A Mother’s Love

A Mother's Love

There are times when only a mother’s love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.

There are times when only a mother’s love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we’ve dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a mother’s faith
Can help us on life’s way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a mother’s heart and a mother’s faith
And a mother’s steadfast love
Were fashioned by the angels
And sent from God above.

— Anonymous

I will always be grateful for my mom, a God’s gift in our family. She is a pillar of strength, and it is no wonder why our father falls in love with her each day. She is the epitome of life’s wisdom, practicality, and beauty. Who we are today is a reflection of how our mothers have raised us. Things and situations may not be perfect in our family, but she makes a way for us to always feel at home. Some may say that every day should be Mothers’ Day, yet we dedicate each second Sunday of May to honor our mothers because they are just that SPECIAL.

In our mother’s eyes, we are the most perfect beings on earth and that their confidence in us makes us believe that we can achieve anything and everything. She is the first person to cheer for us, to comfort us, to believe in us, to live and to die for us. She taught us how meaningful the phrases “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, and “Thank you” , and how these phrases will never EVER leave us.

I always pray that God grant her many more years to live. Someday, I hope I can be just as a good mother as her. With the rest of my siblings, we vow to take good care of our Papa and Mama.

My (blogging) 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Echo

Echo

A year ago, I said goodbye to a fluffy little friend of mine. He’s a dog, a perfectly adorable black chow-spitz I had as an early Christmas present. It seems like December 20, 2011 was  only yesterday, but looking back it also seems like ages ago. He died six days later in a pet hospital.

I feel all dog-lovers would agree how tragic losing a dog, even if you only owned him briefly. I remember we even got him his own baby cage and dog food before picking him up. Oh yes, there were two of them, but I chose him because he was all jumpy and I just could not resist those round black eyes staring back at me.We named him Echo, because “E” is the fifth letter of the alphabet and he is the fifth dog we had. He’s the cutest in my eyes.

Those first few days were a real experiment. Our family hasn’t got a dog in almost a year since Ziggy, our black Lab, died and we don’t know what kind of puppy food he likes. My sister even bought him two cute clothes that he worked so hard to get off after I bathed him. My parents had fun playing tug of war with him on his bed cloths. Everything was supposed to be fun. Alas, it was only a momentary bliss.

He was barely two months old and there he is fighting for his life. It pained me to see how weak and dehydrated he is.. The vet gave us updates on  his health progress–how well he was eating, and how many days will we have to wait before we can start his shots. I wasn’t able to visit him on Christmas day because the pet hospital is closed to customers.

But on the dawn of December 26, 2011, my brother received a call. Echo didn’t make it through the night. I went there myself and see him all wrapped up in a tiny box and green plastic. After paying for all the bills, mom and I went to the backyard to dig up Echo’s grave under the banana bush.

Here I am 365 days later, still thinking about Echo. I even dreamt about a full-sized Echo months ago, cry about him a few times in the past, and yes I miss my  dear dog. I hope he’s having a blast in doggy heaven with Rocky, Assunta, and Ziggy among other dogs. I know you’re watching over Chuck and Koko. Our entire family misses you. 🙂

 

Beautiful people do not just happen

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Not my own strength but His

“We are not on this earth to accumulate victories, things, and experiences, but to be whittled and sandpapered until what’s left is who we truly are.”  

– Arianna Huffington

God allowed me to experience many, many things to appreciate how He works through my life. I know that despite the negative things that has happened to me a few days ago (losing phone, failing a quiz, hurtful comments), I anchored my strength in Him to keep going. If I just rely on my own strength, I know I will just go back to the pessimistic-and-easily-discouraged version of myself. But  God is so good, He disguises these sad moments to make me see how my family and my friends love me. I sometimes feel ashamed that I am not worthy of this amazing love, yet God’s love overflows. All I can do is stare in awe, and do my best to respond in His call to love others.

Today is one of those days when I felt so energized. Though I already know how God loves me, it is still different when you try to reflect back on those moments when you think you’ve exhausted all of yourself, when you were so much in pain, when you think you’re already a hopeless case, when all you want is to shut yourself from the world away from every living fiber. But God is so great, He surrounds me with a loving God, family, and friends and I find strength to face my fears and uncertainties all over again.

Five months before, my relationship with Him and my family and friends is not like this. Not at all. Before, I would rather keep things to myself or write it down on my journal. But God showed me that why not open up to people and see how they can make me see the world beautifully. Why not allow Him to take control of my life again? I’m glad I did.

Fast forward to the present, God never stops moving mountains and oceans right before my own eyes. I know that the remaining journey is long, winding, and difficult. There will be storms to chase and dreams to fulfill. My bucket list never stops growing. But after talking to some of my closest friends today, I know that God’s plans in my life will bring me beyond my own dreams. He will turn them into a beautiful reality. All I need is to continue to draw strength, trust, and inspiration from Him.  To choose Him even when the world doesn’t.

As the year 2012 draws near to it’s end, I am getting clearer picture of what God’s plan has intended for me. This year has been a year filled with discernment. This year I felt I was at my lowest point, but  it is the same moment that my vulnerability opened me to the biggest changes in my life. This year God showed me how important it is to invest in people and earn life’s greatest rewards in return. This year I had to deal with tragic losses, but gained significantly in y relationship with Him and with my loved ones.

With a brave heart, I know I can be bigger than my own fears for the years ahead because I have a great God with me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is one of my favorite worship songs at the moment. Thank you Lord, for using people’s talents to inspire me as well.

How He Loves Us

He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane,
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of
His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.

Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.
(x2)

Yeah, He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves.
(x2)

We are His portion and
He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption
by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns
violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
OH, how He loves
(x2)

Yeah, He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves.

Yeah, He loves us
He loves us
He loves us
He loves.

Yeah, He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves

He loves us,
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves

 

Much bigger and stronger than any storm…

Image

“Every storm, no matter how big and strong, passes eventually.
Just know and remember that your spirit is much bigger and
stronger than any storm that comes your way, and that all
storms will fall apart long before you ever would.”

— Doe Zantamata

 

Image credits: http://favim.com/orig/201106/08/girl-poland-red-storm-summer-umbrella-Favim.com-68475.jpg

Musings over the grave

Yesterday, we visited my uncle’s grave to pay our respects and pray for all the demised members of our family from my mother’s side. It was a peaceful time reminiscing about his life and sharing this moment with my relatives. Even if it is All Saints’ Day and not yet All Souls Day, it has been a tradition to visit the cemetery and spend the day in solemn prayer in the company of family members.

I realize that indeed, time is quickly passing and fading right before our eyes. Especially with this year’s two deaths in my father’s side, it is difficult losing your loved ones and even if it has happened months ago, I know there is still pain. Somehow I wished I was in our province right now to remember this day at their graves. Praise God we still have each other to give comfort and pray that all our loved ones and the lost souls in the purgatory may rest  in peace.

While my mom and sister were talking to our relatives, I looked around at people on how they are also spending this day in this place. I also glanced at some of the graves and gave a short prayer, hoping that they will receive a visit from their living loved ones. As I peer at the dates etched on the graves, I could not help but wonder if these people were able to celebrate life to the fullest or brought secrets and regrets to their deaths. I thought about why some had to die so young while  some seemed to have been forgotten by friends or family. Well, who knows? These things, they are always part of His Divine plan.

I remember the quote from Mitch Albom’s latest novel, The Timekeeper, when Dor asked the old man about why God limits the time of people on earth.  The story is riveting, involving about a person who counted time but never truly lived it, an old but rich man who wanted more time, and a hopeless romantic who wanted less of time. I realize that yes, God limits the days to make each moment precious. It is a hard truth to realize that when people who matter in life cease to exist that begin to understand and wished that we should have done more for them.

As I removed myself away from these thoughts, I caught my relatives engaged in conversation about our annual family reunion. I realize that life on earth is temporary, and we really should make an effort to enjoy it, just like getting excited about the family reunion. I’m getting pretty chummy about it because that is the occasion that I look forward to right after Christmas and before New Year. It is when almost all of the relatives in my mother’s side gather in one place and have fun over food, games, gifts, and just being together, not to mention that this year, we might celebrate it right in our own home.

It is an amazing life after all.