Saturday, December 26, 2009

the reason for the season

Christmas always brings the best and the worse in every human being on the face of the planet.

It brings the best in us because this is the season when we are most patient, most tolerable, most lenient, most loving, and most accepting of our loved ones' imperfections and flaws. It's not because we are trying to be in Santa's list anymore but maybe because it's already in our subconscious that this is the season for giving and forgiving.



It brings the worse in us, when we are pressured by one aspect of the season... the giving aspect, that is. And no matter how psyched up we are about the "giving" part... which supposed to mean something beyond the materialistic point of view, still we cannot help it but to embrace the more popular definition of giving - gifts. Giving material things is now part and parcel of the whole holiday hoopla because when materialism and commercialism conquered the world... giving is most felt when it is tangible. And in this time of economic crisis... you need to use your imagination to justify the true meaning of Christmas or else you will feel the pressure. However, despite this negative implication of giving, the positive side will always shine. After all true giving will never be outshone by materialism.

Forgiveness on the other hand, is always part of the holiday package. This is the season when people try their best not only to be good to others but to forgive others who did them wrong. This is the season of great opportunity to patch things up with people we had misunderstanding with. And since this is the time of the year when people are always vulnerable and ready to let go of their negative vibes, people are always willing to give or take second chances.

Christmas! This is the season for many reasons. This is the season where the worse is overpowered by the best. This is the season when despite the material things or the lack of it, people still give and take. And this is the season to forgive even the unforgiveable because after all, this is the season when love reigns.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday... to me!

It is my birthday today. Hmmmm... sort of.

It is my birthday today, technically speaking. Because today is the 1st anniversary of my second life. Today is the 1st anniversary of my car accident that happened last year.

Same day last year I was given a second lease on life and that blessing gave me a second chance to live another life with new hope and renewed faith.

It's winter time again and snow storm [or worst... ice storm] is inevitable. I will be driving again on icy, slushy, crappy and treacherous winter roads. I will be driving again by the same spot where I had the accident. And I will be scared of my wits again every time my tires will skid or spin due to block ice.

Winter here in Maine is a wonderland if you are talking about the beautiful white landscapes created by the snowfall. Everything is picture perfect just like what you see in beautiful Christmas cards and postcards. Everything is breathtaking and awesome. And everything is what I ever dreamed of when I was still living in a tropical country. But after the car accident, I hate winter.



Winter is a bitter season. The naked trees are stipped of life after all the leaves are gone. The lovely blue waters of the lakes and ponds are turned into a huge block of ice. And wildlife fled into hibernation, making the "wild"... devoid of life.

But winter is inevitable. Like life, it has to pass. Like life it has to end. And like life it has to give way to spring... so that a new life will begin.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Frost

The early frost on the grass this morning signals that summer is really over. The chilly morning breeze reminds me that summer finally bid farewell. The foggy morning gives me a preview of what it will be like every morning from this day on.

But the grass is still green. The dew drops are cold on my toes. The maple leaves on the trees are turning yellow. Summer will be over soon but my memories of this summer will always be fresh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Making a Living

Work Pictures, Images and Photos
Making a living is a way of life. You cannot condemn a person for trying to make a living with whatever way he chooses. You cannot judge a person for making a bad business decision in order to make both ends meet. And you cannot blame a person if he steals from someone to put food on the table. Whether one makes a living legally or otherwise, it is human instinct that dictates one to do something for survival.

Human being learns the basic following his instinct. The evolution of work and the compensations one gets from such effort are the essential factors for the development of the human race. From agriculture to domestication of animal to invention of technologies to more invention left and right... the human race is unstoppable. From exchange of goods with another goods (simply put... barter) to exchange of knowledge with another idea (read: education) to sourcing of raw materials in exchange for service (translation: compensation)... the human race is limitless.

Work gives one a certain degree of dignity. It gives one a sense of confidence. And it gives one a feeling of security. People look for job not only to survive but to make himself a useful and productive human being. But it does not necessarily mean too that people who are out of work are undignified, inconfident and insecured. But one needs to get the necessary skill to be able to get remuneration for his effort and service.

However we look at it, making a living is not making a life but it is life itself. We need to work to make ourselves useful and productive. We need to work to be able to express ourselves in a way we know how and to gain a certain sense of pride for ourselves. And we need to work to leave a legacy.

No matter how small or big our contribution to our workplace, we achieve something for ourselves. No matter how little or huge we look at the job we do, we make a great impact in our workplace. And no matter how important or insignificant our work to our own personal evaluation, we still get compensated for that work.

We work to make a living, so let's not not live to work.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Coldness

It is more than a physical thing. It is more than a feeling. It is more than a predicament.

When the breeze felt like it is wet and makes me chill… it is indeed cold. When the gentle breeze touches my cheeks and it sends a nippy feeling down my toes… it is certainly cold. And when the brisk wind blows like crazy in a frosty morning… it is definitely cold.

When someone gives you an unwelcome shoulder… that is cold. When someone shuts his door right on your face… that is totally cold. And when someone refuses to even look at you… that is undoubtedly cold.

Coldness is a predicament when you feel the cool breeze or when you feel unwelcomed. Coldness is a predicament when your toes felt numbed or when your face is numbed from being unaccepted. And coldness is a predicament when the wind blows in a frosty morning or when someone totally refuses to let you be a part of his life.

Coldness… is more than feeling cold… it is a situation no one wants to be in.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I won the Lottery!

I was waiting patiently. My palms were sweating like crazy. My heart was beating furiously. My knees were shaking uncontrolably. I was breathing fast and nervous. My anticipation was too overwhelming to comprehend. And I can't take my eyes off the small balls bearing familiar numbers in the raffle drum as they were dropped there one after another.

Everything happened so fast. The world stood still as the host repeated the 6 numbers drawn. I had to pinch myself to focus. I finally had the common sense to look at the paper I was holding since the lottery numbers were drawn that night. I had to look at the paper to make sure that it has the right numbers that were called out. And YES! The numbers on the paper I was holding were the exact numbers that won the jackpot.

I WON THE JACKPOT! I won 55 million dollars!

THEN... I WOKE UP!

Damn dream! I tried to go back to sleep to recall the numbers so I can bet on them for real. I tried to go back to bed to dream it again but I failed. I tried to close my eyes so tight trying to search my brain of any hint of recorded numbers from the dream that I just had... but I wasn't successful. I tried to lie down again hoping that I will be able to remember at least 5 numbers but I only came up with 1 and 17, but still I wasn't sure enough that those two numbers were the ones I saw in my dream. Then, I gave up.


-----------------------------------


I never remember any of my dreams. Who does, anyway? Most of my dreams are fragments of things I never have any recollections of. Dreams that are constantly bugging me in my deepest sleep… dreams that are continuously giving me vague clue of the past or perhaps the future… dreams that are persistently waking me up in the middle of the night giving me yet another unsolved puzzles to my existence.

What are dreams made of? Why are they so haunting yet fascinating? Why are they so persistent yet intriguing? Why are they so gripping yet elusive? I never remember any of my dreams. Maybe I will never will.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

the sower and the fruit

The circle of life is an amazing cycle of God's miracle. Trying to understand it makes it more interesting if not more incomprehensible because the more I try to understand life, the more I get confused. Its mystery never ceases to amaze me. And its enigma never stops captivating me.

Everyone has a chance to experience life in all sizes and shapes. And just like other people I got the chance to see life in different angles.

As a DAUGHTER... my parents taught me how to make the right choices and to take a stand for the consequences of the choices I made.


As a SISTER... I was blessed with two brothers who shared with me a happy childhood full of happy memories. They are my partners-in-crime and together we grew up into responsible human beings bonded not only by blood but by the love, loyalty, trust, respect and common sense that mom and dad showed us.


As a FRIEND... I have challenged myself to deal with other people outside my family. It taught me the skill to relate to other people with the same confidence I had with my own family. The trust, respect, and loyalty that I learned from home was strengthened and made solid though my personal interaction with other people.



As a WORKER and a CO-WORKER... I was able to value work without prejudice. I have learned that dedication and hard work are the basic ingredients for a by-product.



As an EDUCATOR... I was able to teach the values that I strongly uphold and was able to learn other important values from my students as well. I did not only teach them what I know but they taught me more than what I know about life.


As a WIFE... I am now learning to understand the value of sharing and selflessness. Having a partner is not just having someone to go home to or to share your food with... or having someone who will pay your bills and buy you what you want... or someone to fight and nag... or someone to clean up your mess... but it is having someone to celebrate life with.


As a HUMAN BEING... I am always grateful to the ONE who put me here... the ONE who never stops watering the earth to make the seed grow. The ONE who is patient when I am snapping. The ONE who is loving when I am hating. The ONE who is waiting when I am procrastinating. The ONE who is rejoicing when I am laughing.



I have learned a lot of hard lessons in life, both good and bad. And for the past 42 years of my existence I went through a lot of trials that I know have made me become the kind of person that I am now. I did have my fair share of life's ups and downs. And with each rising and falling, a new lesson is learned... a new meaning is defined... a new blessing is given. There might have been times when I hate or dislike what I see.. feel... think and I back-slided every chance I get from my personal conviction. But SOMEONE never gives up on me... so I did not have the chance to give up too. As what the late Fr. Rene Cosico told me once when I was complaining about life - "Grow where you are planted.", I learned how to turn the situation to my advantage. It was not always easy but trying makes the difference. It taught me not just patience but resilience.

Every sunrise and every sunset is a challenge that I face everyday of my life. And every moment is a chance for me to grow... to learn... to rejoice... to trust... to love.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

moments like these

I take advantage of rare opportunities for fear that they will not come again.

I know about the saying “opportunity knocks only once”. And so I need to heed it.

In my experience, a lot of wasted opportunities passed me by because I was scared too. I was scared of change. I was afraid of indifference. I was terrified of responsibilities.

But I have changed.

I am more daring now.

I am braver.

I am bolder.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the rotten apple

"I got some apples for you... and the deer, Sweetie." my hubby announced one afternoon as he handed me the bag of apples. I ate them all in 4 days.

One morning, as I was about to do the laundry I found this white big box with the pictures and the word "vegetables" on it stacked on top of a box filled with old toys. I opened the box and found lots of bruised and almost rotten apples. No wonder the cellar was soaked in apple scent for the whole week. I was jealous of the deer because they got a big box and I only got a peck.

That afternoon, I found my hubby standing by the box with a plastic bag full of apples [to be fed to the deer outback ] on one hand and munching an apple on the other. I was horrified because I know the apple was no longer good to eat. I tried to stop him but he only gave me a shrug and said... "Nah, they are not all rotten, there are still some that are good, you only have to look."

Prejudice - everyone is guilty! Isn't it easy to judge a person by what we see on the outside than what is inside his heart? Isn't it easier to scratch the surface than dig underneath? Isn't it easiest to blame someone for the wrong thing he did than to admit our own mistakes?

We are not fruits. We are not vegetables. We are human beings. Sin is not contagious. It is only the consequence of our wrong choices and our wrong judgment. There is no way that a sinner will be able to make us a sinner too, unless we allow it. We have the freedom to make choices... so let's make the right one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

give and take

The best thing about Karma is that... it is not retroactive. If you did something wrong to someone, you won't get punished right away. Sometimes it takes years and years and you tend to forget about it and when something bad happen to you... you just say... "I had a bad luck."

The best thing about Karma is that... it is transferable. If you did something wrong to someone, sometimes other people are paying for it... like your kid dropping out from school and enrolling to a rehab.

The best thing about Karma is that... it is negotiable. If you did something wrong to someone, you can just write a check so he won't press charges.

I do believe in Karma... the golden rule... and the stairways to heaven. Doing good to others is not only a matter of.... do-good-now-and-get-rewarded-later... it is a matter of living life the right way.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Survivor

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)



"Be careful with what you wish for... you might get it." That's the latest catchy phrase from the February 2008 season of Survivors [The Fans vs. The Faves] commercial.

After college, I worked my way to the corporate jungle with ease. It was a jungle out there, so to speak but I had the time of my life. I was able to do the things I was dreaming of when I was a little girl. The city life... the independence... the parties... the do-whatever-you-want-to-do-because-mama-is-not-around kind of things... and the oh-boy-where-is-our-next-trip moment... were all part and parcel of my dreamland turned dream-come-true-land. It was chaotic but exciting. For a while, I loved it. The experience equipped me with the necessary tools and skills that work to my advantage when I moved on to the next level.

But then, as expected, I get sick and tired of the monotony. The corporate jungle was indeed a jungle, literally and figuratively. I became restless... exhausted... and drained. I needed a change. I wanted something else to happen to my life. So I dreamt another dream. I dreamt about the so called "the-next-level-dream". I drew up a plan. I role-played. I envisioned it. I prayed for it. I wanna to go back to my hometown. I wanted my old life back. I wanted that small town-ish life... the dependence... the party-less existence... the do-the-things-that-mama-told-you-to-do kind of things... and the oh-boy-let's-just-stay-home-and-just-hang-out moments... they all became parts of my "new season" dreamland. And I did. Oh well, I got it. I really got want I wanted and my prayers were answered. I finally headed home. I went home but not to do my plans... but to take care of my ailing mother.

The CALL - came early that morning. Dad told me to come home because mom was in the hospital. She had a stroke. I was dumb-folded. I hurriedly packed my get-away luggage, took a quicker than quick shower and took the first bus available that stopped at the bus-stop homeward bound. I was home at last. My prayers were answered.

Mom passed away almost 8 years ago. But she lived 8 more years after her stroke in 1994. And she lives in our hearts... forever.

God moves in mysterious ways. We may not be able to comprehend how He works but we know that He knows what is best for us. At first I felt I was cheated because it was not the kind of homecoming that I wanted. But for the span of 8 years that I spent with my mother.. taking care of her... changing her diapers... giving her a bath... cutting her hair... clipping her nails... fighting with her over her favorite litson (roasted pork)... all those things made me realized that she was indeed worth every effort because I do love her. I was able to appreciate her more. We were able to reconcile whatever differences we had in the past especially when I was growing up. It was the most crucial stage of our relationship. We were able to communicate in different ways possible because she can no longer speak. Half of her body was dead and can't move around without help. Of course everything was not all rosy. Trials, desperation and frustrations set in every now and then especially when my dad had a stroke too... and didn't make it. We were suddenly left partially orphaned. It was the time of my life when I took my 360 degrees turn. The paradigm shift was worth the trouble. I was a new person then on.

Well, I was still able to accomplish my plans that I set for myself more than 2 decades ago. Though there were some revisions here and there, everything turned out fine. The experience gave me a chance to work on my relationship issues with my mom and her situation made me stronger, if not... a survivor. The experience also made me a more compassionate... more understanding... more patient... and more loving person. It gave me new meaning to life and to appreciate it without reservation.

I still miss her most of the time but I don't grieve for her lost because I know that she was able to live her life to the fullest until the time she had to leave us... and be with my dad. I know she is happy now. And I am happy too because she is now with - the Grand Planner of all time.

Me and Mom during our Pilgrimage in Manaoaog, Pangasinan.

Me and Mom during may College graduation.

Me and Mom. Our last Christmas together.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

cravings

I had a little sweet craving last Sunday morning. I went to do my grocery and the first stop was the bakery goods on the right side of the grocery store. I dunked 2 cheese Danish on the white paper bag and headed on to do the ritual… shopping that is.

Giving in to life’s little craving fire up human soul with renewed faith in the uncertainties of the unknown. Giving in to life’s little craving gives human emotion a taste of excitement and renewed enthusiasm to face the challenges yet to come. And giving in to life’s little craving makes the human spirit yearns for the blessings and the miracles that can change the withered hope.

Life is too short... so go ahead and crave.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Raindrops

It’s pouring. Like millions of falling crystal drops, they came down to quench the thirsty ground. Like countless shining silvery strands, they came down to satisfy the parched soil. Like myriad of hoary threads from heavens, they came down to extinguish the fiery dirt burnt by the scourging sun.

Raindrops keep falling. They keep falling like a cool splash of tiny crystal drops from a mountain’s spring. They keep falling like sweet tears from a horde of angels’ crying from heaven for unrepentant souls. They keep falling like a cold spray from paradise to put out the fire of human weakness and temptations.

Raindrops keep pouring and falling to bless the sower's fruits of the earth.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Cousin Jen

I love sending cards to my loved ones during special occasions. More than anything else I love sending cards that I personally make. And since I am into digital scrapbooking… I send them personalized cards with the person’s photos on them. This is the latest card that I sent to my cousin Jen in Germany.





It’s my cousin Jen’s birthday today. She is celebrating her Nth birthday. This is not just an ordinary birthday for her. This is her most significant birthday ever. This is her 1st birthday… for her second lease on life. She is a cancer survivor.



Jen is 5 years older than me. We are not really that close compared with her younger sister Joey. But we have some good memories together when we were growing up. She is the big sister I never had. And like a big sister I looked up to her. I admired her so much. I was her copycat. I copied practically everything she did when she was a teenager. I copied the way she dressed up… the way she put her make up on… the way she walked… the way she talked… the way she waved her hands while she was talking… the way she batted her eyelashes when she was talking [with boys – LOL]. Yes, I did admire her and I still do.



Jen as I remember has big dreams. And when she was in her early twenties… she went to Germany to help her family. During the first few years that she was in Germany we wrote each other letters until it stopped… completely. And since she moved to Germany I only saw her couple of times when she came home for a visit. Thanks to Facebook… we are reconnected.



It is her birthday today. It has been over a year now since she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It has been a year now since she was blessed with a second life.





I love sending personalized cards… and since I love writing too… I usually write my own words in the cards I send. The following is the very words I wrote for my cousin Jen. [I quote them here because the words are too small to read on the photo above.]



1st October 2009

Dear Jen,

Life indeed is so short and to be able to have a second lease on it is not just a blessing but a miracle that only God can give… that only Man can appreciate… that only our loved ones can be grateful for.

A second chance doesn’t mean a second take on our mistakes but rather a new road to take. It doesn’t mean another chance to go on with our dreams but rather an opportunity to dream anew. And it doesn’t give you one last chance to create new memories but rather live the old memories with new hope in our hearts.

Take your second chance with faith. Happy Birthday and more to come.

Ate Ruth



Second life… not every one is given a second chance… not everyone is blessed… and not everyone is capable of seeing the second chance a blessing. Jen went through a lot in the past. She sacrificed a lot in life. And she struggled a lot to give her loved ones a comfortable life. This second chance is a blessing so that she will be able to live her life the way she deserves.



Happy Birthday Jen. I love you... don't you ever doubt that. Talk to you later.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mystery of Life

It still is a mystery. Life is a mystery that a lot of people will do anything to unveil its poignant mysticism to satisfy one’s curiosity or disbelief.

It is a blessing. Life is a blessing that some people can take for granted due to lack of gratefulness or lost of basic human attributes.

It is indeed a gift. Life is a gift that few people will never appreciate unless it is taken away from them or have a chance to see it slipping away or at least were given a second lease on it.

Life is an opportunity to experience the mystery of existence. Life is a chance to enjoy the many blessings that are part and parcel of our existence. And life is the ultimate act of sharing the wonderful gift of our existence.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

fall it is

As the leaves change its color from green to monochromatic red-orange-and-brown hue so as the breeze will start to feel chilly despite the warmth of the sun that will constantly shine through.

The valleys and rolling hills will change its appearance and the grass will start to wither. While the ground will slowly freezes up that will completely dry the meadow out.

This is fall. This is the time for harvest. This is the time for thanksgiving. This is the time for new hope.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Foliage


It’s the first day of fall. The hills are alive… breathing… gasping… for that last gust of a cool summer day. The leaves are gradually changing their color from monochromatic green hue to different shades of yellow, red, orange and brown. From the tree where they had their good times dancing and swaying to the cool breeze of summer wind, they will soon fall off from the branches in an orchestrated fashion to cover the grounds and stage a magnificent collage of lovely streaks of autumn symphony– a remembrance of a blissful summer that has been.

Like fall, life is a never ending process of beginning and the end... of birth and demise… of time and space. The changing hue represents the many aspects of life that makes it interesting if not worth-living for. Fall is a promise of the new covenant of hope for after the last leaf has finally let go of its grasp on the twig that holds it from the first day of spring, it will be swept away by the wind to its final destination… to rest and face its creator. It is a process of renewal… for every leaf that falls… a new leaf will have its chance to go through the same passage. A passage that is inevitable as life.

Sunrise

DSCF3283


Peeking behind the lush tree... bringing a new light... looking forward to another great day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Miracle

I was crying like a baby... sobbing non stop... tears running down my cold cheeks... head spinning like crazy as I struggled holding my breath and my mobile phone all at the same time. I was trying to make sense of all what was going on right under my nose, but to no effect.

It was one of those rare phone calls that I hate to participate in since I left home. I was talking to my friend and colleague from home trying to grasp the essence of our communication. Her voice was firm and full of conviction. Her tone was strong and filled with total resignation. Her breathing was deep yet consistent. She was cool, calm and collected.

"Be strong, Mare [a term we used to address each other because her first born is my Goddaughter]." She said in a matter-of-factly way.

If it is God’s will for me, then I have to accept it.” She sustained as I continued sobbing and said nothing but “Mare”

"This is just one of the mysteries of life and we have no choice but to accept it with faith in our hearts" She continued saying assuring me that… EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY.

But I am not OK! Neither is she!

She is not OK! SHE HAS LUNG CANCER!

Yes, my dear Mare is dealing with the big C. And it was not OK with me. The news was so overwhelming because I miss my dear friend so much. She was one my few BFFs whom I consider as the sister I never had. We went through a lot of things. We shared a lot of life-changing experiences that made us better persons. We fought together as allies for what we believe in. And we cried together during those times when either one of us was in our lowest.

Yes, my dear Mare is facing the greatest challenge of her life. She is dealing with the toughest truth that shocks not only her family but friends and students alike. And she accepts the harsh reality with total resignation and faith in God.

I don’t know about other people but I do fail a lot of times in the “faith department”. I am the most impatient person I’ve ever known. And “doubt” should be my middle name. Yes, I do have faith but faith works better with patience.

I have gone through a lot of tough times too and sometimes I felt like giving up blaming others but myself for everything. With all the blessings that I have received I still feel that I am not blessed enough like other people. And I still believe that life is unfair just because I feel so frustrated with all my failures in life due to the wrong choices I made.

My Mare opened up my eyes to an entirely new way to look at life. Miracles happen all the time. Miracles happen when you least expected it. And Miracles happen to those who believe. We do not know if she will have her share of miracle. But there is one thing I am very sure of… she is my miracle for she brings back my faith in life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the unfaithful

"Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." (John 20:29)

There will always be a "doubting Thomas" among us. This is human nature. The human spirit is frail when it is subjected to sufferings. The human spirit is weak when it is under intensed trials. And the human spirit is fragile when it is pressured by hardship.

Doubts set in everytime the human spirit is shattered by disappointments, frustrations, and dejections. When Jesus was captured, crucified, and died on the cross, a lot of his followers were shattered. Jesus was their joy. Jesus was their healer. And Jesus was their only hope.

But they didn't understand anything at that time. Even the desciples. That is why Thomas was doubtful. He was doubtful not because he has no faith in Jesus. He was doubtful not because he didn't love Jesus. And he was doubtful not because he has given up on Jesus. He was doubtful because he was a human spirit torn and hurt by what had happened to the person he loved.

A lot of times, my spirit is shattered when I am disappointed with my life. Most of the time, my spirit is shattered when I am frustrated with my heart's desire. And sometimes, my spirit is shattered when I am face with rejections.

I am a doubting Thomas too most of the time. I am unfaithful. But God never gives up on me. He remains faithful. He is faithful.

Spiritual Musing Sunday

The Drought

I have stayed away from writing "reflections" for quite awhile. But I have a good alibi. I experienced another "spiritual drought" again. That's my alibi.

By saying that... I can hear my mom saying - "I told you, no excuses!". But "bless her soul" I can't think of anything to say to explain my being irresponsible. I have promised myself that this year [again], I will make my daily personal reflection on the scriptures. I did it for a couple of weeks straight then... I stopped. And I have not written until now.

This happened many times in the past for me. I also wrote a lot of reflections before when I was still new in the apostolate. My heart then was burning with so much inspiration that time and my ideas were running like a river. And once I finished reading the scripture and sat in front of the computer... I was unstoppable. I was like Jesus' disciples, blessed with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

But then, after awhile, the fire died down. I lost the inspiration. It became hard for me to think and construct a simple sentence to make a short reflection. Until, I totally stopped all together.

My spiritual adviser call it "spiritual drought". Where the burning desire in one's heart suddenly died down. "Back-sliding" is another term that he used to describe it. When one feels that the grace of the Holy Spirit is not working anymore and the person goes back to its wrong ways. But then, according to him, this is not a bad thing at all. This is in fact, a blessing if we have to look it in a different context.

Spiritual drought is a life's trial. He explained it to me in a simile. He said... our spiritual life is like a tree. It needs sun, air and water to grow. These are our life's achievements, family, friends and other blessings that we received from God. But then, God also gives the tree a period of drought. Too much sun but less water or sometimes, totally no water. And when that happens, the tree never dies. Its roots sink deeper to the soil to find water in order to survive. The roots grow deeper and deeper not knowing that by doing so, the tree becomes stonger and deeply anchored. And then, the big hurricane came, everything was destroyed, the houses, the vegetations, everything except the tree. It remained planted and standing strong because the roots were deep enough to hold the trunk of the tree on the ground. It survived the hurricane because of the drought.

I was called a splogger by another blogger in another website during my first year of blogging. And that broke my spirit. So I stopped writing. But like any drought. And after awhile, it made me more thirsty. I thirst to write again. That is why I am here again and writing those nagging thoughts. And yes, soon I will be doing my "reflections" again... and I know, I will also get myself tempted to stop and experience drought soon enough too.

The hurricane had subsided. The storm is now calm. The tree remained standing. Now, I am thirsty. And while I am... I need to quench my thirst from the water of faith.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

obedience


"And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:38)

I remember my mother would always say to me... "Why can't you just do it?" everytime she would ask me to do something. I am not really lazy, I was just inquisitive. I would always ask question first before following orders. Before following her order I would first asked her... "Why?" And it would pissed her off everytime I did that. She wanted me to follow her without questions. "Why won't you be just a good obedient girl like everybody else?", she would asked next.

When the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she is chosen to be the mother of Jesus, she didn't ask why... she only asked how it will happen. It only proved that she was indeed a smart girl just wanting to know the real situation she will be put in. And knowing the real consequences of the predicament she was presented with, she accepted without doubt.

Mary was a real obedient girl. She knows the consequences that she will be facing once she gives her consent but still she accepted it. She obeyed God's order. She followed what she was told. She accepted her fate. And for this, salvation became possible to humanity. Because of Mary's obedience, Jesus was made flesh and became our savior.

Mary is not only a smart girl. She is brave and strong. And I am not like her. There are times that I would chicken out when I am given a great responsibility for fear that I will fail. I am afraid to do something I was asked to do for fear that people will be disappointed when things turn out to be a failure. And I am scared that when things go downhill people will blame me. I don't have that strong faith that can move mountain.

But God have faith in me. His faith in me makes me strong. Like Mary, I just need to believe in that faith so I will be able to say "YES" too and accept my responsibility with more confidence and trust.


Monday, July 27, 2009

summer rains

Another gloomy Monday and I am feeling lazy again. [What else is new?] It has been a bleak week last week and today seems to be another bleak week ahead. Though weather news is telling [as of this writing] that it will be a nice day today, still I can’t see the truth to that claim. I want to see blue cloudless sky.

I want to feel warm rays of the sun on my tanned skin. And I want to go for a run again and have a real nice weekend ahead. But then, how? It doesn’t look like a nice day today. Or maybe I am just impatient. I am in Maine so I need to wait 5 minutes.

THERE! The sun is coming out. I can see it now. Hope we will have a real summer-ish kind of season… after all it is still summer indeed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thankful

What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for? Is there a reason to be thankful about?

I am grateful for life. I am grateful that I was given a chance to live and experience life. I am grateful that life is good to me… that it taught me lessons big and small… good and bad… dull and colorful ones.

I am grateful for the people who are part of my life. The two important people who brought me into this world… for their sacrifices to give me the life that I deserve and that I will cherish as long as I live. For giving me lessons that I need to survive this cruel world. For being my role models. For giving me two special people to grow up with… play with… laugh with… cry with… fight with… love with.

I am grateful for those people who touched my life. Those people who inspired me to do the impossible and make a difference in this world… those who gave me the strength when I was weak… those who picked me up when I fell… those who cheered me up when I was sad… those who laughed with me to keep my sanity intact… those who cried with me to make me feel I am not alone… those who love me unconditionally.

Life is a continuing cycle of give and take. Give and you will receive. Give and share what you received. Take what is given and give back the blessings. Life is good to those who know how to give back. Let us be thankful for all the blessings.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

nothingness

Nothing prepared one for the unexpected.

Nothing equipped one for the unforeseen. Nothing sets one to control what is beyond one’s power. If life is the training ground for the after-life, then we should all learn the skills now. We should all brace ourselves for the possibilities of what we are hoping for. We should all be geared towards fulfilling our tasks here. So that when the time comes, we are ready.

Nothing is certain. Nothing is definite. Nothing is constant. But one thing is sure… life is a mystery.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

relationship

No man is an island. We agree. We know it. We accept it as a fact. People need people and everyone sings it. Everyone concur that it’s true. Everyone believes it. Everyone seeks out and reach out.

Life is tough enough and if we don’t have someone to share even the simple things we have, the simplest achievement we get or have fun with, we feel worthless. Relationship makes people live tough life with strength. It gives people the power to conquer. It helps people to survive.

Life is worth-living for… reach out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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