40 Grateful Things

She turned 40. But if you would say she looks younger than me, fine, I’ll take it cause it’s her big day. But, so far no one has told me that, so I’m good. LOL

I would like to honor my sister as she reached this great milestone of her life by sharing to you what I’m grateful for, not just because she’s my sister but because she’s more than that.

Not in any importance/priority order ūüôā

  1. She is a good listener. I can talk about anything for hours with her.
  2. She is patient with me. I can get too pushy sometimes but she remains calm.
  3. She would willingly pack my luggage when I travel back to YVR from PH.
  4. She takes care of family matters at home which removes my worries.
  5. She is generous in sharing & even giving her nice clothes to me.
  6. She is my co-planner for our family travels.
  7. She supports me on any event I organize.
  8. She is my prayer partner for our family.
  9. She knows how to comfort me especially when I was struggling from my last job.
  10. She reminds me to slow down when we stroll in the mall. (I feel like I’m in a hurry!)
  11. She married someone who cooks really good food!! I get the benefit!
  12. She encourages me with her own personal walk with God.
  13. She calms me when I’m getting anxious or starts panicking.
  14. She (& everyone  home) always try to satisfy all my food cravings when I go to BCD.
  15. She is someone I can always rely & depend on no matter what!
  16. She keeps me sane when I would be struggling especially with work.
  17. She reminds me to always wait on God’s best for a life partner when I get impatient.
  18. She reminds me to be grateful with my life of being single.
  19. She will always go out of her way if she can, to help me in whatever I need.
  20. She gives me a lot of pretty things, never cheap quality.
  21. She always pray for me.
  22. She shops clothes for me every time she sees something I could use for work.
  23. She always accompany me when I go and see friends every time I go home to PH.
  24. She takes care of our parents especially their health needs.
  25. She is someone I can take to any travel trips.
  26. She will always give her last piece of food if I would ask for it.
  27. She shares her vulnerabilities and allows me to encourage her.
  28. She is very gracious.
  29. She is my go-to for any health related concerns I have.
  30. She sends me the funniest & most gross viral videos.
  31. She makes me breakfast when I’m in BCD.
  32. She is one of my best friends.
  33. She is my impatient Science teacher! Haha!
  34. She loves me the same even if I could hurt or offend or annoy her.
  35. She is not a perfect big sister but she is the best sister you can have.
  36. She tolerates my craziness.
  37. She is my personal med tech for all my blood results.
  38. She encourages me with her discipleship journey with other people.
  39. She looks after me even if we are miles & mile apart.
  40. She loves the Lord and I can share that same walk with her.

Happy Birthday Ate! I know we were planning to do things this year to celebrate your birthday. Even if it didn’t turn out as we wanted it to be, I’m just grateful that you are well and everyone in our family. A blessing that matters the most.

Love ya! xoxoxoxo

 

Courage to Slow Down

When God answered my prayer to work for a different company, I was very happy and excited. I had been praying for it and this year I just felt that it was the right time. And indeed, God confirmed it. You can read more about that here.

My first few weeks in the new company were just refreshing. It started slow so I got a lot of time to learn and read about the company. As weeks continued to pass, I felt that the pace was still the same. It’s a pace that I was not used to. And it became a struggle for me. Most of us struggle with busyness in our day to day work. I did not know that slowing down would also become a struggle for me.

My heart started to complain. I started to grumble. In all honesty, there was no reason to grumble at all. During those weeks, my mind kept telling me to be grateful because I am very blessed and I am in a very good place. But you see, I entertained discontent in my heart. It was like that for weeks. I was already thinking of not extending my contract. I wanted a working environment that was the same as my previous company. I was struggling to adjust and embrace change.

I became stubborn for those weeks, playing deaf with God’s Word until He had to deal with me. He led me to Numbers 11.

“…but for a whole month‚ÄĒuntil it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it‚ÄĒbecause you have rejected the¬†Lord,¬†who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?'” – Numbers 11:20

“Now the people complained¬†about their hardships in the hearing of the¬†Lord,¬†and when he heard them his anger was aroused.” Numbers 11:1

Those verses described me, grumbling and complaining. I was asking God if His answered prayer was really what He wanted for me. I asked God, “Do you really want me to stay?” Very discontent. Very ungrateful.

God’s word for me this year is COURAGE.¬† I was thinking it was courage for things that He wanted me to pursue this year, courage to pursue bigger things that will help me accomplish my own personal goals. However, God’s thoughts were different. I did not expect at all.

All my grumbling weren’t because of my work. It was my heart. God asked me, Do you have the courage to stay in the company where I put you even if it is an environment that you are not used to and that you will struggle to adjust?

“So if you are tempted to walk away, make sure to seek God, because you never know what he might do if you have the courage to stay. ” –¬†Divine Direction by Craig Groeschel

And He did not end there. Slowing down was not just in terms of work but on everything.¬†I was planning so many things that I just wanted to keep going. I wanted to accomplish a lot that I can’t just slow down. But God wanted me to slow down on everything, no exceptions. And that was the most difficult. I had so many things I wanted to do this year – starting to build my company, starting a business back home. But then God said, drop everything. Pause.

That was it! Courage…to slow down. It’s so hard. I felt like I’m going to run out of time if I pause. I felt like I will be losing my opportunity. But who am I to question God’s ways? I need to be courageous in pursuing a life that takes time to relax, to rest, to think, to reflect, to prepare, to plan.

By God’s grace, I obeyed.

How has it been so far? I’m so happy to say that it has been so liberating. I didn’t know that God can truly give me this season to just enjoy the flowers on the wayside. I am learning to appreciate boredom. I have more time now to reflect. I don’t feel the pressure of making things happen. I don’t think about things that are years and years ahead. I am learning to just think about the next few days. Importantly, I am enjoying this time of letting God use this season of my life for His work.

Indeed, there is a time for everything. We all just need the courage to embrace that.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
   a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
  a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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AO#1: Papa & Mama

As I commit to be more appreciative to people, I will use my blog as one of the platforms to do that. And why I’m doing this? (Click ->¬†Here’s why )

I start my Appreciate One (AO) per week with the people whom God has used to bring me into this world – MY PARENTS. Meet Rodolfo and Susana, aka Bonjing and Bebe ūüôā

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You would agree with me that a page in a blogsite will never be enough to appreciate our parents. But don’t worry, this will not turn out to be a novel ūüôā

My parents are not perfect. They are flawed just like all of us. But one thing that they really showed to us which I truly appreciate about them is they choose to accept each other’s weaknesses. That is very important to us, their children. And, I’m just grateful that in the midst of¬† “crazy” & “chaos”, my parents choose to love. Being single and still waiting for my own time of hopefully being married someday, I need that example. Papa & Mama – thank you for not just loving us your children but also showing to us what love should be through your commitment to each other.

It was when I started working and left home that I have understood the depth of the love of my parents for us, their children. I know my parents love me, I never doubted that. I just did not really realize how sacrifical and unconditional that love is until I started living on my own.¬†There are days at work when I just felt like giving up. Or, I would complain of being tired. But then, when I look at my parents who until this day never stopped working so hard, I feel shameful and ungrateful. I’m just glad that Papa & Mama would always keep telling us when we were younger about how their life was during their time. It was never easy. I always tell myself¬† – “Just imagine if Papa & Mama would just give up because their tired and quit their job?” But because of their love for us, they kept going no matter how hard the days were. Papa & Mama – thank you for showing to us your love through your hardwork. Thank you for not giving up on those difficult times. Thank you for choosing to give what is best for us. I truly appreciate that you have all brought us up in a family where laziness is intolerable. Because of what you have shown us, I have learned to value hardwork as well.

One of the things I enjoy in our family is our meal times. Mama loves to cook for all of us even up to now. We all love to eat. I am glad that my parents showed to us the importance of having good meals on the table. Good meals mean that we are well provided. And the reason I enjoy and appreciate food everywhere I go is because of that. It reminds me of the good meals I had growing up. It reminds me of family. Papa & Mama – thank you for all the delicious food you always provide for us on the table. Thank you for showing to us your appreciation for food – all the grilled, the raw and the greens. I truly appreciate that you always made sure we don’t go to school on empty stomachs.¬†And because of that, we all learned to cook & prepare our own meals.¬†

The most important that I am most grateful to my parents is for forcing us to go to church every Sunday when we were young. There is no escape. Our family today has differences on the church that we are a part of. However, I am still grateful that my parents introduced to me who God is. That became the starting point of my faith today. Papa & Mama Рthank you that you brought us up in the knowledge of God and His Son Jesus. I truly appreciate that you have instilled to us the importance of having God in our life. Because of that, I have learned not to walk in my own ways but have been learning daily to abide and depend on God.  I may have not understood everything you asked us to do before, but now, everything made sense. 

As I say, there are so many things I am truly appreciative of my parents. However, these few I mentioned are the ones that truly had made an impact in the adult years of my life. I am always grateful that my parents never stopped being parents even if most of the time I don’t ask their help, seek their permission or consult them anymore. However, they are just there, keeps reminding me like a 5-year old of the do’s and dont’s in life. And, I have learned to appreciate that also. They have always been supportive in my decisions no matter what.¬†My parents keep me grounded. And, I thank God for giving me parents who love us, never gave up on us and continue to stay with us.

 

 

 

 

A Prayed Adventure

On the latter months of last year, my daily devotion was about on the life of David. It was during those months that God has impressed to me that my 2018 will be a year that I need to be more courageous. As you know David, he was the young shepherd who fought the giant, Goliath. But, that was just even the beginning of his great adventure. Eventually, he became the king of Israel which required him more courage.

As I was reading David’s life, there is one of the many important things he did that really reminded me of how much I was missing it in my life.

1 Samuel 23 –¬†2¬†Therefore David inquired of the¬†Lord, saying, ‚ÄúShall I go and attack these Philistines?‚Ä̬† ¬†3¬†But David‚Äôs men said to him, ‚ÄúLook, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?‚Ä̬†4¬†Then David inquired of the¬†Lord¬†once again.

Then David said, ‚ÄúO¬†Lord¬†God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.¬†11¬†Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O¬†Lord¬†God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.‚ÄĚ

1 Samuel 30 –¬†8¬†So David inquired of the¬†Lord, saying, ‚ÄúShall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?‚ÄĚ

2 Samuel 2 –¬†¬†It happened after this that David inquired of the¬†Lord, saying, ‚ÄúShall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?‚ÄĚ

2 Samuel 5 –¬†19¬†So David inquired of the¬†Lord, saying, ‚ÄúShall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?‚ÄĚ

23 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. 

Before David went to battles, he always inquired of God. He showed full dependence on God that before making any move, he wanted to make sure that it was what God was leading him to do.

And as I was reading that, I was rebuked of how I had been making decisions and plans in my life without really inquiring God first.  One of those was my desire to explore work from other companies. It had always been in my plan and every time I start making applications, God would always give me a reason to stay. Clearly, God did not want me that time to leave.

But late last year, I just felt that I really need to start sending my applications again. And because I was reminded of how David inquired God first, I did the same. My way of praying has changed from requesting to inquiring.

To remind myself, I keep an open journal on my bedside table so that I will immediately write down my inquiry before God. Below are the 2 items I listed last October that God has answered early this year which I will also be sharing here how He answered it.

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I worked for/at Best Buy for more than 10 years, including my years when I was still in Accenture. And the reason for me leaving was because I want to know what else is out there aside from the world of retail. I want to grow and learn more from other industries. As I shared in my previous blog, it was bittersweet leaving because of the people.

So how did my new adventure happened? Before I left for vacation last December, I went for an interview for a BA role in a bank. That wasn’t a contract role though. But because it is different from retail, I just decided to give it a try. I was excited about it and was hoping that I will make it. Unfortunately, I got the news that I did not get the job. So,¬† when I was in the Philippines for my vacation, I just kept praying about a new job. God knows what is best for me, so I trusted Him.

Second week of January¬† this year was prayer & fasting week. I was very much looking forward to it because I was excited of what God will reveal to me for 2018. I have so many plans for the year but I was just excited on what He will speak to me for the year. And over and over, He would remind me to be “courageous”.

During the middle of the fasting week, I got an unexpected FB message. My former colleague who I really admire as a person sent me a message and asked me if I was interested for a contract BA job. Without second thoughts, I said Yes! Of course!

So, she gave my contact to the hiring manager. Then, everything just happened so fast. I went for an interview, negotiated my contract and I got the job! It was effortless just like when I got the job from Accenture, just like when I got the job from Best Buy. And I knew that it was from the Lord. Because it was well-arranged and the timing was perfect. My former colleague never knew I was looking for a job, a contract job to be specific. But God knew and He can certainly use people in ways you never expect. And as always, if you think God does not care about details, He does. They gave me my asking rate. Just like when I got the job from Accenture and Best Buy. And what’s the other bonus? My new office is so close to my apartment that it only takes me 5 minutes to commute. And on the summer, I can even just walk!

Everything went smooth but it¬† took me courage to pursue it. It is getting out of my comfort zone and getting into a dimension that I myself acknowledges it is really one of my weakest – the world of finance. ūüôā It is also taking the risk of doing a contract job, not knowing if I will still have a job in the next six months or so. But, God knows my needs. He knows what I can and cannot do. He is my strength and my provider. I am courageous not because of my experience or what I know but because I have a God who is beside me, before me and behind me. I have a God who is all-powerful. He made this happen. He will see me through it. Because He is an awesome God!

Just this week was my first week at the new company. And each day I went to work, I was just in awe and still am of how God just did it. He did it, so amazingly. And I am just truly grateful.

I hope that I have somehow encouraged you. God is a good Father. He does not withhold anything good to His children. And we can only experience Him fully if we entrust our life to His Son Jesus Christ. Because it is through Christ that we are able to receive the promise of abundant life.

God bless you! To God be the glory! Let the future begin!

do what is rightnot what is easy

Gratitude Attitude

I just finished watching the CCF Sunday Message through Livestream and the message hit me big time.

I don’t know when it started but I had again a phase of grumbling and complaining at work. Things at work are mostly really busy for me. If I can eat lunch with my colleagues on time and consistent in a week, that is already a huge break for me. ¬†And, I really think that God allows it to happen to reveal what is in my heart and to test my character. ¬†You see, being busy at work is not really the problem. It’s not even like I bring work at home. However, because I am overwhelmed with work that I expect other people to work in same pace and provide results as I do. That’s when the grumbling and complaining happens.

The message I just listened talked about “Entitlement”. And how to avoid it is to always have a gratitude attitude. And this really hit me. I feel like I complained too much that I already lose sight of the true important things. Things that I should learn to count and be grateful for. I also forgot that I myself is a recipient of grace. In God’s standard, I will never be good. But because of His grace through Jesus, He is able to forgive me of my misses and failures. I am reminded that I should be the same to other people. I have to stop easily judging people and see them ¬†as how God sees them.

I used to have reminder at my desk at work, “Increase Appreciation, Lower Expectation”. I should really put that back to remind me to always learn to see the good on people. It is very hard especially when you expect people to perform based on their status and position. By God’s grace, I’m praying that I will really learn to lower my expectation and even more surrender those to God as He is the one who is really in control.

The cause of my busyness was a big project I was part of that just got implemented recently. It’s a good accomplishment and it was successful. But, in all honesty, I feel that I failed the test God gave me. I ended up grumbling so much instead of rejoicing more. I became loud inside instead of allowing peace to work in my heart. I forgot to be grateful of the blessing of work and blessing of relationship. I lose sight of what truly matters for eternity.

I know that God will always bring me to circumstances that ¬†will prune and mold me as God’s purpose for us has always been Christ-likeness. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I pray that I will be better next time.

I want to end this by thanking God for a lifetime of grace that is overflowing for me and for you that we may always be reminded of what truly matters and to always be grateful.

———-o———-

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:3-8

be grateful!