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—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because 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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When God said, “Rest.”

September 2, 2015 – This day will linger a bit in me.

This was the day when God spoke to me not just once but 4 times in one day Psalm 46:10 – “Be still.”

Days before this, my schedule was just so crazy. Work was crazy tiring and I had commitments after office hours and weekends. It was just non-stop that I could not even find time cleaning my own room.

Do you believe that God does care about your physical condition? When He showed to me Psalm 46 in so many places more than once, I thought, there must be something in there! It’s either I ignore Him or obey Him. And I know God. He is always clear. So, by His grace, I chose to obey Him. And indeed, I’m so glad I did!

You see, I didn’t know what was ahead of me. I didn’t know how things will turn out weeks after that day. But God knows. He knows I will never have enough strength to endure the busyness ahead of me if I didn’t stop doing things that are stealing my time to rest. I would have gotten so worn out that I might end up getting so sick or if not, become a one big grumbling soul.

I know how important rest is. I know how important to have a quiet time and just be still with God in the midst of busyness. But I’ve never been more appreciative of rest until these past weeks. Resting is not just relaxing and doing nothing. Resting is total dependence on God hoping that when you wake up the next day, you will have renewed strength for another long day ahead.

When God tells us to rest, He is serious about it. He knows how much we can only do each day. He knows our limitations that He allows us to have a rest.

So, if you’ve been too busy doing things that you think are important or you think could not wait, try to assess again what your real priorities are. We can only do enough each day. We just have to make sure we don’t compromise the most important things including our own physical health.

By the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created ]and made. – Genesis 2:2-3

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

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

Unemployed

I must say, today is officially my first day of being unemployed after the long holiday.

My last day at my work of more than 8 years was last Dec. 31.

Today is the first day of waking up not thinking of work and the things I need to do at work.

I had to make a schedule on how my day should go as I don’t want to spend each day lazily being so unproductive.

I’m excited on this journey as to how, where, what and when – will God take me to something new.

I’m happy also that I will have more time in my writing now. So much things I can do and so much time I can spend with the Lord!

My work is a gift from God. And this time to rest, is a gift from God also.

What to do?

 

It’s been so unusual for me lately not to do anything on weekends. I usually have scheduled meet-ups or events. But this year, I somehow made a commitment to myself to have some weekends just to rest, really rest.

Well, today, I’m just at home, wondering what to do. I want to clean my room but I just don’t have the energy for it. I want to do some grocery but I just don’t know what to buy. I want to go to the mall and catch a movie, I’m not just into the movies showing right now. I’m trying to think of what to do just to make my weekend productive but my body is saying I should just rest.

Maybe, this is what I really get for having a very busy, tiring work week. As much as I want to do the things that I really enjoy doing, my physical body just wants to rest. Oh well, rest is a luxury these days. Better grab this when I can have it.

Thanks to online delivery and online Christian movies I can enjoy. 🙂 

Just watched the movie New Hope and it was a reminder for me to be sensitive to those people who are in great pain. We really don’t understand the depth of their pain, what we could really do is to show them more love and care.

My favorite line in the movie: “Christianity isn’t flawed, only Christians.” 

Happy Restful Weekend to me…nyaha! 🙂