In the first step of the year in review, I acknowledge God’s presence with me, even when I didn’t feel it. The second step is to look for consolations. Consolations are simply those times in the year when God showed up, times you know now were his hand of blessing. It might have been a visit with a friend, a good book, spectacular sunsets, a bountiful garden, sunrises that awed you, deepening relationships, time spent with children, meals around the table . . . let the Spirit of God lead your mind to the blessings of the year.

7I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Psalm 139:7-10; 17-18

As I reflect on the blessings of God this year, my heart is overwhelmed. Here are just a few from my list:

  1. Deepening family and friend relationships.
  2. Shorter lines . . . everywhere!
  3. Faster appointments at the doctor when I did have to go!
  4. Ease with which we accomplished spring, summer and fall yard work even though I broke my toe early in the summer.
  5. Eating at home . . . and enjoying it.
  6. Dave experimenting with the grill and making some really good food on his own.
  7. Forced slowing down to facilitate deeper spiritual and personal growth.

In what ways has this past year been a blessing? Sure, we don’t want to go back and do it again…but what has been a positive outcome? Where has God shown up, not in spite of everything, but because of everything?

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