Category Archives: Introspections

Conversations with God and with myself

Nicole sings of hope

A sweet, soft voice filled the humid air as I made my way through the cluster of houses ahead.

Ang kailangan mo’y tibay ng loob kung mayrong pagsubok man
Ang liwanag ay ‘di magtatagal at muling mamasdan
Ikot ng mundo ay hindi laging pighati’t kasawian
Ang pangarap mo ay makakamtan basta’t maghintay ka lamang”

It was a fine Saturday morning, a week after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered the Visayas, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of people homeless and hungry.

“Magandang umaga po,” I greeted the group of people ahead. A mother was washing clothes in the nearby well and men were trying to repair their damaged houses. My Filipino greeting must’ve caught Nicole’s attention that she stopped singing, looked out their window and smiled warmly at me. She had been singing her baby sister to sleep. An uprooted coconut tree lay beside their small hut. I stopped beside it and scanned the neighborhood.

I heard someone call out to me. It was my colleague. I remembered I was there for an important purpose. I took pictures and asked questions. In that small coastal community, many houses were also either washed out, roofless or heavily damaged. The community wasn’t as heavily devastated as Tacloban, Capiz or Northern Cebu but they were just as affected. Families now lived with relatives and neighbors or in makeshift houses made from what remained of their old houses. Sources of living were destroyed. Food was scarce. Classes were suspended because of damaged classrooms. Children had school supplies no more.

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A mother sorted through soiled clothes and household items while her two sons tried to salvage wet books and notebooks. A single father gazed at his 3 children after their day’s work in the farm. His little girl told me she wants to be a teacher someday. A boy clung to her mother’s side beside the empty space where their home had once stood.

These images spoke of unspoken struggles and uncertainties. Amid silence were brief blank stares. These images made my heart heavy. But their smiles, though awkward at times, brought a glimmer of hope in me… that despite the grim circumstances, they were slowly coming to realize all hope was not lost. This hope I found in a Christmas star which hung among whatever was left of a home. On the bus going back to the city, I closed my eyes and remembered Nicole’s cheerful and hopeful voice singing a song of hope.

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Courage is found in unlikely places – J.R.R. Tolkien

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Iridescence

“May rainbow din po ba sa heaven?”

I woke up with a terrible headache, having barely slept that night. It had rained hard all night and dark clouds loomed the horizon that Saturday morning, dispelling all my excitement. The day hasn’t even started, but I felt it was going to be bleak. At 6 am, I groggily set out for my early morning class excursion.

I stood beside a puddle of rain water at the side of the road. I looked down at my muddy red sneakers and noticed the rainbow-like effect created from the thin film of oil on the puddle, which probably leaked from the trucks that came and went through that narrow road leading to the dump site at Pier 18. I dipped the tip of my shoes in the puddle and watched the ripple spread, my mind dreaming of hot chocolate and pancakes.

“May rainbow din po ba sa heaven?” Her tiny voice jolted me from my daydream. I lifted my gaze upward and saw her looking at the iridescent oil slick. She wore a shabby shirt and shorts, a frail body underneath. Her slippers needed replacement, her feet were covered with mud and dirt. Her eyes were wide with amazement at the rainbow. She looked at me with tired, sad eyes and smiled. I smiled back and nodded my answer. Then, she ran off before I even got a chance to ask her name.

On our way back to the university, I thought of that little girl again. Her sad smile haunted me. Young as she was, I felt that she was already exhausted and tired of life. I prayed that she would find hope in that seemingly hopeless place, even in simple things such as that rainbow in the puddle.

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The vicious cycle of poverty traps many poor families and pulls them deeper and deeper into a world of helplessness. If people in dire conditions lose all hope that they may one day be able to break out of poverty, the next generations are the ones who will truly suffer. Seeds of hope, such as what rainbows after a rain create, can be seeds of dreams and seeds of a better life. Let’s all try to plant seeds of hope and dreams. Let’s not get tired to do so, even when we feel nothing is getting better. Let’s not forget to hope and hopefully, one day, our world will truly be filled with joy and life.

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Keep Calm and Take a Break

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Magalawa Island, Palauig, Zambales

The quiet sea always has that calming effect on me. I know that it isn’t always like that, that there are days when the wind is strong and the waves are raging. Yet, I know that each storm will eventually come to pass and the sea will become still again. Despite knowing that toxic days are ahead, I somehow feel at peace knowing that everything will be alright. Thank God for the short but wonderful break last weekend. It helped clear my mind and calm my anxious heart.

http://www.magalawaislandresort.com

Standstill

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Disappointments. Stagnation. Mediocrity. These three words pretty much characterize my life at the moment. My pride is having a hard time accepting this but it has no other choice. It worries me that I, who dreamt big dreams and had grand plans, would let my life reach this point without making a bold move to change the course of things even when I had the chance to. I fear that I have changed so much, sadly, not for the better. Day after day, I disappoint myself with mediocre ideas, plans and outputs. At night when I wait for sleep to take over my anxieties, I wonder what happened to the person I thought I was and wanted to be.

As I slowly come to terms with my present self, I cannot help but feel anxious of the seemingly bleak future ahead. I know it’s time to step out of this debilitating state and rise up to new challenges. Yet, I feel the familar string pulling me back inside that already comfortable hole. It’s a viscious cycle that’s been eating up the remaining hope in me. Everyday is a struggle to break free and it’s tiring and frustrating. I’m tired of disappointing myself over and over again. I’m tired of being a mediocre. I’m tired of being the dispassionate person I’ve become. I am desperate for change. But where do I start?

Courage

The fulfillment of your dreams begins with that first brave step forward.

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Lessons from a Lady Named Joy

Remember Jaja – the little girl I met on the bus going home to the province? I still think about her sometimes and wonder how she’s doing. I hope she’s well and happy and enjoying her childhood.

On my trip back to Manila after that vacation, I met Joy. What really got me interested in Joy was that she reminded me so much of Jaja. It was like I was seeing the adult version of the little girl I met a few days earlier.

I arrived early at the bus station, which was just a block away from our house. Mom and Dad walked me to the bus, as they always do. The long vacation was over, and a lot of people – both tourists and locals – were on their way back to Manila. Good thing I was able to reserve a seat, although the seat I got was already at the second to the last row.

It was almost 8pm, and the bus was about to leave, but the seat next to me was still empty. I took out my iPod and book and began reading while the light was still on. A few minutes after 8, our bus still hasn’t left the station. I guess they were waiting for some more passengers who reserved seats. My seatmate was one of them. I was almost getting drowsy when finally, she arrived. She sat down beside me, catching her breathe. She must’ve raced her way to the bus station to catch the last trip going to Manila that day.

“Hi, are you heading to Manila, too?” she asked me. “Yes,” I answered. “I’m Joy,” she smiled at me. “Mae,” I smiled back.

I stowed my book and iPod and readied myself for a conversation with Joy. I wondered what her story was and I was eager to know. I didn’t get disappointed because Joy was very talkative. In fact, we talked until 1 in the morning. Her high-pitched voice floated inside the bus, along with the soft snores of the passengers.

For 5 hours, I listened to Joy unfold her life. She just went on and on with her stories. As I listened to her, I noticed how similar her story was with Jaja’s. Like Jaja, she was orphaned at a young age and was left to the care of her aunt. Since college, she had been living independently while her aunt went abroad to work. She has learned to live on her own and look after herself. She told me about her past relationships, and how her ex boyfriend left her for another woman. She told me about her work, her colleagues and struggles. She shared that she wanted to try her luck overseas, hoping her life would be much better. She was only in her early twenties and she seemed be very enthusiastic about everything. I felt how strong a person she was, probably because of the circumstances in her life.

Joy travelled alone during that trip, her first time to do so. She was supposed to travel with her friends but her schedule didn’t permit her to join them. This didn’t hold her back from getting the most of the very long weekend so she decided to explore Ilocos on her own. She recounted her adventures to the different tourist destinations she visited, places I myself haven’t even been to considering I lived almost half of my life in that province. She excitedly showed me the photos and videos that she took from the places she visited.

Joy had a positive outlook in life. I envied her and wished I could have that same confidence and positive attitude. I thought of Jaja and wished she’d grow up with the same positive outlook.

At 1am, she must have noticed that I was so sleepy so she finally told me to sleep. I slept thinking about Joy and Jaja and prayed that they both have a bright future ahead of them.

I don’t normally talk to strangers on the bus but God allows us to meet other people to let us realize and learn things from them. Tonight, I’m headed to the province again for the long weekend. Before I leave the house, I just had to finish this post I started two months ago. I’m looking forward to hearing more inspiring stories from strangers!

What Do You See?

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Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung
 
 

A Reminder

John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

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I’m Lost

I feel like a lost soul, aimlessly wandering through life, eyes clouded by fear. But I am hopeful that I will soon see things in God’s perspective, as certain as the sun rising in the morrow.

Run to You

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I wish I was this little crab, so I could run to the sea anytime.

Float On

Anjel floating in one of the islands in Sorsogon

Anjel floating in one of the islands in Sorsogon

My mind is weary from the busy-ness of the city. But I always find solace in the gentle swells of the sea. All I want to do is float my tired body along the clear blue waters and drown the world’s noise. I love listening to the faint sound of the waves softly crashing on the shore. It keeps me calm and serene, and sort of detaches me from the world. Too bad, there’s no sea in my city to comfort me, and only recorded sounds of the sea keeps me company at night after the day’s work.

Lessons from a Little Girl Named Jaja

My wristwatch told me it was 11:00pm. I had been at the Florida bus station since 9 in the evening, afraid I might miss the bus because of the terrible traffic along Quezon Avenue. My bus finally arrived so I climbed up and took my seat. It was the last seat on the extra bus that day. If it were not for that last seat, I would have waited until midnight or the next day  just so I could go home and be with my family for the Holy Week.

I was glad to be seated at the second row. Most of the time, I travel alone when I go home to the province. I wondered who my seat mate would be that night and I prayed it wouldn’t be a guy who might turn out to be a maniac. That’s when I met her.

“What’s your name?” I asked her.
“Jaja,” she replied.
“Hi, Chacha!” I happily welcomed her.
“It’s not Chacha. It’s Jaja,” she blurted out.
“Oh, sorry. Hi there, Jaja!” I repeated my greeting. And that started our interesting conversation.

Jaja is 6. In fact, she told me it was her birthday that day. “Happy birthday!” I greeted her. “Thank you po,” she shyly replied.

She was with her Tita Bing and her girl friend, and just like me, they were bound for Laoag for the Holy Week.

“Naku! Lagot ka diyan kay Jaja, sobrang daldal niyan,” her aunt warned me of Jaja’s talkativeness. I told her I didn’t mind although when I travel, I usually don’t talk to my seatmates. My iPod and books are my constant travel companions. That night, I turned off the iPod and closed my book and decided to talk to Jaja. It turned out to be one of my best encounters with God.

Jaja was really talkative, just as her tita warned. She kept telling me stories about her toys, her playmates, her relatives. In between, she asked me numerous questions like where I was going and what I was going to do when I got home. Sometimes, I didn’t know how to answer her questions so I just smiled and nodded to her.

Out of nowhere, I asked her if she was going to miss her mom during her vacation. Nonchalantly, she told me her mom was already gone. Jaja said she was named after her mother – Juanita Antonia – because she died after giving birth to her. I was speechless for an entire minute. I didn’t know what to say and I stupidly stammered, “Do you know how she looked like?” She told me her father used to show her her mom’s picture which he kept in his wallet. I asked Jaja if she’s going to miss her dad. Her reply shocked me to my core. “Patay na po si Papa. Naaksidente po siya  sa motor,” she announced, as if her father’s death did not bother her…but I know it did and she was hiding her sadness in the way she smiled. She became silent for a while. At that moment, all I wanted was to be in my room and release the tears that had been threatening to fall from my eyes. I gathered up the courage to comfort her, “Okay lang yun, andiyan naman si Tita Bing mo. Siya na lang magiging mama at papa mo.” It was a stupid statement, and she told me, “Hindi ko naman po siya mama.” I never dared to reply back. Then, there was that awkward silence again.

Her Tita Bing saved me when she told Jaja to sleep since it was almost 1am. I seconded her. I told Jaja we’d better sleep because everyone at the bus was already asleep except for the two of us. Her tita handed her her teddy bear. Jaja told me she couldn’t sleep without it. I asked her if she ever prayed at night. She told me she didn’t. I told her we we’re going to pray before we slept, and that she only needed to repeat after me. I closed my eyes and travelled back to my childhood, recalling back the prayer that I prayed every night then.

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Jaja stammered the words after me, but she was smiling when I opened my eyes. After that, we said our good nights.

The bus had become icy cold, and I asked Jaja if she felt cold since she was only wearing her favorite pink jumper dress. She said she was, and asked her tita for her jacket. However, they found out that Jaja’s jacket was left behind. She gave Jaja a large t-shirt instead. I knew that this would not keep her warm. I, myself, was already shivering. She kept stirring in her seat. She was holding her teddy bear like I would hug my mom when i was cold. So I decided to share my sarong with her, hoping it would make her feel warm and more comfortable. “Thank you po,” she said with eyes half-closed.

I smiled at her but I quickly turned to look out the window into the dark, cloudy night. I cried. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. I cried for a while. I couldn’t sleep. The entire conversation with Jaja slowly sank in. I remembered my mom and dad. I realized how lucky I was that I still have my parents with me… that they are still alive, though getting older. I felt really blessed knowing that I had a mother and father who took care of me as I was growing up, who saw to my needs, and who were there during all the birthdays and milestones in my life.

I used to feel so afraid just thinking about my mom and dad and other loved ones passing away. I could not even try to imagine my life without them. I always prayed to God not to take them away from me too soon. That night, I suddenly felt a coward compared to 6-year old Jaja beside me.

Jaja is a brave and strong girl. Young as she is, she has already experienced far greater trials that I had in my entire 28 years of existence. Before I finally convinced myself to sleep, I prayed for that little girl sleeping soundly beside me. I prayed that she would grow up healthy and strong. I prayed that God will give her good people who will guide her well. I prayed that she will understand all the things that happened in her life as part of God’s wonderful plan for her. I prayed hard for the best for Jaja.

When I got home that day, I rushed to hug my mom and dad, silently thanking God that I still have them with me.

Thoughts from the Toilet Bowl

February 20, 2011 ~ 10:30PM ~ Paraclete Renewal Center, Tacloban City, Leyte

Oh, what a great day this has been! I consider myself blessed to be in the midst of amazing and wonderful people. It is just so heartwarming to witness and hear stories of learnings, gratefulness, and transformation… of simple, often unnoticed people taking baby steps to confidence… of life lived well and good… of lost dreams and new ones. I love the delicious food and lovely chit-chats with new acquaintances and most of all the beautiful full moon and night sky full of stars! I truly deeply love this life!

Today, I also learned many things about life from someone who’s living it to the full. I certainly look forward not just to a happy and contented life, but a life of learning from mistakes and wrong turns, of forgotten dreams and new adventures. Best of all, I want to live my life giving glory to the One who created me.

Life is beautiful, if you see it that way. 🙂

Thorns

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I saw this plant when I went home to the province this weekend and it reminded me of the thorns that I currently have in my life. Life’s thorns can be our problems, people we can’t stand, or situations that make us cringe from life itself. Yes, these thorns can hurt us if we don’t know how to handle them. But I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson behind each thorn we come across with. Whatever thorns you have in your life right now, I hope that you will be able to see what lesson it has in store for you.

Fingers Crossed

I saw this from one of the many notebooks I sometimes use to write my thoughts on. This was written last November 26, 2011 while sitting in one of the benches in Trinoma as I waited for my cousin.

I am bothered… knowing that I have no idea what’s in store for me in the year ahead. I feel I am back at the crossroad again. This time, though, there are signs in all directions so I just have to choose one road. Once I choose a road, I fear there’s no turning back. I fear that when I finally decide which road to take, I might regret it one day. And then for sure I’ll find myself in another crossroad again. It is pretty tiring going back to that same spot.

One choice. One road. That moment when you decide to let go and let God. That second when you free your mind from all the worries and confusions and just plunge into the universe ahead. I look forward to be in that moment… when all of the universe opens up and ushers you into the world where you belong.

On the other hand, it excites me to know that life will never be same again once I decide. My whole being tingles with joy believing that something good is going to come out of this soon. Yet still, I am afraid that I might not choose to right road. Fingers crossed, I rest my choice with God. He knows best.

 

Oras Na!

In my little corner on top of the hill, I can hear the restlessness of the community below – dogs barking, vehicle engines roaring, people chatting and laughing, a carpenter hammering something. From where I sit, I can see people going about their day-to-day activities just as I would have been if I was at home. As I look around, I can see the trees and plants dancing with the wind, the majestic mountains in the horizon, the clouds gracefully moving along with the wind. I wonder, where is God in all of these? Where is He in our restless world? The obvious answer stares back at me: God is everywhere, His glory and Kingship is manifested in all His creation. – written during a retreat at Mirador Jesuit Villa in Baguio City, December 2010

A while ago, I watched Oras Na, GMA’s documentary on the state of our country’s environment. It saddens me to know that our environment is in such a bad condition. I admit, I too am guilty of misusing these resources. I waste water, I water paper, I overuse energy. I have hurt God’s creation. My sorry can never bring back the precious water I wasted, nor the millions of trees cut, nor the energy I mis-consumed. But… I can still help slow down further degradation of the environment. So, I promise to plant a tree (or more) every year, to use water more wisely, to recycle paper more often. I just hope that all of us will see how wonderful and awesome God has made our planet. Let’s all start doing our share of saving Mother Earth. And the best time to start is now…

Moments of Stillness

The blanket of fog is slowly coming my way. In a little while, I, too will be enveloped by it. And as I sit here in my little corner on top of the hill waiting for that moment to arrive, I feel excited… as if I could already feel it around me. The cold air brush my cheeks and I shiver. The surroundings get darker and darker as the fog draws near. My excitement intensifies. I can now see it blanketing the houses below, the trees in front of me. I can smell the cool fragrant air slowly inching its way towards me. In my busy life, I always look forward to moments like this… when I can just stay still and enjoy the awesome creation of God.

Grace Under Pressure

I haven’t written for quite some time. I’ve been so busy for the past three weeks doing different sorts of projects that I can only count the days I slept in my bed in one hand. From reviewing and editing Bible study materials for children at UP Hotel, to organizing and facilitating a 12 Hour Famine event for a school in Baguio, to assisting a retreat for doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel of a province in Bicol, attending a conference for Singles for Christ in Dagupan, and now I’m back to working on the Bible study materials again, this time in Tagaytay. And July has a few more days to offer me for some other tasks at hand.

Algino, my cousin whose staying with me at home, might already be feeling bad that I’m not there to cook food or to help with his assignments. I’ll just have to make it up with him this weekend, especially since his birthday is coming up soon. My visa application forms has been on my desktop for quite some time, undisturbed. I guess I’ll have to squeeze time for this soon since application time is running out. Mg Lyn, another cousin, has been waiting for me for a week to watch HP at Imax. I promised to watch it with her this weekend. I might as well tag Algino along. That would be my birthday gift for him + dinner. Hahaha. And oh, I almost forgot… I also have to meet with friends this Saturday afternoon. Its been half a year since I last saw them. And I really miss talking with them.

It’s been a busy month… but I’ve never felt more productive. My body may be sore from travelling and having not enough sleep and rest, but I feel more alive than ever. The Grace of my caring God has carried me through. Thank you, God!

At this time, I want to enjoy the peace and serenity the Poveda House of Prayer offers. My eyes have feasted from the scenic view of the Taal Lake at sundown. My stomach is happy with the delicious food. And I feel glad.

For now, since the nocturnal animals are already starting their concert, I have to go back to work.

God’s Answer

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, AMP)

This was God’s immediate answer to the prayer I expressed in my last blog entry last June 2nd. Amidst my confusion and anxiety, His voice was truly comforting.

The verse reminded me of the real reason why I found myself in that same crossroad again. And what was that reason? I was too consumed with thinking about what I want to do and where I want to go. In short, it was selfishness that brought me to that crossroad. It’s not about me. It’s about Him who created me. The psalmist emphasized the best solution to my problem: to DELIGHT MYSELF IN THE LORD, to make Him my TOP PRIORITY. If I can do this one thing “with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength (Deuteronomy 6:5), the LORD promises to grant me my heart’s desires and secret petitions… desires that He has impressed in my heart even before I was born.

″Are you believing God for something that seems like it’s taking a long time? In the natural, you may have every reason to give up on what God has placed in your heart. At times, you may be tempted to get discouraged, but remember, God knows exactly where you are. He knows the desires He’s placed within you. He knows even the hidden dreams — what the scripture calls the secret petitions of your heart. Those are the things that you haven’t told anyone about. Maybe you thought they would never work out, or you’ve buried them because they didn’t happen on your timetable. But God still has a way to bring them to pass.″

Beyond the confusion I felt when I was in that crossroad, I was afraid. Yes, it was fear that blocked my heart and mind from recognizing God’s promise. I was afraid to fail. I was afraid to take risks. I was afraid to go beyond my comfort zone. I was. And I still am.

I am a dreamer. I have a lot of dreams. Really. Some are outrageous. Some are so audacious. Some are very simple. I don’t exactly know at the moment which of them are part of God’s design for me but I am now more confident because I know the Lord will make things happen for me in His perfect time. All I have to do is to DELIGHT in HIM all the days of my life.

″Be encouraged today because God is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Delight yourself in Him — find joy in serving Him and make your heart moldable in His hands. Don’t settle for mediocrity because God knows what’s in you, and His plan is to finish the work He began in you!″

I can still feel a tinge of fear and anxiety in my heart. I guess I need to practice trusting and delighting in the Lord more every single day of my life. I need to move away from my self-centeredness and move closer to God. This plan might take time. But I know that “in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)”.

Dear God, thank You for your goodness and unconditional love. Prepare me for the exciting things you have in store for me. Help me see and fulfill Your will in my life so that I may bring glory to Your name in everything I do. Amen.

(Note: Those in italics are taken from the email I received the morning of June 3 from Ate Allyn, my team mate. Thank you, Ate Allyn, for the timely devotions!)

crossroads

Once in a while, there comes a point in our lives when we find ourselves standing in the middle of a crossroad.

About three years ago and three years before that, I came across such crossroad. I was lost and confused. I didn’t know what I wanted in life. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to go and which direction to take. What’s more, those particular crossroads didn’t have signs or clues… just empty crossroads in the middle of nowhere.

Looking back, I thank God that I survived those times. I clearly recall praying hard to God to lead me to the right path… the path He has designed for me to undertake. Slowly, things went well. My life went on smoothly…until now.

Sometimes, I wish I can just pause life so I can have all the time I want to think things through before I hit the play button again. How i wish I can take as much time off and just sit back, relax and sift through my life to find the answers I am looking for.

I’m afraid I’m facing another crossroad again. I feel lost and confused. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I need. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. Ugh! Did I take the wrong path? Did I misread God’s signs? I really don’t know.

I think I need a lot of time to pray and reflect. For wisdom. For discernment. For guidance.

Lord, into Your hands I surrender my life – my past, my present and my future. May Your will be done.

a day of stress, silence and prayer

I woke up this morning and prayed to God to give me strength, patience, wisdom and discernment as I encounter the day’s challenges at work. While I prepared to go to work, my mobile phones’ constant beeping along with my iPod’s notification sound distracted me from my morning rituals. I paused for a moment to check them, and found myself opening my business hours while still in the comforts of my home. I didn’t want to waste time not answering the texts and emails that even during the morning commute for work, I could not keep my hands off my phones. What a way to start my day, indeed!

My work hours consisted of answering tons of emails, texts and even Facebook chats and messages, consolidating reports and meetings for upcoming activities. It went quite well, I suppose, until I realized that I was doing things way beyond the tasks assigned to me. And so, realizing this, I snapped out my composed behaviour and just let my emotions speak out loud. In short, my 11-hour work day ended with a heavy heart and stressed muscles. I wanted to have a massage but I didn’t have enough money in my wallet and I left my ATM at home. So I decided to do the long commute home, instead of taking a cab like I usually do when I’m feeling stressed from work. As I boarded the jeep, I tried to numb my mind and close my ears to the outside world. My iPod ran out of battery so I had no choice but to shut my senses off from the world around me. My mind bobbed in and out of the events of the day as I tried to convince myself to think of a void. Silence slowly relieved me of my heart’s burdens. I walked home today instead of taking the tricycle – still listening to the silence in my mind. I am resolved to be silent tonight until my heart calms down.

As soon as I arrived home, I opened my laptop and logged on to Facebook. My stomach grumbled. I didn’t have a real meal today… only the carbonara I bought from a friend that I ate for lunch. I opened the refrigerator and saw the 2-week old hotdog in the freezer. I cooked what’s left of it right away and ate with gusto. I still have to wash some underwear and pack my bag for a 3-day trip to Tacloban early morning tomorrow. I checked my Blackberry for any sign of activation of the data plan I enrolled to last night. None still. Calling customer service for the 5th time today, I hung up the phone not getting any acceptable answer. I gave up and waited with hope for tomorrow.

As the day ends, I pray for forgiveness and peace. Tomorrow holds the promise of excitement and joy. I look forward to waking up early.

written a month ago after a stressful day at work

ramblings of a troubled soul

The rain is pouring slowly outside. The trees, plants, the mountains soak in wetness. Calm and still, taking everything in. As they drench in the cool raindrops, I feel an urge to cry. Like nature embracing the rain, I feel Him holding me in His arms whispering, “Be calm, be still. I am with you.” An overflowing joy comes through me, enveloping me with its mysterious warmth. My being longs to be cradled by the loving arms of God. As the rain washes away the leaves that had gone dirty throughout the day, so my soul is cleansed from the troubles and anxieties that threaten to dampen it. With songs of love and paintings of life all around, my spirit jumps with gladness and awe. I feel the wind caress my face and body. Its coolness relax my tensions. I look outside the screened window of this room and see the trees dancing to the wind’s anthem. I know with perfect certainty, God loves me unconditionally!

Sunset

The sun is about to set. I, too, am ready to leave. I have been sitting on this beach since three in the afternoon. The soft swell of the waves as they come crashing on the shore has calmed my troubled mind and heart. I feel my breathing come to a slow pace. Though my back hurts for sitting too long, I cannot take away my eyes from the beauty of the unending sky before me. I can feel the darkness slowly enveloping the mountains behind me. In a short while, the sun will bid my part of the world goodbye. I continue to revel at the fading breath- taking sight infront of me. The darkness slowly takes over as the sea engulfs the last glimpse of the sun’s rays. And I stand up to go home.

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