New Year’s is without a doubt my favorite holiday of the year (although Winter Solstice is coming on strong.) There’s something about New Year’s and taking the time to both reflect on the past year and think about my hopes for the future that I find spiritually grounding. Every year I do a few specific things – I think about what I want to let go from the past year, I think about the pain I felt in the past year, I think about the joy I felt in the past year, I do a massive cleaning of my living space (as I don’t want to bring last year’s trash into the new year, both literal and metaphorical trash), and I try to set up some intentions for the next year. Those intentions can look like different things – from New Year’s resolutions to certain words I hope my New Year revolved around. And most importantly, I take the time to reflect on what my values are and how I can live out those values in the New Year.
This practice causes me to annual reflect on what my true core values are, and to think about how I can truly embody what I hold important. This year, for example, I’ve come to accept that one of my core values is to create. So, this year, I want to find a way to create something every week of the year – from creating pottery, to creating relationships, to creating meaning. But if you asked me this time last year if create was one of my core values, honestly, it probably wouldn’t have been. Our core values change with us over time, because our experiences impact our values just as much as our values impact our experiences.
Just as I have my own set of personal core values, every institution has their own set of core values that we interact with. And that includes the institution of your family. I want you to spend some time this week reflecting this: what are your family’s core values? And how will you put those values into practice this year?
For some families, engagement is a core family value. Engaging with the wider world, engaging in social justice, engaging in the political process. If you want this to be one of your family’s core values, how will you engage as a family over the upcoming year?
For some families, love is a core family value. Loving each other, caring for neighbors, loving the world. If you want love to be a core family value for your family, how will you love as a family over the upcoming year?
If you’re looking for a list of values to choose from as nothing quite springs to mind – check out this great list of possible values at https://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm
If you want some guidance in the process of coming up with your family’s values, check out this great link that’s got something like a worksheet! (YAY WORKSHEETS!): http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/parenting/foundations/godly-legacy/determining-your-core-values
If you want to share what your family values are, why not post them in our Fellowship Families Facebook Group? If you haven’t joined yet, head on over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/353276601525244/