This year, David and I decided to get a sofa for Christmas. We chose a big and comfy L-shaped design I’ve been wanting for a long time. Despite having his own apartment for several years, David had given his furniture away, preferring only a mattress on the floor, some paintings, and books. Now that we’re married, we’re in the process of furnishing our place, a slow process that involves a lot of research (David is very picky), debate (David wants the whole apartment one color, where as I like to include a splash of color here and there) and saving up (like most startup marriages, we’re on a budget).

On the topic of gifts, I was thinking of God’s many gifts to me, as despite my heart aches at times, I am obviously super blessed and this has been a great time to reflect on 2016 as well as setting my goals for 2017.

So thinking of my top 3, here are what I feel are some of the greatest gifts I have, and how I plan to use them for a better 2017:


Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Proverbs 27:1

I know I’m blessed when I wake up another day, although I often forget to be thankful for that when in the mornings I’m more focused on finding my way to the kitchen with half one of my eyes open to make a cup of tea, and with less than adequate sleep. (One of my goals for 2017, more sleep!). I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, yet I know I can make the most of today.

2016 has been a great time for reflection as I had some pretty big events this year, one of them was getting married. It’s interesting how easy it is to start a relationship with fairytale stories in mind, but it’s definitely not easy to keep the relationship at times when those fairytales turn into dark comedies, or to keep the relationship healthy at the very least. Some of my greatest gifts have been my toughest challenges. Sometimes, what seems to be a string of harmonious days, results in hitting a brick wall at full speed. None of my greatest blessings came with a free flow of chill days that followed, yet on the contrary they have all taken a lot of courage, patience and hard work. Interestingly however, these challenges are what I discovered my true blessings to be. Although I feel blessed to have a car to drive to work with most days (for example), I know the best blessings are the ones that are shaping the driver. That’s me! My challenges have been my biggest blessings because each time I’ve accomplished a new challenge it’s taught me some priceless lessons and given me many ‘aha’ moments. Each challenge has strengthened me and shown me how to be a better person. And the better I am, the more I will be equipped to help the people around me, and look after the things I’m entrusted with in my life. It’s hard to look at a problem and say “yay there’s a problem right now,” but at least saying, “okay this is tough but let’s see what I can learn here” has been a real eye opener, and has removed some unnecessary stress from my life. I don’t get this right all the time which is why I sometimes look stressed, (yup you’ve probably seen me with a deep frown on my forehead), and which is also why I’d like to work on it for 2017. Stress after all is not what’s happening to us, but how we react to what’s happening to us and the attitude we have during that time.

Life is a blessing we only get one shot at, and for how long only God knows, yet being a great steward of what I have and proving I am capable of having more responsibilities in my life is the only way I will keep moving forward and making the most of things. Do I want to be in the exact same spot 10 years from now as where I am now? No! I want to have accomplished a lot more things, and those things will only happen with discipline to take the first steps, with understanding what I want, with planning ONLY the goals I know I will keep (so I don’t form the habit of giving up easily), and with entering the race of life as I sure know time will not be waiting for me.

So I’m thankful for life, and the best way I know how to show I’m thankful for something is by using the gift as much as possible! Using the body I was gifted with by keeping healthy at the gym. Using the brain I was gifted with by learning as much as possible. Use the soul I was gifted with by filling it with God’s word. Everything I have in life is temporary and on loan and i’d like to hand them back in the best shape possible, but they are mine to use for my whole life, so by making the most of those things is the best way I know how to give thanks.



But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Luke 6:35

The above verse to me, pretty much explains the number one lesson I have ever received about love. That lesson is sacrifice! In order to love consistently and not only when the mood feels right takes a huge amount of sacrifice. I must sacrifice the pride that wants to prove I am right, the impatience that causes me frustration, the anger that causes me to say hurtful things, the selfishness that makes me think of myself first, the self-pity that only sees how I’m feeling and not how the other person is feeling, the jealousy of others success that reminds me where I have failed.

The people I love will not always be that lovable, just as I am not, and often they stir up all the above wrong kinds of feelings in me, yet do I wait for them to give me what I want? To make me feel right? Or do I act first despite my feelings and become an example of what I want? I know that the best lessons I have learned from others have been through their actions. It has not been by some less than qualified person telling me how to qualify for something, or some less than perfect person explaining how I can become perfect. This confuses me, yet I find myself doing the same to others. Love will always be the first to share its gift with others, it is not selfish and does not wait for someone else to act first. Nor does it tell someone else how to act without searching itself first.

My goal is to focus on the love I can give rather than what type of love I’d like to receive. And I do believe that in the process I will be more loved than ever.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25



“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
1 Corinthians 10:23

God gave us free will so that we get to make our own choices and build our own lives while contributing to the type of world we want to live in. Pretty obvious right!? Yet also quite obviously, a lot of terrible decisions made by many people make it a less than ideal world. Though even with circumstantial limitations, those that actually want to make a dent in the world for the better have already been blessed with the opportunity to do so, and that’s a pretty amazing gift!

With all the dreams I have for my life and the world I live in, I’d like to become more of a doer. More action and less talk. Less quotes and more contributions. Less assumptions and more hard work to find out the real facts that will contribute to better decision. More time learning the bible based values I’d like to base my life on and less dead end answers (I plan to read the whole bible this 2017). Less time thinking what I need from others and more time thinking what I can give to others.

I know when I make the wrong decisions I can actually enslave myself to bad habits, addictions even, taking away that very freedom I was given. I can even enslave the people around me as a lot of my decisions will affect them. So I choose to use my freedom wisely. To not take God’s gift of freedom and hand myself to the world as it’s slave.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5: 13-14

We have freedom, yet the best way to use it is already described quite clearly for us, and it’s easy enough to make good sense of. If we love, then as mentioned above, we still sacrifice certain things we want. We have freedom, yet we still choose right over wrong.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:12

Sometimes our environment can even limit the freedom God gave us, be it bad leaders (President, boss, husband). We don’t always get to choose our circumstance but we get to choose our attitude during each circumstance, along with decisions we can still make during that time. I get to choose my tone of voice during a conversation, how much I contribute to others and what I allow in my own life. Everything I think, say or act on is my own free choice. It’s actually such an amazing gift to be able to choose whatever we’d like to do one second from now, one day from now, one year from now.

For 2017, I’d like to think more before I speak, to think whether what I’m about to say or do is actually beneficial to the person I’m talking to. I’d like to encourage others freedom to be exactly who God designed them to be. I’d like to not be a slave to the world in any way, letting go of bad habits, letting go of worry about what people are saying about me. I’d like to focus more on God’s gift of freedom and what He says about me.

Someone will gossip when they are a slave to their own insecurities. Someone will get angry when they are a slave to their own frustrations. Someone will lose patience when they are a slave to their own wants. Many choices we make are removing the exact freedom God gifted us with. So for 2017 I plan to to be more aware of the choices I am making in order to ensure I do not become a slave to the world or even to myself. I choose to embrace the freedom God has blessed me with.

I’m learning how to cherish these gifts even more than material things. These are gifts from God to everyone, not just me. If you’re reading this you have the opportunity to live an amazing Life, you have the privilege to enjoy loving and being to Loved and you have permission to use your gifts and talents in creative ways to help others, which I believe is the proper use of Freedom.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1


Happy Holidays and a Very Happy New Year from Me <3