Reaching Forward—Looking Back…

By January 3, 2016Blog


Tomorrow will start the first workweek of a new year.
A new beginning…
New goals…
New dreams…
New visions…
What will 2016 hold for you?

When I started 2015 I had no idea that a long time dream would actually become reality during the year. By October, my book, Dawn’s story was finally in print. That process has taught me such valuable lessons. Although some are deeply personal I want to share a few with you.

First— Don’t let your age stifle your dreams.

I reached my 66th year in 2015. Not exactly when you think you will be branching out and spreading your wings, right? But the years are only milestones; they don’t define us unless we let them. My life is richer and fuller than it has ever been. I still have goals and dreams and I still have life to live. I will seize every day and I challenge you to do the same regardless of how many revolutions around the sun you have made.

Second—Family grows more precious as time goes on.

Larry and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary in 2015. What a blessing!! If you had any idea how much that man puts up with you would understand!! We have been through good times, hard times, indifferent times but we find ourselves at this time in our lives cherishing a relationship that God has blessed and allowed to grow stronger and closer with time. My son is now grown, married, an incredible daddy and still the light of my life. Nothing brings me more pleasure than time spent with him and his beautiful wife who is the love of his life. And that granddaughter-what can I say. She has brought a whole new meaning to the word love. She is sassy and smart and she loves her Nana and Buddy. What a joy! Cherish your family, they are a gift.

Third—I still have a lot to learn!

How I wish I had known earlier in my life the value of strong, grounded mentors. I always assumed mentors had to be someone you saw everyday or at least every week but I learned from my husband a few years ago that who mentors you does not have to be limited by geography, especially not in this day of technology. For the last 3 ½ years I have had the privilege of being mentored by one of the greatest leadership gurus in the world. Dr. John Maxwell and his leadership have been unbelievable. To actually meet him on many occasions, talk with him, have conference calls with him and his John Maxwell Team faculty has been incredible. He is a man of great faith and I have learned much. Through that organization I have met people from all over the world. Yes, this country girl from Abbeville, AL has friends from New Zealand, Canada, Africa, and England just to name a few countries. It has opened up the world to me. Through that organization I met a fellow JMT member, Kary Oberbrunner who has been my coach, mentor, and collaborator for publishing my book. Doors have opened that I could never have imagined. Kary, also a man of great faith, starts and ends every session with prayer. I am so blessed. And I continue to learn. It is my goal now to be a lifetime learner and it is one of the things about the new year that excites me the most. Never stop learning!

Fourth—Old friends are priceless, new friends are a gift.

This year brought great joy as old friends have gathered every month for food and fellowship and great sadness when we had to say good-bye to one of the most beautiful souls inside and out that I have ever known. My friend Julia was called to spend this Christmas in heaven. Her leaving has left such an empty place in my heart. I have also made a very special new friend through difficult circumstances. Niki had to say good-bye to her 21-year-old son Justin this year. Her heart has been broken. We have texted and talked and shared our struggles of having our children in heaven and I have come to love and cherish her. I am so very sorry for the circumstances that brought us together but so thankful for her heart and her friendship. Don’t take your friends for granted and keep your heart open to new friends not matter your age.

Lastly, I have learned anew that His grace is sufficient.

No matter what storm I may find myself in, He is unchanging. His love never fails; His mercies are new every morning. He forgives and restores and He just keeps on loving me.

I have a prayer for this New Year of 2016 that may seem a little strange to some. I am praying to be uncomfortable. This is what I mean, “Lord, please get me out of my comfort zone, stretch me. Help me to do things that may be inconvenient or uncomfortable if those things will benefit others and if they will please You.  Help my life NOT to be all about me. Show me how to love like You love and forgive like you forgive.”

Well, that’s my reflection on 2015 and my desire for 2016.

If you have taken time to read this rather lengthy post, thank you and may you have a joyous, productive, healthy 2016!! The best is yet to come!!!

Janice Pitchford

Janice Pitchford

Janice Pitchford lives with her husband Larry in the quiet southeast Alabama town of Abbeville, She is a mother, grandmother,registered nurse, speaker, trainer, and author. Her career in health care spanning four decades has brought a wealth of knowledge that can be applied to any business arena. She is a member of the Igniting Souls Tribe and Author Academy Elite led by Kary Oberbrunner as well as a member, certified speaker, and trainer with the John Maxwell Team. A woman of faith, her passion is to help others find meaning and fulfillment at every stage of life and to FINISH WELL!!


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