2016: Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One

Many times, amidst the vicissitudes of life, I forget that we are truly blessed. Our eyes are fixed on the big goals we have set, that we overlook the small and simple things that truly matter. As 2016 comes to a close, I'd like to exercise an advice from a children's song I'd grown up listening to. This is in the middle of the holiday rush and our long-time help just left for good. Our house is a mess and I have a tired, grumpy husband in bed. I have no idea what to prepare for New Year's Eve, I don't know if I even want to make the effort. So, I write. I resist the urge to be grumpy too (and risk unnecessary heated argument), and take stock of all the goodness we have been showered with. In hindsight, the the big things seem to melt away and what stand out are the simplest of things. In 2016, I am thankful for:

1) My father's successful cholecystectomy in February. 2) Overall good health of our parents. 3) My mother's 60th birthday. 4) My sister's 18th birthday. 5) My extended family. Despite of political differences, they are dependable through and through. :) 6) Jaysen being able to take that leap of faith after two years and finally do what he loves. 7) Good health for us, extended family included, and Loki, of course. :) 8) A satisfying career. 9) Five good years with Ate Kelsy. (Yes, I made her a nickname to sound like a Kardashian) 10) Jaysen being more domesticated then I am. He willingly took on the chores Ate Kelsy left. He quickly realized that my mom wasn't kidding when she warned him about my lack of domestic skills. And I'm not willing to learn. :) I fix the bed and clear the table. :) 11) My mentors at work. 12) Making it to our fifth anniversary without major drama. :) 13) Divine providence and sustenance. 14) Our house. No matter how disorganized it is at the moment. It is home. :) 15) My little brother becoming more reliable as he grows older. 16) The opportunity to travel for pleasure and for work.

2016 is a great year. It's a great year because God is with us. We will never lack challenges and adversities. These things forge us to becomes stronger and sharper. In 2017, I am certain we will continue to face challenges and road blocks, challenges that may test us and our faith. There will be plans left unrealized, goals unmet, and many little heartbreaks. But much as I am sure there will be disappointments, I am equally certain that it will be filled with joy. Joy that comes from faith. Faith that God is steadfast. That His plans are greater than ours and it is for our good. Joy in the certainty that His love for us endures and He guides us every step of the way, like a lamp tied to our feet. In a few days, I'll once again face my daily monster known as the Metro Manila Traffic. We'll back to the daily grind, occupied and worried by trivial things. I am thankful that tonight, I am able to look back and be grateful. I am once again assured that these things I fret about are nothing but a speck because I have a great God.

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Cheers to a joyful 2017!

xoxo,