As 2018 is rapidly approaching, there is much to reflect on from 2017. There were ups, downs, tests, trials, giggles and belly laughs, beautiful memories, new chapters of our story being written, and many leaps of faith. As we embrace 2018 with arms wide open, I am reflecting on 5 lessons that God taught us in 2017. I am praying for you now as you approach 2018. Maybe 2017 was full of painful memories or difficult people and trying situations.
May we continue to let hope arise and let God be the flashlight on a windy, ill lit pathway, full of twists and turns.
1. Don’t worry so much about what people think. We should try not to compare our lives and circumstances to other people. This establishes unhealthy and unrealistic goals and ideals for our lives. It is so easy to compare things to what we can “see,” but there are often variables and situations that are naked to our wondering eye. This has been a season of changing and rearranging some things for us. People make comments based on what they see, but they do not always see or know what make up the whole puzzle. It is so important to realize we cannot base our decisions and our happiness on people. It is God and God alone whom we must place our trust and guidance in. He will not leave us alone during the seasons of the valleys or the mountain tops.
2. Keep learning. Author and Certified Life Coach, Janell Rardon, signs everything “Always Learning.” The more I let this stew around in my brain, the more I fall in love with it. There is much to learn every single day of our lives. We cannot remain stagnant. We must be eager to always learn new things, expand and grow in our passions and talents, and keep an open mindset toward other people. Maybe it is time we read new books, start a new hobby, or take that class we have always wanted to take! Keep learning, keep challenging yourself mentally, physically and spiritually, and keep embracing new things.
3. Don’t live within the walls of your comfort zone. God has shown me in the latter part of 2017 that I need to reach outside my comfort zone more. To do some things that kinda terrify me. To talk about my faith more. To not just do things because it is what we have always done! To make new friends! To make mommy friends who may understand more of the emotions and challenges I am facing so we can talk about them and be there for one another. Have you stepped outside your comfort zone this year? I have much stepping to do in 2018! Progress …
4. Take leaps of faith. 2017 has been interesting for our family. Dealing with constant car issues. Downsizing. Russ finishing one medical certification and moving forward with the last one in the first part of 2018. Sometimes we do not see the end picture, but we have to trust God and continue taking steps toward the brighter, healthier future God has for us. Sometimes the decisions are difficult and may even seem unfair, but God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) and there is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
5. Stay thankful! The Lord has shown me time and time again this year that even in the waiting periods, difficult periods, and downright painful and frustrating periods that there is always something to be thankful for. He has shown me to find the beauty in simplicity and the beauty in “less things.” He is showing us to work on making lasting memories and to spend quality time together and to make moments count. He is showing us daily to always find the blessings rather than letting the waiting periods bog us down.
What has God shown you in 2017?
I am excited for what God has in store for 2018! It may not always be roses and butterflies and gummy bears, but God’s plan is beyond anything we could ever imagine or hope for. His plan gives hope to the hopeless. Joy to the downtrodden. His love and plan changes and restores the sad and lonely parts of our hearts. As we reflect on 2017, I pray we can see how perfect and timeless God’s provision is.