Just over a month ago, I made a blog entry about "Life Balloons". This was an exercise that I learned from my last Community Group as a way to take stock each year of the different areas of our lives. A way to recognize how things have evolved or developed over the past year. This self-assessment tool can be used as you chart your course for the next year. What areas of my life need attention or work (where are my life balloons flying low or drooping) and where am I doing O.K. (sufficient inflation of the good kind)? In the earlier blog I even provided a template for folks to start from if they were interested in using this approach. An interesting study can be made if we compare the results of our self-assessments from year to year, kind of a quantitative measure of progress or lack thereof. I have just completed this exercise for myself for 2008 and I wanted to show how things have gone over the past several years, from 2006 to 2007 to 2008. You will notice that there are 10 areas of assessment in my Life Balloons exercise, and each balloon is rated at a level from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). In my results, I have used a green balloon for 2006, a brown ballon for 2007, and a red balloon for 2008. The good news in my life is clearly evident in the last column on the right. Here I have plotted the average life balloon height across all 10 areas. Things have improved greatly for me since last year, and while I still have a long way to go, God is clearly with me and his grace abounds.