Epiphany Revisited


In January of this year (2013), I jumped on board the One Word 365 campaign when I selected the word EPIPHANY as my one word.  Here were my thoughts in selecting epiphany as my word for 2013:

Epiphany is about revealing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in my life.  I want to experience epiphany on a daily basis.  I want to know Christ better today than yesterday.  I want my life to be marked as revealing Christ to other people.  I’m sure this will come through some words, but I especially want my actions to be marked as one who is following Christ.  I suppose I could have selected reveal as my word, but epiphany seems to provide some new and interesting angles that I’d like to pursue. [To read more from this post click here.]

As I look back on the year, it’s been interesting to see how God has been revealed to me and to those around me in new and exciting ways this year.  With today’s post, I want to look back at some of the highlights of this year of epiphany.


In January, our family dealt with the aftermath of an auto accident.  Accidents have a way of jolting you.  In the midst of figuring out the logistics that came up after the accident, we saw God working in amazing ways through this whole experience.  My post titled CRASH! Accidents Happen – And God Still Shows Up provides a glimpse into the epiphanies we experienced through the car crash.  [To read this post click here.]


In February, I explored the topic of scars and stretch marks.  My post titled Scars And Stretch Marks Revealed explored five epiphanies or thoughts about why it’s healthy to expose our scars.  [To read this post click here.]

Miscellaneous JMS Photos 003In March, I processed the topic of purpose.  Our previous Seeing Eye puppy, Irwin, was dropped out of the training program due to a health issue.  As a result, instead of guiding a blind person, Irwin became a pet for a family.  His “career change” was a reminder that God has plans and purposes for us that we don’t always see right away.  In my post titled RePurposed, I explored 5 ways to discover your purpose.  [To read this post click here.]

In April, I was reminded of the importance of being present in the here and now.  I often look get caught up in looking to far down the road into the future.  When Leanne and I were visiting Philadelphia for a theater date, I nearly collided with another car at an intersection when I missed a traffic light.  My post titled Hit The Brakes – Pay Attention To The Here And Now reflects on the importance of paying attention to today.  [To read this post click here.]

In May, another experience with one of our dogs was the catalyst for an epiphany worth remembering.  If you recall, our “forever dog”, Iso, ate one of my dress shirts.  Unlike previous experiences in which he had large pieces of fabric, he was not able to pass my shirt.  He required surgery, and he had to wear an Elizabethan Collar for a few weeks when he came home from the vet.  In my post titled The Cone Of Shame, I reflect on the power of grace and forgiveness in our lives which removes the cones of shame in our own lives.  [To read this post click here.]

In June, I posted about the importance of having boundaries in our lives.  This isn’t necessarily a new topic for me, but there were some new thoughts or epiphanies which were worth exploring in this post titled 3 Ways To Set Appropriate Boundaries In Our Lives.  [To read this post click here.]

July 2013 571

In July, our family visited the Midwest to see family in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  It was really great to see everyone, and there were many personal epiphanies I’ll treasure from the different interactions of this trip.  The one which clearly stands out to me though came during my visit with my 93-year-old Grandma in Illinois.  She is clearly ready to hang up her track spikes for the last time, but God is still using her.  My post titled Stretching To The Finish reflects on our time together.  I’m so thankful for this visit with Grandma.  [To read this post click here.]

Guatemala 2013 324In August, our family went to Guatemala.  It would be difficult to go through a recap on the year without mentioning Guatemala.  Our trip in early August continues to provide epiphanies and inspiration.  In fact, our family is in the early stages of planning a return trip to Guatemala in August 2014.  Our trip generated a lot of positive encouragement from friends and family.  I’m hoping we will inspire others to consider taking their own leaps of faith through a short-term missions trip (maybe even with us to Guatemala!).  But I also received some negative comments along the way as we prepared for this trip and when we returned.  My post titled Xenacoj – Responding to Naysayers, Doubters, and Inquisitors provided a place for me to process and respond to these comments.  [To read this post click here.]

In September, Leanne and I went to see A Strange Brand Of Happy for one of our date nights.  The movie pushed me to think about the subject of happiness.  We often think about what will make us happy.  What if we looked at happiness from a different angle?  My post titled A Different Twist On Happiness explores this question.  The comments from this post are especially worth looking at again.  [To read this post and comments click here.]

In October, we spent a lot of time at Hannah’s cross-country meets.  Towards the end of the month, she won the JV Girls Conference Meet.  She was hoping to run in the Varsity race during this meet after moving up the team ranks as the season went along.  Her attitude during this experience was something worth remembering.  My post titled The Power Of A Positive Attitude explains this experience in more detail.  [To read this post click here.]

In November, I continued to think about our trip to Guatemala, and I continued to process a book idea which has been spinning around in my head.  (Hint:  The book idea has to do with short-term missions.)  In my post titled, 5 Reasons The Church Should Engage In Short-Term Missions, I explore more thoughts related to the Guatemala theme and the book theme.  This will continue to be a focus as I head into making this idea a reality in 2014.  [To read this post click here.]

December is almost over, I’m still processing the epiphanies from the month.  I’d like to encourage you to start the new year off with intentional gratitude.  Sign up for the 90 Day Thank You Note Challenge.  Click here, to find out how you can join the challenge and become part of the Thank You Revolution.

I hope this gives you a little perspective on my epiphanies in 2013.  Now, it’s time for me to process a new word for 2014!

How were you challenged by The Stretched Blog in 2013?  What was your favorite post?  How has God been revealed to you in 2013?  Share your thoughts and answers in the comments.