Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WORDS DERIVE LIFE FROM THE HEART


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This is a repost from long ago in the blog (year 2012)... one of posts that got a hundred views in just a few hours. That was a pleasant surprise and made me realize how so many believe and agree that words do influence our day to day lives. I want it back here just so I be reminded about the power of words once more. It's something which I strongly believe should be learned again and again.
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WORDS --- They can build you up, take you down, disappoint, make you happy, hurt and sad, wonder, and too scare you. In short, words are powerful. Putting it to the test, I paid attention and listened intently when people talked to me. Indeed, I was affected or influenced by the words they spoke. Their words pushed me to think... react.... pay attention... consider.... talk back or nudge me to some action. Words which also gave me a window or glimpse of what was in the heart. And that mattered.
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Words alone have no life, but derive life from the content of the heart. Goodness rooted in the heart translates itself in the words one uses ------ these words which fly out on virtual wings of compassion and truth. On the other hand, bad intent makes even the sweetest word ring untrue as it operates under the shadows of venom nestled in the heart. It stings hard and deep.
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Be particularly careful the words you use with young children. What you say will determine the attitudes they will be carrying with them unto their adult lives. It will influence their perception of the world and the people in it, shape beliefs of right or wrong, their relationships, work habits, ambitions and dreams, and how they would relate to their God. It will definitely define their personality and character. So be careful the words you use with them - it can either make or break them. And, will eventually redound to yourself, too.
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Be careful what you speak. It can mean the world to another person. It can truly build him up or destroy him. Be careful what you write. It can influence great minds and poor minds alike. Both lives will be affected in some way you will never know as their minds 'wrestle' with the words sent out by your heart. They won't be the same person again after that.
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Someone wrote a nice quote which in essence says - .....
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'Be wary of what comes out of the mouth as it would always spring from the heart. The content of the heart determines the genuine quality of words spoken.'
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Blessings, everyone. Be kind and kinder in the heart.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

WAIT FOR THINGS TO TRULY UNFOLD



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THE FOUR SEASONS --- THE MEASURE OF LIFE
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Here's another one coming from the same pile; I found it closer to the bottom and was dated June 01, 2004 - Word Ministry. Unfortunately, the first two paragraphs on the sheet were torn off and the rest had turned brown with time. But as far as I can recall the article is about a man who sent off his four sons into the woods and to this particular tree and to report back to him their observations about it.
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The succeeding paragraphs unfold like this...... and to quote
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--- "When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The FIRST SON said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The SECOND SON said no --- it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The THIRD SON disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen,. The LAST SON disagreed with all of them; he said that it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
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After listening to their feedback, the man explained to his sons that they were all right, because they each seen but ONLY one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. And that the essence of who they are -- and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life -- can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
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He further said...... If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come at some time or later."

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Unquote.
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And that is so true, isn't it? We each go through the seasons of life. Each season comes to touch our lives in ways authentic to its own purpose. Maybe what the father is trying to tell his sons is that life should be viewed not from the constricting point of one season or one event or one experience. Not to think that the end of the world has come because of one failure or mistake. Not to pack up our bags outright defeated just because things are not happening the way we want them to. Not to consider others as less than ourselves just because they don't think, speak, or act the way we do. Not to be too quick to push that 'react' button.
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Instead to wait for things to truly unfold. Wait for explanations. Wait for the story to finish. Wait for the dust of aggravation and strife to settle down. Wait for the time when truth reveals itself in all of its splendor.... or its opposite. Well, sometimes truth can be quite unpleasant to see or hear. But then truth is truth and off it we can better make honest judgement or measure and its corresponding course of action, be it pleasant or otherwise.
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Life is beautiful. But we must also understand that life too has its rough patches. There is both good and bad in it. Yet we shouldn't allow negativity in any form, ours or that of others, to spoil what we have in terms of joy, fulfillment, and happiness.... or quench our hope of having more of those we treasure and value most. God planned us for happiness. Happiness is indeed our worthy portion. That is truly by divine design.
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Blessings, everyone!
 
 

Friday, June 19, 2015

LEAN INTO THE PAIN




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As is the old habit of sorting through old files with the intent of trimming it down to the essential and getting rid of the unessential, I made through the files before me with clinical precision which led to the trash can filling up so quickly. Half way through the mound of papers though... I came upon this sheet with an article on it from July 26, 2004, written by Susan Titus Osborn, "Rest Stops For Single Moms". Yes 2004 -- but it's wisdom is timeless! .. Here's why..
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The title:   "I LEARNED TO LEAN INTO THE PAIN INSTEAD OF AVOIDING OR FIGHTING IT."
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Here's what it says........ and to quote
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A good friend quoted to me the above phrase. Well, can you show me a woman who hasn't shed a tear (quietly or not) for self, parents, husband, and children. But you can't because none exists. Pain rides the whole crest of the various roles a woman plays in life.
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How does a woman survive all that? --- Simple. She leans into the pain. Like a single mother picks up the pieces of her life and valiantly builds a new life for herself and her children. Like a woman playing both father and mother roles in the home because her husband is in Saudi working for the money he sends home. Like a daughter bravely carrying on with a boring job all because she has to pay the hospital bills of her terminally ill parent. Like a steelhearted mother who seeks out help from individuals or institutions for her physically impaired child. Like a wife betrayed by an insensitive spouse yet finds the strength to shield her children from its pain.
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They all lean into the pain. Not running away, not avoiding it. Like the Blessed Virgin who stayed close by her Son. Mary always reflected on the events of her life and knew all were for a reason known only to the mind and heart of an All-Knowing and Mighty God. She leaned into her pain because there she found the knowledge and understanding of her role in the divine plan of God. She didn't avoid it nor run away. She simply said "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Word." And rose to be the bravest woman in the history of humankind.
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One late afternoon, I saw this woman waiting for her bus at the same terminal I frequented. She looked like any ordinary person in her late forties. But it was her face that I couldn't take my eyes away from. Truly her life was visibly etched on her face ----- fine lines that ran deeply across the width of her angular face and yet seemed to proudly say "I've been through bad times... and survived it all. I'm not afraid if there are more." Here was a woman who probably knew how to lean into her pain. Who probably also knew that the Blessed Mary has done it before --- and she can, too. No doubt about it.

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Unquote.
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It's a beautiful one, isn't it? .. and why I have kept it for so long.
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Yet, pain is not the monopoly of women. Men feel pain, too. And maybe there are no stories like this to tell us how men do that... but I dare say that men too lean into their pain. Otherwise, how can you explain a husband and father holding on to his job or two jobs for his family's sake, or a son who carries on with a college course not of his own choice but which will help support his aging parents in the shortest possible time, and so much more that could also fill a book.   And how you wondered about St. Joseph?   How he set aside his personal pain of being the brunt of the people's censure and ridicule for taking Mary and her baby Jesus for his own? He loved Mary and Jesus and he also understood his role in the divine scheme of things. He leaned into his pain for something bigger than himself.
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Pain is also felt by young children. Have you ever thought what goes on in the mind of a young street child? How his young innocent heart aches to play, go to school, or celebrate birthday parties? His heart aches. But he carries on walking the streets begging for money or food which apparently he will bring home to his family.  He leans into his pain too and in the only way he knows how.... survive. 
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Pain, as we all know it by now, is both a human blessing and a bane or tribulation. Pain has its own purpose too... some we may not fully understand. But definitely pain is part of that package called life.
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Be a hero to yourself. God bless you.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

YOU CAN'T BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE




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I was cruising down the LinkedIn site and stumbled on this these beautiful lines. It's just a part of the article '8 Behaviors of Phenomenally Successful People', (By Jeff Haden. Ghost writer, speaker, LinkedIn influencer, contributing editor for Inc.) The article makes for a good read but these lines at the bottom struck me the most....... to quote'
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"You worry about what other people think. (Don't feel bad -- I'm sure I do that as much as anyone
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I have singled that out because it resonated well with a chat I had with a friend a couple of months ago. She's one who worries a lot about what others may say about whatever she does. Drives me crazy listening to her list of -- 'what if' -- 'would they like it' -- 'am I doing it right'.
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She is a people pleaser but is overdoing the whole thing much to her own discomfort and misery. Sad?.. but don't worry, she's quite an intelligent person too and will in good time realize what she should be learning and change what should be changed. Just needing a gentle nudge perhaps in that direction. Sometimes change comes slow and the transformation slower to some people.
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Jeff Haden said it perfectly.... 'Yet no matter how hard you try, you can't be all things to all people.' -
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So why even try? Every person on this planet sees the world, life, people through his own set of eyes.. brains, and heart. He thinks, sees, and acts off his own set of insights, perceptions, measure and standards. So whatever he sees it may not really be all about you (if you happen to be in the picture); rather it's dictated by his own set of rules by which he evaluates everything, tangible or intangible. Remember this? -- That 'we see things not as they are but as we are.'
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The best way to live life is how Jeff Haden puts it ---- 'And you can be the best you. Be yourself. That is the one thing you can do better than anyone else.' ---- And I agree 200%. And don't listen to people who say that you can't... because you can!

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By the way, it's still the month of June; I know somebody out there has this as his or her birthday month, too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May you be blessed with wonderful things to last you a lifetime.





Tuesday, June 9, 2015

YOU ARE LIMITED BY HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD. SEEK TO GROW.



  (This is from the other blog but I'm bringing it here too to share with you.)

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What's on my mind today. Well, I was sorting through my files awhile ago and saw this piece of paper with a quote on it ... halatang luma na ... written from so long ago it seems. It says and to quote ...
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"Interestingly, koi, when put in a fish bowl, will only grow up to three inches. When this same fish is placed in a large tank, it will grow to about nine inches long. In a pond koi can reach lengths of eighteen inches. Amazingly, when placed in a lake, koi can grow to three feet long. The metaphor is obvious. You are limited by how you see the world." -- Vince Poscente
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Imagine these.....................
in a fish bowl = will grow up to THREE inches;
in a large tank = will grow to about NINE inches long;
in a pond = can reach lengths of EIGHTEEN inches;
in a lake = can grow to THREE FEET long;
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Now why did I have to repeat that? Simple. It's to stress a very important point ... (and it's also for my own understanding and learning. Some lessons are worth learning again and again.) ...... which Vince Poscente summed up very well ------ 'You are limited by how you see the world.'
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He is right. If we content or restrict ourselves to just our neighborhoods, or to our towns, or to our cities, or to our tiny corners of life alone, or to the I - ME - MY - MINE of living .... that certainly gives us no room for growth. Our likes and dislikes, preferences, insights, perceptions, attitudes, habits, store of information and knowledge will be as it all were maybe ten or twenty years ago.
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But life keeps moving on; the world keeps on turning; people develop and change; systems are discovered and rediscovered every time; the beating of the drums call for progress; even Mother Nature renews herself each season. The children of our times are a far cry from the children of our forefathers and so will the children of our children be different from their fathers in their own time.
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So.... the choice is there for us to make:
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Shall we step along with life's parade........ or remain where we are and have always been since god-knows-when.
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Break down the old barriers and walls now; junk the negativity of some people (and our own negativity, too) ... and then create new bridges and new roads to an awesome life. Let us then see the world with fresh new eyes.... minds..... hearts and work towards our highest potential and become the persons God designed and meant us to be.
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And the time to start it is now. There is no eternity waiting for us in this life; what we have is today. Begin today.
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God go with you in your journey. As I pray too that He does in mine.




Thursday, June 4, 2015

LIVING ON BORROWED TIME



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Mr. Quote Man sent this to my email today. Oh you do remember him, right? The guy who won't let me idle my brain and the writing. The quotes he regularly sends me are like a 'carriage horseman's whip flicked so that horses would keep on with their regular pace'. Naahh, far from being mean he is such a darling sweet not-so-young gentleman who cares about my writing since the first time he came to my blog... and that was long ago. And the quotes are his idea so that I wouldn't lack in subjects for writing. He being a writer and blogger himself is apparently quite familiar with the famous and daunting writer's block. Anyway...
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Here's what he sent me...... to quote
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"We must remember that nothing in this world really belongs to us.  At best, we are merely borrowers." ----- Christopher Isherwood
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Unquote
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And this did make me think.....
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Whether you are looking at a sparse life or a generous one, one thing tells you straight up -- that you can never really own it. You may have something which the other guy may not have and he too may have something which you desire passionately but it all falls under the same category -- 'Nothing in this world really belongs to us'.
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Funny and sad that we punish ourselves hard trying to make our dreams come true and spend almost two-thirds of our life making it real. While those things which truly matter and which give life its authentic meaning, its wonderful reason and rhyme for living, things which are genuine treasures which the heart alone recognizes if given the chance --- all these precious gems simply pass us by unnoticed.
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I was that person too at some point in my history. Everything that I owned or acquired I considered 'forevermore'. But life in all of its wisdom would not allow such foolishness and rearranged things that soon enough found me bereft of what I held dearest to my heart... tangible and intangible. Was I beaten? Not really...... because man is never beaten. He moves on. And too with great compassion, life restores the soul to that place where it truly belongs.
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Now I look around me and can honestly say..... I understand. And with better clarity and appreciation of life's true value and that of my place in it.
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Blessings, everyone!


BEGIN TO SEE WHAT TRULY MATTERS - WHAT YOU DO WITH IT DEFINES YOU



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I was on the phone with a long-lost friend chatting about good times, bad times, the good old days. Then she suddenly became nostalgic with thoughts unlikely and least expected from her. She was more the type who cared not what happens to the world just as long as she had her favorite crispy pata on the table and later sit down to watch her favorite telenobela.
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She began talking about ......how life is short, how she misses the attention usually poured on her by children now living separate lives, the aches and pains she now feels in her body, the things she failed to achieve in her prime and other regrets, but at the end of her long list sadly resigned herself to her fate and humbly turned grateful to her God. "We all grow old" she added "but each on a different pace and time. Still there are days when you wished time would stop but at that right spot when you felt everything was alright."
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That got me to thinking.....
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Not about that aging thing but about .... "...wished time would stop but at that right spot when you felt everything was alright."
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When is "..that right spot when everything is alright"? Is there a one measure which tells us that? Does it mean being problem-free as hoped for by many? Does it comprise perfection as perceived by passionate devotees of such principle? Does it mean that so-called forever-moment of completeness and satisfaction as promoted by media and the movies?
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Nah I don't think so. I have learned that there is no problem-free life. Problems, as we know it all by now, are there for this one sole purpose -- that of shaping us into our highest physical and divine potential. Neither does perfection exist; perfection does not happen here but at the end of our life journey. And forever moments are illusions created by temporal hopes dreams and aspirations.
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Well, time does not stop for anybody or anything, right or wrong. It just moves along like it's nobody's business that it does. And it brings us along with it .....with our dreams, hopes, expectations in tow. Time does not care if we make it or not but it does expect us to do what we can in the time allotted us to do it. But whether we succeed or fail, are happy or sad, feel good or bad, are fulfilled or rejected --- it's all the same to Time. When it cracks its whip we are expected to move along... with or without our baggage. To where? To wherever it takes us. Time's other name is Life.
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To my good friend, know this..... From the standpoint of age, you begin to see what truly matters.... the things that do and those that don't. You see everything and learn to count your blessings. Consider yourself so very blessed!
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Life and Time is good however you may look at it. It's a gift. What you do with it is what defines you, at twenty-six or sixty-two.



Friday, May 29, 2015

NO SUCH THING AS READY -- THERE IS ONLY NOW.






"It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is a as good a time as any."   -- Hugh Laurie

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" There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. " 

I like that one. Good one to remember. Because it is true. Ready is just what people tell you, what you learn in school, what you are trained for in seminars, what your favorite Aunt Meg tells you. Oh they have their uses, too. 

But life ... it tells you a different thing. In fact, it shows you that today in the now is the best time for anything. You don't have to wait for the perfect time or timing, the perfect situation or environment, the perfect people or the right ones. What you do with your now is what truly matters. And if you can work every now with everything you have.. with the gifts God has blessed you with, then your dreams won't be far away. It'll be closer like ... in the next now that comes your way! Can it get any better than that?!? 

Mom, bless her soul, would remind me ------ 'With every present that you finish with your best, you get closer and closer to the desires of your heart."  Yeah, I am missing her so much!
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Go for it, my friends; don't wait too long.
God goes with you. Stay on track.


Monday, May 25, 2015

BRAVE IS WHAT HUMANS DO

 

  
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Brave is what humans do. Brave for a diverse dozen or more reasons.... visible and invisible. The visible ones we can easily understand -- it's all around us.... broken relationships, single parents, widows, orphaned children, army wives with spouses away in battle on the other side of the globe, abandoned elderly, losing jobs, not making it on the list of graduates, a father holding on to two jobs to send his children to college, losing fortunes, illness, death, etc.
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The invisible ones are just as many, perhaps even more. A choice many of us choose to hide from the world --- the burden or suffering of an illness, the quiet hurt or pain of betrayal, the hidden tears and grief over something lost, the deep fear or disappointment or frustration over things beyond control, the pain of a mother seeing her child's life go wrong, the heartache of a girl prevented from marrying the man she loves, desired answers to prayers taking too long in coming, and those other things we feel be kept away from prying eyes.
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Oh both lists can be quite long. Where there are trials in a life, bravery can't be very far behind.
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A friend once commented as she scrolled down her list of friends.... 'Buti pang mga ito ..Ganda ng mga ngiti noh? Mukhang walang mga problema.' ------ (Look at them smile.. like not a care in the world ever existed!)
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I looked at the faces she was pointing at... I don't know them; oh maybe some will be my friends one day but I know those smiles. Smiles of people -- brave people -- living brave lives. How do I know that? Because everybody has a story... is a story... and where there is a story you'll find bravery in it. Brave is what humans do.
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Blessings, everyone!! It's just there... open your eyes and hearts.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

THREE FAVORITE THINGS --- AND SOMETHING MORE


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When the muses are quiet and no inspiration pushes the pen or laptop keys.... or when some days are lonely... or when saddled with cares and woes... or when days are even boring... I turn to three favorite things. One, I go out to the garage and have a nice chat with my three dogs -- Lucky, Buddy, and the new addition Scruffy. (There's a fourth one Maxie but she prefers napping on the couch in the living room.) Or.... two, I get myself a cup of yummy ice cream (if there happens to be one inside the freezer), sit on the couch and watch my favorite show on TV. If nada on the ice cream thing, a peanut butter sandwich takes its place with a glass of iced tea... and eyes still glued on the TV screen. Or..... three, my daughter and I go out to the mall to watch a good movie or have our favorite frappe at Starbucks. 

And...... Oh by the way, also squeezed in-between those three are the one-and-a-thousand details of things we usually do around the house. Plus.... the different roles a mother plays to her children regardless of their age. Plus.... the things done for 'me-time'... listen to music, paint, read a good book, sew a bag from an old pair of jeans, call up a friend, sort through old files for some hidden 'gold' to feed the writing, etc.
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Now I almost forgot this. After listing down the I, Me, My, Mine of being human and was set to move to the next thing to write ---- I remembered this >> Plus..... this precious life nurturing-connection.... Being still to acknowledge God's presence in my life. The wonders of His Magnificent God-ship. Those should be etched in the heart for nobody would last a day or a second without Him. All that we are -- our brilliance, intellect, talents, wealth, beauty, successes, achievements, acquisitions, titles, positions, or greatness -- everything comes from His goodness, love, compassion, and mercy. Gifts from His divine heart. The magnificent I AM. Thus if I have the 'me-time'.... this one's called the 'HIS-time'.
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Now why am I telling you this? Because I have learned something very important which I'd like to share with you. It is this........
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"Look only to the good. Look only to what you have, to what God has given you. Do not let your eyes come to rest upon any other thing but the blessings and peace of Christ. Do not fix your gaze upon the negatives, upon the past or the future. Remember, your life is hid with me. By now you know that I can be trusted and that I have all your affairs in My hands. Not one thing escapes My attention." --- God 
 
(Yes, those lines are from the book 'Good Morning... God')
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Nice, aye? Give it a try. You might like it, too. Furthermore you will soon discover that trusting God gives you more time to be you.. with your life... with your gifts.... with your God.
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God bless you!