A Proper Send Off

How was your Christmas, ladies? I hope it was full of joy, laughter, and memory making. Mine sure was! We got to eat all kinds of yummy food, open thoughtful gifts, and see joy and excitement shining out of our kid’s eyes. For us, it was a holiday filled with TONS of family celebrations and all the people we love.

In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday though, my parents were so intentional about creating space for reflecting on the last year and then taking opportunities to send us all off into the next with blessings. We sat around their house, my kids, my husband, my siblings and spouses, nephews, everyone, and listened as they not only imparted words of life, encouragement, and inspiration into our hearts, but they asked us what our favorite part of this last year was.

We went around the table that was full of roast and potatoes and hearts lit with Christmas and spoke about our favorite part of the last year. It was different for everyone, but what my seven-year-old nephew said was the best. When it was his turn, he looked up at all of us with the brightest green eyes you’ve ever seen and said “I like that we’re all sharing our thoughts.”

And he meant it.

That’s just who he is, how his sweet heart works, but I think he’s on to something that all of us like. Somehow, he knows that it’s good for all of us to sit down sometimes and share our thoughts, to talk about the memories we made, the things we lived, the things we hope to do next. Sometimes, especially when we’re on the cusp of newness, it’s good to look back and reflect on the blessings, trials, and triumphs of the old.

If you’re like me, or my nephew, and your heart finds joy in just sharing your thoughts on this last year, here are a few ways that you can look back and reflect on all that happened this year so that you won’t forget the blessings you lived through.

  1. Journal about it.

We like to think that our memories are better than they are. We convince ourselves that we won’t forget all of those moments that made an impression on us this year, but the fact of the matter is, we can’t remember everything.

So pull out a pretty journal, a notepad, a word document, or notebook paper and just get it all out. You could write it in pretty little paragraphs or a nice, neat list, but somehow, just get all of the moments from this last year down on paper. That way, when you want to remember all that God has brought you through or if you want to remind yourself, your friends, or family of the memories you made and all the things that happened, you have it all right there.

  1. Actually print off some pictures.

With cameras on our phones, we are always standing by, ready to document every little moment. We take pictures of everything but then they live on our hard drives or in the Cloud never to be seen again. Why not do something with those pictures for once? Print them out, make a photo book on Shutterfly, or make a scrapbook at home. Get those memories out of cyberspace and put them physically in your life so you can pull them out and hold them and reflect on the goodness of God with their glossy, rectangular goodness.

  1. Share your memories with others.

There was something special about talking about this last year with my family over Christmas. I loved hearing about the highlights of their year and their hopes for the next. You can do it too. Maybe over coffee with you friends or during a quieter moment of your New Years celebrations, ask the people in your life what stands out to them about this last year and what they hope for in the next and don’t forget to share yourself! Let your stories feed each other’s faith and then remind each other of your hopes and memories throughout the next year. It’ll be good for your soul!

  1. Tell us about it!

We would love to hear all about the amazing things that God has shown you, done for you, or done through you this last year! If you have some great moments to share with us, write it in the comments or submit your story to us! Just click on “Submissions” at the top of our page for more info!

These are just a few ways to cap off this last year, a few ways to tie a pretty bow on all of the moments that you lived in 2015. Don’t forget to reflect on all that’s happened and to share the good memories and even the bad with those you love because through all of it, a story is being told that bears witness to all that God is doing.

Newness is coming, a new year, a new beginning, but don’t forget to send off the old with a proper goodbye. Enjoy your reflecting, friends, and Happy New Year!