Reflecting on 2015, part 2

16. What are some places where you feel true joy in your life? To me, joy isn’t a place, it’s people. I find joy when I’m laughing with my family, IMG_2318
when I’m with my Bible study girls, IMG_2436
among the amazing people of our church,
(that picture is from our Christmas program at church; I couldn’t find a good one of the actual church people.) and with my mom and sister.
And some of my most joyful moments this year have been right here, at my kitchen table, with my Bible open and my journal in front of me.

17. Where do you feel most yourself? Here at home, with my husband and my kids. I love that my home might be messy, and noisy, and crazy, but it is a place I love to be.
18. What were your favorite meals? Dinner out with my Mom and Dad for their 40th anniversary.
Lunch with Art at this little restaurant in Nebraska City, while we were on our anniversary trip.
Meals cooked over the coals when we were camping.
Christmas Eve fondue with my husband.
New Year’s Eve appetizers on the floor with this crazy family.

19. How did you calm yourself in times of stress? When I’m being the way I should be, I read the Bible and pray. Many times I eat (working on this bad habit). Quiet time alone with a book, a hot shower, or a nap are also stress relievers. 🙂

20. What are some compliments that you received that deeply affected you? “Gee, Erin, you sure are pretty.” Okay, not really, but the most meaningful are also really personal and I don’t feel like sharing.

21. Who are people that you believe are bringing out the best in you? The amazing ladies God has put in my life– my mom, my sister, my friend Donna, my friend Rosanne, my Bible study ladies. And the amazing people of my church who encourage me to keep on with my ministries even when I’m discouraged and frustrated and wanting to give up.

22. What items of clothing did you buy that felt the most you? I really have no idea how to answer this question. I guess I don’t think of clothing feeling like “me.” I am a fan of my sparkly silver sweater though. I like sparkles.

23. What are you excited about leaving behind in 2015? Honestly it’s been a hard year, but a good year when I think of what God has done through the hard stuff. I am excited for a blank slate, for new opportunities, and for the privilege of “forgetting what things are behind, and pressing toward the mark.”

24. What are five things that you were hard on yourself about but would never have been hard on a friend if they were experiencing it? I don’t know if I can think of five things for this. I mean, I can be too hard on myself, but as a rule I can’t remember about 2/3 of what goes on in my head . . . I would say probably overeating, lazy parenting, not keeping up with certain relationships like I should, my messy house, failing at some of my commitments. I guess I can think of five things. LOL

25. What are the best pieces of advice you heard this year? Let Jesus be enough.

26. What are the best pieces of advice you gave this year?
Let Jesus be enough. And also put on your deodorant.

27. What things have you been putting off doing because you didn’t have time?
Cleaning out my attic, cleaning out my cupboards, cleaning out the basement, cleaning out the closet . . . I feel like maybe there’s a pattern here. And maybe like “didn’t have the time” is the wrong reason. LOL

28. What are some things you’d like to focus and work on in the next year? I would like to focus on strengthening my relationships with my kids– really, my relationships in general– and on being more hospitable. I would like to get my house cleaned up and find a system that works. I would like to be more vulnerable with the people I love. I would like to write more.

29. What are the best parts of you that you feel really showed through this year? I feel like my amazing song-parody-writing ability showed through when I wrote the words to this song that I sang for my parents at our family talent show.

I feel like my ability to take mediocre pictures on my iPhone has really shone in 2015, as has my super delightful quirk of not being ready to start church and so having to do the scurry of shame up the aisle to the piano. Also, lip-syncing? I might not be good at the actual lip-syncing part, but my facial expressions totally make up for it.

30. What are your biggest hopes for 2016?
I really want to grow closer to God and to be used by Him in a greater way in the lives of those around me. And on a less elevated level, I hope to travel and to visit people and places I haven’t seen in a long time– or ever. I hope to avoid pneumonia and hospital stays and Highly Expensive Car Repairs. But mostly I hope that 2016 holds more hugs, more kind words, more words of life, more sweet moments with those I love. And more Jesus. Always that.

Whatever your 2015 has held– whether it’s been amazing or terrible, sunshine or storms, or a mixture of all of it, I pray that your 2016 will be exactly what you need to draw you closer to our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is my hope for the New Year, and I pray He is yours as well.


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