I love the milestone of New Year’s Celebrations.
This is “Holy Ground” time for me and my heart.
With a journal and pen in hand, I take note of what the Lord has been up to in my life.
This time of reflection leaves me wide-eyed and in wonder over God’s powerful and personal pursuit of me and those I love.
It’s Holy Ground.
It’s also not too late for a Day of Reflection to be enjoyed at any point this January. The cold and chill of winter provides ample time for a quiet hour to pause and remember.
This “remembering” is near and dear to God’s heart. Using Bible Gateway for a few word searches I added up the number of times God used the words: remember (231), forget (64 as in ‘do not forget’), observe (64), recall (7) and reflect (6). The total? 372 instances. God invites us, encourages us to pause and pay attention.
There’s no right or wrong way to “remember,” but there are some questions that can help you get started.
- What were the highlights of this past year? How did you see God at work in them and through them?
- What was the “tough stuff” of this past year? What did you learn about God? About yourself?
- Name the people God used to bless, convict, encourage you? (Have you thanked them?)
- Who did you bless, disciple, encourage this year? How did that impact your life?
- What additional things strengthened your walk with the Lord? Books. A small group. A conference or retreat. New discipleship tools put into practice. Make a list.
If you’re game for more, here are some other ideas.
a. If you’re a parent, reflect on the significant highs and lows of your children and God’s activity in their lives.
b. Revisit your calendar and month by month, jot down highlights, births, deaths, events.
c. Share highlights from a trip you enjoyed.
d. Chronicle highs and lows of your job.
e. Jot down national and international news headlines.
As I end my reflection, I often select a Bible verse (or section) for the coming year based on something God is stirring in my heart. I revisit this verse at the beginning of most months. I have saved my recollections through the years. This year was #35 for me. My children started their journey in 2007 and are at year #10. (If you’d like to see a copy of a simple 1-pager my children use, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share it with you.)
As you embark on this new reflective adventure, take these words to heart.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.
The New Year unfurls before us – bright, bold and beautiful. Jesus leads the way.