Let’s be grateful…

Let me share 12 wonderful blessings, lessons, surprises and many more things of 2016 for me and my family. Even as many of us are anticipating and looking forward to a new year, it’s good to sit down for a moment and reflect on God’s faithfulness for the entire year.

1. Family is a gift 
2016 has been a year of reminder that family is always a treasure. We have been blessed to have wonderful moms and sibs that supports me and my husband’s family goals. Our communication with our parents and sibs and of course with our baby has gone more stronger this year too. 
This has been the year where God taught us the value of being together and to really plan something about our future so we can be reunited with our baby girl in one place. And though money is important there is no replacement for the time we can spend with our inica hija. 

  

2. Stewardship 
And because of lesson number 1, that re-aligned our goals and objective this 2016. We learned to be thrifty, to save more, so we can achieve all our financial goals. This year we have grown maturely in handling our finances, we managed to save our emergency funds and etc. This also inspired us to work diligently and productively so we can easily reach our targets. 

3. Redefined Goals, Consistent Execution and Never give up attitude
For the past years, we would always put a lot of stuffs piled into our “goals-list” and when the year ends – we will get a little disappointed because we did not achieve as much as we planned. But 2016 is different, we have become more strategic, laser-bullet focused on our targets. 
We were so inspired to meet our goals of being able to provide a better future for our daugther. The Lord taught us to be humble and to submit our plans to Him and hear from Him, so we can be guided. When we look at it now, we could not help but become overwhelmed for what God has caused us to accomplish. 

4. New Home Acquisition  

Yes, 2nd quarter of 2016 was an awesome and exciting time for the Sagums. We were able to sign a contract of purchasing a new home. Not in our wildest imagination we could imagine having our own house. We were blessed by the Lord for He gave us a home we can call our own. All the savings, the hardwork, the tiring weekdays has paid out and it turned out to he something that has more value. God gave us a wonderful place to stay, somewhere we can raise our daughter and maybe future son too, a place that is inviting. We couldn’t believe it for ourselves, but yeah, God told us to obey and honor Him, He removed our doubts then He honored our dreams too and He came through. 

5. Promotion for my husband & New Commision structure for me – Increase! 

  
While we were in the Philippines for a short vacation during the house acquisition, my husband received a call from a company he never applied to. And yes, it was a surprise employment offer, something that we cannot resist. God gave him a new job with so much better compensation. God knew what we needed even if we didn’t ask for it, the procedures were super swift and the transition was very peaceful. God’s word is true that when He blesses He won’t add some troubles to it. It was sweet, swift and worryfree transfer. 

My blessing came when my boss approached me and asked me about our commission structure. She then told me to dontye draft for the commission. At first I was surprised because it’s not in my job description, but now looking back I realized that it was God’s way for me to get an increase.

My colleagues said that it is impossible for the management to approve such an ambitious request – but – it was approved! 

That paved a way for me to have an extra-income on top of my basic pay. Well, nothing is impossible to God anyways! 

6. Spiritual Growth and Leadership

  
This year, God also entrusted 5 wonderful couples under our discipleship group. People who are so different from us, people who are way older than us (by age and experience). God gave us strength and courage to nurture and guide them through, in studying God’s word. 

We learned so much from them too, we were able to establish a consistent bible study meeting every friday evenings. We have grown together and we love hearing how God is doing with their families too.

7. New friends and healthy relationships

  
Friends can sometimes be a downer, but this year God surrounded us with wonderful people, we can call healthy relationships. 

They are the same group whom we can learn, get inspired, pray with and hang out with. They are the source of our enjoyment too, especially when we feel homesicked. They are good encouragers, they pray for our family and they definitely support us too. 

8. Rejections means Better Plans
Our application for PR has been denied. Rejected. My work does not allow me to approve dependent pass for my baby, as well as with my husband. 

What’s next then? 

We were left with so many different advises from all different people with different experience -but what did God say? It was easier when we asked that question, what did God say again. We understand that our plans may have not worked because God has better plans for us. 

With that simple question – peace suddenly kicked in. It was easier for us to grasp the wisdom God provided because we trust Him. Rejections means better plans. 

9. Healthy Lifestyle

  
One of the most productive thing that has even happened to me and my husband is our weight loss. This year we were successful with our goals, there are still some more to work out on, but all in all, we learned to eat healthier. We were able to establish a routine of running and the discipline of self-control. There has been no sickness this year which we really so thankful to God for. The protection He gave us, myself and the whole of our family members is something that we are really grateful for. 

We wanted to achieve more next year, we are just grateful that God has always been our strength. 

10. Clearer Vision and Directions
Towards the last quarter of the year, the more God’s instruction is getting clearer. We were not affected by the many NZ, AUS, US and Canada migrations despite the many news and invitations we have been receiving. The direction of the Lord going back home for good is quite clear and the more we humble ourselves to God, the more we desire to walk through it. We are captured by the thought that God has already prepared something new for our family to embark next season. 

11. Preparations and Logistics
It isn’t easy living overseas and because of the “going-backhome for good project”, we needed to pack our things. So this time of little separation from our little one gave us ample of time to prepare everything as we embark to a new set-up for 2017. Seriously, we have no clue on how to navigate 2017 but just like over the years we always see God’s hand moving for us through and through – that’s why we are not afraid. The tedious months of packing, sending courier home, the amout of effort checking what do we need for the home, saving up so we can buy what we want and all those worked together for our good. And thank God for His infinite wisdom who always lead us into triumph. 

12. Grateful and Hopeful Heart 
Through all the series of our ups and downs, rejections and sadness, we learned the greatest lesson for this year and that is to TRUST GOD completely. Planning is one essential thing to look forward for what’s coming, but the process may sound a bit different. But our hearts were steadfast for we know that the God we were serving will always come to deliver and He will never fail. This year He thought us the greatest lessons of obedience, quiet-time and trusting His character alone. It doesn’t matter what people say, it doesn’t matter where we are, or how the world defines success – what matter is the truth that if you are holding on to God’s hand – everything will be okay. 

This coming year, my husband and I is really excited for God has already gone ahead of us. He has already prepared the things we need all we have to do is just listen to His instructions. What we prayed for, what we hoped for, what we wished for all came to life. Maybe some were a re-routes but it turned out to be better. We will spearhead the upcoming year grateful yet hopeful for the many surprises, lessons, gifts and blessings – and come next year-end I will write wonderful stuffs again and again and again! 

“The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him; And the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” ~ Proverbs‬ ‭10:24‬ ‭ASV‬‬

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