Today we’re jumping on the bandwagon and participating in the #2014blog2015 challenge! West Coast blogger and photographer Jamie Delaine made a list of 5 questions to “look back on 2014″ and 5 questions to “look forward to 2015” to provide some fodder for reflection.
Want to get in on the fun? You’re welcome to save these images and share to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #2014blog2015.
What are you most proud of this year?
B- Probably walking the Camino de Santiago in May and June of 2014 and everything I’ve learned through that experience. It was challenging but oh-so-rewarding!
E- Taking a 9-day retreat, called Triumph, this year (5 of which were silent) and letting myself dive into old hurts, desires, and aches there. Let me tell you, real freedom and healing exists when we make time to press into where it’s uncomfortable!
What was the biggest risk you took?
B- Letting go of deeply held hopes which has made room in my life for new opportunities. Sometimes the feeling of hopelessness is necessary to give us the nudge we need to move forward.
E- Acknowledging real desires. Mother Teresa said, “We want to scale the mountains of perfection, but Christ wants to meet us in the valley of humility.” I spent a large portion of this year discerning things that were upon the mountain of perfection, ignoring my real desires and the real voice of Christ within me. The big risk came with finally looking at real desires within me and letting myself ache for them.
What did you learn this year?
B- That vulnerability is hard, that we are more resilient than we usually give ourselves credit for, and that self-reflection and prayer are critical to personal growth.
E- We are not human doers but human beings! To learn to let myself be loved rather than always trying to earn love. That was a big realization for me.
What do you wish you had made more time for?
B- Two things: prayer, especially in times of transition when any semblance of routine goes out the window, and outings with friends. I don’t think you can ever OD on either of those!
E- PRAYER. Definitely prayer.
What are 3 highlights (business or personal) of your year?
B- My graduation weekend in early May (so fun!), walking across an entire country, and time spent with my 8 year old goddaughter.
E- Working on our Diocesan Youth Rally, travelling to India in May, and moving into a household with 3 other Catholic women (love you ladies!).
What “word” do you want to define 2015?
B- For me, its ‘responsiveness’. Taking a cue from Papa Francesco, I want to be more present to those around me, give more liberally of my time, talents, and disposable income, and talk more about the structural causes of poverty and inequality. This has always been important to me but as a grad student it’s so easy to brush these important things aside, telling myself I just don’t have time… Jesus made time, Francis does, and in 2015 I will too.
E- ‘Freedom’ This past year, I was really stripped down and emptied out (a longer and separate post needed on this) and with that emptying I came to see glimpses of true freedom – freedom that comes from being unattached to material things, people, and even little spiritual consolations. This year, I’m excited to experience the freedom that lies on the other side of being emptied out.
What are 3 big goals (business or personal) for 2015?
B- Definitely improve my time management, see the Northern Lights, and volunteer more in my new city.
E- Finish writing a biography for someone, taking time to learn & create music and art, and spending time with physically poor in our city.
What do you want to stop doing in 2015?
B- Wasting so much time on social media! Gah! It can be a useful tool for networking and sustaining long-distance friendships (eh, Euns?) but its also a black hole for my time.
E- Ditto Becs! Wasted time on facebook and instagram. Anyone got any suggestions for how to curb this? I also want to commit to not buying new clothes.
What things excite you about the upcoming year?
B- There are some volunteer opportunities in my city and travel opportunities for school that I’m looking into right now but even if they don’t pan out, I am excited to spend more time with friends and family now that I’m back in Ontario.
E- Creating music and art and writing more! Returning to these childhood passions within me that I haven’t delved into for years!
What do you want to learn in 2015?
B- I plan to learn more about St. Edith Stein: a saint, a philosopher, and all-around wonder woman!
E- To live simply.