Reflect Forward to a Life of More Meaning

Around January 1, most of us spend some time reflecting on the past year. We remember the good times, lament over the bad, and project forward to a better next year. 

Always a better next year. 


But really what does that “better” mean? Is it more money? A bigger house? More prestige? A healthier season? More children? A stronger marriage? 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a better year in those areas.

Not What I Did…

But as you and I reflect on the year speeding by, I propose we will find much more fulfillment in reflecting not on what we did or didn’t accomplish, not on what did or didn’t go well for us, but on whose life we did or did not make a difference in.

A meaningful life comes in the giving not the getting.

A meaningful life comes in the giving not the getting. Click To Tweet

The better question to ask as we look back is, who did I positively impact last year and how? Whose life did I pour into? 

Our wealth, houses, jobs, even health, it will all go. There is no getting away from that. We will all die, and we can’t take any of “it” with us.

But our impact is different. Those we touch with our lives will in turn touch others. The difference we make in someone else’s life will pay dividend long after we are but a memory on this earth.

Reflect Forward

And as we look back on whose lives we touched or wished we would have, let’s focus on the impact we can have moving forward.

Let’s use the next few days to “reflect forward”:  using our successes and failures in the relationship department in the past to show us the way to a far more meaningful next year–for us and so many others. 

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

Reflection: What are some of the successes and failures you’ve had in the relationship department this year? How can you use those to “reflect forward” and more positively impact other’s lives in the year to come?

Since Lisa-Jo is taking a break from Five-Minute Fridays for December, this is my own rendition of FMF with the word “Reflect.” So sorry, no linkup. :)

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “Reflect Forward to a Life of More Meaning
  1. Jon Beaty says:

    Julie, Nice to meet you here. I like your thoughts. While honest reflection is a good habit to get into, it’s especially appropriate as we begin the new year. I think many of us avoid it because we’re afraid of what we’ll find. I’ve consoled myself in knowing whatever flaws or faults I find, they’re a necessary reminder that I need to grow in grace by devoting myself more completely to following God.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      So nice to have you stop in, Jon! I value your input. Yes, looking into our failures can be difficult, but we grow the most when we directly address our weaknesses.

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