Showing posts from December, 2012

My Restoration

The nap was 2 hours.  The sun is slowly setting.  I'm letting my mind drown in songs of worship because I'd like to worship my way into the New Year.  And there's this word from a song that my heart's beating to this moment.


For this moment it feels like a declaration rising from the very depths of all that has been messed up, lost and broken.  So I let it rise.  This pulse climbing out of the noisy clutter and I let it embrace me.  It's on repeat and the cry is loud, desperate, aching and victorious.


Before the fireworks sound its trumpets blaring onwards to midnight, I make my own ascent and blow my own horn.

You bring Restoration.

The year was long and tiring.  The ride was an unending rollercoaster.  There were pockets of graces were potholes of despair made me stumble. And I haven't really done much to overcome anything because I am spent and weary.  Yet this moment where dusk hits the land, I am finding a new strength and a ne…

Moments of the Year's Last Day (i)

It plays on the background. The interview for Ann Voskamp's book over at {In} Courage. I love the chatter of their thoughts going over what she has written about life and sorrow and the grace in the middle of it all.  Listening to these moments shared by women give me the courage to listen to myself this morning.

I'm back in the city and today is the last day of 2012.  It's a cloudy morning and I just spent the past 2 hours talking to my bestfriend Adi.  I've missed our conversations (and our letters which we wrote in heaps of email strings back in the day).  But it's always great to catch up and I'm glad I have time to do that today.  I'm thinking that one of the first resolutions I'd make is to really make time. 

I've been troubled by so many things this year and felt that I've lost so many things because I didn't have the time.  I didn't have a lot of time to read and discover.  I didn't have a lot of time to converse and connec…

Of Old Books and the Story in Shelves

The smell of old books and old furniture wakes me up this morning.  It's a day before Christmas and things are slowly starting to sink in.  This season of gifts.

And the best gift will always be the remembrance of home.  It is when I remember where I came from that everything uncertain becomes an appreciated mystery of faith.

Breakfast was filled with musings of family history.  My grandmother's scrambled eggs recipe.  The dining chairs where they used to sit.  The living room filled with photographs of aunts and uncles.  The wall of college diplomas.  Thoughtful chatter of the night before.

Christmas is always that moment of honoring and remembering the gift woven by ties of family.  The wrinkled and crooked. The smooth and entwined.

There is nothing like coming back to the old home town where the most early memories of joyful play never fails to warm the heart.   The first childhood friends.  The first set of stories.

It's important to keep remembering these first e…

Love Came Down

It's a few days before Christmas and here I am trying to ponder if I can even understand how to celebrate it this year.  So many changes.  So many things unfolding.  
And the only thing I can be right now is vulnerable.  For it is the only way I'll be able to understand the purpose of the season.  
When you yield a part of your life to God, it doesn't automatically become smooth sailing as you thought it would be.  A large part of it will continue to be a huge interior debate whether or not you did the right thing.  Another part of it will be testing the limits of what you know to be your self-worth.  Some of the people around you will affirm you and some will frown upon your decisions.  These reactions from other people shake the ground you walk on and unending barrage of questions ensue. 
Peace becomes elusive and the only way to keep it is to let your gaze be upon the cross of the Savior who promises that nothing will separate you from His love.  This Love that casts out…

The Gift of Surrender

I don't know why I seem to always have time to write on a Thursday where the day always starts the quietest compared to the rest of the days in the week.  
It has been an eventful week for me.  I have finally taken the big leap of deciding to leave my current job and open up myself to receive a new one.  So many things flash back before me  in the past few days.  I've also received forlorn messages from people who I've worked with saying that they will miss me.  I've seen tears in their eyes when they heard the news.  It's affirming to know that I've managed to make an impact on some people here and I will always treasure it for keeps. 
I'm moving on  into a new chapter of my life where I begin again and hopefully restore all that was lost in the way.  This Christmas season will be spent reflecting on the past year's events and drawing from these experiences the wealth of wisdom for their passing by my life.

I'll be running down in my thoughts the …

Brokenness Aside

This Sunday the dusk comes cloudy.  I'm listening to All Sons & Daughters' album "Brokenness Aside" through a Youtube playlist.  The cello undertones give their music just the right cloak of warm melancholy.

I am wistful for a lot of things this afternoon.  The lives of the Sandy Hook teachers & children that are lost.  The slow waning of meaningfulness in the work place.  The struggles of the young inconsistent hearts in youth ministry.  
And while I sit here on my desk preparing to go to the 3rd Advent mass this season I fall silent to to the words of Angie Smith.  
And when the sun burns my eyes and the wind whips me into a place of doubt, I have committed to return to a place of worship.  A place where it is too dark to see anything but Him.  A place too quiet to hear anything other than the sound of my own praise.

"Nevertheless I will look again towards Your holy temple, Lord."

And like the bird that can only learn to sing in the dark, I will …

I Write to Pray: A Candle for Sandy Hook

Today this blog lights a candle for Sandy Hook.  The horrible tragedy of lives lost.  The senselessness of such an event  may haunt us for days but my prayer is that God's grace abounds even stronger now. 
Father, bless the little ones whose souls are now in your hands.  Bless those adults who were with them.  Death is always incomprehensible especially when its traumatic.  Only you can know and understand this endless mystery.  Open the heart of the world that we may beat in mourning for these families who have lost their loved ones so close before Christmas.  Let us learn to treasure the meaning of our lives even more deeply so that their deaths will not be in vain. Bring us your peace that surpasses all understanding.  Amen.

Linking up other prayers and reflections that you can lean on here:

Emily Wieringa's prayers

The Velveteen Rabbit: God let me cry on your shoulder

Lamentations by Empire Remixed

Ann Voskamp's: What to do with a broken heart this Christmas?

A Writing Believer: Andrea's Dream

Today I have a guest on the blog.  
She is one of the members of the Youth Group I serve in and I am quite honored to have her write here today because I am so humbled by her example.  One of the things I'm learning as I keep up with this blog is to find things to write about and it hasn't exactly been easy while I'm juggling between my work and other things.  
So before the year comes to close, it seems that God is giving this blog a new purpose.   I am no longer writing to believe just for myself but He gives me this place to show that there are others, young people to be exact, who write just as much so that they can also believe that their dreams can come true. 
Today the writing-believer is Andrea Zubiri.  Her story charms my morning and I'm hoping to share more about her in the coming days.  

I have 3 major goals in my life. The first major one is to spread as much awareness about students with learning challenges and or disabilities. The 2nd is to be a well known…

Sowing and Reaping: Lessons from the Work Place

Conversations this morning make me remember some of the things I've went through the past few years and I begin to remember what kept me going in the work place.  
I remember waking up everyday to the thought that if I can just encourage a few people for that day, I've done my job.  
The workplace environment is not always a friendly place to be in especially when the job forgets that underneath the effort is a human heart longing for fulfillment, for provision, for purpose, for significance.  But I was always able to go beyond what the workplace couldn't give me because I found an internal reservoir of encouragement that always strengthened me. Unfortunately, I cannot always conjure these things up from nowhere.  It's not something out of "willpower".  I realized that what sustained me wasn't found in just how I was able to rely on something intrinsic.  

Over time, I've toughened myself up and stopped caring about the heart of organizations.  I even…

Notes to Myself

Sometimes I wonder why it's difficult for me to write about specific things.  It seems that I would rather write about general things and stay on the surface of what I write.  I envy writers who are able to write  with so much detail and freedom.  I inhibit myself like there is always something wrong with what I'm about to say.
There are times that I do feel like writing with abandon.  And in those moments I am graced with just the perfect rhythm.  I begin to see everything as it is and I am comfortable with everything.  I become comfortable with my chair and my desk.  The lamp dimly lit on my table.  The electric fan buzzing by the side.  The silence in my room.  The mosquito fluttering infront of my nose.  The queasiness of my stomach while I wait for dinner.  The pile of reports that are due tomorrow.  The nagging of issues that remain unresolved at work.  Those times are perfect and I wish I had more of them.
Today I was grateful for the morning drive.  It was perfect.  I…

I am The Girl

I'm taking off from Jennifer Camp's post today.  I thought it would be a good time to think about these things.  I hope I answer her prompts truthfully and maybe by doing so, I'll find answers for myself.

I am that girl who believes that I have a whole world inside of me that is waiting to be discovered but simply do not have time to do so.

I am that girl who loves meaningful moments.

I am the girl who runs away from the crowd.

I am the girl who hides when there are too many things to do that overwhelms.

I am the girl who laughs when I am with people who crack jokes that come from their ability to be comfortable with their own foolishness.

I am the girl who cries when I am forgotten.

I am the girl who grew up in a small family that weathered many storms and experienced the goodness and Mercy of God's restoration.

I am the girl that struggles with so many aspects of herself.

I am the girl who longs for a peaceful rhythm in life and a place free to be who I am.

I am a …

Nothing is Impossible

I went to mass this morning to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.  After all the things that I've went through this week, going to church on an early Saturday morning was a much needed breathing room. 
Today's gospel broke through the walls I've had to put up just to survive the rigor of the work place.  It was loud and clear that I felt awakened from a catatonic state. 
Nothing is impossible for God.
The monsignor spoke a very beautiful homily that drove the point home and I remember his every word because it brought hope back into me. 
Nothing is impossible for God.  Even your happiness. 
I struggle with the word happiness.  It's relative for everyone.  Some say that happiness is a choice.  Some say that happiness comes and goes.  Some say happiness no longer exists and we just have to be content with what we have.  
There are so many definitions and perceptions that I no longer know what to really believe when it comes to happ…

Five Minute Friday: The Gift of Wonder

The first week of Advent passes slow.   And though I have not even been able to really get myself to bask in the flicker of Christmas lights, I've found time to smile at the paper angels recycled to decorate our office.  It's a rare moment when I can smile at something related to work.  But today I am grateful for Friday since the weekend beckons rest.
I found myself thinking about the concerns that bogged me down for this past week.  They were nagging at me until it silenced to the prayer I spoke this morning.  Help me Jesus.  I said.  For those thoughts that plague are often thoughts that do not bow down to His name.  
His Name to whom all names bow. 
I was reminded again that when I become too focused on my own concerns I will always get tangled up in a knot of anxiety.  But to focus on Him will always open up breathing moments of peace. 
I am praying for the gift of wonder this Advent season.  That I may rediscover the beauty of Christmas again like a child eagerly awaitin…

Grace Finds Everyday

On the way to Avila was this town that looked like a painting right off a museum wall.  I didn't have to do a lot with this photograph except snap the shutter before the bus rolled away from the view.  I loved the fact that it was very rural and the colors of their homes fit so nicely with the colors of the earth.  The steeple of a church peeked in to the frame and I delighted in the discovery of this landscape. 
I have been nostalgic about Europe lately.  One week of reminiscing after the trip was not enough.  My scrapbook hasn't moved after a few pages.  There are still so many things to write about and remember. But there is just no time.  The pace of life quickly changes and I am here to make firm my anchor on grace. 
When you leave an experience that just filled you to the brim you begin to hunger for these moments and wish it were an everyday thing.  Unfortunately, it isn't.  I'm left with jam packed traffic in city streets.  The height of tall skyscrapers overb…