1st day of January 2013

In the first morning of January 2013, it is great to be reminded of the Word that His love is created new every morning. Whatever we did in the past will never change His merciful love for us. Who could ever love us that way except God, right? Now, it’s new year, let us start by forgetting the mistakes of the past, pressing on what lies ahead of us and moving forward with new hopes that His grace is sufficient for us to surpass whatever challenges that will come our way this 2013. A blessed and abundant new year for all of us! 🙂

Lamentations 3:22-24 (MSG) God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.

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Never Say Never

Never Say Never

There are times when you need to move with the crowd and there are moments you need to be alone to CONQUER YOUR FEARS.

You will never know unless you TRY.

They might say you can’t do it , but you only need to HAVE FAITH IN YOUR CAPACITY and PROVE IT TO YOURSELF that YOU CAN DO IT.

No matter how long and tiring your journey was,

you can STOP,

BREATH,

take it SLOW,

find your pacing,

and continue to MOVE FORWARD until you reach the finish line.

Never say never!

You only live once! YOLO! 🙂

My First 10K: Finding My Greatness

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Exactly one month from now, I will be joining the Nike We Run Manila 10K Run with my friends at work.  I’ve started joining Fun Runs annually since 2010 in 3K to 5K categories without a proper training.  To be honest, I never imagined myself joining a 10K run, because I felt and thought that I won’t make it to the finish line.   Although I run, I was never a runner.  Who am I to belittle my capability?  Yes, I am scared, but I should believe in myself.  Right? 🙂  

 

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What are my reasons of joining this 10K run?

1.  I want to be more physically active and healthy through exercise by strictly following a 10K training plan and to lose weight.

2.  I want to challenge myself and my body and test how far can I go on my own.  

3.  I want to try something new that I never have tried before.

4.  I want to start the race in proper form and finish the line injury-free. 

5.  I want to enjoy the exhilarating experience with my friends.

 

“Everyone is capable of greatness.”

Your Maid of Honor

It was a dream come true when my cousin had chosen me to be her maid of honor for her wedding this December 2012.  I’m ecstatic to be one because I’ve never been a bridesmaid or a maid of honor.  In the earlier part of their wedding preparations,  I was about to turn down the position as her MOH because I was unsure if I’d be here in time for her wedding.  I’ve seen the look of dismay on her face every time I talk about it, but things turned the other way around so I’m very sure now that I’ll be on that very special day. It will definitely be a busy 3 and a half months away from their wedding day. I am starting to feel the excitement, thrill, and a little butterflies.

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It’s just the other day when I came to fully think about what does it really mean to be a Maid of Honor.  Okay, I googled it. 😀  There are so many Maid of Honor duties to count and special reasons why a bride chooses someone to be her Maid of Honor.  A Maid of Honor is a part-time worker bee, part-time emotional life boat, trouble-shooter and smart advisor.  She must have a sympathetic ear, limitless patience and a sense of humor.  I think that’s me..hahaha.  Well, that googling thing made me realize the privilege to be a Maid of Honor.  I have not made a simple thank you letter to the bride for choosing me to be her MOH, so here it goes.

Dear Ayen,

I would like to say my sincere “Thank you” for choosing me to be your Maid of Honor.  It is a privilege to be chosen from all the people who you know and who are closest to you.  We have known each other from the day you were born and until now.  We may have different tastes and personalities but there’s always a special bond that will connect us as cousins, friends and sisters.  I thank you for trusting me as your MOH.

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I am honored to serve, to help, to witness and to play an important part on your wedding preparations until your wedding day.

I may lack experience.  I may not be the best MOH,  but I will try to give my best to support you and do all the things that you expect of me.  I am looking forward to all the memories that we will share along the way until your big day.  God bless you!

Love,

Ate Cris

Have it your way.

The famous catchy phrase says, “Have it your way.”

We are used to having it our own way.  Back in the day, there were instances where I would insist having it my way. When my plans don’t happen the way I pictured it to happen, I would end up in a bad mood. I become bitter and disappointed.

When I was in the US embassy last July 2011, I just stared and observed the people as they finish their interviews. Others leave the place with a big smile, confidence and some with a blank face (because they were denied). I remember when this woman turned her back from the consul’s window and approached someone (she knows) and said, “Maybe, God has other plans for me!” There was no trace of sadness and disappointment on the woman’s face but an aura of hope and faith in God. That moment, I know she has her full trust in God. I smiled inside of me.

Before my interview, I bear in mind the usual questions to be answered and the important information I need to give to the consul. The bottom line is I came prepared. I even used faith words and declared that I will be approved and I am favored by God. Well, things turned the other way around when the not so pleasant, good-looking consul asked few short questions far from the purpose of my travel and exam and denied me without a care to see my support documents. So, I went home still with joy and overpowered by the woman’s declaration that, “Maybe God has other plans.”

Then, I had another interview the following week. This time I talked to God, “I will do this Lord. I want this to be finished. You are bigger than anyone else in this place. I surrender this to you. I trust you. You are in control.” The interview went well. The consul was very nice and was open to let me ask a few questions but in the end, I was denied again. That was a tough test.

I cannot deny that I got sad and cried a little about what happened. It was out of my hands but I didn’t let that thing get a hold of me. I said to God, “Whatever happened I will still continue to trust and praise you even I was hurt.” I was amazed how easily I was able to move on with this trial with a joy and peace in my heart and mind. I know I need to hold on to His promise that, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:12

Looking back, I know I will never find the answers to my questions on why I was denied twice.   Maybe there are questions that no one can ever answer except Him. Unanswered prayers.  Lost a loved one. Neglected and left by someone. Lost in a game which you have trained hard. Plans that need to be adjusted because of a delay. There are times when things will go in the other direction. When these things happen we tend to be bitter, anxious, disappointed, lose our trust in God, blame and question Him. But who are we to question Him. We need to release from the negative feelings and thoughts. Let go and let God be God. Finally, we can now say, “Have it your way, God.” because God’s ways are not our ways.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

In a Christmas Rush

It’s Christmas time… 🙂

I know it’s November, but it’s Christmas time over here in the Philippines.  Immediately right after Halloween, Filipinos start to decorate their houses and the malls with Christmas ornaments, start to listen to Christmas carols, start their Christmas shopping when they get their Christmas Bonuses and 13th month pays, start to fill their Starbucks planner sticker booklet, and start to make a Christmas countdown. You can feel it’s truly Christmas when the traditional Christmas caroling and evening mass start every 16th of December.

At home, my cousin had to put up the Christmas tree by her own.  Great job! 😉  If I’ll have my own tree, I’ll decorate it with silver and fuchsia pink balls or hang in little cute Santas, candy canes, snow mans and anything cute.

Last Christmas, I received a Starbucks planner but I don’t have plans of getting one if I’d need to fill this sticker booklet just to get one.

Because Tis’ the Season, it’s time to use my Christmas mug for a warm cup of coffee and chocolate.  It’s just once in a year so use it. 🙂 I got this mug as a gift last December 2009.

Also, this week I had time to take photos at the mall where my work is located.  You fail to see what’s new because you pass through it most of the time (in my case, irregularly because I have irregular work.)  If I didn’t sit there, I would have not seen the pretty, red poinsettias in Corte delas Palmas.

The mall’s Christmas decors are simple compared to the previous years but I appreciate it thou.

Another one that I like about Christmas are the Holiday treats.  I went to Starbucks  the other day.  I like gourmet breads so I ordered  the Sundried Tomato Basil Bread which go along well with strawberry jam and butter.  Plus, they gave a small Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino. I’ll probably order a Peppermint chocolate bread and ginger bread man next time just for a try.

Besides coffee and bread, I like grocery shopping.  I haven’t seen any other specialty grocery store here in the Philippines other than Healthy Options.  I will surely enjoy Trader’s Joe and Marshalls.  I like the regular supermarkets and dry market but I love going to Healthy Options.  I get excited and my eyes feast on the organic and whole wheat products.  I try to be as wise as possible because every time I go there, I burn a hole in my pocket because the products are expensive.  Like the other day, I bought a few items there and in the grocery.  I took a snap shot together with the Christmas table runner and the Stash Pumpkin Spice Tea.  It’s a holiday tea so I bought it.

What I’m feeling  now is a Christmas rush.  I just want to enjoy this holiday season because who knows I might be abroad next year.

Gone are the cold nights and early mornings.  No white Christmas, no sight of genuine snow man, snow balls and smell of Christmas pine trees, no reason to wear thick sweaters, no baked ginger bread man and no pumpkin spice coffees, but nothing beats the warm Christmas season here in the Philippines still. 🙂