By Patrick Showers, Associate Elementary Pastor
Woodland Hills Church
Our household has long-standing traditions when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve. We fondue, invite friends over, play games, eat a lot of food, and, of course, stay up late and celebrate at midnight.
Resolutions, however, haven’t been a part of our traditions. As adults, we’ve tried them and then failed, so we just haven’t wanted our kids to have the same experiences.
This year, though, God prodded my wife to challenge that thought-process and reclaim it for a better purpose. We were reminded of the value in reflecting over the past year, to see God’s hand in our lives, to count our blessings, and to see growth. Then, we could take that reflection piece and merge it with a God-given goal or direction. Most resolutions seem to fail. Yet, the beauty of this resolution was letting God empower and equip us to accomplish it, as well. Needless to say, we were very excited to get started!
We began this process by asking questions during a few dinners.
- What’s a favorite memory from 2014?
- What was the best part of 2014?
- What was the hardest part of 2014?
- How do you think you’ve changed since the beginning of last year?
- What are you looking forward to in 2015?
- How do you think you will change this year?
We’d take our time and not stuff too many questions into a single mealtime. Everyone had multiple opportunities to share; even our 5-year-old shared often. When people were stumped, family members reminded each other of ways they’ve changed or other great memories.
Then we asked this question: What one word would sum up what God wants to do through you this year? This one word puts the future into God’s hands. I loved watching the process as they prayed, chatted with each other, read their Bible, and ultimately wrestled within to determine if the word they chose was from God. As parents, we modeled this process by verbalizing our thoughts, our struggles, and our reasoning.
Now that we’ve each got a word, now the fun really begins. Throughout the year, we will revisit our God-given resolution and remind each other to continue asking God what He wants us to do, as well as sharing what He has done already.
Our resolution method may not work for everyone. It may not even work for us, but it is a worthwhile experiment we hope will refocus our hearts on Jesus.
I’ve found a blog with printable sheets that have similar questions to what we’ve used. Feel free to try your own resolution experiment with your kids!