Looking Back Before Looking Ahead

I know the idea of welcoming a new year is to look ahead. Make resolutions. Set goals. Establish new routines. 

But before I do any of that, I need to look back.

Looking Back at the Hard Parts

I need to look back at the hard parts—the stresses and struggles—so that I can learn and grow from that stress rather than buckle under it. (One thing I learned in 2021 was that trees fall over without the “stress wood” that grows as a result of having to withstand wind. I’m hoping to learn how to stand upright even amidst the winds that come.) 

Looking Back at the Good Parts

But I also need to look back at the good parts—the laughter and connections—so that I can enter 2022 with gratitude. I want to pause and say thank you for a trip to Zion National Park and a few nights with Peter at the beach this summer and an amazing series of conversations on the podcast and writing a book (that one also falls under the stress category!) and Penny making the cheerleading team and William having an awesome time at summer camp and Marilee getting a fun role in her school play.

I want to delight in friendships and family jokes and walks in the woods and a group of men and women who meet weekly for Bible study and teach me more about God’s love every single time we gather.

Before Looking Ahead

Today, before I rush into the new year, and before I start setting goals or resolving to change, for both the hard and the good, I give thanks.


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