Risk, Risk and More Risks

It’s my first official blog for 2017!! Woohoo! I feel like each year, I’ve been writing less and less and less. But it’s okay. It’s not like I have tons of readers. Lol!

This was suppose to be my “a year that was” blog, reminiscing and recalling the great things that happened in my 2016. But, nah… Really, nothing big happened last year for me. No big events, no big travels, well I got a raise, so that’s good, but really, in the definition of this world’s success – it was a plain and boring year. Yes, not even a love life. Nothing. Yes, still single. Don’t ask again. Zip it!

But……. *drum roll* Yes, but. Even if nothing big happened externally in my life. I was changed big time internally – opposite of externally. Internally. Get that? Not my organs, they’re healthy, nothing enlarged. You know what I mean…

Most of you might not know, I am not a risk taker. I never liked uncertainties. But, when you start aging (in a good way), you just really have to do it. Past years, God took me to a lot of uncertainties which really pushed me to just step out of my faith. A risk for God’s sake, I must say. But last year, I took a different kind of risk. A risk I never thought I could really do. And by God’s grace, I was able to.

I learned the RISK of LIVING LESS. Since I started working, I always had this conviction that it’s okay once in a while to pamper yourself with “GOOD” things. I realize, I can pamper myself just fine with a good movie or a meaningful time with friends. I also had this must-have to always have travels every year. And I only consider travel a travel if it is outside the country where live. I know… my definition is wrong. Not only that, I also decided to spend less time in social media. Instagram out last year. And hopefully this year, I will start using FB more as a tool for encouragement and less about myself.

I started living less not because I thought those things were wrong but because I have finally grown up (I think *wink* & still growing). It is because I cannot have everything in this world. I always have to give up something to be able to gain the more important things in life. Like, no out of the country travels which let me saved my vacation days and I was able to go home to Philippines and spent time with my family which I had not seen for more than 2 years. Like, controlling my spending (fact: I was shopping-free last year!) for long term goals for me and my family. No social media to get more sleep at night and wake up early for consistent quiet time – very important!! Trust me, there were days when it’s just so tempting to book a flight and go on my bucket list trip. It was not an easy change of lifestyle, but I must say now, it was so worth it.

It’s been a very humbling 2016 for me. It’s pretty hard to live with less. And really, I will say it again that it is truly God’s sustaining grace and joy that has brought me this far. The journey has just started, more risks to take as I continue to desire to pursue the things that would truly bring lasting value in this lifetime and beyond.

The big change in me? Learning, still learning and will continue to learn to live less that Jesus may always be greater in my life. All for His glory.

A Christ-filled 2017 to you!

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The BIG Question

Beautifully Waiting

Last Saturday, I accompanied my friend’s daughter to watch the movie, Trolls. Overall, I really had a super fun day. The movie was really entertaining. I basically spent most of my day with my friend’s daughter as she wanted us to do other things together after the movie. In short, we had a blast!

Anyway, you know with kids nowadays. They are very smart and they really ask a lot of questions – really good ones. The biggest question I had that day which was not only asked once during the whole time my friend’s daughter and I were together was, “Do you have a husband?” It started from the question of how old I was, etc. Then, “Do you have a husband?”

And of course when you say no, there is a follow up. “Why don’t you have a husband?” I get these questions from my friends and now the pressure is…

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Weekend Movies: Full out and Waffle Street

If you are looking for great comeback movies – these two movies are for you! Based on real life stories – a gymnast and a financier!

My take away from the two movies:

  • Never give up the thing that you are good in doing
  • In the midst of adversity, never stop helping and encouraging people
  • Don’t be afraid to have a fresh start! (Even if that means cleaning up a clogged toilet)
  • Never forget the people who were there for you when you were at your lowest
  • Find a life mentor/friend!

 

Struggle of a Discipler

My heart was troubled for the past days. This got triggered when I learned something about someone so dear to me. It somehow broke my heart for the fact that she did not tell me about it immediately when she has been open to me about a lot of things. And also, the fact that she pursues something that somehow I thought she would be wiser and spiritually mature enough to make such choice.

Three important things that God is teaching me these past days.

One – this circumstance made me reflect on how I should be as a discipler. I went back to the One who started it all. How was Jesus as a discipler? How was Jesus when He knew that Judas would betray Him? When Peter would deny Him? When the disciples hid and ran away? All of these did not stop Jesus to love them and all the more He prayed for them. I got reminded (not the first time) of how I have to let go the people that God has entrusted me to disciple. Let go, meaning not to stop discipling them but to let God take care of them when they choose certain things which we might think would not be good for them.

Second – this also reminded me of God’s heart. I realize that if my heart aches for my disciples when they choose to do things that are not in obedience to God, God’s heart who has the perfect standard must be aching more for all of us when we do things that are not pleasing to Him.

Lastly – it also made me reflect being a disciple. I realize that I, myself also do not tell everything to my discipler. It could be that I feel like I am not doing anything wrong or I could be scared that I might get judged or I just don’t feel the need of telling. And probably, the girls I disciple are also feeling the same thing that’s why they don’t tell me the things that I thought they would tell me. For whatever reason, I must learn to respect and just continue trusting God who knows the deepest of their hearts.

Overall, I am humbled. God reminded me that the most important that I can do for the girls I disciple are to love them and pray for them. I am also truly grateful for the disciplers that God has used to help me in my walk with Him. I am thankful that they allowed me to depend not on them but on God alone.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (Jesus’ prayer for the disciples – John 17)

yy

 

#ToastmastersJourney:Gaslight

It was a good and a little bit “gaslighting” first session.

One of the things I wanted to work on this year for my personal development was to improve on leadership skills and public speaking. I’ve been looking for Toastmasters club within the area, however, my schedule never permits me to attend. Until just recently, our company hosted one as part of the learning and development programs we have. I was so happy when I knew about it! Indeed, God cares about us improving! And it’s very convenient because it is held in our head office. Really, really happy! I have decided that I will keep a journal of my Toastmasters’ journey to see how things will change for me in the future. We’ll see. 🙂

Anyway, back to the “gaslighting” moment. That word by the way was our word for the day during our first session last Tuesday. If you are not familiar how Toastmasters club works, you can check the video I shared below.  During the Table Topic part of the session, the Table Topic Master will randomly ask people in the room with questions and each will be given two minutes to answer. I am never good with impromptu speeches. I do a lot of meetings and presentations at work and even when I am prepared, I still feel nervous and struggle at times. How much more unprepared speeches? When I was chosen, I was really nervous.

The question asked went like this, “How do you extend having fun being at your best in your home life?” If you have time to think about it, it’s not a tough question right? Being put on the spot made me realize how tough indeed it is for Miss Universe candidates to do the Q&A. 😉 I just gave my best shot but I am not sure I really did a great job answering the question. I knew I was going in circles with my answer. However, I got a very encouraging feedback on how I speak and how I had good gestures. So, somehow I still did good for my first session. Yay! But definitely, so many things to improve on.

This is an existing journey for me as I am really looking forward to one day be able to speak in front of an audience of women especially the young women, wherein I can talk about things that are very relevant to them. #doingthedream

Toastmasters is an international organization. So if you are interested, there might be one in your area. 😉

 

The Pork That Got Away

It was a pleasant late afternoon when we arrived at Sweltzer Creek Campground. It didn’t rain as we thought it would. We got the chance to setup all our tents and canopies without getting wet. That was a Yay! All of us were just looking forward to the weekend to get away from our day to day activities and enjoy the outdoor life even just for few days. And not to forget, we were able to have bonfire (no fire ban) and roasted marshmallows! That just completed our camping. Yay again!

First night, all good! It rained some time during the night. Still good. We woke up into a cloudy Saturday which we kinda expected. Still good. Rain or the weather did not bring us down. As we started our day, cooked breakfast, got all the meals for the day prepared, then, our major camping setback happened. Karla, one of my friends went to get  the pork meat that we were planning to grill for lunch. She had it out the night before to have it thawed and ready to be marinated. And then she could not find it. So I started looking for it as well. And I could not find it. Everyone who woke up first started looking for it. Inside the vehicles, inside the coolers, everywhere. We all could not find it. Then, for awhile ( a long while probably for some of us *wink*), our shoulders just dropped. I, personally, got a little bit pissed.

That was not just a few pounds of meat. That was an amount to feed 20 people. I was so looking forward for boodle fight over lunch with grilled liempo (marinated pork belly). All of us were. That was like the turkey of Thanksgiving.

We only came to one obvious conclusion that someone took it. Not a bear for sure as it did not leave any mess. Unless bears now can carry a bag and be selective of food. Only the meat was taken and nothing else. Funny when most of our food were just on the tables. Whoever took it must have the time to go around.

How it really happened, we really don’t know. It’s a good lesson for us next time we go camping. Don’t bring pork! Lol. I mean, always secure the food. Well, we just hope that pork served really the need of whoever took it. We’re still grateful we did not lack and even had a lot of extra food. There must be a reason why that was taken away from us. We really don’t know. We ended up mostly eating fish. Healthy! Haha!

Thinking about it, it made me appreciate more the important things that I have that are harder to let go. Even if we did not have the lunch that we imagined it to be. It was not the end of the world. We chose to enjoy the rest of the weekend with the most important that we have – great company of friends. We all had a great time together and we all were kept safe throughout the weekend. That’s the most important. This disappointing event will eventually turn out to be one of our “legendary” camping stories in the future. And we will just laugh about it.

We will always remember the story of the… PORK THAT GOT AWAY.

——————–o——————–

So what do you think happened?

a. Someone took it

b. The bear took it

c. The pork became alive and ran away

d. We were all just imagining that we brought pork

e. The guys who had a drink the night before ate the pork and did not remember

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Discovering London, An Answered Prayer

Beautifully Waiting

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Everyone knows that when we want something so bad, the waiting part is the hardest. We wait for a lot of things in this life; a breakthrough in career, a specific amount in our bank accounts, that house and lot we’ve been eyeing out, the right person we’re going to marry and even our dreams to be a reality.

This was the one dream that I was willing to wait for. I was going to do it step by step. I was going to prepare myself. Little did I know that God was already working backstage. And this is the very reason why this journey was so much special.

How the Dream Started

My journey in dreaming and waiting started in 2013. Year after year, I committed this specific prayer to God and listed it down to my faith goals. The desire was too strong that there were days when…

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