My favorite time of the year is the week between Christmas and New Years. Of course, there is the obvious reduced stress level, with all of the wrapping and entertaining put to rest. The kids are happily playing with their new toys for a few days at least. I enjoy the sense that everything seems to slow down and shift into relax mode. This is the perfect time to prepare for the coming year with deliberate prayer, reflection and resetting of priorities and goals.
I want to encourage you to set aside some quiet time of reflection during this special week. Here are a few of my thoughts:
Pray – Ask the Lord to direct you and guide you in the coming year. Thank Him for the blessings of the past year and for His care and comfort through the challenges. Seek His wisdom as you make new plans and ask for His favor and direction. Pray for your family members, your friends and your business. Most important, pray that His love flows through you in all you do.
Reflect – Consider the things that went well throughout the past year and think of ways to continue to build on your strengths. But also think about the things that were not so good – things that need to change or be adjusted. What do you need to do differently going forward? Each year, I prayerfully ask the Lord to give me a Bible verse to focus on during the year (my 2016 verse was Romans 15:13) and to give me one word to focus on from that verse (my word was hope). As you take time to reflect, allow the Lord to lead you toward a verse and a word for 2017. I’ll tell you mine in next week’s blog.
Reset – The new year offers us an opportunity to reset with a fresh outlook and positive goals. Ponder and dream about what you would like to accomplish this year. What do you want to learn? Who do you want to get to know? What organizations do you want to join and what do you need to cut out of your schedule in order to take on new responsibilities? How do you plan to strengthen your physical health? What books do you want to read? What do you want to memorize? Think of all the areas in your life that you want to reset toward improvement.
That’s what I love most about the new year – it’s an opportunity to reset with a fresh start! I hope it is a wonder-filled week for you this week. Be intentional about being still and allowing true relaxation to take over. Often we find our strength and guidance in those quiet alone times. Listen and love well, and don’t forget to write your Thank You notes.