{a new year}

We are a couple of days into the new year and as always, it's so hard to believe. Did you make any resolutions? In my experience I have found that less and less people are making them. Throughout social media I have seen a lot of people picking out a specific word for their year and then really focusing on that one word or maybe even phrase for the year. An example would be using the word 'present'. Then that person may work on actually putting their phone down more and becoming more present with their spouse, children, co-workers...whoever. I like the idea of picking out a word for the year because it causes you to reflect on the past year quite a bit and allows you to figure out what you may need to improve on. Although, setting a resolution for yourself could be good if you have a type A personality. I think for some people picking out a word is not enough. They need to set a goal, work on that goal through out the year and then achieve it in order to feel like they have really improved. That would totally be my husband. Whether or not you're into picking out a word for the year or making some type of resolution I think doing any kind of reflection is better than nothing. I believe reflection is totally necessary for our spiritual growth. Let me explain.

I think we can get really busy in our lives and without even knowing it we are putting God in a neat and tidy box and making checklists. I went to Mass-check, I said night prayers with my kids-check, I went to adoration-check...you get the point. We start to go through the motions and forget the WHY we do these things. The WHY is so important. The WHY is our story. There was a moment in your life where you reflected and realized there needed to be a change. Or maybe it was an experience in your life you had that caused you to change the direction of your life. We easily forget these moments that were so significant to us and it causes us to lose our way, lose the why. When we lose that, our desire to grow spiritually comes to a halt.

I recently had this type of experience yesterday. I am a baptism leader in my parish along with my husband and a few other couples. We teach a baptism class 3 times a year and at the end of the year or beginning of the year all of the teachers of the class meet to discuss what's working, what's not working and if the material we are using needs to be changed. Fr. Kilcawley who is the Director of Family Life and Evangelization came to meet with us as well. During his presentation to us it was as if a light bulb went off and I realized I had kind of lost my why, my fire within me and have been just going through the motions spiritually and checking things off. After our meeting, my husband and I talked about the presentation and really reflected on what kind of people we were in 2015 and who we want to be in 2016. We were talking about spiritually where we wanted to be and what we can do to get back on track. Reflection is a wonderful thing and we often feel too busy to spend any kind of time doing it. But I encourage you to spend time with Jesus alone reflecting. Asking Him who He wants you to be in 2016, asking Him what are things you need to do less of and what things could you be doing instead? Asking Him to light the fire within you and find your story, your why again.

I promise you if you spend time with Jesus reflecting on your life and asking Him to enter into those places you maybe haven't invited Him in yet...your life will change and 2016 could be the best year yet.

May God bless you and your family this year!