Wowzers! What a Year!

What a year this has been for me!
As I look back over the year I'm amazed at all God has done in my life. There's been twists and turns that I never, ever would have guessed. Last year around this time my heart's cry was 'Pick me, Lord! Pick me!' I wanted to be used by God so I spent 40 days before my birthday 'celebrating' and preparing for the year, and I'm astounded by God's answer to my prayer. Totally blown away by it!

Here's a quick recap of this past year:
250 posts here at Patterings (!!)
30+ devotionals at Exemplify and At the Well
25 posts at Adding Zest
(and I've been whining to God that I haven't been doing much writing. What was I thinking?? That adds up to a lot of writing, even if it wasn't in the area that I planned. LoL)

I entered 4 fiction writing contests and received confirmation that my writing is in the ball park and some great feedback from the judges!

I did preliminary edits on my husband's book and learned so much through the process.

God dropped a huge blessing on me in the form of the Author Spotlights and the Book Bonanza. Interacting with all these great people has been a tremendous learning experience and blessing for me!

This summer I ran from God's leading, wised up, turned around, and teamed up with Heidi to start Adding Zest where we've seen God working in soooo many ways. What an awesome God we serve! This one is a huge thing for me. H.U.G.E. I wish I had journaled more throughout those weeks before, and as Zest was formed. God showed Himself in countless minute details, details that would've hung me up and stalled me out. He took care of those things in ways that left no question in my mind Who was working them out.

Another blessing came in the form of my tagline, which I'm carrying with me into this coming year, confident it will provide clarity and guidance as I write.

This is just what's been going on in one area of my life—an area that's easily measured. The other areas, well, even though I can't really measure what's been going on and the changes that have come about, I know they're there. I can feel them and I can feel the result of them all through my life. God's goodness and grace has been overflowing in every area of my life.

I have to tell you,though, there have been days during this celebration that were bleak. Days when all I wanted to do was to crawl into my cave and hide. But God didn't let me. I've struggled with doubt and fear and worthlessness even as I continually turned back to Scripture and read about grace and boldness and courage and persistence. If I had not been celebrating as I were, by focusing on God's Word, I'd be up to my earlobes in quicksand and sinking fast.

My birthday celebration this year was to spend more time in God's Word and finish my cover-to-cover read through of the Bible, and I did. I finished Revelation yesterday and started Genesis today. I am awed by God's power, holiness, grace and mercy. These things have jumped out at me time and time again over the last 46 weeks, which is how long it took me to do my read through. And now as I look forward to my next year, I honestly have no idea what to expect. I'm excited even as I tremble, because after all, I'm a scaredy cat. But what I do know is that I want to be used by God. I want my life to glorify Him.

What about you?
What do you want for the next year?

Sunday, November 22, is the 40 day mark to New Year's and I'd like to challenge you to take those 40 days and spend them preparing and celebrating. Like Moses did when he spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai. Like the spies did when they spent 40 days spying out the Land of Promise. Like Jesus did before starting His public ministry. Think through and decide on something you can do during those 40 days to prepare your heart for next year.

I realize we're entering one of the busiest seasons of the year with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, but dedicating some time every day to celebrating and preparing for the upcoming year is an investment you'll never regret. I really believe it's an investment that will change your life.

So how 'bout it?
Are you up to 40 days of investing and preparing?


  1. You gave me a lot to think about in this post, Patty. And I just wanted to congratulate you on the positive feedback you received on your writing from the judges. I'm not a writer, but I love to read and know what an encouragement that was. I'm looking forward to whatever the future holds for you, Patty.

  2. Happy Birthday girlfriend! :)

  3. Hi Carole! Thank you! What an encouragement you are!

    And Feath! Thanks, sweetie! I've been thinking of home this morning, so seeing your face is extra special. =)

  4. Oooh boy - my OWN 40-day thing? I need to think about this one - but I KNOW I should :D

    Happy Birthday - and what a revelation to see how much you've accomplished. WOW.

  5. You've given me some (a lot) to think about. Whew! Good stuff!

    Happy Birthday.

  6. Yes! Your very own 40 day thing!! I'm tellin' ya, the results are far reaching and long lasting!

    Go for it!

    and thank you, Karlene! Hugs to you!! =]


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