The beginning of a new year is a great time for new beginnings: new eating habits, new exercise programs, new personal goals, and new projects. For my friend Karen it means a new Bible, since she buys a new one each year so that old markings don’t distract her and she can receive fresh revelation. For the past 25 years, I’ve celebrated the new year by making resolutions. Last year, I began a new tradition. One of our pastors introduced our family to Remembrances and Revelations, a discussion guide worksheet to help us reflect on the past and intentionally plan for the year ahead. Some questions are directed to the family, such as “What great works of God have we experienced this year?”, “What has God taught us this year?”, “What scriptures have we memorized?”, and “What mission is God calling us to in the coming year?” Some questions should be completed with each child individually, such as “What was the greatest disappointment of the year and why?”, “What do you wish was different in our family?”, and “What was the most special event of the year and why?” As your child answers these questions, it will give you a window into their heart and soul. The thought-provoking questions helped us to reflect on the past and to prioritize and be more intentional about our goals for the coming year.
Remember that this guide is only a tool, not a biblical mandate! You can use some of it, part of it, or none of it. Ask God to give you a plan for your family. Since our family will be traveling on New Year’s Eve day, I plan to bring the Remembrance and Revelation guide so we can discuss the family questions together. In January, I hope to carve out some one-on-one time with each child so we can complete the individual portions together. No matter how you use this tool, I hope it will be a blessing and help bring your family closer together as you begin 2011.