Once upon a time, there was a line between hubby and me.
Line of destructive priorities.
Line of selfishness.
Line of pride.
Line of shame.
Line of hatred. Yes. Yes. Yes.
There was a cross.
I saw the cross differently back then.
And so I wanted to run away from it.
After all it was heavy and left me bleeding inside.
But I wasn’t able to go far. It was painful to walk away wounded and bleeding.
I needed a healer.
And then I saw the cross anew
It stitched my wounds.
It helped me cross the line of surrender.
It brought me to the Healer.
I had the painting commissioned. I want to be reminded when I was drawn to the cross and not away from it. That there is no point in running away because love is all it is. It is not just cupid’s love but the love of the Father and the Son for mankind — for us sinners.
Jesus saved us on the cross. It is not a lovely sight knowing that the Father is grieving but — He loves us.
Jesus saved us on the cross. He took our shame and He is not ashamed — He loves us.
And where is my hubby in all of these?
In the title!
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. – Romans 5:6
Photo from Bluebell Books Twitter Club Short Story Slam Week 22.
“He lifted and carried me up with all his might!”
This is Bianca’s doting memory of her Dad when she was a little girl – and really heavy for a 5 year-old. But it didn’t matter, the weight –for love.
It was all good until she felt that he had dropped her down, the family down – real hard.
It was bad.
It was all bad until she felt that he had tried to lift himself up, the family up – real hard.
This is Bianca’s painful memory of her Dad when she was a young girl – and really hopeful for a 9 year-old. It did matter, the wait – for love.
“He lifted and carried my Dad up with all His love!”
This is Bianca’s powerful praise of God now that she’s a teen – and really lovely in and out for a 14-year old. It did matter, the forgiveness – for love.
It was good.
“They lifted and carried me up with all their might and love!”
This is Bianca’s heart song of her Dad and God forever — higher, O higher!
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9
Oh yes, I am not a good girl
I whipped someone with my words
I crushed myself with my thoughts
I fought out of pride
I allowed myself beaten
I wished for someone else’s death
I wished for my own death
Oh yes, I am not a good girl
I cannot stop hating passionately
I cannot control my evil thoughts
I cannot move on from bitter past
I cannot have freedom from guilt
I cannot be a good girl on my own
Unless I am dependent on good God
Happy Independence Day to all my American Friends. This might means so much to you as it means so much to us Filipinos when we celebrate our independence from Spanish and American colonies. But honestly, I am not so sure if we are truly independent as a nation. Can one indeed be free just because the tangible prison wall is brought down?
What I am sure is I am free when I allow my Saviour to rescue me from the intangibles that imprison and stop me from being a good girl.
How about you, are you a good girl? Are you free?
You may not answer the questions but please feel free to listen to this song.
In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free. - Psalm 118:5
Him: I love you!
Me: I love you so much!
Him: I love you so much more! *kiss*
Me: Thank you! I have a big smile *kiss*
Him: I’m so happy that I made you smile
That is not always the case because there was a time when the exchanges were, “I hate you!” and “I HATE YOU!”
Most of us might have tasted how bittersweet love can be. It will be the case as long as we are humans. And humans expect. And humans fall short of each other’s expectations.
Since human falls, love falls.
But it can be picked up
And put altogether
But no, the pieces cannot be put all together
There will be cracks and holes and deformities
The question is, “What do you do with it?”
Glue it with insincere repentance?
Fill it with temporary pleasures?
Straighten things up to our satisfaction?
Let God seep through every crack.
Let God fill in the holes.
Let God show us that there is really no deformity
But something special.
And what do you do with something special?
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
Prompt from Bluebell Books Short Story Slam Week 19
Image Credit to Whitebook @ DeviantArt, titled A Christmas Story for Rezzan
I ran away from him. It was Christmas time.
That was years ago. Not for good. Just for awhile.
I was confused and in pain.
Faith is amazing. It made me go back.
It connected me to God.
Faith is trusting in the now – that right now great things are unfolding no matter how unbelievable it is. What seems dead may be breathing for new life.
Faith is being excited about tomorrow – that tomorrow great things will be unfolded no matter how unbelievable it may be. What seems dead is alive and fruitful!
Faith is amazing. Faith got me back.
It connected me to God’s graces.
I was overwhelmed and in His arms.
That is now and tomorrow. For good. Not just for awhile.
I ran towards Him. It is me, Rea.
Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. - Matthew 15:28
It is cold inside
Does it have to be outside?
Warm them with your smile
It is cold outside
Does it have to be inside?
Defrost chilly heart
Earlier I had a schedule of breast ultrasound. It was still early in the morning and a weekend. No hurry, no worry.
But the radiologist had other plans. He wanted to hurry, to worry. He blah blah about I should have come earlier.
“But my appointment is between 8:00AM and 9:00AM and it’s only 8:30AM?”
“Yes, but if there are ten of you, only one shows up at 8:00AM and the rest at 9:00AM…blah blah blah.”
Thank God the procedure only takes around 5 minutes. I got to get out of that place fast but not without leaving some words in the reception with the lead amongst the staff.
“I come here for my well being not to seek for someone who will dampen my day. You are well aware that you charge much higher than other health companies, right? And that premium charges must be for a better service?”
“Yes, Ma’am and we’re really sorry. Will you please write here in our complaint form?”
“Write the complaint for what? Don’t tell me that this is the first time it happened because I won’t believe you. An attitude like that must have been well practiced.”
“I would be lying Ma’am if I say that this is the first time it happened with him.”
“What is the complaint form for? How many complaints do you need before you do something about it? If you can give me a figure and show me the number of complaints I will be more than willing to exert further effort.”
“We’re really sorry Ma’am for your bad experience. “
Oh well, it is December already but I remember Gooseberry Garden’s topic for November because of the incident. I need to cool down.
Good that my awesome daughter is with me – wearing an awesome shirt.
Good that my favorite green tea frappe is near.
Good that I have a good book with me – at the Still Point, an inspiring collection of devotional readings by Sarah Arthur. And so I randomly open it and here’s what I get…
I saw the world end yesterday!
A flight of angels tore
Its cover off and Heaven lay
Where Earth had been before.
I walked about the countryside
And saw a cricket pass.
Then, bending closer, I espied
An ecstasy of grass.
(Eschaton by Elizabeth B. Rooney)
See the word bend in there? That made my day! And of course in the thought that sprinkles of heaven are all around if we choose to see!
And so I see the cool red shoes the man is wearing in the table besides us.
And the lovely floor!
And I remember too some of my November blessings…
- All Saints Day and All Souls Day – that includes me and you, think about it
- 2011 People’s Manager Award – deliver results, engage today’s talent, shape the future
- November birthdays that brought my Mom and my son to me
- Family day, crafting days, bazaar
- Feast of St. Julian of Norvich who said:
“all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”
“God made it, God loves it, God keeps it.” – referring to the nut size thing in God’s hand which is the entire universe
And so much more — including YOU!
From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens. – Job 38:29
Less than a month ago I discovered a lump in my breast. What immediately came to mind is the possibility of breast cancer and of near-death. It made me pause and check myself.
There was no fear. There was no worry. How could it be?
I realized that I have been prepared for this – with my death experiences.
Death of dreams.
Death of trust.
Death of happiness.
Death of confidence.
Death of enthusiasm.
Death of hope.
Death of courage.
Death of spirit.
With those deaths I never asked, “Why? Why? Why?” But nevertheless I am now given an answer if ever I ask, “WHY?!”
I was being prepared to give birth to my faith.
I gave birth to 4 living babies and my 1 unborn was taken from inside. Pure labor and pain before the release of lives from within me – very much like the birth of faith.
It’s Day 31 of Feeling Good! And I’m talking about death? Surely death is painful if we focus on the loss. But if we shift our focus to what it gave birth to – it has beauty on its own.
I never thought that faith alone could give birth to so many wonderful things.
Birth of dreams.
Birth of trust.
Birth of happiness.
Birth of confidence.
Birth of enthusiasm.
Birth of hope.
Birth of courage.
Birth of spirit.
Yes, what were lost are best lost. Now I have new ones — better ones plus so much more.
And oh, the lump in my breast is possibly not cancerous. The doctor told me to go back after a month to confirm if I need an operation but as of now, it subsided already. Death of lump?
Now tell me, how can I not feel good? Sometimes feeling good is not about feelings but about trust. That we are better off with it; how others are better off with it – with what is given or taken away.
This is the end of my 31 Days of Feeling Good series – but not the end of feeling good!
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
Turn your back
and sin no more
and seen no more
and scene no more
Turn your back
and meet a purpose
It’s Day 25 of Feeling Good! Surely you know what I’m saying. Just turn your back and help others realize how ugly it is. No, not your back — but what you have left behind!
Feel good now for you are facing the light! See how valuable you really are.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” – John 5:14
I saw the smoke in the forest
Somehow it gives me unrest
Is it a new project to house the civilized?
What about the plants and animals where shall they live?
Ah maybe they are welcome in the community
After all, civilized knows about hospitality
And the insects came — welcomed with a spray
The monkeys knocked – “Sorry we’re not related hairy.”
And so the door was closed with an air of victory
But the air whispered, “Your victory is only temporary.”
It’s Day 23 of Feeling Good! I am not so sure if we can make a new forest to house those that we forced to leave. And if ever we can make a new one, are they still around to witness that we are rebuilding for them?
Not sure. What is sure is we are part of the extinction of both nature and civilization. And the least that we can do is to ask for forgiveness – to whom? I don’t really know. Maybe we got to shout it out to the Universe or whisper it to ourselves.
I think it will somehow make us feel good that we have reconciled with nature when we finally ask them to welcome our flesh deep in the ground or our ashes amongst the winds.
“Then he adds: ”Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”"
– Hebrews 10:17
You don’t have to be a witch
To cast a spell.
Just be humane
Wish everything shall be well
And everyone shall heal.
It’s Day 21 of Feeling Good! No we do not need to boil the spit of 12 mosquitoes or pound the 123rd foot of the millipede to feel good. What we need is 1 billion and four understanding and 1 billion and five of forgiveness.
Now close your eyes and get in touch with your soul. When you find her, smile to her and chant this:
God loves you. He really loves you. Really really loves you.
He will heal you and turn your scars into stars. Really really heal you.
Heal my soul and cast a spell of blessings to the world. Really really cast them.
And all shall be well. All shall be well. Really really well.
Feel good for God is good!
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1Peter 5:7
Image from Bluebell Books: Short Story Slam Week 12
“Even if you turn your back on me I still love you.”
“I will not grow tired of understanding you.”
“I will not leave you.”
“I will wait for you to turn around — for us to see face to face.”
“You will see that I delight in you.”
“You will understand that I want nothing but the best for you.”
“And when finally you delight in me and rejoice with me you will know that nothing really ever comes between us.”
“Just like when you were still a baby.”
It’s Day 12 of Feeling Good! Ashamed? Afraid? Angry? Turn around.
How delighted will you be to see your baby’s precious face and feel the heartfelt embrace? Do you think God will not feel the same?
Turn around and feel good!
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17
Would you abuse others?
Would you belittle others?
Would you be so hard on others?
Would you be unforgiving of others?
Would you expect others to always get it right?
No. No. No. No. No.
But why do some of us can’t answer the same when it comes to treating our own selves? It could be me to myself. It could be you to yourself.
Be considerate to yourself.
On days that you feel your light is not so bright, where you just blend in the surroundings, allow yourself some time to be still, knowing that you will eventually recharge.
Treat yourself as you would treat your friend – nicely, lovingly and encouragingly; with respect, compassion and understanding.
Be good to yourself, that self who is good to others. Be good to yourself because when that self is treated well it will disperse happiness.
It’s Day 7 of Feeling Good! My eyes are half close after days of insufficient sleep. My back is tired and screaming to touch the bed. If I am my friend, I will tell myself, “Get yourself some rest. Sleep in God’s grace.”
Surprisingly I listened! I am now giving myself a permission to close my eyes fully for the night. It feels good!
How about you? What would you want to do for your friend self?
After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.
- Ephesians 5:29
Heavy downpours, fierce winds, floods, fallen trees, power outages, cancelled flights, missing persons, deaths, worried hearts — these are just some of the effects of the typhoon in our country.
Just yesterday, we remembered the Typhoon Ketsana (local name: Typhoon Ondoy) that struck us exactly two years ago which left more than 500 people dead. Exactly two years ago our family waded in waist-deep flood to move to safer ground. Exactly two years ago waists of some people were not reached by the flood because they were on the roof of their houses where the flood almost reaches it.
Right at this moment Typhoon Nesat (local name: Typhoon Pedring) is busy lashing out outside. It is the 16th Typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. News said that at least seven persons are now confirmed dead and Nesat is not yet stopping.
Typhoons no longer make me afraid because after all we have around 20 typhoons per year. But typhoons do make my heart really really sad. Sadder than the reality that many lost homes, that is if they have one. Sadder than the reality that many don’t have supply of food, that is if they even eat regularly prior to the typhoon. Sadder than the reality that lives were lost due to calamity, that is if they don’t consider their breathing life as calamity in itself.
What makes my heart really really sad are those beings outside of us, those beings who never once walked in our shoes, those beings who were never planted in similar geographical setting as ours, those beings who don’t have the resilience to live through all what we’re going through but confident enough to say these:
“Go Typhoon cleanse the land of those dog eaters !”
“Hahahahaahahahah won hung lo raugh and raugh so much at stupid inbred coconut head firipino!!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahah”
“And Filipinos think they are invincible, untouchable and indispensable. Guess not.”
“pinoys are tough…as cockroaches…. yucks…disgusting”
“ohhhh, did the one god of the desert wound your land?”
“I’m sorry but which one of the imaginary fairies is going to bless these people?”
“Filipinos have been praying to their god for six hundreds years and yet their country is getting more miserable every second. Pray harder, folks.”
“Praying” to who? Your imaginary friend in the sky who never answers your prayers or anyone el ses? Doesn’t even decide to reveal itself. Ok good luck praying to something that doesn’t exist. HA!”
“Watch everything you own….been there 20 years and never meet a honest person there”
“Uh, oh! time for Obama to furher bankrupt us by borrowing money from China to give to the Phillipines!”
What makes my heart really really sad are those beings among us who at one point may have embittered others and provoke them to generalize, to label, to mistrust, to not give a second thought on discovering that there is really something good within us — just like the rest of the world.
If you are one of those hurt by a Filipino, please accept my apology. If you are one of those who hurt a Filipino, please accept my forgiveness.
Typhoons can be very damaging and so do tongues and thoughts. May there be healing in the land, in the people.
Be safe everyone and yes in the midst of all this I still want to smile –this too shall pass.
Image from Bluebell Books: Short Story Slam Week 9.
She stood watching the ship that will take Damian away from her.
Not a square inch of her handkerchief was left dry.
She silently asked herself, “How would one know if the tears that are falling are tears of sadness or tears of happiness?”
Over the years she had grown ugly, wounded, twisted like a wire repeatedly pliered. But she kept her hopes and dreams alive, like a live wire plugged to the power source.
The ship is now drifting farther, farther and farther away as the sun goes down, down, and down. Hera knew a miracle is occurring. Together with the vanishing of the ship and the sun from her sight, the tumult of terror, bitterness, anger, and despair is leaving her as well.
She stood for a minute more before fully knowing if her tears are of sadness or of happiness. She knew the moment her lips smiled involuntarily.
Before turning back to leave, she further soaked her handkerchief.
A kiss stolen
Unforeseen yet oh so sweet
Take some more, I plead
For me — from my sweet daughter.
I knelt before you
Implored for your forgiveness
Kissed my pride goodbye
For us. May we receive God’s grace in humility.
Image from Bluebells Books: Short Story Slam Week 8
Her heart was messy.
Her dream was broken.
She only dreamed of four happy corners and still it was taken away.
“God, I do not deserve this.”
“Yes, you do not deserve that,” replied God. “You deserve so much more.”
“I dream for you not only four happy corners but cornerless field that touches the sky.”
“All is yours but not all can be yours unless you choose to see all of it.”
“You cannot see it by just looking to the left and what is just left.”
“You cannot see it by just looking to the right and claiming that you are always right.”
“You cannot see it by just looking down and putting yourself down.”
“You cannot see it by just looking up and believe that I am only up there.”
“I am everywhere. I am especially with you. You could try seeing all around you — with my eyes.”
Her heart is merry.
“I love you”
I said it.
“You are not good enough”
I replayed it.
Criticism and harsh comments
I allowed them to permeate the spirit.
Regrets and aged resentment
I ensured that they could not get out.
“I love you”
I said it.
When will I sincerely mean
what I say to myself?
For us. Ask the One whose love is unconditional that you may hear a “Yes!”.
Hurt, love was withheld
trapped — hostility and pain
bestowed, love can heal.
For healing. With love.
Why can’t you love me like you love that couch?!!! You two are inseparable for hours!!!!! KaBOOM!
I thought you are tired of reading my mind and here you are reading newspaper while my eyebrows sweat watching your every move?!!! What an ideal partner you are!!!! KaBLAM!
XANTHIPPE is a woman with a bad temper! A quarrelsome woman! You better remember that!
Xanthippe was the wife of Socrates, yes the wise Socrates. But his tongue was no match with his wife — he was beaten in a discussion with her. He surrendered!
You think blahblah was enough? She said to have emptied a chamber pot on Socrates’ head after a quarrel to which he remarked, “After thunder generally falls rain.” Harhar!
You think a bad temper only means a sharp tongue — an explosion? Bad temper is a proud silence too — an implosion. It’s when we practice the silent treatment that even the hot soup gets cold in discomfort.
I realized that Xanthippe is within me for several occasions. Each time I am silent and hold a grudge. Each time I roar in anger.
We have to strive to tame our thoughts and the tongue. We have to because we make the lives of those around us so difficult. So difficult that we want to explode! Again! And again!
It’s not easy. It won’t work by simply refusing the false power in bad temper. We have to accept God’s gift of wisdom and tolerance instead — and use it.
Yes, use it! What part of USE can’t you understand?
When life is unfair to you,
retaliate and be very unfair!
When people treat you so bad,
shoot them with prayer!
When surrounded with negativity,
hurl them with positivity!
When somebody puts you down,
kick them higher!
When attacked by depression,
Punch it and say, “You can’t get me!”
Who wants life to be fair?
Surely not you! RETALIATE!
Whew! That feels good!
How was it when you were a thorn and somebody turned you into a crown?
Did you wish life should be fair?