts like; “i thought if i loved them well, my children would grow up secure.” when i hold that thought in my hands and turn it to see all of it’s sides, i get to the bottom of things and can speak to myself what is true; “loving them well is important, but they will still need God.” Because raising children and living a life of faith and prayer, etc. etc. etc. is colorless when reduced to a recipe, i’m pulling away from that and entering instead into the Love Story life is meant to be.
i also began to notice how often i find myself un-intentionally writing a series-one that i did not plan. the only time i plan a series is when i’ve taken on a 31 days writing challenge. those challenges stretch me-not just because it’s writing everyday, but because it is writing within a planned series.
4. I enjoy the company of other writers.
there are things about me that i never knew were a part of a writer’s make-up. when i attended the Writer’s Barn Event there was a lot of; “What? you too?” moments. There were so many parts of that Barn day that will forever enrich my soul and this was a big one of them.
5. I don’t have to pick a word for the year for there to be one.
i didn’t pick a word for the year. i’ve never picked a word for the year. But the One who has engraved my name on the palms of His hands chose one for me, and i didn’t even know about it until just this week. As i spent time looking back, there bookending my year was the word Wonder. I began the year writing a series on Wonder. And i ended the year doing the same. i didn’t connect those dots. The One who chose the dots for me did the connecting. that sense of Wonder that i longed for is no longer lost. at least not today.
Goodbye 2014, you’ve been a Wonder-ful year!
i am thankful for the community link-up; What We Learned in 2014 over at Emily Freeman’s place, it’s just the thing i needed to follow through and do the work of remembering!
I love Emily’s link ups each month. I’ll be chewing on your lesson of the idol of being understood for a while. I hadn’t thought of it that way. The barn event sounds wonderful. I would love to be around others who write. I think the experience would be nurturing. Wishing you the best in 2015.
Thanks Mimi! And yes, being around others who write was nurturing. I’d not experienced that before and I learned a lot from it.
Melony, somehow I missed this list when it was first posted. So glad I found it today. Your talking about recipe prayers made me realize that I too, sometimes fall into this pattern. And the word for the year – I have done them in the past, but not this year. I like your way better – God always brings us to the word or words we need at the time we need them. So glad you found wonder.