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And so that was Christmas….


On a rainy Monday morning…with remnants of boxes and tissue still tucked in amongst our regular every day paper clutter…mail from last week in mini-piles here and there….assorted packages of goodies and candies that are starting to crystalize on the counter….leftovers that are begging to be tossed before Thursday’s garbage pickup…I am in that in-between time….

In between all that makes Christmas sweet and bittersweet…charming and over-indulgent…

Cherishing the quiet and sacred…processing the hard to understand…

mentally and emotionally inventorying 2015 and wondering what 2016 will hold.

There is a rhythm to this week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve that has its own set of traditions.

Malls and shops are filled with people exchanging and returning gifts…and using gift cards to snatch up bargains.

Holiday decorations are coming down in efficient homes, or finally being enjoyed in homes where pre-Christmas activities robbed people of that pleasure of reading or knitting under twinkling lights tucked into evergreen.

We are planning how we will do next year better…most likely contemplating changes to improve our health, get organized and pursue deeper meaning in the things that matter to us.

So in light of that, here are a few things I do during this week between the old and the new. They aren’t that awesome, but they help me make the transition.

<3 I scan over the journal pages from my morning quiet time and use these to remember God’s faithfulness to us the past year. It also provides a way for me to see any themes God was speaking into those daily contemplations .

<3 As the year comes to a close, I pray and ask God for a “focus” for the coming year. I see this concept in several popular ministries where it is called “One Word”…what is your one word for the year…ie. “Joy” or “Gratitude”. It is nearly impossible for me to ever use just one word for anything so my focus tends to be a concept. He is speaking something to me this season that is resonating and I am praying if it is something to share or just keep private…so stay tuned….maybe…

<3 I also like to evaluate met goals…and this isn’t for boasting but to encourage me that I actually did finish SOMETHING. As a person who always sets out to do way more than is humanly possible, I can get discouraged by all I didn’t get done…so I like to take a moment to celebrate completed projects, goals met, books read and thank God for helping me to do all that I did do. Seriously, it is an act of worship to take that inventory and set it before the Lord as a gift back to Him for the year!

<3 In the same token, I like to set up some goals for the new year. This is done in tangible ways:

…. make a stack of books I would like to read and placing them beside the reading chair in the family room

…. organize the uncompleted knitting projects into individual bags and store in one place

…. type a “goals” list in some kind of interesting font and print it off so I have a visual for 2016

…. take time to pray and ask God how we are going to spend the first part of the day together and then set up my bag ‘o devotional material so that it is ready to go each morning.

Then again, as an act of worship and surrender, offer the coming year to Him and invite Him to make any necessary adjustments.

This is what works for me to bring closure to the old year and usher in the new with a sense of hope and meaning and purpose.

I would so….LOVE…to sit over a cup of coffee and hear what YOU do…so….


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