Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Reflecting on 2015

I love taking time to reflect on the past year, and I thought I'd take a moment to jot down and share some thoughts here. I realize that this post might seem a bit late, but it's still only the first part of January - the first part of the year - and I tend to mull things around in my head quite a bit before I'm ready to share.

Anyway, here are some of my reflections....

Top 3 moments:

1.  Traveling to Nicaragua with my mom to meet our Compassion kids. This was the first time I was able to visit the home of one of my sponsored kids and there is nothing like it. To see how and where they live is very humbling.

2.  Crossing the finish line of my first (and probably last) half marathon. It's been a dream of mine to run a 1/2 marathon and 2015 is the year I accomplished my dream. Unfortunately, I got a little crazy with my running and injured myself the month after the race so the second half of my year was spent in physical therapy. 

3. Summiting South Sister - the 3rd highest peak in Oregon. This was also on my list for a couple years and we finally had the chance to do this amazing hike in 2015. (unfortunately the cloud cover was thick at the top and the view was less than spectacular!)

How I changed: I think I really began to accept and embrace who I am, how I function and what I need. It's ok for me to say "no" to things - even good things. I'm beginning to implement and practice lessons I've learned in past years, and it's been a good change. I also saw a big change in myself when it comes to playing the violin. For the first time in my life I'm a regular performer and each time I play, the role of performer gets more and more comfortable. Even though I have a degree in violin performance, I've always considered myself a violin teacher rather than performer. This year that has changed.

What I learned:  2015 was a very introspective year for me. There were many times during the year where I felt broken both emotionally and physically. I saw and experienced extreme poverty in Nicaragua. A close family relationship slowly began to heal and be restored. My dear grandma passed away. My running days came to an end. Yet through it all, I learned that I am strong - even in brokenness. As I learned about my personality and nature, I learned that God created me in a unique and special way.

Best thing I read - The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

This little book is a true gem. I received a copy of this book from a dear friend for my birthday and it was life changing. I'm always a little skeptical when I hear people say that, but if you read this yourself, you will understand what I am saying.

Best food or drink of the year - I Have a Bean Coffee
When our new church building opened, a few of us campaigned to serve good coffee that also fulfilled a mission. Portland has a coffee culture that is hard to match elsewhere. Good coffee is easy to come by here, and we wanted to serve coffee worth talking about at our church. I Have a Bean has a unique mission. They give former offenders a fresh start through gainful employment. And they source their beans fairly. I highly recommend checking them out - they are in Wheaton, IL. I also highly recommend using the Chemex to brew your takes longer, but it's so good.

Best discovery - Dressing Your Truth
This past summer I over heard two of my sisters-in-law talking about the beauty profiling system. I was curious and decided to check it out. Well, it turns out I'm a type 4 and we tend to be all or nothing people, so it's no surprise I went all in with this one. I could talk for days about this, and thankfully I have a local friend who is also quite interested in this so we enjoy talking about it. I have learned so much about myself and my tendencies through this system. This discovery has also helped me immensely in paring down and creating a capsule wardrobe.

What about you? What were some of your "bests" of 2015?


  1. What wonderful reflections and a full and rewarding year you had!

  2. Hi Jill,
    Although I'm not a mom, I can relate to most of what you're saying because I'm a type 4 too. I thought you were a type 4 by the way you look at things. What is your secondary? I would be tempted to say 2, but I could be wrong. I, too,loved reading Brother Lawrence's book many years ago. Another book along the same lines is Experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ by Jeanne Guyon. Thank you for posting your reflections. I loved reading them.

    1. nailed my secondary on the head! It took me a while to figure it out - I really thought I was secondary 3 because my husband is a 3 and I keep up with him pretty well, but then I read Carol's book and 2 really fit me well.

      Thanks for the book title - I'll look into it!

    2. I'm glad I did. Thanks for the feedback Jill. The things that stood out for me were that you're a violinist, a photographer, you decorate with elements of a type 2, you love to make comfort foods for your family, you have compassion for others as well as other things that I noticed as I was reading your blog. Now, you might be able to keep up with your husband because you have a strong type 3 or it might be because you're adapting to his threeness. I know Carol Tuttle said that even though she's a 3/4, her type 1 is also very strong. Perhaps that's your case too. Remember that we all have the 4 types in us. In certain situations, your secondary or tertiary might be more on the forefront that in other situations.
      I hope this helps. Feel free to ask me questions.

  3. Love this little look back. I saw you pinning some of the DYT stuff but didn't realize you had learned so much from it! Really neat!

    1. Oh my goodness....I've become a DYT nerd. But it's been so incredibly freeing for me. And it's fun to better understand my little family (S is type 1, Kay is type 2, Kev is type 3 and I'm type 4!)

  4. The whole DYT thing is a complete mystery to me. I'll look it up.
    Your look back was a great way to evaluate your year. I love Brother Lawrence's book and read it at least once every year. I confess to having both digital and paper copies of it. And yes, living/visiting a poor country is truly a humbling experience. I have clean water and TWO changes of clothing?? I'm rich beyond belief.