Join your hosts, Christie Myers and Allie Marie Smith, as they share personal reflections and insights from this year. This conversation will encourage you to pause and look back on what God has done in your life in 2022. Christie and Allie talk as friends about their own reflections in a way that will uplift and inspire you. Here are some questions we invite you to answer and reflect on:
+ What has God done in your life this year that you want to celebrate?
+ What is something God has spoken to you this year through his word?
+ What are you most proud of or grateful for?
+ What is the hardest thing God has carried you through this year?
+ What is your word, intention, or something you want to lean into next year?
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Connect with Christie at @chrisitecadence and Allie at @alliemariesmith.
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An Inspiring Reflection To Close 2022 — With Christie Myers And Allie Marie Smith
Allie and I are here to have a heart-to-heart conversation with one another about reflecting on 2022, God’s goodness to us, what he’s done in our lives, what he’s been showing us, speaking to us, and teaching us. If you remember or read the episode in 2021, we had a special time inviting you to reflect on some questions and set some intentions for the year ahead.
We have found that this has been a really powerful practice in our lives this 2022. We wanted to have a special time for you to get your journal, grab a pencil, get somewhere quiet and cozy where you feel comfortable and safe, and just spend some time setting intentions for the year ahead. We just want to share our hearts and share what that reflection looks like for us.
Why don’t we start off by sharing about the word that you and I each picked for our lives back in January 2022 and how that theme carried through in your own life? Why don’t you go first? What was the word that you shared back in the opening episode this January 2022?
Gratitude was one of my few words for 2022. It’s a word that I have intentionally cultivated this 2022. It really happened in a supernatural way. I wanted to cultivate more gratitude in my life. I received for my birthday something called The Five Minute Journal. One of the practices in the journal each morning is to list 3 things that you’re grateful for and 3 things that are going to make the day great, then you reflect at the end of the day on what you learned.
As I built this gratitude muscle, I found that if I woke up and was tired or not having a great day or a challenge hit, my mind was being trained to go to gratitude. That became a gift because instead of feeling hopeless when bad days hit, thoughts of gratitude and a list of all the things I’m thankful for would transform my day. What about you?
It makes me think of neuroplasticity. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. My word was wellness because I really wanted to experience breakthroughs in all areas. We are body, mind, spirit, and soul. For someone who has been unwell at times as a teen girl, as a young woman, when you’ve been unwell and you come through the other side, you want to do everything you can to be well and stay well.
I wanted to experience a breakthrough in that area, and I did, which is so cool. I didn’t make specific goals, but I knew that I wanted to invest in my wellness. By God’s grace, I can say that I feel strongest spiritually, mentally, and physically than I have probably ever been in my entire life. That’s such a gift. I’m so grateful for that because if I don’t have my wellness, I can’t effectively live out God’s call in my life, or I will not be able to be a good wife or a good friend or a good leader. That’s why I’m so passionate about spiritual, mental, and physical wellness, and I’m loving it. I love pursuing that goal and experiencing greater freedom in that area of my life. It’s been really fun.
I love how you are connecting creative freedom with this intention that you’ve set for yourself because, like you and I were talking about before we hopped on the show, there are some very specific goals that we set for ourselves. Even in 2021, when we talked, “I’m going to memorize this chapter of the Bible.” Maybe that exact goal didn’t happen but giving ourselves creative freedom around our intentions for the year and just having that focus. Wellness. That might look different on different days. There’s a lot of flexibility in the goal, but still, you focused on that intention. Feel the most well that you’ve ever felt in your life.
Is it okay if I share something practical that really helped me with that, especially in my area of physical wellness? In the past, I would set rigid goals like I needed to train this much. I just enjoyed having fun and letting go of the goals or the benchmarks along the lines of allowing freedom. That was really helpful for me. I’ve been going to the gym, and it’s been so fun for me. I don’t tell myself, “You have to live this way or you have to do that.” I think many of us can be perfectionistic, have more grace and set goals for ourselves.
This is a funny time to bring this person up, but Jocko Willink.
He’s a Navy SEAL.
He has this famous quote, “Discipline leads to freedom.” It’s interesting because I think that there is a paradox between discipline and freedom where you and your wellness have a discipline of showing up and getting out there running or swimming. You’ve been intentional without being rigid, and because you’ve left the rigidity behind but still embraced the discipline of it, it’s yielded this really great thing for you.
Similar thing with me with the practice of gratitude. I really made an intentional decision. I’m going to do this journal and build this muscle of practicing gratitude. Even on mornings when I wake up and don’t want to be grateful, it built the muscle. Now, I’m less rigid with it. I have this part of my brain, like you’re saying with neuroplasticity earlier, where my brain is now trained to go to gratitude naturally more often. It was because of that discipline in the beginning.
It makes me think of that verse in Hebrews. This is the verse I did memorize. “Discipline is never pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I love that verse so much. Discipline can lead to freedom, but maybe let go of the rigidity and the pressure to strive and to do things perfectly.Discipline is never pleasant but painful. But later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Click To Tweet
In 2021, I had a goal, and you asked me, “Are you going to pick up your ukulele?” I was like, “Yes, and I’m going to write songs. I’m going to take down lyrics.” I didn’t do that goal, but I did join the worship team at church that I’ve been loving it. That was the whole impetus behind it. Maybe this year I’ll write songs, but for me, the discipline is I’m going to be obedient to God, and I’m going to use this gift that I feel is a really important part of who he made me, and I’m going to show up. There’s flexibility in that.
What has God done in your life in 2022 that you want to celebrate, Christie?
There are literally so many things that God has done in my life that I want to celebrate. I want to reflect on one of the weeds I said I wanted to pull. In 2021, we talked about what’s a weed that you want to pull out of your life or what’s something that you want to leave behind. Mine was people-placing. I want to take a minute and celebrate the fact that I people-please so much less than I used to. That has been such a huge step forward for me. It’s something where I feel like I’ve actively cultivated in partnership with the Lord. Dr. Alison Cook has been a great resource for me.
Yes. We’ve talked so much about her and her book.
We had her on the show. There’s a great episode. You can go back in the archives for the episode with Dr. Alison Cook. I’ve pursued resources, podcasts, books, habits, practices, even in my personal relationship with the Lord, even little mental cues. When I start to notice myself going to people-pleasing, I’ll just picture Jesus’s hand over my heart saying, “You’re okay, babe. You’re great. I love you. You don’t have to entertain this person. You don’t have to please this person.” Just cultivating those thought patterns. I just want to celebrate that. What about you?
The question again is, what has God done in your life in 2022 that you want to celebrate? I will say so many things. As we know, we have seasons in our lives. We have winter and barren seasons that are full of suffering and struggle. We have spring seasons that are full of new growth and breakthroughs and summer seasons. I have been through a lot of winter seasons, like many of our readers.
As with many of you who are reading, I’ve been through some serious times of suffering of darkness. I’m grateful because God has me in a new season right now, and I’m enjoying it. I’m savoring it because he has restored a lot of brokenness in my life. It’s been many years from the time I was eighteen when I was first hospitalized for severe depression, until a few years ago.
Those are great years, but a lot of hard things and a lot of beauty. I’m just grateful God has brought me into open spaces. By His grace, through His power in my life, He’s made me stronger. He’s put me back together more resilient and more beautiful than I was when I came apart. How that has looked in my life, I can give so many examples. Breakthrough, redemption, restoration. It hasn’t been easy. It’s taken me showing up too and doing my part, but ultimately, it’s been through the Lord’s kindness and mercy that he’s really restored me.
What you just said there, thank you for sharing that. There’s this theme that’s emerging now that I feel is from the Holy Spirit, and that is partnering with Him. It’s this partnership of we actively pursue breakthroughs, but ultimately, it’s the Lord that brings the breakthrough. We come to the door. He opens the door and leads us down the path. He carries us when we’re too tired to walk. I love that idea of partnering because I feel like it goes along really well. We have a lot of agencies in our own lives and we need Jesus. Self-help will only get us so far. We are not preaching self-help here. What we are preaching is to do your part.
Come to the date. Show up to the coffee date.
You can have lipstick on your teeth. You can have food on the corners of your mouth. It’s okay, but show up. With authenticity. No pretending.
That was another theme from 2021. It’s to stop pretending. I am happy to say that I feel like both of us have been pursuing authenticity in our lives, just showing up authentically. For anybody reading, we live in a world where it’s challenging to show up as our authentic selves. It’s challenging to check our egos at the door and show up wholeheartedly because we’re not sure what the reception is going to be like. That’s a vulnerable way to live. That’s where having a community and a circle of trust that’s going to care for you and support you is so important. We are definitely promoting wholehearted living here where you have a life and a space where you can really show up as you are.
Christie, what is something God has spoken to you in 2022 through His word that is changing your life?
I shared this with you before we were hopping on. You were asking me this. It’s such a funny verse. I love the look in your eye.
I’ve never heard that verse. That is the weirdest.
The most random verse in all of the scripture you’re about to read right now. It is a Proverb. The Proverb goes like this, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant harvest comes by the strength of the ox.” There’s nobody pooping on the manger or making a mess with the manger. To me, this says progress. All these beautiful things in our life, they’re going to be the fruitfulness of our lives. A lot of it is going to be a messy process.
You can sit in your living room and pretend to be perfect and never try anything at all, and there won’t be a new poop in the manger. There also won’t be fruitfulness. There won’t be beauty. There won’t be new things. There won’t be good fruit to eat. All these things are ultimately going to satisfy you. Those things will come through trial and error, messes, giving it your best shot and learning as you go.
I look back on my life, and it’s been a mess. There has been so much beauty because of it. Real-life authenticity is way better than this Pinterest ideal. It’s okay if life looks messy.
This is touching on something, too, that has been a theme that has emerged lately. It’s this idea of integrity that is synonymous with wholehearted living and living an undivided life. It’s something interesting. We have our Instagram business accounts, and then we have our personal accounts. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s an interesting idea to think about living one life, however that translates. We’re only living one life. There’s not one version of us that goes here and another version that goes here. We show up to school one way, we show up to church one way, and we show up to the party one way. What does it look like to have a life that’s undivided in the way that we show up?
We’re the same person in the unseen moments of our lives. In the quiet, we’re the same person. In our relationships, in our job, and in school. Going back to pretending or even managing perceptions, I know this is something I’ve been learning about. In our heads, we can manage what we think people think about us. Going back to people-pleasing, being done with that and being more authentic. I want you to tell our readers who haven’t heard about one thing that you did on your birthday. I know that we’re circling back to people-pleasing, but can you talk about what you did on your birthday in 2022?
What did I do on my birthday?
You went to the cemetery. I asked you. Christie had a birthday back in June 2022. I said, “Christie, how is your birthday?” She was so excited because she told me she went to a cemetery. That was the highlight.
It was the best birthday of my entire life. It was such an amazing birthday. I had a great 25th birthday. I’ll never forget it. In 2022, I was up in Redwood Country in Northern California, as North as you can go without hitting Oregon. There’s a beautiful little town there called Ferndale. In Ferndale, which is all Victorian architecture and quaint, there’s a gorgeous cemetery. This is a very historical town. I decided that on the morning of my birthday, I wanted to go and journal in the cemetery.
Before you all are like, “Who is this weirdo? I’ve been reading about her for months. She’s an evil goth.” The impetus behind this was I think there’s a lot of wisdom in reflecting on life and light of our own mortality. There’s one thing that all of us have in common. That is that we are all going to die, and we are dying a little every day. Days are numbered, and we don’t know how many we have.
I went to the cemetery, and I think what really struck me was what we leave behind in this life is a legacy of what we have given to other people. As I was looking at the tombstones that were big, more opulent ones, the small ones, and even the tombstones of babies and little children, you think about the mark that these people left on the world. They’re all different shapes and sizes.What you leave behind in this life is the legacy of what you have given to other people. Click To Tweet
Some people come into this world, and their calling is to have a big impact in business. Some people, their purpose is they come as this beautiful little child who was a spark of beauty in the world before they went home. I think what really struck me is embrace the legacy that God has for you. Don’t try and live somebody else’s life. There’s no better than here. That was my birthday reflection.
What is something that God has spoken to you in 2022 through His word that is changing your life? I’m going to go ahead and share the verse. This is Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the Earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” That’s the beginning.
This is the main part of the verse, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
As friends who are seeing a lot more freedom that we’re experiencing, the more authentic we become. I think I have played small a lot, fawning, hiding, and realizing that playing small, especially when Jesus is alive and it’s His light in you and hiding does the world no good. I want to encourage our friends who are reading. You have a light inside of you that the world desperately needs. Don’t hide your gifts. Don’t downplay your strengths. Let them shine fully and courageously. I think I’ve hidden a lot. Realizing I was making that about me, but it’s not about me. Any good in me is God in me, and any light in me is the light of Christ. I want that to shine.You have a light inside of you that the world desperately needs. Don't hide your gifts. Let them shine fully and courageously. Click To Tweet
That’s so beautiful because in order to be seen, a lot of times we can feel unseen, and sometimes that’s because we’re actually hiding. I love cultivating that awareness that I want to be who I am in a relationship to feel the intimacy, acceptance, and joy that comes from that genuine connection and relationship.
In order to be seen, I’m going to need to be who I am. I love what you said earlier about not managing perceptions. I think that’s where I’ve stumbled a lot in the past, wanting to be seen a certain way and at a certain level of competence. Honestly, people see right through that anyway. How much braver to have a presence that’s just you are yourself. That attracts people who want to be themselves.
Back to the people-pleasing. We’re not going to be for everybody. We’re not supposed to, and that’s okay.
It’s been a long journey for me to get to. I’m not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, and that’s okay.
They’re not going to be yours, and that’s okay. Let’s talk about your word going into the new year. It doesn’t have to be a word, but what is something you want to head into the next year considering?
I’m listening to a book right now called A Hidden Wholeness. It’s about wholehearted living, like we’ve been talking about. This idea of wholeness is about embracing all the different parts of ourselves and bringing all those parts of ourselves to God and to our relationships. Rather than trying to hide certain parts of ourselves away or self-protect, living from a place of wholeness or integrity means that we make space.
This is what attracts me to it. I want to make space in 2023 to hear the quiet inner voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, and the conscience that God has given me. To be comfortable not having all the answers and sitting with the questions, but cultivating that space in my life to get quiet. I think that’s a huge challenge for me. I’m a mom. I work. I have passions that I love. I’m a coach. It’s challenging for me sometimes to set aside my to-do list and get really quiet. I want to live a wholehearted life and so I’m going to have to make that a priority. What about you?
Contentment. I want a contented heart. For so much of my life, I’ve strived, and I’ve hustled. I’ve always thought that if I can be more, have more, do more, then I’m going to have more peace and joy, but I found that to not be true. I don’t want to spend every day looking ahead and that I don’t stop and thank God for what he’s given me and what he’s already done in my life, and the gifts that are right in front of me.
Without contentment, I’m always looking ahead. I’m always going online to buy something new. I’m always wanting to make things look better, which could be good. I want to be hard at rest. I want to be content and grateful for who God is, especially, and be content with everything he’s given me and not be striving for more.
I think of creation and Sabbath. God rested. Not only did He rest, He delighted in what he had made. We’re invited to do the same, to stop and pause and delight in who God is and His goodness, and how praiseworthy He is. We’re also invited to stop and thank God for his faithfulness, for the prayers that He’s already answered, for the dreams within us that he’s already fulfilled, for the people in our lives.
Going back to gratitude, having eyes wide open to look for the gifts and to pause and thank God for them. I want a contended heart. I have some special women in my life. When I’m around them, it’s like I can breathe easily. They have these hearts at rest that are so contagious. They’re not onto the next thing, they’re fully present. That’s something I want to cultivate. I want to be more like that. Contentment. I do have to tell you. I thought about doing three C’s. I thought about doing contentment, confidence, and creativity. I was like, “No, just one.”
For those of you who are reading, as we start to segue into the reflection that we’re going to make space for you to do soon, just give yourself plenty of time and space. It’s nice to have one word to keep it simple.
You might want to overachieve with three words but let’s just do one. Let’s keep it simple. We are going to close with a question that you and I ask all of our guests. I’d really like to continue asking people this question, but you and I have never answered it for ourselves.
Will you answer this one first?
You got to ask me the question.
If you could go back and give your younger self some words of wisdom, how old would she be and what would you tell her?
I would talk to my eighteen-year-old self who was believing a lot of lies and was as broken as a girl could be. I’d put my hands on her shoulders, and I’d look her in the eye, and I would say, “Allie, you are believing a lot of lies. One of the biggest lies you’re believing is that you’re unworthy, you have no purpose, and that the world is better off without you in it.”The biggest lie out there is believing that the world is better off without you. Because the world is more beautiful with you in it. Click To Tweet
I really believed that lie, and God intervened. He saved me from ending the life that he’s given me. I can’t go back in time and speak to my younger self, but I can speak to the countless girls and women who are believing that lie, that they don’t have purpose, their life doesn’t matter, and believing that the world is better off without them in it.
I would say, “The world is more beautiful because you are here, and you have a light to shine, and you cannot even imagine the good gifts that God has for you on the other side of your pain. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. There are going to be really hard seasons, but your life matters, the world needs you, and the world is more beautiful because you are here.”
I think you’re bringing up what I believe might be one of the main reasons that we’re here to do this show together. If you’re reading this and you feel like giving up, don’t give up. We all feel like giving up sometimes. If we’re in a hard season of life or there’s a lot of pain in our lives, that feeling of giving up can be even more intensified.
If we’re struggling with depression, or we’ve made some choices that have led to an outcome that we don’t want to live with, or we don’t want to trust people anymore, and it feels like the despair of, “I don’t want to continue on in a world where nobody cares.” There are varying degrees of that. Maybe you’re just really tired. You’re working on a lot of things. You have the normal stresses of everyday life and the demands, and they build up, and you just feel like you just want to give up.
If you are here and you feel like that, we just want to encourage you to lay your burden. There’s a verse that says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” We just encourage you to cast your burden on Jesus, to be honest with Him about where you’re at and what you need from Him, and He will show up for you. Both of our lives are a testimony to that.
I want to stop right there because if a woman is reading who can relate to where I was, and you’re having these terrible thoughts, please don’t isolate yourself with them. When you’re done reading, text your friend, reach out. Your life is so valuable, and you can get through this. I know you can get through this, so do not give up. Do not write yourself off. Christie, if you could go back and give younger Christie some words of wisdom, how old would she be, and what would you tell her?
Initially, when you asked me this, I thought of myself in the eighth grade. When I was in junior high, it was a sucky time for me. Going through physically the awkward stage, shifting friendships, a lot of hard changes in life, and not being certain of my value or comfortable being my real self. I felt like I had an image I wanted to live up to.
I actually would go back younger than that. I would probably go back to 11-year-old me or 10-year-old me and encourage her like, “You’ve been through some hard times, and there are going to be more hard times ahead. You don’t ever have to compromise on what you feel comfortable with or believe is right in order to try and get someone else to like you. You don’t owe that to anybody. You’re likable just as you are. You’re enough just as you are. You don’t have to bend yourself to try and make other people happy.”
I want to segue into an invitation and share a little bit more about our heart as a ministry. We started at this ministry for young women. We have a community of women of all ages through the show. Our heart, especially here at Wonderfully Made, is for the next generation, for young women. While we can’t go back and talk to our younger selves, we do have the ability to speak into the lives of young women in our sphere of influence.
Speak into that girl at your church, your niece, your daughter, or your friend in college. Maybe you’re a high school girl reading. You have the chance to speak life and truth into the girls and women in your life. That’s what we’re about. Sharing the hope, redemption, and love that we have because of Jesus. Let’s do more of that.
I would just tack onto that and say we all need one another, and we all need a community where we can be ourselves and invite other people to do that. One way to do that that has been on my heart lately is to ask open-ended questions to the women that you care about and just listen.
You’re the master at that. You’re so good.
I’ve cultivated the practice of it. It’s an ongoing journey to ask somebody an open question and just listen without trying to formulate a response. Don’t plan to even share any advice at the end. Listen. To be present with somebody for the sake of listening, sometimes that’s the greatest gift that we can give too.
We want to invite you to get quiet and be still. Please visit our website at WonderfullyMade.org. You can learn more about us as a ministry. Join our list so you’ll learn about future events that we have coming. We are grateful to have you be a part of our community. We hope you enjoy your time of personal reflection.
Good to be with you.
- Dr. Alison Cook – Past episode
- A Hidden Wholeness
- @ChristieCadence – Instagram
- @AllieMarieSmith – Instagram
- Instagram – Wonderfully Made
About Christie Myers
Christie Myers is the co-host of our podcast and has been an active leader on Wonderfully Made’s team for more than 10 years. She has an imaginative soul, thrives in connection, and loves deep conversations with women. Christie works an ICF certified Executive Coach and business development leader. She is passionate about worship, the pursuit of wisdom, the wonder of creation, and living a wholehearted life.
About Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith is the Founder and Director of Wonderfully Made. She is an award-winning author, speaker, podcast host, and certified life coach. She lives in North Santa Barbara County where she loves surfing and adventuring up and down the California coast with her husband, Paul, and Golden Retriever Gidget.
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