…And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.    Luke 2:19

What are your reflections for the new year?

It is the first day of the new year, a traditional day of watching football and putting away Christmas decorations, signaling the end of the cultural holiday season. Just a reminder –  this is only the eighth day of Christmas! We still have four more days to go before Epiphany. It is also a traditional day of making resolutions that many of us will surely break before the month is over. Instead of making resolutions, I invite you to take some time for reflection today both on this past year and on what your hopes are for 2013.  Perhaps you might think about starting a new journal or writing a letter to God. For many years when they were young, I would take my three daughters to the beach on New Year’s Eve or day and we would make a prayer list together, including people and concerns we had at that moment. After writing everything down, I would seal the list in an envelope and tuck it into my journal or day-timer. We wouldn’t open it until the following January 1st. What a wonderful surprise to see how many prayers had been answered although not always in the way expected. Reflection is a powerful tool to keep us disciplined and intentionally focused on the present,  which slips away all too quickly.