I love this blog from ‘The Balanced Wife‘ on reflections from a passing year. Of all the activities we associate with entering a new Calendar year (for the Church year began with the arrival of Advent) the idea of a personal Examen is never high on any of our lists.

I hope this might provoke and inspire us to take some moments to review 2014 and capture the learning which may enable us to prove stronger and more whole in the year ahead. We owe such kindness to ourselves and those we shall meet in the months ahead.

Let us have your reflections here in the Oratory so we can pray with you.

19 lessons from 2014:

1. I’m way less in control of anything than I thought, and that’s a good thing.

2. My opinion of myself affects my life much more than other people’s opinions of me.

3. Time spent connecting with people is time best spent.

4. I can genuinely love people who think differently than I do.

5. Sometimes, friendship isn’t about my fulfillment and happiness.

6. Leave some dead air and long pauses in conversation. It gives people the extra beat they need to get the nerve to say what they’re really thinking, ask for help, or take some other act of relational courage. Or it’s just a little awkward, which never killed anyone, and you avoid being the friend who never shuts up.

7. There’s comfort in knowing how much you don’t know.

8. A regular decluttering isn’t good just for your closet, but your soul.

9. Perfume is the fastest way to feel put together and a little fancy.

10. If you do the best you can where you are with what you have, you don’t have to live under the pressure of comparison.

11. The work people see isn’t more valuable than the work only my husband or no one sees.

12. It’s fun to laugh with people, but it’s a sacred honor when they let you see them cry.

13. Mixed motives are human. Just because I know that I’m helping someone partly to help them and partly to feel better about myself doesn’t mean I shouldn’t help.

14. I don’t need to make something of myself. He has given me a place and begun a work in me that requires my faithfulness and work, but not my anxiety.

15. My mental health depends on exercise.

16. Instead of trying to prove that I’m worthy of respect and friendship and love, what if I set out to prove that He is?

17. I am not the root or solution to any of my friends’ problems.

18. Change is possible but it usually comes slower than we’d like and looks different than we thought.

19. God is more interested in our character than our comfort.”