Goodbye 2015!

Goodbye 2015!

What a year!

Maybe like most, on the final day of 2015 I’m reflecting on the past 12 months before opening the new book of 2016!

Everyone has a different way of reflecting and no method is the way to review, but I’ll share the categories I used to evaluate my 2015!

2015 threw me a few curve balls, but at the end I’m much stronger, wiser and freer! So here’s some of mine from each category…

Grateful:

  • God’s protection, mercy and grace in my life!
  • People revealing (completely) their true character makes my life way easier.

Travels:

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Dallas, TX
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

Ringing in 2016 here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!
 

    What Worked in 2015:

    • Morning Prayer/Bible Study
    • Morning Pages writing 
    • Bullet Journal
    • Focus on my goals
    • Letting Go of Expectations
    • A year of silence

    What Didn’t Work in 2015:

    • Looking back
    • Worry, anxiety and fear
    • Doubt
    • Chasing approval from those whose approval I could never win.

    High 5s!:

    • God protecting me through it all and (finally) trusting His time, His process.
    • Time to travel and explore this great big world!
    • Taking the high road….very high road!

     

    2016 looks beautiful!
     

      2015 brought me the greatest disruption, shock, growth and yet the deepest joy in my life.  How can that all happen in one year?  The grace, mercy and protection of Jesus Christ.  Emily P. Freeman wrote in Simply Tuesday something to the effect any pain that comes to you must first go through Jesus Christ. 

       Jesus stands before me and takes the initial impact of pain…and I am witness that He did that for me and He is my Savior and I give all glory to Him.

      What about you?  How did your 2015 shape up?  I’d love to keep the conversation going in the comments below!!


        Merry Christmas!

        Merry Christmas!

           

        Ready or not….it’s December 25th!   

         

        Yes!!
         
        Merry Christmas!!

        Whether your Christmas be little or big, I certainly hope your Christmas is merry!!

        I’ve marked this Advent season…

        Advent

        …lighting a candle and reflecting upon each Advent word that Jesus brings us all.

        And today, as we celebrate His birth my heart again is overflowing with joy and humility at how our Creator brought His Son Jesus into this world.

        I share here part of a hymn written by Charles Wesley in 1745. This hymn is no longer sung in churches, but first came to my attention in my seminary Liturgy class years ago.

        Who now would be great,

        And not rather wait

        On Jesus, their Lord, in His humble estate?

        Like Him I would be,

        My Master I see

        In a stable; a stable shall satisfy me.

        With Him I reside:

        The Manger shall hide

        Mine Honour; the Manger shall bury my pride. 

        -Charles Wesley, Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord

         

        Jesus is Born!

        As we continue to celebrate and worship during this Christmas season, I pray we continue to humble ourselves at the manger and leave our pride there.

        Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Season!

           

        For Your Weekend:  Pre-Christmas Links

        Advent Joy

        The Advent candle of Joy’s been lit and yet your in the middle of the…can I say it….grind of Christmas. 

        Maybe you’ve been stuck in horrible traffic, or the checkout lines have been waaaaay too long or the one perfect Christmas gift cannot be found and purchased.

        Take a deep breath….lower the bar (seriously, no one will die if you you don’t do ______this Christmas) and restore your JOY!

        • Alli Worthington’s new book, Breaking Busy, is available January 2016…but you can grab a FREE chapter on breaking busy with holidays here.  You’re welcomed!
        Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington available January 15, 2015!
        • Star Wars has opened and this is for all you Star Wars geeks!! Bill Murray perfectly captures the mood.
        • When crazy calls you up or shows up at your Christmas gathering!    Seriously, drama erupts at holidays and this article  from Psychology Today is a lifeline when family, friends or random strangers try to harsh your Christmas joy.  If you implement these strategies, you will be golden.

        Celebrating Advent joyfully while lowering the bar…how are you  keeping sane this Advent?

          

          Peace for Your Thursday

          Peace for Your Thursday

          Peace

          This Advent week, the candle of Peace has been lit.  Your heart and mind ache over recent decidedly unpeaceful world and national events. 

          The Advent candle is burning in a cracked container…and yet it still shines forth into the darkness.

          This world isn’t our home and right about now we need reminding exactly who and what true Peace is all about.

          • God’s Peace transcends all understanding.  see Philippians 4:7
          • Jesus is the Prince of Peace. see Isaiah 9:6
          • Jesus is our Peace.  see Ephesians 2:14
          • Jesus gives us His Peace. see John 14:27
          • Jesus’ Peace is not like the world’s temporary peace. see John 14:27
          • We are to let Jesus’ Peace rule in our hearts.  see Colossians 3:15

          Light your Advent Peace candle, even if it’s broken and banged up.  Pray for Jesus’ Peace to reign in the unpeaceful corners of your life.  Pray to be be a part of the light of Christ to bring His Peace to others.  Pray for peace.  

            What I Learned in November

            What I Learned in November

            November began gloriously with an extra hour of sleep (thank you very much!) and perfect Fall days!

            I know I sound like a broken record, but November blew by…whew, it sure did!

            I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman sharing what I learned this November!

            God’s beauty demands attention!

            1.  Long walks with my husband renew me.  We live in the country and we regularly take long walks (over 4 miles) down country lanes.  We walk, even if it’s raining!  

            2.  Travel and adventure are in my blood! Looking back over 2015, I’ve traveled every month except November!  We’ve traveled some amazing world cities as well as cities and towns closer to home.  

            Even with the recent terrorist attacks, my love of travel has only gotten stronger!  Our world is amazing and I can’t wait to explore even more of it!

            3. This quote. 

            We’ve been taught to believe that actions speak louder than words, but I think words speak pretty loud all our lives.  We carry these words in our head.” -Marlo Thomas

            The current conventional wisdom of “actions speak louder than words” seriously exhausts me.  I stumbled across this quote at the precise moment I needed it when I had hateful words roar in my head from months ago. 

            God holds us accountable for the words we speak to others see Ephesians 4:29.  How many sermons have you heard from this passage of Ephesians?  Pastors usually focus on the first part of chapter 4…different parts of the body of Christ…when they preach on volunteering in the church. 

            4.  Jewel’s book is worth the read.

             

            Never Broken-Songs are Only Half the Story by Jewel
             

            Don’t want to say too much about this book, but oh my stars….Jewel is definitely a survivor and has pushed her way through many tough situations.  

            What did you learn this November?  I’d love to hear! Comment and we’ll keep the conversation going!