Friday, September 15

Grateful Heart

I'm here at Starbucks doing my homework and I just had to take a break. So what better way to take advantage of my break, but to even more use my brain to blog 😄

As I write my persuasive essay homework, I thought of the word, "grateful". The first people that came to mind, besides my Almighty Father, is my family. I thank God for them soooo much! Gosh! The thought of having to sacrifice our time away from each other while I study melts my heart. I have the best support system ever.

People ask me how I do it, but I have to say, it's all God's grace. Look, I'm not getting any younger and with all the responsibilities I have and finding ways to be able to manage my time is lifted up in prayer in all times. I wouldn't know how to handle it, unless I pray about it first. That's my first go to, in everything I do. God has shown me His faithfulness and He has blessed me with a great family who understands and cheers me on. However, I know that this journey is not about me, but to be able to help more people as I use my God-given talent. You see, I volunteer at my home church, Willow Creek Community Church's Care Center as a Case Worker. The more I go there, the more I want to be able to help full time. It's not about the money for me, but it's seeing that my ordinary life can be used to be a blessing to others. People think that we're just there to offer resources for those in need (although that is one of the purposes we're there), but honestly, I leave that place even more blessed than those who received some help because meeting different people of all walks of life, carrying heavy loads (emotionally); it makes me realize that my own load is nothing compared to these people who sometimes just want to be heard. My goal is not for me, but for others to no longer feel alone. I want to be able to pray for them and so much so to walk alongside, if given the opportunity.

I find myself, learning to be grateful each day because of the opportunities God gives me. Whether it's a heavy burden that I will have to carry for awhile and/or it's something I have to lift up in prayer about, I feel honored and grateful to be used by my Creator.

Being grateful in everything shifts your thoughts from worry to trust in God. Even when it's hard to find the reason to thank God, I can assure you that it will feel a lot better to let go and let God do what He knows best... what's best for you and everyone. You may not understand the answer to your "Why's" in this side of heaven, but the God who loves you more than you will ever know has planned a good future for you and your loved ones.

Start small and do it daily... you'll see what I'm talking about. I lift you up in prayer, my dear friends, that you will experience God's supernatural grace in the hardest area of your life.


Tuesday, August 29

To be me, or not to be me, that is the question.

Okay, I'm not Shakespeare, but I thought the title fits very well as I think of how people become so addicted to attention and praise because that's what social media does to you.

Today's devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries was so fitting, I had to post it... Wrestling with #OOTD.

It's heartbreaking to see some of the people I love find temporary satisfaction by what people think of them rather than finding their true identity, potential and beauty in Christ, who created each one of us. I know we have our own insecurities, but our problem is that we tune out our true self to be someone we're not. Weighing in on the many lies that others lives and beauty are always better than you. Know that it's the devil's greatest tactic to deceive you.

Look, I have nothing against people posting in any social media medium, but when it's everyday about you, you, you? About your beauty (you go with your confidence 👊), body images whether it's yours or not, etc. you get the picture... it just breaks my heart when people become narcissist. Google Narcissism, and the meaning says it all.

My dearest friends, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. You have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed. Everyone, even "Christians" go through hardships in life. None of us are immune to problems. We all go through it. It just depends on who you put your faith in. No need to be someone you're not. You know deep in your heart that these temporary quick fixes on the outside still leaves some void in your heart. Allow God to lift your head up and accept your true beauty, your true purpose. Allow Him to show you that the best is yet to come, for you have been made in the image of God and He desires for you to experience the best version of you, the blessings He still has in store for you. When the inside is crying, patching it up with things of this world will not heal it. But when the inside is pure and filled with the love of God, your beauty will radiate even more on the outside and will inspire people to want to know your secret and your Savior too 😍 

Let me quote Steve Harvey's advise to his audience, he says, "Stop putting your faith in people, and put your faith in God where it counts the most.” *Triple BOOM right there!* 🙆

My dedicated song to you: Scars To Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. - 1 Peter 3:3-4

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. ~ Song of Songs 4:7

What Was I Thinking???

     I'm sure many of you can relate when I say, "Where has the time gone?" Noel, my husband, and I were just planning our road trip for our 20th anniversary earlier this month and now that's done. Then school starting, both for my children and I. Yep! I'm going back to school! Or I should say, I'm already back in school. And boy, what was I thinking? I have 2 classes, English and Psychology. I'm not only working full time, but I also have kids to attend to, a husband I need to make sure gets part of my time as well, and I volunteer as a Case Worker at my home church, Willow Creek, I mean... I'm exhausted! 

     I've asked the Lord, if I made the right decision to take on this degree after not being in school for over 2 decades now, and all I get is the words, "keep on keeping on!" Everyday now, I worry about the time wasted without reading or doing homework. There's so much reading to do, plus deadlines every 2 days. There was a time I felt like giving up, but the faces of my two older children who are also in college kept popping in my head. I can't give up. I feel like if I give up, it'll discourage them to stay in school. I don't know, I'm probably too hard on myself, but that's how I feel right now and that's what's helping me to stay the course. I know my hard work will pay off. I just need to take time to breathe and be still in the presence of God. 

     I can't let my complaints and worries take over me. Not everyone are given this opportunity and while I have the chance to pursue my goal of being a Counseling Psychologist, I will lift this up to the Lord, for Him to guide my every step. I know it won't be easy, but as long as I have His back and the support of my loved ones, there's no stopping this mama 😏

     So, if you're in a situation where giving up is starting to creep up on you? Look up and ask for wisdom to make things clear for you. Now, there are times when it's really time to let go, but that's when you have to let go and let God do what He has planned for you. Remember that there is always beauty in the ashes. Not all stories have to end up the way you had hoped it to be, sometimes, you have to let God show you the bigger picture He has in mind all along before you miss out on His blessings. 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, February 9

When You Question Friendship

Hi All! I haven't posted anything for awhile, but I'm baaaack and looking forward to writing more. 

So, about the title of this post... hmm?! Well, have you experienced a time when you felt rejected, outcast, set aside by a friend whom you've known and trusted more than half of your lifetime? 

Have you doubted their intentions, their loyalty, sincerity, respect and/or the love they truly have for you?  

I have and it sure hurts like crazy!

I guess due to circumstances in both our lives, we've slowly grown apart. We both have different interests now, I guess. I'm married and things unfortunately did not work out for her on that end the first and second time. Our kids are growing and life just keeps happening. But I thought, no matter where life takes you, good or bad, true friends will face the highlights and storms of life with you? I thought, true friends knows no envy, but will celebrate your high moments and cheer you on regardless you both are in the opposite ends? I thought, true friends will not tear you down, but lift you up? I thought, true friends will keep your deepest secrets, defend you  and pray with you when you need it the most? 

Are those just a figment of my imagination towards friendships? I hope not. I cling to God's definition of true friendship... "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:13-15). Jesus is the pure example of a true friend, for He laid down His life for His "friends." What is more, anyone may become His friend by trusting in Him as his personal savior, being born again (old self become new) and receiving new life in Him.

One great example of true friendship is between David and Saul's son Jonathan, who, in spite of his father Saul's pursuit of David and attempts to kill him, stood by his friend. You will find that story in 1 Samuel chapter 18 through chapter 20. Some pertinent passages are 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19: 4-7; 20:11-17, 41-42.

Proverbs is another good source of wisdom regarding friends. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17). "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). The issue here is that in order have a friend, one must be a friend. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (Proverbs 27:6). "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).

I thank God for providing His words and wisdom to me and using His people to help me during these times of feeling rejected and alone in friendship. For reminding me that His love isn't based on me or my performance, but it's simply placed on me and it's a place from which we must live, loved. We are all loved by God, period, no question mark.

I would like to share an interview with Lysa Terkeurst regarding this topic at Focus on the Family. Either listen to it, if it's still available or read the transcript. Hope it will bless you as much as it has me. 

Overcoming Rejection to live in God's love by Lysa TerKeurst (Book is called Uninvited) Part 1 and Part 2.

I pray that as you may relate to my story, that you will find peace in knowing that God is our ultimate friend. He's the one I turn to "AT ALL TIMES". Who knows my deepest feelings and comforts me with His presence as He listens to my on going stories. I know that part of this journey I'm in is to learn to forgive and accept that my friend and I are in different stages of life right now and I have nothing, but good wishes for her. I hope someday this will all come to pass, but whatever God has planned for our friendship, I pray that we will both learn and grow from it for the better. And although I'm still healing from the pain of rejection, I still love her and can still promise to be there for her when she needs me the most. 

I've been praying for a special blessing for her as this is the only thing I can do from a distance that will not interfere with her busy schedule. And I'm also praying for myself, that God will continue to teach me and allow me to live life to be the best friend anyone can have as God guides my mouth, my actions and my thoughts that will not crush anyone's spirit, but lift it up for the glory of God. 

For I am proud to say that "I am a friend of God."

Thursday, September 29

Moved by the song, "Why" by Nicole Nordeman

I can't help, but be moved by this song over and over again. Mixed of stomach turning due to guilt of all the things I've done wrong and feeling of overwhelming gratefulness to God for not giving up on me. If you listen and imagine closely, you will feel the truth of this song.

Why by Nicole Nordeman -

Thank you Lord for this heartfelt song called “Why”. Thank you for the reminder that I am loved by one amazing God like you. Thank you for taking my place on the cross and dying for someone like me who so deserve what you endured. Thank you for your glory and for your amazing love. I pray that everyone will come to know you even more and feel the joy and peace of being loved by you.

I'm a sinner, loved by my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 13

God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, - 2 Corinthians 1:3

This has been my theme verse for the past 2 weeks now. The Lord knows everything about us that as I wrestle with worries and anxiety on this 40 Days of Blessing Others until my birthday, Oct. 17th and the big OCC shoebox packing party I'm having on Oct. 15th plus the hurt I'm feeling towards my friend, God has been comforting me with His messages. Here's a few...

Sunday's devotional had (9/11): 
God will encourage you! As you pour out your heart to Him, He will say to you, as He did to His disciples when He was here on earth, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid" (Matthew 14:27)

Yesterday's devotional had (9/12):
God is not merely an empathetic listener. You may feel better just for having verbalized your troubles, but God doesn't stop there. He says: "I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you" (Isaiah 41:13)

Today's devotional (9/13):
Help - that's what you need! If you bow your heart in prayer to Him right now, the God who cares for you will listen - and encourage you - and help you find a solution. He promises!

Feels so good to call on God without any busy signal and to pour out your heart to Him without Him ignoring you or neglecting you. In His divine way, He makes His answers known. Whether through someone or something, you can rest assure He will be there when you need Him the most. 

Thank you Lord for your love. Though I don't deserve it, you give it to me freely. 

May you, reading this, take heart that God loves you and is crazy about you. Pour your heart to Him, you will know what I'm talking about :)

Friday, May 21

Your prayers are needed...

today is Project HOPE's Feed the Hunger Program. i have to be honest with you all, i was really expecting many will feel the need for this particular ministry esp. when i posted it on facebook, but i guess i shouldn't have expected too much =( i failed to just allow the Lord to do what He wanted regardless of how much help we get from others. though we continue to be grateful to our repeat sponsors, i was really hoping to be able to gather more funds in order to help more, but sadly, besides our yearly sponsors, only our family responded. for a second there i was really devastated, i neglected to remind myself that as long as the Lord is in the midst, whether we feed 1 out of hundreds that we at Project HOPE desire... i'm sure the experience and help that will be provided will have an incredible and unforgettable impact to us esp. to those who will be there. that what is important is as long as the Lord continues to be glorified and His people are helped, that's all that really matters.

is it wrong to feel discouraged for not receiving the help i expected? i'm sure the Lord understands what i feel. forgive me for feeling this way. i just really feel bad for those who are in desperate need of something we always take forgranted of. the types of food that we can so easily get, but to them what they eat is what's being thrown away by so many of us. i don't know i just don't get it i guess. i hope the Lord help me understand why others just can't take that step to open their hearts to a major need like this. why it's so hard for them to unclench (if that's even a word) their fists? whew! sorry, i just really need to get that out of my chest. i feel the brokenness of these people, i'm sure it'll be more heart breaking once i witness it first hand. oh gosh! i probably won't be able to serve to the best of my ability coz I'll be crying the whole time =(

anyway, getting back to my soul purpose for this blog. i would like to ask for your fervent prayer for this Feed the Hunger program. my sister, my bro-in-law and with the rest of our crew are on their way to the location as i type this blog. i heard that one of the hardest things they are experiencing right now is the hot, dehydrating weather. please kindly include them in your prayers this moment. that they will all feel the Lord's presence from beginning to end. that every person in every corner of this facility will be blessed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Lord, let Your will be done and may You be glorified in every way. Lord, You gave us this opportunity and so we ask for Your provision, strength and guidance that all will be well according to Your will. in Jesus Almighty and Precious name, AMEN!

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When You Question Friendship

Hi All! I haven't posted anything for awhile, but I'm baaaack and looking forward to writing more.  So, about the title of this po...