Friday, May 19, 2017

The Taste of Loneliness and The Antidote (Poetry)



The Taste of Loneliness

The taste of loneliness is such
a bitter pill refusing to budge
stays in place
on the tongue

a language I barely speak, of joy
felt, forgotten like rain in June
in a hot,
desert land

where no man is friend or foe
just that--- nothing. Indifferent:
dying, dying, gone
with ennui.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kids, Temperaments, Motivation and The Pattern

Misha is all for fun.
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
Proverbs 20:11

A few days ago, I could almost smell summer in the air: bright sunshine, sweat, bicycle oil. Then two nights ago a snowstorm came bringing with it loads and loads of snow... and beautiful snowflakes spiraling in the air in the morning. And no electricity.

As school was cancelled, I was left with four kids without the help of modern devices. What to do?
I watched.

I watched the snowflakes. Beautiful, intricate in all it's design, then read about it. Fascinating.

I watched the kids in each of their own beautiful personalities trying to combat boredom in their own special way (as God has made them). Then blog about it. Extremely fascinating.

I looked like I was reading, but with all the activity going on, how can one even concentrate? This momma is on to another study, one that has begun since I had child #1. My lab goes like this...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

5 Songs to Keep the Rhythm of Life

Music is a big part of life. Well, for me, anyway.

But there was a time I ignored it to avoid conflict. The rhythm of my life stood still. Oh, how dull it was. (And no, it didn't help to endear me to that one person.) I've learned from then on, not to compromise who I am and my life to other people's whims, much more my worship to my God. Because music and life, and all our creative gifts, come from Him. Though it could be used for something else, the whole of it is a means of worship when He is acknowledged and these gifts are dedicated to Him.

Through the years as I've grown, so has my appreciation for music and the experiences that people, who wrote them, go through. Today, I thought of sharing them with you. I have included a little bit of background of the songs and why these songs should at least be heard given the time one needs them. They are not in any kind of order.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Grace

Spring by Russian artist Stanislav Zhukovsky
I came in peace, I sowed discord.
I sought to belong, I got rejection.
I wanted love, I found animosity.
I long for family, I made an enemy.

Through it all, God answered my needs.
Grace for all my frustrations, my emotions,
Grace for depression, for desperation,
Grace for arid valleys and destructive storms,
Sufficient grace even before I call.

In my struggles and restlessness,
He brought quiet rest.
I wrestle for rights, for supremacy,
I see His full glory in humility.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Courage

I have decided to follow Jesus. I've sung this since I was wearing childish bangs. These past few weeks, though, I have found myself needing some dose of courage. And true to His words, God provided me the encouragement to be brave.

I know I had been putting the decision off, thinking somehow that if I don't do anything or speak at all it will resolve itself. (Isn't that what we often wish? As if, evolution works!) But God works and in His mysterious way, He got my attention. Now I'm on to it and like a dog with a bone, I won't let go until I get my answer. The right one--- in line with His law of love.

I'm talking about being a mother, one who is given the responsibility to protect and raise God's children, providing them what they need and nurturing them to grow in the knowledge and grace of their Ultimate Parent. Because as women, we are builders of our homes. "The wise woman builds her house" (Proverbs 14:1). 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bus Ride

A ride on the bus through the city
Revealed to me more than there was to see,
Not just the torrent of wet snow on the panes,
Nor the mud on my boots mucking up the lanes.

I saw a teenage girl with a guitar on her back,
Roomy clothes, cap turned back, a fashion slack.
I saw the guitar peeking through an unzipped bag
That got me worried like I've seen a red flag.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Pimple, Pain and Praise

Today's blog is a simple praise to the God above. And it starts with

A pimple. One that was inside one of my nostrils exactly a week ago, and which I couldn't squeeze out of oblivion. Instead it swelled rendering me helpless, irritated and scared.

God is gracious. He is giving and generous. I have seen my plate full---prepared by a loving God--- that it wasn't easy choosing which enjoyable plat du jour to relish for the moment. I have family and friends I cherish, wonderful people I meet and learn with--- who challenge and stimulate growth--- a work I love and plenty of dreams taking shape right at this moment. I have no cause to complain, none at all, only many reasons to praise and worship Him. And foremost is because He is God, my God.

With hands full, I am doing a balancing act and along the way, I must have dropped a ball. Or simply, a pimple grew. But it gave me such terrible discomfort that I thought it was a death sentence. (Yeah, I am a cracked pot in many ways. Thank God, He holds me together in one place.)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Warm Thoughts On a Frosty Night

Our yule tree is still up but there are more pine needles and christmas balls on the floor than there are on the tree. Little Roxy has been busy shaking the tree and "trading" balls around with her older sisters. She thinks they should be carried around hanging from the fingers, like a vendor would when selling ready-to-eat rice wrapped in niyog (coconut) leaves. These vendors are usually found in the Philippines in places where people are on the move, usually get hungry and  have no time to spare for cooking, like bus terminals or stopovers.

There's a snowstorm brewing right now. Our second to be blessed with for this winter. Snow has been scarce and so it's welcome. The brick fence with all the snow that settled on it looks so dreamy. Every time I see fresh snow, this comes to mind:

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

The scene outside is like that of angels plucking feathers from each others' wings and flinging them all around in happy abandon. Maybe they're having a pillow fight with the pillows of clouds bursting white snow. So much activity going on outside, pretty much unlike the scene inside, well, without the children. In a weather like this, I don't need much, just some hot tea, a heated floor, family around, a book, my notebook and pen, and a warm blankie. And yes, my necessary zumba on some mornings to get the stiff out of my creaky bones.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Keep It Simple

Winter in Russia by Oksana Yushko
Sipping my tea while waiting for Ella to finish her cereal, I type away as the two older kids torture each other with tickles. It's almost mid-morning but it's hard not to savor the last of the holidays. Tomorrow things will be back to usual--- waking up at seven, groggily making way to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for my son while wiping away sleepy cobwebs from eyes and ignoring a more incessant call for sleep with a pounding headache, and after that, get Ella ready for kindergarten. Usually, after seeing them off, Roxy's robust voice will be heard calling for her mom. Or for potty time. Or breakfast.

But that's for tomorrow. Today, I've got today. I have a choice to do what I want with it. But what?

We got to celebrate Christmas yesterday and the day before that. And since it was Sabbath, I was doubly blessed. I was able to take part in a musical program, sang two beautiful songs and the next day, had a party with the young ones.

Actually, if I haven't come to this part of the world, I won't know at all that many observe Christmas way past the new year, unlike most countries who do so on December 25th. And I'm glad to be ending all these holiday-making (from December 25th to the New Year to January 7th) with the thought of Christ's first advent. And the reason why I'm still here. Here, anywhere in this world. And why I'm waiting, so earnestly for Jesus' second coming.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Keeper of Hearts

The sudden onslaught of emotions knocked me off the pedestal,
Where I've painstakingly enthroned myself.
Unguarded, I came undone.
Powerless, I realize how puny I am.
I am no less capable of guarding this heart than I was when I gave that first cry.

A heart compelled to lie, to doubt, to fear
Is the only gift I can offer.
Lord, keep this heart, it is Yours
As you've tenderly cared for it from wars,
Fighting for my cause, You bear the scars.

Teach my heart to be still, to trust, to let go and just be held.
With only You enthroned and none else.
No hate, no fear, no sinful disease.
Let it overflow with love and joy,
A faith so strong that hope abounds. Keep it, guard it, oh, Keeper of Hearts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wellspring of Life

The temperature continues to fall as we draw closer to the heart of winter. And as it does, life throbs on unperturbed at its harshness and chill. Some may wonder how one stays cheery, much more passionate at the constant onslaught of coldness and terribly inhumane treatment. But there's something I want to tell you today.

The wellspring of life--- the heart--- stays warm as you guard and care for it.

Today has been an interesting day for me, not because of some big event or happening, but because of the bits and pieces that make up life. I had a conversation with my teen friends about the new year, growing old and something about fellowship/friendship/relationship. Here's what happened after they filed into the classroom bringing with them the mud from the melting snow. (We laughed as we saw how the floor was turned into something resembling that of a rice paddy with the amount of mud the teens' boots brought in.)

"So, are you, guys, looking forward to the new year?" I asked, thinking that everybody must be as excited as I am at the thought of the coming new year. I didn't expect the reply.

"No."

"No?" I asked, genuinely surprised. "Why?" I wanted to know what was so terrible about the coming year that my teen friends are not so happy about it. More difficult schoolwork? Loads more homework? A national exam to face? What? The response stumped me further.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Basic Essential

We have been enjoying a lot of snow since last week and much lower temperatures, too. When one goes outside, furry boots and coats are moving about, but those are actually ladies bundled inside, looking like elegant snow bunnies--- and me, a cute grizzly bear. Haha. Kids get their snowsuits as everyone know that they can't help themselves from rolling about in the snow. And the men? They have their thickly padded jackets that they all look like Iron Man, all muscles with their potbellies or bony frames hidden.

But underneath all these wrappings and trappings are flesh and bone beings, who get hungry and thirsty, need sleep and laughter, who long to love and be loved.

When all the big houses are gone and great accomplishments, and money too, all that's really left is the sky, soil and you. And people, who are no different than you... in the same form as when we first came forth.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Beauty

Li'l Angelika in a costume made
by my late mother, when I was away
 and unable to be with my daughter,
a few days before 'the storm'.
Beauty
is not found in heavily made up ladies,
Neither in the sparkling diamonds or glitters of gold
Brimming from necks and limbs;
Nor in the latest models of gadgets or antiques of old,
Strings of possessions and processions of things.

Beauty---
if you care to look--- is in the eyes
Of one where joy resides, see as she smiles
At the future in this ocean of life,
Facing with mirth its every ebb of tide,
Grateful, joyful for every unexpected love
Committed on the vow she made to the One above.

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Plot for Joy

So as winter rolls around, I find myself restless for change. Unaware, I tried to hasten to change the status quo. I guess, I'm tired of the usual dance of one step forward, two steps backward. I'm impatient for progress to happen. I mean, snow has fallen (again), but the same drama is playing.

I am less inclined now to watch movies or TV series that have dramatic tones. Who needs it when one is living it? Who needs tearjerking scenes when tears are one's bedfellow? I am smack dab into emotional scenes complete with screaming, tears, intrigues, manipulations, exaggerations, and characters that are way too colorful to be normal. If I have guts, I would be writing about my current life and make it into a movie. It is just too intriguing, with a plot... ah, the plot... that goes nowhere.

And that's why I want change. There has to be a way out of this cage of a plot!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Who Is Like God? (Happy birthday, my Little Captain!)

I write to you, my son, because there are some things I just don't want to say but I also want you to remember.

Foremost is, God.

"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me" (Psalm 139:1).

I became a mother when I was gifted with you. That was ten years ago. I was uninitiated in motherhood and in life. But God in His wisdom gave me you. And in having you, I longed, bordering on desperation, to "know" Him, really know Him. I didn't know then that He would take me on a long journey. One that was unforgettable and replete with deep knowing of Him.

My son, in your vulnerability and helplessness, I found God's strength as I fiercely tried to protect and care for you. In Him, I see One who Protects those who are weak, vulnerable and are dependent on Him.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

7 Tips for a Joy-filled Parenting

"Good morning, Mom!"

Startled, I woke up from a deep sleep. I groaned. I still wanted to sleep, so I ignored the cheery voice, which was too cheery for a Saturday morning. Why can't I get an extra hour of sleep today like everyone does before my day starts and ends again at 12:00 midnight?

The childish voice came again, "Good morning, Mom! Wake up!" So I replied, "Mama is still sleepy. Please lie down again," trying to sound as sleepy as I could.

"Mama, wake up," the 'little dawn' shines, more insistently this time. So I rolled out of bed, head pounding and scooped my little toddler out of her crib (still didn't get to moving her to a toddler bed, no budget yet) and towards her potty. She held her arms wide open, ready to hug me tight, with a huge, bright smile on her face. I couldn't help but smile back and whisper, "Good morning, Roxy," as her little arms embraced the whole of my heart.

My day has officially began.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Armor Up!

I woke up this morning feeling weak. But not just in body because I mostly lack sleep, but much more in spirit. There's a discouraging feel in the air. Stressed out by highly noxious people and the care of active children, I can understand where the feeling comes from. There are concerns, too, weighing on my mind. All temporal, I know. And some are even far out in the future.

What a loony, you may say. But how many of us often gets weighed down by worries and the negativity of those around us that we often fail to take off even as our day does? Many, I would say.

Today, someone I know has her heart broken. And another was quiet because she is worried of something that still will happen in the coming month. Then, there's someone who can't sleep...

Each a different person, but it sure sounds like one. Me.

On a deeper level, we all have been there--- had our hearts broken, worried to silence, and robbed of our precious sleep. It's no wonder that we wake up already tired and spent. And the day has just began.

I can't help but see in us a warrior, vulnerable and defenseless, even as the war wages on mercilessly and without end. Every morning waking up knowing there's a battle to do, but already spent and worn out. What is left in store for us? Logically, defeat.

But, wait! It's not yet over.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Autumn Song

As the leaves change their colors
As the wind blows yet unseen
As my eyes wander at the beauty around me
My mind tries to grasp Your majesty.

Power, authority, is Yours alone
But what really moves me
Are Your mercies new daily.

Unfailing love that holds me
Lifting me up to a place of dignity
Where I cannot walk on my own
But You've walked this road
Yes, Lord, You've walked
To carry me home.

I hear the children's laughter
The best music there is
My heart is rich with longing for the day
When You'll be calling out my name.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

From Drug Hell Into God's Hands (Part 2)

Good day!

God has "called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9) that we may be "children of light" (Eph. 5:8).

Today, I am certain that you will all be blessed with our guest post today. It is an incredible story of God's love and His mighty power working to save us. When I first read this (for editing), I cried a million tears as I personally know Tudor. But I never thought he went through this as he was growing up. He admits he made bad choices--- really bad choices--- that set him out on a life of drug hell. Now, I am praising God with him for what He did, showing us that He is able to save. Oh, how He loves each of us so much. And He aches to bring us home with Him, despite of our brokenness. For He alone can forgive sins and can heal broken lives. I'm not going to say more. Let Tudor tell you of what God did.

By the way, this is the second part. If you haven't read the first part, please click over here From Drug Hell into God's Hands (Part 1). Be blessed!

Monday, September 26, 2016

From Drug Hell Into God's Hands (Part 1)

Good day!

God has "called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9) that we may be "children of light" (Eph. 5:8).

Today, I am certain that you will all be blessed with our guest post today. It is an incredible story of God's love and His mighty power working to save us. When I first read this (for editing), I cried a million tears as I personally know Tudor. But I never thought he went through this as he was growing up. He admits he made bad choices--- really bad choices--- that set him out on a life of drug hell. Now, I am praising God with him for what He did, showing us that He is able to save. Oh, how He loves each of us so much. And He aches to bring us home with Him, despite of our brokenness. For He alone can forgive sins and can heal broken lives. I'm not going to say more. Let Tudor tell you of what God did.

By the way, this post comes in two parts, so don't forget to come back to find out what happened next. Be blessed!


How It All Started


I never had an alcoholic drink until I got to highschool. And that, is a big deal as I come not only from a Christian home but one that advocates a healthy lifestyle. Not only that, I was also educated at a Christian school. My friends, however, persuaded me to drink alcohol with them. I said to myself at that time that that would be the first and last time I would drink, with only two or three glasses. But it didn’t happen that way.

A week later, my friends invited me to go out drinking with them again, but I told them that I wouldn’t be drinking. I don’t know if they believed me, but it didn’t matter because I found myself drinking for the second time. I once again resolved not to do it any more. But the following week was the same story--- my friends invited and I got drunk.