Be still my heart

The best and most-fitting word I can use to sum up my 2015 would be this golden, four-letter verb : WAIT.  My patience has been tested for the past couple of years (I should have really gotten used to it by now) but 2015 was hands down, the hardest.

I had a clear plan of what my 2015 was going to look like. I already visualized it and hoped it would come to fruition but unfortunately, it didn’t materialize. The changes threw me off and redirected me to a harder, longer route. Basically, it’s like this :

gods-plan-vs-my-plan
Honestly, I am already aware that this is how often God works but it’s totally different when you are IN the situation.

The stress of fixing my papers, submitting my application, the interviews, my classes, and the phone calls surprisingly didn’t get to me; I was motivated to get everything done. What set me off was when the only option I have, the only roadblock that separates me from my family was to wait. It will be easier if I am given a specific waiting period but in my case, I am left with nothing. I really couldn’t do anything but to be still.

The circumstances weren’t favorable, too. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, visas on temporary hold, etc.  I tried my luck on temporary work but the most convenient I could find still gave me no motion. All opportunities pointed to one place : HERE. It’s as if I am told to stay in a corner and wait for my name to be called until God knows when.

Even though a chunk of my year was spent on waiting, there were exciting highlights too. I went to Prague, watched BSB live, became an English teacher, and found a new home church! Not to mention the character-building experiences God brought my way. My dependence on Jesus grew, my trust fortified, my generosity renewed, and my acts of service developed. My family also became more open to Jesus and I get to witness transformation–I would have missed out on this if my plans prevailed. It also opened doors of opportunities for me to share the gospel. See, I may have been told to be still but it doesn’t mean I have to be passive.

I do not know where I’m headed this 2016 but I’m certain God will be there and His promises will be fulfilled—I can feel it. I look forward to finishing this race I started this 2015 and I know, all the waiting will be worth it.

Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr! ❤

The Sunday Currently 6

AUTHENTIC ITALIAN
Pansit Malabon, a stir-fried noodle dish and a staple food on every birthday celebration. Edited at Canva. Taken 12/11 : my father’s birthday.

5 more days and it’s the 25th. Just 4 more mornings and I’m going to be able to complete my first Simbang Gabi. And even though this is going to be the first Christmas I’m not with my family (after spending 4 consecutive Christmases), I am surprisingly excited for the coming week ; all because I understand what I’m truly celebrating : JESUS.

Reading

Leviticus and then I jumped to the book of Matthew.

Listening

Hillsong Worship playlist on Spotify. Currently playing Here with you.

Writing

my Christmas devotional. For the past four days, I’ve been sending gospel messages and my personal reflections to two of my closest friends. I plan to continue this habit next year and hopefully include my other friends as well. Si Lord na bahala.

Planning

the Christmas dinner, games, and my work schedule for this holiday. I have to carefully plan the latter.

Praying

for household salvation!!!

Hoping

that the Embassy will come to their final decision with my visa.

Loving

the (generally) peaceful & loving atmosphere in the family. I definitely owe it to the Lord. I know He is moving in our midst and He is finishing the work He has started. I am overwhelmed by the fact that we get to honor and worship the Lord together as a family. God handles things perfectly!

Wanting

a good foot massage and sleep.

Needing

money to save up for my plane ticket. Must work double-time!

Looking forward to

my relatives’ reactions when they open my present. I’m 100% sure my gifts are the most unexpected presents they’re ever going to get hehe

Feeling

tired from all the walking and the Christmas shopping but happy nonetheless.

I may not get the kind of sleep I want but this little sacrifice is nothing compared to the joy of knowing Jesus and seeing my loved ones doing the same thing. Good night for now. See you in a week. Have a merry Christmas. 🙂 ❤

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Timehop IRL

Exactly a year ago, I was composing my resignation letter and was preparing for a new season in my life. I had it all planned out : I’d resign, move out of my apartment, pack my luggage, fly to Germany, study then settle in Hamburg.

Fast forward to now, I’m working from home and waiting for my papers to be processed. This isn’t exactly what I had in mind : I’ve got no permanent job, no apartment, I’m settled in my grandmother’s home, I’m not studying, and I’m cities (plus traffic) away from my friends.

Exactly a year ago from today, I was making the most out of my remaining time at the office. Me and my office mates were just in our usual magulo selves; gathered in a corner, eating, laughing continuously, stopping to catch our breath, then back to laughing. I also remember how each one of us are entering into a new season individually. We were anxious of what the future holds but nevertheless, excited.

Fast forward to present time, we all met again. We were the same people even if a couple of things has changed. Every one has their own story to share. I listened but I was simultaneously picturing us back in that old, lunch table at the office. It’s as if a year never happened. It’s as if we never actually separated career paths. It also made me realize that I would never have that kind of relationship elsewhere. It’s bittersweet, actually.

Then, I was this person excited for her future. I was leaving my office family and going to my own. Now, I was back to my office family for a short time and I’m not actually close to being with my own.

Then, I was excited to start again. Now, I’m finding a hard time to start over and kinda wished I was back where I was before.

Now… Then.. Tomorrow. Nothing really matters. Only God can tell me where I’m going to next. What I can only do is to look back, be grateful. and never regret ’cause those things happened just the way God planned it.

It’s actually nice to know that the past has its way of reminding you that time does fly by & the future I am anxious about isn’t really that scary in reality.

A year ago from today, I will look back at this post. So..

Hi, future self. You’re just doing just fine. You are where God is supposed to take you.

Solar Family ❤

 

You’re The Worst

Let me just say right off the bat: GO WATCH THIS SHOW NOW. 

I binge-watched You’re The Worst last holiday vacation & got hooked since then. Honestly, I am nowhere near the characters of this show yet I feel a strong connection with this series.

Just this week, they capped of the second season with a satisfying finale.

Warning : There will be spoilers of course. 

Continue reading You’re The Worst

Mini-dramatic turn of events

I woke up on the right side of the bed today.

I was up even before my alarm clock went off. I had a quick cardio & my work started late which gave me more time for my devotional and Bible reading. 

It was one of those usual, peaceful mornings but unfortunately, the world found its way to ruin a good day.

I had two bad classes, one impatient student, a home crisis, a plan gone wrong, and a misunderstood friend. My patience and understanding are being put to the test once again; sadly, I let it get the best of me. Mind you, these things happened even before lunchtime. The day was just beginning.

I looked to the Bible placed on my bed and read through what I saw that very morning.

“13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 14:13-14

I recited it over and over again. I remembered my prayers that morning, “Lord, today I know you’re going to show me something incredible. I can feel it. I claim your promise TODAY.”. But by the looks of it.. nope. Not gonna happen.

I was left with two options : to continue sulking or just move on and accept the fact that bad days are bad days. I was so tempted to choose the first option but I just let out a huge sigh and chose the latter.

I was having a bad day but it doesn’t mean I have to feel bad all day long. I just have to accept that things are not turning out the way I want it to be. I am not okay, and it’s okay. 

What I’m going to tell you next sounds dramatic but I don’t want to leave this scene out… I locked myself in the bathroom and I cried.  I felt I have to cry out to God, to tell Him that I wasn’t doing great. I didn’t cry that long, of course, because God doesn’t want me to. I was wired to be joyful, I guess. So I went out of the room, continued with my day, and worked. This late afternoon, however, God wanted to show-off.

Remember the verse I read this morning? Where Moses promised God’s deliverance to the Israelites? Where he told everyone to be still because God is fighting for them? Where I believed that something incredible is going to happen today? Well..

God did what He promised.

I checked my mail this afternoon and was surprised to find out that the Federal Foreign Office replied to my query & told me that my papers are already in the final stages of reviewing.

Technically speaking, this can go both ways but for me, this short update is already a big deal. For more than five months, I’ve been asking for a response. Big or small, I’m just asking for a response. I want clarity. God choose today, of all days, to show me a glimpse of His promise. Just last week, I promised God I would seek Him first more than anything and this is what I get.

What an amazing God.

What an incredible turn of events. 

Thank you, Jesus.

I really did woke up on the right side of the bed today and I’m sleeping on it tonight as well.

Goodnight. Be still; God is fighting for you.

 

The Sunday Currently 5

PAINT AND PAPER
4th of December. Coldplay’s Facebook live stream to celebrate the release of A Head Full of Dreams. Edited at Canva.

Today is my Lola’s 2nd birthday in Heaven. We all heard a great preaching this morning, went to the memorial park to have breakfast, spent the entire day together, and ended the night watching Popoy & Basha’s A Second Chance. So before I sleep, let me just get into this post.

Reading 

the Bible, specifically the book of Genesis. I was supposed to read a new book but I couldn’t put the Bible down. I found several interesting facts which I haven’t noticed before. Like what I’ve said to my best friend this afternoon, the Bible is like my teleserye! Not only  do I get to know more about Jesus, I am also acquainted and refreshed by the people God used—all in preparation for Jesus’ coming! Plus, the stories in the Bible are reeeeaaaaaaalllyyyyyy interesting!

Listening

Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams album. While I’m typing, Everglow is on track.

Writing

on my Purple Book journal.

Planning

the games for our Christmas eve celebration!

Praying

that I continue to seek Jesus this week and the days to come

Hoping

that there’ll be any kind of news for my visa/remonstration.

Loving

this whole Sunday with the family, especially this morning at church.

Wanting

the physical copy of A Head Full of Dreams. I hope there are already stocks in the record bar at my province.

Needing

to lose aaaaallllll the weight. I actually exercised thrice this week however I’ve been eating so much since yesterday. I couldn’t find the motivation to get back to my old, active habits.

Looking forward to

the Christmas dinner with my ex-officemates this coming Thursday. I just hope we can all finally decide on where to eat and meet.

Feeling

Contented and Sleepy. ZzZz

So, good night wherever you are! I hope ya’ll had a great Sunday too! ❤

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#AHFOD IN GIFS

I finally got a copy of A Head Full of Dreams!! I am listening alone.. my emotions are on a high… fnoslgjp32it2wmk’;ak I couldn’t even find the words.

 

.

..

..

.

I literally can’t. Maybe these .gifs would suffice.

Track 1 : A Head Full of Dreams

Track 2 : Birds

Track 3: Hymn for the Weekend 

Track 6: Fun 

clapping_joker_batman_dark_knight

Track 7: Kaleidoscope

Track 8: Army of One

Track 10: Colour Spectrum

Track 11 : Up & Up

If you’re done listening, I know we’d be all…

COLDPLAY FOREVER ❤

PS: I’m so articulate, right? 😀

*I didn’t include Adventure of a Lifetime, Amazing Day, & Everglow.

 

Through the lens of God

I’ve been in a yo-yo lifestyle with God for the past few months. Some days I am encouraged, inspired, battle-ready… but oftentimes anxious, discouraged and defeated. I honestly want to get out of this lifestyle. I want to set my heart right with God EVERY.SINGLE.DAY

I thought to myself, what do I always do in a time like these? I recalled all the days I felt somber and how I reacted to it. The simple and tested answer: THE WORD OF GOD. 

So I said and declare to myself this morning,

“Lord, I want to know You more and more”

Thus begins the first day of revisiting and changing perspectives. I have to take myself, my prayers, my worries out of the picture and focus on God and Him alone. I have to deliberately set my eyes on Him, know Him for who He really is and not only what He can give me. I have to see  everyday in God’s lens. I actually exercised this habit a couple of times especially when I feel lost and confused. Each time brings new sets of realizations; even instances that make me feel so unworthy to be called His child.

So today, I am giving up any distractions (like a normal fasting) until God tells me to stop. I used to set deadlines (i.e for one week, no meat. for three days, no social media then back to regular programming) but this time around, I will wait for the Lord’s instructions. I will drown myself with the Word of God until my mind cannot welcome any other ideas that does not belong to God. This is also a good opportunity since Christmas is approaching and what better way to welcome this season by truly knowing my Savior Jesus Christ.

I am sure that this is going to be a one, tough battle but again, this ain’t about me, it is about God.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

-Matthew 6:33

The Raw Shark Texts

 

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I have this book sitting at my bookcase for more than a year already; a gift from my previous boss. Apparently, she saw this book on my “Book Wishlist” and decided to give it as a Christmas present. Coincidentally, she had this book just lying around as well.

I used to read a lot of books until social media got in the way. I made a promise to myself last week that I will go back to reading and I started with this.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“It’s a stark thought that when we die most of us will leave behind uneaten biscuits, unused coffee, half toilet rolls, half cartons of milk in the fridge to go sour; that everyday functional things will outlive us and prove that we weren’t ready to go; that we weren’t smart or knowing or heroic; that we were just animals whose animal bodies stopped working without any sort of schedule or any consent from us.”

I would recommend this book for people who enjoy reading sci-fi/existential/technical books especially people who are psychology/English majors. Why? Better find out. Also, if I can somehow describe it in a *recipe, it will look like this:

1/2 cup Memento

1/2  cup The Matrix

1 tbsp Inception

1 pack Jaws 

1 tsp Self/less

Personally, I’m just glad to finish this book. It feels like fixing a closet; you keep promising your parents you’d do but you don’t unless you really have to.

PS:

There are several interesting illustrations you can find inside. Like this,

tumblr_nyo8jlnqwu1qasnguo1_500

Next book in line : The Girl on the Train

*not sure why I did a recipe but it is the best analogy I can think of