Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Day!

I have always LOVED New Year's Day. I think it's because of the idea of fresh beginnings. A clean slate. Something about New Years Day just feels!

Probably just a sign of my massive need for forgiveness each year: promises broken (to myself more than to anyone else), lacking in the fruits of the Spirit in more ways than I can keep track, bad homeschooling habits, poor time know. The type of stuff we all disappoint ourselves in throughout the previous twelve months. There's just something refreshing about putting it all behind you and starting anew on January 1st.

That's why I love this day.

I love planning. Dreaming. Writing down goals. I love reflecting. Journaling. Remembering all my blessings. Today I'm carving out a good chunk of time to do all of the above.

You see, it's Rose Bowl Game day. Our family are Spartan fans. I too sport the green & white regularly. Why not? No sense going against the grain. But really is that I like MSU. I just hate football. Even MSU in the Rose Bowl Game. Hate. Football. Can I say this enough that you can grasp my extreme hate through the screen? I. HATE. Football! There. I said it.

So, while my family may be huddling up to the TV later on today to watch the big game...I'll be hunkering down with my kids' journals, my 2014 planner, my writing notebook. Amidst the cheers and Rose Bowl hoopla of my vocal MSU family (mostly the males in the house)...I'll be quietly reflecting and dreaming.

Ahhh. Sounds glorious!

So...while I don't want to give you one more checklist of things to reflect on or plan for 2014...I would like to challenge you to do the following ~

  • Make it a point to turn off technology more this year. I was just reading to my house full of remaining New Years' Eve party-ers a list of reflection questions for the New Year. One of them was "what was your biggest time waster this past year." Without a second's pause each of us in the room (ranging from 9 to 42) responded with some type of technology thing - well, except for my snarky 12-year-olds who said "school." Ahem. But anyway...really? We didn't even hesitate?! Candy Crush has taken up time that I could be using to write. The kids' ipods are taking up time that they could be using to do their hobbies or be playing outside. It's time to tune out technology and tune INto our families! Forget "facetime" and try spending some time looking in the faces of your children while they talk to you. Seriously. Technology has to take more of a backseat in our house in 2014. How about for you?
  • Slow down. No, really. Slllllooooowwwww dooooowwwwwnnnn. Find some white space. Clear the clutter in your frantically paced day. Admittedly, not everyone's personalities are like mine. I know that. But I believe that even the most outgoing people person needs to still take consistent time to slow down. Why? Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." I don't believe any of us can clearly hear the voice of our Heavenly Father when we are running 100 mph every day of the year. I believe we have to take REGULAR time to slow down and reflect. And not only for this reason, but I believe our kids need to understand the importance of stillness! I don't want my kids to think they can only be happy if they're being entertained and always busy, busy, busy. I love that my kids have each - at different times - chosen to say no to some social outlet in order to stay home and "be still." It doesn't happen a lot, but when it does - I smile. As much as this world wants them to keep up with the harried pace of life, my kids have already learned the value of slowing down. Makes this Momma proud!
  • Make sure that your family's activities are supporting your overall goals as parents. This, my friends, is huge for me right now. I see how fast my kids are growing up. My time clock as a parent - the clock counting down the days until they turn 18 and move on to the next phase in their life - that clock is running down quickly. All too quickly. I want to make this time with them count. What do I want them to have tucked into their memories and hearts when they move out? Am I spending purposeful & regular time now to help make that a reality? That's my biggest prayer for 2014. That God will open my eyes to what's important. That we'll say no to what doesn't fit...and make time for what does. It's heavy on my heart. It's my #1 parenting goal. I want to raise kids who love the Lord and who go into the world to make a positive difference in His matter what their profession. Will we have any professional athletes in this house? Seriously doubt it. Sports are great and I love that my kids enjoy them. But I want them to know there's way more out there than just sports. I think we're on the right track...but my heart is focused on doing a better job in 2014.
So, there you have it. Some of what's on my heart for our family this year. I pray you're able to find some time to reflect today or very soon. Spend quality technology-free time with the ones you love this year.Slow down. Say no to the things that get in the way of what's really important. May you each have a Happy & Blessed 2014!!