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Love does not envy

Ben and ArrisToday marks Ben and I’s first month as a husband and wife. Although, I must say that it is mostly happy, it is also true that there were several hurdles on our journey, by far and I am sure that there are many more to come on our next months and years together soon.

Ben and I came from a long-distance relationship and it is by faith that we get married last month, when we finally heard a confirmation from God. And now that we are finally living the life under one roof, the different personality of each other is all exposed and is mostly reluctant from one another. At least, as for me. Haha.

The selfish, arrogant me is finally on the limelight.

I will not deny that I pondered a few times, if I will make it to the end or if it is the right decision I plunged myself into. Haha! But, of course, I am committed to this marriage. I burned every U-turns and exits at the moment I have decided to wed, by the abundant grace of God.

I was reminded last night, after an irritation, that love should not envy. It should be kind, patient, shall not boast nor shall be proud. But these verses are easier said than done. I was asking God for grace and I want Him to set my heart right.

I was quarreling with my own heart if why the selfish me is envious of his time? Or of his cellphone? or of his attention, in general? I was trying to prove a point that I didn’t see him the whole day I was in work and evening is just our little time together. And to see him ignoring me, annoys me big time.

Why on the deepest part of my heart, I want him to respond like me, do things like me or at least, be as sensitive like me? But after all these pondering, I was reminded of what our pastor imparted on our wedding-that we are two different people, which means two different personality united by God,to be one.

It is unfair to change Ben to please me. It is not my job, but God’s, to set his attitude and personality right, for His glory.

At once, I was reminded by the Spirit, is this argument honoring Jesus? Does my pride honor Him or makes this relationship lovely? I held my pride for a few minutes more, but my heart is crying. I want to turn and hug him. To be the first to say sorry but my arrogant heart is still reluctant. I am thankful, however, that Ben did not wait any longer and hugged me first. He even said sorry, even if I am being unreasonable. I was consoled at once and tried to share my point. Thank God for the gift of communication.

I know that we have lots to go, probably, various hills and mountains to conquer as a couple, but with Christ who strengthens us, we can always do all things. Victor all things.

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I will at 30

I’m thirty and I can’t believe it. Oh, my God!

I remember being a little depressed around same time last year due to an age anxiety and a failed relationship altogether, however, this year is way different. For one, I am welcoming another year, with a new surname and hey, an expectant, joyful heart. Wohoo!

This year, I have decided in my heart to live what Pia had once told me, that I must be excited on birthdays- because if we can wish and be expectant from our earthly fathers on our birthday, how much more will our Father in heaven be more than willing to reward His beloved?! Make sense, right?

My last 365 days had been awesome, although, of course, I also had my share of extreme bumps and turns too. I must testify, however, that indeed, all things work for the good of those who love Him. Had not God allowed that little wandering of mine to take place, I would have not praised and adored Him like I do today.

And now that I will begin a new journey with a more mature set of eyes and perspective, I am determined to be wiser from this day onward.

I will get rid of my memories of defeats, offenses and sorrows and I will think of lovely things often.

I will practice how to say NO and I will stop chasing the doors which were shut for my good.

I will not stop dreaming. In fact, I will think of bigger things and chase them with faith and perseverance.

I will travel and chase adventure every now and then. I will appreciate the world and its complexities.

I will smile often. I will talk to strangers and do baby steps in talking to people I don’t seem to like. I will love. I will seek forgiveness. I will build bridges. I will make friends.

I will kiss. I will hug. I will say sincere I love you’s.

I will pray like a child and I will move from my position of rest and victory.

I must attest with conviction and tears that indeed, God is faithful! In fact, even if we are faithless, He still remains faithful-for He cannot deny himself (2Timothy 2:13).

Few of His faithfulness on my last 365 days are extreme generosity to be able to visit 4 new countries (Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand); mercy to provide opportunities to nail my last sales target despite our bad economic situation; provisions for a month-long vacation in Manila, after two long years of being overseas; abounding grace to marry the man I prayed and love just last month; and many other small and big blessings in between.

 

 

This is 30. This is when life begins.

Gracias!

Faith, Journey, Life

Grateful 2016

It is the time of the year again to reflect and offer GOD some thanksgivings.

2016 was an epic year of incredible highs and extraordinary lows to me. There was a season I really felt very low, most likely a depression, due to a failed relationship and me, being unforgiving to myself for being so stupid, falling into the trap, not following the peace I always thought I am familiar with. But on the other hand, it is also a year-round of abundance, in so many areas, which I really am grateful to God.

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Until now, I’m still pondering why did God allowed that season of wandering to me? Why did I have to experience a roller coaster of emotions, frustrations and delusions I had obnoxiously created in my heart and mind, reliving them every day for a while? In fact, there was even a time that they replaced GOD as my first and last thoughts of the day for days, weeks and even months. Why, my soul, are you downcast was an everyday query to me. How cruel, right?!

But perhaps, I really had to go astray to long for my Shepherd’s voice again. To desire and to seek for it, in such an eager way I never trailed before, until He was sought. Until I can determine His distinct sound again and follow it.

So, let me begin by thanking God for the relationships He had developed this year. I am grateful to have found rare true friends who were relentless. They did not give up on me, on my midst of stubbornness, even if, at some point, I almost gave up myself.  They did not judge, yet love me dearly enough to tell me the Truth, even if it hurts, at times.

I thank God for new relationships too. New individuals I never thought I will ever build a beautiful gift called friendship.

I also thank God gazillion times for open doors and divine provisions. My total sales figure this year was a tangible testimony of His generosity amidst economic status quo and negative surroundings. Indeed, He is more than able! His economy is not of this world. I am still in awe of how doors were really opened for me this year. And mind you, they are not temporal doors. Mostly, they are contracts to sustain my targets until I can even finish my contract with Atlas.

And the beauty out of it, was, on His time of generosity, mine too were increased in such a different cheerful discipline. I really felt His floodgates of heaven opened.

And of course, no one who hopes in Him will ever be put to shame. I received my deliverance and was freed from the bondage of depression on the latter part of this year. What an amazing grace indeed?!

And it doesn’t stop there. The bonus is-I received a gift of restoration too. I found a second chance love with a man who loved Him dearly.

Many more list are there to thank God for, such as good health, gift of life for my niece, Skye Bethany, the gift of time and many other big and small touching favors.

But to cap it all off, I think nothing beats far grateful than a personal encounter of all the character of Jesus. The gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love Lord and Savior. Thank You for being so alive in my life this year and for all the days of my life.

I am excited for 2017 for I know in my heart that I serve an Almighty Father. I put my trust in Him and believe Him for much, much greater things.

I hope you do too, beloved.

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Christ Unwrapped

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Christmas is indeed approaching. This is the biggest season celebrated by billions across the globe.

The weather itself will give you a hint of the season. Adding more to it are the songs being played over the radio and the various festive decorations left and right. It is also a time of giving and people, including me, are expectant to receive some present.

As all of you may know, Christmas, commemorates the birth of Christ- good news that causes great joy to all people! (Luke 2:10)

I can personally attest the birth and existence of Christ over my life. Had I not known Christ, I am sure to still live in dark- angry as ever to the unfair world, to date.

Christ changed me ever since the day I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior.

It was a great relief that I no longer have to work and be a good pleaser of men, in a hope to reach heaven when I die, because it was already finished by Him. He has prepared a room for me in heaven.

I had been molded to someone I never thought I’ll be and still being molded every day. Whoever I am today is a product of His grace and hand at work in me.

I had my personal revelation of who Christ claims to be- the slow to anger, rich in love, faithful, compassionate, forgiving, merciful father, friend and bridegroom altogether.

I wish to unwrap Christ to you, as well. I really wish you can also experience the liberty you can have in Him. I wish you will also experience the vast of His love, compassion and mercy. I wish you can also partake on the inheritance of all His faithful promises.

I wish you can experience the eternal joy and peace that transcends all understanding, despite the troubles of everyday life.

I wish you would also experience not to be afraid and walk your every day from the position of rest, knowing that He is your refuge and that He will fight all your battles.

My limited vocabulary will never be enough to define the vast of His love and I really wish you will personally experience the same. It will sure be the best decision and present you can ever have in your entire life.

I believe it is the best time to sincerely seek Christ in your life and accept Him as your Lord and Savior.

 

Faith, Journey, Life

Proper Time

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I can say that I am shallow. I am not hard to please. My joys are simple and are mostly free such as sun, stars and nature in general. But that minimalism also goes with my emotions; a lone thing can make or break my day, at times. In fact, it is funny how few pictures weighed me down and stir all the queries in my mind tonight, thus, pestering God.

All my when’s and why’s may have annoyed Him, I thought, but who cares? I’ll still cast all my anxieties because He cares for me.

I happen to try and go ahead of Him at one point in my life and it didn’t do me any good, apart from ending frustrated and delusional. It is tough to heal from that stage apart from His daily sufficient grace. Since then, I have decided on my heart not to walk on that path again. I want His guidance on the right path and His leading on the quiet waters.

I created a habit to bother God with my countless queries and demands and back them with His faithful promises on every attack, well, even on all our mundane chats: that’s one of many beauty of my relationship with Him.

The fact that my when’s didn’t come to pass yet, it only means that it is not the proper time yet. Subsequently, my whys will be countered when the proper time and procedure are through.

He created my inmost being: He knit me together in my mother’s womb; therefore, He knows the best of everything for me. He knows each and every dreams and secret petitions of my heart. He knows exactly whose hand will suit mine best, in time. Oh, I am excited how He will pull off the surprise, for He knows I like little wonders, too.

Meantime, I’ll continue annoying Him with my further demands as His daughter.

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About Yesterday

Yesterday was an emotional day. It was an outpour of the night before that. Probably because my monthly period is also just about to end. Well, actually, the enemy is trying to accuse me of being unloved, or at least, complex to love. He tried to remind me of how I was rejected in the past and how the very important people in my life had surrendered at me. From my parents, to adoptive parents, to another guardian and some other people I cared and loved in the past. I felt orphaned again, somehow. I, however, indulged on the feelings and let my tears and heart burst that night.

Then comes yesterday morning, I saw a person I had a past with in Facebook fulfilling his dream he once shared with me. However, in this time of actuality, it is not happening with me but with another woman he is set to marry soon. It hurts somehow even if I had long forgiven him. Honestly, I am the happiest to see him succeed in his life. But somehow at that moment, it wounded me.

I know in my mind that I serve a compassionate Father, however in that instant, I wish it journeys through to my anxious heart and quiet it.

I badly wanted a hug but I don’t have someone to talk to in the office, or at least I’m scared to share how I was feeling. I dialed my parents back home but I heard no empathy, no how are you’s except how was your sister and her family doing. I just had to release understanding.

My work was affected.  I didn’t work wholeheartedly and diligently yesterday. There was a weight that dragged me down. This has to stop, I thought.

In the evening, I pressed to have a real quiet time. I needed comfort from the Comforter Himself, the Lord. He directed me on Psalm 116.

David must have been on my position, I thought. All his wordings spoke deep in my heart. I felt like it took the shattered pieces of my broken heart and fearfully piece them back together.

David utters, I was overcome by distress and sorrow, then I called on the name of the Lord: Lord, save me! The Lord is gracious and righteous: our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary: when I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

I cried of thanksgiving. I was definitely comforted. He saved me, indeed. The following verses talks about my looming fears: death (recurring sins, perhaps), tears and stumbling, yet again. But David says, the Lord delivered Him and will sure deliver me too, over and over again.

Oh, how I love my Father.

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I rest on the promise that He can make all things new, a fresh heart and mind that delights solely in Him.

Lord, please take my heart and thoughts, for they are yours. Take your rightful position on them. Lead me beside quiet waters and refresh my soul.

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Where are you?

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“Where are you?” asked the Lord – Genesis 3:9

Hmm, it doesn’t seem to make sense for the God of the universe who knows all things would ever ask this question. I pondered.

The prior verses say that after eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord, and they hid from Him.

Many times had I also been in a position where the evil had deceived me. Gave in to things which appeared to be good, pleasing and beneficial to gain what I actually thought was good for me. I must say, however, that during those times, God remained to be true. He never left nor forsake me.

Like Adam and Eve, I also perceived His presence and His familiar voice then and yet, I chose to run away; I deliberately hid from His presence out of fear and shame.

But God is relentless on His pursuit, despite and in spite of Him knowing everything I did that caused Him pain.

I pictured Him stepping in tears, trying to restrain His feeling of disappointment within His perfect and just nature and asked the above without a cracking of voice.

He, who knows when I stand and when I sit definitely knows where I were, and yet still asked- to initiate or restore a relationship He had been longing for.

I’m thinking, He could have went directly to the punishment and yet He asked them what they did and listened to all their reasons because He is slow to anger; because He is love and do not change like shifting shadows.

I am glad that I live on a time when God already made an everlasting atonement for my sins, whom is Jesus. Therefore, I can draw near to the throne of grace that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in my time of need.

Going back though, since the beginning, God had already defined what is good. And yet, mankind has been in its never ending quest to find its meaning- out of their limited knowledge, sinful and selfish nature- which likely impregnates sin.

Beloved, God is asking you right now if where are you?  And I encourage you start listening to that voice and halt yourself from hiding. Better is His place of rest and freedom.

More than anything, you are missing to experience the vast of His love, mercy and compassion, if you will continue on hiding. God says that He sees all He had done as very good. And you are that creation. Start believing that you are, even after everything you did and what you will do.

Respond with a “yes” now.

 

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Happy birthday, Tatay!

My dad celebrated his 71st birthday three days ago and I cannot thank God enough for the gift of long life. I really pray that God will sustain him and my mom in every way, completely able to live their full years together- to see their grandchildren grow and witness the successes of their children past their very eyes. What a delight and rewarding moment will it sure be for every parent?

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I always feel that I’m a daddy’s girl. I always remember running to him every time my mom will offend me then. My dad had been my shield, and he would always try to go out of his way to pacify me. His little gestures are carved at the core of my heart and memory forever. He is a dad who would willingly combat the dirty flood despite being on the heat (stove- having to run a food stall) all day, only to pick me and hand me my rain boots and umbrella, which I had a hobby of forgetting. One time, he has to carry two stools which I had to step in one step at a time, because the flood was already deep for the boots. He has to lift one after the other until we reach our house, having to bear his hip pains. Is he able to carry the big me, he would sure do it, in a heartbeat! =)

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I had to call him that day to greet and on the course of our conversation, my dad however redirected the chat toward me, he said that he is hearing things about my relationship and asked me on the spot when they will meet him. I stutter and laughed but also melted in secret.

That sense of compassion and sympathy never fail to move me. He closed the conversation by telling me that I shall get to know him first more before making any big decision, but he and my mom will share the joy with me, whoever I am delightful to spend my life with. My thoughts were, my dad is so loving to warn me yet more loving to leave the ball in my hand, which speaks of his trust.

Sometimes, I am actually thinking, is he remembering his gestures the way that I do? After all, it is his character to be giving. My parents may not be the sweetest parents you will ever wish for, but their love is incontestable. I am thankful just the way they are, because, after all, all things work for the good of those who love Him.

I will always be in awe of how patient, resilient and understanding my dad is. I will sure look for his characters on my husband to be, too. No, boys, this is not a threat. Haha! And, oh, by the way, he has a very good sense of humor, too!

My dad is a light to wherever you will place him.

But if my dad give good gifts to me, how much more will my Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him? Mat 7:11

Faith, Journey, Life

Keeper

Yesterday in the church, we were asked to share with someone how God has protected us this week. I was quick to share how He has protected me from a near car accident during a wrong turn in an intersection and how He has protected the toil of my hands at work. Another shared how she was thankful on how He has been protecting her and her family from any sickness, keeping them well and healthy. But what left me astounded was Anne’s short testimony. She shared with joy how she was thankful for some doors which were shut in her life. Yes you read it right! This woman was grateful for opportunities which were barred- for her good. Don’t worry, I feel you. You were not alone with that feeling of having a big question mark in your head. Even I was left in awe on her statement. In fact, I was trying to absorb her testimony for a few seconds and found myself on an analogy of all the probable wrong opportunities, in my mind.

Had I been her, it would have been a wrong possible relationship, a wrong job opportunity, a wrong decision or whatsoever. Nonetheless, I was amazed how she faced offense and still stuns me to date, as I write.

Like her, I had my share of doors which were shut for my good too, in the past. There were even some which may appear bad in the beginning, but on His right season and timing, I will realize that indeed, all things work for the good of me who love Him.

In fact, had I not encounter rejection and offense with my own mother in the past, I would have not found Jesus today and lost this amazing chance of experiencing His love, healing, restoration, amazing grace and all of His good and perfect nature.

The Lord is my keeper

Going back to Anne, although I am not sure what exact door had she lost and her whole story, I am however certain that her response was founded from her personal relationship with Jesus and her humility to acknowledge that He is sovereign and that His will (no matter what it is!)  is always good, pleasing and perfect.

My prayer is that all our relationship with Jesus will surge on such a personal, intimate level like never before. I declare personal encounters- that in the process, our description of Him will no longer be from mere hearsays, but are taken out from our own, personal experience.

I believe in my heart that personal experiences are unstealable and can be nourished. They are like magic aces, something you can pull at any given time of need.

 

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One Way Love

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“What I have is the chance to love someone and the hope that he will choose to love me back. And it is terrifying! – But that is the deal with love” Mandy Len, Ted Talks.

This morning, I bump across a random business document with the above quotes handwritten on its back. It is strange how one quote can bring all the memories back like a strong gush of wind. Strong enough to create a current of thoughtful analysis and stimulate doses of regrets and hopes false hopes.

I must admit that I was once been a victim of unrequited love. At least, that’s how I will define it having really not defined the relationship, whatever it is. Arggh!

To be honest, he may or may not know to date that I fell in love with him from afar. I must say, however, that the infatuation was gained over time. It developed after having been flooded with gentleman gestures and manipulative texts along the way. Messages that swept me off my feet.

I didn’t guard my heart. I know. All the while, I really thought I were strong and will never be a victim of circumstances, such as these. But love moves in mysterious way. It strikes you right on the core and by the time you know it, you were nailed on it and it’s already hard to go and let go.

The paranoia created worlds of delusions, finding myself on imaginary fantasy that it will all work out in the end. I would even love to digest and soak on the thought, back then. By the time reality strikes, I end up being all the more, frustrated.

By the grace of God, however, I have learned the aesthetics of calming my soul. It all started with a decision out of my complete submission to His good, pleasing and perfect will; and that includes trust on His timings.

Eventually, I have learned to commit my soul by filling it with heavenly thoughts. And it paved the way to the renewing of my mind.

It is not an easy journey and I have cried rivers all throughout. I have to talk to myself, on several occasions, convince it over and over again, that it is never His will to put me on a state of confusion- to ponder if he even loved me, in the first place. That sucks. Really.

Although, I must also admit that I knew that “US”is not really under His will. But I still bet on my self-justifications and lay them before God and ask His blessings instead. Yes, stubbornness. I missed the point that He will also not bend His Word for my selfish gain. It is always the final authority.

The feelings, longings and paranoia still strikes me at times, but it is on these weaknesses that His strength was made perfect. I have to re-decide all over again to forgive myself having fallen on the trap and him, having not reciprocated what I have given and just be completely submissive on His will.

It took me courage to publish this but I am hoping it will bless others, and hopefully, restrain someone from being on the same situation, as mine. I must tell you however that there is the gift of deliverance and redemption, in His name. 😍

On the other hand, I cannot ponder how God has managed all the offenses on being on a one way love, on all His children, having gone astray of His love, all these time. Yet He loved us. Unconditionally. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.