Here on Earth

Bucketlist Item: checked!

Summer time brings old friends to life! It’s hard to say “no” when old friends joined together in an FB group chat to plan for a summer getaway.

It wasn’t the best time when I had a mini-reunion with my high school friends; it was in a wake. We all went together in one evening to pay a visit to the late mother of one of our friends, and while we’re supposed to be all solemn, we cannot help but feel glad to see each other again after a number of years. We know we have so much to talk about, and we need to plan a trip so we can make new memories together.

I must say this trip made a lot a of “firsts” and realizations for us.

It’s best when It was not planned.

We know we’re busy rascals. And things and decisions might change if we plan the trip weeks or months from that evening, so I made a wild decision: Let’s make it this coming Saturday.

They complained. But I insisted, and they eventually agreed.

We haven’t decided on the destination or how to do it, but we all committed ourselves to our agreed date. It was a bit risky and can be too spontaneous for us, knowing we usually plan our trips for a couple of weeks or even months. But we need to do, what we ought to do. We cannot delay this any longer.

Adulthood

It’s been years since we last got together, and a lot of things happened in between the years. One of my friends now has his own family, another one now has four kids, my friend’s little girl is now in her teens, and a lot more. We are officially adults since years ago, but things are more different now.

I guess, as much as we didn’t talk about it,  pushing through with the plan was one of our #squadgoals in high school – to still hang out with your high school friends after 20 years. We’re no teenagers anymore, and our issues, from teachers, to grades are now about work responsibilities, family life and other adult problems that maybe somehow we looked forward to be discussing together years ago.

Unwritten bucket list item/s.

Our trip surprisingly pushed through on April 21. We met at 2:30 a.m for a convoy of three cars. There was an assigned “head”, “body” and “tail” for the cars. It was fun to be laughing at your friend’s driving skills as the “head” would drive in a zigzag pattern, forcing his way in between trucks and cars, leaving a “snake trail” for the “body” and “tail” to follow.

I cannot helped but feel a mixture of warmth and nostalgia. How, I remember one of my friends commenting “why didn’t we just had one big car, instead of driving separate ones?” I agreed to her sentiment, I mean, just imagine how much gas were spent in those three running cars, which would travel for almost 12 hours. But I recall saying, “this could be one item off our bucket list, to travel in our own cars someday, going to one destination.”

Yes, I guess it was one of our unwritten and undeclared bucket list items. We were products of public high school, who used to ride a tricycle or even walk (if we lost a peso for our fare) just to go to school. We used to be contented with a few pesos as our daily school allowance, trying to make the most of it, paying for our food and incidental expenses. We experienced different levels of financial hardships, and once in our younger years we made a promise that someday our lives will be easier. That someday, those things we dreamed about will happen in real life. Twenty years later, most of us are driving their own car, with their own family, working in a stable company, with our own careers to sustain our livelihood. Maybe it took a long time for us to really experience the “success” we all aspired for, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ve come a long way from where we were before.

We made a stop in one city from our destination to have our breakfast at McDonald’s. There, as we alighted the vehicles we get to meet the wife, the teenage daughter, the 7-year old goddaughter, basically everyone in our trip. It dawned on me how old we are now, how time really flew by.

We used to chase each other’s tricycle back in high school, while throwing shades and silly mockery to each other, now, personal cars are bringing us to our destination. Yes, we still throw shades and crazy comments to each other, but I guess, that thing we cannot erase from our lives. We became friends because of it.

We’re one BIG FAMILY.

We’ve known each other since we’re 14 years old, and as we grow older, our numbers almost doubled – counting the better halves and the offsprings.  We encouraged everyone to bring their wives, girlfriends, and even the kids, we love meeting them and making them part of our growing “family”. It’s a delight hanging out with everyone.

Memories are worth looking back on.

No memory will ever be too old to be remembered and talked about. In fact, the older a memory gets, the fonder it can be to remember. We talked about old loves, failures, crazy high school memories, unforgettable teachers, almost everything! I just realized that we never get tired of recalling high school stories, we talk about those each time we see each other! And we even laughed harder each time, too.

Those goodbyes.

We stayed in Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, for two days and one night. We pitched tents, cooked food, burned our toes in the raging heat of the sands, and swam in the beach. It was a laid back trip, I must say. We spent afternoons talking, teasing each other, and in the evening, for those of us who can stay a bit later we continued to reminisce our younger years.

On the second day, we once again did a convoy, passed through Subic Bay Freeport Zone to catch a dinner. After our dinner in a Japanese buffet restaurant, it was bye-bye time. Before we ride our vehicles, everyone shared quick hugs and kisses, we parted ways with promises that we will do another of this trip again.

I guess I must be the only one who felt the bittersweet goodbyes. We rode our respective vehicles and took our own preferred speedy routes. I am never the clingy friend, but I guess spending a couple of days with your friends, away from the stressful calling of the city will always be something hard to say goodbye to. That goodbye is an another beginning of a stressful week ahead.

Another new set of memories worth remembering was just added in our memory box, which I hope even in busy days, we will never choose to forget.

In Stillness

This Year with Him!

It’s the time of the year again when most of us will prepare resolutions to improve ourselves. Most of the time, admit it, I did, we failed.

Why don’t we try to do it differently this time? Let’s lift our resolutions to Christ, seek Him and lean on Him to change our ways. Christ gives daily opportunity, not just every new year, to change and experience His everlasting love.

Our efforts will be futile if we continue to rely on our own abilities to change. Christ equipped us with everything to help us change, to be confident in His arms, to have that boldness to claim His love, and be His child.

Let’s try it this 2018, with Him!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2Co 5:17

Here on Earth

This Rainy Evening

I just got home five minutes ago, and yes, it’s 12:38 already in the morning.

I am hungry, tired and almost drenched in rain. It took me roughly 3 hours to get a ride home. Along with other stranded commuters, we braved the long queue of passengers amidst the heavy rain.

At around 8:30 pm, on my way to the terminal, I started praying for an easy ride home, but to my dismay, a horrendous sight of long line of commuters welcomed me.

I took a spot in the line and prayed for a miracle of outpouring of vehicles to ride, and asked God to let me reach home within 45 minutes.

I waited. I prayed. I waited. I prayed. I prayed. I waited, and waited and waited, until after more than three hours I was able to take my ride.

It was still raining hard when I reached our place. I held my umbrella steadily as I rush against a rushing flood of water on the street. And as I feel the hem of wide-legged pants getting drenched, I asked God, “Lord, why? What should I learn about this situation? Why do I have to wait for more than three hours? I am so hungry. I am drenched. I am tired. I need to be up at 5 am for work. Why?”

I didn’t get the answer. But I did get an answer.

Like a bright light in a dark tunnel of my mind, I was suddenly enlightened.

Not everything is about me.

It is not always about my convenience. It’s not always about what I would feel, or what I want to do. The moment I offered my life to God, I am no longer living a life that aims to please myself.

God doesn’t owe me an explanation. He can make the rain pour forever if He wanted to. He can make me wait longer. He can make me more drenched and tired. He is in control, and I am not.

Things happen for a reason, and sometimes the reason is not revealed to us by God. He does not need to. We can only submit ourselves to Him, and trust that He will use us for His plans.

Until I started to acknowledge my role in this plan of His, I suddenly appreciated all the time I was in the terminal, waiting.

While waiting, I was able to read a book about Holiness and meditate on it, and also review my memory verses. While on my way home, I was praying for our driver and all the commuters left in the terminal. I was so grateful for our driver, that I was so close to verbally thanking him for braving the heavy rain and traffic just to fetch passengers.

When I reached home, my sister is still awake, with a missed call on my phone. Our dog is still awake also, waiting for me.

My sister helped my dry my umbrella and asked if I am soaking in rain.

I was able to appreciate our drivers, all the dispatchers who stayed with the passengers. I appreciate how my sister and our dog waited for me to reach home.

I don’t think there something big with the role I played in this plan, but I hope I did well. I am tired, but I feel contented. Not everything in life is about my success, it’s actually about His.

Again. It’s not always about me. Because everything in my life is Him.

“Lord, forgive me if I always think You are to please me, whereas I should be living a life to please you. Forgive me if I think everything else is about me, when in fact it is not one bit. Forgive me if I think highly of myself. Teach me again how to be like you.

In Stillness

As Love Knocks on my Door.

“Do you love God?’

– yesterday’s church service

“I have loved you,” says the Lord – Malachi 1:1

-another’s church podcast 

“We love, because He first loved us” – 1 John 4:19

– today’s bible reading

What are the chances that I will encounter the topic of LOVE thrice in two days?

It must be God telling me not to fear love. Not to hold back in loving. Not to doubt if I can love. Not to worry about loving the right way.  God is love, He loves me, and I can love Him back too. But what’s seems to be stopping me?

“Do you love God?’

– yesterday’s church service

I feel ashamed of myself, of my lack of passion to love Him. How come if I love someone I can follow their advice no matter if they can see me or not? But when it comes to Him, even if I know He can see me, He can read through my mind, and He can see my future, I still choose to disobey? I can spend my entire day just going through old text messages, tracking someone’s life, or even just thinking about that person, but when it comes to God, it seems like everything has to have conditions? Everything I do seems to be after a reward? Why am I making my God a secondary priority in my life that I vowed to be a living sacrifice for Him?

As I was trying to contemplate about this thing called Love, about my seemingly doubt on God’s love for me, and my capacity to love back, something came up again.

Monday. An old sin called me back again. I chose to disobey. Yes. This time I think, I cannot go on saying it’s the enemy who lure me, because I know I can turn away from that sin, yet I choose to obey my own worldly will. I cried and felt so stupid, so helpless, I can feel the enemy dancing in the background, rejoicing in my failure to obey God. I am starting to think again – I am a helpless sinner, even if God loves me, I don’t think He can give me another chance. How many chances should I keep on asking Him? Five? Fifty? A hundred? A thousand? Did God set any threshold on this?

It says in Hebrew 10:26-27:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

I was so scared, I don’t think I could ever start over again. Can God still forgive me? Can He still love me? Can I still claim myself “a child of God?” When will my sinning stop? Will He still listen to my prayers? Will He still protect me? Am I still worthy to call for Him?

I am just tired of my helpless struggle.

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way so you can endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13

I am weak. I am stupid for not trusting the Lord to help me out of that temptation. I was wrong for not calling onto Him, clinging on His promises. I will forever be helpless if I fight this battle alone, in Him and through the Holy Spirit I can only win.

Maybe I don’t really love God, because if I do I wouldn’t be battling with this sin anymore, because my love for Him could have prevailed.

“I have loved you,” says the Lord – Malachi 1:1

-another’s church podcast 

No other man could love me like Jesus. I don’t think any man would be willing to die for me, let alone suffer for me. Jesus did endure all the hardships to save me from death, from hell. Jesus died for me, thousands and thousands years ago before I was even conceived.

Yes, I know He loves me, how could I have doubted that. He brought me here because He loves me. I am facing this test because He loves me. He loved me. He loves me. He always will.

“We love, because He first loved us” – 1 John 4:19

– today’s bible reading

Oh, Lord, teach my heart to love like yours. What must I give to have a heart like yours, with outpouring love and compassion for others. Why can’t I even love you back properly? Why does it seems so hard me for me? You showed me what true love is, but my heart can’t seem to understand how to duplicate it. I want your love be duplicated, be multiplied through my life. But I am a sinner, and I don’t know how to love.

Here I am again, pleaded to God for forgiveness. I am not sure if He already did accept my plead, but I trust His love for me is enduring. I recommitted myself to Him and hopefully, during the process I will be forever free from this bondage of sin.

 

I just finished reading 1 John 5:13-15:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears is – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked for.

 

I thank God for this comforting words, for reassuring me that I can be His child again.

And as a gentle reminder:

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. – 1 John 5:18

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“Lord, free me from this bondage of sin, break the strongholds of the enemy in my life. My life is yours, use it for you glory. I am claiming victory against the enemy. I am freed from sin, you have set me free and I will not let sin take over my life again. Lord, I helpless alone. I am nothing withoutyou.”

Here on Earth

It’s All Yours.

I decided to let it all go.

This time, I commit myself to really let it go. Let God take charge, and I will stop making stupid daydreams, plans, scenarios and what-nots in my head.I sat there, under the glaring rays of the sun, almost blinding me as I read my bible. I was waiting for that time. I told myself I am going to take the chance to speak to Him, heart to heart.

It was the perfect chance.

I let it go. In His hands I gave up everything. I asked Him to take care of it. I know I have told Him already about it, but my heart was not ready. I was still clinging onto it. I was pretending all alone that I did let it go. He knows I didn’t.

But I am left with no other choice. No other better choice but to let Him take care of everything that’s hurting me. To let Him handle my pain, to let Him fill the emptiness I am feeling.

He blessed me with this ability to love, to feel pain, to love again despite the pain. He, too, can take away the pain, the fear to love again because of the pain. He will take care of me. He will. He always will.

I commit myself to stop thinking of it, to channel my thoughts to something better – to Him. I am putting an end to all the unnecessary thoughts. My hands are tied, and no matter how I go back in my memories it will not change the present or the future. For everything that’s happening in my life is based on His plans.

He is the God of perfect timing. The God who is in full control of everything. And I trust that through all of these sufferings, His name will be glorified.

Here on Earth

I know you are working in my life, Lord.

Some things that are happening now seems odd and hard to understand. They are not part of my plan, this is not how I envisioned everything to be. This pain, the sudden ecstasy, the confusion, everything does not make sense to me. But I know you are working in my life.

As I lay in bed to rest my tired body and mind, I know you are carefully plotting everything out. Making sure that everything is weaved carefully to make a perfect fabric. With every color, every thread, is perfectly aligned for that wonderful material.

Everything now seems like a big puzzle that’s waiting to be completed, and this piece I am holding does not make sense to me. I cannot even imagine the whole puzzle, but why should I worry, right? Why should I waste my time wondering about the rest of the pieces, when I can just lift my trust to you and believe that you’ll bring all the pieces together for me.

Thank you, Lord, that I can sleep in peace and live to give you glory. Thank you that I don’t have to worry about everything else, because someone else is taking care of everything in my life.

You are working in my life, with people, with the situations, with all the emotions. I am in your mind as you work in it. I am remembered as you take care of everything else. I know I will not be disappointed. You always exceeds expectations.

Here on Earth

Random Drama

Little by little I am lifting my fingers off my palm
I am trying to let go
I know I must put my trust in You
You know better than I do
The sadness is swimming inside my head
Waiting for that one moment to cripple me
I tried to be still. But it in silence,
I can hear the proverbial clock ticking
Counting the days before goodbye

Little by little, my palms are opening
In you Lord, I trust that through this pain
It will lead me to know you more
Intimately. Deeper.
I can feel the word goodbye hovering above
My head. Playing with the winds
Ready to break me.

Lord, my palms are wide open
I’m giving everything up to you
Please take care of it, of everything that’s
Precious to me
Take care of it, hide it in your heart
Hold it with your embrace
Nurture it for whom it belongs
I cannot let it go for anyone but you
For in your arms I know it’ll be
Well taken cared of.
Well loved.
Protected.
Keep it in your arms
Until my own palms are ready
To accept it back again
Until my grasps are stronger
Until my arms are ready
To carry the weight of everything it is

My palms are wide open, Lord
Please take my hand, grasp it tight
I entrust my life to you
Lead me where I need to go
My palms can be sweaty
Please Lord don’t let it go
My palms are wide open
Fill it with your love
My palms are wide open
Ready to let go
Ready to hold you

Blog Challenges, Here on Earth

Week 2: A Song About My Most Recent (Ex-Boy)Friend.

Can I skip this week’s challenge?! Hahahha!
Since I don’t have any ex-boyfriend, let me share a song that I’ve been listening and singing to for the past month for my most recent soon-to-be-ex-future boyfriend (why is my love-life sounds so complicated?!)

And why, why do I have to put it out here?! 

Urgh. This prompt is so timely.

Urgh. 

My heart. My heart.

Okay.

Enough of my nonsense ramblings.
Here’s the song:

Walang Hanggan by Quest
It’s the official soundtrack of Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa movie.

You may want to listen to it via Spotify or watch their Youtube Official video while reading the lyrics for a complete moment of #feels.

Walang Hanggan

Gulong gulo ang puso
Saan ba to patungo
Di ko alam 
Di ko alam

Hinarap lahat ng balakid
Pero bakit walang kapit
Ang mga pangakong binitawan
Di ko alam
Di ko alam

Nung ika’y nilalamig ako yung init
Kapag takot sa bukas ako yung unang sisilip
Ginawa ko nang lahat hindi parin sapat kasi
Ikay mawawala na

Nawalan ng gana ang tadhana
Nanlalamig yung dating nagbabaga
Kung maibabalik lang sana
Titiisin ko na kahit paulit ulit

Tapos pipilitin ko na di maulit
Ang masulyapan mo yung dulo
Akala ko walang hanggan pero may dulo
Bawat segundo saking puso iuukit

Lahat ng alalala aking iguguhit
Para makalimutan mong may dulo
Ang sabi mo walang hanggan pero eto tayo sa dulo
Kelan ka ba napaso
Nanlalamig na ang iyong braso
Bakit ganyan
Bakit ganyan

Kung pwede lang pakisagot lahat ng bakit
Saan galing ang galit
Meron bang nangaakit
Kailangan ko lang malinawan

Bakit ganyan
Bakit ganyan
Handang panindigan lahat ng ating plano
Sigurado kahit di kabisado
Gagawin ko ang lahat
Walang pake kung di sapat
Kasi ika’y mawawala na

Nawalan ng gana ang tadhana
Nanlalamig yung dating nagbabaga
Kung maibabalik lang sana
Iindahin ko ang sakit na gumuguhit

Ngingiti sa likod ng luhang pumupunit
Baka masulyapan mo yung dulo
Kasi sabi mo walang hanggan ba’t merong dulo
Ibibigay ko ang lahat paulit ulit

Bawat pagkakataon ay aking isusulit
Basta matalikuran mo yung dulo

Ang sabi mo walang hanggan ba’t andito tayo sa dulo
Ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh
Sa dulo ohh ohh ohhh ohhh
Wag ka munang tumalikod

Bumalik ka muna dito
Padampi kahit anino
Ayokong mag isa dito
Wala na bang bisa aking dalangin

Tinataboy na ba ng langit
Nakikiusap nalang sa hangin
Ngayong wala kana saakin
Bakit ba biglang meron tayong dulo

Pangako mo walang hanggan
Bakit nandyan ka sa dulo
Pwede bang kalimutan mong may dulo
Handa ako sa walang hanggan

Pangako mo walang hanggan
Akala ko walang hanggan
Pero eto tayo sa dulo
Kung ikay mawawala sa aking piling

Dinggin mo ang aking bilin
Lingon ka lang paminsan minsan
Dito lang ako di ako lilisan
Sa ating dulo hindi ako lilisan
Di ako lilisan

Okay. I’m done for this week’s challenge. Let me get my pillows and cry in self pity. Just kidding!

Stay tuned for next week’s prompt post!

In Stillness

To Live, About Him.

I am on the process of letting go. Finger by finger, I am opening my palm to hand it over to the Lord. I cannot hand this over to anyone except to Him. In Him I am sure it’ll be well taken care of.

And while I’m going through the process, the Lord is handing over new better things for me.

He’s taking something away, because He wants me to hold something for Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 Romans 8:28-29

After months of constant prayer, finally God sent me an answer. Two of my officemates were able to join us for a bible study session. I was able to share God’s word to the three of them.

I was in panic that morning when after confirming that they’ll be joining the session, I found out I forgot my trusty bible. What shall I do? This can’t happen now! I mean, I’ve been waiting for this chance; I cannot fail and make a wrong impression!
Fortunately, I have my old bible on my office desk, but it felt different. I am so used with my other bible, the way each pages touch my fingers, the way each verses were highlighted, I am not sure what should I do now?
But then, I was reminded. This is not about the book. This is not about the bible. This is about the Word of God. About His message. About His love. It doesn’t matter if I read the word from a dusty, torn piece of paper, or with my beautiful personal bible. It’s the Holy Spirit I should rely on, not my personal skills, not the personal comfort I find in my bible. This is about Him. This is not about my display of personal knowledge about Him, neither about my ability to speak well, or to look good in the eyes of others. This is about Jesus, His word, and His love for us.

So, I met with my officemates, and seek the Holy Spirit to lead me in sharing God’s message. And, Praise God! I was able to finish the whole chapter with even new insights. With God’s grace, they express thirst and hunger for more of His words. And we’ll be setting another schedule for them to start with their own pace. Next time, I will share the bridge Gospel to them.

Truly, when God takes away something from you, He will send you new things to take care of. Now, I am fully convinced that He called me to do these things. I am one of the blessed children who are called to help in the expansion of His kingdom.
Letting go is getting easier this time, because I know that my palms will not remain empty. For I have a lot to take care of. To hold. To lead. And to love.

Blog Challenges, Here on Earth

Week 1: A Song From Your Childhood

Okay, so I was invited by Cary to join their blogging challenge, which I gladly accepted.  This is about music, with 25 blog prompts, which will run for 25 weeks. Note: Weeks.

I lost track of time, so this post is meant to cover up the missed week. Ssssh!

Week 1: A Song from your Childhood

Somewhere Out There

I specifically selected this song because as far I can remember this was the first song that I was able to memorize in full, plus this was the OST of the movie, American Tale.

Somewhere Out There

Somewhere out there
Beneath the pale moonlight
Someone’s thinking of me
And loving me tonight

Somewhere out there
Someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another
In that big somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby

It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky
Somewhere out there
If love can see us through

Then we’ll be together
Somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

(And oh, I just realized how comforting and bittersweet this song is. Huhuhu, my heart!)