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A Rumpelstiltskin By Name

 [Disclaimer: This is a revised essay for my online class. The essays are part of the assessment and the basic requirement is the length to be between 270-320 words. I assume you have already have a background of the story, and I am simply trying to enrich the discussion. :)]

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The tale of Rumpelstiltskin gives us views on gender discrimination, greed, and deception. The characters are classic: a show-off father, a greedy king, and a wise goblin (Rumpelstiltskin)—all exploiting the daughter. The father jeopardizes his daughter’s future and she became helpless because of her inability to spin straw into gold. Thus, the king wanted her for the probability of multiplying his riches. The woman is seen as an object: a gold-producing machine. Otherwise, for what other reason would the king marry a miller’s daughter? It seemed a profitable deal with the king.

Rumpelstiltskin used his magic intelligently; for he knows that taking the firstborn child would be useful by either in gaining more power or as a ransom in the future. But why was his identity a secret? Mystical creatures opt not to reveal themselves fully to mankind—especially to women, as they are perceived to be unworthy of trust. He also challenged the queen that she cannot guess his name, a further insult to a woman’s intelligence regardless of her position in the society. When she got his name right, Rumpelstiltskin can no longer claim her child and the woman triumphs over someone who is not human. The story ends with a defeated and outwitted Rumpelstiltskin tearing himself into two out of anger.

Grimms’ Tales are not like Aesop’s Fables in directly telling the moral of the story, but it challenges the readers to learn it by unlayering the characters. The father wanted power by lying on his daughter’s reputation while the king wanted to get richer. The protagonist daughter is not perfect, yet she becomes victorious over trials. Rumpelstiltskin can even be seen as a compassionate antagonist by giving the daughter a chance to redeem her child. He thought creatures like him cannot be outwitted, but he was proven wrong. Don’t we, at some point in our lives, identify ourselves as the daughter, the miller, the king, and Rumpelstiltskin?

Finding Beauty and Happiness [Chapter 5]

Today, I decided instead of updating my first blog entry about the devotional book “With GOD All Things Are Possible!” I decided to just post new entries for additional chapters that I truly enjoyed. Chapter 5 is “Letting God Fill Your Life with Beauty and Happiness” and it was very inspiring to read. In fact, I have read this entry several times just so I can truly absorb God’s message about finding happiness.

It is a blessing for one’s life to find the meaning of happiness. Many have spent years in search of happiness among the people and things that surround them. I guess, at some instances of my life, I am one of them. Finding the secrets of living a happy life can sometimes bring us even more unhappiness, pain, worries, and troubles simply because we looked at every corner than to look God within ourselves. It is tiring to think about it too much, to discover it, to feel it. In desperation, I forget about God who is the true source of happiness in our lives. Yes, He gave us family and friends to love us and to care for us, but it is God that we should see in them to find the peace and happiness that our minds and hearts desire.

In the first chapter, God consistently reminds me that He loves me. In the third chapter, He moved me further by saying that all He wants me is to have a happy marriage. Now, He gave me the message that it is only through allowing Him to fill my life in Him will I appreciate what “Beauty” and “Happiness” is all about. Even Jesus, Himself, found quiet joy knowing that God loves Him.

The surest way to be happy is to do what God wants me to do. 

It is about living my life in accordance to His laws. Admittedly, when I do something wrong, I always hear this voice of regret why I have to do it… and then I became unhappy. God’s message to find happiness is simple. Yet it is a daily struggle for me to do it each day every day to follow.

Another way of bringing happiness and joy into your life is by helping others.

Jesus is the perfect model in reminding us that when we do something good and right for others without expecting any return, our actions bring us unparalleled happiness. In my life, helping others while expecting a return of love or care only bring disappointments and hurt. I realize, I should always be reminded of this biblical verse “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This is God’s way of saying to me directly that when I help others, instead of focusing what I expect in return, I should instead think that I am helping others because I wanted to see them not me but Christ.

It is by living close to God, in tune with His beauty and the world’s beauty; thrilling to the challenge of living a God-centered life, helping to build His Kingdom, that you will find the only road to beauty and happiness that there is!

Yes, it will never be easy, but it will be worth it.There are days when I feel things are becoming monotonous or I get tired and discouraged but God will sustain me and keep me on moving forward.

I pray to God that He will be ultimate source of strength and happiness. With the things that has happened this past few days, all I can do is to kneel in prayer to Him. My day feels incomplete without finding myself choosing Him to guide my thoughts, words, and actions.

Knowing that the kingdom of God is within ourselves, the search for beauty and happiness is life within us.

It is not in our outward circumstances but deep within ourselves can we find permanent happiness. When we find beauty, hope, and happiness in the simplest and most common things, we realize that yes, the kingdom is indeed within us. 🙂

 

 

On another note, Happy 54th Birthday to my father, Manuel L. Estrella! Thank you very much for being such an awesome dad. Indeed, there is always something to be thankful for to God who has given me an earthly father like you. It may not have been such an easy week for our family, but there will always be a rainbow after the rain. Happy birthday and I love you! I always pray for you and mom’s health and loving happiness. 🙂 -N

“With GOD All Things Are Possible!” A Handbook of Life

This is a very old book.

I love books. The smell and feel of its pages envelope me in a different world. When I read, I become part of the book’s world. When I’m there, no one can distract me.

I found this book in our shelf at home. Perhaps my father or my mother owns it. It has frayed covers and yellowing pages. It was published September 1, 1990. I was born a year after. Because of my personal problems right now, I can only trust His Word and the timing could not any be better than perfect.

I thought I cannot read old books. But when I got to hold on it just hours earlier, I felt this book contains wisdom I myself is yet to discover. Obviously, I believe in the book’s title, but I still feel the excitement of what is in it. Perhaps, there is a certain thrill realizing that this book is older than me!

From the title, it is meant to be used as a handbook. The list of chapters has the word “God” in it, in every circumstance in one’s life. It also contains forty prayers that helps the readers seek God even without reading the chapter. I vowed to use the author’s intention so that I can truly enjoy each yellowed page.

I will update this entry for each reading that I came across.

May 28, 2012

I read the first chapter “God loves you”. In my current situation, I feel I am on the edge of the cliff and about to fall to rock bottom. At a certain point, I feel unloved for having experienced a broken relationship. As I read through the pages, God affirmed me with these phrases (1) “Turn your life over to God in childlike trust from this day on” and (2) “Spend at least a few minutes each day with God in humble, sincere prayer and study”.

I realize that I draw strength from the ultimate source whenever I pray. When I forgot my prayer time, I worry and get distracted. That in my troubled heart, God speaks to me saying that when I pray to Him, he calms and directs me in doing the right things. He is always near me. He never abandons. I just need to bring all my trust back to Him.

The prayer at the end of the chapter is so overwhelming. I felt how God is trying to teach me that in my brokenness, I will slowly learn how to put myself back the pieces and make myself a better person. I know that I am weak and vulnerable today, but each passing day will bring me a day closer to His plan of a future full of hope.

Prayer that I may always know God loves me

Dear God above, Thou art mighty over all the earth and all the sea and all the heavens and all that in them is. Thou seest all and knowest all.

And yet, Dear God, mighty as Thou art, I know that Thou lookest down upon me with eyes full of love and of friendliness and of understanding. I can see Thy dear, kind face smiling there!

For Though art my Father. Thou lovest me and Thou watcheth over me. This I know, dear God, and I thank Thee with all my heart!

Please, dear Father above, help me always to have this child-like trust and faith in Thee! Whenever times are dark and troubled, whenever I am afraid or hurt, help me to remember Thou art there to help me.

Help me, Father, to understand Thy Laws of Life and to live by them always – for I know, dear God, that if I do, then Thou wilt reward me with all the glorious health and happiness, all the joy and abundance of blessings that are Thy will for me and for all Thy children!

In the Name of Thy Love for me, Dear Father, and in Name of Thy Blessed Son, Jesus Christ, I ask it!

Amen.

May 31, 2012

One of my latest realizations for me so far is that right now, I sincerely try and make an effort to be closer to Him more than ever. Under its “How to Use This Book”, I came across a list of problems with a corresponding list of chapter(s) that I can read for today. Yesterday, I was not able to do my reading because I tried to get my 8-hr sleep for a change. I have been depressed lately and had absurd sleeping patterns, and for today, having achieved a good night rest helped me move forward throughout the day.

Going back to what I read, I came across the topic “boy friend” and turned to Chapter 3, and was surprised with the title “God Wants You To Have a Happy Marriage.” For a moment, I thought, I do not yet want to read this, but then, I realized, I wanted to be in a relationship for the reason of having a hopeful heart of a future marriage. I am saying that yes, it is a distant future, but my problem is at the present. There is no way but to go on, and read. Here are a few lines that I have loved in the chapter:

He does not want you to be old when you are young.

You will be indeed lucky if love comes to you out of comradeship and friendship. But many and many a time, only one meeting may decide your destiny even though you may not see the other for weeks–or months–or even years!

Love enters in not by doors but by hearts.

Many a man has to wait patiently while love stirs in the heart of a woman. Many a woman has to wait and wonder and hope before love is awakened in the heart of a man.

Love all men and women and you will never want for the love of one; Others will turn to you naturally as the flowers to the sun.

You will be a new person because love creates!

Never forget the happy hours of early love. Neglect the whole world rather than one another.

“Love suffereth long and is kind. Love is not easily provoked. Love thinketh no evil. Love beareth all things, believeth in all things, hopeth in all things, endureth in all things.”

 

“Forgive the erring ones and love them in spite of their sin–yes perhaps because of it. Time wears off the gold on the feet of any idol if its feet be made of clay. To wait is the only thing you will not be sorry for afterwards. And meanwhile be thankful for the love which you do have.”

 

“All down through the lengthening shadows of life, love sends its golden rays of beauty and romance, transformed into loving service and faith and trust. Until like the beautiful Greek legend, two souls which have braved sunshine and storm together, stand like two great trees, their branches intertwined, facing the sun of God’s tomorrow.”