Reflecting On 2016

Continuing my tradition of looking back over the past year......

1. What were the highlights or accomplishments of 2016?

The main highlight this year was the birth of our granddaughter in February! And a few months later her parents deciding to move to Brandon. Her daddy, Justin, is now working maintenance with his dad. 
I'm sure Danica would say the addition of her puppy, Raven in February was a highlight too! Our mini Goldendoodle, Bitsy, had five puppies, and we decided to let Danica keep one.
A summertime family get together was a highlight too. We decided to do Christmas in July when travel is so much easier. All but one made it home.

2. What were the major themes of the year?

I think the main theme of this year has been family concerns. Brian slipped on ice in the spring and was off work for a few weeks to heal. A couple of months later, our oldest son fell from a ladder, breaking the main bone in his foot. It's been hard watching from two provinces away, all he has gone through with healing, physio, the possibility of losing his foot in the future, financial concerns and questions about a future career. Two daughters had some health concerns that thankfully turned out to not be too serious. Helping out two other kids with their children, and working through some difficulties has been a big part of this year...not that I mind...I love being a part of my grandkids lives! And of course we still have three children that we are homeschooling, so there are always the regular day to day issues that come up along the way. Having a big family means there always seems to be something going on that can give me cause to worry and stress, but it also means the blessings are multiplied...and that is what I need to focus on in times of trouble!
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care on him; for he careth for you.

3. What disappointments or regrets did you experience?

My only regrets are my own failings and lack of consistency in sticking close to God. I've allowed the various concerns of my children to take my focus off the Lord, resulting in a lack of peace and joy. But it doesn't help to look back and dwell on these things if I don't learn from them, so I once again look to the the new year in hopes that I can keep my eyes on the Lord, and be fully surrendered to him and his will for my life.

4. What was missing from the year?

The peace and joy that comes from drawing close to the Lord, rather than allowing circumstances to overwhelm and distract me.

5. What did you learn from the past year?

I learned what I already know....that I can do nothing in my own strength. Without a close walk with God I live a defeated, joyless life, and as much as I may be 'doing' lots for others, it's really all just hay and stubble, and not really worth anything here and now, and certainly not beyond today.
The Bible study this past Wednesday evening was on obedience... just doing what God has already told me to do; what I already know....a simple concept, much like the one I wrote about earlier in the year...Just get up every morning and do what you need to do....The song Trust and Obey comes to mind....Just stop allowing circumstances to control me and do what I already know to do.

Once again...looking forward to the coming year!

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