• Mark Whitten

Reflections and Lessons I Learned Last Year

Updated: Jan 27

I began a new discipline a few years ago. At the beginning of each New Year, instead of making a list of Resolutions, I take some time to reflect and remember the year I just left in the rearview mirror.

I do this, so that I can take the beautiful moments and lessons learned with me into the New Year. While most people wish for a blank slate on the January 1, I arm myself with these treasures so that I can enter the New Year with wisdom and strength.


I love Autumn. It's my favorite time of year. Not just because of the crisp, cool weather, falling leaves and football, but because of its strategic importance in our lives. The season not only offers a look at how our year is shaping out, it symbolizes a turning-into the year's final chapter. It's the first whistle of the fourth quarter...the final turn in the Kentucky Derby...an invitation to make the most of the rest of the year!


A few years ago I began a practice of making End of the Year Resolutions. There's no better time to do this than now...the changing of the guard...the Autumnal Equinox (that time of year when the amount of "daylight and darkness are in near-perfect harmony no matter where you are on earth.") Autumn should initiate both reflection for what has already transpired in the year and inspiration for what is possible before year's end. As we are enter into the last quarter of 2019, I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned LAST YEAR in hopes of inspiring you to reflect and make plans for the remainder of THIS YEAR. Enjoy!


  • A planner is not the same as a journal

  • Own your life. (a man's choices are the summation of his life)

  • Create a code and commit to live by it.

  • Conserve Energy by:

-The Power of saying NO without explanation

-Asking Christ, "how much energy should I bring to this situation, person or circumstance?"

-Knowing it's okay to be a generalist

-learning to discern what energies are going to feed the false self

-Being present in the present with Christ


  • Sowing and Reaping is a real thing (some call it Karma). We are what we are, because we have been what we've been.

  • I have spiritual, emotional and relational frontiers that still need to be explored and mapped.

  • Self Care is vital to living an abundant life.

  • Bring your own weather.

  • Don't let a little cold, wet drizzle change your plans.

  • Risk can remove us from ruts.

  • There are 3 primary ways we can relate to others (one of which is our default, the other two of which can be learned and all of which can be used to feed the false or true self): see becomegoodsoil.com for more of this good stuff!

-Move Away (disengage/retreat)

-Move Towards (people pleasing/compassion)

-Move Against (control/confront)

  • You have to be intentional if you want good dogs, good children, and good friends.

  • In moments of Crisis:

-Relax (breathe 4 seconds in, 4 seconds out)

-Look around (assess the situation)

-Make a call (don't be paralyzed by indecision, course corrections can happen later)

  • Betrayal does not give you the right to be bitter and blame. You are still responsible for your life.

  • If you can't miss church every once in a while, there's something wrong.

  • The path of wisdom says take the seat at the lowest place until God makes it impossible for you to stay there

  • Prune your kingdom so it fits your soul-size.~Morgan Snyder

  • Be kind because every man faces a great battle.~Ian MacLaren

  • Wage war on a hurried life. ~Dallas Willard

  • Let others deal with the weight of who you are.


xoxoxoxo,


Mark




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