Thursday, October 27, 2016

THERE IS BEAUTY IN DIVERSITY

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This morning went out for my usual early morning walk. As I was rounding the block and aiming for the hill... the rains came tumbling down! Ohhh.. there goes my early morning walk, I thought as I soft-jogged my way back to the house. And just when I was already in my house dress Mr. Sun came bursting out from behind the gray clouds shining brilliantly like he was enjoying the big joke he threw at me just a few minutes ago! Oh well.. !!

Yesterday's .morning walk was such a delight though. You would probably be thinking that walking these same roads, neighborhood, and hill repeatedly for so long now would have exhausted everything there was to see.

Maybe... or maybe not.

Things may look the same but not really.

Movement, Change, Birth. Growth. Decline.

Of such are the things of the earth and of life.

If you do not pay close attention, you will certainly miss its beauty, wonder, joy..... or miss to be awesomely amazed by it all.

Like this plant I saw up the hill.... a huge leaf standing tall and erect with its glistening young green color seemed to greet me with a huge "Hi five!!". And I hi-5'd back at it, grinning. Buti na lang walang tao sa kalye! :-D (Luckily there was nobody around that time of day!)

Not far from it stood this gorgeous flower ...once a shy tiny bud now proudly showing off its dazzling brilliant color in full bloom. Movement and change. It lends fresh color to the world.

Farther up ahead, I saw (again) this cluster of huge mushrooms (remember my post several months ago on the same mushrooms as large as my shoe?) ...but this time several have grown black in color (decline)... as new fresh ones sprouted nearby (birth).

Round the corner up ahead bloomed Birds of Paradise (thanks IC Guerrero for the name) standing proudly in a cluster, too, on the shoulder of the road. Birds of the same feather flock together, aye!? Just like humans do.

Then a handsome dog caught my eye as I continued up the hill. It appeared shut out of his human's home as he stood patiently waiting outside the gate hoping that somebody would open it and let him in. Just a thought here, if you can't take good care of your pets... don't get one. Don't even think about owning one. Because having a pet in your home is having another member added to your family. Be responsible for it. Love it like you would your child. My family has four dogs and eight cats. By the way, the word dog spelled backwards is God. It's just a reminder that nothing in God's creation is insignificant. Everything is .. for a reason. That means animals, too.

As I forced myself to walk past it (with a heavy heart), I came upon a middle-aged lady who was sweeping that part of the street fronting her house. When she saw me approaching she smiled a pleasant "Good morning!" That took the gloom out of my heart as I smiled back at her and moved on bouncing happily in my steps. Be generous with smiles; it can do wonderful things.

Walking downhill I saw a friendly neighbor who had a small bonfire going by the side of the road and under his fruits trees (several more I could see in his yard). I stopped to say hello. With a wide grin he said "Di ka talaga pumapalya noh?!" (You don't really miss your morning walks aye?!) I smiled even more with "Pwera lang kung umulan." (Except when it rains.) Stayed a few minutes more to admire his fruit trees now bearing fruits to which he said I was welcome to it anytime I wished so. Friends are the true treasures of a neighborhood, a community, a town or city, a country or of the world. They add to the spice of life and living with their own individual brand of uniqueness and with their blessed contribution to humanity.

As I neared my block and was just a few houses away from home ... I noticed the lush greenery outside a neighbor's gate. But these two particular bushes ... each different from the other in color and shape.... and yet sharing the same air, soil, and space stood side by side. Together. Happily. Humans can learn something from that.

There is beauty in diversity.

Have a lovely day and week. God bless you!


  

 

 
 

 
  



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

YOUR FAMILY IS BY DIVINE DESIGN


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- Sometimes we need to be reminded of things which truly matter in life. It's definitely not material things, they have their uses but it's not everything there is in life. 

Neither is it our jobs because we can always find another. 

Neither is it our friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, or husbands or wives because they are not forever and are also replaceable. . 

But if we lose our families... nothing can ever replace them. You won't get another one like them. Your family is tailor-made for you, by Divine Design. It's definitely flawed and imperfect and maybe farthest from your own personal expectations (maybe you have even considered your neighbor's family the ideal choice) ---- but to God's mind your family is what you need. 

God works that way most always --- He does not give you what you want but He gives you just what you need. When God says that is what you need, -- believe me, it IS what you truly need! 

Maybe it is hard to understand that. But you will if you would try to...... 

See your family through the eyes of God. 
Feel your family through the heart of God. 
Understand your family through the wisdom of God. . 

And know that God's wisdom works for your best. Always!
 
Love you all!





Thursday, October 20, 2016

IN THE TURBULENT WATERS OF OUR LIVES

 
 
 
 
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I was on the first leg of my early morning walk and was passing through the main street of our village. On the fifth house from the corner stood a middle-aged lady just looking out into nothing (as she appeared to be) from her house gate. When I got nearer I give out a morning greeting.
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She smiled and said "Tinanghali ka ngayon ah." (You're up late this time) .Hmmm... I guess I have become a familiar person in the neighborhood with my morning walks.
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I smiled back and replied with "Napasarap ng tulog kasi eh." (I overslept)
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"Buti ka pa di ka nababagot sa araw mo." she countered with apparent exasperation. (Good for you not bored with your day)
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I was surprised by that remark because we weren't close friends and yet she says something quite personal like that. I believe it's something only shared with friends. Quickly I snapped out of my surprise and said....
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"Minsan dumarating din yan sa akin. Pero nilalakad ko na lang yan." and smiled even more. (It comes to me, too, but I work it out with a good walk)
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She looked at me with disbelief and mumbled glumly.. "Sana ganun din ako." (Wish I was that, too.)
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Well, I won't go further into that encounter. It's enough that I tried to make a respectful exit and resumed my morning walk. As she too turned back into her house with her mood apparently unchanged.
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But it made me think........
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The lady depicted very well that part of our lives which we don't really want to talk about nor put out up front for everybody to see. It's that part of our mundane lives in which we come face to face with --- The turbulent waters of life and living.
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weariness, ennui, apathy, unconcern; frustration, dissatisfaction, restlessness, restiveness, lethargy, lassitude; tedium, dullness, monotony, repetitiveness, flatness, dreariness; informal deadliness, boredom, exasperation, dissolution, confusion, failure.
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It's known to self but not to others. Sometimes though it slips out, like it did with the lady I met.
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But we try to cope with all that with what we know... with our habits, acquired skills and resources, insights and knowledge, beliefs and faith. Others would resort to temporal measures or relief.... with alcohol, smoking, drugs, extreme activities, or seclusion. Some would go on further by putting up a ---- mask, facade, wall, cover and pretense ----- all meant to deflect attention away from their inner turmoil or misery. We tend to hide our tears, most times.
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Everybody does his or her thing when life is the subject. It's ups and downs are dealt with according to what one knows, have learned, or was taught.
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I have learned that when the negatives of the day or life assail you -------- you can either bawl your heart out or bang your head on the wall or vent it all out on family and close friends...... or ..... stop everything, be still, and know there is a God!.
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God bless you with peace, love, joy, and faith.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

MY PAINTING --- MY FAMILY


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This took several sittings before I got what I wanted from it. A good friend remarked ... "Wow! Isang upuan lang... painting na agad." (A painting in just one sitting. Wow!)


Well, that's not how it happens. Painting like any other effort or project takes time. Further, when inspiration comes it can also disappear into thin air without the slightest notice. Just like that. So sometimes it stays there on the table untouched until you're ready to take up the brush again. This can happen a few times more.

I work with inspiration; I don't paint for painting's sake. The result may not be a Van Gogh or a Picasso (from my tiny untrained hands) but certainly it will be one which would make my heart happy. I think that matters. :-)
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Allow me a few thoughts about this (watercolor) painting.
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That body of water there represents my family. Calm and serene waters. Of course it can be rough and unruly at times in rain and in storm. But that passes soon enough and goes back to its tranquil state. That place of peace is bounded by a mountain range, huge rock formations, and lush trees.These three things represent the three essential parts of our family life..... faith, love, courage.
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FAITH (the mountain range)
---- in a God whose great love makes all things possible.


LOVE (the lush evergreen trees/forest)
---- which lends all things its freshness, happiness, harmony, joy.


COURAGE (strong rock formations)
---- which keeps together the hope and belief that everything has its reason for being but that which faith and love can always conquer.
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God bless you, friends. Have a lovely and blessed weekend



Friday, October 7, 2016

THE POWER OF WORDS


 
 
 

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This is where we bright (that's what we think of ourselves) and yet puny (that's the reality in the spiritual world) human beings fail in almost all of our relationships every time. Sad but true.
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I had a niece, smart pretty intelligent successful, who can talk you out of anything... with her words. The thing is she thinks herself to be so good that she swims in that hostile pool of ego and pride without even noticing it.
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One day, she came to me with a satisfied grin on her face.
Seeing it I remarked.. "That face gloats."
She replied... "She was saying the wrong things and I simply corrected her. She deserved it. "
"According to you."  I replied.
"Awww c'mon, tita, don't give me that."  she countered pouting.
"And why not?! Did it ever occur to you to wonder what your words did to her?"  I questioned.
"Yeah, I made her realize that she was wrong."  she answered.
"Did you ever stop to think that she could be hurt very bad, right there in the heart where most everything in life matters?"
"That's her problem."  she countered still gloating.
"On the contrary, it's yours. One more thing, it takes so little to be kind."  and I walked away leaving her with her own thoughts.
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The post below was done in October 2013 and I'm bringing it back here to be reminded of the importance of .... words. So that I may avoid falling into that same hideous pool my niece has fallen into. It helps to be reminded often, forgetful creatures that we are.
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Here it is.....
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The new parish priest of our community was celebrating his first mass and with a homily on the subject of  'the power of words'. To sum up, it was truly a good homily delivered in a uniquely light hearted sincere manner yet made such a huge dent on everybody's thoughts if you could gauge it from the attentive response of the people there.
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Made me think................
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WORDS. What do we know about it except to speak it, to communicate with, or to express our sentiments with. We often take it for granted. Like it's part of our physical body of eyes, ears, nose, extremities, and mouth. So no big deal.
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BUT it IS a big deal!
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Do we know what words can do? It can make or break, build or destroy, make happy or cause someone to be miserable. 'Make' 'Build' 'Happy' would be easy to understand. Its effect is almost always visible. It's a no-brainer.
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On the other hand, 'break' 'destroy' 'miserable' hits very deep. That's a place nobody can see. Can be very hard to understand.
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When someone says to us... 'I love you', I am sure that would quickly transport us up to the skies rocketing even higher. Everything to our minds come out rosy and every living creature lovable. Oh I know because just like you I've been there too.
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Now when somebody else says... 'I don't like you', I am sure that we would according to our personality type respond to that accordingly. Strong types would deliver a straight punch to that person's (very ugly) face ..... while weaker souls would simply walk away and yes wither away with all that hurt and pain sinking lower deep inside. And if some still don't know it, bullying makes that happen.
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I have learned.......
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Words may be simply a tool, one of many, of our existence but it is such a powerful one. We should care for it as much as a handyman usually cares for his pack of tools with love and careful attention. We should use it with care, too. Unlike a fool who lets loose a barrage of anger, hate, or meanness through a language which belittles, disparages, depreciates and totally cuts down to size its object deliberately down to the ground... obliterating it with great force. Sadly, we do that often to our... families, spouses, children, parents, friends, the elderly, employees, students, equals, and even to strangers.
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We have hurt a lot of people with those ugly words and also at many times have been hurt a lot by those same words.
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So then ......why don't we be extra careful in our choice of words, in how we speak them. We should not try in any way be the cause, for any kind of reason thought of as just or something, of anyone's misery or heartbreak deserving or not. If we must say something, choose how to say it. There's enough misery going around in our world to think of adding more to it. Mother Earth is hurting from all the negativity forced down upon her.... 'let's cut her trees down', 'let's throw our trash into the rivers', 'let's bring down the mountains and build a mega mall', etc. Action springs out from words. We did that to her, we're doing that to her. Unless we seriously try to curb old mean harsh habits of speech we shall be doing it to her repeatedly until, well, she explodes. And we shall explode along with her.
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Remember the allegory of the ... rock or boulder and on it a continuing fall of tiny drops of water --- drip - drip - drip..... through the years. And then one day to everyone's amazement a hole was punctured on what was once solid rock. That's what words do to anyone or anything it touches. Words can pierce the soul.
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Let us try to help ease that pain or better yet to whack off the negative vibes to pieces with a good concentrated dose of positivity. We can do that with WORDS! .Words carefully chosen have the power to restore joy, good, well-being, hope, courage, inspiration, strength, love, faith, and trust. These can help create a better place and world for us.
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That, by the way, is also by God's design. HE wants us to be responsible owners and givers of the gift of words.


Be blessed, everyone. God pours out bushels of blessings right there into your day.
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(Thanks to the internet for these inspiring images.)


Monday, October 3, 2016

WHATEVER IT IS IT WILL BE GOOD. JUST LET YOUR HEART DO IT FOR YOU.



 
 
 
 
 

Long ago while sitting in a corner on top of a wooden stool with a sketch pad on my lap and pencil in my hand and wondering what it was I wanted to draw, Mama saw me from the kitchen (in this tiny humble home you can see everything just wherever you would be standing) and spoke out without moving an inch away from her cooking..... "Honey, whatever it is it will be good. Just let your heart do it for you." spoken in the dialect waray.
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Mom was a teacher in her time. I would guess that she was a good teacher... because she was great teaching in our home. She taught me a lot about life and living, not just with words or lectures but in how she lived life herself. She also said 'life is the best teacher of all' and that 'the heart always speaks the truth'. I learned much about hard work, resourcefulness, determination, courage, hope, faith, trust, believing in your dreams, and in building dreams with and through whatever life throws at you. Life's tough, she'd say, 'very tough but it's how you respond to it which ultimately will get you where you want to be, sooner or later. You may arrive at the end with a big brass band and deafening applause.. or.. bruised and battered, weary and shaken but still in one piece. All because you learned how to respond to its challenges. And all because you listened to your heart.'
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Time and life went by and gave me all that I needed to know and validated the lessons Mom taught. I can understand now, Mom......
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Your heart can churn out the best masterpieces... the best achievements... the best work of your life.... the best sketches or drawings or paintings... the best music or sonata... the best speeches.... the best articles or books.... the best cooking or recipes... the best flower garden in your neighborhood... the best homilies in church... or be the best mother, father, son,or daughter, uncle or aunt, grandpa or grandma... the best employee in your department... the best salesman on the job... the best mechanic in town... the best barber in the city... the best barangay captain in the district... the best senator or congressman in the history of our congress... the best policeman or soldier on the job... the best performances onscreen or onstage... the best president or leader of a country.... the best lessons learned... the best friendships for a lifetime... the best role in life you would find yourself in and be the best person you can be, by divine design. The best not as dictated by people with their own created standards. But the best with the best of who you are in your heart. Live with your heart, lead with your heart, listen to your heart.
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Well, I finished my sketch that day and when I showed it to her, she smiled and said "It is good." Lesson learned.
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Unfortunately I lost all my drawings in the big flood which hit the city that month and year. I cried. But she said.... "You can always draw again."
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She is right. We may fail on some ventures, fall from good fortune, lose precious treasures or people in our lives..... BUT..... we can rise up once more, shake the dust, and build again. That's my story; that's your story. It's our story ------ the rising, the falling, and the rising up again. But with our hearts all in one piece. Shining with our Light like never before every time! And you know what, God in all of His wisdom and magnificence put it there. Now you know you're special!
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God bless you, my dear friends!

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(Thanks to the internet for these wonderful images.)