At a recent Christmas lunch with a few friends, we shared our heartfelt responses to the question – as Jesus ‘comes to you’ this Christmas, what is your deep longing to receive from Him? Jesus came to earth as assurance that ‘God is with us’ – at all times, in every area of our life. He longs to reveal His love to us, giving us His freedom and fullness of life. During the Christmas and New Year season, I really enjoy the natural opportunities to soften my heart, reflecting on ‘God coming to me’ and doing an ‘examen’ on the past year, my life currently, and the upcoming year. I invite you to consider the benefits of doing this as well.
What am I most grateful for during the past year?
- Go back over your ‘gratitude’ journal, adding what you are currently grateful for, especially as you reflect over the past year.
- How has the last year been? What were some of the challenges?
- Go back through your journals and notes from the year to remember your experiences, what you were learning and how the Lord was speaking to you. Notice themes and any highlights you want to continue into the New Year.
- How did God bring me through? What did I learn? Am I closer to God now than I was a year ago? What is still left unfinished or undone?
- Ask the Lord what He would like to you reflect on. Any particular events or relationships where He was teaching you, where He still wants you to learn and grow.
- Where am I on my life journey at this time?
- What would I like to strengthen – what would I like to change – in all areas of my life?
- Take some time to be quiet with the Lord, listening and allowing the Spirit to speak to you. This might include powerful questions, honest evaluations and bringing before Him your disappointments, discontent, hurts, confusion and longings. (Quizzes under the Resources section on www.howtoflourish.com are designed to help you reflect.)
What is my vision for the New Year – what do I sense the Lord calling me to?
- Be attuned to your heart’s desires, how the Lord is clarifying your focus, direction, specific goals, assignments and priority for your growth in vocation, character and relationships.Who will I include on my journey to ‘do life with’ in the New Year?
Who will be your coach, counselor, director or mentor? Who will you invite to be friends and companions, to enjoy life with you, providing strength for the journey?
After spending time reflecting over the past year, where you are on your journey now and direction for the New Year, be attuned to a ‘word’ or theme that you sense the Lord has for you in the New Year.
And because Christmas is about receiving and giving – also consider what gift you would like to give Jesus this Christmas. From what I’ve heard, He loves gifts from the heart.
Question: What ‘Word’ or ‘Theme’ do you sense the Lord calling you to in the New Year?