Saturday Spring

My friend and I  did a little hike at Lighthouse Park at West Vancouver. I was so excited because of the lighthouse at the end of the trail. But then, we found out that lighthouse was closed to public access. Got a little disappointed.

That’s the closest I could get.

Oh well, it was still an enjoyable hike. And it was so relaxing at the view point. If you’re one of those who are not into intense hiking, this trail is for you. It’s short and easy but you can still feel being on a peak.

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On our way back, we stopped by at the beach which we passed by going to the trail. It’s just so hard to ignore it when the weather is so beautiful. I wish I was wearing flip flops that time! My feet missed the beach sand!

  

And there were still some cherry blossoms!   That guy behind me just found a perfect spot to read a book! 😀Sitting on a bench, under a cherry blossom tree, ocean view at the front. 🤗

I just can’t wait for summer! What are you looking forward to this summer?  I think for me is to do more book-reading outside, enjoying the shade and the sun. 😎😎😎

 my personal time at the library garden 

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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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Power Outage

It’s 8:39 PM of August 29th. My apartment is in complete darkness. Having no electricity, the only things I can do are to eat and sleep. Reading is not an option anymore. And just waking up from an afternoon nap, I just don’t want to sleep again yet. With a little power left in my laptop’s battery, thus the writing.

Sitting at my desk right now, seeing the lights of the high rise buildings beside my apartment turned on, I feel nothing but envy. I am in total darkness…literally.

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See, this is not my first time to experience power outage. In the Philippines, we always have this. This is not even my first time to witness damages due to storm. I am so used to this back home. However, this is my first to experience it here. And it made me realize that even in  a first world country, there are times that restoration would really take longer than you expect. I thought that if there is power outage, in just few hours, electricity will be restored immediately. Well, I’m dead wrong. The wind storm hit pretty hard that some people here might even find it overwhelming. I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be much a better day. The transition of our weather is just so extreme, from drought to a storm.

However, with all of these happening, I’m still grateful. This outage makes me appreciate the comforts that I have been enjoying – especially the hot shower and oven toaster. 🙂 It also allowed me to rest from online activities. After months of buying my doodle & design book, I was once again able to do some coloring stuff (not that I’m an artist or something – just doing something creative).  

 And I am able to write, like right now which I haven’t done in so many months. And I was able to spend time with God. And I was able to have a complete rest after a full packed summer. Honestly, this is my first Saturday since summer started that I totally rested. And it is really good.
And this darkness reminds me that I may be in a dark place right now, but my life is not. I am connected to a High Power that will never have an outage. As long as I am connected to the Source, I will never have a life outage. There will always be light that will shine in and through my life. These are temporary catastrophes and maybe tomorrow or in the next two days, all will be back to normal. However, there is a permanent darkness that we can never escape once we are there already. And that is the judgment of God when the time comes. The only solution not to be in that permanent darkness is to be connected to Jesus Christ who is the only Source of Light. It is only through Him that we will forever stay in the Light.

Just imagine yourself being in complete darkness right now, then, think that to be eternal, then add to that endless weeping, endless burning, endless thirst. If we complain with little drought or hot weather, just imagine that eternal life apart from God. It’s an endless pain.

Don’t stay in the dark. God gives us the freedom to stay in the Light. Make that decision today.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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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Standing Still

It’s been more than a week since I moved to Canada.  Even before I came here, I’ve been submitting tons of job applications. I got few responses, some from companies, some from recruitment agencies. It’s been more than 5 months now that I’m unemployed and I’m kinda feeling the pressure to find a job. Not to mention, I have expenses to pay and I’m not in Manila anymore. It’s been quite tough finding the right job here for the skill set that I have. Experiences and skills required are very specific that it’s very difficult to fit in.

I have moments of discouragements and doubts. I desperately want to work immediately before this month ends and I feel like things are not going my way.  But I don’t want to let my fear or anxieties swallow me. I have a big God.

I’ve been reading the Book of Joshua since I arrived here. I just felt I could relate to Joshua’s journey. God was fulfilling His promise of giving the land to the Israelites but the journey was never easy. Joshua and the rest of his army had to defeat a lot of nations before receiving the fullness of the land. I feel I’m in the same battle. I have to defeat other applicants to be able to receive the best that God wants to give me.

But what comforted me was that the victories of the Israelites were all because of what God did. All they did was to attack but it was God who handed to them in defeat their enemies.  It was God who gave them the victory.  And I believe God will do the same for me. All I need to do is to submit the best of my resume, go to interviews – never give up. And, God will take care of the rest. Indeed, only God can give me favor through men. Only God can move the heart of the companies.

This job hunting journey is never about me or the job I’ll have but still and always about God, who He is and what He can do. He deserves the glory.

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In one of my quiet times this week, I told God, “If you can make the sun stand still for a day,  then, you can  give me  the best job.” 

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The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.  There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! – Joshua 10:13-14

Blogpost Series #1 – Rediscovering Hastings Street

Excited for my friend’s new site!

Hastings has been stereotyped and I’m excited how Anne will give light to this so-called “gloomy” street.

Way to go Anne!

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I’ve been dying to do this for the longest time! Since we moved in the Burnaby Heights area. Every time I walk the street, I am mesmerized by the shops I see.  I walk almost everyday, doing my grocery, or taking Rianne to the library. But all I do is look at their windows and wonder.  This time, it’ll be different! I am taking that leap, a new journey and I hope that you’ll be with me! 🙂

Hastings Street is quite a long stretch so I am dividing the series into 2 parts.  The Heights in North Burnaby and then East Vancouver.  I am just so excited to know all these local merchants in the neighbourhood.  I can’t wait to meet them all and know their stories.

Part 1 – Hastings St. in North Burnaby, Burnaby Heights/The Heights

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Part 2- Hastings St. from East Vancouver to Downtown Vancouver

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Hastings Street quite…

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List

While waiting for Mel’s arrival here in YVR, just thinking what will I miss here in Canada.

1. People… Friends at work and church
2. Vancouver Downtown… especially on summer
3. Public transportation… buses & trains
4. Four seasons… Snow, cherry blossom, english bay, crispy maple leaves
5. Cooked Meals… I’m back to cooking my own meals