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
BUY, PICK, LUST!
Every day I am confronted in the road by screaming billboards. Reminding me that I have yet to own the latest in fashion and technology; that I have yet to achieve the silkiest skin and society’s dream body; that their cake is chocolatier and the chicken is crispier.
It made me breathe less or shall I say that my breathing is heavier, harder — “Chocolate cake or dream body? Latest in fashion or crispy chicken?” It’s hard to satisfy advertisers at the same time — more so if you are not at all interested but somehow compelled to want it.
I dream of regular road travels that will leave me breathless of nature’s beauty and abundance. And today I want to thank Artist Stephen Glassman for his dream of putting a crack in the urban skyline and allow us to take a breath despite the traffic.
Urban Air will transform existing old urban billboards to breathing spaces with suspended bamboo gardens.
To make this come true at least $100,000.00 pledges is needed — and then the project will be funded. Please check the team behind the project in their KickStarter page.
I can’t wait to see similar project here in the Philippines.
I can’t wait to see a whispering billboard reminding me to BREATHE, PRAISE, LOVE.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. – Psalm 150:6
To those who are affected by super storm Sandy, my prayers are with you.
I was worried in the thought that some might not be used to storms and its effect thus might be greatly devastated. But then I realized that we are all humans equipped with coping mechanism by no less than our Mighty Creator. Yes, that’s only how far we can go alone, coping — getting by. But living with life (there’s living like dead, right?) is only possible with God.
I myself have been through so many storms since I was conceived up to now — be it life’s storms that hits like nothing else or the powerful wind and rain that hit Philippines 20 times a year on the average.
Looking back, I realized how much I appreciated storms when I was a little girl. After candle lit nights due to power outage I would excitedly go out and appreciate the brighter surroundings — brighter because some trees fell or branches were broken. I would go around picking fallen fruits and coconuts and was so excited when I found a turtle! I was aware that there was damage but my young eyes were appreciative of the clean up.
When I got older, especially when I became a mom, it was different. There were worries on possible shortage of food or drowning in the flood. There were worries on severance of relationships and drowning in despair.
There is worry until there is trust in the Lord. Until I talk with the Lord. Until I connect with the Lord.
As human, there is only so much that I can do. The more I worry of what I cannot do, the more I am not able to do what I can do — like entrusting my worries to the Lord.
I am worried about you — and I am entrusting you to the Lord who can carry us through storms and give the warmest comfort.
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. – Psalm 107:29
I miss you all too!
And yes from time to time I pause and think of you and pray for you my dear blog friends.
The heart strings were not cut. They were turned into lovely friendship bows.
The times that were used to be spent online were added to more hugs, kisses, sharing stories, crafting, smiling, walking around, counting blessings, and smelling the armpits of my kiddos.
It was all good. Soooo good. Very very very good.
It is such a blessing to be a mom. Just one kid brings so much joy. And I have four!
And today I read that around 50,000 children go missing yearly in India. That is 14 children missing everyday — infinite heartaches each second.
(Photos from the News)
The kids are missing due to human trafficking. And this surely is not happening in India alone. We have our own numbers in our own backyard. It makes my heart ache as a mom and as human. What happened to our own kind, the adults? What happened to their hearts?
I pray that each one will hear God’s word. And feel God’s heart. Then feel their own. And know that God is in the heart business. He cleans, He restores, He makes new, and He loves.
Let us all give tight hugs, real tight hugs to all the children of the world.
Let us whisper that they are loved so much by God. Some might not believe it, like most of us do at some point in our lives, but still let us whisper. One day that whisper will be heard — loud and clear.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. – Isaiah 54:13
It’s been weeks since I last visited your place and my place.
I am tempted to finally say, “Adios Amigos.”
But here I am saying instead, “Ahhh Diyos Amigos!”
Diyos is the Filipino translation for God.
“It’s God my friends!”
Who else will stop the flood caused by 11 straight days of monsoon rain?
Who else will make Filipinos smile in hope?
Who else will provide what you need most?
Who else will soak you in love?
Who else will make one fit for the ohlifepics?
Who else will lay down his life for us?
Ahhh Diyos Amigos!
Where ever you are right now — down the deep or floating on air
Whatever you may be doing right now — laughing in pain or crying in happiness
We both know that God alone knows His purpose for us — and it is good.
I believe that even when I feel like something so bad is happening to me.
I believe that feelings are not always the truth — but He is.
I choose to believe because…
it’s raining hard again outside!
Ahhh Diyos Amigos!
The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. -Psalm 7:16
Note: Photos are not mine as I can’t be everywhere while there’s flood.
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
I thank God that I can create things on times when I felt dwarfed by challenges and can’t seem to hear the singing birds.
I meant to make a table out of this scrap wood but for now it will serve as a reminder that I do not need to wait for that future time to serve a purpose – that right now, in whatever state I am, I can serve a purpose, that I have a purpose, that I may be the purpose.
And so while mommy was busy painting seeds of hope, my little girl joined me. She painted her Snow White in the tray. Wouldn’t the dwarfs be happy with that – even Grumpy?
I may be the purpose. To make me understand that if the seven dwarfs had Snow White, I have Jesus – who will wash me whiter than snow. This is true. Not a fairy tale.
But that is not to say that I don’t believe in fairy tale – especially if the fairy is my daughter peeking through the gate made of scrap wood
Wish now and it will come true!
Do I hear you wishing for more fabulous repurposed scrap wood? Close your eyes…wishy, wishy, wishy, wonderful you – your wish now come true! Now open your eyes in Funky Junk Interiors world!
If scrap woods can be made for different purposes, ever wonder why we are made? Let’s hear it and not forget that we are loved!
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
- Psalm 73:25
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
Sharing my hubby’s big smile when he caught a 0.87kgs sea bream (bakoko) – we caught the smile as well! Surely he will catch something bigger than that – fish or not! We’re preparing for that bigger smile – by smiling now!
Smile – heaven’s cure!
Sharing my family’s love for massage – my hubby and I massage each other; I massage each of my kiddos, all of them massage me. And when we’re all dead tired, the masseur puts us into sleep – that we may wake up minus the sore. Thanks to Heaven’s Cure Body Oil, Massage Gel and Coco Rub!
Touch Therapy – heaven’s cure!
Sharing my love for fish oil capsules – for preventing ordinary cells from mutating into cancer cells! But the most obvious effect on me is it eased up my depressions. Yup I prayed much about it that it better leave me and if one of the ways is to welcome the fish in, why not? I prefer the fish than the devil!
I even applied the fish oil in my toes that got itchy after trying different shoes in Payless. Gone! As if eaten by the fish – similar to fish spa where, without mercy, you allow the fishes to bite your dead skin. Yay! Thanks Squalene – you’re beyond skin deep!
Fish and oil – heaven’s cure!
And how about you — would you care enough to share something that you love and makes you smile?
You — heaven’s cure!
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; – Psalm 45:7
- Having been made or come into being only a short time ago
- Still fresh
- Radiance; light
- A small amount; a trace
- A straight line extending from a point
Let’s talk about new old things. By old, I mean something that already exists or has been always there. And yes, something old can definitely be new.
It can be new when the eyes are new; when the perspective is new; when the heart is new; when the self is new.
How can two people who regularly saw the same sunray not have the same reaction — one saw it with a smile and the other one just squint and frown?
Could the person have seen a ray of hope and that ray is more than enough?
Or he simply saw a ray?
Could the person have seen a burst of warm love and felt it deeply?
Or he simply saw a ray?
Could the person have seen an extended grace and never doubts its source?
Or he simply saw a ray?
Shall we now look close enough with the old and discover something new? I just did.
January. JaNewRay. TheNewRay,Yeah!
TheNewRea? But my hubby isn’t old — yet
Happy New Year! Happy New You!
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. – Ezekiel 36:26-27
I found it hard to breath. My throat slowly closed. Rashes rushed in.
I passed the allergy test yet the anti-biotic failed and caused me to gasp for air.
Human affirmation is not enough. God’s grace is.
I thank God for the recent cross.
It is painful, especially the unseen wound but the cross stitches.
It fastens together the family with threads of love.
It mends broken souls.
It embosses the heart with an attitude of gratitude.
Thank you so much friends and family for your prayers — for bringing it all to Him.
Thank you so much hubby for taking care of me. For bringing the kiddos to the hospital that I may not miss our normally messy yet love-filled moments as family. I love you.
Thank you so much kiddos for the hugs, kisses, smiles, and love. I love you all.
Thank you youngest daughter for the question, “Mommy are you healed already?”
“The operation is over but the healing goes on.”
“But I prayed to Jesus to heal you.”
“You did? Thank you!”
A stitch in time saves mine — my life beyond the breathing level.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
- Psalm 107: 19-20
looked beyond the lens
confident of devotion
looked beyond the truth
convinced oneself it’s unreal
looked beyond what’s seen
trusting the One who sees all
Life goes on. Despite several endings. Life goes on. Despite several deaths.
Life goes on. Because there are endings. Life goes on. Because there are deaths.
If you are beside me now you’ll know that I am actually babbling.
I am not even sure if I am dazed or tired or both or anything else.
But I am so sure that I am sincerely grateful for all of you.
You who brought love, hope, blessings, prayers, and all good things in here.
Would you bring some too for BAYLIS?
He is a good man with epilepsy, aphasia and Parkinson’s.
He had brain tumor removed and will have a cataract surgery on both eyes next month. Thank you for your prayers.
He was a University Professor and a Pastor (if I’m not mistaken) and so much more — maybe Baylis can tell us.
When I think of Baylis, I can’t help but remember Job — Job who was challenged with difficult circumstances and still kept his faith in God.
Baylis, despite his difficult circumstances, still managed to appreciate and encourage others — like me. Thank you so much!
And I am sure he has a very special smile – maybe he can tell us about that too!
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2
Image from Bluebell Books Short Story Slam Week 16
“I don’t like rain it changes my plans.”
“And what are your plans my lady?”
“The usual — go for a walk, take pictures, stay at the café and have my favorite waffle.”
“How about checking someone else’s plan for you out there? Go out in the rain.”
“Go out in the rain? And wet myself?”
“Okay. Okay. I’ll go out there with my boots and umbrella.”
“Don’t forget to wear your wow glasses!”
Reena smiled at her Mom.
Reena smiled some more – out in the rain.
She saw Mommy ducky and her cuties picked flowers – and yes she saw the quack wow in their eyes while they strut their way into the rain!
And so she picked flowers too – happy and fresh flowers bathe by the rain!
Silently she said her thanks, “Thank you so much dear duckies for showing me that I always have the option to find beauty even amidst the rain. That I should not automatically envision mud when it rains – but happy duckies!”
Reena can’t wait to get back home – duck walking and quack wowing.
“Mom, fresh flowers for you. I love you!”
“Wow! Thank you my lady and I love you too!”
“Welcome but you have to thank a mommy duck and her cuties as well!”
“Mommy duck and her cuties?”
“Yes Mom and thank you so much for today – a happy rainy day. Not in my plan — but a real gooooooood One!”
After series of tests, the doctor confirmed that a cancerous cyst has to be removed in my cervix.
I got to see a cardiologist in a while to confirm that it is okay for me to push through with the operation which is scheduled this coming Saturday.
Not in my plan — but I trust the real gooooooood One.
“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 29:11
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
Yes thank you so much for your prayers that you will be saying in a little while.
I opened my email today and read this…
Please pray for my baby.
She had seizures last Saturday 3 times, once last Friday. She would stare blankly to her right then her hands would jerk for about 40 seconds. The pediatrician advised that we observe her further — if it persists, we’ll schedule an EEG for her.
From Sunday until now, there were no jerky movements on her hands and feet, except for the blank stares of around 5 seconds each. This usually happens when she’s being breastfed. I am scared…
My blog friend Maricel is scared. She’s a first time mom — even nth time mom would be scared. Let’s join her pray for the baby. Let’s pray for this mom too.
Aloud, in whisper, in silence — God hears them all, right?
And I read too a number of emails these past few weeks all with warm message of, “I have been thinking of you and praying for you. I hope all is well…”
And all I can say to God is, “Thank you so much for blessing me with these wonderful people in my life. Please bless them more.”
Aloud, in whisper, in silence – God hears them all, right?
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20
turned my life upside down
trained me how to hold on right
throwing away what could loosen my grip
taking me to the place where my trust won’t be broken
there, up on the cross He loved me even before I loved Him.
Thankful for my son who made the Son on the cross
Taught me that loving involves a lot of bending
That bending is not deforming but purposeful
Thankful for the time with my family
Touching, talking, teaching, trying
Transforming whatever we have into love
Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. – Psalm 75:1
Image from Bluebell Books: Short Story Slam Week 14
I am letting go. I no longer want to wait.
No more waiting for the phone to ring. No more checking my e-mail twice a day. No more torturing myself thinking of you. From hopeful to edgy; to depressed; to desperate; to discouraged — I am now letting go.
It’s about time to soak my callous heart in healing bath, scrub away your lies, indulge in heaven scent dreams and rinse with confidence that there are wonderful revelations ahead of me.
I love tub for one. I can close my eyes knowing I am safe alone. There’s no one to highlight flaws and no one to crush the spirit.
Oh there’s rubber ducky to remind me to not to be so hard with myself and to smile despite the emptiness inside. Grace will fill all the empty spaces…
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10
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
Image from Bluebell Books: Short Story Slam Week 13
“Reading again? You are so lazy to do nothing but read!”
How could she make him understand that she is not just reading?
Her ears were deaf with mockery thus she savors the lines that say she is special.
Her heart was crushed, bleeding non-stop, thus she needs healing with the words.
Her spirit suffered that it wanted to escape thus she needs the pages to stop it.
“Reading again? You are so lazy to do nothing but read!”
Oh how he made her felt so small because she was looked down.
Oh how he made her felt so sad because she can no longer see love in his eyes.
And so she ran outside together with her book of comfort and climbed a tree.
She timed her tears from the moment it leaped out till it reached the ground.
“Reading again? You are so l…”
“Oh no he found me!”
“Reading again? You are so lovely up there!”
He learned how to care and not look down – because he looked up.
It’s Day 27 of Feeling Good! READ!
R-edeem your spirit
E-mbrace its value
A-llow it to soak the Word
D-ay and night
Feel good up in the tree, up in the sky, up to the Highest!
Let this book of the law be ever on your lips and in your thoughts day and night, so that you may keep with care everything in it; then a blessing will be on all your way, and you will do well. – Joshua 1:8