Saturday, 29 December 2018

Two Thousand and Eighteen - Six Things I Learnt This Year

As the year of two thousand and eighteen draws to a close, I have been pondering the things I have learnt over the past twelve months...

Here are my top six...

This year I learnt how to say no and how to set boundaries in place to avoid being burnt out or hurt.
Initially I felt almost guilty having to tell someone I wouldn't be able to help them out or couldn't make a get together...  But over time, as I began to see the positive results of pacing myself and prioritizing, taking time to think carefully about something before giving an answer became quite natural.

I learnt that broadening my horizons quite literally - meeting new people, trying new things...seeing new places, is not as scary as I once thought it to be.  
I am actually quite a cautious person and struggle with fear of the unknown.  However, this year taught me to get out of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith.
And with each new experience, my confidence grew...
My trip to China back in June boosted my confidence levels enormously...  You can read more about my trip here.

I learnt that I am a people person and actually feel energised by being around others.
If I cast my mind back to the beginning of this year, I am surprised at the tremendous change that took place somewhere along the line...
I went from being shy and nervous around people I didn't know, to actually enjoying striking up a conversation with a someone I had only just met!

 I have met some amazing people this year and formed some special friendships along the way...

I also learnt that I need peace and quiet and time on my own to be refreshed.
It is good to come away from the noise and busyness of life every so often to be refreshed and have time for deep reflection.  
I realised that when I am constantly on the go and surrounded by people, my passion for the Lord diminishes.  
I need time with Him every day...time to quench my thirsty soul so I can better serve Him by serving others.

I learnt that I am a creative soul and find true satisfaction and delight in working with my hands. 
Creativity is in my blood.  It is who I am.
I need to work with my in the garden...busy in the home or in the kitchen...or at my sewing machine...  
And this is how I enjoy serving and blessing is my love language.

I learnt that no matter what I walk through, the Lord is by my side.
This was another challenging year for our family with my dad still living and working overseas.
In August my mom and five younger siblings were able to join my dad in China, leaving my sister and I to establish a life for ourselves here in South Africa.
At times the pain of missing the people I love most and the difficulty of trying to navigate through life on our own threatened to overwhelm and swallow me whole.
And yet...even on those incredibly dark days when I was sure I was drowning...I saw light at the end of the tunnel.

I know that the Lord is on my side and by my side every step of the way and I cling to the promise that His grace is sufficient and that His strength is made perfect in weakness.

And there you have it...six things of the many things I learnt this year...

Now it is your turn...
What did you learn about yourself this year that will help you going into the new year?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below...I would love to hear from you!

Blessings in Christ,

Pictures taken in July while we were in Cape Town to apply for visas...  
We spent a day visiting our favourite places in Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek.


  1. Well spoken, Kelly-Anne. Our family has also learned many lessons, some similar to yours. The Lord has really caused us to rely and lean on him in a much deeper way than we ever have before this year, so I would say what I've learned about myself this year is that I need a whole lot less of me and a whole lot more of Him to keep me sustained. His Provision is always better than our own! Thank you for this beautiful post. May God bless you and your family to continue to improve and grow closer to Him in the new year!

  2. I am in tears as I write this, Kelly-Anne. I was so moved by your post, then I scrolled to the bottom and saw our sweet boy's face and comment, and I was touched even more. I echo his comments wholeheartedly. We have been stretched this year far beyond our comfort zone in so many ways, and each time we reach a new level of trust, we find that God is all He said He would be. His promises are secure, and His Word can never be broken. I was thinking of you earlier today, as we had our family worship, and I took the beautiful bookmark you made for me out of my Bible. I think of you each time I see it, which is often. I am sorry I haven't been able to keep in touch with you and miss our correspondence. May the Lord richly bless you in the new year!

  3. Wishing you and yours a blessed,happy and peaceful 2019.
    Marion and Marilyn

  4. @Zach ~
    Oh, it is just so good to hear from you, Zach! I am sorry that I have been such a terrible friend this year... how often you and your dear mom have popped into my thoughts. I miss our correspondence!
    I think I need to write you a long email this can look out for it!
    Thank you for stopping by and sharing... Your words really encouraged my heart. Blessings to you, friend!

    @Cheryl ~
    Dearest Cheryl...oh, how I also miss our correspondence. For the first time in months, I feel like I am finally able to once again write to friends around the world and share on my blog. Before I have not been strong enough emotionally... But in this time of coming away from many things, the Lord has drawn me closer to Himself and taught me so many lessons... I am sorry to hear that this year has also been a difficult one for your family... But I know that through it all, the Lord has remained faithful to His promises! Blessings and ever so much love to you! My heart is filled with joy in writing to you again...

    @Marion and Marilyn ~
    Oh, I am so grateful for your sweet are such dear, faithful followers and blog friends...thank you! A blessed 2019 to you, too... May the Lord continue to draw you both closer to Himself and fill you with His peace and joy!
    In Christ,

  5. What a beautiful post! Bravo.

    I think this year, I learned that I really can't do everything. Like you, I need to learn to not automatically say, "Sure, I can do that," to every request. I burned out toward the end of the summer, and just kept pushing myself, and got to where I was worn very, very thin around Christmas. I took a week to sort of reassess my activities and pursuits, and I'm trying to find ways to eliminate the ones that are not necessary, and to streamline the ones that are necessary but not enjoyable or uplifting. With God's guidance, I'm going to try letting go of some of the things I keep feeling like I "should" do and focus on the ones that I "need" to do, if that makes sense.

    Happy New Year!

  6. I loved hearing what the Lord has taught you this year...He truly is working a beautiful thing in your life! You are so inspiring and encouraging, thank you for being you - the amazing you who is such a light for Christ!❤️


It is always a delight hearing from my readers...
Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note...I respond via email, so do ensure that you aren't a ''no-reply'' blogger!