In my previous post, I listed five simple things we could all do to make this year one of our most blessed yet. The first two were about choosing one Bible verse for the year, and choosing one word based on that verse. It took me a while to pray about my own verse and word, but I finally chose them yesterday morning, after writing my New Year’s Day post.
The past year, 2013, was a very blessed year for us, though it was certainly one of the most challenging years for our family so far. We welcomed a new Pope in the midst of great sorrow, while grieving the death of my father-in-law. A month later, we had a new baby but underwent Refiner’s fire during the first few months of her life. This prompted my husband and I to pray and think about our family’s situation, and in September, we embraced a new season in our lives — I officially became a fulltime work-at-home, homeschooling mom.
We also decided to try living without a helper — something that’s not so common here in the Philippines BUT is becoming more common nowadays, with the Kasambahay Law and all. By God’s grace, we’re doing OK so far — it’s been six months. Thank God for our support systems, or “village.” They help keep me sane. And thank God for YOU, dear friends — your prayers and support, especially during our times of trial and testing, really helped me a lot! You are all such blessings to me and my family! 🙂
Everything that happened last year found me reflecting on what my family and I need more of this year. Which is why my one word for 2014 is Health.
When my father-in-law got sick, we were advised by a doctor who practices alternative medicine to try changing his diet to a healthier one. Sadly, Daddy passed away even before we could start it. Being healthy will help us live longer lives, so we can be with our loved ones and serve God more. More health, more life.
When I was still pregnant with Anne, I was diagnosed with urinary tract infections (UTI) more than once. To this day, I partly blame myself for the UTI that she had when she was still a baby. I still feel like I could have done something to prevent her from getting sick as a newborn. If only I had been healthier during my pregnancy, maybe she wouldn’t have gotten sick. More health, less illness.
Our two older children seemed to be sick every other month last year. Though they were usually down with a cold and cough — nothing serious that required hospitalization, thank God — it still made me think that they need to be healthier. I want them to be healthier and to learn to make healthier choices when it comes to food, exercise, etc. The same goes for me and my husband — I want us both to be in good health so we can live more, love more, serve more.
But the word Health doesn’t just apply to our physical bodies.
I want to be healthier spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially as well.
- Pray more. Read my Bible more. And encourage my kids to do the same, too.
- Go to Mass more often, aside from the usual Sunday Mass.
- Spend more time in Eucharistic Adoration, with the kids if possible. (Pray for us that we’ll be able to do this!)
- Go to confession at least once a month.
- Participate in the Year of the Laity in a more concrete way. Serve God more actively.
- Read more books related to what I do.
- Learn more by attending more seminars and workshops.
- De-stress more by doing more breathing and “centering” exercises.
- Be more present emotionally for my husband and (especially) our children, and other family members and friends, too.
- Love more, yell less. (I want to be an orange rhino!)
- I want to stop being the bully too close to home and to remember to choose only love today, every single day.
- Save and invest more consistently.
- Be more aggressive in paying off our debts.
- Increase our active and passive income but not at the expense of family time and health.
- Give more and on a more consistent basis.
These may seem like simple goals and desires for some of you, but just looking at this list makes me want to take deep breaths and say, “Lord, I surrender it all to You!” Well, that’s what we all need to do anyway, right? 😉
Which is why my one word is rooted in this one verse, from Matthew 8:17:
Only He, Jesus, can heal us in all aspects of our lives. 🙂
Before I go, let me encourage you to choose one more thing for the New Year. Aside from one Bible verse and one word, choose your “patron saint” for the year. I started doing this last year, and wrote about it here. I won’t be asking Allison to choose saints for us this year though, but used Jen’s saint name generator instead. Here is the saint I “got”:
I felt like God was affirming me of my chosen verse and word after reading the description of St. Margaret of Antioch. Especially because she is the patron saint against loss of milk by nursing mothers (breastfeeding is something really close to my heart) and expectant mothers, among other things, mostly related to health (nurses; safe childbirth; against kidney disease; sterility).
So there you have it, dear friends! My one verse, one word, one saint for 2014!
Now it’s your turn! Do you have a verse or word, or maybe even a saint for the New Year? I’d love to know! Come share in the comments!