His blue eyes sparkled as he told me every last detail.

My five-year-old’s eyes slay me.  And with so many stories to tell during these holiday-days, I am often completely taken with the joy in his eyes. 

I use to sit in wonder of those moms who seemed to actually enjoy school breaks with their kids.  I was not that mom.  I feared them and would have mini-panic attacks at how I would pass the time and keep their ever moving minds and bodies occupied.  

But this break has brought about a different reaction.  I want to sit and soak in every moment.  Soak in the stories.  The laughter.  The mess.  Sit still . .  yes, sit still . . . and look on with remembrance at all that God has done in my children’s lives in the past year.  Remember His workings, in my own life.  How He’s called me to live in the present.  To stop comparing.  To slow down to see the joy in their eyes.

We are so quick to move on, aren’t we?

relogio do tempo

We want the next thing, the next challenge, the next answer.  The next year.  We want to move on.  So much that’s been hard, difficult, painful.  Yes, so much.

But what has been good?  What has been good from this holiday, from this season . . . from this year?

What if we took some time today, as we cross into January 1st once again, to pause and look back?  Instead of marching forward with resolutions and resolve, what if we first stopped to remember?

When we stop to remember, we say yes to how God has worked in our lives.  

When we forget, or move too fast, our hearts become too self-sufficient.  Too quick to self-fix.  Too cold to hear Him.

I need space to remember.

I am learning that while I must have plans, and hopes, and dreams, my soul needs that quiet place to rest.  To reflect.  To take note of how great is my God and how mightily He has moved in my life.

It’s difficult to find the time, isn’t it?  In our fast moving world, it’s nearly impossible to slow down.  However, we hear so often stories of those who’ve lost sight of God’s goodness.  Stories of those who have forgotten the great wonders He has shown them, the miracles He has done (Psalm 78:11-12, Nehemiah 9:16-17). 

I want to remember.

Would you do the same?  What is your story from this year?  Stories of wonder.  Stories of delight.  Stories of pain and challenge.  How would you recap your holiday-days?  Below are some possible questions to ponder.  Maybe take a moment to remember and share your story with your Father . . .

  • What are your top two experiences from 2013?
  • What made them reach the top two?
  • What would you take from those times into 2014? (relationships, laughter, love, forgiveness, experience)
  • How have you seen your own walk with the Lord deepen this year?
  • How has that impacted your every day?  Your relationships?
  • What Bible passages or specific verses have meant the most to you this year?
  • Why?  How have these Words impacted your life?
  • How have you been strengthened as a result?  Changed?  
  • What has been difficult or painful this year?
  • How has this hurt shaped you and drawn you to the Lord?  
  • How does this bring you joy, knowing that your struggle has brought a greater dependence, wonder and love for Him?

Is there one word that would wrap up His goodness in your life this year?  If so, write it down as your Ebenezer, or your stone of remembrance.  Tell Him about it.  

Then look up.  And know that your Father has heard every drop of your story.  That He has seen your path this year, He has walked with you.  He is still with you.  He has been completely taken with the joy in your eyes, for He Himself was slain, to bring about your very own story of redemption.  

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross . . . Hebrews 12:2