i asked God for one, He gave me ten!!

i am so blessed!!

okay, i am not boasting. i hope anyone who reads my story will understand why i need to share the joy i have in my heart right now :)..

we all ask or request for many things for God to provide us with, or for Him to make things happen for us. never a day passes that we don’t…. from simple requests like praying for a parking slot at the mall, to big prayers such as healing from cancer. big or small, we pray for it and hope that God grants our requests… sometimes He does make things happen, sometimes He doesn’t, but what if we ask for something and instead of simply granting our request, God gives us MORE than what we asked for?!?!?! that will be so amazing, wouldn’t it?

ca3a3afebd24aa734a8b8aa82a77cdd85ad6238ce437c500e2ab686b670526a7when i ran my first half marathon, i told myself and my husband, it will be my first and only long distance run that i will be doing.. but what happened? i ran my 4th half marathon last month!! God gave me 3 more!

when i asked God to send someone that i should marry when i turn 29, He sent Dersky, exactly when i was 29 years old! after a brief courtship, we got engaged and got married and despite being childless, we have been together for 22 years!!! God gave me someone to be with for the rest of my life!

the most recent is, coming home to Philippines means definitely having to see/visit my eldest sister (with 10 years age gap between us). she is a busy body that we rarely get together whenever i come home for vacation. i was hoping maybe we can have just one dinner together so i prayed for it, asking God if there’s a chance that i can bond with her again and maybe bridge our on and off gap that normally happens between sisters…

guess what? oh my goodness! since arriving, i sent her text messages but never got a reply.. then out of the blues on a Sunday, she sent me a message asking if i wanted to go on a road trip with her, of course i said “yes” instantly… off we went just her and me.. next thing you know.. a few weekends later, we again traveled through Asia for 3 days, and bonded well.. it was a short vacation but we rekindled and maybe as we both matured, we have learned to mellow down and just be ourselves…. amazing God we have don’t you think so??? i asked for one but He gave me 10!!!

with my dear sister, DR. MILAGROS ONG-HOW

with my dear sister, DR. MILAGROS ONG-HOW, in Bangkok

IMG_3198

at Antonio’s in Tagaytay City

 so there… today i am flying back to B.C. back to my Dersky’s arms, with heartwarming thoughts of my time with my Atsi Mila.. thank You God for everything.. i am so so so blessed..

what has God given you that you never expected? God is so good He never fails… 

IMG_6706

M.

what running has taught me…

finally i ran my fourth half marathon Sunday morning via the National Geographic’s Earth Day Run 2015. the event was successful, at least for me, i finished without injuries and though didn’t beat my PR, i am happy i made it and for the first time in my birth country, the Philippines, for that matter.

0b2242c195a124905ecdeaa7d6f069fb1078a918dc82e8513965f83cd0a370d6

it was so humid that even in the first 20 minutes from start line i was profusely perspiring already… total opposite of my runs in cool cool Vancouver.. and to think that gunstart was at 3 a.m. my goodness! but it was good though, lots of victims of heatstroke in this country at this time of year and with thousands of participants, organizers perhaps made sure runners will be comfortable, except for maybe lack of sleep for some..

IMG_3400

my niece, with my sister midst the crowd

this was the struggle that went on in my mind while running:
-at 10kms, i thought i should have signed up for 10 instead of 21kms, so I conceded that I was
tired, began to slow down, walked a little, jogged a little,,,

+but,,, no, i’m in it so i have to finish with my best effort…

-but,,, i started imagining my shin pain, my ankle pain, my whatever pain,,

+but,,, i remembered all the hours i put in for training,, i mustn’t slowdown..

-but,,, i lack sleep, i have a good reason for a mediocre performance..

+-+-+- but.. but… i was battling my demons,, in the end, sheer determination and mind over matter prevailed… God has sustained me, i finished not beating my PR but beating my demons..

did you know that the devil attacks you at your most vulnerable state? had i been the same person i was before i met the Lord, i would be buried by now, probably killed myself or buried under my cloud of negativity and hopelessness.. but thank God He revealed Himself to me, yes, i was given choices before, but now, i can choose better because i have Him as my guide…

my dear friend and run mentor, Allyn also joined the run, though I wished we ran together, we weren’t able to find each other amidst the 20,000 participants, to look for her is like needle in haystack…. but I am truly grateful that she participated and we had our souvenir “finish” line photo again after 5 or so years…

IMG_3391

Me and Allyn – seems like old times.. :)

 

so what has running taught me? I realized that I am (we all are) the easy targets of the devil, the bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8 especially during our darkest and trying times, in our tiredness, he is just waiting to victimize us.

But take heart!! God is our victor! He lifts us up and helps us finish our race, through heat and blisters, from hopelessness to encouragement, all we need to be is faithful and trust in His Sovereignty… then we’ll cross the finish line defeating our demons.. God triumphs!

M.

a run dedicated to save the earth…

each time i tell my friends that i have signed up for this or that run, the next question they usually ask is, “what cause is this run for?”…

on April 26, this Sunday, yes that’s 6 days away from today,, i will be running my half marathon event (my first time in the Philippines) called Earth Day Run 2015 hosted by National Geographic Channel. it has been organized in partnership with the World Wild Fund (WWF) to save the endangered Philippine Buffalo or we call it Tamaraws (Bubarus Mindorensis), which mostly are found in Mindoro, an island south of Luzon.

THE TAMARAW

THE TAMARAW – wikipedia

mangyans

The Mangyans – wikipedia

their main objective is to help increase population of this species, as it is currently dwindling in number, at the same time help the natives (called “Mangyans”) who take care of the buffalos… or something like that.. the event also aims to raise funds to provide for electricity to the indigenious Mangyans. for registration fee of P950.00 (roughly US$21.50), i am happy to participate in it… truly we ought to be more wary of how we treat mother nature, also called our dear EARTH… the bible says in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it..”

if this is so, it is, therefore, just proper that we take care of mother earth. don’t you think we should take care of things that are only loaned to us or those that were put under our care? i pray that this project will be successful, it will be good for the next generation, lest they miss out on the wonderful world God meticulously created for us.. one project at a time, we will all get there.. monterey M.

Miss Countdown…

my dear brother, Tony, calls me “Miss Countdown”… because each time something’s coming up, like scheduled travels, a race that i have signed up with, someone special’s birthday, etc, i would announce to the family “10 days to go.. ” “3 days to go”…

i guess nothing is wrong with that… i am always super hyper with anything, or i could also be the opposite, dreading the arrival of something, like now, i have 38 days to go til i fly back to BC, i don’t want to think of leaving yet, but the day is coming nearer and nearer..

yesterday, i told my brother, i have so many things still need to be done, yet there is not much time for me. i remember that huge bulletin board in High School where it was written boldly: Live your life as if it were your first day, your last day, YOUR ONLY DAY! now whoever authored this motto sure did know how precious each minute , each second of his/her life was.. everyday, i think of my departure date as my “last day” and that i have to accomplish as much as i can before that day ever comes..

last day

truth is we never know when our last day on earth will be. i think i ought to say everyday “ONE DAY TO GO”… or better, “THIS IS THE DAY”… well, i think when my time has come that i will be called home, i am sure i am so ready, “finished or unfinished, pass your papers” as my teacher would announce during quizzes.. my life is secured in knowing God and He has led me to preparing myself to meet HIM soon… :)

GLORY

how about you? have you thought of how to spend your days? did you ever think of preparing yourself to that BIG day when God calls you home? try connecting with Him, i am sure you’ll be counting down your days everyday to be with Him!!  To God be all Glory!!

8 months to go til Christmas…
38 days to go til i fly back to B.C…
28 days to go til my NatGeo Earth Day run…
3 days to go til my Lenten Retreat…
1 day to go, it’s APRIL!!

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” ~Psalm 90-12

M.

21 @ 51

update on my running…. so far, my running life is in full bloom, i have been in Manila since February, and no cold and wet winters to keep me from running outdoors, no rains of “raincouver” to think about that i can run almost daily with my run team mates.. i was able to enjoy the cool crisp late afternoons/early evenings Manila experiences every February, and now as the summer heat sets in, running becomes more challenging for me, albeit humid nights, i am having the time of my life.

for this, i opted to sign up for the half marathon event for NatGeo Earth Day run on April 26th, and forego my plans of joining a run event in Vancouver this coming June.. i thought, since i’m here why not take a stab at it..

NatGeo-EArth-Day-Run-2015

yes i am turning 51 as well in June,, hence 21 @ 51, or 21 kms at age 51. i do not aim for any PRs, i will be so very happy if i can finish the race without injuries or you know, as we “seniors” start experiencing ha ha.. it’s really funny cuz now, next generation runners call me “Tita” (as in Aunt) or “Ate” (pronounced as AH-teh) as in Elder sister, a respectful way to call someone older.. when i was used to being called only by my first name.. i am really a senior citizen.. of course i embrace it and not resenting it.. with age comes wisdom, right??

long road

so,, afternoons/early evenings i run following a train plan for my fourth half marathon event. still feeling excited and a bit nervous each time i think about the race, especially now that i am running in the tropics, with high percentage of humidity, unlike in Vancouver, where summer climate is still cool in the mornings, and sometimes it even rains in summer. but one thing different here is that the gun goes off at 12 midnight or 2 a.m. because it gets really hot during late mornings!!! oh my goodness.. back in BC, we start at 7 a.m. for half marathon and 8 a.m. for full marathon, based on my past experiences, and still enjoy cool summer weather.. i wonder how it will be here.. will let you know.

lugs

that’s all for now… the old lady shall now sleep..  :)

M.

less talking, more praying…

attended church service this morning, after missing three Sundays of service, am i glad to have been able to go today with Dersky.

we sang a beautiful praise music called “Mighty to Save”, lyrics said, “Saviour, He can move the mountains, my God is Mighty to Save, He is Mighty to Save.”

mountains

if you are in a situation where you think you do not know what to do, remember God can move mountains.  meaning, anything we ask of Him, He can always do… guaranteed!

right now, i don’t know what to do with a small family situation where although i am not directly involved but am greatly affected because i love my family.. i tried to give my unsolicited advice, but i also cannot solve other people’s problems… singing this song this morning, it reminded me to surrender everything to Him.. He is the mountain mover….. now i will talk less to avoid conflict, better to just pray more and let Him handle it… it’s out of my hands… it’s in God’s hands… He is mighty to save us from troubles…

Psalms 50:15 – And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

M.

in God’s appointed time…

 

God's time

lately, i have been involved in “near misses” that could be reasons to feel rueful, but thanks to my new “motto” that i am able to overcome the feeling of regret, which is the cousin of worry actually…

but first let me explain, worry is something you think about BEFORE something even happens,,, while her cousin, regret, is that which happens AFTER something has been done/occurred or something you failed to do…  regret is not a good feeling because it stops us from moving on, always thinking of ‘i shoulda, i coulda’, but it’s too late to change anything.. so you just mope and regret and regret… and nothing good is happening..

you know what, my new motto is.. “everything is in God’s appointed time”… i believe nothing is ever too late. everything that happened happened because God planned it to happen… good or bad there is always a reason…

you end up taking up the wrong college degree and you regret it? don’t,,, God intentionally has a purpose for that..

you didn’t marry the one you thought was right for you? don’t regret it… God already knew who to send for you, if there is someone He things is right…..

you missed taking the earlier flight to join a family get together? don’t be sad about it.. there is a good reason for it..

in short.. do not feel bad about something you so want to happen but didn’t… or the other way around, something you did but think you should not have… i have made too many bad decisions in life that more often i have had regrets…  fortunately, they were easy for me to overcome because God has taught me that “His plans are better than my plans, His ways are higher than my ways” ~Isaian 55:9 therefore, i truly believe that every day, every second of my life is happening as it is planned by God. why worry then? or why regret if we know He knows what’s going on?

do you feel regretful for something? no, don’t be, it is all part of God’s perfect plan.. you’ll see, just be prayerful and patient and of course, there should be complete reliance on Him… i am definite there will be more joy in your life! keep smiling :) no regrets… move on.. move on… 

M.