2017 Review: List of Biggest Blessings and Lessons Learned
I thought that my 2016 was already a great year. But 2017 unfolded many surprises for me and my family. In spite of the many challenges we’ve had, I still consider last year my most successful year so far in several areas. Let me share some of my biggest blessings in 2017 with you.
10 Biggest Blessings
- One of my loyal clients recommended me to her friends who are also entrepreneurs. This couple became my client also last year, not just for one project but for a series of projects. I even ended the year with another project with them, which is still ongoing until this first month of the year 2018. I’m currently helping them improve their performance management system in their company and helping them find a new HR Manager.
Aside from finding a new good client which I got through a referral from another loyal and satisfied client, one of my loyal clients also got my services again to conduct a series of workshops to enable and equip their employees, particularly their high potentials and leaders in the organization.
- These HR Consulting projects helped contribute to our travel fund last year. Thus, we were able to have at least one vacation per quarter and many outings in between. During the first quarter, we checked in at Nuvali in Sta Rosa, Laguna. During the summer months, we went to Tagaytay to spend my birthday there and then we also went to Bohol. In the third quarter, we went to Subi, Zambales. In the last quarter alone, we had three! We went to Timberland in San Mateo, Rizal for my eldest son’s birthday celebration. My husband and I, together with our three kids, were even able to check in at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel during our 10th wedding anniversary. We also had a Christmas vacation at Tagaytay once more.
- My husband and I were able to use Airbnb and Booking.com to earn rental income for our condo unit. This enabled us to earn from our property and learn more about property management through these platforms. You can read more about our story and learn some tips on earning through rental property here.
- I have also successfully completed the 52-week savings challenge that I started last year. I took the P50 savings challenge and was able to stick to it until I was able to save beyond the target amount. You can see this 52-week challenge here.
- We have covered a lot of material in our homeschool last year. My second son and I finished most of his Kinder and Grade 1 lessons already even before December started. My eldest son and I finished Grade 5 and Grade 6 English long before December started. We are also almost done with his Grade 3 Singapore Math. We even had at least one field trip per quarter. Most of the schools I inquired with near our place of residence only had one field trip per school year. My two older boys improved a lot in Math last year. My second child showed great improvement in reading. He now reads faster. He also shows grit in improving his reading and Math skills. As if these were not enough, my youngest son who just turned 3 years old last November has started reading also! I am one happy and fulfilled homeschooling mom! Aside from their academic advancements, I also treasure the learnings they’ve had about our faith and the milestones that they’ve had last year like my eldest son’s First Communion and their anniversary in serving in the Children’s Choir of our parish.
- Another blessing that warms my heart is the grace to be faithful to the following goals that I have set. Going to weekday Masses with my kids, reading the Bible daily to them, reading aloud to them everyday, eating meals with them, sharing high points and low points each night with them, praying with them before bed, organizing meaningful activities for our kids and our family as a whole and so much more that contribute to the family culture that I want to have in our family. Last Advent, my family and I were able to attend and complete the 9-day novena Masses or the Simbang Gabi. It was a blessed and meaningful bonding activity for our family.
- Breastfeeding my youngest son for 3 years exclusively. He is the one that I have breastfed exclusively for the longest time. You can read the lessons I learned from breastfeeding 3 kids here.
- I was able to achieve my blogging goal of publishing at least two blog posts each month here on this website. I even had blogging gigs in between my HR gigs. This post was one of them.
- During the first quarter of this year also, my family and I (kids included) were able to attend Bible study sessions with Fr. Jun Lingad, SDB, a Bible scholar. He was my mentor in the study of Sacred Scriptures since I was single. It was my dream that he would be able to teach my kids also. That dream was fulfilled last year. Thus, Bible studies became part of our homeschool curriculum last year. I wrote a blog post about the Bible as the most important book in our homeschool. You can read it here.
- Last but not the least, I was able to accomplish a lot of my goals even though we didn’t have a maid or nanny the whole year. It was a big blessing that my kids and husband pitched in. It also helped that I was able to outsource cleaning and laundry in the past year. And before the year ended, I found a stay-out cleaner who lives near our place. In case you are interested to learn how you can work from home even with kids around, I invite you to sign up for the H.O.P.E. Toolkit that you can find in my blog’s sidebar. One of the tools you can get when you sign up for it is an article I wrote entitled “How to Get Work Done with Kids Around.” Signing up is ABSOLUTELY FREE! I would love to share this blessing with as many parents as I can… being a hands-on parent while earning to your children. If you are serious in living out this lifestyle and you are willing to learn from a coach like me, I invite you to check out my iHOPE Online Coaching Program for Parents where I inspire and equip parents to live this kind of lifestyle. Read more about my program here.
There are still a lot more blessings I would like to share but this post would be too long. Remember the gratitude habit I started in 2017 of listing my blessings in post-it notes? I was able to faithfully do it for the most part of 2017. My gratitude bottle is bursting with post-it notes in the same way that my heart is bursting with thanksgiving for the countless blessings my family and I received in 2017. Truly, gratitude attracts more blessings! It happened to me once more!
Top 3 Lessons Learned
1. God’s plans are still best. As Proverbs 19:21 says, “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” (NLT) I had slightly different plans for 2017. But God redirected my steps through a recommendation I got from a loyal client. This paved the way for me to spend most of my time on my consulting business in the past year. Truly, God’s plans are beyond our imagination! I’m so thankful that He granted me the grace to listen to His prompting and not be stubborn in pursuing my plans and goals. If I had not been obedient to the Lord’s promptings, I would have wasted or missed the wonderful opportunities that God has provided for me. I would have suffered unnecessary heartaches and disappointments. I’m so grateful I reaped the blessings of obedience to his will.
2. It’s okay to postpone the achievement of some of your dreams or goals as long as you stick to your priorities. Ruth Soukup says, “Being goal-oriented can be great, but not if it comes at the expense of the people that matter most.” I didn’t achieve my big goal of publishing at least one book last year. But at the end of the year, I felt at peace because I knew that I did not pursue this goal at the expense of my family members or my health. I still had a great year even though I let this dream/goal slide again to this year. It helps that I am attuned to my priorities. My family will always come first. My career goals, no matter how meaningful and noble cannot replace my family.
3. Everything is grace. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift descends from above, from The Father…” I believe that I wouldn’t be able to achieve most of my goals last year if not for God’s grace. the grace to be disciplined, focused, persevering, brave, hardworking, patient, forbearing, etc. all came from Him. Being able to deliver quality work to my clients and to satisfy them that they keep on coming back to hire me, again and again, is a gift from God. I cannot thank God enough for these.
2018 has just started but I feel so good already because the first few days of January 2018 has been filled with blessings again. My heart is filled with joyful anticipation and hope for what the future brings because I know that my future is in the hands of God.
Let me end by sharing with you my #OneWord for the year 2018 and my guiding verses from which my word for the year came. God revealed these to me at the start of the year during my prayer time. My word for the year is FAVORED. This was inspired by the following Bible verses: “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you.” from Luke 1:28 and “Thus you will find favor and success in the sight of God and of people.” from Proverbs 3:4.
How about you? What were your biggest blessings for 2017? What were the lessons you’ve learned? I would love to hear from you, too. Feel free to share in the comments.