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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reflection Sunday: Saved by the Bell


Me and Daddylo one Sunday afternoon
An inspired reflection I wrote on the second Sunday of November 2014, after hearing Holy Mass. 

I am a religious person. I have always been. 

I was raised properly, and taught at an early age to love and serve the Lord. I performed multiple religious practices when I was young, and diligently prayed everyday, thanking Him for everything I have, and will continue to receive in the future. I also pleaded for Him to lead and guide all the lost sheep that have come astray. 

I have done what a normal Christian would do. However, I shamefully admit that I was, not at all times, dedicated to the Lord. 

There were moments when I have committed disgraceful and irresponsible acts due to my own, selfish curiosity. There were also times when my lethargic self was sluggish and unwilling to spend precious quality time with the Lord, let alone one hour with Him on a Sunday. There were moments when I forget to speak with Him and bid Him goodnight before I sleep. There is literally no excuse for my actions. 

But there were precious memories when I had really communicated and expressed deeply my emotions and thoughts to Him. Those moments happened occasionally, regardless of time. It was the thought that counted. I remember having enjoyed talking to Him and spilling emotions kept locked in my heart, waiting to burst out when I really needed a person to lean on to, aside from my family. 

I told Him stories about how my life was going, my insecurities, and so on. Afterwards, I felt light and relieved, as if my burdens and worries have melted away—disappearing into nothingness. And then everything was alright. I sometimes wondered if He could have heard my prayers. 

Deep down, I knew that He is always there, watching and guiding me whenever I needed help. He is the closest friend I ever had. Everyday, I imagine that He is walking by my side, wanting to be a part of my adventure. No matter when or where, whenever I feel down or lonely, He comes right at me and says, “How are you doing?” in a jolly manner.

I always feel that I am watched, protected, and loved, anywhere I go. I always silently thank Him for being there for me. He helps me solve my problems and somehow, takes my worries away. Currently, I am attending a private Catholic school, where most of the time I feel like a loner standing at the side, watching everyone interact and communicate with their friends, when I don’t really have many friends to confide in. I have always felt awkward and out of place. But there He stands, smiling at me and telling me that I am special, loved, and that I am destined for a great future. He has always enveloped me in the warmth of His love. 

Whenever I don’t have the courage, and when I feel weak and helpless, He just smiles and gives me a gentle push, and we both take our time to complete each step towards achieving my goals and dreams. I always do things halfheartedly, and put a small amount of effort in what I usually do, so He, in turn, gives me a little nudge to motivate, inspire, and support me. He gives me the courage and strength to face my own fears and weaknesses, and helps me step out of my own comfort zone. 

I truly admire Him for making me the person I am now. In my own little ways, I am striving to become like Him, who inspires others and is a leader and follower in both mind and heart. 

I, like every other person in the world, cannot possibly repay Him in full for what He has given to us. We cannot repay His love, His kindness, His forgiveness, His mercifulness and His suffering. I cannot imagine why He has chosen to shower us all— weak and unworthy humans, with His love. We, who couldn’t do so much to deserve His wonderful, loving care and compassion. 

With the hard work and effort He has put into saving our lives, and all of humanity, regardless of the fact that He was aware that people will reject, laugh, and underestimate Him, I am proud to say that I am one of God’s children. 

I wish to be like Him someday. 

Here I am, a simple high school student going on with my simple life, walking through a bare empty street, holding my grandfather’s hand as I continue to silently walk to the nearest local parish. 

It is quiet, save for the low humming the engines produced coming from nearby vehicles. The streets illuminated by the soft, orange glow emitted by the lampposts. 

The starless sky is dark, the wind slightly rustling my wet hair. There is a full moon tonight. 

And as I listened to the gentle pitter-patter of our feet, we were nearing the church. After pausing slightly to greet some of our neighbors, we continued our walk. When we reached our destination, I glanced at my watch and smiled. 7:15 pm. 

I looked up to the sky, and at that moment, the church bells rang. It resounded beautifully, and echoed in various directions, signaling to everyone that it was time to glorify and to praise the Lord. 

Alas, saved by the bell.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More than Words

I have always been fascinated with the power of words.

My love for the written word dates back from my early years of reading my first story books, mock spelling bees with my cousins, all the way through my first attempt at writing novels. ‘Written’, mainly because I consider myself more of a reader and writer, than a speaker. Yes, I am the typical the silent type who reads and writes a lot more, but talks less.

So when I gave birth to my Little Lady, it came naturally for me to encourage her to develop not just love, but passion for the same. I bought her books even before she could read, and taught English as her first language. She learned to speak in our native Filipino tongue later on, with a little struggle, attaining decent proficiency nevertheless, before she turned high school.

People ask me time and again why I chose to teach the international language first before our very own, hinting a patriotism issue—a lack of it, to be precise. To which I would retort: I want to give my child the edge and advantage—to boost her confidence in communicating with all kinds of people regardless of social status and educational attainment; to speak impeccably in public without stammering due to a lack of vocabulary or the fear of being grammatically incorrect; and to write meaningfully with purpose, clarity, as well as style. These are just some of the reasons to ensure that my child would be at par with the best of her generation.

But that is just me. As parents, we prioritize what we believe is best for our children. We can mold them to be the future political leaders of the nation, but they can always go towards a different path.

My daughter can be whatever she wants to be—president, beauty queen, linguist, head of a translation company, novelist, fashion designer, or chef, the possibilities are endless. But what matters most in her journey is that she has been prepared well and equipped with everything she needed to pursue her dreams, and the rest is up to her to make it all happen.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feeling Divergent

Official Movie Poster of Divergent
Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I’m tied up with the holidays and school work so I did not have the time to update (I know, as always!). However, I had time to read :) This post features about my squealing reaction and love for Veronica Roth’s book, Divergent!

When I first read the beginning of the book, I felt bored because of the introduction. I decided to give up until I saw the first part about the ceremony, then I became interested and so caught up in the book that I cried whenever I had to stop and go to sleep.

The book is about a girl, named Beatrice Prior, who is unable to choose between 5 factions (a.k.a her way of life). One is Abnegation, her original faction, that is known for being selfless--they donate, share, and sacrifice anything for the sake of other people. The second choice is the Erudite, known to be smart, but vain. They are teachers, scientists, environmentalists, psychiatrists, and other well-known people that contribute to the knowledge and the order of the factions. The third choice is Dauntless, known for being brave and selfish. The fourth faction is Candor, the honest ones. The last is Amity, the peace loving people of the society. There is also the Factionless group whose members failed their faction initiation and therefore live in poverty. Divergent however, is the one that has more than two factions combined... the special one. Although Divergent is not a faction, but a person with special abilities and capabilities. 

After Tris received her aptitude test results, she got the result Divergent. And she’s told not to tell this to anyone, even to her family. After that, she picks a faction (I’m not going to tell!) and then progresses through the initiation. She had a hard time at first, because she did not have much strength, but she overcame those obstacles and came out on top. Of course in the book, there was romance. :) She got herself a boyfriend in the second part of initiation. How sneaky. Her friend has one also, but  I am not going to tell you any further, because that would serve as big time spoilers. Boohoo.

Anyways, if you like a great read, buy this book, or even better, the complete series of the Divergent Trilogy!!! Also please ship Tris and her boyfriend~ I would be happy to have someone to relate to! I swear, the story is very romantic and it will have you squealing in excitement and suspense. I am very relieved to hear that my favorite couple’s love has lasted very, very long. I am rooting for them, until now. :)

Plus, the movie version is showing in theaters on............March 21, 2014!!! Oh my gosh, I am so excited! :) I can’t wait to watch it! The actors look so cool and it seems like Mortal Instruments and the Hunger Games combined!!! After I watched the Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I've been thinking about the movie and I was jumping in and out of my seat. Literally! 

But that is another story. :)

In the meantime, please enjoy the official movie trailer. You can read the book first then watch the movie, which is still a long wait ~ more than a month away, or vice versa.

Thank you everyone, for spending (or wasting) your time to read this post. It really means a lot to me. I love you!!! :)



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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! Mwah!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special


I'm soooooooooo excited for October 22 (well technically, fans in the Philippines have to wait 1 more day, so October 23, that is) to watch the Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special! It's going to be two hours of suspense and revelation. It seems like Ali is finally going face to face with her friends in this episode, and I can't wait to find out what 'EzrA' has planned out for the girls in his creepy Halloween costume!
In the meantime, I'm sharing this teaser until the big day finally comes! 

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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! Mwah!

Monday, August 12, 2013

God, Bible, and Me

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 

I may not seem like it, but I used to consider myself one of those not very sociable and unpopular girls in school. I have always felt a low sense of confidence. Although I have the greatest friends in the world, no matter how hard they tried to cheer me up, I would always feel lonely and left out. I have always wanted to be friends with most of the girls and boys in my class and be close to them. I want to laugh, play, exchange secrets, and do other things with them. In short, I want to socialize more, be friendlier, and have a good sense of humor (not that I don’t have one).

My hand drawn version of loneliness 
I feel this way probably because, even if I have all the things I ever wanted than some kids my age, deep inside, there is something very valuable missing in my life. I was not contented with the material things I had. My family and friends mean a lot to me, but there's still a void in my heart-- a missing piece yet to be filled or replaced.

Since my Dad went to a foreign country, I was deeply affected by his absence. “Why did you leave us?” was my lonely, unanswered, lingering question. My Mom says that he left for a reason— a good one at that. And that he always loves us. I had faith in him, but that was slowly disappearing day by day. How could he love us, when he’s been away for a very long time? I ask myself. The small hole in my faith for him kept growing bigger as time went by. I cried every night, my heart full of sorrow, breaking into sobs every now and then. I just can’t get over the fact that I am losing him, my only Dad, the only irreplaceable one in my heart. 

Ironically, it is in this phase of longing and loneliness that I had found true joy and new meaning to life. I have decided to move on. I realized I should write my own story, because I have my destiny to make and my own path to take. I can make great things happen in my life, for I have found my ‘real Dad’ in heaven— the answer to my loneliness. I have discovered that the greatest joy of all was God, Himself.

My family taught me about religion since I was a young child, but I still ask myself, “What is true religion?” I have known all these years that I am a Christian. I have studied in Catholic schools and I have learned a lot about God, but I did not know the depth of meaning behind His existence. I knew about sacraments, commandments, the cycle of the liturgical year and all the teachings I hear from attending Holy Mass during Sundays and holidays of obligation. I thought I already know Him, but I was wrong. Yes, I have prayed all the possible prayers and I have sung praises before, and I thought that I have worshiped Him enough, but I was wrong. I have not truly opened my eyes and welcomed God into my heart. I haven’t welcomed Him fully with my love.

It is then that the realization dawned into me. Were my feelings and prayers to God meaningless, and my worshiping utterly useless? I was an unemotional robot all along. I haven’t felt real love towards Him in the beginning. When I read the Bible, and felt the power of God’s love, remorse and regret poured all over me. I asked myself once again, “Why have I only realized it now? Why when, after all these years, when I always knew about God, I have only realized this now?” I was truly ashamed with the thought that my worshiping and praising then seemed like a mockery to God— a mockery to His love.

I had begged forgiveness when I prayed that night. I begged Him to forgive me, so we can both start over again. I was renewed as a true, God-loving Christian. As the days passed by, little by little, I have opened up to Him my deepest sorrows, dreams and longings. I had grown to love Him more and more each day, looking up to Him as a father figure I may not necessarily see, but I know who will always be there for me. Even if God has no physical form, to me, He is always there, watching and guiding me wherever I go. He is also my shoulder to cry on and my best friend. I always share with Him my thoughts, feelings, and stories. 

When I started this fresh new phase in my life, I have also renewed my relationship with the Bible. The Bible is God’s plan of salvation for all of us. What was written in it were Christian teachings and incredible stories about Jesus. Whenever I think of my Dad and needed guidance, I turn to the Bible. I flip to a random page and read what message it has in store for me at that particular moment. And every time, I feel that the message accurately addresses what I need to realize at the moment. It speaks to me in a sense that I will never be able to explain, because it spoke to my heart. It is an amazing book, no wonder it is known to contain ‘the greatest story ever told’.

Sadly, the Bible is often treated like an everyday possession by most Christians. It remains unopened, gathering dust and cobwebs in most homes, waiting to be read. Sometimes people even pile things up on top of it! It is a sacred book meant to be treasured and respected. Most people don’t realize that one of the best ways that God communicates with us is through this book. All we need to do is to open and find out God’s message and reflect. I believe the Bible can change one’s perspective in life, because it changed mine. Try to discover how it will transform yours, today.

My Dad is still away, and I miss him— nothing has changed that fact. But what greatly changed was how I have come to accept that all things happen for a reason, most of the time far beyond our human understanding. We must trust God’s plan and His eternal goodness and wisdom. Just like a father plans grandly for his child’s future, so does our Father in heaven. Imagine how much more can the one who holds all the riches of the entire universe bless His children? Immensely and immeasurably!

God loves you. All you need to do is to reach out, ask, and listen.

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Did you enjoy this post? For more of my stories and adventures, you can subscribe to my updates via EMAIL or READER, or follow my blog through Facebook and Twitter. Take care, God bless, keep on shining and have a beautiful life! Mwah!