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How to Intentionally Plan Your Year: Creating Traditions for 2019 (with The Lifegiving Home!)

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

As we savor the end to one year and anticipate the start to the next, I thought y’all might be interested in getting a glimpse of the rhythms and routines that I’m creating for my family!

Several of these are thanks to the book The Lifegiving Home. I pray that you enjoy reading through my favorite takeaways from the book, and checking out my plans for each season next year : )

I hope that a few ideas are sparked for you as you intentionally consider what might be most lifegiving for you and your family in the new year.


Top quotes from the Lifegiving Home to consider while cultivating your year ahead:

  • “One cannot build what has not been imagined. And one cannot bring a vision to life without a plan.”

  • Home is a “place to be loved and restore, to find inspiration and purpose.”

  • Create home through “traditions, habits, rhythms, experiences, and values.”

  • “Desire is no bad thing. The deep desires in our hearts are the ones that echo with the eternal, that tell us something of who God meant us to be back before the world was broken, of what He intends us to have once more in the life of the risen Christ.”

  • “Just as a plant needs to be watered daily, affirmation and encouragement need to be communicated over and over again.”

  • “If you want to hear God speak, you need to have quiet time with Scripture. If you want to write a song, a novel, or a poem, you need to draw away and listen to all that echoes in your soul.” (My introvert heart rejoices at this sentence! Yes!)

  • “Are my words life giving and generous, serving to strengthen those who share my home?”

  • “Teach children to be the initiators in relationships, I have learned, and they will have friends for life.”

  • “Regular prayer helps cultivate awareness, and awareness is key to both gratitude and generosity. We must learn how to nourish a heart that is keenly aware both of God’s abundance as it comes to us and the needs of the world around us.”

Quotes specific to Christmas… since it’s right around the corner!

  • “If we lose sight of the Christ child’s coming, if we forget the heavenly joy we are trying to embody, then Christmas can easily become a season of mere excess. But when the Incarnation is at its heart, then every song, every special meal, every planned event becomes a pageant in which the drama of the heavenly story is lived out.”

  • “So Christmas, for us, was not simply a season of material experience. It was a season of renewal- because ultimately, the point of the Christian faith is that God has come to renew and redeem.”

Questions to answer at Christmas:

  • What has been the best gift of the past year?

  • What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

  • What do you hope the next year holds?

  • What is hard in your life right now?

  • How have you seen God’s kindness?

  • How do you want us to pray for you this Christmas?

Favorite scripture in The Lifegiving Home:

  • Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9

  • Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

  • Surely I have composed and quieted my soul. Psalm 131:2

Planning for the year!:

  • Overall consideration

  • What will we do to make God seen & known in our family? (TLH book)

  • How will we do this together each week?

  • Daily ritual

  • Provide daily affirmation + encouragement, “Are my words life giving and generous, serving to strengthen those who share my home?” (TLH book)

  • Morning bible study + devotional

  • Prayer

  • Creation an intention + top 3 list for the day

  • Affirmation (scripture is a great tool for this) + visualization

  • Read for at least 10 minutes each day

  • Gratitude journal

  • For kids (one day!)

  • Create a ‘peacemaking couch’ for children (instead of timeout) (TLH book)

  • Morning blessing to share with children “I am so glad you are mine today. You are a blessing to me.” (TLH book)

  • “You are part of God’s story on Earth. What kind of hero do you want to be? “(TLH book)

  • Weekly rituals

  • Create a theme for a scripture of the week/memorize scripture

  • Sunday tea

  • Date night with husband

  • New Years Day

  • Go to hotel lobby or coffee shop and plan the year! Express hopes + anticipate challenges for upcoming year and pray over them. Pray to align our lives with God’s plan. Consider what would nourish your soul, vocation, & fellowship (TLH book)

  • Also ask the following questions (January ‘mental house cleaning’ from The Lifegiving Home book)

  • Do I have any lingering feelings of guilt that I need to give to God?

  • Is there any bitterness toward friends or family? Any resentment?

  • Do any of my relationships need mending?

  • Have I created any rifts between me and God that I need to clear up?

  • Are there ways I have failed or disappointments I have carried that are draining my energy?

  • Host a special New Year’s dinner!

  • February

  • Create a bowl with scriptures of love & read one a day; like ‘Love one another.’ (John 13:34) (TLH book)

  • Valentine’s Day dinner… share, “I really appreciate you because…” (TLH book)

  • Spring

  • Go on a beach trip!

  • Visit a lavender farm (we’re obsessed since visiting one in Maui on our honeymoon!)

  • Summer

  • Watch Now & Then (a childhood favorite)

  • Go out for ice cream (the cotton candy blizzard is a new favorite… sounds disgusting but it shockingly SO good)

  • Go to a country music concert!

  • Spend time on the lake

  • Fall

  • Make pumpkin soup!

  • Decorate the house

  • Make caramel apples

  • Visit a pumpkin patch

  • November

  • Make warm spiced cider and/or mulled wine + Butternut squash soup, pumpkin soup, mushroom soup

  • Join in on a turkey trot!

  • Watch a Christmas movie on Thanksgiving night (long time tradition of my family : )

  • Share at the dinner table on Thanksgiving 3 things we are thankful for for each person. (If there are a ton of people, say 1 thing about the person to your right and keep it going around the table!)

  • Christmas

  • Decorate tree/house with Christmas music on!

  • Make hot cocoa, then drive around to see lights

  • Ask, “What gifts am I giving to Jesus from my heart this year? “(from Rick Warren)

  • Volunteer as a family

  • Read

  • Christmas story in Luke

  • Women of Christmas

  • Purpose of Christmas

  • Movies

  • Elf

  • Grinch

  • Little Women

  • Santa Clause

  • For kids (again, we don’t have any yet, but one day in the next couple years we hope!)

  • Advent calendar

  • Angel food cake birthday cake for Jesus

  • Get them each a little tree

  • 4 gifts (something you…)

  • want

  • need

  • wear

  • read

  • Red & green paper countdown chain (did any of y’all do these too as a child?!)

  • Christmas PJs

  • Operation Christmas Child boxes

  • New ornament each year

  • Place Christmas picture in frame each year

  • New Year’s Eve

  • End of Year Celebration dinner

  • Kids draw picture to commemorate God’s goodness over the previous year and adults write how God has been faithful to us this past year (Joshua passage). Pray over these blessings. (TLH book)

I hope that this list is a big blessing to you as you consider what your new year might look like!

Maybe bookmark this post or share it with a friend who you know would love it, too!

Happy planning! <3

With love,


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