It’s true that the beginning of the new year is fresh with possibilities and simultaneously covered in a sea of resolutions that will likely sink come February 1st.
Read the Bible for 60 minutes each morning.
Eat veggies, not chocolate.
You aren’t alone- we were those people too.
But it didn’t take long to settle back into old habits.
And every time, we collectively felt like we failed.
So, a few years ago, we came at January 1 with a new approach.
Instead of unachievable goals, we decided that forward motion was a win.
We narrowed down our lists and opted for things that connected with the larger overarching theme of growth.
Exercise to be healthy.
Read our Bible every day.
And yes, eat more vegetables.
But still, that left us a little flat. We wanted more.
We wanted to start off our new year with excitement and deeper purpose and that’s when we adopted the single word strategy.
I’m sure you’ve heard it or maybe even done it yourself, but we decided to take it to the family.
Sitting around the dinner table, we considered our previous year, thought about our highs and lows and narrowed down some areas that needed to be strengthened.
Then we picked not only a word, but a verse to hide in our hearts together as a family.
2017 brought about a conversation about the power of our words and we decided on the trendy phrase LIT (because it made all 4 kids smile) as a way to instill this virtue.
Only use LIT words when speaking to others:
L– life giving
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NIV
For 12 months, I could utter “use LIT” words or the simple phrase “life or death” and my children would instantly know they needed to get their words into check. (And yes, they were also allowed to remind the parental units, respectfully of course.)
Was it a perfect plan?
But did it bring forward motion and progress and growth?
So this year, we deliberated again.
We felt like over the past 12 months we’ve been leaning into the peace that the Lord provides, but haven’t as quickly been focusing on the individual peace we have the opportunity to bring to our home. The move surely had something to do with that, as emotions have been more like roller coaster rides with everyone just waiting for their own turn in the seat.
Sure, we’ve grown closer as a result of the transition to a new state, but there is still work to be done.
We settled on PEACE for our word of the year and felt like James 3:18 was the encouragement we needed to revisit for the next 365 days.
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
“Plant Peace” is quickly becoming my favorite new phrase to rattle off these days!
To make it super practical for all of our children, here are a few things we are implementing:
– PRACTICE: We each take turns reciting the passage (from memory) on Saturday mornings over pancakes (and any other day of the week we need the gentle nudge)
– TALK: We talk about it daily; in car lines and grocery stores and wherever else our feet may take us
– SHOW: We display the word and verse in various places
*On the door that leads into our home, so every time we are walking through the garage heading inside we are reminded of our commitment to Jesus and our family
*In a frame on the kitchen counter, because it’s the most frequented room in our home (hello, teenage boys)
– CELEBRATE GROWTH– We spend time during family devotions talking about our progress, because that’s really the point of this all- forward motion.
We know we can’t have perfect years or perfect families; but we do serve a perfect God who desires the best for each of us.
And we believe that as we seek to honor Him through this simple exercise, He will grow us to be more like Him with each passing day…365 of them to be exact!
Do you have a unique approach to starting off the New Year with your family?