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!

14

M.

of wine and roses…

first part of my U.S. trip, which was to celebrate my niece’s 16th birthday and see the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas ended yesterday, and today, we flew into L.A. to see my brother…

Last Saturday, Therese, my niece, wore a beautiful lacy dress, with rose petals inside the dress’ hem, as she was wheeled out to the patio for everyone to greet her.

tiris dress

cake

it has been 6 long years since we parted ways. she is way much different from the time she was with me.. when she was little, she could still get up from bed or from the sofa on her own or walk with minimal supervision, but this time, she is confined to her wheelchair and has difficulty walking by herself. she has seizures on a daily basis, and just like the rose, we look at a beautiful creation but with the thorns, it pricks the heart seeing her condition deteriorate… (please check out the IRSF – International Rett Syndrome Foundation – www.rettsyndrome.org for more info about her condition)

overall it was really a happy reunion for me and my family. we visited the Hahn Winery in Monterey Valley (www.hahnestates.com) for some wine tasting, though i am not wine savvy, but definitely enjoyed having some reds over our lunch picnic basket.

Dersky and myself wine tasting
Dersky and myself wine tasting at Hahn Wineries, Monterey Valley, California
me and tony winery
me and my brother overlooking the vineyard

the Monterey Bay Aquarium (www.montereybayaquarium.org)

RED EYE MEDUSA
RED EYE MEDUSA

PLANKTONS
PLANKTONS

and of course the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and went on a 2 hour tour of Alcatraz Island.

golden gate

Alcatraz cruise

alcatraz2

Jail cell

alcatraz

hallways of the Rock

i would recommend the Alcatraz tour whoever visits San Francisco. they had an audio self guided tour, where a narrator guides you through the walls of the Rock, it was like being there and seeing everything that happened during the years it existed including the great escape..

 getting together with people we love is often a wonderful occasion. but sometimes it could also be bittersweet especially if we see our loved ones we haven’t seen for a long time hurting, or are ill, and prayers are the only thing we can share from the heart.

DSC00270

my crazy family… :)

have you planned on seeing, visiting or even just calling someone you care for that you haven’t seen for a long time? maybe it’s time you do… as they say,, Y.O.L.O. and there’s no sooner day than today. God bless you.

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ~1 John 4:11

M.

cheers!!!

ONCE AGAIN… it’s my birthday month… and not just another birthday… i am turning “five-oh” in less than a month!!!

cheers

i have been thinking of blogging about my own timeline, but you see, i am a ‘plane jane’.. nothing spectacular i did in all of 50 years that needs to be written about… in my journal though, i wrote down experiences i remember clearly from the day i was born to the present, the highs and lows i went through, and tallied everything…. the good news is… my highs surpassed my lows :)

COLLAGE

school photos i got from friends, losing everything in the terrible flood

i have nothing much to share with you except that, in the beginning of this year, i have said that 2014 will be my year of joy.. yes, it has been a joyful 5 months so far, not that everything came up roses, just right, and “livable” for that matter.. and there’s more to come.. traveling to see my siblings in California for the first time next week, celebrating my beloved niece’s 16th birthday, (Teresa) whom i have not seen for 6 years, and of course, my birthday lunch with my family and so on…

for everything, i thank who else,, but our great CREATOR… for creating me,, that i had a normal childhood, that i am able to rise up from my lowest days of my life, and that i am not perfect but the LORD gives me peace and joy in most circumstances..

i pray that i am able to encourage you by knowing a little about me, how God makes me see all the goodness He does for my life, despite the tears, mine may not be as dire as what you have gone through but know that God is the only one who can turn our pain to gain… 

so… CHEERS!! to my fiftieth, and more to come… :)

Washington State

M.

the day after…

it is finally over!!

the only unwelcoming difference from the scenes posted on the BMO RunVan sites was the absence of the sunshine… :(

rain rain go away
rain rain go away

it was a rainy event. i had on, the BMO bright yellow tech shirt, on top of another dri-fit shirt, on top of a long sleeved run shirt, and my favorite pink cap, and wore my capri running pants. running shoes was not rain proof so,, i got them wet, socks and all… weather was light rain, i.e. more than a drizzle but less than a rain but run under it for 2 hours will leave one soaking wet in the end.. temp was cold 9 to 10 degrees, overcast day… we didnt have a big garbage bag to use as “ponchos” so i said, que sera sera, there’ll be thousands others running in the rain anyways.. it’ll be fun!

so we were given a pair of running gloves which i decided to wear around the 16th km mark when my fingers were going stiff frozen from the cold brrrrrrr… i was trying to snap some photos but i couldn’t even press the button of my phone ha ha…

i promised myself i will follow the 2:15 pace bunny unlike last year when i was overconfident and thought i can do it myself.. but from the pink corral where i was, i didn’t or couldn’t see the pace bunnies, not until we reached the 13th km mark, on a turn around route did i see her on the opposite side ahead of me, a distance gap of prob’ly a kilometre???? from there, i knew i may not be able to beat my targeted 2:15 finish.. okay, so i thought, if i cant beat it, at least i should do better than my previous times…

Pace-Bunnies1

guess what… i didn’t beat my time, but only for a second ha ha… in 2012 i finished 2:26:11, my PR so far,, yesterday, basing on my chip time, i finished 2:26:12… it’s okay i crossed the finish line with a big smile… happy happy…

here are some highlights of my run yesterday, taken under the rain…

as i crossed the start line yesterday, i can’t help but feel grateful thinking i am so blessed with so much in life, and that i tread along the streets of Vancouver running a half marathon race, which i never had the chance to do in Manila, Philippines… i thought this would not be possible if God have not sent me a beautiful being, whom He named Evelyn.. or Blynn, my self created nickname for her… :) she is the “Allyn” counterpart for me here in Canada… apparently God takes care of me… Blynn was my running buddy since i moved here to Canada and for that, i am so fortunate having known her. she almost beat her dream of a sub 5 hours for her full marathon finishing 4 minutes longer.. so proud of her… way to go, Blynn and thank YOU!!

bonding times with Blynn:

what’s next for me? sure will still keep on running, race or no race… but won’t think about that for now,, my next project is my first major trip to the U.S. to reunite with my family.. it’s happening soon… 2014,, indeed, my year of JOY..   i love you dear Lord Jesus.. :)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1-17

M.