In the Aftermath of Christmas

December 27, 2017

Death, Love, and Choices in 2018

January 10, 2018

Survey 2018

January 2, 2018
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If I was as professional in blogging as Asher Witmer, I would present you all with a carefully worded survey done through Survey Monkey to discover your interests, struggles, and demographics.

Maybe next year.

This year, I’ve formulated an unprofessional survey of my own. I call it…ahem…

Four Questions to Start the New Year

  1. Since we all know that no year, ever, in the history of humankind (including but not limited to the Garden of Eden and the Rapture) has turned out quite as expected, what is one unexpected turn or surprising event that you’ve experienced in 2017?
  2. Since all of life includes growth and brand new choices every day, what is one positive step you’ve taken in 2017?
  3. What is one step you wish to take in 2018? Whether it’s getting out of jail or feeding the baby enough to keep it alive or attending college or visiting the capital, what is one thing you plan to accomplish?
  4. What is your deepest hope for 2018? And if that’s too personal (as mine is), how about a small, peripheral hope?

You can answer one of these questions, or all of them, as you choose.

If you are a reader who seldom or never comments, then now is a good time for you to do so. Any comment, because, “A comment’s a comment, no matter how small,” to rephrase Dr. Seuss.

I would very much love to hear from all of you.

And if I do hear from at least many of you, I will return the favor by answering the questions for myself in my next blog post.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Photo credit to Chadwick Miller, Ark Encounter 2017.


  1. 1. Dad died. So did his sister, Aunt Rosie.

    2. I reached out to someone who has wronged me repeatedly…and apologized for my wrongs against them.

    3. Be better focused in my online life. Posting here would qualify as not taking that step. 🙂

    4. Get well. (Neither deepest nor peripheral.)

    1. I am struck by your answer to # 2, and that is an encouragement for me to take those kind of steps as well. Sometimes we don’t see our own wrongs for focusing on the other person’s.

      I am sorry for the grief you’ve experienced this year. Thank you for posting. 🙂 And please, be well.

  2. 1. Being asked to be on an autism advisory panel for an autism research project at Princeton University. That was definitely unexpected!

    2. I’d been meaning to start an autism-and-disability blog for a while, and I took the step and set it up.

    3. Be a bit more social and see friends more. Because I have fibroymalgia and ME/CFS, I have substantial problems with fatigue and am at home a lot, so although social media has ensured I’m not as isolated as I otherwise would be, it’s good to get out sometimes and *see* people (although I do have to be careful, because of the fatigue and also, I’m autistic so I need alone time to decompress). Also, my husband and I are determined to get the flat (British word for “apartment”) tidy at long last.

    4. I’ve been married for just over 2 years but I’m having some issues with my body that make intimacy with my husband pretty much impossible (which is frustrating and upsetting, especially because about 8 of my friends are currently pregnant, one of whom is 6 months along already and only got married in April). We desperately want children. My deepest hope for this year is that we can get the issues sorted and be on the way to starting a family at last.

    1. Katherine, it’s good to hear from you. Congratulations on your Princeton assignment! What an honor.

      I took a peek at your new blog, and I can see that you have information that will be very helpful for those who deal with autism in themselves or loved ones. I especially love that you are giving a voice to people with autism, letting us all know that treasured aspects of life such as marriage and careers are still very possible. What a worthwhile and needed message. Best wishes on your social efforts as well. I very much admire your attitude and spirit in the face of your health difficulties.

      I understand how deeply frustrated you must feel at not being able to start a family, and I will pray with you that the Lord opens the doors and directs you to the solutions that make that possible.

  3. 1. My surprise was a happy one, when my sister told me she has a bun in the oven. 🙂
    2. I guess my positive step was choosing to do something that was out of my comfort zone. And I ended up making new friends because of it!
    3.This year I want to start writing more.
    4.I hope that people will be able to find common ground and understand each other better.

    1. I’m all with you on that writing goal, Lavina. I’m proud of you and your talent and your heart for people, and I wholeheartedly second your hope for the new year.

  4. Good Morning Luncinda!
    I’ll answer them all.
    1. My husband had a heart attack. That was very scary for him and all of us.

    2.Devoted more time for prayer

    3. Going to try to eat better. I’ve come to the conclusion that soda doesn’t like me anymore so as much as I love my San Pellegrino lemon flavored soda I have to let it go.

    4. My deepest hope for this year is to not experience another medical crisis.

    1. Good to hear from you, Regina. Glad your husband is doing okay. Wishing you success in your eating goals. And prayer is so important. There is probably no more positive step that you could have taken. To spend more time at the feet of our Father is one of my goals for the new year.

  5. 1. I spent a week in December at a writing and meditation retreat in Joshua Tree, California with the Professor of Language and Literature Writing Program Director of Eastern Mennonite University.

    2. To be as green (earth-friendly) as possible, I’m trying to use the iCalendar feature(s) on my phone and laptop. But I happen to love pen and paper (and I trust it a lot more, too). I’m heading in the electronic direction, but I’ve by no stretch of the imagination “arrived.”

    3. I’m hosting a writing retreat on Eleuthera Island (in the Bahamas) in May. Right now, we’re at capacity. Woohoo!

    4. That my second nonfiction book (it hits the shelves July 10) is very well received.

    1. I love that you love pen and paper, Laurie! You are so successful and forward-thinking in everything you do, I might have guessed that you were totally into technological convenience if you had asked me. Sounds like you have a lot of exciting things happening this year, and I am predicting that your second book will be as well-received as the first.

  6. 1. An unfulfilled expectation for 2017 was that I would have the privilege of telling my husband he would be a Daddy.
    2. One of the best choices that my husband and I made was to take a fast from certain things on our phones.
    3. A step that I want to take in 2018 is to let go of idols in my life and seek God, and God alone.
    4. My deepest hope for 2018 is to become a mother, but if that is not God’s will for us, then I want to accept it and fulfill whatever else He has planned for us in 2018.

    1. May God fulfill your deepest hope and bless you abundantly in these steps and choices you are making towards Him.

      1. Thank you Lucinda! I’m not even quite sure why I commented but I guess you said it was a chance for those of us who hadn’t commented before and the questions definitely were things I had thought of so I had easy answers.
        Thanks so much for replying!

  7. My husband and I took our little family to India this summer which was #1 a surprising event #2 a positive step…especially in increasing my trust in the Heavenly Father #3 a trip we would love to take again and #4 if we do go again I hope to be more at rest during tense situations and be the best missionary wife and mother I can be. #4 also applies if we remain in Canada in 2018.

    1. India! How fun! Although I realize that the responsibility of being a mother on such a trip would take away some of the lightheartedness of a foot-loose and fancy-free single person. 😊 I have no doubt that as time goes on and your trust in God deepens, you will be able to be more and more at rest in any situation. I think I see that in my own parents’ lives. It never gets any easier, but one grows more accepting, I think.

  8. #1 Attended a wedding in Calgary, Alberta, and hiked in Banff, Jasper, Waterton, and Glacier National Parks.
    #2 To live like relationships were the most important of life!
    #3 Be more disciplined
    #4 Bring my Mother from Florida to Ohio.
    #5 To lose 35 lbs.

  9. I have answered or will answer some of these questions in my blog, but here goes.
    #1 surprise-that we have a bun in the oven. (Love that saying, Lavina!)
    #2 I took 2 positive steps which both tended toward the same result: me gaining confidence. I blogged regularly and went to Tanzania.
    #3 things to accomplish—trust God with His plan for my year. write another book.
    #4 a deep hope: to see Jesus as my Friend. Sadly I’ve viewed Him more as my taskmaster the last several years.

    1. Congratulations on your new little one, Tina! That is so exciting. And good job on the positive steps you have taken this year as well. Tanzania—so exotic! What a great accomplishment for the bucket list.
      I will be working on writing another book this year as well.

  10. 1. Our beloved cat Muffin died very suddenly. It rocked my world big time and since has caused me to truly seize the day and I’ve made some interesting life changes.
    2. I made more ‘time’ for home, family, friends and my garden.
    3. I plan to get fit again (and stop thinking I’m old – I’m not) and shed those few extra pounds that crept on !!!
    4. My deepest hope – my goodness, there are so many… but if I’m truly honest, what always tops my list: I would love for our two sons to become born again believers in Christ.

    1. Of course you’re not old! Only if you think you are does that happen. I empathize deeply with your hope—as I suppose to all Jesus followers–since I also have people I love who are not believers.

  11. 1. Developed arthritis in my neck which is a real pain in the neck.
    2. Tackled a relationship problem in hopes of improving the situation
    3. Finish the book I’m writing
    4. That our son and his wife who have been married 7 years could give us a grandchild.

  12. 1. Something that kind of rocked our world in 2017 was when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer.
    2. A positive step for me was when I finally decided to get serious about eating right, and followed the THM plan.
    3. Something that I really want to do this year is take a trip to the Holy Lands. We are tentatively planning to go this summer!!
    4. A hope for 2018…losing more weight. Building a closer relationship with my daughters.

    1. A trip to the Holy Land with your family sounds so exciting! I hope those plans come to fruition and that you blog about them with lots of pictures. 😊 I hope also that your dad and the doctors are able to work together for his health, with God to bring healing.

  13. 1. A close friend lost her baby too SIDS on Christmas Eve.
    2.Taught my toddler more songs.
    3.Help her memorize verses.

  14. 1. In 2017, I found out I had to move again. I wasn’t expecting that, but it was a good thing for me.
    2. In 2017, a positive step was buying my house and beginning planning for my future.
    3. In 2018, I decided to visit Ireland. I also plan to begin doing lay counseling.
    4. My deepest hope is to bring someone else hope.

    1. Congratulations on owning your own house, Roseanna, and on your positive steps for your future and helping others. And on your upcoming trip to Ireland. I noticed that a lot of people are mentioning memorable trips they’ve taken or plan to take, and that’s interesting, since my trip to China is pretty big on my mind right now.

  15. 1. Our 24 yr old daughter, living at home was diagnosed may 31st with stage 4 breast cancer, 2 chemo treatments, much pain and sickness occurred in the next 2 months, and at that point she went through the. Gates of glory, freed from her pain racked body to be with her Jesus.
    2. Learning to trust God more, because it was out of my control. continue on with the joy of the Lord being my strength in the midst of this grief and take a family trip in memory of our lovely daughter.
    4. Glorify God all along this journey of grief.

    1. Oh, I am SO sorry for your loss. And I’m so thankful that you hold to God and glorify Him in the midst of it.

  16. Hello Lucinda,
    Thank-you for diligently writing interesting content on your blog. I am one of those readers who hardly ever comments on blogs so we’ll see how this goes! It was very interesting to read the other comments.
    I was surprised and saddened how many people have lost loved ones. You have my sympathies. My grandmother (my last grandparent) passed away July 17th, rather unexpectedly.
    Another “surprising event” was my doctor finding a vitamin d deficiency on routine bloodwork. That turned out to be a huge blessing in lifting my brain fog. Then I had to get to know the person that had been hiding behind the fog. 🙂 That was good, too, not always pretty and a bit scary, but good.
    2. Living more in the moment and taking interest in things I wouldn’t normally take the time for. Like planting a tiny outdoor garden for one.
    3. Be more diligent in cultivating relationships and loving people as Jesus loves me.
    4. One significant hope is that the church of God will grow in our area.
    May we all follow Jesus footsteps through the journey of 2018!

    1. Mary, it’s good to hear from you. Thank you for spending one of your rare comments on my blog. 🙂 I also was struck by the number of people who have experienced the loss of a loved one this year. I’m sorry for your loss as well.

      That’s wonderful to get to the bottom of a health need.

      And what a beautiful goal and hope for 2018. God bless you in that.

  17. Hmm…I needed time to think about those questions. So I’m late to the party.

    #1 My cousin became engaged to a guy who I had a role in helping get together. It’s surprising to me because I have found matchmakers to be way off target with myself.

    #2 A positive step I took was doing something I felt God wanted me to do even though I didn’t want to.

    #3 My goal is to pray for revival –revival in my own heart, among my friends and in my community. That takes faith that I’m not sure I have.

    #4 My hope is for new kitchen cabinets!

    1. How fun to be a successful matchmaker! A skill I am sure I do not have. And your prayer for revival: if God laid it on your heart, He is able also to give you faith to pray for it. I like to observe how he uses different people for different needs, places different burdens/interests/passions on different people’s hearts “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

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