Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘thankful’

Little Respite, Big Blessings

It’s been a month since I’ve resigned from my job. There has been lesser thrills and even lesser frills. I would admit that I am already impatient to get into a new job. For the moment, I am looking at the blessings of having my “vacation mode”.

One my say that my decision to leave my job was foolishness. Perhaps. But the peace I gained when I decided to leave that company was a sign that it was time. This temporary respite from the competitive world is a season to rest and to prepare for the next season. It became my time of reflection; thinking of the new possibilities of facing another world.

Here are the simple, good things I’m experiencing in this respite:

1. Healthy living – In this brief season, I have found out how intoxicated I’ve become when I was working. I am a typical

Bananas, mangoes, and black rice...my everyday diet (",)

Bananas, mangoes, and black rice…my everyday diet (“,)

workaholic in an eight hour shift, not eating lunch until my work is done. I eat too much when I take a break – too much preservatives and fast food junk. But when I stayed at home, my mom would feed me with the more organic food such as *gasp* black rice. Yes, folks, better than the usual white rice than Filipinos consume everyday. It is richer in fibre and antioxidants. I even get to enjoy my morning banana and mango shake. Then I’d have apple mangoes and Indian mangoes straight from our trees. This is life, as one may call it.

Compared to when I was working, I could now get my eight hour sleep (add it with a five hour siesta if I don’t have much to do in this scorching heat at home). Before, I have been stressed even while I sleep. I had even dreamed my job every night – that is a nightmare for me! But it’s a good thing I don’t experience that now. My mom would tell me my eye bags slowly vanish. I don’t even have to compete for a bus ride home. I don’t experience the stress of waiting at the MRT queue for two hours anymore.

People noticed how I became thinner even though I’ve been staying quite so long at home. Perhaps, my metabolism became faster due to my healthier choice of meals.

2. Oh, the love of writing – Indeed, I could write again! I’ve been writing daily news articles and public announcements for four years, but not novels. I’ve had a gazillion stacked in my head. I’ve begun a few of them ten years ago without ever finishing them. When I got down to work and my fingers railed across the keyboards, I was stunned. I never thought it was difficult to write novels…much more the ones left a decade ago. They nearly wracked my brain as I polished them with details and events, twists and plots. It’s hard to put in words what have been circulating in your imagination. Now, I’m done and there are more waiting to lie down on the blank white pages of the Microsoft Word. The next step would be publishing. That’s what I have to worry soon.

One of my successful baking attempts: oatmeal cookies with Nutella filling

One of my successful baking attempts: oatmeal cookies with Nutella filling

3. Baking – Even though they end up as fudge bars, I will do my best to bake. It takes time, passion, and a hungry stomach. It’s fun, especially when your mom appreciates your baking.

4. Plans for studying – So as to make sure that cookies will end up as cookies and fudge bars as fudge bars, I need to learn and retrain. One day, it could become my business; I’m not planning to be an office girl forever. Another course I needed (I think) is to study English again…add that up with critical thinking using this language. I need retraining; this would be necessary for my next job.

5. More time to pray – The most important but the one I’ve missed most when I was in that company. Whenever I’d come home after work, I’d flop down on my bed without praying. I’d struggle to pray at times, leaving me with a five-minute, quick-dash, heartless prayer. But these times are different. I’d stay in my room for an hour or so just to have quiet times with God. With this, I am more strengthened and encouraged. We can’t go on the whole day without His presence. I realized how it is important to spend quiet times with God day and night, so that we can learn from His Word and listen to His voice. It also brings us closer to His heart. I’ve missed the day and night practice when I resigned from my first job, causing me to worry all the time. I’ve even missed this when I was working, causing me to be always stressed. I just pray that this prayer lifestyle would not change but flourish when I go back to work. I am still learning though. But now, I began to have deep peace. And this would only come through our daily fellowship with God.

Do I need to worry? I guess not. In all these things, I believe the Lord is in control. So, while waiting, I need to spend a lot of quality time with myself, my family, and the Lord. 🙂

Advertisements

Still Standing

Two things fell from my hands today: my laptop and myself. If you would ask which is devastating, I guess both are, except in varied effects.

Isolating myself from the pool of reporters due to an allergy attack, I sat in the other room while listening to the press briefing’s live streaming. As I sat on the couch, I plugged my laptop opposite to me. People passing by were careful not to trip on the wire until one accidentally did. In effect, my laptop flew from my hands and crashed on the floor.

It horrified me and the people around me. My notes were gone. The screen turned black. My broadband stick was bent. But adjusting the battery and turning it on again, I was surprised.

It’s still working.

Later at a coverage, I was pressured. Going to the other side of the waiting area to plug my laptop, I left my other bag and other things. But when I returned to the place where I had been, I was deceived at the floor, which I thought was flat. Loosing my footing on the lower step, my feet gave way, hit my right knee, and my body fell to the floor as I gave a scream.

Again, it horrified me and the people around me. My poise was gone. All eyes were pitiful at me. I was shaking when the presidential guards were picking me up. My knee was badly hurt. I sat on another chair as the other people were helping me at my things. But later within the day, I am thankful.

I’m still standing.

These things are enough reasons for me to grumble. I can moan and blame anybody for my laptop’s injury. I can even blame myself for making an embarrassing scene at the coverage. But there’s no time for that. All I have to do is to overcome.

And that’s amazing.

We overcome when we don’t dwell in the tragedy. We overcome when we see dark things in the positive. We overcome when we are thankful in every circumstance.

I am surprised that I did not complain. Instead, I just smiled, said “It’s ok”, thanked the people who helped me (especially to the presidential guards who were quick to pick me up), and continued my work.

So, I realized this is just a small testing. I remember how I prayed that I will overcome when I come through trials and testing. God’s grace is amazing. He never fails to listen to your small request. And I saw how He answered it.

I’m anticipating a purple, bruised knee tomorrow. I wouldn’t mind. As long as I am still standing — especially on the Rock. 🙂

Where's the bruised knee? Still standing and walking around after a fall. :)

Where’s the bruised knee? Still standing and walking around after a fall. 🙂

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.

Habakkuk’s Empty Strings

It has been almost three years. But I did not know him until now.

Habakkuk's Empty Strings

Habakkuk has been a faithful friend to me. Actually, he has been my baby by the time I bought him. My first guitar, I bought him days before I resigned from my first job. All I wanted was to learn how to play a guitar, know a few worship songs that I can sing during my quiet times, and know how to play at least one instrument in my entire life (for I was not too successful in the violin and in the keyboards).

Just recently, one of his strings broke. Playing with one string missing sounds odd, especially now that I have been asked to play at two Christmas parties at Malacaňang. This time, I realized that I should pursue this hidden passion in music (and once-denied talent), not to impress anyone but to take care of this skill given to me.

Three years later, I’m still a beginner.

But this time, I’m determined to learn and know a few tips. I kept on asking questions from a friend whose father is a guitar virtuoso (and hope to meet and learn from him myself). I kept on watching tutorial videos this past week to learn and try to adopt new playing styles. I’ll never be perfect though, but it’s good to accelerate from where I am now.

I was determined to buy new strings and a capo, as well. Imagine, three years and it is only now when I realize I have to change a lot from Habakkuk. And it’s only now I realized how my baby needs some make-over and a clean-up.

Yes, you read it right — a clean-up. Poor baby…I’m so sorry.

While changing his strings and wiping dust off the fingerboard, I realized how I neglected him even though I’ve been bringing him out most of the time. I saw his bruises and his tarnishes, and I felt foolish how I called him “my baby” without really caring much about him. It took me so much time to realize how to remove the old strings from these pegs (which took me hours to discover how to remove them and bring them back) and wasted so much time from removing the tiny balls from the old strings (because I thought that they should be used by the new ones :-O ).

Ah yes, today was a major trial and error moment. Though I lost much time, I felt fulfilled when the new strings were in place.

This is another lesson of good stewardship. We don’t buy things to fill up our houses. We buy them because they are made with a purpose in our lives.

When I was looking for another guitar last Friday, my friend told me that I should not only check everything from it but feel from it. It’s a weird concept, as she added that things also “feel” their masters. It’s like looking for a life-partner — one has to make sure that that guitar is “meant for you”.

I guess she’s right. There are things that are “meant for us”.

I’ve heard of friends who prayed for the things they’re buying. I thought it was totally awkward, but when they gain wisdom from the Lord to buy it or not, they find a blessing of not wasting their money over the “second best” of their choices. Even in gaining things, one should never be impulsive…being a spoiled brat over materialism can never give us any gain; only added trash in our houses and our lives.

And as Habakkuk rests on my bed with the new strings in place, I wonder if he was complained at all. I felt that we are both rugged kids trying to stick together for a reason. He loved me anyway, for he did not break away from despair of not being cleaned at all. Besides, we have tagged along each other during intercession nights. He sang along with me most of the time. We had some little adventures at times. I wonder if he has been tired when tucked away in the dark for days…or even weeks.

I know, it’s weird. It’s like how my friend can love her pet dog, or how a guy can love his car by investing so much from it. Loving something can cause one to invest time and money to bring out the best from it. Now, little by little, I realized how I need to invest new things not only for my dear Habakkuk but also for this gift and skill in music. By this way, I do not waste what was lent to me and I will sow to make it grow, making sure that it will not be a waste.

As I take care of Habakkuk, it’s also taking value to the One who gave him to me. I remember how I had been joyful when I brought Habakkuk home, being thankful that even with a small salary, I was blessed to have him. Indeed, it is the Lord who gives all our heart’s desire. Taking care of Habakkuk is my way of thanking the Lord who has given him to me. Only now I realized that Habakkuk, before he was mine, had been my prayer and my heart’s desire. 🙂

Tag Cloud