Christmas

Merry Christmas, Jesus!

5:31 AM

It’s December 26 here in MNL! I can’t believe Christmas is over! We just got home from visiting relatives and am so tired. The girls (my sisters) are asleep and Dad too…but Mom is busy preparing what to wear tomorrow. They’ll be leaving for Batangas in a few hours together with my aunt, uncle and sis.

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Christmas this year has been busy and fun! Since my sisters and Dad had colds, Mom and I had to do all the cooking for Christmas eve dinner. There’s a service in church on Sunday morning and we went to visit relatives after. The day was filled with laughter and fun. My cousins and I had a great time joking around and talking about a lot of things. I was the noisiest. I think I’m the happiest “cousin” today. LOL :)

 

But amidst all the hype, all the carols and all the laughter…deep in my heart I’m searching for more. I know Christmas means so much more.

For the weeks that has passed, I desired in my heart for the Christmas eve dinner to be offered to Him. My heart broke at the thought that people—including me, of course--forget why they’re partying and cooking, and eating after all.:)

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I wanted to cook for Him and prepare like how we prepare for family members who celebrate their birthdays. I wanted this year’s Christmas celebration to be different from all other celebrations we’ve had. I wanted to make “handa”  for Jesus and not for us.

 

So yesterday, when the salads were done and  I was making the last item on the menu, I was praying and I said “Lord, it’s already You’re birthday!” I was excited because it’s the first time I wanted to intentionally make food for Him. And since I never asked Jesus what He wanted for His birthday, I began to ask.

 

And then I realized the food I was making wasn’t what He desires. He wanted more than the celebration. He longed for more than my preparation and the party hat.

 

Because…

He wanted me. What He wanted was me.

 

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I stopped right there to let the thought sink in and tried my best to hold back the tears. For while I was busy preparing, while I thought of bringing the most thoughtful offering… deep in His heart, Jesus just wanted to spend time with me. No other Christmas gift from me would matter to Him-- if my heart is busy,if I am far away.

 

And so today, I am humbled and my heart rejoices as I quiet my heart and pray. This is what my heart is longing for after all. I want to spend time with Him, too--on His birthday.

”Happy Birthday, Lord. Merry Christmas!”

Photo Source:

1,2,3

A Little Word For The Day

3 Days To Christmas: Thankful

3:39 PM

I saw this quote on Pastor Tim Dilena’s Facebook and I find it so funny!

 

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When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings with toys at Christmastime. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? —G. K. Chesterton

 

I really didn’t know Chesterton had this sense of humor. LOL But I was struck with the truth in this short word.

At Christmastime, we rejoice and celebrate. We delight in pretty lights and beautifully wrapped gifts. We are thankful to those who thought of us, those who remembered us to bake us a sweet treat or buy us a good toy. And sometimes we forget the God who has blessed us with the things we need the most, with what’s really essential.

 

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It’s so sad because God fades in the background at Christmastime, when it’s supposed to be His day, when it’s suppose to be His celebration.

 

But we can change that, right? We can go back to basics of it all and rejoice because we have a God who loves us and takes care of us.

 

I may not have much on my Christmas stockings (well, I’m already 24 years old. lol) and it’s my tiurn to fill Christmas stockings for cousins, nephews and nieces but God has filled my life more than I have ever asked Him to. He has filled my life with love and hope and I am so, very grateful.

 

Merry Christmas! Smile

Photo Source:

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Christmas

4 Days To Christmas: Reflections

12:23 AM

I can’t believe how time flies really quick… it’s 4 days till Christmas and the year is almost over! Wow!

Before I begin with my stories and updates, I would like to apologize (I’m really sorry) for being absent from the blog for so long and without notice. I know I should’ve dropped a note or something. Yay!

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{Jesus and Me! ^^}

Honestly, early in the last quarter of the year, I was struggling in my heart (will tell you about it in another post), but it was also the time when God came so unexpectedly, and in an unbelievable way. He has done great miracles and renewed my hope and enlarged my faith. There were things I waited for a long, long time and for a while I even doubted that God would make it happen.

But now the waiting is over. I mean, there are still a lot of things I’m waiting and hoping for…but at this season of my life, I cannot doubt that God makes things beautiful in His own time.

Sometimes, that “time” seems like forever in coming, but when it’s here, when it’s “now”, you just can’t believe how God moves and He just surprises you. First because you know it’s undeserved, second because you know it’s out of His overflowing, passionate love. I feel so bad for the time I resented and doubted. He has never forgotten. When He denies something, it is always because He has something better—no, grander—in mind, or maybe it just isn’t time yet. Smile
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This Christmas, my family and I, we’re celebrating in a different  way, in a way we haven’t done before. We celebrate with bigger faith. With rejoicing. Because our hearts know that God keeps His promise to His people. We know that He is beauty. We know that He is faithful. We know that His promises are true.

I really got so much to tell you. And I’m also excited because I know the Lord will also do for you what me and my family has experienced before the year ends. We just have to hang on wherever situation we’re at because it’s true that the sun always shine in the morning. Rejoicing always comes in the morning.

How are you celebrating Christmas this year?

What are your holiday reflections? What could Jesus be telling you through the season? Smile

Merry Christmas, my dear friends!

Photo Source:
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hope

Mercies in Disguise

11:41 PM

I was listening to this song the whole afternoon and it spoke right through my heart--I cried so much! ^^

 

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Don’t we sometimes forget that blessings don’t come only in sweet, candy-like forms, but even our unanswered prayers are gifts from a loving and caring God who wants nothing than the best for us?

 

I really don’t want to write very long today so you could just enjoy the song. I know you must’ve heard this before but a nice reminder today.

 

Good night everybody!

 

 

Blessings-Laura Story

Forgiveness

A Little Word For The Day: When It’s Hard To Forgive

1:08 PM

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“One forgives to the degree that one loves.”

I read this quote online tonight and I love it so much.

 

Here on the blog, I wrote many times about being the one asking for forgiveness, but tables do turn, right? Time comes when it’s our turn to forgive and forget and show mercy. { I sound like a judge… lol}

 

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Seriously, I was wondering which is harder: to ask for forgiveness or to be the offended person who needs to forgive. While it’s really hard and painful to realize you’ve hurt someone you love, I think nothing beats the pain of being the one who’s truly hurt by a person you love dearly. {They’re both painful, but being the one who gets hurt is sometimes the harder position to be in--heavier in the heart and forgiving isn’t always as easy as it sounds, isn’t it?}tumblr_lr4ge4mpp61qi8s83o1_500

 

But then I think of Jesus. I think of God.  I wonder how could He forgive that easy. We hurt Him. We break His heart. Many, many times. We refuse listen to Him and we disobey His commands. And yet He still takes us back. He still forgives. Like the father who patiently waits for his prodigal son to come home. Like the loving father who quickly runs at the sight of his repentant son from afar.

 

I know only one reason behind that quickness to pardon and forgive.

faith

3 Kinds of Friends Every Person Should Have

10:18 AM

Our house was full of friends last weekend and it was so refreshing and heartwarming, the smile in my heart wouldn’t go away!

 

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Isn’t a blessing to have people around you—people who love you and care for you and whom you love and care about too?

 

I remember in my Biblical Studies class back in college, Pastor Mans talked about 3 kinds of people (3 kinds of friends) every Christian should have in his life. It was one of those lessons I really never forgot.

 

Take a look at this sweet excerpt I saw again last night. Smile


Every Christian should seek to have these 3 individuals in their life: a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.

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A Paul is an older man who is willing to mentor you, to build into your life. Not someone who's smarter or more gifted than you, but somebody who's been down more of the road than you. Somebody willing to share his strengths and weaknesses--everything he's learned in the laboratory of life. Somebody whose faith you'll want to imitate.

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A Barnabas is a soul brother, somebody who loves you but is not impressed by you. Somebody to whom you can be accountable. Somebody who's willing to keep you honest, who's willing to say, "Hey, man, you're neglecting your family, and don't give me any excuses!"

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A Timothy is a younger man into whose life you are building. For a model, read 1 and 2 Timothy. Here was Paul, the quintessential mentor, building into the life of his protege--affirming, encouraging, teaching, correcting, directing, praying.

It’s so nice to think how none us could walk this faith alone, but we need people to walk with us along the way. There are times we would need others to be there for us and there are times when it’s our turn to share, to help out and encourage.

 

Do you have these three people in your life presently?

 

 

Photo source:

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A Little Word For The Day

A Little Word For The Day: Keep Your Eyes on The Prize

6:50 AM

Since the day we started to move I’d been listening to Sara Groves’ new album ‘Invisible Empires’ in the evening when I’m alone upstairs and everyone has fallen asleep.

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One song that I really love to play and repeat over and over is this song called ‘Eyes on The Prize’, which is a remake of the old civil rights version.

 

What struck me the most about the song is its message to keep pressing on and holding on no matter what we may be going through right now, and to keep our eyes on what’s ahead—on what really matters.

 

When The Road Gets Rocky

Sometimes, when things get really hard while we work for the Lord, we get so discouraged and we lose sight of the prize. We forget that  this is not “it” and there’s eternity waiting for us. We forget about His promise.

 

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When I was younger, I thought that I really didn’t need any reward when I get to heaven because being with the Lord is enough and it is reward in itself. I mean, Jesus is really the reward of heaven and it’s true and He is my reward forever... But as I grew older, in fact, just now, I realized  the value of the ‘prize’ and ‘reward’ that the Lord will give to those who serve him.

 

Everyday Life

A Simple Woman’s Daybook: It’s A New Day

5:08 AM

FOR TODAY


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It’s drizzling and the dawn’s pretty and quiet. Everything is still and not a single leaf is moving. It’d be cool to walk on the streets—it would look like you’re in a Korean drama (of course, minus the Kwon Sang Woo. lol) I’m also starting to get used to the new view. And yes, I’m looking outside the window of our new house. We’ve moved!

 

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I am thinking

about dreams. I realized I have to quit chasing after the smaller dreams I have in my heart in exchange for that one big dream that I know God is calling me to do. In fact, I realized I tried to be  content with these “smaller” dreams because I was afraid of the big dream.

 

But we really have to be courageous and take that leap of faith or we’re missing out on what God wants to accomplish through our lives—not that we have to be courageous in ourselves, but to find our courage in our Big God, the One who planted those dreams in our hearts. Right? Winking smile

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I am thankful

for every blessing that I have in my life right now. God is so, so good and this verse is coming to life in my life right now—after the long desert season.

 

Forget what happened long ago! Don't think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.

Isaiah 43:18-19


In the kitchen

Oh, I don’t know what we’ve got in the kitchen! Since we’ve started to move, I’ve never eaten a home-cooked meal. We’ve been  ordering stir-fried noodles from the local noodle shop or making salted duck eggs with tomatoes—which are both YUMMY!

 

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I am wearing

Pyjamas. In pastel polka dots. lol

 


I am creating

I just printed out my mini card (calling card) last night! But I think it’s funny and I don’t have the guts to hand it out to friends or to new ones I’ll be meeting.  It’s got a big picture of my face on the front page! lol

 


I am going

to go fix myself a glass of milk. Hungry.

 

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I am wondering

why the neighbors’ dogs love to bark at 2am. Yes, almost all of our neighbors own a dog and they bark in chorus every morning. Really funny.


I am reading

Bruce Wilkinsons’ The Dream Giver.

 


I am looking forward to

to meet with girlfriends on Monday! Yey! We’re having a little breakfast party. Smile

 

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I am hearing

Rain water falling  from the roof. The rain had just stopped though and it’s really a beautiful morning. Winking smile


Around the house

Everything is still in boxes and bags. Still got a lot of unpacking to do.

 

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One of my favorite things

is my pocket journal (which is full now! Only one page remaining!) and my little prayer box where I keep prayers requests. And creamy drinks! I’m lovin’ chocolate milk like a kid again!

 

A few plans for the rest of the week:

 

Grocery shopping and find a good breakfast menu for the girls and,

just to keep everything in order around the house.

Happy Saturday! Have a great weekend ahead!

 

Photo Source:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

crafts

Sweet List: DIY Paint Swatch Chandelier Tutorial

3:19 AM

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The other day, I saw this lovely DIY Chandelier Tutorial on Hey Gorgeous using paint swatches. I can’t wait to try it out and use it to decorate my room! So pretty---and easy!

I love Hey Gorgeous for Rhi’s pretty and easy DIY craft tutorials like the

Tissue Covered Luminaries and Ribbon Wands pictured below. The luminaries would really look good in our new home and my Mom would definitely love it!

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I hope one day I can make pretty tutorials like this to post up on the blog.

 

Anyway, here are the links for you to check out if you are inspired and feeling craft-y.

 

Have a great day!

 

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1. Paint Swatch Chandelier

2. Tissue Covered Luminaries and

3. Ribbon Wands.

faith

Spring in October: Even When Things Don’t Happen Your Way

8:19 AM

Ay, my dear friends! It has been a very busy month. My September and October have been full-packed and I sleep like l live in the west. I  sleep when it’s bedtime in NY and early morning in MNL. {So if my friends in NY are wondering why I’m always available on chat, yeah, the reason is work.}

 

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But, I am extremely happy and joyful for what God has been doing the past few weeks.

 

I wrote in a previous post that that September for me this year was a season of beginnings. Not only because September is my birthday month but because God brought me to a different place other than what I’ve planned.  And it was really like riding a plane to a destination of your choice but God brings you somewhere else. He makes the plane land in a different airport.

 

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At first I was so scared and my heart raced because I didn’t know where God was leading me or why was He denying me the things I badly wished and hoped for. It’s hard when you were planning this and you were working hard for that but it just wouldn’t work out. And there were times I wondered if God really cared about my heart and if the desires of my heart mattered to Him. I was really hurt and broken and didn’t know where to go.

 

But ultimately, it’s for the greater good.  He just knows where you’re supposed to be, where you would grow and where you love Him more…where you would shine His light the brightest. And isn’t that our ultimate goal? Isn’t that what we live for? To give glory to One who made us?

 

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And now I see His hands moving, taking me to places I never thought I would go... and it just blows me away. I told a friend  that  sometimes, when God moves, you get so surprised and you can’t say anything. You just stand in awe and you can’t believe He’s giving you things you never even dared to ask for.  He gives you far greater things than your heart and mind can hope for.

 

And I know He’s just beginning.

 

 

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And I know He he also has great plans for you,too,  my friend! You just have to believe and hold TIGHT to what He has told you. God has so many good thoughts for us. We just have to trust Him. We just have to trust that He loves us and desires nothing that would harm harm us. He wants to give us the best.

 

This is one of my favorite quotes from Elisabeth Elliot and  this totally makes sense to me today.

 

God never witholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful — “severe mercies” at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.” — Elisabeth Elliot

 

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So It’s spring in my heart… spring in October. Spring even though it’s fall. Because my God is the God new beginnings. And He gives beginnings regardless of season—even in summer, winter or fall. And because His love is enough. More than enough reason to keep me smiling, and happy, and joyful! I know my God is great and He has great things in store for me.

 

I’m ending with a quote from a friend, from his status on Facebook this morning after his plane landed in San Diego, very much far away from his destination.

 

I hope you get inspired to and keep on believing that no matter where we are, no matter our circumstance, God makes sense of it all. His love is enough reason to keep trusting that even though we are where we are right now, He will bring us to places greater that we have imagined before.

 

Have a great day!

 

I won't find myself and my happiness at my next destination; for it is right here in this moment, of existence: just to be a child of God.

At a deserted airport waiting for a bus. Perfect. –Jonathan Otto

 

Photo source

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

interior design

Poppy Felt Pillows

8:28 AM

Up


My sisters and I are excited talking about interior design (Got some good news to share with you before the year ends) and we’ve been talking about what colors to pick… Both of them already have detailed ideas in their minds, while I’m still working with my imagination…and I still need to research .

And I saw these cute, colorful coral and bright yellow pillows on

Jilly Bean Things today. I love textured pieces and colors that instantly brighten up my mood. Seeing pretty colors on a seemingly bad day cheers never fails to cheer me up. Do you like bright colors as well?

 

Thank you, Lord for colors!

Everyday Life

Nothing Can Stop You From Singing

4:41 PM

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This afternoon, I heard a familiar song playing on the radio. I was excited because it has been over a year since I heard that playing in the local Christian radio station. It was one of my favorite songs during my early college days and it really brought back pretty memories, not only because the song was good, but because the singer who sang it really inspired me as young lady.

I was  on the bathroom when my sister Ava called me saying “Ate, Kuya Matt is on the radio!”. And I was much excited to listen as much as she did. Hearing Matt sing again was really a pretty thing (and a nice surprise for my boring day today. lol). I smile because hearing him hitting those notes makes me think he is still alive today.

*Ate means older sister and Kuya is older brother in Filipino.

 

But he is still alive today! He is alive and well today!

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I looked up to Matt because of his big dreams and for his courage to pursue them. And I really wondered why God took him at 26, of lung cancer. If he was able to fulfill his dreams, more people would be inspired.

But I realized God did more for him that just fulfill his dreams. If Matt is singing now in His presence, wouldn’t that be the greatest honor for singer?  And I, who looked up to Matt, who’s listening to his song today, who knows his story… I am inspired too, not just to fulfill my earthly dreams, but to look forward to what’s ahead and to trust that whatever God allows to come into my life is His good and perfect and will.
God gives us better things than what we can think of.

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So when your dreams don’t happen the way you planned it…

When you wonder why God wants to bring you to another place you really didn’t planned to go…

When you look at the broken pieces and you don’t know how to put them all together again…

When you can’t find a reason to sing…

Just remember that in Him… for those who love Him… He makes all things work together for good. He has greater plans and wants to bring you to greater places…all because He loves you. You are His child and He wants the best for you.

And nothing can stop you from singing—because God gives you every reason to sing.

I'm thanking you, God, from a full heart,
I'm writing the book on your wonders. 
I'm whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;
      I'm singing your song, High God.
Psalms 9:1-2
Good day!

Photo credits:
1, 2, 3

Colors

Dreamy Lavender Wedding

6:49 AM

I found this pretty wedding inspiration on Style Me Pretty {and no I’m not getting married. lol}. But I think this how my dream wedding looks like. Simple. Rustic. Flowery. And Dreamy.

 

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I really love the lavender farm setting and the lady painting on the field. Very peaceful,  quiet and lovely. And the honey jars—sweet!

 

But I wonder if there are lavender farms in the Philippines? lol

 

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{All Images from Style Me Pretty.}

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{Decors and design by Dreamy Whites.}

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{Photography by by KT Merry }

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