5 of the Most Important Lessons I Learned Last Year

Inside: One year of blogging in the books! I have a few lessons learned this last year. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 of the most important ones.

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5 of the Most Important Lessons I Learned Last Year. One year blogoversary and a review of the most important lessons I've learned through a few of the year's past posts. The most important lesson is God can use us right where we are.

I made it, one year of blogging! Through the ups and downs and chaos of trying to blog in the midst of everyday life, I have learned so many lessons this last year. I’ve narrowed it down to five of the most important ones.

I couldn’t have gotten here without so many encouragers along the way. I’ve met so many beautiful souls and have developed friendships with many (you know who you are).

Through online courses and answers through email, Facebook and chats, I’ve been helped with many questions and problems.

As this first year closes, I’m still in disbelief about what God has done for me. Not only with the blog, but within my own heart. Slowly and ever so tenderly (pain of the past hurts) He has shown me where I need to grow and where I need to ditch faulty thinking and acting.

Sometimes I get down on myself, shouldn’t I be farther along?

5 of the Most Important Lessons I Learned Last Year. One year blogoversary and a review of the most important lessons I've learned through a few of the year's past posts. The most important lesson is God can use us right where we are. #thehardway #inlife #relationships #truths #goodadvice

The truth is faith, change and blogging is a journey. True transformation happens through time and hard work.

I’m so much farther along than I was a year ago. Isn’t that how faith growth is? We might not think we’re growing anything substantial, but when we look back, we are so much closer to Jesus than we were in the past.

Work-in-progress girl here. I’m expecting great things this next year of blogging!


What I Learned Last Year

(recapping a few posts)

Are you struggling with something right now? I pray you’re not, but somehow I know something is making life difficult right now, or it was yesterday, or it will be in the future.

How do I know this?

Because God tells us life will be difficult.

 Christianity lived to the fullest involves struggle. ~Matt Nelson

I don’t know about you, but acknowledging this is a real downer. I dislike difficult, hard things and pain, and I can’t bring myself to roll out the welcome mat and invite them in. Nor am I excited they have graced me with their presence.

Who embraces difficulty?

Have you done something in your life which you want to keep hidden? Are there some skeletons in your closet?

Can I ease some of your discomforts, right here?

Everyone has a past.

The majority of us have a messy past. The rest will have something messy happening to them, which will ultimately become the past.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve done stupid and regrettable things in the past. Many times I’ve wondered if God would forgive me. My actions were awful, and I hurt people. I feel bad and Satan likes to rub my nose in my former mistakes.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize, your past does not define your future.

More Important Lessons I Need to Learn

(and re-learn)


Jesus greatest mission was to show people love through His birth and His death. Love was the cornerstone of His ministry. He loved us, so we can love others. This might be one of His most important lessons.

We aren’t showing love like we should. Do you agree?

Even within the church, we label, criticize and spew hate. In fact, we go to church on Sunday and then by Monday we participate in questionable conversations on Facebook.

We need to be intentional about how we act daily because Someone is always watching us.

A changed life should be evident in all situations.

Here’s the thing, we can’t fix anxiety instantly. We can take things to lessen the symptoms, but most times we have to accept it as part of our journey. We might not like it, but we have to walk through it.  As a result, it’s a painful, frustrating journey.  However here, we can also learn important lessons.

I Didn’t Want This.

The thought of throwing it in the trash feels great, doesn’t it?

A long time is not what we want to hear, right?

We want a quick fix, don’t we?  A magic pill, a meditation, or even a supplement that can remove anxiety forever.

What can we learn from traveling the road of anxiety?

The Most Important Lesson

So many important lessons and discoveries have been unearthed in my heart this past year. I’m humbled by the responses of those who have emailed or messaged me telling me how I have impacted their faith and lives.

Really? It’s only little old me, the one who doubted her ability and testimony. I felt too plain and unnoticeable when compared to other’s faith and abilities.

What I’m realizing is, God uses what we consider weak, ordinary and boring to accomplish His purpose. We can’t look at ourselves and think we are too insignificant to be used by God. The fact is, this is exactly when God will use you!


Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important (1 Corinthians 1:27-28, NLT).

God can use you too. Right here, right now, you just need to be willing to take the first step. Can I encourage you?

God has plans for you and you have a purpose in His Kingdom, take a leap and enjoy the journey. It will be so worth it!

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless DemandsThe Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless DemandsSaying Yes to God: How to Keep in Step with the SpiritSaying Yes to God: How to Keep in Step with the SpiritCalled: What Happens After Saying Yes to GodCalled: What Happens After Saying Yes to GodWhat Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary WaysWhat Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary WaysAdventures In Saying Yes to GodAdventures In Saying Yes to GodSaying Yes to God As a Family: 30 Lessons for the Table from Rhinestone JesusSaying Yes to God As a Family: 30 Lessons for the Table from Rhinestone JesusWhat Happens When Women Say Yes to God DevotionalWhat Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional

37 thoughts on “5 of the Most Important Lessons I Learned Last Year

  1. Julie, good points to reflect on as we do this thing called “Christian Living.” And congratulations on a year of blogging. May the Lord grant you favor and blessing over your posts and most of all, His glory.

  2. Happy Blog-a-versary! Yay, you. You’ve done much with the one year God’s given you. It’s been great to connect with you through #ChasingCommunity this year. I look forward to all that the next year of writing brings for you. ((xoxo))

  3. Loved this….”What I’m realizing is, God uses what we consider weak, ordinary and boring to accomplish His purpose.” So much truth there! All we’ve got to do is open the Bible and we will be bombarded with stories of normal, weak, ordinary, boring people who God used to do extraordinary things. Thanks for offering the giveaway, how fun!

  4. Wow, Julie! I think this is the most encouraging thing I’ve read online this week. I had no idea you’d only been blogging a year. It’s amazing how God can use something as “silly” as blogging (and I’m learning it’s not really that silly, btw) to teach and transform us. I know He has taught me a lot about myself and my underlying motives in being a Christians.

    Thanks for sharing and being patient with the #QuietlyThrough Thursday link-up. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kelli! I’m not sure I would have been made aware of all my issues until I started writing. Gosh, I wonder what I’ll uncover more this next year. Ick:)

  5. Congratulations, Julie. One year of blogging is a great achievement; here’s to many more! I can relate to what you’ve written so much … I dislike difficult things and pain, and I want it all to be fixed as fast as possible. What I’ve experienced this year, though, is that when I have no choice but to plow through the hard, God shows up in ways I’ve never known before. He can use absolutely anything to accomplish His purposes, and like you, I’m so glad He lets little old me be part of the big picture! 🙂

    1. Lois- thank you! Yes plowing through the tough and painful to find the reward and transformation at the end!

  6. Great points, Julie! I think we do learn a great deal when we step out into space and start a website and blogging. There are all those techie things and writing things, but the keys are what is happening between the Lord and each one of us that can influence whether we are writing words or offering life to those who happen to stop by to read what we felt led to write on a particular day. I have been doing it for a bit over two years now. It has been an adventure and one I was hesitant to take. How glad I now am that I did! Blessings on you in the year ahead and all He will reveal to you as you open yourself to Him!

    1. Pam- I’m glad you did too! I enjoy coming to your blog and pondering your inciteful posts! Blessings to you also!

  7. Happy Blog-aversary! Somewhere in all the lessons, you’ve learned is victory. Victory in Jesus as He has taken you from point A to point B and all the stops in between. While I have only been blogging for three months, I have been walking with the Lord for 30+ years and even then, though strong as I am, I still have miles to go before the finish line! Keep on forging on, Julie, keep on learning what He wants to teach you…and keep on sharing with your readers!
    May God continue to bless you in the coming year as you lean on Him for your direction.

  8. Congratulations on hitting a year of blogging. I have to say from the looks of your posts and website I would have guessed you have been doing it for a long time.

    I love the lessons you have learned, especially that we all need to love more.


  9. Julie, Happy Blogging Birthday. I also started blogging a year ago next month, so I feel a deep kinship with you already. Oh yes, the lessons we learn. You mentioned some great ones. And the difficult one about true transformation happens through time and hard work. Ouch. So very true. I remember being a teenager and hearing the pastor saying he was going to do a sermon series on the fruits of the holy spirit. Great I thought. I will work on each one for a week after he preaches and by the end of the series have those mastered and move onto something else. LOL I am still learning about patience, and the rest. Yes, transformation takes more than a week of hard work.

    1. Theresa- Happy-in-advance Blogging Birthday to you!
      Yes hard work and patience, I’m not fond of either. I hope it will be developed in me soon;)

    1. Bethany- thank you! I hope the lesson has stuck with you and is driving you to overcome whatever is in your past. God wants to use you!

  10. Congrats, Julie! I must have missed the “Jerk” post! I love how you laid this out + sharing openly the not-as-easy parts (the whole thing too for some of us). You inspire me friend. So glad to be on this journey together!

  11. Congrats, friend! I’m sorry I missed the party (you already know why), but thank you for your friendship, encouragement, and wise words over the last year. I’m looking forward to the day we can meet in person. Love ya!

  12. Happy 1 year blogoversary! I’m so glad “the excellency of the power is of God and not of us,” or otherwise I’d be doomed! I see a couple of these I want to look at more closely.

  13. Congratulations on your anniversary! I love how God uses the Internet to allow us to witness and encourage each other. May he continue to use you and grow you :).

  14. Congrats on your first year of blogging Julie! I’ve certainly learned some valuable lessons this past year and can’t wait to see how God uses us next year. It’s been wonderful getting to know you through your blog! You’re such a gift! Thank you for sharing at Salt & Light!

    1. Natalie- thank you! I can’t wait either, and I’m most looking forward to progressing more like Him. Thanks for coming up with the idea of Salt and Light! I am appreciative of your ministry!

  15. Jen, congratulations on making it a year! It can be so difficult to continue on and “stick with it” but it is well worth it! Thanks for sharing the lessons you’ve learned this year! I really love the most important one you mention, that what we see as boring is often what God uses to accomplish His purpose. Often times where we see weakness, God sees opportunity! Thanks for linking up with #TuneInThursday this week. See you next time!

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