Monday, December 31, 2012

My Year End Review & A Free Gift For You

It's the very last day of 2012 and I'm excited about what God might bring in 2013! Before I start celebrating the New Year, however, I like to reflect upon and review the current year. I call it my year end review process but you could call it a year end wrap up or reflection session or whatever you like.

I used to have a very long and complicated year end review process. It worked for me at the time but now I have a much simpler process that I thought I'd share in case it might help you. It's three easy steps. I come up with my Top 20 amazing blessings of the year, top 10 achievements of the year and top 5 areas I'd like to improve on for next year. I just brainstorm them into a Google document as I think of them towards the end of December and then today I will narrow them down to the designated number. During the brainstorming process I just type up everything I think of related to each category and don't worry about numbers - usually I end up with a lot more than the numbered categories. I also add to it when I think of it in between creating the document and actually selecting the final 20, 10 and 5 items.

Coming up with my blessings list is a lot easier since I started tracking answers to prayer. God is so amazing! In 2012 alone, He answered at least 11 pages of my prayers (and probably more, because I don't write down everything and don't hear back from everyone who asks me to pray for him or her)! God has brought loved ones to salvation, healed sick friends, provided safe travel, relieved depression and far more. 

If you're wondering why I have the numbers the way they are, it's just my own personal logic. For years I've done a top 10 accomplishments list, but, as a Christian, I think it's more important to focus on God's work than my own so I wanted to have at least double praise for His accomplishments than my own. And, while I certainly have more than 5 areas that need improvement, keeping it at half of my accomplishments helps me stay positive about the changes I want to make. It works for me. If you try it, please let me know how it works for you.

My free gift to you is a blank copy of my 2012 Year End Review Google Document (the full link is also below for your reference)

May God bless you, keep you and inspire you to greater love, joy and peace!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing You A Blessed Christmas

 “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:11-14 NIV

From my heart and home to yours I wish you a blessed Christmas season. May the joy and peace of our Lord fill your hearts and souls, dear friends! Jesus is truly the best gift of all time and truly knowing Him as your personal Lord and Savior will change your life.

Many of you are missing loved ones, suffering from personal hardships, reeling from recent violent and natural events and my heart aches for you all. Please know that God loves you and wants to be your rock in these storms. I'll be praying for you!

These cute and funny photos of our cats are from a year or two ago but they make me smile and I hope they bring a spot of joy to your heart.

The first photo (at the top of this post) is our old grouchy cat, Moose in her a-bit-too-small Santa suit. The next one is my little baby cat (feral born) with a Santa hat I stealthily placed on her head after she fell asleep and the last photo is another of Moose the Cat in her Santa glory. I wish I hadn't given away that outfit. I thought I'd find her a better fitting one. Maybe before next Christmas.

May the God of all love and peace be with you this Christmas season and always!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crossroads & Your Suggestions Welcome

Photograph by richard_b
If you're wondering why I haven't posted in a while, it's mostly because I've come to a crossroad with blogging here. I've used up all the free photo space allowed so I need to decide whether to pay Google for additional storage, store photos somewhere else and link to the urls for the blog or take a leap and start my own webpage (or some alternative I haven't thought of yet - feel free to share your ideas!). I'm hesitant to spend money on the blog because it's not bringing in anything significant. At this point, it's more my gift to the world and something fun I can do from home, which brings me to the second reason for my silence.

In November I was gravely ill. I wanted to keep the focus of my November posts on gratitude so I don't think I mentioned that in my posts. I'm not feeling led to share the details of all my health challenges (it's one area of my life I do prefer to keep private) but suffice it to say I have a host of them and when one problem crops up it can quickly become a domino affect and lead to life threatening and/or potentially permanently disabling consequences.

By God's grace, I am healing and so very thankful for the measure of health I do experience. Our very life and breath are gifts from God. And that naturally brings me to the third reason for my relative silence. It's the Christmas season. Jesus is the absolute best gift we could ever receive. I've been using my bits of energy to prepare for and celebrate this precious season. Merry Christmas to you all (and for those that celebrate Chanukkah, Kwanza or other holidays - a happy holiday to you)!

Someone suggested that I turn my November thankfulness series into an eBook and I'm considering that. I will likely wait until the New Year to investigate further but I thank you for the idea! I love hearing from you all, whether you post here, on my personal or writer Facebook pages or email me at

So, if you have ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear them! I'm especially interested in free places to park photos, pointers on transitioning to a regular website, what you love most about my blog, what I could do to improve it or serve you all better and anything you think might help me with deciding my next steps on this writing path.

May the God of all peace and healing bless you, keep you and be with you dear reader!