Okay, so I basically failed blogging about Advent. I truly thought it would be good way for me to blog more often, but alas, I put it aside everyday until Christmas. Did I celebrate Advent? Honestly, the first week I really did. And I was super excited to blog about my experience. But then I never sat down to write about my experience, and then basically every other day I thought. “I need to sit down and focus on Advent and blog!”, but never did.
I really hope I get to this point where I don’t have to apologize all the time in my blog for being a terrible blogger. Okay enough pitter patter. On to something more constructive.
So 2011 is basically over. I honestly feel like, seriously? Where did the time go?! What did I accomplish this year? Here are some thoughts of reflection..
For 9 months I worked 3 jobs, becoming terribly stressed out, but made a good dent on my loan payments.
I never went on vacation. I think the longest break I had off was 3 days.
The Youth Group I lead tripled.
I started learning how to play the piano this year.
I went to a U2 concert!
I basically failed at running this year, due to having neck pain for about 3 months while running, and then never fully getting back on the bandwagon after.
And the list could go on of hundreds of accomplishments and failures of this year.
But as I have blogged about this feeling before, I think there are really only two things that matter of what I did this year:
1. Have I grown closer to God?
2. Did I make an eternal impact in the world this year?
To answer the first question, I know I have grown closer to God, but it has been in a different way this year. In college I feel like I grew emotionally much closer to God. I spent more time than I ever had worshiping and praying, and had many tough life things happen that always kept me near Him. This past year my relationship has taken more of an intellectual turn. I have been connecting and growing closer to Him through reading theology books, and discussing with other Christians about such things. One thing that has really sunken in this year is that I never have to shut off my brain with God. I say that because I think many intellectual non-Christians believe that Christians have to make themselves dumber to have faith, and that is completely ridiculous, or more-so foolish to believe that you can outsmart the study of God.
I also grew a lot this year by realizing that I learn better by receiving lots of input, so I have been listening to sermon podcasts about 2-3 times a week. This has been a powerful way I have connected with God. I learn so much about God by listening to Pastors such as Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, and of course David Sorn. :) I recommend everyone listen to these people! They are all brilliant!!
Also, I FINALLY have legit, wonderful accountability partners. Ali and Molly, you have been an answer to prayer in my life in so many ways. Your accountability has caused me to read the Bible more consistently than I ever have this year, and your encouragement has strengthened me and my ministry in so many ways. I love you both so much!!!!
To answer the second question, I believe so, yes. I have seen some people I have been discipling come closer to God. I have shared the gospel with multiple people. I have worked harder at being a better representation of Christ to people in my life. Sometimes I feel like I see little fruit, but I think many times we will never see the full effect of how God uses us in other people’s lives. All we can do is daily serve and love God, tell others about Him, and love them the way He wants us to. If we always attempt great things for Him, we can expect great things from Him, whether we see them or not.
Ask yourself the same 2 questions and see what you come up with.
News Years resolutions coming soon, I have great plans :)