I don’t recall how we started this little tradition, but for awhile now one or the other or both of us will come up with a list of questions for conversation starters – questions to spark deeper conversations and ponderings while on a long drive, a coffee date, or during an evening at home. This might be the dorkiest thing in the world – but it is one of our favorite things. To work through a list of thoughtful and thought provoking questions together is an intimate and revealing journey and helps us be honest with ourselves and get to know the other one better.
This past year I dedicated an entire notebook in my Midori just to collecting questions for conversation starters. As I read books or articles I jot down any questions the writings of others inspire. It has been a truly delightful journey to collect questions. I highly recommend such a collection. I have pulled out my notebook of questions with a few friends … but it’s kind of an odd thing to pull out the notebook and just starting asking people these questions, so it is mostly just Paul who gets asked them. (But the questions are almost always with me, so if we are together and you want to, totally ask and I can pull them out!)
Part of Paul’s Christmas gift this year was a night away in Charleston. My parents were in town to watch the boys and it just worked out perfectly. (More on Charleston later.)
I prepared a list of questions for us to discuss together – the theme being a reflection of the past year. I wrote up the questions and printed them and then we went back and forth picking a question to ask the other, then answering the question for ourself.
We started at a cute little burger joint as we waited for our dinner, meandering through the list of questions for conversations until our burgers arrived.
Questions for Conversation Starters
Here are a few of the questions for conversation starters with my own reflections – at the end is a printable PDF with all of the questions for your own personal use;
“What was the biggest risk you took this past year? Did it make you more timid about future risks, or strengthen your risk taking skills?”
(Interestingly enough – the answer for both of us was positive and work related – Paul taking a new position with a non profit and working from home, and me starting an Ebay business – which I plan to delve in to in future blog posts in a series I am planning on making money from home.)
or there was;
“What was the most interesting book you read this past year?”
(My answer was one of the books I read to the boys for their school – I have done a terrible job at reading for my own pleasure/growth this past year. That is something I plan to focus on more intentionally this next year.)
“Was there a new food, or new recipe, that you tried this past year?”
(This question led us down a pleasant memory road … I landed on a Low Country Boil I bought in Savannah back in February. I had had the dish before, but never quite as genuine as this one I bought from a hole in the wall restaurant and it definitely came out on top for food memories.)
“Who are the three people that influenced you the most this past year? How do you see their influence in your life?”
(So, so, so fun to reflect on the precious people in our lives. We are richly blessed and it was enjoyable considering this question. I landed on my husband, who encourages me to do new things and supports me through the good and bad. My elderly neighbor, who has been so transparent through her pain of loss and yet equally as transparent in her love for the Lord and her reliance on Him. Honest confession: I had never considered that life doesn’t just get easier as you age.
And my friend Amanda, whose quiet way of encouraging and giving to others has been such a testimony to me of a joyful spirit that loves the Lord and follows the command in Galatians 6:10 – “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”)
There are a total of 23 questions following this theme of reflecting on the past year and I put them all together on a printable sheet for those who are interested in working through these questions – either on your own or with a friend/partner you can be vulnerable with.
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