When the clock striked 12 and we’re on the other side of 2016, the first crucial thing my family did was to kneel down and pray. Well, not until after a few minutes of watching the fireworks explode. We all thanked God for the past year, and in the same time, asked Him to go ahead of us and prepare His way for whatever plans He had for us. By 2 o’clock, we were all under our blankets, trying to get some sleep, because, after all, today is also a Sunday, which means church day.

Church chronicles

If there was one thing that filled my heart today, it was the gratitude the NV9 congregation, conveyed in tears and words. It wasn’t easy. Getting them all seated on those pews took a lot of coming and going back, but my parents were gentle and firm farmers, and today, somewhat, they reaped their harvest. The members cried during their testimonies; Nanay Susan even had to do a double take! For me, it was so beautiful to see their lives changed, from bearing problems and anger and chaos, to finally finding peace with themselves and the Lord. I am proud of my mom and dad who counseled them out of Christian love. We lost the original members, but I could feel that it was a growing church. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if we were asked to stay for another year.

I tucked 2016’s journal in my little library as I opened a fresh one: another Everything Is Possible diary which at first, I was hesitant to buy. This afternoon was the perfect time to fill it up. It made me see what my game plan is for 2017.

On personal achievement

To be a louder voice; a bigger influencer. I think that’s one of my goals this year, and in the next. I realized the power of encouragement; I want to use my words to lift droopy spirits and give the hopeless a ballast for new inspirations. After spending the final day of 2016 chatting with my greeters, I just knew this was something that will help the world. At least, the little circle I have. And I want that circle to be bigger.

On finances

God surprised me last 2016. I never knew it was possible to save money for my insurance and still have some leftovers for me to enjoy. It was a year of splurging, really. But now, I think I have to keep watch on my spending and keep the rest of my earnings for proper use. I also need to prepare for an extravagant gifting this year, as my father’s 60th birthday is coming up this February, and I want to make this season memorable for him.

On writing

I was given the chance to work with amazing clients last year, and I’m thrilled to continue writing for them. I’m opening my doors to small businesses because my heart is with them; it’s such an honor to be a part of their starting years, even if it’s only website copy. I want to be involved. I want to support them this way.

More than that, I am looking forward to finishing Saltfolk this year. Hopefully, I schedule my time wisely so I’ll have time to do work and hobby. Eli, my heroine, is growing, and the rest of the characters are, too. I just can’t wait to show the beta version. On that note, I’m looking for an editor. I know God will send someone along the way.

On health

Please forgive me, dear body. I’m splurging on sweets because the refrigirator is filled with them. There’s a box of cake sitting in the middle row. I need to finish that before it expires. But my goal is to get back to my old weight—and achieve that Toru braso I have always loved, after a month or two. I also plan to have myself checked for breast cancer.

On devotion

I ended 2016 with 1 John 4, which gave me much, much hope and inspiration. In a few weeks’ time, I’ll be ending this round of reading the Bible. I’m so glad ate May gave me a little devotional to help me through this new season. It’s time to change things up. I’m looking forward to what revelations God has for me.

So, this is my 2017, so far. I know what I want and I’ve got plans laid out. If you’d ask me, the secret to having a great year is this: set up your goals, pray for it, do what you can, and let God do what you can’t. It’s a two-way process. We are co-workers with Christ, and we’re never in this alone.

I hope your 2017 becomes so lit that all the previous years becomes a shadow to a spotlight. But more than that, I hope you become a fire yourself; radiant, burning, setting its world on fire, and making its warmth felt. The world needs a good kind of fire. Make yourself felt. Stronger. Louder.