Heart Choices: Reflecting on 2013 -->

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Reflecting on 2013

The last day of 2013.  I'm learning that time passes by so quickly.  I spent this week reflecting on the past year.  I find that I learn from looking back so I can adjust for the new year.  What do I want to do differently?  Are there things I will continue the same?

My one word for 2013 was ...surrender.
For the most part, I focused on surrendering my wants, desires and goals to the Lord.  After all, He is the One who created me and certainly knows what I need. He knows what will fulfill me better than I do.

I have to admit I struggled at times.  My human flesh can get in the way. But I do believe I've made progress.

I reviewed my blog posts on Heart Choices for 2013.  I wrote many posts about being thankful as I reached #1,000 on my list of every day blessings.  Many of those blessings included people I love, the children I get to spend my days with at school, my co-workers, and the lessons I'm learning in the hard places of life.

But I also focused much writing on losing weight ...

Miss Debbie doing planks
I did not reach my goal. 

I've lost weight and then gained weight.  The variance isn't very wide as the fluctuation involves less than five pounds.  But I hoped to get back to my normal weight pre-stressful period in my life (the last four years). And I didn't!

I also focused on finishing my book ...

I did not reach my goal.

Yes, I can rationalize that my computer crashed this past year.  For several months I was without all the work I'd written. Eventually, my friend Sue's husband was able to restore my document for me.  But I continued to write only now and then. It's easy for me to write a blog post but harder to focus for long periods of uninterrupted time writing.

So what do I do now?

  • I recognize my weaknesses and give them to the Lord.
  • I remember: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
  • I can pray about where the Lord wants to lead me in 2014
  • I remember: "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1
  • I can appreciate the people the Lord has brought into my life and love them
  • I can establish healthy habits that I can live with ...for life 
  • I can break my book down into shorter chapters like blog posts so it's not so overwhelming
No I haven't lived my life perfectly. But I focus on the One who is perfect and His name is Jesus. I will continue to trust Him and surrender to Him as I journey with Him.

  • I've prayed about my one word for 2014. 
  • I've talked with my husband about my one word for 2014.  
  • I will share more about my one word for 2014 in another post.

How about you? How did you do in 2013?  Do you have a one word for 2014 yet? I'd love to read your comments.

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. It so love your honesty, Debbie. You are asking if I have reached my goals for 2013? Partially I did. I did make my photography business legal. But I am still not were I would like to be with it. But I too trust that God will help me with my dream.
    My word for 2013 was 'forgiveness' and girl has it changed how I see others in my life. Yes, I still get upset with unfair treatment, but then I think of the word 'forgiveness' and it calms me down and I move on.
    My one word for 2014 is 'courage'. We will see how that works out.
    Happy New Year, my sweet friend.

  2. Oh love this post and can relate. I think your word is right on!! I have a word for 2014 and look forward to seeing what God does with it. Thanks for sharing your year. I am working more on my weight this year also...pre-stress years..well I am starting to forget when those were. LOL
    Love you...blessings this year. Thanks for letting me walk with you on this journey.

  3. You did a fine job at being God' Child - that's all that's required. Happy New Year fellow Lindian!! Love and light for a prosperous 2014! ~Gina

  4. Very honest and touching post --- "Stand" is my word Debbie, I pray you get all of your "word" and more.

  5. Hi Debbie!

    Well, for us, 2013 was challenging. There were many changes, blessings, sorrows and a lot of growth! I am really looking forward to where God will lead us in 2014. I did decide on a word for this year and that word is "courage". I know that I need courage for so many things most importantly, "getting out of the boat" and living the life God has planned for me! Happy new year!! May 2014 be one full of much joy and many blessings for you and Greg!

  6. Debbie, you are such an inspiration to me. I fell short of most of my goals this year. I can either live with regret, or enter 2014 knowing that God has amazing plans for me. Thank you for your continued encouragement through your writing. Happy New Year!

  7. You've penned the story of so many of us. The best of intentions often get side-lined by a host of reasons and/or excuses. Been there; done that!

    What an amazing journey this is, Debbie. The more we learn & know & conquer, the more we need to learn & know & conquer. I'm convinced it's what makes life grand, adventurous. I'm also convinced it's what keeps us humble.

    Blessings for a powerful, productive, precious 2014. In it we win. We always do with Jesus!

    Love you dearly, sweet friend,

  8. Was waiting for my haircut and I saw your comment at my site. My spirit got excited because I was led by Him this morning to 1Cor.14:1...But even more delighted to see the word "surrender" because that's what was being whispered as I did my chores this morn. He is telling His children definitely the same goals. May the Lord number our days and strengthen us to do everything in His power and for His glory this 2014. Happy New Year! God bless you sister!

  9. This was a great post Debbie, and a hard year of lessons for many of us. I find you encouraging and inspirational. Wishing you a happy and blessed new year! HUGS

  10. Wonderful post. I miss you, when can we talk or have lunch?

  11. My sister and friend... how I relate to all of this!! Your honesty compels me to honestly say I haven't reach my goal either, but we persist!! 2014... a year loaded with new possibilities. I've already lifted you and Greg up today, for all that this year holds. Love you Debbie.

  12. Well, not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I did not have any goals this past year, I just hoped to survive! :o) My word was Expectation and just in the last two months the Lord has begun to resolve some really big issues in my life and I am rejoicing for what HE will continue to do this new year. Blessings abundant to you this new year!

  13. I'd say your One Word 2013 was a success--you surrendered the outcome. I've benefited from reading how you worked it out during the year, and I'll look forward to how "Love" will look in your life in 2014 because it's so evident anyway. I pray you have a great new year, Debbie! Love you, friend.

  14. Debbie I love your heart. I started to reflect on 2013 but found myself focusing on my short comings. For the first time I'm entering a new year without a list of to-do's… Just trying to be my best me. Thanks for your inspiration Friend!


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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