As 2016 comes to a close, reflections on what was best or what challenged me the most come to mind. One of my favorite memories was a getaway to Amelia Island last summer. The most difficult was the passing of my brother-in-law, Gerard, last month.
Whether we revisit the dramatic events in our own lives or the drama of the 2016 election, a year in review is all around us.
Here are some highlights from this blog:
What are your most memorable moments this year?
A kind act?
A new discovery?
A sudden change?
I began 2016 with a one-word focus for the year: Finish.
Surely, this one word was poised to complete my desired goals, including:
Finish the manuscript for my next book.
Finish an herb garden.
Finish with procrastination.
I wanted my one-word study to transform me. I wanted my last post of the year to announce my completions instead of my flaws. However, as I continue to buy fresh herbs from the store, it looks like the flaws are winning. But as I journey towards victory, look at what I found.
I saw Nehemiah’s tenacity to finish rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4-6).
I’m inspired by Paul’s commitment to finish the course of His race in Christ (Acts 20:24).
I’m freed by Christ’s love and redemption as I hear Him say from the Cross, “It is finished” (John 19:28-30).
Encouraged by my scriptural study, it’s been a worthwhile journey for sure. 2016 may not have ended with the “big finish” I envisioned, but it came with the dose of reality I needed.
As I pondered the word “finish” in prayer, I sensed the need to:
Finish limiting God based on my limited view of the world.
The #write31days challenge was pivotal to my approach. And yet, finishing one thing creates anticipation of what’s next.
Seeing the end of another year is a blessing. However, embracing the potential of a new year is empowering. Did you have a big finish to 2016? I hope so. If not, whatever we didn’t finish well doesn’t have to define us.
Being grateful for what seems like the smallest of blessings can be the biggest finish we need to 2016.
In the midst of what went awry or is left undone, we can refocus. We can yield to the grip of God’s grace on our hearts. We can rest in His peace in the midst of our problems. His truth can still set us free — any day of the year — if we will believe.
Faith stirs a desire for more of God and a willingness to trust He will do more than we can ask, think or imagine.
Whether you are a regular reader or dropping in for the first time, thank you for being a part of my 2016. Whatever moments you’re relishing in or reflecting on from this year, may 2017 bring many moments of hope for the heart and joy to the soul.