When you pray…

It’s hard not to get anxious when it involves financial matters.

An incident happened that involved a cheque I sent as a payment. It usually takes a week for that cheque to arrive but for some reason, it took longer this time. I went to the bank to request for a cancellation since I want to secure the money before it gets cashed out. These days, that’s not impossible to happen. However, the bank advised me to wait for another week as it might just be taking longer. The kind of cheque I sent was not that easy to cancel and takes a lot of process according to them. So, I waited another week.

During the second week, I was already starting to feel uneasy thinking what happened to my cheque. I was hoping it would arrive but it didn’t. And then, I have to wait for another week. During these times of waiting, anxiety always tried to crawl in. Indeed, prayer is the only weapon to anxiety. It’s during these times also that I prayed harder. I told God that He owns my finances. I told Him that I need that money either to be returned to me safely or to arrive safely. I told Him that if that will not happen, I will still continue trusting that He will provide. I just claimed who He is, how powerful He is. That if He can create the whole world, He can definitely secure that amount for me. Nothing is too big for Him. It’s not a very big amount but it is an amount that I needed.

Just this week Monday, I was suppose to go to the bank after work to finally cancel the cheque since third week passed and it still did not arrive. However, the whole day was so busy at work that I was so exhausted and decided to just go home and do it the next day. Almost end of the day Tuesday, I got confirmation that the cheque finally arrived! It was a big relief and I was just really in awe how God led me not to go to the bank the previous day. I was exhausted for a purpose! Just imagine the hassle if I cancelled it and then it arrived the next day. Whew! God’s timing is just perfect!

Once again, God showed to me how much He cares not just on the big things but also on the little things like a “lost cheque”. For God, what matters to Him was me. Not my finances. What matters to Him was my heart and my faith on Him. As much as I don’t want this incident to happen again, I am grateful for the rocky roads of my life because these circumstances allow me to experience God in a very personal way. I am reminded that He is for Real and He truly hears our prayers.

” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

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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 in 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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Job Well Done – Not Mine.

The past months at work had been truly a tough one. But good tough, I must say. I felt like this year passed by so fast with so many things that had happened for the past 11 months. And in every project, there is always an ending. Finally!

I must say it was tough, but I felt like I’ve grown so much for those months. I remember, before that project happened, I had doubts about myself and my ability to perform my role. Not to mention, being in a totally different culture.  Yes, I struggled (I wrote a blog about it).

For me, each day was like going to a battle. And what kept me going is the assurance that God will not let me do something I am not capable of. That whatever is given to me, He will enable me. The past months had made me more dependent on God. It had made me more prayerful not just for myself but even for the people I work with.

A lot of prayers. An increasing faith.

As the project is closing, feedbacks were just amazing. I’m just overwhelmed with God’s favor in my workplace. As I look back on the days I was struggling and to now, I’m just in awe on how God has enabled and sustained me. I can never take credit for anything because I know that apart from God, I can only do much, but I can never be at my best. I had my own lapses with my work and with my character as well, but God made me come through.

It’s all because of Him. For all the good jobs and appreciation I received, all credit goes to God and God alone. God did a good job in me!

The Great Unknown –  My “Awesome” 2014

Who would have thought that I will be part of a church-planting movement in Vancouver?

Who would have thought that I will start a discipleship group in this side of the world?

Who would have thought that I will work for a big retail company this year?

Who would have thought that I will meet more people from different countries and make new friends?

Who would have thought that I will be sitting here in my room, watching snow falling from my window as I look back about my 2014?

God knew. Even before all these things happened, God knew already. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

Those are only few of the tangible things that I never thought would be part of my 2014.

As I wrote in my journal  at the start of 2014, I was totally clueless of how things will be.

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God made me leave my job but He did not open any new doors for me right after, as I thought He would.

You know, that confidence that you feel like everything will fall into place just as you expect them to be?

I thought that I will work full time in a ministry in 2014. But, God had a different plan.  Much bigger plan.

You might not know, but I really wept when God shut all doors for my ministry application. I could not understand why when my desire was to serve Him full time.

And that question still remains half-unanswered until now. Half- answered was because He wanted me to move here.

Still, I believe that’s not just it. It’s something I look forward to be answered in the coming years.

Anyway, so 2014 turned out to be a big surprise for me. That’s what God is so good about – making us in awe of Him.

For the first 5 months, I had no job. Then, God made me move to another country after 5 months of no job. Thus, no sufficient funds for it.

But God said so, so I just had to obey. Those 5 months were life changing.  It was a very special walk with God. I had nothing but only Him.

Most difficult part was when you feel you can do something but God just keeps telling you, “Sit down, stay put, be still.”

God really did a perfect job of sustaining me. Apart from Him, I would have gone a different way.

The second part of my 2014 was the overflow. See, God had to prepare me first before He blessed me.

It wasn’t an easy journey at the beginning. Again, I wept in desperation as I was looking for a job.

As I didn’t have enough funds, I was praying so hard that I can find a job after a month since I arrived here.

Slowly, I saw how God had been preparing things for me here. Right time, right place.

What’s also amazing was that when I learned my visa got approved, my home church also announced that a church will be planted in Vancouver.

I got really excited! Right time, right place.

I may not have worked full time but God opened doors for me to be able to serve Him in this side of the world.

I can never take credit for all the things that had happened to me last year.

God’s faithfulness in my life overflows not just in me but also through me that I can share the blessings to others. Such a privilege!

If I summarize my 2014, I can do it in 2 parts – preparation and overflow. God had to mold my character first, before He reveals His great plan.

God is sovereign. He was in control. He is truly amazing!

My 2014 theme verse truly spoke how my year turned out. A time of surrender and loss for the sake of knowing, obeying and following Christ.

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TO GOD be all the GLORY for my awesome 2014!!!! Thank You Lord!

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A Weekend to Remember

I have so many take homes over the weekend and so many things to be grateful for.

Last Friday night, together with my friends Linda and Shannon, we went to see the 47th Singing Christmas Tree Show at Broadway Church. There were Christmas carols, drama and acrobats. It was really cool – they were doing ice skating on stage. Linda and I got so curious that we went to touch the floor of the stage after the show to see if there was real ice. Well, it wasn’t. (hehe) The story was very simple but it conveyed a very important message, reminding everyone that we can do all the Christmas traditions we got so used of since we were kids but those can never replace the true meaning of Christmas. The gift-giving, parties, decorations, big preparations are worthless if we will never understand what Christmas is all about. Here’s a cute video about First Christmas.

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Saturday night was a Christmas get-together with my Filipino friends from work whom I consider family here in Canada. The group has gotten so bigger with almost everyone having their own families and kids (except for me and a few…nyaha!) Parties are more fun now with all the little kids running around and entertaining everyone. My only take home from this night that will last is a grateful heart. God designed us to be relational and He provides those people whom He wants us to build relationships with. He knows that we can never do things on our own and that’s why He gives us friends.

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Today, Sunday was another blessed day. I had to get up early in the morning to prepare my own share for the breakfast potluck at First Baptist Church (and skipped CCF service today). Gloria, also a Filipino was the one who invited me for their ministry breakfast potluck. Some of the people at the breakfast were also those I volunteer with at Tuesday’s Soup Kitchen at their church, including Gloria. It was just nice of her to extend the invitation to me even if I don’t go to their church. It’s just amazing how God could bring people together on certain events even if we are part of different congregations. Being connected to one Source who is Jesus can indeed unite people. And, I believe that’s why Christmas brings everyone together.

After the potluck, Gems (who was also with me at the potluck) and I attended the worship service and watched the movie, “The Exodus” after.  Here are my take homes from both:

  • No matter how good we think we are or we do, if we never received Jesus in our life, we will never have the right to be a child of God. We will be merely one of God’s creations, but never part of His Kingdom. 

 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:9-13)

  • We can only do so little with our own strength. But with our little faith, it can move mountains. The movie “Exodus”, even if a lot of scenes were not based on Biblical truth, it still emphasized the importance of faith not just in any god but to the one true God. Moses, just like most of us didn’t know the Lord growing up. But God used him for a greater purpose that’s why God spared his life when he was still a baby. His personal encounter with God was what made him go to deeper faith in trusting God as he led the Israelites out from Egypt.

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

I am forever grateful to God for His amazing love that He will never stop offering to us through Jesus Christ. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, hat he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

And now, my take away questions for you:

How’s your relationship with God?

Have you received Jesus in your life?

Why do you celebrate Christmas?

What do you hope to be better this coming new year?

Waiting Over

 

Yes, I’m back! I’m an employee again. 🙂

It’s been an amazing journey with the Lord as I entrusted to Him the work that He has prepared for me. I really prayed that I would be able to find a job within the first month that I arrived here in Vancouver. However, I never wanted to settle for just any job. I just had to trust that God would honor my desire to work for a role that I really wanted.

It had been in the third week of June and I still didn’t have possible job offers. All I got were initial interviews and emails. Then, no more follow ups. Until the right time came. I re-connected with a former colleague here in Canada and just mentioned that I was looking for a job. After that conversation, everything happened so fast. He spoke to his manager that I was looking for a BA role which they needed in their team because someone just left. I submitted my resume and went for an interview the next day. Then the week after, I got the job offer. The best part, they gave me a senior role and a pay which was more than I asked for.

However, these things were not really a surprise to me. I always knew that God would always do something amazing. He always does. Even if some people would tell me that a month is too short to find a job, I just trusted that God would provide within the month. As I reflected on this journey, I realized that my faith was much deeper during this time as I waited on God’s provision.  At some point in my life, I became very disobedient and I know that I have missed out a lot of blessings because of that. I’m just grateful that God is so gracious and loving that He gave me so many chances to become better. God showed to me the result of my obedience and that is His best plan for me.  I became more expectant in faith than I was before.  This journey was more of seeing how much I’ve grown in faith as I continue to experience God’s best.

Such faith excites me each day as to what could God possibly do. Experiencing God through obedience may always not be an easy path to take. However, taking a path that is outside of God’s plan for us will be more difficult in the long run. God’s way is always, always, always worth to take.

I’m looking forward to another journey of something that I’ve really been praying for. Waiting is over, another waiting starts.

To God be all the glory!

 

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Never settle for LESS

 

I have failed for so many times, turning to the wrong choices and making impulsive decisions.  I would say to myself I won’t do it again, but still,  there are times that I would fail again. The wrong decisions I made were sometimes caused by being impatient, lack of prayers, and failure to seek God’s will.  These were the times that I only settled for less. I missed out on God’s best for me.

But then, there were times also that I learned to wait and trust on God and I really experienced the fullness of God’s blessing.

One good example was when I graduated from college and entered the job hunting journey. I’ve shared this story to different people already but I don’t mind sharing it again. 🙂

After graduation, I immediately moved to Cebu to apply for my first job. It was a very tough journey. I cried in buckets because of frustration and desperation. My classmates made it to interviews when I submitted also my application to the same companies. With this, I applied to companies which are not related to my field and the job is not the job I wanted. I was trying to settle for what’s easy that time, thinking that it’s just a first job anyway and I didn’t have any experience. So, I can’t be really choosy. However, God did something to wake me up from that lie.  In one of those companies, I was going through the application process and in the last phase of the process, I got lost in what I needed to do. While sitting at the front of the computer, I told myself, “This is not the job that I want to do.” From then on, I told God that I will not settle for just anything. I will only settle for what He has for me.

I reached to the point of surrender that I just let God took control moving forward. I laid out to God what I desired for my job – the position, the salary, the location. And indeed God never failed me. He is always faithful. He gave me the best job. It was the job I really wanted and the salary was what I prayed for.  However, His thoughts and ways are never the same as mine. I asked a job in Cebu but God moved me to Manila.  And where I am now, it’s because of the opportunities and experiences brought by that first job I had.

I never saw the big picture. I never saw the doors that would open. But God has plans. He makes things happen for a reason. He ALWAYS KNOWS what is BEST.

This is just one of my stories showing how truly worthy it is to wait on God’s best.

And now, as I am on my job hunting journey again for my second job, I realized that God’s best doesn’t have to happen in a surprising or spectacular way all the time. It just need to be in God’s perfect timing.

If you are in a point of your life right now that you are desperate and would just want to settle for just anything that will come, I hope that you would consider letting God bring to you to His best plan for you.

That’s what God desires for you. You just have to seek Him that you may know His will for you. God knows what you are going through and He cares for you. It’s up to you if you will let God. And I hope that you’ll do.

Never settle for anything less. Choose God and He will give you what’s best.

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 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

blessings