Have you ever watched a ballet with awe of how each person can be in step with each other? Maybe you – yourself have been a part of a dance team who worked on a choreographed routine for a performance. Or, you could be a person who has done or does ‘cardio dance.’
Well, yesterday I got the chance to be in a cardio dance class. It was fun yet challenging. In the room, there is a massive mirror in front of the class. The mirror is so that the person participating can watch the instructor but see themselves move as well. I didn’t have a problem watching the instructor, but when it came to looking up at myself, I became embarrassed and seemed to do worse.
Starting on the right foot, I awkwardly moved with the class through the arranged routine. I did, however, improve each time we were instructed to ‘go back to the beginning move.’ The entire dance I may have appeared awkward, but I ended with the right foot. Ah, success! I may not have looked like a professional dancer like my instructor, but I did the class and even had a smile on my face after.
As December is dwindling down, and we are in the last few days of the year 2019, I have thought about how I want to ‘step’ into the New Year – New Decade. Setting goals for myself in the coming year is something I have only put into practice since my late 40’s. Yes, it is exciting to know that we have 12 full months to accomplish what we planned to do — looking forward to the clean slate, or empty pages for us to create.
But I have come to realize that ending the year on the right foot is just as important as starting on the right foot. The other morning, I woke with these words: Get a perspective of this past year.
For me to get perspective of 2019, I must have the capability of seeing all relevant data in a meaningful way. This is more than just a ‘checklist’ of what I did; it is evaluating the past twelve months intending to see where I can improve. Not that I have done things bad or wrong, because as all of you, I am still growing and learning who I am created to be. I am assessing the past year to see where I might have gotten ‘sidetracked’ investing time [or money] in things that didn’t get me any closer to my goals.
I journal and have for years. However, I only go back to skim through my past, pausing to reflect on specific times, never reading it through to get the full picture. Which, now I can see, is unproductive. Especially if I am seeking to walk in the purposes, God has created me to do.
Note, God doesn’t override our personality and free will to do things for him as if we are robots. He desires to partner with our passions and creativity in how we bring “LIGHT” to the world.
I have to laugh at myself. When I was pondering the idea of reading the whole year that I have written in my journal, this was dropped in my heart:
‘Journaling if you don’t go back to read and evaluate, it is like getting a receipt and never evaluating your bank account.’
Ah hahaha, this is so true! What is the point of getting a receipt when you purchase an item if you don’t look at your bank account to see where you stand? And truth be told, a person may have more in their account than thought. And those ‘big’ purchases, they have wanted to buy, may not be so ‘big’ after all.
I am excited to do this, read my year. I believe that I will fully see Papa God’s hand holding mine the entire year. And I might even be further along in meeting those long desire goals that I have thought were unattainable.
First and foremost, we must look at our past year through our love lenses [God glasses]. Papa God doesn’t look at us with ‘dark’ glasses, so to speak, looking at us if we are ‘bad.’ He looks at us with love and compassion. He sees our past, present, and future all the same time. He knows and understands the struggles we have endured, and He knows the person He has created us to be. With that being said, we need to evaluate it all, the defeats as well as the victories.
Here are a few things that the Lord laid on my heart to use as tools to evaluate.
How did you feel emotionally? This isn’t how you felt emotionally all year. How did you feel emotionally when those notable turning points or highlights [or lowlights] occurred?
How did your spirit feel? This can be hard to distinguish. For me, I sometimes think of my emotions, the same as my spirit. But this is what I believe the differences are: Emotions have a lot to do with your past experiences. Your spirit is what connects with the Holy Spirit.
Were you proud of the things you accomplished? I know scripture speaks about pride, but there is a difference in being proud and being prideful. One is being arrogant, and the other is just having a sense of value.
Ask Papa God what He thought about those things you achieved.
Are there steps you can take in the future to improve the outcome of those accomplishments?
What things did you inspire to do but didn’t quite make it?
What steps did you take toward the goal?
Finally, I would like to encourage you to look at all ‘gifts’- those things that took you by surprise. Those events you never thought in your wildest dreams would happen – that did! And then thank the Lord above. In doing this you are ending the year with a grateful heart – ending it on ‘the right foot.’