Last week, I was just coping with a big holiday hangover. This week, it’s time to get started and take steps for a better year ahead.

First off, I took my first scrapbooking class for the year last Saturday. I must admit, it was hard to get up and drive to San Juan for this class. In fact, for days, I’ve been contemplating on skipping the class even if I’ve already confirmed my participation. I was just not feeling the creative juices yet. I’m glad I decided to go. Not only did it jump start my creativity for the year, I was also able to COMPLETE – as in finished, no need to do additional work at home – all three layouts for the class. And I finished EARLY! The class was from 1-6pm and I’m done by 4pm. Can you believe that?! Normally, I am among the last to go, extending beyond the class hours, and still have to do finishing touches at home. But not this time! And because I am among the top 3 finishers, I got a prize! That is on top of the raffle prize that everyone got. What a great way to start the year! And I got to work with two new mediums – High Gloss Gel and Clear Granular Gel. It’s always great to learn new stuff.

We also had our first Bible Study for the year in the office. I thank the Lord for this opportunity to be part of a Bible Study group at work. We were able to invite “new” people and I am happy that Aileen and Joycee from my team were able to join. The food was great as always. No, it wasn’t great. It was fabulous! Shrimps in garlic butter, cream Dory with mashed potato and cream, barbecued spare ribs, green salad with vinaigrette and sweet banana. I thank the Lord for Mavel’s culinary skills that make our meetings even better. And Barry’s talk was informative and inspiring as usual. He shared the life of Joseph and how his godly behavior catapulted him to the top of the corporate ladder. What a blessing! I pray that we can meet regularly this year and more people will join us.

I am also thankful for a relatively light but fruitful week.  I am blessed with colleagues who are a pleasure to work with – most of the time. Of course there are always challenges but nothing I can’t handle, by the grace of God.

My brother in law and his wife are moving from Scotland to London. I am thankful that Pam, my SIL, already found a new job. I am also thankful that they found a house to move into that’s near Pam’s work. We are still praying for Joe Dean, my BIL to also find a new job in London. The Lord has been gracious to them in the past couple of years in Scotland and I know that He will continue to be with them as they move to London next month.

I am also very thankful for God’s gift of healing. My mom had been sick last weekend and she is now recovered. I continue to pray for our parents’ health and wellness. May they all live to a ripe age, in service of the Lord.

We are already planning for our vacation in April, that will coincide with our 10th wedding anniversary. We’re still ironing out the details but I am grateful that the Lord has provided people to help us with our plans. I do pray that it will push through, and if it doesn’t, I pray that the Lord will give me a joyful and thankful heart that trusts in His perfect will.

I also have already taken the steps to achieve some of my personal goals for the year. So far so good. I thank the Lord’s guidance through the Holy Spirit as I study His words. May this year be a year of spiritual growth for me personally, and for me and Ariel as a couple.

Lots of blessings to be thankful for. Lots of reasons to celebrate this week. Looking forward to another week filled with the Lord’s abundant blessings.

Written by Alby Laran

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