Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

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As the end of the year calls, I turn to reflect on the year I just journeyed through.  Did I learn what I was supposed to learn?  Did I grow spiritually, physically and emotionally or did I get stuck?

The year had begun with great expectations as I entered my 50's the first part of January.  I had settled into our new way of life with a new level of contentment which allowed me to start reaching outside myself, along with my word for the year, "bloom where you are planted".  I was anxious to see the seeds I had begun to sow with my neighbors take root and hopefully blossom.  While planting seeds in getting to know and ministering to my neighbors, Benjamin and I planted seeds for a wonderful garden in our backyard.  The year was progressing very gently.

God decided to stir the pot.  In May, while looking forward to a harvest from both our backyard garden and neighbor relationships, we had the unexpected opportunity to move.  Opportunity is the word I use today...then, it was the horrible news of an unplanned move.

What was happening?  I had heard to "bloom where I was planted" and now I was to be transplanted?

Benjamin and I gently transplanted our garden into pots.  This was therapy for both him and me.  I was able to talk to him and help him adjust to our new transplanting.  We closed down his "Batman Cave" closet while making up stories of "what would the walls tell the new renters if they could talk?".  It was fun to imagine the walls telling the new children about a boy that lived in the house who had a Batman Cave in this closet.

Summer brought record heat and drought.  Our carefully transplanted garden died.  I tried to stay encouraged through this unwanted transition by decorating my new dwelling.  The next change - moving another one out of his pot - came as we heard God tell us to put our son in public school.  He would be our first child to enter public school and attend high school through graduation.

Adjustments began for all.

Our pastor began a study on Habakkuk.  I don't know if I have ever heard a complete study on all the verses of Habakkuk, but it was where I was and I soaked in every teaching.

Now I end the year still trying to transplant myself in unfamiliar territory.  A new neighborhood, two new school experiences while adjusting to changes in my adult children's lives among  my own physical changes.

I close out the year reading Kay Arthurs' Learning to Embrace Life's Disappointments: As Silver Refined.  I ask God  questions as I end the year and as I listen, I find myself in a chapter of her book where she is discussing... guess which book of the Bible?  Habakkuk.

Advent reading on hope and waiting tied up the end of the year with bows of encouragement.

As I read my post at the beginning of 2011, I see that what I thought it was going to mean and what the Lord had planned were very different...but His plans are always better.  I feel I learned a lot this year...there was tilling, weeding, planting and I believe some harvest in my life.

  Thanks for joining me on my journey this past year and for ALWAYS giving encouraging words and comments.

My verse for 2011 “Forget the former things; 
   do not dwell on the past. 
19 See, I am doing a new thing! 
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness 
   and streams in the wasteland.
I am still in the middle of Him doing a new thing...and I am continuing to learn to not dwell on the past.

My verse for 2012

He has made my feet like hind's feet, And makes me walk on my high places. Hab. 3: 19

25 Joining in with more words:

Catherine said...

Dear Janette, I wish you and your family all the best for the New Year. Blessings, Your friend, Catherine xo

Debbie said...

Oh Janette, I hear you loud and clear. You always try to have the best attitude even when life isn't going the way you hope it would. There are always lessons to be learned. God is with us through it all. The way you respond to life's challenges will teach your children so much about your relationship with God.

Although our specific circumstances are different, we share some of the same struggles. I am praying for you as this new year is about to begin. May we both learn to rest in Him and trust His guidance.

Btw, I read that Kay Arthur book a number of years ago. It was good and helpful. I've also been watching several Jim Cymbala DVD's on YouTube which have been so helpful for me.

You've been a blessing to me and I know so many other women this year. The Lord has been using you in a mighty way. Take comfort in knowing this is true. From many of the comments people leave on your blog, I can tell you've been invested in many of their lives.

With much love,

Sally said...

I'm looking forward to 2012. I'm not sure what is ahead but the possibilities are positive. Praying peace and joy are constant companions to you and yours in the new year.

Ma said...

I like the new look:) Happy 2012.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Habakkuk has ministered to me in the past, too! I think I'll go read it again as I begin the new year. I'm praying for you and yours, asking God's richest blessings for each of you in the year ahead.

So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

Hello and Happy New Year!!!

Linda said...

I love the way you look back and see all the ways God has led you and your family this past year. I think of the Bible verse that reminds us that His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours--and even though He sometimes surprises us, and it hurts, He does bring about His best for us. Sometimes we see the good, other times we have to wait to see it. Bless you for your optimistic faith.

I LOVE Habakkuk!

Be of good cheer,

Sonja said...

Such good thoughts, Janette. And I'm thinking that lots of your experiences will parallel many others... mine included. I especially love the verse “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland."

What a hopeful word to begin this new year with! I am right there with you friend, different circumstances, some of the same and some different needs, but... the same God! :)

Love you and Happy New Year!


Karen said...

Love the new look :) and it sounds like we both had a very eventful, changing year.. but we are still hear,,and still loving God and our familys.. so all is well..and looking forward to what he will do with us all in 2012..
Wooo hoooo let go into the new year with high hopes and joy...
love ya girl...

T's Daily Treasures said...

Remember that song, One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from you ...

That's how I take life. One day at a time.

Wishing you and yours health and happiness, peace and contentment, light and love! Blessings for 2012, Tammy

Crickit said...

I love the pictures of your family! Thank you for being so honest with your blog posts. Change is never easy and you have responded to it very well.

Praying for you and your family as we begin 2012! Your new verse for the year is awesome.


Angela said...

What a year! But you are making a lovely home where you are now, and the Lord has been healing so many relationships. Thanks for being my friend in the trenches :)

Canadagirl said...

I can't wait to see what the Lord unfolds for you this year. May it be a year of blessings. You have been some sunshine in my year this year, thank you. ((HUGS))

It is also fun pinning with you. ((grin))

Blessings and ((HUGS))

Sue said...

I am so glad you decided to take me along on your journey this year Janette, as a result, my live is much more enriched both spiritually and emotionally as I have gotten to know you better, and we have shared some very important issues in our lives, as we have become prayer partners as well. I cannot tell you how many times I have felt your prayers, I know dd has too. As she was admiring my new pillow, and using my c-mug (lol) I had a chance to share more of about you and Benjamin, it touched her heart to her soul. She cried with joy!
What a joy it has been for me to see, your obedience to our Father as he was taking you and I might add us on this journey with you. You may never know this side of heaven of the impact this has had on us all. To God be the Glory!!'

Much love to you and your dear family this new Year, I am very excited to see what journey he has for us all this year, please don't forget to take me along again.

Farm Girl said...

Lovely and well said my friend. God did plant a garden and in it He did grow beautiful flowers. He gave you fruit. I can see because I am on the outside looking in but I see how in this last year you have grown so much and and the one thing that I see is you learned to Trust God deeper than when the year first started. I am glad I got to see as you learn in Habakkuk No matter what, you will trust God.
I am truly thankful to have had the gift of your friendship. As I would pray and ask God to make it easy for you, He would tell me No, He was making you Holy and filled with His grace.
Today, on the Eve of a New Year, I see how much greater He answered my prayers than I could ever think or ask.
You my dear are such a miracle.
I pray that He will answer one more big miracle before the Eve of 2013
God is good all of the time.
Blessings to you, You have truly blessed me.

Vee said...

It has been a great pleasure to follow you along your journey. I have known, because of your honesty, when you were confused or stressed. God is always at work in our lives and we have no idea where each new day will take us. I can say that I've never been bored and I'm sure that you haven't either. Thank you for always pointing to Him. Looking forward to visiting you in 2012. Many blessings! (I think when we yield, it goes better, don't you? You are very good at yielding.)

Sharon said...

Janette, this was just beautiful. I so needed to hear this word...today.

It's been a tough year in many ways - and this last week was full of some of the same struggles, fears, and heartaches that I've been wrestling with for months.

What is God trying to do in me - and through me? Am I following Him closely? Am I willing to pick up my cross?

All questions that I contemplate on this New Year's Eve. It's good to know that I'm not alone in my reflecting!

Lord, help me walk on high places.


Sandy said...

Good word, Janette, and I hear you, too. If we all keep your good attitude and continue to look to Jesus our new year will be bright with blessings and growth in Him!
Happy New Year!

Sassy Granny ... said...

I love your verse for 2012. It makes me think of the great allegory by Hannah Hunard, "Hind's Feet for High Places".

I pray the year ahead is filled with amazing revelations of God's nearness to you & yours.

Many blessings & hugs,

Shanda said...

I began blogging this week of last year and I think yours was one of the first blogs I followed. I've enjoyed watching some of your journey. thank you for all the encouragement you sent my way.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

A year of new beginnings. Nothing ever remains stagnant. I understand your apprehension over the move, new neighborhood and the changes in your family. We sign the lease on our new home Jan 2 and begin the moving process. I need to find another church community, adjust to my job (still holding out for the permanent position), but generally overall, looking forward to a new year filled with blessings, as long as I cleave to Him with faith and trust. Happy New Year, Janette.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Janette, I have so enjoyed being present for your journey this year and look forward to seeing what God has in store for you in 2012. You are a constant source of inspiration... and your verse... mine also. ;) There seem to be more transistions at this 'phase' of life than I ever could have imagined. Thing is... God is good all the time... No, God is GREAT all the time. And, I am deeply, deeply thankful for that... and my blog friends! Happy New Year, dear Janette! blessings ~ tanna

LDH said...

Our Pastor did a study in Habakkuk earlier this year and I think it is my favorite book in the Bible. The series was called When God Doesn't Make Sense (http://www.fbcnj.org/sermons/category/when_god_doesnt_make_sense)

It has been my joy to visit with you this year and I look forward to reading much more in the new year!

Debbie said...

I have been trying to catch up on reading, and it has taken me a while. Part of the problem is that I feel the need to stop and comment on older posts like this.

I just couldn't let this go by without response. As I read it, I recalled the journey with you. I remember when you had the "opportunity" to move. What I remember the most was the way you responded to it. Even though the pain and frustration was clear, you set your chin in a way that inspired and encouraged me.

In fact, it was that very thing that made me go on the mission to love the house I'm in.

Whatever this next year holds for us, I'm glad we're in it together through blog land, Janette.

Lori said...

Hi Janette,
I'm starting out this year by venturing back into the blogosphere by writing my first post since June and commenting on those of you who have stayed consistent with this practice.

Your posts always make me smile. And I definitely count meeting you as one of the blessings I enjoyed in 2011. May 2012 be a year of growth for all of us who seek to honor Him with our lives.

Love the look of your blog!

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