The first thing I wanted to do as 2018 arrived is to clean up our house, and I just did yesterday with the help of my dear husband.
This was how our house looked like during the Christmas season.
And on the third day of 2018, we took down our tree and re-arranged the sofa. This is our living room now.
Ah, a clean and fresh home to start the New Year!
So, let’s talk about 2017.
I would say that it was a good year. Hubby got his new motorcycle in the first week of January. Unlike his first one, we both decided on what to get this time. It was a gift for himself and he looked like a little boy who got his birthday present from his mom.
We started the summer season with a day of swimming. It was a birthday celebration for my second daughter, who turned eleven.
Our beauty and brain daughter returned her gift through an invitation for their Recognition Day in April. She was on the Honor Roll again. Made us proud once more.
Another summer fun happened as we celebrated my mom’s birthday. A full day of swimming with her grandchildren, our kids.
May is my husband’s birth month. We had our lunch at Vikings, minus my mom because she eats like a bird and an all-you-can-eat buffet doesn’t appeal to her at all so she didn’t come with us.
June. Before another school year starts, my youngest daughter celebrated her 8th birthday. Nothing fancy. Just a simple lunch out with the family.
I was busy for days in covering all the kids’ books and notebooks. Labelling their school stuff and preparing their uniforms.
August. My birth month and our wedding anniversary month.
2017 was a memorable one because we decided to celebrate it in a hotel, but there’s a bigger deal than that. We wanted to celebrate these two special occasions with just us. The husband and I with our three kids. We spent 3 days, 2 nights and all we did was eat.sleep.swim. repeat.
It was my 37th birthday and our 12th year wedding anniversary.
The husband and the kids have forbidden me to work, but since I brought my laptop and they were either swimming or sleeping, I still did a couple of tasks for my clients. I’m done even before they caught me working.
I haven’t blogged about this yet, but my family and I have been attending services in a Christian ministry since mid-2016. This is the same Christian school that our kids go to. I have been a Catholic since birth. I went to a Catholic school in high school and was an active churchgoer. When I had my own family, I admit the frequency of attending mass every Sunday became fewer until we only attend mass during special occasions.
Shame. I know.
As I said mid-2016, was when my eldest son became an active member of The Messiah Community Church. He attends Saturday Night Service (SNS), this is their fellowship for the youth. It starts at 4pm-6pm. He attends by himself, sometimes his classmates would drop by our house and pick him up. The church is only a 5-minute walk from our house, by the way.
Whenever he gets home, he would tell his sisters that he has new Christian songs on his cell phone and they will listen together in our room.
To cut the long story short, my son led me to that church.
And to my shock, on one Sunday, as our kids and I prepared for the morning service, my husband said he will come with us! We never missed attending Sunday service since then.
It became our energizer every week.
We still argue, the husband and I. We still give in to our temper. We still scold the kids. The kids still bicker with each other. It’s normal for a family.
What makes it different now, is that we know in our hearts when to apologize, when to pause, when to pray and when to lift everything to Him.
Us, in living a Christian life, is still a work in progress.
What happened to our September to December?
Ah, this is when our faith was tested. I’ve been hinting about it through my Instagram account, but it is only now that I will tell exactly what is it about.
Between September-October, the husband and I were supposed to go back to Aklan to attend his grandmother’s wake. I met his relatives in Aklan first than his immediate family here in Manila. And they were special to me, so I bought two tickets and decided to go with him.
It didn’t happen. He went there alone.
I always felt tired. Nauseous and my head ached most of the time. I refused to go to a doctor.
When he got back, he insisted that I should get myself checked.
It was November, my son’s 12th birthday when I was hospitalized. So, no celebration on his birthday and he said it was perfectly fine as long as I will be okay and healthy again.
This is one of my fear.
I cannot be sick. Who will take care of the kids? Who will clean up the house? Who will do the laundry? And the list goes on and on.
In my case, I also worry about my job. You see, as a freelancer, if I don’t work, I won’t get paid. But apart from not having an income, I was afraid of losing my job. There are plenty of other freelancers who can replace me.
But, we just prayed. We didn’t question Him on why it happened. Why now when we’ve lifted our family to Him? We then realized, this is why! He prepared us for this trial. He made our faith stronger since the day that we chose Him to manage our family.
I was up and about in a few days.
Jesus healed me. He sent generous people to help with our hospital bill. And, He guided us not to have ill feelings toward those who were not able to be compassionate about our situation.
My boss gave me time to be strong again, he didn’t replace me, and he even paid me during my recovery period.
I am healthy again. I was reminded by Him to listen to my body and take care of myself. I should know when to take a rest.
Most of all, we learned to BE STILL, and know that HE is GOD.
This was us on Christmas Day after we attend the early morning service.
As the pastor said last Sunday, being a Christian doesn’t mean we will only receive blessings, there will also be trials that He will allow us to experience– only to see how strong our faith in Him is.
It was a bit rough for us going to the end of 2017, but going back to the entire year, there is no doubt that we have been blessed. There is a lot to be thankful than to lament for, right?
So, cheers to my first post this year and may we all start 2018 with a positive outlook and leave all the negative feelings behind!
How was your 2017, by the way?