The end of one year and the beginning of the next seems like a good time to take stock, to evaluate where we are and to think about where we would like to go. Many people set New Year’s resolutions for themselves and their families. In our family, the new year usually finds us asking each other what resolutions we will make.
One time, we tried something a little different. Our life situation was changing dramatically and we wanted to give everyone a chance to share input on what was important to our family. We sat down together for a "dreaming session." Like any good business brainstorming session, we had one of those big easel pads of paper and a bunch of fat colored markers. We explained brainstorming and set ground rules: everyone gets a chance to speak, every idea will be written down, nothing is impossible. The afternoon flew by as we each thought about and shared our wildest dreams and our most sacred goals.
We found out, that afternoon, the things that our children were longing for, the places they dreamed of visiting, the lives they hoped to live. As facilitators, John and I set a tone that made it clear that nothing was off limits. Ideas flowed as we all imagined the possibilities for where our family could go, what we could learn and what we could accomplish.
It would be interesting to find those brainstorming sheets now and see how many of the items on the list we could cross off. Interesting, but not essential. The important part of the session was not the doing — it was the dreaming. That special time allowed us the opportunity to see beyond our day-to-day lives and imagine all kinds of possibilities. I am certain that, in the midst of the imagining, God was present with us.