Monday, January 1, 2018

Reflecting on 2017

Reflecting on 2017, looking ahead, evaluating my year

Here I sit on January 1st, spending just a little bit more time reflecting on 2017.

I am still amazed at all that happened in 2017. It was one of the toughest years I have had as an adult. The recurring themes God wove into my life were change and hope. So many changes, so many difficult times, and yet, so much hope. 

My best friend Sharra passed through the curtain to her life eternal, after a fierce battle with cancer. It was harder than I thought it would be to be the one left behind. The thing is - she was the best friend of several people, and we grieved our loss together, as we celebrated her life and the joy she brought to each of us. Her memorial service was one of the sweetest send-offs I have ever had the privilege of attending. I still pray often for her family, and her other close friends, as I know that as she left a hole in my heart, theirs must surely ache as well. And yet - there is hope. The more I have reflected on our friendship, the more I see the great gifts that God extended to me through that relationship. The loss has caused me to be more appreciative of the gift of friendship - and more willing to love others just as they are - because that was the gift that Sharra gave to each of us - love.

2017 saw our daughters growing up and more independent. I am so happy for them to be finding their ways to adulthood, although I must admit, it is a little scary at times to think that my babies are entering adulthood. Does that mean I am growing old? I hope not! LOL! I do hope I am growing more mature, but still choosing to revel in the joys of each day, and not becoming boring. My family has been such a source of joy to me this year, and they have made me laugh - big belly laughs, which I have so desperately needed!

I turned 45 last week, and while that might technically make me middle-aged, I do not feel any older. In fact, because of the abiding hope that God has planted in my soul this past year, I feel younger. I see more of my life that wants to be lived. I have a new sense of adventure that was lacking for so long. I do not fear the future, I look forward with anticipation to whatever God will do next!

Whether I live another week or another 50 years, I want to live my life well. God has shown me that to live this life well, to live it for Him, there are some things I should be focusing on in 2018: letting go of fear, letting go of grievances, being quick to forgive, and loving like Christ has loved me. These may seem like a tall order for a Mom who still needs to work outside the home and help her youngest finish high school, but God reminded me of something else this week: things that are impossible with man are possible with God. (Mark 10:27)

God has also reminded me of a truth I have know since high school, but too often push aside when the cares of the world crowd around me: only one thing is needed - Jesus. I have been like Martha (Luke 10:41) - worried and upset about many things, when I need to be like Mary - focused on Jesus. So for the first time ever, I feel like God has given me a word to focus on for this year, a word that should undergird everything I do, write, and say. Please come back on Thursday, as I will be sharing my word for 2018 then.

Until then - choose to be like Mary - focus on Jesus!

Wanting more ideas for the new year? Check out the weekly link-up!


  1. This was so encouraging to read! I've had a year of changes as well, and seeing that I face even more changes ahead. It's daunting, and it's tempting to be overwhelmed and fearful, but I'm trying to learn to trust God more and - as you said - hold on to hope and focus on Jesus. Happy New Year!

  2. I find myself worrying so much about everything. Something I have changed little by little but still a long path to journey on in the years that come.

  3. Focus on Jesus... always an important reminder!

  4. Lovely post, good food for thought.

  5. excellent message and one to take to heart. A lot of things happened in 2017 here too--far too many to remember. But I always want to remember to keep a God-focused life! Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Yes - focus on Jesus. That is what we need to be doing.