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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Stewardship vs Materialism

 

When I was packing my things for my big move here in Canada, it was only then I realized how much clothes I haven’t worn anymore, some I did not even remember I had. And even when I was giving away so much already, I still had so much left to give away.

Funny, when I arrived here, I realized I left so much that I only have like three t-shirts I can wear for summer. But yeah, I survived! Coming here with only two pieces of luggage was a challenge. But it is slowly teaching me to be content with what I have.

When you go to malls here or outlet stores, mark downs and promotions are just crazy. You will really be tempted to check out each store and see if there’s something you can buy at a very low price. And this is really a challenge for me. I love to shop during these periods – when items on clearance are buy 1, take 1; or, some items have triple discounts. Big sales!! Just crazy! Who would not love to shop?!

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gotcha!! years ago when I was so happy doing retail activity 🙂

One of the things that I really keep praying to God is that I would not go back to that “old me” wherein I feel like I owe myself a treat that I would just buy anything because I deserve it and it’s really a good sale. I want to be a much, much, much better steward this time. There are a lot of temptations here but I really pray that God would always remind me of what is important to Him.

One thing I got reminded in yesterday’s Sunday message was that the most effective way of overcoming materialism is through tithing. Tithing is not about giving to the Lord. What we have belongs to God. We are just stewards of everything that we have right now. Tithing is bringing to God what belongs to Him – the best of our crop.

As for me, tithing reminds me that what I have is not for me to just spend and enjoy but for me to make sure it is put to good use also.  There is nothing wrong with spending on things that we like or enjoy as long as we are not consumed by those things. That is when materialism comes into our life.

I’m excited on how God will continue to change me to become a better steward of the resources He has given and will give to me. Indeed, to be able to give is a privilege because it is only through God’s provision that we are able to do so.

As of today, I only have two pieces of luggage with me. And I intend to keep it that way. I’m really challenging myself on this and I hope that I would really be able to overcome being a “big sale” enthusiast! Also, I hope I would learn to let go of things when I have to. It was hard for me to give away my stuff before I left but that had helped me somehow not to hold on to things tightly.

Challenge is on!

“Because Your Love is better than life…” Psalm 63:3

 

Holiday

Two long weekends in a row is just so so so so cool!

I’d never had such a restful weekend since the middle of the year. Two days of rest over the weekend were never enough. Not that I’m complaining, but just really happy that I get to enjoy another long weekend.

My roommie and I went to our favorite, “quiet” mall to just unwind. Had some Chinese for our late lunch, watched the movie, “Thor” which was really entertaining and did some little shoes and bread shopping.

I just thank God that tomorrow is just Saturday, and I still have 2 days to just relax and do the things I enjoy doing.

Here’s a photo of our bread shopping. I had my first Earl Grey Latte croughnut.

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