Monday, December 29, 2014

My One Word for 2015: Grace

The year 2014 is almost over. I mean, it's just two more days and we bid goodbye to it. It was a good year for me, I would say; it taught me to be grateful for those that came along my way, good or not so good. It challenged me to look at the brighter side of things, the one side of the embroidery - beautiful with all the colors of the thread forming a beautiful design, instead of gazing at the back side with all the threads knotted and tangled. I believe it taught me to hope for the things that matter most. And it is my one word this year, HOPE. True enough, hope anchors my soul to the One who gives it. This hope gently pushes me to move on when I feel like quitting. It enables me look forward to better things ahead of me. It encourages me whenever I am discouraged or disappointed. It helps me to see things which are not yet perceived but I am desiring to behold. In short, having that one word for a year gives me focus in life.

As this year ends, I have been thinking of that one word that I will hold onto for this coming year. As I ponder it, I realize that even before this year comes to an end, in the middle of November, the Lord has been revealing to me His manifold grace, not just in every aspect of my life but in my family's as well.

So for 2015, my one word is GRACE. I do believe that it's not about perfection although I can always strive for excellence, but it's more of His grace which is sufficient for me. It's finding His hand at work in every circumstance I am faced with as I view it with eyes of faith. I am hopeful that as always, God will use this one word as a light - to illumine my path, and a mirror - to reflect the aspects in my life that need to be changed or improved to make me the kind of person the Lord wants me to be or He creates me to be.

I am excited for this coming year and for what God is going to do in, through and to my life. I believe that through my one word GRACE, He will reveal it to me.

So, what is your one word for 2015? I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 6)

Christmas decoration is not complete without the lights, am I right? I mean, a family may not be able to buy and put up a Christmas tree but the colorful and blinking lights is just a must-have. More often than not, after Christmas is over, the tree is boxed while the lights remain until I don't  know when. There's just something about these lights, do you agree?

The photos above show the first ornament that adorns our house to signify that we are excited for this much-awaited season (as well as we welcome it). It really brightens our evenings specially these days when the sun is so eager to bid goodnight. What more, since the street doesn't have lamp posts, they light the vicinity and the path going to our house. There's a sense of "it's good to be home" feeling as I see these lights whenever we come home from the mall or just taking a walk outside.

In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." What a comfort to know that when the first Christmas happened, the brightest Light of all adorned the whole earth. That Light continues to shine to guide and lead us to the path of life.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 5)

One of the books I love to read to my daughter is Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You. It's a story about two Nutbrown Hares (Little and Big) who used large measures to gauge their love for each other in answer to Little Nutbrown Hare's question, "Guess how much I love you?" I find the story simple yet so sweet and endearing.

Guess how much I love you? Oftentimes, the measure of love is determined by the price tag attached to the gifts. The season of love, joy and peace has become so commercialized that the focus is no longer on the love and thoughts that come with the gifts... It's saddening. 

Guess how much God loves you? Well, this much: "This is how God showed his love among us: He's sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:9,10). 

May our Christmas be established around that kind of love. And may that love flows from you to someone today... It's heart-warming.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 4)

Patience is a virtue as one maxim says. However as a young girl, I used to be very impatient. I didn't like to wait, I would rather be waited for. Let's admit it, waiting isn't fun, am I right? But you know what? It took a lot of waiting before the greatest miracle of all time happened to this world. Even Jesus had to wait for the set time before He was sent to us by God the Father. And that lapse of time didn't go to waste because our God is an on-time God. He is never late nor too early. "He makes all things beautiful in His time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Are you waiting for something today or maybe someone? Remember that delays don't mean denial. God sets the time and the seasons. He knows just what to do as much as when to do it. Bear in mind that when the first Christmas happened, it was "when the set time had fully come" (Galatians 4:4).

Note: You may want to visit My Christmas Devotions for the past three days. Please feel free to leave your comments. Thank you for your love. :)

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 2)

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 3)

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 3)

Haha! I got the image from my daughter's The Beginner's Bible. I would have taken a photo of an angel figurine if only we have one. Unfortunately, we don't so I contented myself with what is available for now.

Luke (2:10-11) recorded the greatest and best news of all time: "A Savior has been born!" And this awesome report came from no less than an angel, how cool was that? What could have been the shepherds' reaction? I mean, can you imagine the awe in their faces? They must have been "star-struck", don't you think? The angel said, "A Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord." That joyful news thousands of years ago is still as fresh as today's. Jesus was born to save - save us from hell and destruction.

What news have you heard today? It maybe about a sick loved one, financial difficulty, a broken relationship - whatever it is, please remember: A Savior has been born to you. Come as you are to Him and know that He can save you. Today.

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions (Day 2)

I believe we are all familiar with this Christmas carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem". I think, well this is just a wild guess, that song was inspired by this verse from Micah 5:2. Isn't it humbling to know that God chose a small clan to reveal His big plan? Isn't it comforting to realize that we don't have to be a "star" or "superstar" even, for God to see us fit for whatever majestic course of action He is planning to do? That's how He is, that's just His nature. He is in the business of using "the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; choose the weak things of the world to shame the strong" (1 Corinthians 1:27). "So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 4:11).

Are you feeling inadequate, insufficient or not good enough to be revealed with God's plan? Cheer up my friend and remember the "Little Town of Bethlehem".

Countdown to Christmas: My Christmas Devotions

Happy Christmas! I know it's a bit late already (well, not actually), it's just that I was wanting to have my first post for this month on the first day so I would be the first one to greet you a "Merry Christmas". I got so busy with some family stuff that it took me a while. Lots of ideas for the blog make my head swim. I just don't know when and where to start.

Then one morning I woke up with this thought: I would like to share with you my daily devotion since December 1st until Christmas Day. It's sort of my countdown to Christmas with some Bible verses and meaningful insights.  I will post the verse from the Reading Plans of YouVersion Bible App in my iPhone and my thoughts on that verse for that day. I'm a bit behind schedule but I'll do my best to post the past three days' devotion then post the Day 4, all on the same date which is, by the way, today. Heehee! So here it goes.

Day 1 - December 1st
Matthew 3:3 - "This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him'".

What does it mean really to prepare the way for the Lord? Today as the first day of the busiest and most festive month rolls in, almost everyone seems getting ready to "prepare the way" for Christmas; sending out beautiful Christmas cards written with heartfelt messages, buying special and well-thought gifts for families, loved ones and friends, putting up the tallest Christmas tree and adorning the house with lovely ornaments. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing these preparations, may we also remember to make our hearts ready for the true reason why we are celebrating this season. As our own houses are ready for the festivity, may our heart and soul be found willing to receive the coming of the King.

How are you preparing your heart for Christ this CHRISTmas season? :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Day

I have often heard about the Thanksgiving Day when we were still residing in the Philippines. I would simply look at the posts of friends living in the US on how they celebrated this special day. This year, I am grateful that my little family and I were able to celebrate this day of gratitude together with my immediate family. The sad thing though was, we're not complete. Still, I'm grateful for a lot of things.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving Day friends!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gratitude Challenge 7 (Last Day)

Day 7 of the Gratitude Challenge

1. Grateful that the God we serve created sabbath - a day of worship and rest in the presence of the Lord.

2. Thankful for His Word that has the power to create and make things possible.

3. Full of gratitude for His laborers in His vineyard. Surely, their labor is not in vain.

I'm thankful to all of you my dear readers for reading my gratitude challenge posts. I hope that in one way or another I have inspired and encouraged you to be grateful even for simple things. This may have ended but I pray that the spirit of gratitude in our hearts remain. Again, thank you.

So, what are you grateful for today? :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gratitude Challenge 6

My 6th Day of Gratitude Challenge

1. Grateful for "pit stops"; hubby gets to recharge then drive again.

2. Thankful for the Hillsong music; it makes hubby awake as he drives (at this hour) while lulls baby (and me ?) to sleep. Heehee!

3. Full of gratitude for every simple joy that God sends our way while on this road
trip back to Manila.

Note: This gratitude challenge was written when we were still residing in Manila.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gratitude Challenge 5

Here's my 5th day of Gratitude Challenge:

1. Grateful that we (daughter and I) get to tag along Daddy once in a while on his mission trips. Besides the opportunity to see other places, it's the bonding moment with him that we are looking forward to.

Dasol, Pangasinan

Daddy as he prayed for the kids

2. Thankful that we can use travel time as learning time for our daughter. When we saw the rice field, I told her it's where the rice we eat is coming from. She started asking why and that hinted me to discuss with her the different processes that occur before it reaches our table. Her answer was precious: "Mom, I want to plant then harvest then cook the rice. I want (to) do it." 

"Mommy, the grass feels good on my feet."

"There's my shadow."

"I like this, Mom."

"Let's go to the beach and play sand."

3. Full of gratitude for people who welcome us (when we travel) to their house because of their love for Christ. Being away from home is really a challenge. However, meeting people who make you and your family feel at home makes it pleasurable

Our little ladybug together with the daughter of our host and some of the kids they (family) minister to.

"Ate, I can play with this?"
She asked if she could "play" the piano and she was allowed to.

So, what are you grateful for today? :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gratitude Challenge 4

My 4th Day of Gratitude Challenge

1. Grateful that I can cuddle and kiss my daughter to my heart's content. It's priceless! Time flies so I do it as much as I can and while she still wants it.

2. Thankful that I get to be hugged and kissed back by my baby. Who cares about wet cheeks and nose? It's precious! Haha! She specially likes to do "kiss nose" which she learned from her dad.

 3. Full of gratitude that my daughter always looks for "mommy" (me). It warms my heart. I hope she won't get tired of doing it when she's a little bit older. I know I'm gonna miss that if ever.

I know it's all about my daughter. She could be so "makulit" when she's up and about, and I'm not going to lie, she could get on my nerves at times, but as her mom (and just like any other moms to their kids), I love her with all my heart. After all, she's the reason I am called a mom.

So, what are you grateful for today? :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gratitude Challenge 3

Here goes my day 3 gratitude challenge:

1. Grateful for the provincial life I'm living right now (at the time I was in Laguna, Philippines). Far from the pollution and noise of the city, I'm awakened by the chirping birds by the bedroom window; I witness the changing hues/colors of the sky; I can breathe in and breathe out without worrying what goes into my lungs; and most of all my daughter can run freely in our garage or veranda.


2. Thankful that I get to look after my daughter and witness every milestone she hits. I feel so blessed that I was given this opportunity by the Lord. Others may say "sayang" (waste) because I could have worked and earned to help ends meet but I don't think and feel that way. I say I'm blessed because God led me to this path and where He leads, He provides.

 3. Full of gratitude that God endowed me with so much breastmilk that I can still breastfeed my daughter even at her age (3 years old). To be able to breastfeed her this long is really a blessing, not only financially but emotionally as it deepens and strengthens our mother-daughter relationship. I would never trade this for anything.

What are you grateful for today? :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gratitude Challenge Day 2

Hello, dear readers! I am sincerely sorry for the delay in my posts. As I have mentioned in my previous post, constant changes are occurring in my life; my small family moved from one country to another, then from one city in this country to another. The challenge? There was no internet connection right away. But thanks to my little brother (who isn't little anymore) who made it possible. So, here I am again. And as I have promised (before), I'll be posting the rest of my Gratitude Challenge every day. Thank you for dropping by. :)

1. I am extremely thankful for families that God let me be part of; my immediate family (Daddy, Mamu, Ate and her family, my brothers (their respective families) and my in-laws.

With Mamu, our little ladybug, my sis-in-law and my niece
 2. I am so grateful for friends who have been with me through thick and thin. They are some of God's wonderful gifts. Trust that I have been the kind of friend that they wished to have.

3. I am thankful for people whom God has used to make me a better, stronger, gracious and loving person.
Some of my former colleagues

What are you grateful for today? :)

Note: Please note that the pictures are the only ones I have right now. It doesn't mean that just because someone (a family member or a friend) is not in the picture/s doesn't mean I don't consider him or her a family or friend. Thank you for understanding. :)