Tuesday, September 13, 2016

When God Speaks

I had a dream last night. The setting was at some mythical place that looked to me like it came straight out of The Game of Thrones. I had the weirdest companions. Tyrion Lannister, James Reid, and Nadine Lustre. In my dream, we were in a great, big castle (sort of like the Red Keep) and we were trying to escape from it. Several times we tried to get out but we can't. We were being pursued by castle guards but they kept on capturing us. We were trapped. 

One day, Tyrion had the bright idea to sell the treasures we have in our possession (it was two gold necklaces, if I remember correctly) to get us some money so we can smuggle ourselves out of the city. And so that's what he did and we later on found ourselves in a safe community. We were given provisions for free and a comfortable apartment to stay in. James said that the apartment is forever ours -- we can choose to stay there for as long as we want to. It is available for us to use as long as we continue to pay rent. He said the landlord does not have any plans for it in the course of our lifetime.

I narrated my dream to Mon at breakfast this morning. I asked him what my dream could possibly mean. He didn't answer but he asked me the same question. What do I think is the interpretation of my dream?

I thought about it and said, "Well, I was up until 2 in the morning last night and I've been thinking about my faith the whole time. So if I were to interpret my dream, I'd say it has something to do with that." So I started telling him how I interpret it.

THE CASTLE is our world now. Sinful and fallen. A place where immoral acts propagate as though it is the most normal thing in the world.

WE TRIED GETTING OUT OF THE CASTLE BUT WE CAN'T. CASTLE GUARDS KEPT ON CAPTURING US. The castle guards, I think, is sin. For a good number of times, I tried to have a real and lasting relationship with Jesus but I kept on falling back to old habits. I kept on getting lured by things of the world. I can't escape it.

TYRION HAD THE BRIGHT IDEA TO SELL TREASURES TO SMUGGLE US OUT OF THE CITY. Once he sold our treasures, we were successful in escaping the castle. I think this means that I can only be successful in getting out of sin when I set my eyes on Jesus, and not on what is of the world.

WE WERE GIVEN PROVISIONS FOR FREE AND A COMFORTABLE APARTMENT TO STAY IN. I think the provisions and the apartment translates to salvation. Salvation is free. I didn't even have to work for it. It is only by the grace of God that I am saved. It is free. All I have to do is to take it. Claim it. And how do I do that? By making Jesus the Lord and Saviour of my life. By opening my heart to the Truth of what He did for me on the cross. Knowing that He died to redeem me from each and every sin that I have committed. Yes, He did that for me. I AM LOVED THAT MUCH. And you know what? He did that for you too. You are loved that much too.

WE CAN CHOOSE TO STAY IN THE APARTMENT FOREVER IF WE WANT TO. IT IS AVAILABLE FOR US TO USE AS LONG AS WE CONTINUE TO PAY RENT. In my dream, the apartment is located in a peaceful community. Sort of like Amity (Divergent) or Hufflepuff (Harry Potter) where everyone works hard and is kind, patient, fair, and dedicated. I think the rent translates to my relationship with Jesus. To be able to stay in the peaceful zone, I need to get to know Him more and more and build a lasting relationship with Him.

THE LANDLORD DOES NOT HAVE ANY PLANS FOR IT IN THE COURSE OF OUR LIFETIME. How I understood that statement is that salvation cannot and will not be taken away from me. Not ever. When Jesus said on the cross that it is finished, it is indeed finished.  I have been redeemed. For as long as I put my trust in Him and make Him Lord of my life, I am saved. And there is nothing more I can add to it.

So that is how I interpret my dream. I may be right, I may be wrong. Who knows? But like what I told Mon this morning, I acknowledge that it could really just be another one of those bizarre dreams, but since my interpretation of it is so encouraging, then I will choose to believe that my interpretation is true. And nothing can be said to make me believe otherwise.

This is one of those times when I really feel that God is trying to speak to me. And I realized that He just gave me the answer to a question I've been pondering about.

Lately I have been feeling very dissatisfied with a lot of things in my life: my performance in school, motherhood, wifehood.. I even stopped blogging for so many months, only some very short entries here and there, because I feel like I'm juggling too many plates at once and I am just drowning with everything that I have to do. But when I really think about it, I realized that this is another one of those classic examples of me doing everything on my own.

John 15:5 says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (NIV)

No wonder I've been running dry. No wonder I feel so drained. I have yet again detached myself from the Vine. So what started as me thinking that I lack rest ended with me realizing that my problem is not on the physical side but on the spiritual aspect of my life. I need to refocus my eyes on God. And I need to make sure that this time will be for good.

Our pastors in church reiterate the importance of belonging to an authentic Christian community. And one of the ways to do that is to be connected to a small group or a discipleship group. I haven't belonged in one in a very long time. And honestly, I think one of the reasons why I keep on backsliding these past years is because I didn't have people in my life to look out for me. I didn't have people in my life that I can be accountable to, which is actually the benefit of having a spiritual family - people looking out for each other.

One of the things I learned in church is that, in our walk with God, we are never meant to do it alone. So here I am, stepping out of my self-made shell, ready to connect with other disciples of the Lord.

Friday, July 22, 2016

My Two Cents Worth

Some people thrive in pressure. Some people don't. Those who thrive in pressure may have a better status in life, may have more expensive belongings, can afford to buy anything they want... and that's okay. But I guess the problem lies on the mindset of both parties. Those people who thrive in pressure might think that everyone should do it to be successful. And might probably look down on those people who don't strive as much. While those people who don't thrive in pressure, who are honestly contented with what they have, fear that they are being looked down upon by the other party. And so, insecurity sets in. And then those people who don't thrive in pressure try to better themselves by trying to pressure themselves to have more, just to let those people who thrive in pressure see that they are actually doing something to better their status and have more money. 

But you see, I think everyone should just stay true to who they are. Let us all be unapologetically ourselves! Not saying that people should live a stagnant life... I just think that everyone should just be happy with themselves. Not put pressure on other people who don't thrive in pressure. And not try so hard to thrive in pressure when all their happiness are being sucked right out of them by doing so. 

Blatantly, I think people should just stop judging one another and mind their own business. And accept that not everyone is and should be like them.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Six years today

This post is an old entry in my previous blog. If Mon and I have not married yet, today would've been our sixth year as boyfriend-girlfriend.

Let it be known that Mon and I are engaged... again!

I first told you about our engagement when I "proposed" to Mon last year. Wedding preps have commenced since then but nothing was final until the end of December when we actually decided to move our wedding date up from May 2013 to December 2012... just because we wanted to be together sooner.

May 29, 2012 --- our second year anniversary. I wasn't expecting anything special to happen that day because although I knew that he will still give me a ring, I didn't expect it to happen soon.. and very publicly, if I may add.

I was hoping to receive flowers but what I got was much much more. It was sweet, really. He gave me lots (twelve in total!) of sweet, thoughtful gifts that reminded me of our early days as a couple. Mon made my officemates deliver his gifts at different times throughout the day.

At around 5:40, I saw a text from Mon saying that he was going to be late so I took my time fixing my stuff. When I turned around, there he was on his knees holding a little red box.



I was beyond surprised! The feeling was overwhelming.

Engagement
It's a YES! No doubt about it!
I am more than willing to spend the rest of my life with you.
I LOVE YOU, HONEY <3

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Look up and close your eyes

My son Lex dislikes taking a bath. He didn't always hate it. I remember a time when he was eight months old and he just started using the baby tub, he'd play with his rubber duckies and he'd enjoy the water. When he turned one, for some reason he started being averse to the water. His yayas had to make a production of sing and dance in the shower to distract him from the water getting into his eyes while they rinse shampoo off his head. This was actually the reason why I also dreaded bathing him the first few days sans yaya.  

In the two and a half months that I'm the one personally giving him a bath, I have tried so many strategies to make him unafraid of water entering his eyes. I tried letting him bow down low but he is still very much afraid that when water starts cascading down his head, he would lift his head and guess what will happen?

Lately I tried telling him to look up and close his eyes. I thought that rinsing his head "salon-style" would be a much better tactic than making him bow down low since it obviously wasn't working. Last night, I went down to his eye-level, looked him the eye and told him, "Trust me, Lex. Look up and close your eyes. Trust me, anak." Guess what? it still didn't work. He still cries out of fright. I am determined to be consistent in telling him to trust me but if it still won't work soon, then I am resigned to just let him outgrow the fright on his own.

And then I realized how symbolic that moment was. Because isn't that how we are also with God? In the midst of our circumstances, God tells us to "look up and close our eyes" but we don't. We try to fight off the burden on our own, not trusting that God can and will do a better way. In the same way, even if God is consistent in telling us to trust in Him, we need our faith to grow in order to really understand what He is telling us. That we need not do anything. Need not worry about anything. But trust in Him. Surrender to Him wholeheartedly.

Recently there has been an article circulating in Facebook about Courageous Catie, a three and a half year old girl diagnosed with JMML, a rare form of leukemia. Even as a parent, I cannot begin to fathom how much grief her parents must be feeling. I can only imagine it to be so immense and overwhelmingly paralyzing. But indeed, as I follow news via their Facebook Page and blog, I can see God moving in every direction. 

Not all parents have the faith Catie's parents have. And I am really amazed, as in really amazed at the amount of faith that is shown by Jayjay and Tine. It is truly inspiring in every way. 

Here's an excerpt of a status that was posted last March 3 in Courageous Catie's Facebook Page:
"Today, I have been flooded by messages that our life story is inspiring and encouraging. That Caitie's story is spreading like wildfire. Honestly, at the back of my mind I didn't want to be. Like any parent, I simply wanted my daughter to be healed. If only all the messages, help and gifts could cure Caitie by the cell. This is all I wanted. I don't want and don't care to be inspiring. 
Then tonight, I broke down in tears when I received a letter from someone who has been visiting everyday and giving us letters. Yesterday she shared how she realized from our journey that suffering should not be wasted. And today she shares that she is still waiting for the results of her lump. Even with a financial problem, she still gave to help us. 
Strangers who come in and cry with us, who go through sickness and emotional pain themselves have learned and continue to learn how to respond and experience a revival in their relationship with Jesus because of Caitie's life. I cried because I was so selfish. Who am I to stop God from speaking through our pain to a person. Each person has their own battle to face. Ours may be in sickness but for others, it may be emotional, mental or financial battles. The manner is different but the pain is the same! We are not alone. 
We bless others because we ourselves have been blessed. Somewhat a great circle of life. 
Another step forward maybe so difficult but it moves us closer to the kind of person we should be."
I wish I never have to live through the pain or worse, a death, of a loved one. But if I ever do, I wish that I can have even an ounce of faith and grace that Catie's parents have shown through this whole ordeal.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wait

8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” 13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”

Moral of the story: Lack of patience can cause you to miss blessings.

To be honest, patience is a virtue that I sorely lack. Even when I was still a kid, I already have a penchant for instant gratification in that everything I want, I want it now! now! now! If I am to analyze my ways in the past, I can see how that attitude severely deprived me of what could have been a greater experience if only I had waited. If only.

Today I can see that God is not yet done with me in terms of teaching this value as I still find myself wanting BIG things NOW. As if I can't wait for things to unfold naturally as it should. Somehow He is repeatedly impressing in my heart that I am still subject for more pruning before He can give me that which I wholeheartedly desire. 

Just as how I teach Lex nowadays to "wait his turn", so is God telling me to be patient and still. 

source




I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord

And I am peaceful, I'm waiting on You Lord

Though it's not easy no, but faithfully I will wait

Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I will move ahead bold and confident
I'll be taking every step in obedience, yeah

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint

And I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You Lord

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Psalm 62

3-4
How long will you assault a man? Would you throw him down -- this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. 

10
Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. 

11-12
One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.