You know that tricky, emotional, in-between, transitional time—that time when Christmas is over and the celebration of the New Year is approaching, and we aren’t quite ready yet, to enter in to starting over?
We’re excited about the idea of a fresh start, and the idea of looking ahead. But, if we’re really honest, we realize we aren’t ready yet to do the hard work of reflecting on the past year and dreaming of plans for the new one. Not when it is still 2014, not when we are still tired and worn out from all the hustle and bustle of Christmas. And especially not because of this: there is a step we, in our marriages, need to take first, to enable us, as spouses, to begin thinking about our plans and goals and dreams, together, for the new year.
To take a step towards making goals, together, for the year ahead, we have found that we need to do something else first—and here it is: we need to consider what it is for each one of us, uniquely, that fills us, that restores us.
For us to be able to reflect on 2014 and plan for 2015–what were the good times; what were the bad; what were your favorite moments; what were your worst; in what areas did you face challenges; in what areas did you grow–we first need to discover what each of us needs, individually, in order to be restored in our relationship with God.
We need to make sure our hearts are aligned with God’s first. And we need to support each other, as spouses, as we figure this out.
Listen close to this podcast, as the two of us share the thing we think any married couple should do as an important first step towards even beginning to consider our goals, as a married couple, for the upcoming new year.
Before you can make any New Year’s goals as a couple, you first need to consider how you, individually, get restored.
This week’s challenge:
Drill down into specifics, into practical stuff—what being cared for and being filled up by God means for you — whether it is reading a good book you really enjoy, taking a walk in the country, reading in a coffee shop while it’s raining, running in the park, hiking in the mountains, sleeping under the stars, sleeping in on a Saturday morning, taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon, listening to music in your car, sitting by a crackling fire; chopping wood; lying on the grass under a leafy tree on a warm, Summer day; walking on a beach; cooking; cooking for others; creating art; enjoying art; traveling to other countries; writing; speaking; singing; playing the piano; spending time with friends; spending time with friends in celebration; spending time with friends in need; spending time with folks that are in dire need. The ways God has built us to be restored are going to be different for each of us. Whatever they are, though, we want to figure those things out, practically, specifically.
If we do not discover this stuff for ourselves, we condemn ourselves to the fruitless task of trying to pull rest, restoration, joy, beauty, and connection from things that were not meant for us to give us those things and cannot for us give us those things in the amounts we need them.
Resources for getting restored:
A Life Full of Desire, by Mike McDade
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Thank you all so much for listening . . . and we’ll be back next week.