Seven invitations to look back.

This is a time of year for reviewing, for “most listened to” lists, for what happened this year.

Some of us avoid this process. We may not want to remember things from this year. We may not want to be reminded of things from this year.

I understand.

For some reason, however, the other day, I was doing some of this kind of remembering.

I started with “7 experiments I tried in 2022”. As I wrote things down, I ended up with more than 7. Some of the experiments worked, some didn’t, most of them brought clarity. And that prompt to look back allowed me to remember really specific, and really tiny, and really big moments.

Some of them? Creating grief cards (not a seller); making espresso (I’m learning); starting a new newsletter (“Finding Words” newsletter – Finding words in hard times, still working on the habit); traveling to Germany (a clear win); writing about Mark’s Gospel (got distracted).

I won’t post all of my experiments. But the experiment of thinking was helpful.

Here are a few things you could consider if you want to reflect a little:

  • List 4 people who provided meaningful help this year.
  • List 4 tiny ways you helped someone else.
  • List 3 helpful things you had stopped doing that you started again.
  • List 4 good choices you made this year.
  • List 7 experiments you tried this year.
  • List 1 moment when you felt like God was listening.
  • List 6 items you crossed off your to-do list that had been there for 6 months or more.

Often, we can list all the things that didn’t work, that felt like failing, like falling short. That’s why these move toward the helpful. We need to remember those stories, too.

Here’s a list of journaling prompts. 22 End-of-Year Journaling Prompts to Inspire Reflection (