Thursday, January 12

What 2016 Taught

Every once in a while, I like to stop and recount what I've learned after a long stretch of life, and the start of 2017 seemed like the perfect time to pause and look back. Here are my major takeaways from 2016.

1.  I don't always know the answers. My gut isn't always right. 

As hard as it is to swallow, 2016 showed me that my pride and assumptive abilities have no place in any area of my life, but especially not in decision-making. I sometimes assume the answer is whatever I'm "feeling" the most. Guilty. 2017 will be the year of me not always following my gut.

2.  You can never go wrong when you choose to serve others rather than self. 

I'm not talking about neglecting ourselves here, I'm talking about service. Real, genuine, uncoerced acts of love and service for the benefit of others. Too often we make sure we get what we want and do what we want, and forget the bigger picture. Jesus modeled this kind of others first living, and it's something I want more of.

3.  Yep, it will be hard, but it will also be worth it. 

2016 taught me to wait out the storm, take a big leap, and trust even when the way is foggy. Good things can be really, really hard and also absolutely worth it.

4.  My family needs and deserves my best. 

I don't have many words to share here because I've already said it all. My family, this gift from God, deserves more of me.

5.  Regardless of others' opinions, follow God's words to you. 

Sometimes following God's lead involves receiving some backlash from those you know. That's okay. Be gracious and keep on following Him.

6.  Unconditional love makes a difference in my heart and theirs. 

One of my top struggles as a human is the habit of temporarily withdrawing my affection from those who have wronged me when unconditional love is what's needed instead. This takes place mostly in the parenting realm. I want to be a steady mother who gives consequences for poor choices from a place of mercy and grace rather than bitterness and swinging emotions. This post I wrote over on The Masterpiece Mom speaks to this.

7.  Good skincare and well-fitting pants are important to me. 

Laugh if you will, but how many times have we neglected our skin and worn pants that are way too uncomfortable? Way too many times. I pledge that my skin will be cared for and my pants will not make me want to unbutton them. Amen.

Well, there you have it. 2016 in a nutshell. Speaking of 2016, Anne-Renee and I just released a new podcast episode where we talk about all our favorites from last year. Clothing, music, books, TV shows, mothering moments, etc. You can listen right here: Episode 58 - Best of 2016

Happy January! What did you learn last year?