HOW I START EVERY YEAR (for the past 5 years)

If 99.9% of people have a New Year’s Resolution list, I have a different kind of list – or lists rather. They do not involve superficial habits (sorry if the term is harsh 🙂  ) I wanna change (or resolve, as the name clearly states) but instead consists of 1. Things I thank God for in the past year; 2. Things I learned last year; 3. Areas in life I need God’s help (the closest to the nature of a NY Resolution but more character-oriented) 4. Things I pray for (Prayer List). and finally 5. Things I trust God for this coming new year (dreams).

Things I thank God for LIST – This list serves a lot of purpose: It is to recount your blessings and see what God has done (aside from this yearly list I also keep a Book of Blessings notebook but that’s for a totally different entry); it is to remember God’s faithfulness to you; it is a reminder that God will continue to be faithful to you (because He is the same yesterday, today and forever – Hebrews 13:8). It is a list that shows that God honors your requests and that God truly provides. Finally, it pleases the Lord when we have an attitude of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And it is just right to give Him thanks (Psalm 107:1 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”) And I strongly believe (naks parang beauty pageant) – seriously, that the more thankful you are for what is given to you, the more the Lord will give you more things to be thankful for. 🙂 Before you ask for anything, start your year by thanking. 🙂

What the Lord blessed me with last year or my answered prayers I already shared in the previous entry. Some of which are teaching baking, sale of our old car, spending Gummy’s 5th Birthday in Palawan, meeting Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro and finally be baptized.

Things I learned last year LIST – By now we are sure that God gives us what we need, right? That’s for sure. (Yes, often He also grants us our wants. That’s how much He loves us.) And that is not only true for financial provision or tangible blessings. It is also true of trials and tests. If God sees that we need fine tuning in certain areas of our lives, He allows us to go through “trying times”  because that is exactly what we need! Though we may fail to see this truth while difficulties are happening, God’s purpose is always to build us up, mold us to become more like Him and perfect us ( James 1:2-4). For us to come out stronger than we were prior that season He put us through. And this is what this list is about. Lessons I would not have learned had things not turned out the way they did. Like what Job said, “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” Like Him, I also consider trials that improved and refined my character and tests that taught me valuable life lessons as blessings.

Some of last year’s learnings are:

  • Our pain always has a purpose. Look for it. Don’t waste it.
  • People come into our lives for a reason or a season. Not everyone is meant to stay long. Once their purpose in your life (or yours in theirs) is fulfilled, it’s time for them to go. It really happens. And it’s okay.
  • To decide to love means you risk to lose as well. You never gain by holding back. But the more love you give away, the more your capacity to love expands. You never lose by loving.

Areas in Life I need God’s Help LIST – These are habits, character traits and areas I know I cannot overcome without God’s grace and so I itemize them, pray for His help on each of them and place them at His feet. Things like: restraint of my tongue, prejudice, self-entitlement, gentleness and meekness and the list goes on…

My Prayer Request LIST – This is where I ask for EVERYTHING that is important to me. From very personal struggles, to my own spiritual development to the salvation of my family members. Specific items on my list include better financial management skills, freedom from debt, Your Presence always, consecration of every party of me, purity, wisdom for parenting, business and career, to be surrounded by godly people, to have a mentor, blessing in all I do and venture into, protection for my daughter always etc. etc. etc. The things in this section are usually those I tend to worry about. These verses from Philippians certainly give me comfort – Philippians 4:6-7.

Things I trust God for LIST – This is the list that recognizes God as the God of ALL Possibilities, that He is ABLE (to do far beyond what we ask or think… -Ephesians 3:20) and that with Him NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE (Luke 1:37). I encourage you also to not limit God with what you ask of Him. You have NO IDEA what God can do. 🙂

Sharing with you some of the items on my very ambitious list this year:

I also go back to this list, as I begin a new one for the following year. Then I mark those that have been answered, reflect on How He blessed me with those, and also why He may not have given me the others (or not yet).

PS: When you ask, be very specific. You do not want to be complaining when you asked for a car and God gives you a second-hand because you did not stipulate that you wanted a brand new one!

PPS: Do not be afraid to ask because God is Our Father who loves us and wants to give us good things (Matthew 7:11)

Thank you Lord for everything You have given, not given, taken away and all you will give! Thank you in advance! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Happy Blessed New 2017 to you! May the good Lord work mightily in your life, perfecting you and blessing you according to his good, pleasing and perfect will!