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Showing posts from 2017

When You're About to Give Up

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Blow after blow. Life delivers accurately like a boxer's punches hitting you where it hurts the most. What do you do? Buckle down? Throw up your hands and run? Or hide? Or say, "Where is God?" Doubting Him as if He hasn't cared enough, loved enough or given enough proof that He does?

Sounds like Job's wife.

There was a great man named Job, God-fearing and blameless, who had everything--- a beautiful family and great possessions--- all that any man could dream of during his time. Then out of nowhere (for Job), catastrophe after catastrophe fell and he lost his children and all his possessions. Next, he got boils, painful to the core and occupying freely his skin from head to soles. That's when his wife spoke up: “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9).

It's so easy to turn into Job's wife, when the loving and responsible man you envisioned your husband to be morphs into less than what he seems, when the family you'…

Growing Kids' Character and Personality

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"Mama, help! Bad boys are attacking us!"#3 barged into the house crying. My mama bear instinct went on full drive, but knowing Ella, she can cry over almost anything, even just a flying mosquito. Well, with all that unusually loud noises coming from the yard, I thought the kids had all the neighborhood children invited to come play with them. I tried to calm her down to get the details. But all I got was a lot of frantic, "Small boys are attacking us!" So I looked out of the window to see what all that fuss was about. What I saw was comical, well, for me.

Two small boys, about the ages of four or six, were trying to act tough, banging small shoulders on the locked gate. I turned to Ella and asked, "If they want to play with you, why don't you let them in?" It was better for me that other children come over to play with my kids than for my own to be away while I worry over whether they're behaving well or not.

"They don't want to play. Th…

That Gap Called Miss (Poetry)

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THAT GAP CALLED MISS

I _____ you.

That gap called miss
is huge and widening
filled with SILENCE that shouts
a longing that stretches for miles
wringing out hearts to despair:
Why can't we see eye to eye?


Copyright © 2017 zernahfaith





MOTHER-CHILD

If I can bottle memories of you, I would.
Of the first time I laid eyes on you
without care of risk, you smile in sleep,
your every sigh and grunt
the sweetest that could ever exist.

If I can put moments with you in a box
I'd proudly lug it around on my back
like home to a turtle, a heart to a soul,
the stories you told, the grit you showed
they put flesh on me.

But I only have my heart to hold
all the miracle/blessing that you are,
brought together, though apart,
no bottle or box can ever contain
a child's wonder, a mother's love.


Copyright © 2017 zernahfaith



*I just miss a lot of people these days. Squabbling through the internet is not the same as in person. :) Even writing letters was better, despite the high technology that…

Today: On the Lord's Highway

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Three days of sunshine! Yes, we got three days of sunshine and it was wonderful. But today, we have rain. Beautiful rain, creating diamonds on trees and making everything sparkle, like eyes full of anticipation, for the sun that will come again.

And there's more to anticipate and get excited about--- Jesus is coming soon!

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3)

We are to prepare for His coming... His highway.

But we know how easy it is to relegate that fact at the back of our minds as we day in and day out trudge through what is before us. And it is so easy to forget it, unless we invite Him into our lives, day by day by day. For, yes, that's how He come to us even as we prepare for His coming.

Before Jesus left, He promised His disciples:

“If you love me, keep my commandments.
I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor,
that he may be with you forever—
the S…

The Meadows and Other Poems

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Lately I have been very distracted. Blame it on the words that just seem to float out of nowhere and bother me until it gets down on paper. (I've developed a tic on one eye because of it. Like this 😉 ) So here it is in blog form.


THE MEADOWS

get out of the house,
ride through an unbeaten path
the sun baking one side of face

through the windowglass,
yellows and greens and blue
as open and as wide as laughter,

it beckons, "Come!

trudge through weeds that won't feed,
don't mind the burrs.

Fling your arms wide,
exhale city dust."

take in restoration.
don't live like a mouse.

hair free, we take out phones
look at the beauty with myopic eyes
and fail to thank God

love spoken out loud through
the meadows.

Copyright © 2017 zernahfaith


** Nature has a way of healing us. But we often don't appreciate it because it takes us away from what is comfortable and all our technology. A weekend with the family out by the seashore, rolling on dirt, breathing in salty ocean a…

A Mother's Profound Joy

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A MOTHER'S PROFOUND JOY


A mother's profound joy
comes in tiny bundles
concealed in the smell of your hair,
the wonder in your eyes, your laughter---
so rich, so right.

When you eat what she cooks
she feels immense pleasure
in heaping unending servings of stew,
spaghetti, memories, lessons and love
you can always keep.

You have no idea
how she stares unblinking
as you lie in repose making snores--
never mind that she's tired of cleaning
after your own shadow.

A lisped prayer is to her ear
as a President's speech
filled with hope for the future-- no fear;
a nursery rhyme you sing in play is as
Pavarotti's poignant aria.

Stories of you go on and on...
and on with no end,
told without beginning to anyone, who
cares (and dares) to listen, and a photo
becomes two million

On Facebook, Instagram
and on her beloved iPhone.
Seeing you with good books and friends,
however, fills her with gladness: you
won't be bored ever.

Even without recognition,
she glows with your B,

How to Keep Fit--- the Easy Way

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I just came back from an hour of walk with my pre-schooler--- she on her trike and me on foot, sweating under a sweater and a leather jacket. The day is gray with tiny drizzles of rain. (Or mist? I'm not so sure.) So I thought a leather jacket will be warm enough, but it got too warm as I walked.

Walking is one of my easy (and enjoyable) way to keep fit, which I do twice in a week. I do other things, which I'm going to share with you in a moment. But why keep fit?

When I was younger, I kept fit to stay in shape, but I have more reasons than that now that I'm older. There are the body pains that usually go away after a few minutes of stretching and a cloudy mind that gets its dusting with every move and stride I make.

Keeping fit is essential to our bodies especially to those who are not getting any younger any more. And we don't get it by simply reading about some people who look fit and young because of their strict exercise regimen. But for many of us, it is a strug…

Freedom and What to Do to Redeem Moments Lost in Anger

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Raining again! Not much, but consistent. The whole day had been misty, though surprisingly, not dreary. There's something refreshing about rain after a couple of days of pure sunshine and clear, cloudless skies. In fact, it's balmy and soothing. It calms my spirit, inviting me to sit down from all the constant activity and whirling. I feel so relaxed, but not sleepy. Just that--- happy-calm.

Two days ago on June 12th, this is what I wrote...

The skies have cleared up! It is all clean and blue with no cloud in sight. Bright and warm and summery. I can see beach in my mind, complete with a beach umbrella as I stay in one place helping the kids take off one set of clothes into another, and wet clothes into dry ones, and then, again... and again. I can see melting ice cream in kids' hands... and smell salty air and the feel of grainy sand under my bottom. I can hear the kids' shrieks as the waves take up on their challenge to get them wet. This makes me smile.
This is such …

Ways (for a Mother) to Keep Calm

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Rain is dripping outside when all I really want to do is go out for a walk and breath in some fresh air. Having been inside all day, I feel caged with my mind busy with a million things and with no direction. And when I am in such a sorry state, it shows in how I treat my children.

I yell at them. If not, I can go on and on with, "See, what you did?" I get sarcastic with them. I disrespect, forgetting that they, too, have feelings.

Afterwards, I feel bad and guilty. I punish myself by telling myself how horrible a mother I am. And when I don't feel good, all those bad emotions spill out to my children, even with my best intentions. It's a vicious cycle.

Angelika came home today determined to tell me the truth about losing the R50-bill I gave her for bus fare in coming home from school. Instead, she walked home. She wanted to be honest with me and prayed hard that I won't be angry with her. Of course, I've also resolved to stay calm when my children endeavor …

God is Not Done Yet

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The birthday month is about to end. Another new month is raring to start. And yes, the snow is gone, the weeds have come. (I spent a whole day pulling weeds last Sunday that my hand hurts.)

I have reached a milestone in life. I'm 40. But at 40, I don't feel like I have arrived. Not yet. Actually, it feels more like I'm just beginning. Like, I am learning to softly close doors and walk in to where I'm finally feeling more at home. Things like I want to do and I want to be.
But I have a problem. I can go on and on. I have a hard time finishing up what I have started.
I have been starting posts but unable to finish them, just as I have done with many writing projects. Now I wonder when I will get to be done with them... and get them posted/published.

But here's what I am certain.

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
I could end this post right now with an "Amen!", but that would be premature.

An…

The Taste of Loneliness and The Antidote (Poetry)

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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.

Kids, Temperament, Motivation and The Pattern

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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...

5 Songs to Keep the Rhythm of Life

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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.


Grace

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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.

So I bowed as He took on Himself my faults.
Grace for all my weaknesses, my peccadilloes.
Grace for my inability, my futility,
Grace for fruitless years and empty life,
Abundant grace for a sinner such as me.

In victory I stand as I embrace His promises.
I conquer on my knees in Jesus' blessed name.
I overcome as He holds me--- Jesus, hold me.
I give grace, for Your grace is enough for me.

Copyright © 2017 zernahfaith



And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,  for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

Courage

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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). 

Bus Ride

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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.

What if the guitar will fall through and crash?
Maybe I should zip it up as this girl had been in a rush.
But before I could, I glance up to see
A woman coming in shaking off all that flurry.

With damp hair sticking to her crown,
All that snow, as wet as rain, has pulled it down.
All the past efforts to coif and polish and style
Now all gone with the weather turning juvenile.

I consider--- some may be ready, some are not
Life still goes on whatever may be your plot.
Believe the Driver will get you There
'Cause if not, you might as well be going nowhere.

A young girl of ten, her jacket in rainbow hue
And the bounce on ea…

A Pimple, Pain and Praise

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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. T…

Warm Thoughts On a Frosty Night

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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…

Keep It Simple

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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 …