A New Year for Love

It’s “resolutions” time again!  4wordwomen.org Diane Paddison blog
Something about starting a new year makes everything seem possible. That’s why it’s a great time to reflect on your goals for the year. Plenty of people make offhanded New Year’s resolutions. This year I encourage you to act, scheduling a specific time to think and pray about where you are, and what achievable goals you want to strive for over the next twelve months. 
Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my own 2013 resolutions around work, faith, and relationships. I’m encouraging you to do the same here. Let’s make this a conversation!
When thinking about goals for the relationships in my life, I started with prayer. I asked God to show me areas for growth in my relationships with family and friends.
This year, a primary relationship goal is for Chris and I to take a trip away from our work for at least five days.  We try to do this every year, but in 2012, family crises prevented it. Due to my Dad’s sudden death, we cancelled a cycling trip in the Yukon Territory.  Due to Annie’s health problems, we shortened a trip planned around one of his partner meetings.
With four kids and an extended family, it is very important to remain flexible, too.  These two untimely events were much more important than taking our “trips” last year.
Principles I always consider in setting relationship goals:
  1. Prioritize relationships to really focus on the key ones.  In my life, Chris and I must keep our marriage strong and God-centered so we are aligned in response to family opportunities and trials.
  2. Keep prayer central in your relationship with your spouse.  When we’re in the same town, Chris and I always start our morning with a prayer before we get out of bed.
  3. Spend time together! Communicate every day. Take time once a week to do something fun together. Once a year, plan extended time away to focus on your relationship.
Every year, Chris and I try to follow these principles in our family by taking one extended trip a year together.  I also take a trip alone with each of my children. Those trips together are the memories that matter most to them today.
Vacations don’t have to be over the top.  When the kids were little, Annie wanted to go the the beach in Texas. Christian came with me to a retreat on relationships held by Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs. The key is to be purposeful in giving your time and attention to a relationship away from other distractions.
Now it’s your turn: what’s one of your relationship goals for 2013?