New Year's Day! With the celebration of a new year and all the excitement and promise it brings. A blank calendar to dream with. What will the unfolding days reveal?
Do you make New Year's resolutions? I’ve never been fond of them.
After all, starting a diet is hard when your house is full of leftover Christmas chocolates. It’s not a good time to start an exercise plan when a snow blizzard rages outside your door with sub-zero temperatures. And it’s not a great time to create a new project when you are coming down from a turkey and sugar hangover!
Instead of making resolutions, I spend time reflecting. I’ve recently started carving out time to think quietly about the past year. I look through my reading of past joys, heartaches, and accomplishments. Where has God brought me? What has He taken me through? What are some things to celebrate? Or, what plans did I not complete? Then, moving forward, what goals do I have? How do I spend my time and energy?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
But there is something else that I reflect on.
A few years ago I heard of people who had a ‘word’ of the year. Sort of a theme. Sometimes with a bible verse, too. A promise from God.
I thought it sounded like a great idea, so I started contemplating what ‘word’ the Lord had for me to focus on, research, and meditate on for the coming year. Last year was “Hope”, one year “Joy”, another year “Abide”. It was fascinating to see how the word was woven into my life during the year!
One thought for the new year - if you don’t already journal you may want to consider it. I use a regular notebook; point form or paragraphs; emotions or just the facts. Some days there are tons of words, doodles, and tears! I even record prayers and bible verses that are meaningful, too. You don’t have to do it every day or at the same time of the day. Do a little or a lot! But you will be amazed at the record of your life, thoughts, feelings, and spiritual impressions that you can reflect on at a later time.
And, if it’s snowing, or there are leftover chocolates, or you are in a post-turkey haze, set a course for your resolutions and reflect on where the God of the Universe has brought you today and where he can take you tomorrow.
So whether you chose resolutions or reflections, I wish you a blessed, happy, and safe New Year for you and your family.