June 27, 2017

How Was Your 2015?

How was your 2015? Mine was a confusing jumble of mountaintop experiences and dismal unending plateaus. If you’ve watched The Lord of the Rings, I often felt like I was stuck in the dead marshes. But like Frodo and his faithful companion Sam discovered, the marshes do not last forever.

Neither do the hard seasons. And looking back over this past year, I realize that our time in the marshes pales next to the thrill of the mountaintops and the lessons learned in the valleys.

Life is a series of glorious mountaintops and toilsome valleys, with a whole lot of mundane marshes in between.

I started the year off on a plateau, zoomed up the heights of seeing my husband graduate with his Masters of Divinity (after 7 long years of climbing!), flew to the next peak to begin our missionary journey, then dropped down to wade through the marshes over the past 6 months. Now I think we’re beginning to climb toward another peak, but it’s a slow journey upwards!

How about you – did you spend more time in the valleys, on the mountaintops, or in the marshes this year?

I’d love to hear the highlights of your 2015! What was….

  • your major focus?
  • your favorite memory?
  • most challenging accomplishment?
  • best improvement?
  • most exciting news?
  • biggest area of growth?
  • new interest or hobby?

And just for fun, how about sharing some other favorites from 2015? Like… your favorite fiction book, favorite nonfiction book, favorite hymn, and favorite Bible verse.

Want to know my highlights from 2015?

  • Focus for 2015: being present
  • Favorite memory: watching my husband’s graduation with both sets of parents
  • Accomplishment: completing a semester systematic theology in only 8 weeks
  • Improvement: continuing the momentum from doing school to double my work hours!
  • News: being accepted by Northwest Baptist Missions as pre-field missionaries 🙂
  • Growth: learning to be generous even when things seem tight
  • Interest: fractals in nature, seeing the patterns that give order to the beauty of creation
  • Fiction book: The Hobbit (why did it take me so long to read this?)
  • Nonfiction book: A Retrospect, autobiography of Hudson Taylor
  • Hymn: For the Sake of His Name by Chris Anderson
  • Bible verse: “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

In blog-related highlights, I’m thankful to have resumed a fairly regular schedule of posting. Once a week isn’t much, but it’s better than I was doing a year ago! The biggest factor in that was setting aside a regular time on the weekend to spend writing. After a few months of doing that, it became a habit and now it’s harder not to spend that time writing!

Here are some other blog-related accomplishments from 2015:

  • I published another ebook in July, Rest for the Weary: Spiritual and Practical Tips for Better Sleep. It’s based out of my own experience with chronic insomnia over the past decade. Intrigued? Download it here.
  • The DFD Newsletter was revived as a bi-monthly collection of links and tidbits to encourage, motivate, or inspire. I typically share a few paragraphs about some recent event or a quality I’ve been pondering; 3 interesting links about a wide variety of topics; and 1 book recommendation. View a sample newsletter here, then go here to subscribe.
  • This fall, I wrote a series of posts about supporting missionaries — including a personal appeal by yours truly, and a great guest post by Deb Crawford. Find links to each article in this post.
  • I also started creating some free desktop wallpapers this past year. Some of them have been available on the blog, and some are only offered in the newsletter (a good reason to subscribe, no?). Download one of my favorites here.
  • And finally, this is my 600th blog post! It’s hard to believe I’ve written that much over the past few years. Here’s to another 600!

Now it’s your turn! What are your highlights from 2015?
Hit reply so we can all rejoice with you – or send me an email, if you’d rather share privately.

 


Comments

  1. I love your newsletter idea! I have no idea why I’m not subscribed already but I am doing that today 🙂 Funny because I blogged about the new year and 2016 plans today too 🙂 Must be in the water! I’m so impressed with the path God is taking you in missionary work. My kids and I love learning and reading about missionaries and will need to keep up with your progress. My goal is to invest in what matters – I tend to spend too much time online, I think, and am trying to tidy that up a bit. We’ll see how it goes. Blessings to you in the New year! 🙂

  2. My focus was like yours: Wherever you are, be all there. -Jim Elliot
    I taught two women’s studies, the first on James and then Hebrews. Challenging but always enjoy studying. Loved getting to know the women more and seeing them grow spiritually and interact with one another.
    One of my best friends has deteriorated all year as her cancer continues to spread. That has been difficult. Because of this my study in Hebrews meant so much more because I fully realize this is not our home. As much as I will miss her, if the Lord chooses to take her home I am at peace with it. I hate to see her suffering.
    Fierce Convictions my favorite book of the year.
    As you and your husband prepare for the mission field, my husband and I finally have peace that this is where we are to be for now. Serving in our local church and just being a light in a world of darkness.
    Looking forward to 2016!

    • You’ve had a lot of ups & downs this year, Deb. Been praying for your friend as she struggles through the challenges of cancer… and for you as you settle into a new “normal” here in the States! Thanks for sharing! 🙂