Monday, December 28, 2020

Remember, Reflect and Revive - Part 1

As I do every year, I pause to remember and reflect before making plans for the next year.

This post is all about remembering 2020. My next post will list my top posts for 2020 and the lessons learned. The third post of the year will be about welcoming 2021.

I'm sure reams of material could be, and will be, written about 2020.

Here at the Journey, I can tell you some things that were different about 2020. First the good things:

1. I cut my hair and got new glasses. My plan was to totally transform in 2020 ... but then COVID hit, and somehow working on internal things took precedence.

2. When our church was closed during our time of sheltering at home during 'Rona 2020, I missed teaching my bible study so much, I created a weekly email called The Pit Stop - Fueling up on the Word to Slide into Your Weekend. My goal was to give my students, and any other friends who wanted to sign up, a devotional that shared the Word, and to challenge and encourage them during these crazy times. My dream is to expand these devotionals in 2021.

3. I was invited to speak for the first time at a Women's Conference outside my own church. I was totally honored and excited about it. The month of September was spent working on the message God gave me, "Breaking Down Walls." I felt a real peace about sharing everything God gave me for the ladies at that church. It was totally an experience that was a blessing to me.

4. In October, I was able to attend my first-ever Writer's Conference. It was so exciting to actually be around people with the same goals and dreams!

5. I finished writing my trilogy and have started the editing process. I'm so surprised it took me two years to write it. BUT I never would have believed my original idea would have evolved into the story it is now. (Turns out, as a writer, I'm a pants-er.) It's been a wild ride! I am so excited about sharing the story about all the characters I've created. I'm praying for guidance in my next steps (and for the series beyond).

The downside of 2020, of course, was the isolation and the disappointments regarding all the events that ended up being canceled.

For me personally, the months of October and November were especially difficult since I contracted COVID. I was never ill enough to be hospitalized, thank the Lord; but I did experience debilitating fatigue. I had never known a need for sleep like I experienced at this time. It actually was mid-December before I felt like myself again and experienced a return of enthusiasm and interest for life. 

I also have to give a shout out to my personnel committee at my full-time church who, on their own, for concern for our safety, let the staff decrease the hours they are in the church building without decreasing our pay. This made it possible for me to have time to heal. So wonderful God arranged this for me!

I feel I have the best of both worlds - getting to work outside the home and having a schedule to keep, and also working from home when things need extra attention. God is good!

It's easy to remember events of the past year, but remembering, while fun, does little for growth. Reflection on lessons learned is more helpful.

  • What did I learn from changing my look? It was very satisfying. I'm open for further changes.

  • Starting the Pit Stop devotional helped me realize there is more than one way to teach. What is important is sharing nuggets from the bible. There is more than one way to do it.

  • Speaking at a Women's Conference was so exhilarating and satisfying. It felt like another step towards my dream. However in this time of less and less in-person events, it is either a dream that will have to cool its heels; or else it may be a time to think outside the box.

  • The Writer's Conference was also a learning experience. I had hoped to make some authentic writer friendships; and initially I did reach out. However my overwhelming need for sleep since the conference hampered follow-up which actually is a weakness of mine. It's been revealed I still have to work at relationships. (*grin)

  • Another result of my extreme tiredness was the editing of my trilogy. I discovered it had been on the back-burner so long, it was simmering. I'm excited to say this weekend I dove in again and revived my enthusiasm for my series. 

I hope you'll join me in my next few posts as I continue remembering and reflecting on 2020 and rev up revival for 2021. (More on that later.)

What did you learn in 2020?


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  1. Sorry to hear you got the dreaded Covid but it's encouraging that you could fight it off at home. I have heard that people have slept a lot with it. Hopefully your body has some good antibodies now! I haven't gotten to the looking back on 2020 yet. We are all hoping for a better New Year! If I don't come back around...Happy New Year!

  2. I think I had Covid during my recovery - but I was so exhausted, with muscle aches and pains, and such odd dizziness that it just became part of my recovery. Before testing came out, we believe our son had it - with all the stereotypical symptoms and severe exhaustion. So glad you are reviving. As I was reading, I was wondering if you thought blogging had made it easier for you to develop The Pit Stop - a perfect fit in so many ways! Congrats on speaking at the woman's conference - and moving your trilogy project so far forward! God has certainly blessed both of us despite the challenges we have and are facing! Praying God's Shalom in your 2021! ~ Maryleigh

  3. love how the Lord used hard things (like missing out on teaching your Bible study) to teach you the good in it (like being able to find creative ways to teach). I am so sorry you had COVID, but glad you are better. I love how you broke down this post and will have to spend time reflecting as well. Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. It was good to get the whole story of 2020 here in one place. May 2021 be full of blessing!

  5. I love the way you broke down 2020 specifically reflecting on lessons learned from things like cutting your hair. Thanks for sharing. So glad you recovered from COVID. Blessings to you in 2021.

  6. Jerralea, I really enjoyed your post full of lessons you learned this year. I love the progression of remembering, reflecting and reviving, such a great way to close out the year!

  7. Amen, thank you for such a thoughtful and touching post. You have such great reminders to posit throughout the year that spoke to me.
    Visiting from Inspire Me Monday

  8. great post about your goals, triumphs and reflections. PRAISE GOD you are recovering well from Covid. My husband's parents are both in rehab trying to recover from it. very hard for them...they don't know the Lord AND they have reams of other health problems. I'm praying this wakes them up spiritually speaking and they come to Christ and His salvation.

    Have a relaxing rest of the 2020. And let's pray 2021 brings relief for many!


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