By Amanda Viviers
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5: 22–23
Each year I seem to stumble and fall into the space between Christmas and New Year. I’m exhausted, I am over family gatherings and even the thought of another thing to tick off the task list brings out my inner-rolling-eyes emoji.
In the midst of this stumbling season, though, for the last thirteen years, I have booked out an afternoon with myself in my diary and retreated. I retreat away from my family, I retreat away from social media and I retreat towards God.
I set myself up in a cafe, with coffee and a slice of cake and I breathe. I walk the beach and I start to pray softly. Thanking God for the year that has passed and I start to let go of everything that has disappointed. There is something about taking the time to reflect and regroup that creates space for growth in the New Year.
Each and every year I am always surprised at the beauty and treasures that I reclaim from my year in the process. Often there are amazing moments but the grief and pain rob them because they become the memories that remain in the foreground.
Then rather than setting unachievable goals for the new year, that remain broken by January 3rd, I take the time to set intentions for the year and reframe my character, my contribution, my community, and my personal values.
Some of the questions I use for the New Year Reflection
– What has been a positive experience in 2016?
– What has been a negative experience in 2016?
– Where have I grown the most?
– What am I especially thankful for?
– And what is a scripture that describes or motivated me this year?
I have realised that it is easy to allow the negative to overtake a year, rather than allowing the simple, the beautiful and the surprises to come back to the foreground.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5 22:23
As I take the time to reflect on the different spaces in my life, I see over a long season of rest and recovery that the fruit of the spirit is growing or decreasing in my life. I re-shift my alignment in these times of journalling and writing by myself and I realise where my true north alignment is again.
When was the last time you took the time to have an appointment with yourself with a journal and reflected about the year gone by and allowed yourself the space to dream about the year that is coming?
I love this quote by Agent Steven;
“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly, it’s your masterpiece.”
The sacred time between Christmas and New Year if reflected and regrouped with care can be life changing. Over the last thirteen years, I have asked myself these same group of questions on New Year’s Eve and created a ritual of reflection.
Here is the link for the list of questions that have been the starting point of my private retreat day. They have a special inclusion this year with original prints from the amazing Melissa Smith from liss.com.au.
Why don’t you pull out your diary now, find a free afternoon, book a babysitter and find somewhere fun to write and reflect. I promise you will not regret it.
Happy New Year my creative, truth-seeking friend.
You were designed with care and intention. Never forget how precious you are in the hands of our beautiful Father. Take the time back this silly season and reframe your days.
Amanda Viviers is a novice Mum, writer, speaker and creative coach, she loves helping people find their voice. You can find her online at www.amandaviviers.com, facebook.com/amandaviviersperth or instagram.com/amandaviviers