December: Reflection Before Progress

December is here! This is a great time of year because we celebrate with family and friends. We have a chance to think about what the year ahead will bring. December also gives us the opportunity to reflect back on the year that is nearly done.

On that note, I’ve written a little poem about December that I would like to share with you.

December Poem

Hush now, world.
Lean in and listen.
Joy is born.
Snowfall begins.
Year ends.
Breathing deeply, we rest.

12-1-18

December beckons us to live in the present, reflect on the past, and look to the future all at once. I enjoy this month so much for that reason. It’s a time like none other during the year.

For nearly a year, I have been listening to a wonderful podcast by Emily P. Freeman called The Next Right Thing. Her soothing voice, transparent heart, and meaningful message have me hooked. Her most recent episode, published  November 27th, 2018, struck a chord in me that has reverberated all week.

We must have reflection before we can have progress.

I’d already intended to talk about reflecting on this year and thinking ahead to 2019. Freeman crystallized it for me in her podcast. You can listen to it HERE. The show notes for this episode provide some practical resources to help us reflect and record our thoughts.

As for my take on year-end reflection, I believe firmly that we are foolish to look ahead without reflecting back first. Backward reflection helps us take inventory of the good and the bad, as well as our feelings and responses to what has happened this past year. It just makes sense.

I plan to carve out some time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day to really evaluate where I’ve been in 2018. Where have I grown? What have I learned? Where have I failed? What would I change (for better or worse)? How can I be the best version of myself yet based on this information?

As I begin to take a look at my journals, blog posts, social media feeds, finances, and calendar from 2018, a picture will emerge. What was important to me? What patterns do I see?

Armed with this precious information, I can begin to envision what’s next. An informed approach to living my best life is the only way to actually live my best life. This doesn’t have to be a formal, fancy undertaking. Mindful reflection, prayer, and even conversations with those closest to me will do.

So get ready for an awesome December. Eat cookies, sing songs, hug people, and rejoice in God’s greatest gift, Jesus. When you have a few moments between these things, reflect. Allow yourself to purposefully turn back and gaze at 2018 with a perspective you didn’t have a year ago. Ask God to reveal truth to you about your year.

Ultimately, striving to know God more intimately and love those around me better must be at the core of my pursuits for every new year. The rest of it is an adventure, moving me toward that purpose.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

Look for more in the coming weeks on how to prepare your heart and mind for 2019. Blessings to you as you draw near to a wonderful New Year.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Bathroom Window Perspective and Small Victory Celebration: The Plenty of a Little Bit

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.

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