Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘joy’

The Joy Of Washing Clothes


Round and round I watch with fascination

My clothes spinning like a froclic cat that tries to catch its tail

My hardships being cleansed by detergent and fabric conditioner

My convenient independence achieved with a higher price

I don’t mind waking up too early or paying too much

All that matters is that laundry brings me joy…

The DIY Experience

Looking for a good gift this Christmas? Why not try making one? Making a DIY project unleashes both your creativity and passion for uniqueness.

I just suddenly discovered my inner creative self once again. I love it when I had just finished decorating the notebook with all those colorful bits and pieces from Ms. Patricia Paterno’s box. Like a little kid, I was excited when I finished my first project at Papelmelroti.

Popular as a DIY (do-it-yourself) shop, Papelmelroti caters to art lovers, gift buyers, and all kinds of people who would love to unleash their creative selves. For forty years, Papelmelroti had been unique in its kind, as its organic products promote a clean environment and nationality at the same time. Ms. Paterno, one of the five siblings who owned Papelmelroti (she was the one from whom “Pa” was named after), was kind enough to share to me the store’s humble and blessed story, as well as her love for the arts.

She lets me try my own DIY creation. From a plain notebook, I sorted out paper cuts and stickers and other items. Tada! I made a girl who left her basket just to chase the butterly. But Ms. Paterno had a different interpretation. It’s a girl who left her baggage of problems to chase her dreams! I love it!

Watch our interview and my DIY trial in Dec. 24 only on Newslight, 7:30-8pm (Manila time). It will be aired on Light Network (channels: 33 = free channel in Manila, 161 = Sky digital cable, 93 = Cignal cable). There’s also live streaming on http://www.lightnetwork.ph.

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Shifting Focus

I left Monday with an angry and stressed outlook.

It’s so frustrating when one day you’re empowered with the Lord’s promises and restful atmosphere on Sunday but suddenly shifting into a furious worker on Mondays. I almost thought of myself as a modern-day Dr.-Jekyll-slash-Mr.-Hyde. What’s even more frustrating is when I realize I’ve broken another testimony. It’s like shattering a new golden ball you received as a gift before your folks can appreciate it.

The Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, peace, and joy. But absence of these three things reflects the loss of them. Only through Christ can we receive these things. But they can only manifest if we fully have faith to let go of our selfish ways and let the Giver of these things take over our lives.

It requires a change in focus. Whatever I focus affects my perception, and much sooner, my emotions. Should I focus with what I see or what I hope for? Blessed are those who have not seen yet believed, the Bible says.

I hope for excellence. But I cannot move forward if I focus on the failure of one step.

I hope for alliances. But I cannot have it if I focus on the character flaw of one person.

I hope for promotion. But I cannot obtain it if I focus on self-pity and insecurity.

I hope for world restoration. But I can never be part of it if I focus on myself alone.

I cannot dwell in the lack that I see. All I have to focus is on the One who can fill the lack. If I have no cards left, only God can change the game to my favor…not because of me, but because I’m part of His team that brings His glory and love to a broken world with a distracted focus.

Living out Christ in Christmas

If you could come and visit our house hours before Christmas, you might think of it first as pathetic: no Christmas tree, no nativity scene, not even Santa and his reindeer or a lone snowman adored the house. All we had were a few bells paired with a few shiny garlands that we did not remove from last year.

Unlike most families today, we did not cook much. With the house filled with only two souls, my mom and I, we wouldn’t do much for ourselves.

And yet the holiday music brightens the whole space.

Turning to facebook friends, I tried to greet the world one by one, and hoping I have brought a holiday cheer to those I’ve greeted (and an ounce of remembrance to this little soul).

And yet, I felt satisfied. No decor, no gift, no lavish feast did it. It’s the very love that brought a Savior to this earth. The epitome of heaven’s glory sent down to die in our places. The King who thought of nothing but you and me.

Christmas should never be brought up because of tradition. It was never there from the beginning of earth. But the very reason for its celebration has always celebrated the very existence we are.

I remembered the Christmas parties the past few days. There were a lot of laughter and noise, gifts and raffles, dance and song numbers that made them livelier. And as I now sit quietly in my room, I realized it’s so much different. None of these things were in our house now…but that’s not the reason to moan and covet for a grander party.

Should we be brought back to the moment the Savior was born, it was very dire…even more pathetic than our almost decor-less house. Instead of dining with family and good wine, Jesus came into this earth surrounded with animals. It sure was an unlikely state of being born, but none of them whined. His birth was a joy in itself to his parents and to the world.

The parties are just temporary and sadly are a cover up to the real joy made for us. I’m not against them, but on the moment we depend on them to be our source of celebrating. Taking Christ away from Christmas is never Christmas at all.  The material things that we garner from these parties will fade away. But the Lord and His love for us is steadfast and new forever.

And so I’m glad for the very reason for Christmas. This is one reason we feel joy…Jesus is the joy of the world itself. His coming is an indication of His love for us. And we should always remember how He loved us, though we can never measure it out.

I wouldn’t worry with having no visitors at this point in time. His presence alone is the One Thing we’ve always wanted to be with. It’s more than having ten kings visiting your home to dine at our noche buena. As I wait for my mom to cook our little dinner, I am thankful and hopeful. Christmas never changed. Most of all, Christ never changed. He fills us up. He draws us near to His heart. He shows His love and grace to the two humble souls of this little house.

To be a Wallflower, Anyone? (Movie reflection from “The Perks of a Wallflower”)

I hated prom nights. I was very glad I never had been to one in high school. Due to forgotten circumstances, our school decided to postpone such an activity in our batch alone. To justify my joy, I reasoned out it helped us save supposed-to-be-wasted-money…but the truth is, I wouldn’t have the chance to be lonely as a wallflower.

Much was my anxiety as a teenager. It’s so natural how I wanted attention and how I wished I was every boys’ talk of town. I was not a typical popular girl and had this secret jealously with the pretty and popular.  (I was quite childish, boyish, and a bit nerdy.) But perhaps, being an unattractive wallflower has its perks, too.

When I treated another friend to watch The Perks of a Wallflower, we expected it as a typical teen flick. But my reason for seeing film was Emma Watson. Appreciating her since those Harry Potter series, I expected her to break off from her bewitching character as  Hermione Granger. At this point, she surprised me on how she Americanized herself as a typical high schooler named Sam.

The film’s protagonist, Charlie, was a shy freshman who mingled with a group of seniors who helped him out breakout from his shell. He was utterly close to Sam and her stepbrother Patrick. These guys did not mind Charlie’s introvert character as they had him tag along their parties and school lunches (they were totally loud and fun-loving). Being older and more liberated, they were able to share to him their self-expression. In reciprocation, Charlie mingled well. But as their friendship progresses, they began to pour out and even share their inner frustrations and even pains.

As a light, realistic teen flick, it lightly dealt with difficult issues of teen sexuality and abuse. It’s more of a picture of how adolescence, despite of the promising hope of youthfulness, can be a painful can affect one’s mind and being. On the lighter side, these young people tried to live day by day by shoving off each other’s differences and try to turn away from the pains by living loud and free.

I loved the friendship that was built despite of their differences. In high school, factions and groups were made according to your kind. But not Charlie and his friends. Together, they explored the wonders and even the hardships of a teenager. Senior or freshmen, they go through the same realities.

Being a teenager is never easy. Being a wallflower shouldn’t be a big deal since dealing with the pains of adolescence is much harder. I guess, if Charlie had not been with these older people, he wouldn’t have dealt with his dark secret at all – even at the point of almost bringing him to insanity.

So, Charlie isn’t really alone. And I’m not alone, too. I guess a wallflower is really better since I’m no heart throb too focused on myself not realizing the joy of sharing adolescence with the oddest friends. Prom night or no prom night, unpopular wallflowers like me is no big deal at all. Differences will never be an issue as long as there are real friends who understand your difference. It is only fellow teenagers who can understand teenagers, despite of the misfits they do in life. They learn from one another and carry what they can as they age more.

If ever that prom night pushed through, I guess I’d have some of my fellow misfit friends stand with me on the wall. I don’t have to be popular to express myself, right? Charlie was not popular, yet was accepted because of friends who had some crazy fun and shared frustrations with him.

If I were the person now back then, perhaps I’d just dance crazy just like Patrick and Sam. Then towards the night, with some 90’s rock music, stand on the top of the pick-up truck and wave your arms like an eagle.

To be a wallflower, anyone? 🙂

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