what are you thankful for?

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we celebrated our Canadian thanksgiving last October 13, but, i am in “mostly” sunny California now to spend American thanksgiving with my family, see my niece, Therese again, and enjoy the subtler weather since temperature is dropping in B.C. not to mention the rain… but, hey it’s thanksgiving, let’s see what we should be thankful for.

Sunday morning, i was able to join the service at my sister’s family church here in Prunedale, California, the Grace Community Church, and we had our thanksgiving dinner right after service. before we started with the buffet, Pastor gave us a few minutes to mingle with guests we were sitting with at each table by asking each one what are the things we are thankful for and why. so, usual replies were of course, firstly, thankful for FAMILY, and next was good health. Pastor shared the following (and i added some more) that probably will not make it in our list of things to be thankful for:

>taxes that we pay – it means we have our jobs
>weight gain, shrinking clothes – means we have food on the table
>dusts around the house to clean – means we have our own homes to stay safe
>weeds in the yard – we have our backyard to plant flowers and smell the roses
>flat tire to change – we have the luxury to drive a car
>church mate who sings off key – well, be glad we still have our sense of hearing

me n tiris for me,, i am thankful for having a special needs niece touch my life, for without her, i will never have  the compassion for children with learning disabilities, or mentally challenged like my Therese,  i will  never learn much about epilepsy and seizures, and thus make me understand more about their pain…

bebe

all in all, it is just being thankful not only for the good things that we enjoy in life but also for the little (or big) hassles we meet along the way, because God uses these to build up our character, and therefore, we have to be thankful for everything, good or bad.

so, are you thankful for your leaking faucet? of course! it means you have water to stay clean and get nourished… but better fix that, we don’t want to waste water especially in drought stricken California..

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!

M.

on deciding to follow Jesus..

recently, i heard a loved one say, “i need to work on my relationship with the Lord”…

my heart leapt, for joy i guess, because that would mean the Lord’s flock will increase!
but what can i tell her to encourage her more? well, first of all, i cannot and can never instruct her to do this and that. i can only share how i did it and made it.

i am a sinner. we all are, but i was an “unconfessing” sinner. there is a difference. before, i thought to myself, i was not doing the wrong thing, i did what makes me happy. i was proud. so God used my mistakes to correct me, many times painfully, much like, using the error to correct the error… hmmm makes sense? okay to put it differently, we learn from our mistakes!

having a relationship with God is a decision one makes, and no one can tell him/her how to do it, nothing from the outside will make the decision for him/her. it will come from the inside, from the heart… so when i finally decided i want to build my relationship with Jesus, i did what it takes to be near him.

first, i stayed away from secular interests, i love music, but  i began listening to praise music and Christian songs only. i stayed away from tv for a while, in fact i had no tv in my room, all i had was the A.M. radio, tuned in to the Christian station the whole night until sleepiness crept in. in my “previous” life, i would listen to pop music, silly love songs, and imagine things, then these things trigger me to drink, to smoke, to have fun.. to be carried away by my emotions, have pity on myself, etc etc. i watched movies that affect the mind badly, and gave me ideas how to sneak around. uhm uhm not good! okay this is me, people have different weaknesses…

footprints

then, i spent more time in church than anywhere else. in my “previous” life, i was out with friends, came home at 2 a.m. drunk. even during my married life.. i thought that was happiness. it led me to dishonesty to my husband (subtler infidelity) and everything that came with it.. i tried to learn more about Jesus by reading the bible stories more, and became more positive person, though not perfect, but am more at peace.

now that is one decision i made that i never regret. my heart is already a stronghold of God’s presence. yes i do listen to pop music now, rarely watch tv though except cooking shows, since i already know God filters everything i see and listen to. i am secured. and it was all because He helped me go through with it.

so, there. i pray for my dear friend, i know it’s a tough decision because you have to change a lot of “normal usual” things you do,, but take heart, surrender it to Him and He will lead your way, easily :)..

how about you, have you decided to follow Him?

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” ~Psalm 51:12

M.

zumba and thanksgiving…


i was on a two week vacation in Manila, Philippines…

the highlight of my stay was the Zumba party i remotely planned while still in B.C. with the BIG help of dear friends from High School. usually for mini reunions, a dinner will be set in honor of whoever flies in from abroad.. a roll call will be posted and any high school batch member is welcome to attend.

zumba-dance-party

coachbut i thought, how about getting the ladies all together and have fun doing some physical activity… since i was unofficially designated as their Biggest Loser Coach, i’d rather have a Zumba party than the usual dinner. all i needed i said were three things, venue, Zumba instructor, and at least 10 participants..

guess what,, a venue was chosen, an instructor was hired to come, and voila, almost 40 signed up and 30 showed up!!! it was a blast and a really joyful reunion!! those i never thought would do the Zumba, did! we had two who danced the first time.

call time was 8 a.m. some complained of setting it too early, but c’mon ladies, with my two week stay, i wanted to get the most of my time, plus morning exercise is still the best! our Zumba instructor gave us a big thumbs up saying we all danced like we are in our 30s hehe so 50 IS the new 30 eh??

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50 is the new 30!!

after the dance session, before we started with brunch, the hostess (venue owner) shared a very inspiring thanksgiving prayer, mainly for healing/recovery for mates who underwent major surgeries, including Jonathan, a 16 yr old son of my classmate, who just had brain surgery. thanking God that we are all under His care, and what would be the best thank You we can give back is to take care of our physical bodies while we can…

brunch was served afterwards, with delicious menu of rice, eggs, boneless bangus (milkfish) with tomato and onion relish, chicken sausages, bananas, desserts of cake, crepes and waffles… oh dear,,, i hope we didnt overeat, though there were leftovers which was a good sign??

foodies

before 12 noon, we were on our way home feeling joyful…

in 2 Samuel 6:14, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might…” maybe it would give deeper meaning if the reason we danced was for the Lord… as our thanksgiving to His graciousness and Sovereignty, then it would not be a meaningless swaying and jumping. with thanksgiving season coming up, have you been dancing for the Lord as a thank You to Him? maybe we ought to take the first steps now. :)

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men..” ~Colossians 3:23

M.

how do you give?

good saturday afternoon!

yesterday after work, i dropped by at the church to volunteer sorting donated clothes, courtesy of Center Street Church in Calgary, headed by Pastor Wayne Smele. there were like 70 bagsful of used clothing to be given away for free today.

(click on photos for larger view)

we had so much fun folding, sorting, which table do men’s jeans go, ladies tops, children’s jammies, and some even gave away their,, er… underwear? but i think (and i hope) they’re new and never been worn hehe.. we finished after almost two hours, that included some chit chat, stories here and there, making fun of some odd shaped clothing like you’ll wonder what in the world is it? a shawl? a shirt? or a table runner?

last year, our Filipino group from where i work conducted a clothing drive when the devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, particularly, Tacloban… then a leading Philippine courier company offered to send boxes for free so we grabbed the opportunity to solicit used clothing from workmates and footwear as well, or anything of use, as long as it helps our beloved countrymen.  we gathered i think 7 boxes in all..!! :)

CHC

in the pile of clothes we received, there was a comforter. hmm it’s perfect as they can use it to sleep on, what with their houses blown away along with there cots or cardboard beds (majority of the affected were the poorer population).. however,, (this is kinda disgusting).. it reeked of… i cannot describe it, it stunk so bad that i brought it to the laundromat before packing it.. i don’t think it will be proper to send a stinking bed sheet and to someone so down and out and in dire need of ‘comfort’, so to speak..

not that i am an ingrate, you see, i am happy that we received all those donations,, but,,, my question is, how do you give? rather than what do you give?

to quote Mother Teresa, “it is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”… maybe if we give something away to charity, we ought to think of the recipient. do we really give from the heart or just getting rid of things? i too am guilty of this of course, but God gives us second chances as there are so many opportunities to do what we gotta do….. what do you think?

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7

M.

losing and gaining….

uh oh,,, is it September 06th already????

last February, my high school batchmates launched the biggest loser challenge, i wrote all about it here, so every 6th of the month thereon, we would do weigh-ins for the 12 participants who joined (including yours truly) and our final weighing in is planned to happen before the year ends, probably in December before the Christmas season (to avoid the weight gain from Christmas dinners,,, he he)..

they unofficially called me “COACH LUGS” to monitor each one’s progress (or regress huhu) and supposedly to motivate them by sharing work out routines or whatever is there to push them. sad to say, i don’t think i kept up with my role as their “Coach” :( i myself gained and am struggling too to keep those extra pounds off.

A DIFFERENT “BEFORE “AND “AFTER” PHOTO:

B4 AND AFTER

monthly, i see some of them gained, some lost weight. they say once you’ve reached the golden age, metabolism is slower so it takes more than hard work to really burn those “calorific” intakes..

today is weighing in day once again. (it’s 6th in North America, but already the 7th back home in Asia).. they haven’t heard from their beloved “Coach”… it kinda slipped my mind and really, i stayed off my weighing scale for a while.. they make me cry huhuhu… this is the only gain i do not welcome in my life..

recently, i lost a friendship. how hard was it? well, i honestly felt sad for the falling out, though it was a very short lived friendship, but come to think of it, we two were a mixture of oil and water, fire and ice, that it was bound to happen. i never knew what the reason was but, i am on the guilty side because i complained a lot about her to another friend,,, so, maybe the vibes were so strong that she knew about it…

what did i gain from this loss? i gained wisdom. i think it was God’s main purpose, that now, i try to be MORE CAREFUL with my words, making sure i don’t hurt anyone, and if i do, i am no angel, God forgives, i try better the next time. i never heard from her since, but, it’s okay, i am at peace now with myself and happy i learned my big lesson the painful way…

so there, losing and gaining,,  both can bring you joy or disappointment, but the kind of gain or loss we should be thankful about is that which can make us be a better person, both inside and on the outside, and pleasing to God, that will make us the winner…  what have you gained or lost  in your recent life experiences?

er… excuse me,, back to my weighing scale….. hmmm….

“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” ~James 3:2

M.

“Summer” nice.. “Summer” not..

 

autumn

i am back, after two months of hiatus, thank God everything is going on right, but, of course, these past two months were an olio of some nice, some not so nice events for me, hence, “summer” nice,, “summer” not.. (pun intended)

first off, having lived most of my entire life in a tropical country, i am used to having looong hot and humid weather, so i am just left hanging when i am already complacent with summer and it seems like Autumn is slowly moving in,, summer’s too short :( …this is not nice.

onset of summer i had fun visiting my family in the states, celebrated my 50th birthday in Vegas, joined the party for my beloved special niece’s 16th birthday. :)  … this is nice.

i had a falling out with a friend of three years, (i would like to write a blog about this life experience in the future). it was all my fault or so it seems, i was unkind and insensitive. i prayed hard for God to forgive me, and i did send her my apologies, no reply,, :( …this is not nice.

my former boss phoned me and offered me a three month job! i wa$ happy to have accepted it, good thing my mind ha$ been refre$hed about what my job wa$ there before, $o now i can $ave $ome more ca$h for my upcoming trip to A$ia…:) :) … this is verrrry nice!

about my running? since i did my 3rd half marathon run last May, i have not set any goals to join a race, also, i still have my heel pains, which i think would never go away… :( … this is so not nice… though i still run short distances on weekends, i’ve said it before, i’ll say it again, i cannot see myself not running, as long as i still can…

so, life goes on and on,, summer, fall, winter, spring, everything goes ’round and ’round, at times we’re up, some times we’re down.. but what joy it is to know that we are standing on solid ground, with God on our side, yah?  what ground are you standing on? 

good day to all of you..

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…” ~Romans 5:3-4

half the year is over…

a belated Happy Canada Day (July 1st)… and Independence Day (July 4th) to my friends and family in America!!

would you believe? half the year is over!

i am deciding on taking a break from blogging. it has been a good 4 year experience for me sharing how i feel, what i know, what i do, and most of all, sharing my faith in some ways.

for now, i will focus on what to do next feeling that there are plenty of things to accomplish still. they say time is short when you are having fun. i don’t want to one day see my time is over and have not accomplished anything…

i thank you, my readers for taking your time to read what i have to say, may God bless you everyday and give you the inspiration too as He did for me. i may be back, i may not, i am leaving my site open as it is, as i will still continue reading the blogs that i follow… again.. thank YOU!

take care and have a great and blessed life!

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M.