Tag Archives: New Year

The Top 3 Lessons I Learned in 2017.

Our Creator is continually molding us, using our experiences and allowing others that can draw out our best self, if we let them. At the end of each year, I like to take time and look back on the year. This year was a year of numerous changes in every aspect of my life. Reflecting back on 2017, I see how much I’ve been able to learn and mature. Without all the complexity, and if I had stayed in my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have been pushed to growth. Most of all, without these changes, I would not have developed a closer relationship with my Savior. Without further ado, here are the top 3 lessons I learned in 2017.

1. Faith truly is believing in the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” There were certain decisions I made in faith, with wise consult, realizing God was leading me in a new direction. People thought I was crazy at times (even if they didn’t say it). In each situation, God came through. In fact, He came through in the nick of time in the last instance! Faith is not easy. I learned how uncomfortable it can be to live in the discomfort of now while not yet having the answer of how the situation would play out. But a life of faith brings us into a closer relationship with God. Walking by faith means sometimes taking the first step forward when you don’t know exactly where you’ll step next, or why you’re being asked to step that way! God is truly faithful.

2. Always surround yourself with positive people who truly want the best for you. When it comes down to it, the people you thought were in your corner…May not actually care about you as much as you thought. In difficult times, people will show their true character. Look at the character of those around you. Just as we are called to “test every spirit,” it’s important to examine the character of those influencing us. Negativity and criticism pull you down more than you can imagine. Unfortunately, I had to learn that the hard way. Going forward, I’m eager to spend time with the people who encourage me and build me up, and building new relationships of this sort. Positive relationships are life-giving and bring joy.

3. When I am weak, Christ is strong. I’m actually a little bit in awe when I look back on the year. A lot has happened in one year! Especially when it came to school, I sometimes wondered how I was going to finish strong. With Christ, we are overcomers. Leaning on Him, we can accomplish so much more than we ever thought possible! We can make it through situations that seem impossible. With Christ, I made it through difficult job changes, grueling semesters of school, and (by the end of the year) multiple moves. I’m going to keep leaning on Christ’s strength as life continues to change and require great persistence!

What lessons have you learned in 2017?

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Highlights of 2016

It’s difficult to believe that 2016 is almost over! I feel as if the year was swift, yet when I look back, it’s hard to believe how much happened!

Let’s start with something that will begin in early 2017. My patron for 2016, randomly chosen through the Saint Name Generator, turned out to be significant. It was St. Ignatius of Loyola. I have been a fan of the Examen and Ignatian discernment for a number of years. It turns out that one of his patronages also became important in my life. He’s the patron of educators and education. This year, I really felt the Lord nudging me to go back to school. After an interesting journey, I was accepted to the program of my choice! I will be starting as a part-time grad student for an M.A. in Counseling, as of January!

The year started out rough. Within the first week of the year I was ill. There was a high

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amount of drama at my workplace. It was a struggle. Through it all, I learned to lean on Christ even more. Reading the Scriptures & knowing my Creator through this became more important to me than ever before.

My city had a lot of victories. In June, I went to the parade celebrating our basketball team winning the NBA title! It was really a great celebration and a show of unity for a city that has had many setbacks and much division. The next month we hosted the Republican National Convention-and the candidate won the presidential election! Months later, the baseball team went to the World Series (though we did not win). In God’s eyes, this city is not “The Mistake on the Lake.” He is at work in this city.

I moved in with a roommate. Financially, this was a great decision. Even moreso, it is a benny-cuddle-2blessing to have a companion on the journey & who is also seeking God. She gets the journey. Not long after moving to the new place, a seeming “super-mouse” pushed me over the edge to adopt a cat. Though he did nothing to help with the mouse, he’s brought much laughter. (And praise God–the mouse (mice?) are gone. May they never return to our home.)

 

For the second year in a row, one of my reflections was published in a book! This time, it was a book written by my very own roomie! It’s a raw reflection about a relationship breaking up, but I pray it ministers to someone who may be in a similar situation.

I visited Africa, finally! It’s difficult to put into words how much this experience affected me and the joys it brought. I am so thankful for the miraculous way God brought it about. The whole trip and all His movements on the trip, too, were truly miraculous! I will be forever grateful.forblog

Truly, this was a year of beauty. Thank You, Heavenly Father. I look forward to 2017 and whatever adventures may lie ahead.

Happy New Year’s to all my readers! May our Heavenly Father bless, direct, and strengthen you in all your ways.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”~Philippians 3:13

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The Gift of 2015, and Onward to 2016.

As a year comes to a close, I like to recap the year in my journal. What amazing adventures did I experience that I never could have guessed (or had planned for a long time that finally came to pass)? What did I accomplish, by God’s grace? (One accomplishment for 2015: I had a reflection published in a book!) What “failures” were there, and what was God speaking to me through them? How did my relationships change, and hopefully for the better? Did I become closer in my walk with God? What helped me in my walk with God? Did I help others grow closer in their walk with God?

Then, I like to reflect on the upcoming year. To me, it’s totally unknown. But God has already written it.  I reflect on what I hope for in the new year. I pray about what resolutions to make. There are always areas of my life that could use improvement (obviously). Resolutions give me an opportunity to focus in more closely on certain areas. (Yes, I am one of those that does New Year’s resolutions.) As a writer and a reader, I like to think of a new year as a new chapter, and I believe that has helped me to succeed when making resolutions for a new year.  Literally, it’s like turning over a new page! Yet, I know that habits are built day by day, and not simply beginning on January 1st. Check out my friend Nicole’s insightful post on how the Lord doesn’t always work around the calendar year, and the works He is doing in her life.

I am so grateful that God has given us another year to seek Him. Another year of opportunities, challenges to grow through, and learning to love the people in our lives, old and new. Life is such a gift, and I hope to use my time well and for His glory in 2016 and beyond!

Happy New Year! May you learn to walk more closely with Him in 2016. Seek His ways and love above all. I pray for you all, that you may grow in joy and the peace of Christ!

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

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A Saint for 2016

“When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”-Revelation 5:8

As we go forward into a New Year, many are planning their resolutions and goals. This is a fine thing to do. Some Catholics also like to choose a patron saint for the year. I already chose my saint for 2016 using the below saint name generator–and was amazed to see how much his patronage fit what I am going toward in the New Year! It’s almost as if he  chose me (and perhaps he did!). I relate to this saint in various ways and am looking forward to asking his intercession in the New Year. Your saint will bring your prayers before God, a “golden bowl full of incense.”

The Saint’s Name Generator will choose a saint for your New Year. Are you ready to meet your heavenly companion for the journey?

Check out the Saint Name Generator.

There are some amazing stories of others who got perfect saints for themselves and their families. Check it out! The communion of saints is amazing!

What saint did you get?