Beginning This Year

Beginning this year I will…

Follow my heart and embrace love. Yes, there’s always the possibility for heart breaks but then there’s also the possibility of finding true happiness of being around people whom I love and loves me for who I am.

beginning this year

While walking by the beach, we found these petals scattered on the sand following a pattern of what’s look like a road or a pathway. Was it a sign? Was it plain coincidence. Either way, I believe it’s a symbol of a good, positive future just waiting to happen for all of us. We all have a brand new clean slate beginning of 2014. If last year’s events gave us moments of grief and pain, we all now have a chance to smile, laugh, to feel happy, to find healing, to pursue our dreams and seek success, to face our fears and venture on the dreams our heart always spoke of but never got the time or courage to follow.
New possibilities. New hopes to make. A new canvas to paint with all things we see and feel are beautiful. Things that inspires us. Things that we love and are passionate about. Things that we really want and find meaningful.
The world and people around us may try to convince us to follow a different path. They may even inject negative predictions about the decisions we are about to make but from personal experience, I made huge mistakes because I listened to other people’s opinions instead of listening to that inner voice within me. 2014 is a year about “us” and following our own destiny. It’s a year of no regrets and just following our deepest calling.

beginning this year

One of my wish for this year? That we all find love to last forever. A love to grow old with. A love that will stand by us through our worst and darkest moments. A love that will survive the test of time. A love to hold and cherish till that very last breath.

Seek inner peace, calmness and solitude. To focus on things that are of meaning and substance. To tame that restless side of me and just be still. Still long enough to really look, listen and feel to all things important.

beginning this year

Treasure each and every blessing in my life. Blessings that I will always be thankful for. Blessings that will inspire me even more to share and give back. To reach out and be a part of a community that tries to help those whose lives had been torn and destroyed by various causes.

No matter how small, I believe we all can make a difference to someone. In the end, what counts is our sincerity to help and that we tried our best to do something good for others. The rest with faith, heaven and destiny will take care of.

beginning this year

Find more “quality” family time. Like it or not, a lot of my time goes to work. Reality is, it pays my bills, gives a roof above my head and provides all the comfort my family enjoys. It’s a reality we all have in common and share with billions the world over. The questions now are, “What can we do to make the most of that time?, “How can we make the best of those times and make it memorable for us and our family?” The answers? Endless…

begging this year

Playing by the beach, collecting sea shells and sea weeds, fishing, hermit crab racing, chasing after flying seagulls, building and playing Legos, being a Mall sidekick window shopper, reading story books, cooking omelette for my wife and son before they wake up, so many things to do to make “time” counts. All it takes is a lot of imagination, creativity and ideas. I believe I got several of those in my pockets.

beginning this year

Find time for God, his works and words of wisdom. Guilty as charge. I made “being busy,” “stressed” and “worn out” as excuses not building a closer relationship with my maker.

Looking back to how it was, watching in flash back the many roads I took, the many times I had fallen and stood up shaking yet still brave enough to chase my dreams, God was and is always there for me. I do miss him and the time I spent just pouring out my heart in complete trust and surrender. I’m thankful that he never gave up on me despite of everything.

Beginning this year, I got a fresh start to catch up and build something priceless with him.

beginning  this year

Keep doing the things I’m passionate about. Family time by the beach, making Summer an all year round event, keeping in touch with my parents, siblings and childhood relatives, blogging, exercise and staying holistically fit, ShelterBox and other ways I can be of help to victims of Typhoon Haiyan and other tragedies around the world.

I ended 2013 with these…

My son’s school begins this morning. Me and his mom sensed that he felt sad knowing the holidays are over. I told my wife, let’s eat out, celebrate our last day of holiday school break and do something he really likes. So we did.

beginning this year

After our night-time prayers, I asked my 8-year old, “What bedtime book do you wish to read?” He picked up a song book he got from church and said, “Dad, let’s sing these Christmas songs together first.” So, we did.

While singing, “Jingle Bells,” I saw my wife opened the door and took a peek. I asked her, “Are we that loud and out of tune?” She simply laughed.

Next, he grabbed the book “Where Is Little Elf” which he read for the second time.

Beginning this year

Before he went to sleep, I asked him, “Give me 10 things you remembered about this Christmas?” Happily he replied, “Okay, they are going to the beach, the pier, the pyramids, Christmas tree, presents, baby Jesus, church, Santa, Little Elf and Gingerbread House.”

As I listened to him, I can’t help but smile knowing my son had the happiest and magical of Christmas. Magical enough to last in his memory for many years to come.

I hope to begin 2014 with these…

beginning this year

All these seems big and overwhelming but when we do our best, no matter what the outcome, we already won the most precious of gifts for 2014.

Go ahead and take that leap to reach every star you made a wish for. Take as much time as you want. After all, we do have an entire year to pick every star our heart desires. 

Thank you to all who helped out generously the Philippines during its worst in 2013 and continue to help the victims rise back on their feet beginning of 2014.

Thank you to my blogger friends who shared and supported my ShelterBox and Joy In Giving Campaign. You all brought a piece of hope, shelter, comfort and sense of dignity to many families who lost so much because of tragedies and calamities. God bless you and your family a thousand fold for your kindness and generosity.

Thank you for being a part of my 2013 blogging adventure. I hope we all can make 2014 an even more exciting memorable blogging journey as one blogger community.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in Blogger, family, Inspiration, Life, Love, parenting, photography, Post A Week, Summer, Travels, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Beginning This Year

  1. Beautiful pictures and the sentiment is well needed too! Happy New Year, IT.

  2. Praveena says:

    Beautiful post.”I believe we all can make a difference to someone.”.Well said.Thanks for making me look back the happiest moments of past year.Wishing you to make more memorable moments.I am happy to read about your adventures!Happy New year !

    • As a blogger family & community, we all made a difference to each other. Whether with words and images we supported each other, shared dreams, became each other strength when things get tough, laughed & faced life with positivity. 2013, was a year we all gave the gift of blogger friendship and our comment section is a living proof of just that. Thank you. Wishing you & your family all the best.

  3. bulldog says:

    When ones children can remember that Christmas was a special time, we’ve done something right… I do agree with your blog post, one must set the goals for the year and strive to keep to it… getting closer to God is a definite achievement I intend to do this year… he has blessed me in 2013 and taught me many a lesson, some of which I wish he hadn’t , but they did knock me back onto the right pathway… and for that I’m grateful…

    • Bro, you spoke with all honesty and truth. You summed up what our hearts hoped to say, even the ones we’re scared to talk about & face. Today, I lost a young patient despite of all efforts. Heart breaking, helpless, painful but it also awaken me that life is short. That an instant God can take us away. My hope & prayer is that I will be ready. That we all be ready. That we lived a life of love, faith and goodness. One baby step at a time. God bless you & your family.

  4. sandraconner says:

    This is such an inspiring post, Island Traveler! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and encouraging us to reach for our dreams this year. I am still believing God for great blessings on the Philippine people. His mercies are new every day, and He will continue to pour out those mercies on that land.

    Happy New Year!

    • Thank you. I do believe he will for 2014. Everyone deserves a better life. To rise above their struggles. To have hope & second chances. An amazing New Year to you & your family.

  5. this…..<3 the first picture stopped me scrolling through my reader. And its….lovely,thought provoking!! Each picture is amazing. Your son has shells in his hand,At 18 I still love collecting these …… :) Nothing like necklaces made of shells,raw beauty..

    • I’m fascinated with shells too. Before I left for America, I worked in an Island and got a lot of Pucca shells necklace/anklet/bracelet. It reminded of the simple yet happy life close to the beach. Thanks.

  6. Thank you for a beautiful, well written reminder of what life can be for everyone. Your attitude of gratitude and creativity each day is contagious….All the best in 2014 for you and your family!

    • Thank you. So much hardship for 2013 but there are so much to be thankful and celebrate as well. I hope 2014 will be a year of everything good for all of us. There will always be the pessimist but what matters is how we perceive the world around us. An amazing New Year to you & your family.

  7. Beautiful, inspiring post. Happy New Year!

  8. mariannegv says:

    Very inspiring words, Island Traveler. Thanks for remind me about the important things of life. The second and third photos are my favorites, these are beautiful, they transmit peace and calmness, May you and your family have a great day.
    Kind greetings,

  9. fgassette says:

    Beautiful post with encouraging and inspiring words. Looking forward to hearing more wonderful stories and viewing your beautiful photos.


  10. wolke205 says:

    I wish all the best to you and yours for 2014 <3 In Scotland, one week ago, I found some of my inner peace and calmness – that s what I want for this year ;)

  11. Amy says:

    Beautiful post for the New Year, IT! Best wishes to you and your family! Love the photos you pick wrapping up the 2013.

  12. Imelda says:

    True! There is always room for love and family and God. :-) Blessed new year, IT. :-)

  13. jeglatter says:

    Wonderful, wonderful post. Inspired by the beauty here!:)

  14. Thank you for reminding us what real goals are all about – values and love. Wishing you and your family a wonderful year.

  15. you have such a following. These posts will be a wonderful thing for your son to look back on one day.

  16. Wonderful pics and thoughts, IT. Wishing you and your beautiful family a wonderful year. :)

  17. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’m looking forward to sharing your journey through your blog in 2014, Happy New Year!

  18. Time for God. Time for family.
    Life IS better at the beach! ;-)

  19. bebs1 says:

    You are very inspiring and I know you gave it a lot of thought although you always live what you say. I wish you the best life can offer this year and for many years to come.

    • Thanks Bebs. I had my share of stuff I wish never happened in 2013 but after seeing how Typhoon Haiyan wiped out an entire city and how much loss others had to endure, my problems somehow looked like a speck of dust. Blessings comes in many forms and to me, just having my family with me, to have a job, or have great health, these are more than any blessings I can ever ask for. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  20. Pingback: Beginning This Year | Cool2BChrisP!

  21. cool2bchrisp says:

    Reblogged this on Cool2BChrisP! and commented:
    This is an awesome read

  22. Beautiful thoughts, my friend. It’s comforting to know that with each new day we can begin anew. Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for sharing all the gorgeous photos.

    • Thanks Judy. Yes, it’s truly inspiring to know, each day is a chance to start anew. For as long as we are alive, there is hope for better things to come. Best wishes to you and your family.

  23. This is such a positive way to start the year, start fresh and new. I recently used this saying on my photography website for the new year: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it a good one.” So simple, and yet, so many people don’t think they can start new every day. And I think that’s why we’ll enjoy our jar of good things that happened in 2014 again. Because there is fun and beauty and wonder if every day, if you care to look for it. Happy new year to you and your family!

    • I love this, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it a good one.” I hope to embrace it by heart for 2014. No matter what others say or how sometimes we experience hardship, life is still good and beautiful. It’s all about having the right positive thinking and attitude. Wishing you and your family a bright, merry 2014.

  24. auntyuta says:

    Dear IT, your post shows a wonderful start to the New Year. I wish for you and your dear wife and son all the Best for 2014. :-)

    • Thanks my friend. I wish you and your family all things beautiful and inspiring for 2014. It’s been a memorable 2013 and I hope we all have an even more amazing New Year.

  25. Y. Prior says:

    you know, if you would have just posted the first picture with that initial paragraph – that would have been amazing – but then the way you shared your goals (that we were invited to share too) well it actually made me excited about 2014 – I have not really made any goals yet -a nd to be honest, I am still savoring lots of 2013 memories – but after reading this – I am more forward focused and will come back to this when making my own goal list. nice post.

    • I normally don’t make New Year’s resolutions but events of 2013 made me reflect on a lot of things I took for granted or have not given enough time. I realized how in an instant life and all things familiar can be taken away. I wish to spend more time on those that means a lot to me and hope to make unforgettable memories with them. Wishing you and your family a blessed New Year.

  26. What could be more symbolic during the early days of this year than the beach where the sand meets the surf: the limitless possibilities. Your usual optimism is welcome. The first image has true energy and meaning: wonderful capture. Your trip to the beach can heal, but is also nourishing. My best to your family and you.

  27. Pingback: Beginning… | Words 'n Pics...

  28. A lovely post with a wonderful sentiment to start the new year with. I wish you a great year, my friend!

  29. TBM says:

    Love the photos and message! Happy New Year and I look forward to following you in 2014.

  30. omel07 says:

    If you follow your heart, you can never go wrong. Happy New Year! Looking forward to another year full of your posts. :)

    • I agree. The heart holds the key to many answers we always search for but kept holding back. 2014 gives us a fresh start to seek those answers and make it happen. Happy New Year. Hope your family is doing okay back home.

  31. rommel says:

    “Love”-ly post. So much heart and aspirations on this one. And “love”-ly images too.

  32. Sartenada says:

    What a wonderful post; I loved its content; so wise words and great photos!

    • Thanks my friend. It’s a brand new year and we can pretty much paint it will all things bright and positive. Happy New Year full of great blessings to you and your family.

  33. Theresa says:

    Beautiful post – beautiful thoughts – beautiful soul. Blessings in the New Year!

    • Thanks. That is truly inspiring. Beautiful soul is something we hope to aspire , I hope to aspire for 2014. I bet it won’t be easy but worth every effort for sure. A blessed New Year to you and your family.

  34. garden2day says:

    Wow! I’m really impressed. I wish more people felt this way. :)

    • Last year events opened my eyes and heart to a lot of things. It made me care more and be involved to plight of others in need. It made also celebrate being around family to an even more meaningful way. Thanks. Happy New Year.

  35. I’m sure your son really enjoyed being back with his friends at school, and he had so much to tell the class about the holidays. Love these beach pics, IT. What fun you’ve all had together. Happy New Year. :)

  36. Andre T says:

    nice so awesome :D

  37. Many blessings Island Traveler, to you and your Loved ones, I appreciated your message and your words…” Find time for God, His works and words of wisdom.” they reminded me of when Jesus said to us, seek, ask and knock and as we are also shown in the Bible when we seek we find.

    Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

    Proverbs 8:17 I Love them that Love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

    I look forward to sharing with you again in this the New Year, Island Traveler and in others to come, God willing.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

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