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Family Year in Review

Wherever you plug into entertainment or news or web culture, you’ve likely witnessed the parade of “best of” and “top 10” lists for the previous year—and previous decade. We’re suggesting an activity this month that takes advantage of that human impulse to collect and catalog for the purpose of helping your family gain wisdom from a little reflection of the past year.

Try This:

Plan to have a year-in-review session for an hour or two sometime when your family can all be together—or you could break it up into a year-in-review week of 10-15 segments at a meal time or before bed every day, maybe one for each member of the family.

Ask everyone in your family old enough to participate to bring a Top 3 in each of the categories below—or just those appropriate for your family. These should be items only from the last calendar year that are favorites or made a significant impact on that person. Don’t be afraid to dream up your own categories.

Consider collecting the lists in an album or notebook or something that can be kept and added to in the coming years.

As each family member presents his or her Top 3’s, try to steer the conversation toward wisdom where appropriate. What was learned from those experiences? What is worth repeating? What did we learn to avoid next time? How did we notice God providing for us and teaching us and drawing us closer to Him?

You can kick off the discussion by having one of your kids read Psalms 90:12: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Moments:
Top 3 Family Activities or Experiences
Top 3 Family Friends We Enjoyed Hanging Out With
Top 3 Funniest Moments or Quotes
Top 3 Family Projects
Top 3 Sports, Performing, or Academic Moments

Media:
Top 3 Pictures or Video Clips (of family members or events; show and tell!)
Top 3 Songs or Albums
Top 3 Shows or Movies
Top 3 Books or Games or Sporting Events
Top 3 Status Updates or Text Messages

Spiritual:
Top 1-3 Verses (that made an impact)
Top 1-3 Big Ideas (from life or the Bible)
Top 1-3 Service Experiences (e.g., mission trips, VBS, helping in the nursery, etc.)
Top 2-3 Answered Prayers
Top 3 Things You’re Thankful For

Wisdom:
Top 1-3 Wisest Choices
Top 1-3 Least Wise Choices (Note: This isn’t intended to dwell on regret, just to gain wisdom from life experience. Use as appropriate for your family.)

Future:
Top 3 Things Most Anticipated in 2010

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