January 03, 2020

Fallen Lessons of 2019 by Lynn J Simpson

Sandi Somers’ words that started our 2020 postings at Inscribe Writers Online inspired me to reflect on my past year, too. First, I went back to my own words here from January , 3rd, 2019.

For a decade now, my friend, Marne, and I have been meeting at the closing of December to review the past year and make new goals for the upcoming year. She’s called me her “goal queen.” But this time, as I sipped peppermint tea, my goal notebook unopened on her office table, I found my stomach tensing whenever she uttered “goals.” I’d bristle like I’d just leaned against the needles of a cactus.

Maybe my resistance was due to the incompletions of last year’s goals.  Or maybe the tension was due to my resistance of letting go and letting God take the lead…

How fascinating, especially considering I’d just spent, on January 1st, 2020, a lovely afternoon with Marne to chat about —yes!—our aspirations for this new year. 

And what surprise did Marne have on hand for me? Well, an exercise of reflection, of course as that is how our God works, titled “A Look Back + A Look Forward.”

So, will you take this journey with me, my dear readers, on a few questions? I encourage you to grab your writing instrument of choice, cover my words on each reflection, and write down your answers. 

A Look Back

How would you describe your past year in two sentences? 
There were moments of complete joy especially while helping a friend create content for a cause I know will be a blessing for many, and when watching my granddaughter and her friend create cake creations during a Nailed It birthday party theme I planned. Much frustration, though, knocked me down and out this year, draining my energy and decreasing my joy.  

What made you feel energized/drained? What did you learn?
Energized: When connecting with others, either in engaging conversation that led to insights, or sharing my knowledge that helped build their creations. 
Drained: When work problems exceeded the successes. 
What did I learn? Service to others through sharing my knowledge, skills, or by just showing up fills me. And although an introvert, connecting with others is necessary to fuel my introverted activities like my writing.  My work problems can be easier handled if I fill my joy cup with service and connections to others. 

What were your joys/heartaches? What did you learn?
Surge of joy while practicing cross-over turns during skating lessons (figure skating lessons a bucket list item I was so happy to do at 54 years-old!) and chatting on ice with the other regulars at early morning public skating. Then heartache when a fall in the icy arena parking caused a broken wrist and no more skating for 4 to 6 months. What I have learned so far on this healing bone journey is why God wants me to be joyful in all circumstances as it is this joy He wants for me that fuels me to be my best. And also to be graceful even in life’s falling moments. 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

A Look Forward

Describe your year in two sentences now that you’ve reflected on the highs, lows, and everyday moments of this past year. Although a fall caused a set-back and frustrations with work felt overwhelming, I was not crushed. I’ve learned lessons about myself through my trials of 2019, am more compassionate including toward those with bone breaks, and see how God is bending me toward His goals, not mine. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm16:11

My word for the year? What do you think it might be?

What did God teach you in 2019?

Lynn writes on faith, hope and love at Lynn J Simpson. Although she can't hold a camera presently, you can find her past photography at Instagram and Photography


  1. What might your word of the year be?

    Be? Is that it?

    Not Do. Be.

    This was a wonderful, encouraging read. Happy New Year 🤗

    1. Happy New Year to you too Sandi! Thank you for your words that prompted me to write mine.

  2. Thank you for these great thinking prompts! I specifically noted your phrase, "God is bending me toward His goals, not mine." Makes me visualize a rainbow being created just for me! I think your word might be joy for 2020. Ok, now I see you sliding on the rainbow arc God continues to bend for you!

    1. I love that visual of a rainbow Denise! I may just have to draw that, and rainbows are so joyful! You are so close regarding my word. It is joyful!

  3. This is wonderful! I am heading off to answer the questions right now!

    1. I hope the questions lead you to clarifying God's personal message to you, Tracy. Happy New Year!

  4. Also my word suggestion for you is Persevere

    1. That's an insightful suggestion, Tracy. I will persevere in being JOYFUL!

  5. Hi Lynn! I always enjoy your posts whether here or on your own blog. I appreciate the enthusiasm you write with. The following question drew my attention. "What made you feel energized/drained? What did you learn?" My chronic discomfort due to neck pain often drains me, but I don't give in to it. A reason for this is watching two of my grandchildren who are on the autism spectrum. I learn a lot from them about patince and perseverance. They face daily challenges yet don't give up. God uses my littles to teach me more about how to be patient even in suffering. Happy New Year, deaar friend. Keep on writing! my word for you is "enthusiasm." :)

  6. Happy New Year Alan! It was a delight to read how your "littles" teach and grow you. Yes, God ives us all we need. And thank you for the word "enthusiasm." I like it!

  7. Good questions, Lynn. They made me think. I like how you said that serving others gives you joy. I can relate to that.
    Pam Mytroen

  8. Great questions for reflection, Lynn. I'm going to make a note of them and consider my own answers. Your friendship with Marne sounds delightful. Deep friendships are a rare blessing.


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