Looking Back ... And Ahead

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We celebrated with presents, two fabulous meals and a birthday cake for Jesus. We started our day in the spirit of Gladys Herdman from "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" with a shouted welcome to the grandparents "Hey, unto you a child is born!" Then we shared in the joy of the day with laughter and fun. We made some new memories -- the look on my youngest daughter's face when she realized the three pieces of paper in the bag she was holding were tickets to an NHL game will go down as one of my favorite Christmas moments ever -- and held on to some old traditions. I hope your day was just as wonderful as ours. After a busy Christmas week, I'm taking the day off from blogging to sleep in and hang out with my family. I'll be back tomorrow ready to blog away for another year. For today, start reflecting on the year past. Here's some questions from a previous blog to get you started.

It's the end of another year. I don't know about you, but it seems the older I get, the faster the years seem to go by. With only a few days left in 2011, I want to urge you to take a few minutes to reflect on how God has worked in your life and the lives of your children this year.

As I look back over 2011, I see how God has changed me to be able to share my passion for training our children with you. Even just two years ago I would have told you that you were crazy if you suggested that I would write a daily blog encouraging other moms to teach their children about God. Yet, here I am at the end of 2011 with a passion to share, a blog that reaches people all over the world and an excitement about what God has in store for all of us in 2012.

Reflection is an important part of making a difference for God -- in our children's lives and in the lives of those around us. In the Old Testament, God admonishes the Israelites over and over to not forget what He has done for them. Deuteronomy 15:15 says "Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you." In the same way, we need to take a moment and look back at our year to remember the things that God has done for us. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How did God work in my life this year?
  • How did I see God work in my children's lives this year?
  • In what direction is God moving me in my work, my parenting and my ministry?

As you're remembering what God has done for you and your family this year, take a moment, as well, to evaluate the things you have done with your children this year. Examine how you have been teaching, encouraging and loving your kids this year. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What did my children learn about God this year?
  • What worked with my kids this year? What didn't work?
  • In what direction do I see God leading my kids?

Finally, take a few minutes to think about where you think God is leading you in 2012. The entire purpose of this blog is to help you be intentional about teaching your children about God. We can only be intentional if we start with a plan. Start 2012 with an outline in mind of the general direction that you want to go in your own life and in teaching your children. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where do I think God is leading me in the next year? Are there any steps that He is asking me to take to get there?
  • What do I want to focus on teaching my children in 2012? Do I need to focus on different things with each of my children?
  • What do I need to do be deliberate in teaching my kids in 2012?

An end-of-the-year time of refelction allows us to evaluate where we've been and set a direction for where we'd like to go. Pray over these questions and spend some time thinking them through. Then take the steps God is leading you to take in the direction He wants you to go in 2012. I can't wait to see where He takes you.