What I learned last year {2017}…

Reflection is good for the soul – or something like that. Have you thought about what you learned last year?

Looking back can help us move forward – maybe help us avoid the same pitfalls or bad decisions.

What follows is NOT an all-inclusive list of what I learned last year. Why? Because no one has time to read all that, trust me.

But what would your *What I learned last year* list look like, if you made one?

Would it be short and sweet, include maybe nine or ten items, or be massively long – like mine?

The truth is I learned a lot of stuff last year. And you know what? I’m okay with this.

My underlying life-theme is live well. I’ve learned that to accomplish living well, I need to learn on a daily basis. This mindset also helps me get past all the silly things I do, like losing my car keys or forgetting an important appointment.

So, now that we’ve established you will NOT have to read every last thing I learned in 2017…here are the lessons that spoke to me the loudest.

What I learned last year.

#1 – I can no longer say, “I’ve never broken a bone!”

You’ve heard the story. Mid-way through 2017, I broke my collarbone walking in to watch grandson’s t-ball game. And while I learned many lessons through the recovery process, one thing is for sure. I will never again be able to say, “I’ve never broken a bone.”

My *What I learned last year list* is out. What about you? Here's what I learned, and where I'm headed into 2018. Let's celebrate together...#2 – It’s occasionally good to wear mascara and groom my eyebrows.

Here’s something you may not know about me. I hate wearing makeup. It seems such a waste of time and I work from home, so why does it matter? Then, I pass by a mirror and think, “Karlene, have you seen yourself?” So, I’ve concluded it’s good for me to make the effort and spend a little time sprucing up my appearance. Even if I don’t leave the house!

#3 – Relationships that seem fractured beyond repair can, in fact, be redeemed.

Over the past year, this has proven true in my life. A couple of years ago, I began to asked God to create opportunities to reconnect and restore relationships that had deteriorated, for whatever reason. He has brought this about as only He can do – not just once, but multiple times. Is there a fractured or tense relationship in your life? Be brave enough to ask Him to redeem it.

#4 – To remember I am loved, significant, and here *for such a time as this*¹.

Several books have spoken this lesson into my life in 2017. I’m thinking of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited, Brian Zahnd’s Water to Wine, and Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God Study, to name a few. Mostly, though, this reminder of love, significance, and purpose has come from my personal Bible reading over the past twelve months. Can I remind you of this, today? You are loved, significant, and here for such a time as this¹.

#5 – I am content being *at home*.

It’s no surprise I’m a homebody. Over the past year, though, I seem to have found a new affection for home. And though I do love the opportunities to travel to far away places – or to simply meet up with a friend for lunch – home is truly where my heart is. It’s where I rest and refuel, find my peace and inspiration, and know I am loved – for who I am. Whether you’re a homebody, like me, or prefer being out-and-about in the crowds and chaos, be sure you are still reaping the benefits of home.

#6 – I must put on my armor every day, without fail.

On day one of the New Year, I re-evaluated the prayer guide I use each morning. While doing the Armor of God Bible study late last year, I realized I needed to pray Ephesians 6.12-17 every day. Listen, this is a battle we’re in! We’ve been given the weapons and arsenal to defeat the enemy, but it takes action on our part. Will you join me this year in praying against the schemes of the one who has set his sights on bringing destruction to our lives and our households?

Let’s take what we learned last year and allow it to help propel us forward into all God has for us in 2018.

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¹Esther 4.14 NIV

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