Cultivating What Matters: Reflecting on 2018
As I sit down to begin my 2019 Powersheets, my heart is in a much different place than it usually is.
About a week ago, we lost my dad unexpectedly, and as I process that huge loss and what life will be like without him, my heart breaks again and again, and I feel uncertain and unsteady.
But writing has always helped me untangle my thoughts and emotions (my dad was a writer, too), and so I’m pressing forward with this process, very slowly, giving myself grace each step of the way, knowing it will be messier and heavier, than previous years.
I had reservations about continuing with my Powersheets this year, but I know my dad would want me to keep living life as fully as I can. He was always telling my sister and I how proud he was of us, and his confidence, belief, and pride in me is something I am carrying with me into the future and into this next year. I want to live in a way that honors his memory and all the things he did and taught me that have shaped who I have become (and will continue to become).
I started the reflective exercises prior to our loss, so reading through the blessings of the past year that I had already recorded is a comfort and an encouragement. I can see God was at work this year in beautiful ways, even though the year ended in heartbreak.
Here’s what I’m celebrating about 2018:
Intentional time with family (and lots of sweet memories made with my dad that I am treasuring so much right now)
Strength training and growing stronger every day
Joining my church’s women’s ministry team and speaking at our Be Free conference
Reading good books
Taking solo adventures
Getting pastel pink highlights — and adding more fun and joy to my days
Exploring new coffee shops
Fasting social media for Lent
Taking time for self care
Starting to dream again
Nashville adventures with my sister and a dear friend
Stepping into exciting new roles at work
Redesigning my website
God’s restorative work in me
And here are a few lessons I learned:
Sometimes, we need a quieter year (and the work God does in us has just as much value as the work He does outside of us)
This was my year of restoration — both within me and my trust in Jesus
God’s plans are greater, better, and more purposeful than the timelines we set for ourselves (or that society tries to set for us)
You will never regret making time to be with loved ones; and investing our time to build our relationships is one of the best investments we can make
I feel better when I’m eating lean/clean/green
Strength training has benefited me so much in all areas: physically, spiritually, and mentally
I want to date from a place of hope and trust in the Lord and not from a place of striving, fear, or frustration
The preparation in the wait is just as important as receiving the thing you’ve been waiting for
Being disorganized leads to unnecessary stress and distracts me from more important things
Stepping outside of my comfort zone leads to fresh perspectives, new opportunities, and fruitfulness in my life
I am not sure when I will be back to share the next post in this Powersheets process, but until then, I am wishing you all a peaceful end to 2018 and a hopeful start to 2019.