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Michelle Warner

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Reflecting on 2011

Posted on January 2nd, 2012

Each New Year, I like to take some time to reflect on the past year. I am learning how important it is to pause, reflect, and listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in my life, and taking time to reflect around the New Year seems like an built-in opportunity to do so.

We had a very full–but wonderful–time with both Jared’s and my family the past couple of weeks. We visited Jared’s parents for Christmas and then came home for several days while I had a mole removed and my MRI for my cancer check-up. Then we left after my MRI to visit my family and grandparents for the weekend. We so enjoyed celebrating with both of our families, and wrapped up the holiday feeling very grateful for all God has given us.

However, with so much activity, I did not have an opportunity to still my heart and reflect on 2011. So last night as we drove back to Chicago, Jared and I asked each other the following reflection questions about 2011. It was so nice to pause, reflect, and learn from 2011 as we embrace 2012.

Reflection Questions of 2011

(The twenty questions were originally posted on the Simple Mom blog, though I found them on my friend Katie’s blog. Jared and I chose to ask each other just the ones below.)

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

5. What were the best books you read this year?

6. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

7. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

8. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

9. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

10. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

11. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

12. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

13. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

And then a question we added:

14. With those answers in mind, what shifts are we going to make, with God’s help, in our lives in 2012?

I plan to spend some time journaling these thoughts in more detail this week because I want to make sure I give adequate time to reflecting on the past year to bookmark the lessons God taught me. I encourage you to do the same.

Here’s to a year ahead where we grow deeper in intimacy in our relationships with God, no matter what may come.


I wanted to thank you so much for your prayers for my MRI last Thursday. I brought the CD that I referenced in my previous blog entry and I had the most peaceful experience I’ve had yet when it comes to laying inside a skinny tube without moving for over an hour! I definitely credit that to God acting upon your prayers. I received an email from the nurse practitioner the following day telling me that the MRI results looked good. I don’t think those words will ever get old! What a relief to my heart to hear all looked clear. I have an appointment to meet with my oncologist on Thursday to discuss the details and will look forward to moving forward in 2012. Thank you again for journeying with me.

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