Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year Emote-icons

My FIRST bathroom selfie (i think) because, why not?!!! Have a  Blessed Year ahead! - Jabez
"2018, please be good to me". Such pleadings are pasted on thousands of Facebook walls the moment the clock struck 12 on January first. They should have made a specific emoticon for New Year Apprehensions.

I have always loved the idea of celebrating the New Year. It is a significant period when we are stopped on our tracks to look back and look forward. Somehow, whether we like it or not, the turning of the year gives us a momentary halt.  To some, it is a chance to evaluate what went wrong, what worked out right. To most, it is a time to draw the line between what was then and what will be. But to many, it is a chance to do things over, better. A reset.

However, life does not always get solved by a reset. Most times, it needs a lot of undoing, untangling and most painfully, deconstructing.

And this the part where the New Year makes me uncomfortable. When the fireworks have turned to ashes, and the feasting have been replaced by acid reflux, you sit in one corner, confronted by the realities that make you uneasy. 

How do you manage your way around work, laundry and a social life without getting broke?
How do you speak your mind, your ideas, your convictions and not have second thoughts about being hated?
How do you submit to your superiors and stand your ground?
How do you hold fast to the laws you keep and let grace trickle from your grip?
How do you start to pursue a goal you have long believed was too high for your reach?
How do you begin to plan for retirement when you are only a few years away from it?
How do you sustain the momentum for things you have started when your body tells you to slow down?
How do you inspire others when you are wrestling with your own idealism?
How do you draw the line between "waiting" and "working on it"?

These and a thousand other questions. Oh, I hate how acid reflux impales me sometimes!

And then, you run through your IG Best Nine and experience a pocket of sunshine. For a moment, you smile at the thought of these nine photos you immortalized in this intangible wall called social media. 2017 was not that bad.

You picked up a healthy habit. Lost 20 lbs and your appetite for Unli-rice.
You met new people and wonder where they have been hiding all these years.
You ventured to learning new skills and polishing the old ones and felt fulfilled.
You have failed at some attempts but your spirit keeps going.
You mastered the art of rest. And saying no.
You have finally come to terms with your weaknesses and let yourself be soaked in God’s grace to overcome them.
You keep noticing how your well of joy never dries up despite seasons of drought.
You have tested the limits of your love…and found yourself unbreakable. Malleable.
You love, yet again, though bent.

Just nine out of the hundreds of moments of joy, of hope, of faith.

It is easy to be distracted by questions and weakened by our fears. There are 365 days ahead of us, not one of which is certain and that is overwhelmingly scary. But, through the years I have learned the art of restedness ---- an act of actively resting in God, His promises and His sovereignty.

The New Year is not necessarily a reset. It is a time to recalibrate our hearts, retool our minds and resume with the original plan God has already set for us. Not without adjustments.

Paul instructs in Ephesians 4:22-24  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. This exercise of “Putting off” and “Putting on” is tiresome, challenging and definitely not easy. But only when we are no longer entangled in the pursuits of our flesh will we be able to experience the true joy of a life lived in freedom through Christ.

Our weaknesses will only magnify. Our questions will continue to haunt us. Our challenges will continue to mount (laundry, included!). But when we are standing behind the One who has ‘overcome the world’, we can walk into 2018 smiling. There's already and emoticon for that!


  1. What beautiful thoughts, powerful message too. Thanks for sharing and have a prosperous year ahead. Best wishes!

    1. Thank you dear. You have a blessed year ahaed. I miss doing blog rounds. Will head over to your turf ��

  2. We have the Holy Spirit's help. And the truth in in Jesus.

  3. Love this Ms Jabez! Such a great message,i am reminded. Masuki na ko ni nga blog.. 😉

    1. Thank you Gi! Baw ti ma inspoire nagid ko magsulat. hahaha. :D Happy New Year!

  4. You havne't blogged in a while

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