this time of year.
by Misty Dawn
i can count on one hand the times i’ve sat to write this year.
and while i did choose LESS as my “word” this year, I never anticipated the theme would also eclipse my blog.
but even though it appears I’ve had less to say, I have had much to consider.
i love this time of year so much.
not because more light shines at night,
on all the roofs and off the yards filled with wooden statues of angels or elves and reindeer, depending on the heart of the home.
i love this time of year because it’s a time of deep reflection.
for looking back.
for looking ahead.
for making sense of.
for merging what was with what is, and what might be.
that’s what i love about this time.
different things make alive the souls and the spirits each of us embody.
writing does that for me.
and so during a season of deep reflection, i write.
and i come alive.
i have a few women i’ve grown to love over these past few years, and we are committing to an annual reflection retreat. a 24 hour period of being together. not on Facebook. not in a crowded restaurant, or in a party atmosphere where we will put on the latest trend and smile for instagram then hashtag how blessed we are.
but rather, we will get away, and we will get real. we will have already done our personal reflections, and we will face to face, share ourselves with one another. we will experience the union we were made for, that we thrive in, and that honors the God we love so much.
this is what i love.
i love to look forward.
and i love to look back.
and i love to know and be known.
here is what we will ask truly of ourselves, every year, and here is what we will share.
summarize this year in three words.
what were the most significant things in your life this year? how did they shape you?
what was difficult in your life this year and why? have you been able to see and receive God’s faithfulness?
what were the triumphs of this year? how did they lead you to worship?
who was important in your life this year? what role did they play?
what relationships have changed this year? wow and why? how have these changes affected you?
what relationships are in need of repair? where do you need to extend or receive forgiveness?
how strong is your belief in God’s goodness? how has it been challenged/strengthened?
what losses or disappointments did you suffer this year? how is your life different because of them?
in what areas did you struggle with sin?
what did you learn about yourself this year? how are you different?
what has happened in the world this year? how has your perspective and worldview changed?
did you care for “the least of these” this year? how?
“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40
how well did you steward your money? time? relationships?
do you have regrets? what are they? how have you worked to resolve them?
what and how did you hear from the Lord this year? what did He teach you?
do I need to repent of anything? thank anyone? encourage anyone?
what fears/hopes for the coming year do you need to lay before the Lord?
thank you for seasons of reflection. and for those trustworthy enough to share ourselves with fully. thank you for promising to renew and redeem all that has been broken. and thank you for minds that are capable of being transformed by the power of Your word. let us be ever increasing in our awareness of Your hand moment by moment, in our knowledge of you and in our love for you as we reflect each year.