Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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A Look Back at My 2013

92419672Wow, ok. It’s already the end of 2013. How can days move so slowly, but years move so quickly? Today I had one of those moments where I tried to remember back to my teens, looking ahead to what I thought life would be like in the year 2013. I don’t remember exactly what I pictured for myself at this time, but I can tell you it’s not what I’m living. It’s funny how that happens. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just different. In many ways, I’m a different person than I was in my teens, so how could I have predicted correctly?

The even funnier thing is that I’m not 100% the person I was 11 months and 18 days ago when I began this year. I, like you, am an ever-evolving being. And I kinda dig that. It’s fits well with the side of me that likes to learn.

Travel back with me, if you will, to January 11th when I launched my theme for the year—SIMPLIFY. Oh, what a day—full of excitement and hope and possibility! It was a good day.

So, now, on December 18th, what do I make of the past 11 plus months? Progress.

I will brag on myself that this was probably the best job I’ve done at keeping my theme in front of me. I had books and discussions and reminders galore. This theme was not going to pass me by! Or maybe after five or six years, I’m just starting to get the hang of things. 😉

I definitely made some improvements.

  • I got rid of quite a bit of stuff. Unfortunately, new items also made it home as well. But the new did not outweigh the old. For clothes, it has really helped me want to get rid of things when I see the faces they will go to and know how much it will help them.
  • I got off some email lists. I went mostly vegan a couple of months ago, though, so I signed up for a bunch of new ones. I need to get off a few of those because, let’s face it, Pinterest is mostly a wish list and not a to-do list for me. But I have not missed any of the lists I removed myself from.
  • I paid down some debt, and will meet my personal goal by the end of the year. It ain’t over, but it’s less, and that matters.
  • I focused on two primary volunteer activities with Not For Sale Georgia and Out of Darkness.
  • I started volunteering in my church’s children’s ministry so I could meet some more people since I’ve been sick so much and unable to join a missional community.
  • I wanted to continue my writing, and this blog has mostly served that purpose. I’ve come close to meeting my goal of writing something every week.

Curve balls:

  • I STILL deal with mono everyday. It’s been over a year and a half now. The truth is, it’s quite a bear to rebuild your immune system. I’ve seen a lot of improvement, but it’s not over yet. That is definitely a goal for 2014. It has really hindered a lot of things, but again, there has been some change for the better.
  • Despite paying down debt, I have to get a new (to me) car next year. Unforeseen and unfortunate. But I’m trying to be smart about it.
  • I started out strong with my eMeals and Bible reading plan, but got behind on both and switched to other things. I am renewing my commitments here for 2014.

So, that’s it. That is my 2013 in a nutshell. Did I SIMPLIFY? Yes, I believe I did. I made progress. I lived this year with intention. I gave more of myself in many ways. And, yes, I did a little hell-gate prevailing along the way, I’m proud to say.

But I still have almost two weeks left, and I intend to finish well. Or maybe well-er. 😉



2010: Action

I guess, like everyone else, as I welcome the New Year I also think about the previous year and years past. It’s a time of reflection and renewal. And while it’s a little daunting, it’s also a little exciting.

My friends, Daron and Margaret, and I have this sort of annual tradition. It’s something Daron came up with several years ago to help us all set the tone for a new year. Instead of just looking back on a year and determining what happened and where we are now, we look ahead and decide what we want our next year to be about. Much like our Emergence training, it’s not about reacting to something that happens to you along the way. Rather it’s setting out with intention, focusing your efforts on where you feel like God is leading you on your path. I will also say that usually there is a theme song attached. And really, why wouldn’t there be?

So as the New Year approached, I began thinking about my 2010 and what I wanted from it. My word for 2009 was “PREPARE” (theme song was “Prepare Ye The Way” by Caedmon’s Call) and I absolutely see again and again how that was accomplished and how appropriate it was for the past 12 months. I have been through so many changes, personally, professionally, spiritually over the past year, many of which I never saw coming but I’m so thankful to have been a part of.

It’s really insane to think of how different my life is now from where I thought it would be if you’d asked me, or for those of you who did ask me, years ago. I absolutely detest the “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question in interviews but I’m also human, and my mind can’t help but wander to those scenarios. Wowzers! I never would’ve imagined myself where I am now – personally, professionally and spiritually. But then again, that’s the genius and adventure of following Jesus. Sure, there are some things I’d change if it were left up to me. However, overall, I’ve seen and experienced and been through more than I was ever able to imagine. I am loving this ride!

So, I’ve decided that my word for 2010 is “ACTION” (theme song is “Awaken Us” by Casey Darnell). It’s not just a natural transition from my 2009 word, but it does accurately describe where I feel God has my heart currently. He has prepared me, and been faithful in that, so I am choosing to respond. I don’t think I could’ve acted on the things to which He’s calling me without my year of preparation. But I feel empowered, and I’m too curious not to move forward in His plans. I trust Him. He’s not let me down yet, so I have no reason to think He would anytime soon.

I heard a fantastic lesson by Dennis Rouse at Victory World Church this past Sunday morning. If you get the chance, give it a listen at It was called “Forward” and so many of the things spoke to me. You know, it was one of those lessons that was meant just for me (or you). One of the things that stuck with me was, “You’ve never played it safe before. Why do that now?” That kinda hit me right between the eyes, and I felt like it summed me up pretty well. And though there is a lot of uncertainty when I look ahead, I know I can handle it because He is with me. I just can’t imagine the wreck of a person I’d be otherwise. I would never have made it this far or accomplished anything of importance without Him. I might have made some really interesting achievements by some standards, but I wouldn’t have had the adventure of my life, which is what I’m on now! Sure, it can be really hard. It can be unexpected. It can even be unwanted. But it’s always what is best for me. I can’t always see that at the time, but it’s super cool to look back at the threads of my story and see the intricacy with which they are woven. I wouldn’t give that up.

“When you stop moving forward, you start losing your effectiveness for the Kingdom of God….Forward is your destiny; backward is your slavery.” – Dennis Rouse

So, 2010, you are shiny and new (two things I’m particularly fond of)…and I’m really looking forward to getting to know you better.