He surprisingly pulled her to him and slowly danced her. And as they dance, he sang her favorite song.
“Lovely… Never, never change Keep that breathless charm Won’t you please arrange it? ‘Cause I love you Just the way you look tonight.”
(The Way You Look Tonight, Michael Buble)
They hugged each other for a minute or two, enjoying their little moment. “Happiest birthday, dear.” He whispered softly in her ears. She smiled at his little surprise. She knew this day will never be forgotten.
Have you ever felt unappreciated, and unrecognized? We all do at some point whether it’s at work, or with our relationships. We all need words of affirmation to be reminded that we did something good. It will also give us an encouragement to continue in our daily lives.
I remember being hugged and told, “You are a blessing.” My heart melted and felt so special.
Action plan: Can we send an appreciation or compliment to someone today?
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.-Proverbs 11:25
SHE’S LIMITED TOO. She knows not everything. She cannot do everything. But hey, she’s trying. And when she’s demotivated, she cries at night but still gets up in the morning. She’s trying because when she looks at you she knows she’s needed. And she’ll stay as long as she can. But please when you see her limits, don’t push her to the edge rather pull her near you and remind her of the good things, encourage her with hopes and dreams and appreciate her existence.
I missed him so much. I missed seeing him in the morning, cooking our favorite breakfast. I missed sitting beside him in the afternoon while watching a TV series. I missed taking pictures with him and see him smile. I missed lying beside him, doing nothing. I missed talking to him at night about anything and everything. I missed sleeping beside him, while hugging him so tight. I missed his gestures, facial expressions, hugs, and kisses. I missed everything about him. I want him back. I just don’t know how to retrieve him from the soil. I loved and will always love him until the end of time.
If you’re the dishwasher for the day, you might know this! Aren’t you curious why is it named Joy? This could be named something else that could be synonymous to clean because that is what it is for but they still called it Joy.
I did not research why, honestly but I just have a good thought about it.
Dish washing is a routine and I want to emphasize that. It’s a chore we repeatedly do. There’s not a day that we don’t do this. We have to or it’s a mess!
I am not a fan of routine. I can easily get bored when things became a routine. Then a sudden realization came to me, is it the reason why the owner of it called it ‘Joy’?Is it to remind us that as we do our daily routines, we will remember to carry joy with us?
In this time of pandemic, many of us stayed at home, even I! And have you seen yourself doing the same thing every single day? (Wakes up in the morning – Eat breakfast – Read – Eat lunch – Do household chores – Watch series, play games or scroll on your social media platforms – Eat dinner – Beauty routine / movie watching – Sleep at night.) That’s just an example and you know how that could be boring! I actually tried a lot of things just to make my lock down moments a little more exciting. I tried learning how to draw, I bought a book to read online, I tried learning sewing and creating DIY shirts, I started a blog, and etc. But I know, at the end of the day, you will still do some basic routines such as waking up, eating, dish washing, laundry, work (if you’re working home), open your social media accounts and etc. And at times you can feel this frustration inside hoping you can do something else. This is not only applied at home and during this pandemic but also in everything we do in life. Like at work, this happens when we feel that we’re just doing the same thing over and over again, in our relationships when we feel like we’ve been doing the same things together for years and there’s nothing new and you know your story, I am sure you can think of one that you can relate to.
We all know that when joy is gone it’s hard to continue. You just want to stop and look for something else. But is having something new the only resolution? How about reigniting the fire and joy and remembering how it all started?
I hope that we carry joy always as we do things habitually, and as we wait for “something new”. I hope that we can be faithful and joyful in doing our routines so when the new things come, it will be dancing and rejoicing.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
It was heavily raining outside. She closed the door and went to their room. The lights were off though the windows were open. Lights from the outside keep their room a little less dark. She sat beside him and looked at him. He got up and leaned on her. They stayed that way for a little while. Then she faced him, looking at him with admiration. She removed his eye glasses, then held his face on her hands, she uttered, “You are wonderful.” He smiled. “Depression cannot stop your charms.” He giggled and mouthed ‘thank you’.
I was walking on the road alone. I heard the sound of the horns, the cars’ engines, the blowing wind, the playing songs in the street and the people talking. I smelled the different perfumes of the people passing by, and the flowers being sold on the flower shop. I saw the different situations in my surroundings, the bright lights of each post in every street and the glow brought by the moon and the stars. I felt the harsh wind touching my skin and the water dropping from the sky. And I realized I want to take things slow. I want to stretch out the time and observe even the littlest things. I want to hear, feel, smell and see everything and be thankful for them. I want to see more in this life than just doing my day job and be satisfied with its pay. I want to feel more and know that flowing emotions are not just the only available things to feel. I want to hear and acknowledge that it’s not just the sentiments of this world are offered to be heard. There were simple things to appreciate. Life is beautiful; if only we give chance to pay attention to them. There’s more to life than sentiments and negativity. All we need to do is to be intentional in witnessing the life beyond ourselves.
Last June of 2019, I attended Patricia Gabrielle’s first birthday and christening. She is the daughter of my high school friend, Kristelle. I was invited to be her godmother and I am very delighted to be one. Surprisingly, this child responded sweetly to me. She didn’t cry, but willingly come to me. She even rested in my arms! Oh how I love this kid!
And while she was sleeping in my arms, I was reminded of the word “family”. I asked myself if the Lord will give me a family of my own in the future. And prayerfully I whispered under my breath, “I hope.”
This kid quickly became a source of my hope and a reminder that one day, I will have a family of my own. Thank You, Lord, for the life of this child and her mom. They are blessings to me. ❤️
May you bless their whole family, Lord. May you bless the works of her parent’s hands. May you give them good family relationship. May you overflow the fruits of the spirit in them (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control ~Galatians 5:22-23) May you always guide them and protect them. In Jesus name, Amen.
I remember my personal word from the Lord about family
And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. — Exodus 1:21
Many people today face different abuses, traumas, difficult experiences or mental health issues. Well, who doesn’t experience any of these?
As a child, I experienced a difficult time when my mom died. I was only 6 then. Growing up, I was bullied. As an adult, I was sexually abused and went through a mental health issue. It was never easy. But I knew I should never just stop there. At some point, yes, I lingered with everything that happened to me. I saw myself as a victim of unfortunate events. But something has to be done. I shouldn’t keep myself from growing and seeing the light. I should stop being sorry for myself. So one by one, I started to address my issues.
To fill the void in my heart of not having a real mom beside me growing up, I found myself family to my friends. I remember calling some of my closest teachers in high school and college “mom”, and “dad” and treating my friends like my real siblings.
(These are some of my high school friends that I keep until now. My siblings from another mother. Family since 2007)
To fight the resounding voices telling me I am stupid, or not enough, I treasured the words of affirmation I get, especially when it comes from my dad. I also learned to read my Bible and get encouragement from there. It has been my solid rock, growing up. I especially loved Proverbs in the time when I always think of ‘suicide’ and unforgiveness.
In facing trauma, after a year, I decided to open up and tell my dad. I also had counseling sessions with one of our guidance counselors in school. I am already a teacher then and I just really grabbed the available resource that I had around me. I also got involved with small groups in the church where I learned to not be ashamed of what happened rather be brave.
After knowing that I have Generalized Anxiety with Depression, I sought help. Honestly, I was hesitant to get help at first. I just want to be alone. I shut people down and locked myself in the room but thankfully, I have been given a supportive stepmom who introduced me to a psychotherapist to get help. I attended therapeutic counseling sessions (I still do) to address and acknowledge my feelings and everything I went through.
And all those things happened because I decided. I decided not to lose myself. I decided to continue despite the hardships. I decided to see an opportunity in the ugly because I believe, my healing is my responsibility. I can always decide to just sit there and cry all day and night. I can disappear and die if I wish to. I can always blame the people around me for abusing me. I can have a heart full of unforgiveness and anger and carry the burden every single day. I can do all those but I chose not to. No one can ever be responsible for my healing. Even my parents, doctors, and psychotherapists, they cannot be responsible for it. No matter how professional and good they are, if I don’t want to be healed, and help myself, I will not be healed. I can only decide and take actions for it.
I remember a friend asked me, “Are you fully healed from all these?”
Yes, I believe so. Though there are times that I can hear a resounding voice in my head, reminding me of all the things happened in the past, I no longer let them dominate me. I always remind myself that the ugly things happen and I am not alone. There are people who went through the same thing or sometimes worst than that. But this thinking was not to ease myself but to remind me that we are all going through difficult times. From thinking this way, I started to see a new light and purpose, my healing can be an inspiration too for someone to heal.
I remember reading, “When a Good God Allows Rape” by Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza. That really helped me to go through tough times. It caused me to really depend on God in healing. I also talked to people who have similar experiences with me and it really brought me to seek healing. This made me realized that if some people inspired me to heal, I can do the same thing to others.I can be an advocate or help to people in need of healing in the areas I am healed.
So if you went through difficult times too or still going through it, I hope you find your way to the light. I hope you don’t stay where you are. I pray that you will be given courage, heart, and bravery to overcome. I pray that you will be strengthened and empowered to get up. I pray for peace, love, and joy to be renewed in your heart. God bless you.
Tonight, I stumbled into this shared post. And I remember thinking the same way when I was a bit younger. It’s like failure is a name tag attached to you once you fail. But who doesn’t fail? Everyone does. As my father always says, “People fail because people fail.” We are imperfect creatures. (Tho this is not an excuse to always fail.)
The huge part of my life where I was so conscious of failing is when I was in college. It was a crucial time for me to prove myself especially I was taking up Education. Teachers ought to be excellent. (But that doesn’t end there.)
When I was in college, I enjoyed being recognized in class for doing a great job on my subjects. Well, I really did study that time but due to some reasons, I still failed a subject and it’s one of my favorites that was related to reading. I was so frustrated with myself. And yes, it’s like there was a resounding voice calling me a failure! And another yes, I cried for some time. Good thing, I still continued my journey to be a teacher because I realized many things when I was already in the teaching field.
What are my realizations?
Failing humbles people. Knowing my capabilities and talents, I can be boastful at times. I remember being engaged with too many debates before (tho sometimes, it’s for learning purposes) and ended up with so many enemies just because I always thought I was right. When I became a teacher, it has always been my starting point to never boast my achievements but always put a story of hope and humility in my failings.
Failing is a mean to connect. When I was already teaching, the most challenging subject I taught was Philosophy. Most of my students have no idea or interest in Philosophy. On my first day of class, most of them dismissed the idea that it would be fun and they always assume it’s boring. And due to this kind of mindset, many of them had difficulty to pass my class. There, it reminded me of my failing subject. And this didn’t remind me of the pain but the reason. So I tried to reach out to my students and see their difficulties in the subject and even at home. This was how I knew and understood my students more. And that’s how I also realized that being a teacher isn’t just about knowledge and passion. It is also about love and compassion towards your students.
Failing bridges us to change. If something didn’t work out, something has to be done — change. I remember giving my students too many reading assignments and essays for Philosophy. (Well, that’s really the traditional and best way to assess them.) And I found myself stressed with a two-sentence paragraph with nothing related to the readings I sent them, or having caught them sleeping in my actual class! There, I knew something has to be done. Failing challenged me. For a change, I remember using “hugot” lines to many of my activities to help them see through objects which landed on the ‘Philosophy of Things’. We also did some role plays, storytelling and games in my class to make it fun and easy to learn. Failing makes us innovative and creative, I must say.
Failing is not a label, it’s an experience. People are easy to call people or themselves a ‘failure’. No, you are not. Failings happen and what we need to do is to change our perspective towards it. I believe we cannot just move forward after falling. It would take us some time to think and acknowledge our feelings and that’s totally fine. But you don’t have to be stocked there. After failing, reflect and see if there’s something else that you can do to make it better then see it as something that you can learn from. Sometimes, it’s a matter of how we see things. Remember, your failings don’t define you. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.
And at times that I still hear that resounding voice calling me a ‘failure’, I read something from the scriptures.
Covid-19 has been very known to everyone today. It is called “pandemic” because it is widespread all over the world. It even caused lock down of cities and countries.
But does this just give us virus, sickness or deaths?
When this was brought to our attention, we knew that this originated from China. It started racial discrimination. A lot of people blamed it to Chinese people or think every Chinese has Covid-19. Later on, not just Chinese people are affected but Asians generally. It also brought shame to us. I remember one of the patients who resulted positive ran away from the hospital, feeling so ashamed of her situation. She thought of what people might think instead of thinking how she will be able to recover. Fear also dominated people. Fear of having the virus, fear of dying, fear of the possibility that the virus might mutate, fear of the extension of lock down, fear of lacking, fear of joblessness and fear of the future itself. We fear that this might cause us damages that we cannot bear. Who wouldn’t be afraid anyway? This is worldwide problem right now. And in the Philippines, (or maybe in other countries too), it created political divisions, debates of better governance, strikes to oust the president and other government issues.
But do you really think this is just about Covid-19? NO. This is about the issues of our hearts. What are you thinking? Are you anxious about the future or the virus, are you angry to the government or to Chinese people? This is not about them, this is about you and how you responded to this crisis. Are you posting online about your political views, racism, fears and doubts? How you responded to all these issues, answers what did Covid-19 did to you. How you responded declares what’s the very issues of your heart. Is it anxiety, racism, shame, death or panic?
I encourage everyone to stop and reflect. Stop posting online and listen carefully. Stop and pray. Do you know why this quarantine is essential? Because it gives us time to pause. Time to pause from being busy about everything. It’s time to stop and appreciate. Stop and realize.
Can’t you see, this also brought us something good? The environment is recuperating while on lock down — less pollution, you were able to enjoy time with your family and attend things at home, and you were able to spend time with yourself and find out new things to do.
I know, this is a difficult time. And that’s the reason why we don’t need any division. This is the time for us to help each other. Let us not bring each other down but bring each other up. Let us encourage one another to ease the anxiety and fear. Let us cooperate with the government so that the lock down will not extend. Let us calm our hearts to respond with peace, love, gratefulness and courage. This is how we fight Covid-19.
And remember, this too shall pass. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even pandemic.
Rise up courageous warriors. ❤️
When you pass through the waters, I willbe with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. — Isaiah 43:2
(Photos are not mine. They are from google. Credits to the photo owner)