Happy New Year! I hope you all had a grand celebration with your loved ones and friends.
As a family, we have cherished traditions that we strive to do each year, no matter what.
Every January, a few days after New Year’s Day, we have our family meeting to talk about all the things that we are grateful for from the previous year. This is a great opportunity to look back and marvel at GOD’s faithfulness, provision, protection, and grace for our family. We do not only give thanks for the material blessings that we received, but we also give Him glory for the intangible blessings that He has given us. One of these is our family’s healing and deliverance from COVID-19.
To gear up for the new year, we gather together and fill our whiteboard with our 2023 Family Faith Goals. Faith Goals are the things that we are believing to receive and achieve this year. These include new habits that we want to integrate into our lifestyle; short-term and long-term plans; family and individual goals; and trips and adventures that we pray to do this 2023. We believe that if all these are aligned with God’s will for our family, He will give them to us.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We join the annual prayer and fasting that our church facilitates every second week of January. You can find more information, as well as the free downloadable devotions (English and Filipino versions), from the Every Nation website. During this 5-day prayer and fasting, the church encourages us to pray for our nation, the next generation, and the world missions, in addition to our personal aspirations. Each year has a theme and for 2023, it is about Miracles.
We were not able to fast from food entirely so my husband and I, together with our children, committed to fasting from social media and lessening our screen time. For the time that is usually spent on screens, I read and discussed the family version of the Miracles devotion for my children. My husband and I did the original version of the Miracles devotion on our own. Then at 7 PM, we joined the live stream of the prayer meeting while our children ate their dinner.
I reflected on a lot of things during our prayer and fasting. It’s like a mental detox for me. I lifted my anxieties to God and prayed for deliverance from overthinking and other things hindering me from pursuing God’s best for my life. I was encouraged and motivated by the preachings at the prayer meetings and the testimonies shared during those times have inspired me.
I pray that we all have a better year this 2023 and make GOD as the center of our lives!