Thursday, January 2, 2014

#72 My Annual Review for 2013

Just because I'm a lover of the beach!

Based on a article I read from James Clearly, from (which I highly recommend you check out his website and look for his free 38 page ebook -- Transforming Your Habits), I decided to take him up on his offer of using his template to make my own Annual Review.  This Annual Review is a look back on what went well and not so well in 2013.

God has been very good to me and my family in 2013.  We have had our ups and downs just like many families but I look over these last 12 months and I see God leading and guiding every step of the way.  As far as this blog is concerned, it has been my joy to continue it faithfully for another year.

Just like James Clearly, I will ask these three questions regarding this Annual Review.
  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn't go so well this year?
  3. What am I working toward?
Here goes.

1. What went well this year?
Writing. I'm glad to say, this year I haven't missed one Friday post (except purposely for the Friday after Christmas).  It's important to be a good mom, wife, daughter and all those things but also it's very important to me that I have something that I can call my own that I'm doing.  This blog is my way of encouraging and allowing my thoughts and ideas (my diary of sorts) to be shared for others to perhaps be inspired to do something for themselves that's productive.  So for that, I give God the glory.   
Church. This year I made a big step to leave our family church and find a church that would meet my needs.  I have been at my former church for over 13 years (a large church) and out of those 13 years my pastor did not know my name.  I barely knew anyone personally and I felt that because of it's location it was hard to truly get involved.  So this year, with much prayer, I went out into the deep in search for a new church.  I visited many and I knew that I would know if it was for me -- my spirit would agree.  Well it was not easy, but I found exactly what I was looking for and I could not be more pleased.  I already feel at home and I thank God that I did not give up.
Research/ReadingI'm reading like a fanatic and listening to podcast.  Love to read and acquire knowledge.  So I'm trying to put a lot of that knowledge into practice.  Slowly but surely I desire to take bits and pieces and follow-through with what I'm learning and gaining.  It's been a great year of acquiring knowledge.

2. What didn't go so well this year?
Staying in touch with friends and family from afar. My mom and sister live close by and I see them often by doing their hair and just visiting -- and this year I took a trip to LA to see my brother. That was AWESOME! But unfortunately I don't see other family members that much unless there is a funeral or a wedding. My friends and I use to gather at the end of the year and catch up with things at a Christmas party that I use to give yearly -- but everybody is now on different schedules and everyone claims they are so "BUSY" now days -- so unfortunately I don't get together with them like I would like. I'm trying to change that by putting myself on their calendars. Sometimes we just have to make time. We can make time for whatever it is we want to do -- so I'm going to be the one to step out of the box and make it happen.
Me Time. I'm not big on doing things by myself just for the sake of "being-out."  My husband roller skates every Saturday and Sunday -- and this is something he does for him.  It doesn't benefit me at all.  My boys have boy scouts and they enjoy it very much.  It doesn't benefit me at all.  I'm a stay-at-home, home school mom -- so as you guessed it -- I spend a lot of time at home doing things for everybody -- except me.  This blog is the extent of it.  So my husband will tell me I need to find something for me to do -- go out and do something.  Well like I said, I don't want to just be going out driving around using up gas just to be "out" doing something.  I would rather do something productive that is going to benefit me and that I'm going to enjoy.  Well like I mentioned in previous blog post, I'm thinking about joining a gym.  So look for that to perhaps take place this year!!!

3. What am I working toward?
So where is all of this going? What direction am I heading in? What am I hoping to build, to create, and to share with the world?
I think there are 5 central themes that drive my work, my relationships, and my life.
  1. Rituals and habits. I desire to become a person who has good habits and less bad ones.  I want to focus on God first, my family and things that I believe He is calling me to do and put my whole heart into that.
  2. Adventure and exploration. I enjoy a good garage sale, a good book, going to new places, trying new recipes and just exploring new things around the bend.  That's what gets me excited!!!
  3. Creativity and craftsmanship. As James Clearly said -- "There is a magic that comes from making things. I believe that it's important to be a creator, not merely a consumer. I want to make sure that I not only share great ideas through my writing, but that I actually put them into practice as well. It's better to live in the arena than to judge from the crowd."  I couldn't agree more.
  4. Strength and confidence. I desire to push myself physically more then ever before this new year.  I was told by someone very close to me that if I gain weight in any way then I'm a hypocrite, I'm not following my blog.  I hate that people can be so hurtful with their words.  We are so quick to be so critical instead of encouraging -- but nevertheless, I have not stayed my weight I started -- but I'm not a yo-yo dieter -- I'm not going to say that I will never gain a pound our two -- but I will always do my best to keep myself in the best shape of my life and I'm confident that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I am more then a conqueror!!!
  5. Service and teamwork. I desire to be used however the Lord wants to use me in His kingdom.  I desire to get involved with my local church and to help people in my home school community in anyway I can.  Yes I can!

The Bottom Line

I have plenty to learn and ways to grow -- but I am like the little engine that could -- I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  As long as I'm pushing forward and not going backwards, I believe God is pleased.  I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for 2014.
As always, thanks for reading. And if you want to share a suggestion, any thoughts, then leave a comment below.

Until next time...

Please leave a comment on the left.  Thanks for visiting.


Jackie Trottmann said...

Renee, I am SO proud of your commitment to blog every week. Congratulations on finding a new church. I SO love my church! The people, sermons, choir that I am a part of, and pastors give me my spiritual food each week that helps me to keep on keeping on. We cannot operate in a vacuum. We operate in community. As a mom, wife, daughter, blogger, etc., etc., I can't say enough to do something for "you." As women, we tend to take care of everyone else. But be mindful of the greatest commandment, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy mind and love your neighbor as yourself." Yourself is equal. So.... be kind and gentle to you. And by the way.... God is proud of you all of the time. :) May blessings and abundance chase you down in 2014. I'm blessed to know you.

Renee Barry said...

Thanks for your feedback! I'm so blessed to know you as well and I promise that this year I will do something for me. Btw -- I did join a gym this month and I'm so glad I did. I feel better already. God bless you my friend -- have a wonderful new year!!!

Bisi said...

Beautiful. I will be checking out the link at Thanks for posting.

Renee Barry said...

Nisi thanks for checking out and sharing your comment. Do check out James Clear -- there's something you or anyone can take from his information.

Welli said...

Very good post. The Church section seems to ring loud for me as well in the same way it did for you.....will have to resolve that isse soon!!!

Renee Barry said...

Hey Welli,
Thanks for reading. I'm so glad that one is resolved. God bless you as you seek your own resolve!!! Remember don't give up!!