Utterly Grateful

Throughout this birthday week, God has reminded me of how blessed I am with relationship. In all honesty, I am never used with people who are not my family in going out of their way just to show me how much I mean to them. I am humbled and grateful. Learning from the past, I’ve learned to lower my expectation on people to avoid being hurt and disappointed. I have to learn and re-learn how to give without expecting anything.

Probably that’s the reason why I always feel overwhelmed on any gesture (nothing is little or big for me) of goodness and kindness from people. It’s a blessing you can’t contain.

“It’s the thought that counts.” That is so true for me. I may not be able to express it properly, but I truly appreciate the time, the prayer, the thought, the present, the encouragement,  the greetings, the conversation, and even just checking on me if I’m doing okay. Every time someone blesses me, I always think of ways on how I can pay it back. I just feel like I don’t deserve such blessing. Then, God would just remind me that I have to learn as well to accept and receive with humility. That I should also allow people to bless me as it is a privilege for them as well. Same that to bless others is also a privilege for me.

Thinking about all of these, I am also reminded of how GOD as a GIVER is. Everything He provides, He does not expect anything. Indeed, we can never out-give God. We think that we are giving back so much to Him – our time, our resources, our wealth. But the truth is, the amount of blessing He gives to us is immeasurable. All we need to do is to open our two hands and receive His blessing.

And do you know what is the greatest gift that He can give us? His Son Jesus. I owe my life to Jesus. He is the ONLY ONE who can never disappoint me. He is the ONLY ONE who can live up to my expectations. Jesus is the ONLY ONE who saved me from all the pits that I have fallen into without expecting anything in return. He is the source of my joy, my peace and my strength. He is a GIFT none can compare.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10

If you want to know more about Jesus, feel free to message me 🙂

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A recap of my 32nd birthday

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your kindness and goodness! You know who you are 🙂 I can’t believe my mom prepared so much food on my birthday even if I am away from them!! Family Love is the best! ❤ ❤ ❤ And yes, I got a hair cut and for the first time have highlights on my hair! *winkwink*

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Sometimes, you need SPONTANEOUS

My good friend, MJ and I were few of the last people who stayed longer at church last Sunday. We were just taking our time as we didn’t have plans after. And then, randomly, we decided to watch any movie we can catch when we arrive at the theater. However, traffic began to move slowly. And so, we decided to go to Aberdeen Mall instead to buy some brush pens at Daiso and grab dessert after. Everything was just so random and it felt good!

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This is one of the things I missed! To be able to hang out with friends without setting a date or planning ahead. I remembered the conversation I had with my other church friend, Andie, weeks ago about the things we missed back home (in Manila). Going out with friends were more spontaneous there as compared here.

Thinking about it, I realized, I, myself, have become that person who wants everything planned ahead. I, myself, have started to become unavailable to spontaneous invites. Not that I have to say “Yes” all the time. It’s just that I don’t want to reach that day when people would just stop asking because I have given an impression that I can’t make time anymore for anything unplanned.

The truth is, there are those days when there are unplanned circumstances that you just want to share it with someone immediately – in person. Nowadays, things are mostly shared through messaging or social media. What happened to, “Hey, can we meet? I need someone to talk to.” Or, “Are you home? Can I come over and hang out for a bit?”

I know there is always a right time for everything. It’s not all the time that people can just be available, even I can’t always be. It’s just that somehow, we have lost that spontaneity because of social media that we don’t see the need anymore to meet up and have a good conversation. We feel like everything is just out there and that’s good enough.

I’m not sure if this is just me, or few of us who miss life back home. Or, is it really a reality that most of us do not realize?

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

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