Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons of 2012

It's time for the obligatory end of the year post, summing up all the wonderful moments of The Next Step from the last year. To be honest, this has been a tough year for me with this blog. Sometimes I think it doesn't matter or I fear I've run out of new things to write about. I've considered quitting many times, but something (Someone?) keeps me going. If nothing else, it's a way to record what I'm learning, perhaps leaving a trail of bread crumbs for my children to follow, taking them to the Source of my hope and the only One who can give real life. So rather than give you the top ten posts of the year, I've decided to offer a small sampling of the lessons I've learned in 2012, those things that have stuck with me long after the words were typed.

In Retaining Me I realized there's nothing wrong with me. (Although there was that time a reader suggested I seek professional psychiatric help . . . hmmm.) We get these notions God has a ton of work to do in us. Maybe it's the way the Bible talks about transforming us that makes us think we need to be totally retooled. Sure, God is constantly teaching and refining, but our essence remains His unique creation. I really like that.

In Buying God a Smoothie I gained new understanding that the nice things we do for others don't need to be known for God to value and honor our sacrifice.

In If they knew how much they were loved . . . , the untimely death of a young person in our community taught me we have no way of knowing how our lives impact others. It spurred me to tell people when I appreciate them.

Worry over my kids and their futures as adults brought me to God who showed me the best way to help them in For the Sake of My Kids.

An experience that changed both my view of God and myself came after an emotional and awe-inspiring weekend with friends. God, Rachelle and Ann Voskamp chronicles the day my impressions of God expanded dramatically. Ever since that day I've yearned, longed, ached to feel His presence like that again. No one will be able to tell me God is not real and intimately involved in our lives after that weekend.

Now it's your turn. Help me know more about you. How about some reciprocity? What lessons did you learn in 2012?

Photo Credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom

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