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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#CEOgoals

It all starts with a dream.  My motivation to do the more important things is because of a bigger vision. However, how God will take me there is what I am more interested on. Being a result-oriented person, my perception has been slowly changed on what matters most. The journey is more important than the destination. How I will be transformed, disciplined, prepared and pruned is what I am looking forward to. The results will be results. My dream of becoming a CEO someday may or may not happen but the journey will definitely happen. I can’t wait to see how will God work in me, He who is the CEO of my life.

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Past, Present, Future

I just finished cooking one of my favorite dishes, “escabeche” that my mom is really good in making and I can’t really nail the taste I was looking for. It’s not like this was my first time making it. So, I’m just hoping there will be a miracle when I eat it for lunch tomorrow that the taste would turn out the way it should be. Lol.

Just trying to write something (while FRIENDS playing in the background)  for my first blog entry for 2016. I haven’t really done a lot of writing last year and I’m hoping I can do more this year. My 2015 really passed by so fast (yeah, cliche) and all I can think every time I look back is work was just crazy busy. Well, it was good crazy busy. I’ve learned so much at work and there were a lot of character-molding that happened. It was good. 🙂 (Now, I remember I need to do my self-performance assessment! Later on that…)

Anyway, so how was your 2015? I hope it was awesome for you too. I remembered I also did some hiking during summer. I believe that was one of the highlights of my 2015. I was able to push myself for more physical activities, the most memorable one was the 20km (up&down) hike to Garibaldi Lake. It was so tiring but the view on the top was just so worth it! It was breathtaking! But it might take awhile for me to go back. Going down just killed our knees! I can’t wait for our hiking adventures this year! My church friends and I have been starting to plan for it already.

Speaking of church, it’s been an amazing journey as well for the church planting movement of CCF Vancouver that I am so privileged to be a part of. A lot of relationship building, ministries slowly growing and the most exciting is we are moving finally to a new venue!!! Just thinking about how this started last 2014 and now things are slowly happening, it’s such a privilege to see how God is just working. Indeed, God wants a partnership with us, the followers of Jesus to do this amazing work of transforming lives.

Life is great, right?! It’s never a smooth one. But we still choose to continue living and hoping that it will get better each day. Not sure if you can speak the same, but for me, as long as I have Jesus in my life, no matter how big or small the giants I am facing, I just know that He will carry me through. And He always does. Because that’s who Jesus is. He keeps His promises. He never fails.

I have so many things that I look forward to this 2016. But I don’t know if those things will happen this year. I’m just letting God work it out for me if He allows it. If not, then, I’ll just have to trust that He has better plans than mine. After all, God sees the future. I don’t. So, He knows best.

How about you? What are you looking forward this 2016? I hope that you will also be able to entrust God of whatever plans you have for this year. We can only do much by our own strength, but God can make the impossible things for us if He wants to. I have big plans this year and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to sustain it. But, I’m taking a leap of faith that if God allows this, He will be there every step of the way. I hope you will also be able to take a leap of faith when God asks you to and obey when God doesn’t want you to. After all, as I say, He knows best.

I hope you will have a life changing 2016!! And, I hope that you will make God not just be part of it, but the Author of your 2016.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

God bless friends! God loves you!

With love ❤ ❤ ❤ ,

Princess Pepay

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A PORTION of my 2015

Don’t trust what you see. Behind those nice, happy memories are also the painful, sad ones that we just don’t share through photos. 🙂

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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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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

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Food for the Body & Soul

 

Since I resigned from work, I had more time preparing meals especially breakfast!

One breakfast, I cooked for me and my roomie some buttered carrots, omelette and our favorite chorizo made in Cebu. It’s just nice to have normal meals on weekdays.

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I craved also for some sweets this week that I bought donuts and a box of chocolate-filled pretzel sticks.

I realized how dependent we are with food that sometimes we feel like we are about to die if we can’t eat a proper meal on time.

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I’m glad that Jesus taught us about prayer and fasting. Not just that it reminds me that I don’t live by bread alone, but it’s an amazing journey with the Lord as He enables me to just be dependent and focused on Him alone. It is a time of prayer and studying of the Bible instead of eating meals. It could be a one meal fast or three meals fast and it could be three days or a week. Aside from meals, there’s also a fast from the things that usually take away our time for God like watching television and/or the internet (Facebook, etc.)

If you haven’t tried prayer and fasting, I really recommend you give it a try.  You will experience God much deeper.