change of plans….

our suite is almost empty…
my dresser, my cupboard, our bedroom, the walls,,,
the furniture one by one sold, disposed of, or been donated…
tv sets are boxed, etc..

ALMOST EMPTY...

ALMOST EMPTY…

there is a major change happening here. after 8 years of living life in Canada, we are moving on.. moving back to our home country…

as my dear husband “un-hang” our portrait we got from Sears to pack it away, i cried a little bit…

is this temporary or permanent move? i do not know… 8 years ago, i had the same question as we packed our things to land here in this beautiful part of the world…. i guess this move answers it… now, i cannot say if our moving back will be something permanent or just another “spur of the moment” decision… but no, it is not spur of the moment decision. it has been lingering in both my husband and my mind. first me, then him, then, took a while until our minds synced. so came the unanimous decision as we always try to decide on major things together… maybe this is how it is when we grow older, we tend to be reminiscent of where we came from, of the usual…. and for a really small family of two, we can go where our minds and hearts want to bring us without any care for our child’s school, peers, etc etc..

is this God’s plan for us? or merely our plan? i do not know… we have constantly prayed for God to reveal His plans for us,, and as the day came nearer and plans laid down, the circumstances make our decision justifiable… opportunities back home are opening up…. an office associate, having a high risk pregnancy, needs relief from work, and i am just the right person to help her having worked with her for many many many years… and a new line of business is brewing and so on….

it is difficult to detach myself from things i have gotten used to, we all do oftentimes, right? but what comforts me is the thought that it is just temporary where i am, whether here or there, someday, i will be called to my permanent home… but in the meantime, life goes on, i have to move on, one step at a time, and totally surrendering everything to God in prayer and in faith…

so,, it’s good bye for now here.. but not yet forever…

Proverbs 19:21 ESV “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

M.

almost there….

July 1st was Happy Canada Day!

it was a day well spent, having gone hiking with my dear girlfriends, Blynn and Dio, with Blynn’s lovey dovey, Phil.

group photo

Dio, Phil & Blynn and Lugs :)

 

at the trailhead

at the trailhead

we went up to JOFFRE LAKES (French pronunciation Joh-fr) in Mount Currie, B.C. approximately 2-2.5 hours drive from Vancouver.   in total it is an 11 km hike, with approximately 400 m. elevation gain, passing by 3 breathtaking lakes, they call them lower, middle and the upper lakes.   in between you get to see the cascades from Matier Glaciers, they are sooo beautiful and serene feeling, you get to say thanks to God once you see the sight.   for those visiting B.C., i highly recommend this trail… 

having my frozen right shoulder (yes, again), had me second thinking if i will join the hike or not, but what da heck, i didn’t want to spend my holiday cooped up in my home heat padding and golf balling my shoulder when i can go out and appreciate Mother Nature, in capital letters as my respect for her… and i am super glad i did go…

the hike was a moderate climb. normally, it takes less than 4 hours to finish the entire trail.. but add to that, the selfies, the photographs, the lunch breaks, the water breaks, and all the moments you say your ooohs and aaahs, and feasting your eyes on what nature has to offer, all in all we finished the trail in almost 5 hours… 

Please enjoy the photos we took:

before reaching the upper lake, descending hikers we meet along the way would tell us “almost there!”,,, likewise, when we were on our way back to the trail head, ascending hikers would encourage us saying “almost there!!” two words that give encouragement and hope that we will soon be finishing the hike, either ways.   yes, trails are fun, but it is also tiring but compensated by the high that you get upon reaching the top and the finish line.. :)

going through difficulties in life is similar to trekking the mountains… we often would want to hear someone tell us “you’re almost there”… meaning we’ll soon pass this and overcome the obstacles.. much like the trails i have gone through, there were easy parts and steep climbs, there were parts where i needed a hand to cross the big boulder…. as in life, there will be days we feel we’re okay and days when we feel almost hopeless we just want to give up and days we need a hand to pull us up.. hearing someone’s comforting words as “you’re almost there, you can make it” could change his/her perspective into something positive.

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so, is there any one you know, a loved one, a friend, who needs to hear from you these words, “you’re almost there, you gonna make it”?   go ahead…. say it, do not withhold it…  simple but precious words to someone losing hope.. may God bless you…

“He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.”  ~2 Corinthians 1:4

M.

what distracts you?

are you capable of multi-tasking?

according to the dictionary, to multi-task is “to perform two or more tasks simultaneously”, as i understand it, it goes without saying, performing different tasks AND completing them.

what about those tasks not completed? i don’t call mine as multi-tasking,  i simply call them distractions…

multitasking

i happen to be the web admin of our church website. as such, i am tasked to update the site regularly, to post news and events happening or just a simple banner for what the occasion may be! but you know my laptop is my “work desk” where i keep everything i want to do for the day. i have some accounting work to finish, check out zumba(R) videos that i want to add to my playlist, to write my blog, and do some more reading… so guess what happens when i boot up my laptop…

first i open my church website, hmmm let me see, what do i have today. ooh, i have to upload yesterday’s sermon.. so while waiting for the upload, i go to my emails and work on some financials,, hmmm, too much work to start for now, why don’t i check  youtube first, see what’s latest in zumba videos, hmmm, i love this music, who sang this? i look for the original artist.. hmmm, is he really? i check wikipedia, he is!!! oh.. so i remembered my church website. is it done uploading? okay now it’s time to edit…but then Dersky comes home i need to set the dinner table… i drop everything… and so on and so forth… until i lost track of what i was really doing.

yesterday was Father’s day, i was in church, i thought, how could i have forgotten to post a heartwarming greet to all fathers at church? my bad tsk tsk.. i felt so ashamed that i promised myself i will focus more on what i do than do this and that sporadically?!?!?!?

how do you cope with life’s distractions? take heart! every new day is a new leaf turned over, another day to look forward to doing it better. God is gracious that He forgets our mistakes… as long as we re-commit our lives to Him each and every day…

have a great Summer!!!

Richmond

M.

thank God for June…

it’s June!!!!

it’s been 3 weeks since coming back from my long vacation in my home country, the Philippines.

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every time i come back from a long stay in Manila, i always get the homesick bug biting me deeply.. it took me that long to recover from vacation hangover and now that it’s the first day of June, i decided i have to totally fight it off and continue with my life as it used to be…

so today, i got up with a brighter outlook that things will be fine from today on wards.

first off, what’s happening this month? well, i will miss running a half marathon event this year here in B.C. since i have already run a half in Manila last April. even though i planned on joining the event on June 28th via the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon Run, i decided otherwise. maybe i will just be running the same distance on the same day, here in my neighbourhood, whatever… however, i signed up for the Color Run Vancouver on the 13th of June with my friend who invited me to join their group. run event is only for 5 kilometers but we’ll be running/walking/dancing to the finish line. i am so excited as it will be my first time to experience this.

then comes my 51st birthday on the 20th.. it’s a Saturday so i am looking forward to celebrating it with my Dersky since it’s his day off from work. hmmm,,, craving for some Mediterranean fare.. or maybe climb the Grouse Grind again with my girlfriends…. that would be great!!

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enough of sulking and missing home for me… i choose J-O-Y!! thank God for June, it’s my favorite month, it’s the month when God gave me the gift of life, He never had second thoughts in bringing me out into this world so how else will i repay Him but to enjoy His precious gift!!

Ciao! 

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! “~ Psalm 126:5

M.

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

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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… 

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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.

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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..

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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…

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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.