DON’T let your BUSYNESS STEAL your AUTUMN

Just few days ago, I had this sort of epiphany while I was walking. When I looked up and saw the leaves were turning red, I was like – “Since when did this start to happen?”

I had a sudden realization that it was already autumn. I totally didn’t notice it.

And, that’s when I had to take a pause.

I realize I was starting to miss out the little things that I used to appreciate and be grateful for even just when I walk home.

Things have been very busy at work that I can’t help but think about the things I need to do even in my sleep. Just too much.

And so, I told myself that I can’t change the busyness at work but I can change how I deal with it.

With that, I made a choice not to allow busyness steal the things that I value.

  1. Never allow busyness steal your good working relationship with your co-workers. If you are busy, everyone else must also be. It’s really tough when you want certain things done but you can’t have it right away. I’m learning a lot these past days on how to just relax and trust that the people you work with will make it happen. And also, don’t forget simple manners like saying thank you and please.
  2. Never allow busyness steal your meal. Eat wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever time it is. Our brain needs nutrients to function. It’s plain common sense. I’ve learned to carry with me my lunch bag anywhere I go now. Never go hungry. And, bring extra for the team!
  3. Never allow busyness steal your time to rest. Less activity during weekdays after work or no activity at all really helps. It allows you to just enjoy a good evening by reading a book, watching a movie or doing something creative.  The next day, you are recharged again for your work. Being busy at work and after work will just kill you physically and mentally.
  4. Never allow busyness steal your time for family. I’ve been guilty on this for the past weeks. I just felt so tired that I could not even make time to talk to my family. And that’s because I was also going out somewhere after work. At the end of the day, go home and spend time with your family. See your friends on weekends.
  5. Never allow busyness steal your quiet time. This is a very important time of the day for me. This is the time that I get to spend with God in prayer and reading the Bible. This is what I need to be able to go to work with full of encouragement and strength. Apart from God, I could become the worst co-worker ever.
  6. Never allow busyness steal the opportunity to be a blessing. It’s tough to look after another person’s interest when you have so much on your plate to do. I believe a little encouragement is already a blessing. Just imagine a workplace with bunch of people who encourages one another? One thing I need to keep on learning is to appreciate hard work of people, and say it out loud.
  7. Never allow busyness steal your laughter. We all need to be serious with what we do at work. But a good laugh is sometimes not bad. Need I say more? 😀
  8. Never allow busyness steal your hope. When we see a long list of to do’s, we feel like there is no end to everything. Also, we get so clouded with so many things happening at the same time that we feel like things might not work as they should be. One thing I just keep reminding myself these days, “Never give up!” Just keep doing your best! It will work out!
  9. Never allow busyness steal your growth. Just because you want things done, doesn’t mean that you just do them without really learning. Tasks must also help us grow and improve. We are not just merely doers, but we are also learners.
  10. Lastly, never allow busyness steal your autumn. Never lose a grateful heart. Appreciate the little things around you. Thank God for your accomplished day. Enjoy your way home by not just thinking about work but also enjoying the autumn breeze and clear sunny afternoon. Live.

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There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Could Have Been

There are days that I long for my sister, Amity. Days that I wish I can just talk to her. She is irreplaceable. We had conversations that I can never have with other people. Her opinion and insight just matters so much to me.

And today is just one of those days. I played all the music that she used to like. Looked at old photographs. I just wish I had more pictures with her when we were already working. Then, I started googling her name to see if there’s anywhere in the internet that I can find her.

And I found this…

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An archive of the list of LET passers last 2006. We totally forgot about this. The Monday after Ate passed away, she was suppose to take her oath taking as a licensed teacher. But with everything that had happened that time, we didn’t care anymore. It didn’t matter anymore. But now, seeing her name in that list for the first time, it made me think what she could have become.

Some or maybe most may have not known, while Ate was ranking high in the insurance company she was working that time, she was also pursuing a different career. A teaching career for special children. If you know her really well, you would be surprised. You see, my sister had little patience with kids. She pursued that career because of a dream that she wanted to achieve long term. She was thinking that by taking that step, it would take her to greater heights. However, that experience changed her. She became in love with teaching, especially with the special children. I remember when she told me stories of how she dealt with the kids, instead of losing her patience, she would just find humor and laugh about it. She even showed us photos of her students. I never thought Ate would stand long when she was doing her practicum, but she did.

I can’t even imagine what could have been her life as a teacher. All I know is she will for sure do great things. It’s just sad that we never get to see what she could have become. Hopefully, someday, my family will be able to fulfill all the dreams that she had for all of us. So that all her hard work will not be put in vain.

Ate is not just family or a sister. She inspires me. As what I always say, she taught me how to dream big. She is one bubbly soul.

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I always miss you Ate. I love you so much!

This is one of Ate’s favorite artist and song. She influenced me to enjoy jazz music.

I MISS YOU

I’m just thankful to the person who created the Timehop application. It’s an application that will feed your Facebook photos and statuses from 5 years ago until last year. I just like it so much because it reminds me of good memories from home.

And yes, I’m really missing home. I miss my family. I miss my friends and Manila discipleship group. I miss my friends from my previous company. I miss my favorite hang out places – Kapitolyo, Korean convenience store at Ortigas, Megamall, Powerplant Mall, California Garden Square.

Since I got back from my last assignment in 2012, April 2012 to May 2014 I believe are the most unforgettable years of my stay in Manila. These are my pruning years and never thought my last years in Manila. But as I look back, I am just glad that I really made the most in spending and investing time with people. I can not go back anymore. But I can always look back not having what ifs.

And that’s the reason why I miss home so much. I left at a time when there was so much growing, so much relationship building, so much learning.

I’m excited of how much people have changed when I go home next year for vacation. It’s a sad reality that people move on with their lives without me being part of it. However, I know that when I go home, I still have that spot in their lives just as they have in mine. That’s what’s comforting.

Our life here on earth is only meaningful when we invest our life not on things that moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. We truly never know where the next years would take us, but surely, when we invest our life on people, regardless of where we are, that’s what make living more purposeful.

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with my family – this was 11 months ago, we stopped by an overlooking site at Negros Oriental

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“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19

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?

Celebrating Treinta (30)

I’d really like to celebrate this milestone in my life with my family. However, since I live away from them, I didn’t get to. But, last month, I had a chance to be will all of them, with my brother also back from UK, somehow, I still was able to spend my 30th in advance. 🙂

We went to to a beach resort in Dumaguete and also celebrated in advance my mom’s 60th since my brother has to go back to UK.  So grateful that we were able to get together!

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I got to spend my birthday in advance with my disciples together with other April celebrants also (Kim and Glow). We had a picnic at Ayala Triangle in Makati. We just love celebrating birthdays! I’m so blessed to disciple these awesome ladies!

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My dear friend and sister in Christ Nang Yan also came over to my place days before my birthday. She brought the cutest cake ever and the rest of the food! But, I was really touched when everyone in her family came over too. So grateful that they also joined in celebrating. Very blessed!

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And on my BDAY! Haha! I had a morning walk and catch up with my jogging buddy Ann at Capitol Commons in Pasig, since we haven’t seen each other since her Holy Land tour. After which we had our breakfast in Starbucks which the staff really had nice and friendly service. Ann gave me a stone from the brook where Gideon was testing God and a very cute pair of earrings.

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Funny thing happened, because my friend Rhodes called me when I was in Starbucks and asked me if I was already awake. I told her I was in Capitol Commons and she told me she was at my place. Haha! She planned to surprise me with my roommate, Kim as her accomplice but Kim failed to inform her I went out to jog. Haha! And so, she waited at my place until I got back.

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That’s her waiting at the hallway. Haha! But, I still got surprised. We had plans for the night so I didn’t really expect she would do something like this. She brought a fully loaded breakfast with all my favorite!

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The plan for the night was to go to the salon and get our hair cuts. I wanted a short hair and so I convinced her to get one too. And, no regrets! After that, we went to my favorite Korean convenience store to enjoy a Korean birthday meal. Too bad we didn’t have container for the seaweed soup. But still, we enjoyed! So grateful for Rhodes to celebrate it with me.

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Looking forward for more celebrations with some more friends! Thank You Lord for the gift of relationships! Would be so sad to celebrate birthday alone… Praise God!

Quebec

July 2011 – It was summer in where I was that time. My aunt invited me to join them for a long drive trip to Quebec coming all the way from Virginia. I got excited because I’ll be visiting a French speaking place (closest to Paris I could get…hehe).

Before our trip, I did not google about Quebec, asked what’s in that place or even got curious what I could see there. I realize that if someone else is planning the trip, I really don’t have to know the details.

And you know what? It was really good not to know the details. Because I didn’t know what to expect, I got blown away by the place. Sounds exaggerated? Not really. I fell “in love” with the place. I felt like I was in one of those places that I see in Europe. The old city of Quebec was really beautiful. And not to forget, the French dishes we have tried were really impressive. I’ve used some of the basic French words I’ve learned from my 101 class before (finally! Hehe)

I’ve learned some history about the province like it was used to be under the French colony, thus, the French-speaking people. It has a Catholic background seeing all the big churches in every town or city. I’ve learned from our tour guide that the highest rate of employment comes from tourism. No wonder I see information centers in almost every town we passed by to.

I must say, it was one of my best trips in Canada.  I thank God for such privilege of allowing me to see beautiful places on the other side of the world.

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With Tita Merlyn making a pose in front of a lovely restaurant

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strolling around the city

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behind me, just one of the huge churches

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i can’t even eat this, i can just stare

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Shaun and Tito Elmer busy taking photos while I take a photo of them…hehe

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Beautifully 29

I just celebrated my 29th birthday a few hours ago.

I’m just wondering sometimes why a birthday has to be kept in secret;why some people are so shy telling others that it’s their birthday.

I love celebrating birthdays -either it’s mine or my family or friends. I just love to celebrate it. Not because of gifts or cakes, but because it’s an expression of being joyful for another blessed year that passed by. It’s celebrating life!

And yes, I love month-long birthdays! I mean, we get to celebrate it once a year, why not make it longer, right? 🙂 I dunno, it’s just really me. Somehow, it becomes an excuse just to be with the people who you don’t see for weeks or months and they just can’t say no cause it’s your birthday. 🙂

I had an awesome day today, despite of some issues at work. I just can’t let it rain on my birthday. 🙂 Since I don’t have my family here, I’m still blessed that I get to spend my day with my spiritual family, co-workers and close friends.

And of course, I got to blow my 29th candle. 🙂 What’s a birthday without a candle, right? Hehe… Just kidding!

Now, life going 30 is just beginning. I’m looking forward for 2 things this year. It’s between me and the Lord and some friends. 😉

I praise God for a fruitful 29th year!

Cheers!

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To God be the glory!!