2015: A Year in Review

What a year it has been. It has surely been a year of ups and downs, but I am certainly grateful for every bit of it. We had some expected celebrations and some unforeseen turns. Most of all we know that nothing happens without filtering through God's hands, and we rest in His timing, His goodness, and His saving grace. 

Last year I posted 15 goals I had for 2015, not necessarily resolutions, but just things I wanted to do in the coming 365 days. Some things I did well, and others not so much...

  1. Read the bible in 1 year using the Bible for Life plan = A
    I finished reading Revelation 22 on New Year's Eve, which wrapped up my 2015 Bible reading from Genesis to Revelation. If you're interested in doing this, I used the YouVersion app and it's the "Reading God's Story: One-Year Chronological" reading plan. 
     
  2. Go to the gym 3 days per week = C
    I would say most weeks, I went twice. Some weeks I went once. Some weeks, none. Some weeks 4-5 times. Overall, this goal deserves an average grade. 
     
  3. Eat dinner at home more - at least 4 nights a week = B
    I feel like we did do this more in 2015. Sometimes we didn't eat at our home, we ate at other people's homes, but we still ate in a lot more this year. 
     
  4. Read 12 books - at least 1 per month = B/C
    I read 10 books in 2015. They were:
    It Starts with Food by Dallas Hartwig
    Interrupted by Jen Haymaker
    Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren
    Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    Yes Please by Amy Poehler
    For the Love by Jen Haymaker
    Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
    Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist
    When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett
    Forever Mom by Mary Ostyn
    Currently Reading: The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
     
  5. Pray with Jason more = B/C
    This is such a hard thing to gauge. I feel like we try to intentionally set aside more time to pray together, but we surely could do this more.
     
  6. Ride 365 miles on my bike (or more!) = F (complete fail)
    We've got to find a flat route...
     
  7. Complete the Whole30 at least once = A
    I completed a full 30 days from January 1, 2015-January 30, 2015. I also did Whole7 or Whole14 several times throughout the year. Some of the Whole30 "rules" have just become part of my life, such as no artificial sugars, coconut cream in my coffee only (or just half and half if I'm at a restaurant), no soda (except on special occasions), and I'm overall much more aware of what I'm eating. I may still make poor choices sometimes, but I at least have all the information to work with :)
     
  8. Get to know more of our neighbors = C
    I have tried to be more talkative and outgoing to people I see at the park or at the Publix down the road. Unfortunately, there are several rental houses around us that have gone empty for the majority of the year, so we just haven't made an effort like we should have.
     
  9. Travel with Jason more on his work trips = A
    Portland for a week + firm retreat + Nashville several times = it's been a great year of traveling for the Morales clan.
     
  10. Take advantage of the morning hours = A
    When I was working at Grace House, my mornings were somewhat flexible just because of the nature of the office. I didn't have to be there until 9:00, but a worked late a lot as well so I could sometimes push that back to 9:15 or 9:30. I tried to eat breakfast at home, read the bible, and spend time cleaning up or doing dishes from the night before. Now that I work from home, the morning is when I'm most productive for Jessica-things - grocery shopping, gym, cleaning, etc. I am super productive working for real work in mid to late mornings through the afternoon. 
     
  11. Take Swanson for more walks = A
    Working from home has definitely helped with this as well.
     
  12. Entertain more at our house = A
    2015 has been the year of having people over, and I've LOVED every minute of it. We have made a family policy to open our home as much as possible and just love on people as best we can through hospitality. I feel like we've done a pretty good job of that this year, and God has blessed us with some many opportunities to do so. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing this in 2016!
     
  13. Be more intentional with giving to others = B
    This is another one that is just so hard to gauge. Since we changed churches this year, we've been really trying to intentionally tithe over and above what we'd been giving when we were at a much, much larger church. We've also tried to give of our time more when we can. I'm hopeful to continue working on this as well in 2016.
     
  14. Live more simply = A/B
    This has been kind of an ebb and flow this year. I feel like we'd clean out or do away with unnecessary, and then a little while later we'd add more stuff or more unnecessary. Another one to continue working on this coming year.
     
  15. Love harder
    I cannot grade this, it's literally impossible. God is continually working on each of our hearts and giving us opportunities to love harder, more, and more abundantly our spouses, family, friends, community, and even those who are difficult to love at times. This is a continuous work that will never be perfect in any of us, but we must strive daily to love like Christ. 

What were your goals or resolutions in 2015? How did they turn out? What things do you feel you did well and what were complete failures? 

Posted on January 2, 2016 .