14 Lessons learned in 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1 • Don’t forget what you learned last year – sounds obvious but this really helped me have a better 2014. The tough lessons I learned about friendships allowed me to have way more stability in that area. I was also able to actually apply myself to the friendships that God has given me as a gift. 
2 • You can’t Guilt me into Volunteering - New areas of interesting bring about more volunteering opportunities. I learned to ask myself 5 questions before I agree to add anything else to my already busy schedule. If my family doesn’t benefit from it, I can’t do it. Oh, and guilt never comes from God so that doesn’t work on me.
3 • Pray until you See the Change – I heard that prayer changes things but my experience is that prayer changes me. I learned to pray until I see the change. The Bible encourages me to be transformed by the renewing of my mind and that my friends, might take years. This year I saw a lot of answers to prayers I’ve been praying for years in my life and in thelife of my husband.  
4 • I don’t need Balance, I have Priorities – Finding balance never worked for me. I have learned that having priorities is what makes sense in my life. My priorities at this time are God, Zeke and our children. Everything else I need to do must benefit my priorities. I don’t take on more responsibilities at church or at the kids’ school if my relationship with God, Zeke and our children suffer. I only have 24 hours per day and everything I do need to benefit my relationship with God, Zeke and our children. Each season requires adjustments but my priorities are firmly established.  
5 • Don’t be Surprised when Dreams come True – I blogged extensively about running marathons this year. What you may not know is how surprised I was when I crossed the line at the Chicago Marathon. I immediately felt as if God was saying ‘don’t be surprised.’ I planted that seed on purpose. I nurtured it over 9 years. I went as far as adding this goal to my bio so other people would say it. Don’t be surprised by the fruit when you planted the tree and nurtured for the seed.
6 • I’m my Father’s Daughter – I experienced a new level of God’s love this year. As I was faced with different difficulties, I was assured that I’m His daughter and He takes care of me. It might sound simple to some but for me, it was quite the anchor lesson for the year.
7 • God answers Prayers - the amount of healings, deliverances and provisions that I saw God do was nothing but answers to prayers. My faith increased because of the faithfulnessof God. He is who He says He is and to me, He’s wonderful.
8 • Have the Mind of a Servant – this is one of the biggest lessons of the year. The funny thing is that when I think I got it, God offers me yet another level of serving I need to learn. I wrote about serving as a mother but I experienced the same challenge in other areas of my life. I can say life improved as I went to church with the mind of a servant as well as in the other organizations I serve. I thank God for teaching me to have the same mind as Christ who is my best and greatest example of a true Servant.
9 • Living without Fear requires Faith – God has challenged us to face kindergarten without fear.  It requires a lot of faith to get past the first days and all the days that follow. I am thankful to God that as I have the Bible as my guide, I learn that perfect love casts out fear. I have made the choice (over and over again) not to shrink in fear but to embrace the spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Thank God for His Word!
10 • We make time for who’s important to us – I’ve been part of this conversation (directly and indirectly) a million times: “how you’ve been girl?” “You know, Busy!” One thing is for sure, you make time for who is important to you. There is nothing wrong with having priorities, for mine are deeply established in God and family. The thing I learned about potential friends is that the people who wanted to be in relationship with me made time to see me face to face. I appreciate the people who thought I was important enough to bypass the busy talk and to give me their precious gift of time.
11 • Recognizing Jealousy opens the door to Repentance – this was the year I asked myself if I was truly happy for people. When something great happened to my friends, was I really happy for them? It took guts to answer the question and ask God for help. This was often an issue when my friends got a blessing while I was still in line, waiting and praying for a long time. I learned to rejoice with those who rejoice from a pure heart. Again, it took guts to admit jealousy and to repent. God is faithful to forgive and restore to me a heart of joy that can love people where they are.
12 • The best in things in life can’t be bought on cyber Monday – or any day of the week. I’m a social media person so I have a presence in most platforms. The ads triple at the end of the year! I realized that as I look deep inside, the things I really need and want cannot be sold. Love, peace, true friendship and healing are things that really come from a gracious God who has given us freely of Himself. 
13 • You can’t have the Results without the Process – I believe this saying because I have been in different processes throughout my life. Graduating from school was a process that resulted in degrees. Losing weight is another process that resulted in a healthier person. The medals I currently hold are results of a training process. I believe that as I embrace the pain and drudgery of the process the results become even sweeter.
14 • Love People where They are – this year I realized that while people might not be open to my advice, they are always open to my love. I learned to attentively listen to their heart and to love them where they are. The question that most people answer without being asked is “what do you think I should do?” The need that all human beings have is to be loved with Agape love, which is the Love God has towards us.

There were other lessons but these are the ones I can think of right now. I wonder what are the lessons you learned in 2014. Here's what happens when we truly learn a Life Lesson: we actually pay attention the the lesson; We stop doing things our way; We take notes so we'll remember; We practice what we learned. May 2015 be a better year because we will practice what we learned.
13 Lessons learned in 2013