Beautiful Rain

Posted on July 30, 2011 by Cathy in , ,

tumblr_loicdfaF9y1qjva42o1_500

There`s a storm over Manila today. From my window, I watch the rain pour out in the darkness. The sun still hasn`t risen and because of the bright lights across the street, raindrops seem like jewels glimmering in the air.

 

Beautiful, I whisper to myself.

 

Everything is silent. I guess people are indoors making a bowl of steamy soup also looking outside their windows, marveling at the beautiful rain I`m enjoying from mine.

 

blue

And I…I`m sipping on a cup of coffee… amazed at  how could something so beautiful come out what we first perceive as gloomy and discouraging.

 

There`s only one reason. I know it`s Him. It`s because of Him. And I look outside again with a bigger smile in my face—and with a deep joy in my heart. My God makes jewels out of rain.

 

photographyx

I love staring at the rain today. It`s because I am reminded that God`s ways are different from ours. His thoughts are higher. And what we may think as ugly for the moment, is beautiful when brought under His light.

 

Because Jesus is the beauty in everything.

His presence makes everything beautiful.

Even storms. Even rain.

 

There might be darkness as of the moment.

 

The wind might be cold and biting.

 

And the sun is taking a long time in coming.

 

But there is a bright streetlight that gives you hope and changes lonely water drops into crystal jewels in the air.

 

And that bright light is God. That bright light is Jesus.

 

When you let HIS light shine in Your life,

you see jewels you never noticed before.

You see beauty you haven`t seen before.

You may not understand everything clearly,

but you find His purpose.

And you know that you are valuable.

You find His hands working.

And You find His love.

 

And I know He`s making jewels out of the storms in my life and heart. For He makes everything beautiful—in His time.

 

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:5

 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Click photo

Hello! It`s Nice To See You—Again!

Posted on by Cathy in , , ,

image

So sorry! It`s been a while!

 

The truth is, everyday I`ve been thinking of writing but I got the occasional   writer`s affliction again--writer`s block. It just happens sometimes. Without notice. One day, the words are just flowing and the next morning you wake up waiting for that flicker of inspiration to come so you could write. And it just wouldn`t come.

 

 

1

But I think God used my two-week writer`s block to step away from my computer and walk into the “quiet” life away from my internet life. And even though every day, I felt pressured to come up with something, I actually had a great time enjoying things around the house and spending time with the family. I did a lot of cooking and supermarket-ing with my Mom. Got band t-shirts printed. Window-shopped. And I was finally able to see my dentist. And did I tell you, I have this phobia of having my teeth checked. When I was a kid, on my first trip to the dentist, the little girl ahead of me cried hysterically and so my heart races every time I step into a dental clinic. :)

 

Anyway, I was wondering how you`re doing? I hope everyone`s doing well. If not, I know God is doing something behind the scenes and you just have to hang in there and trust Him.

 

…"I've never quit loving you and never will.
   Expect love, love, and more love!


And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again,
   dear virgin Israel.

You'll resume your singing,
   grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.

You'll go back to your old work of planting vineyards
   on the Samaritan hillsides,
And sit back and enjoy the fruit—
   oh, how you'll enjoy those harvests!

The time's coming when watchmen will call out
   from the hilltops of Ephraim:
'On your feet! Let's go to Zion,
   go to meet our God!'"

Jeremiah 31:2-6

Photos Credit: click photo

Sweet List: Summer Bags To Love

Posted on July 25, 2011 by Cathy in ,

1

Found these super adorable handbags and clutches from Mar Y Sol today. Very unique and summery! I love the colors and how the bags were made.

 

I was never really a fan of raffia or native bags unlike my Mom who totally loves them {they`re everywhere in the Philippines!} but with these styles, I think I love them now!

 

But I honestly find  $70+ for a native clutch quite expensive. You can have them in Manila for $20-30. But I love looking at them anyway. lol

 

Pretty!

Summer Recipes: Yummy Ice Pops and Flavored Ice Cubes

Posted on by Cathy in ,

RecipeTitle copy2

I used to love munching on ice cubes. Aaah! But CNBlue`s Yonghwa Oppa also does that… Excuses! haha {I can`t believe I just wrote “oppa” like a Korean highschool fan girl!} Anyone of you who also loves ice cubes, or am I just too weird? But with this summer heat in what`s supposed to be rainy day June, one just can`t help but find anything cold to eat—or munch on.

 

Flavored Ice cubes  are soft when you come up with a really creamy mixture or even just with fruit juice. Y-U-M-M-Y! I love that! {But I love it even when it`s just plain water.} And ice pops? Need not to say, they make me smile all the time!

 

I found these cute recipes I`m gonna try this week. Also perfect for you, my lovely friends who`s enjoying summer in your hometowns halfway around the globe.

 

Happy Summer!

 

Ice pops

 

Floral

 

Fruit Salad Ice Pop

 

Worm ICe2


Strawberry

 

PS. You can also make flavored coffee ice cubes out of coffee, tea or any  fruit juice… I like milk ice cubes in chocolate and tea. Or chocolate cubes in milk! I`ve also seen a recipe using canned fruit salad frozen into cubes and dropped in refreshing fruit juices! Mmmmm….

Of Summer Rain, Laundry and Miracles

Posted on July 22, 2011 by Cathy in ,

Aaaaack! It`s so hot in Manila today. It`s 31°C but the RealFeel®  is 42°. No wonder I`ve been having a headache since I woke up this morning. Not complaining though. Just saying…

 

harajuku-bun

But sometimes, I feel really bothered about this whole climate change thing. It has never been this hot in this part of the world—until the past couple of  years. Like at this time,  it`s supposed to be rainy season in the Philippines but it rarely even rains and feels very much like summer. Even hotter than summer. 42 Degrees? I mean, that feels like you`re in the Middle East!

 

Praying that it rains today. Even just like summer rain and not the rainforest kind of rain I`m really missing. Rain is rain!

 

But you know, I guess even if it doesn`t, there`s more reason to rejoice. This weather equals a bucket of ice cream and playing with water! Yeeee! Washing clothes in this kind of weather is coolest thing. I love playing with bubbles and water…and the scent of freshly washed clothes hanging by the clothesline…refreshing!

tumblr_ldbcycNa0w1qbqn53o1_500

So I will be heading out to the laundry area to find something to wash. My Mom would be surprised!

 

Anyway, I had a miracle this week. On my way to the bank last Monday, something got into my eye and it was really painful. A couple of days later, I got swelling on my eyelid (maybe it got scratched from the inside). I was planning to see a doctor if the swelling would not subside but this morning, it`s almost gone and as of the moment, I`m feeling a lot better. Thank God. It was just a bit frightening `cause it became painful to even blink. But God heals!

 

How about you? How have you been this week? Any testimonies?

A Little Word For The Day: His Steadfast Love

Posted on by Cathy in , , ,
-fallingstars
Growing up, we always had music playing in the house. My Mom is a music lover. And one of her favorites (which eventually became my favorite too) was this cover of an American Gospel song by a Filipino worship group. I forgot which group it was but I could never forget the lyrics. They still ring in my mind even now and I find myself singing it over and over.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning,
new every morning
Great is Thy faithfulness, Oh Lord
Great is Thy faithfulness
moco
If I`m not mistaken, those were the full lyrics of the song and it`s just repeated over and over. But they are just enough, aren`t they? Those words are enough to bring peace and to still our hearts…because we know that our Lord loves us with a love that`s so strong and never fades away. His mercy never runs out for He chooses to renew them everyday.

He is really a faithful, faithful God.

mendmyheart
I really love those words so much. They mean so much to heart like they`re cherry blossoms, sunshine and cool breeze cheering me up altogether and reminding me I`m special on a normal, ordinary morning.

His love just overflows.
Steadfast and never changing.

Instead of running out, His mercies are being renewed.

What kind of God could love like that?

He just loves me! He just loves you!

chun-jae

Lamentations 3:21-24 (NLT)

Yet I still dare to hope
      when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
      His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
      his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
      therefore, I will hope in him!”


Photo Credits: Click Photo

Modesty 101: 3 Simple Steps to A Modest Outfit

Posted on July 20, 2011 by Cathy in , , ,
gibbeunThe last time we talked about modesty, I shared a link to C.J. Mahaney`s preaching entitled The Soul of Modesty. One of those which really struck me the most was when he said that after listening to the preaching, he hopes that the ladies would try their best to apply what they heard and learned.

I know many of us girls, upon learning about modesty really want in our hearts to become modest women in the way we dress up. But it`s the application part that`s a bit hard and confusing.

Which clothes are modest? Which are not?
Is my dress showing too much skin?
Is this skirt just right, or too short?

Are there guidelines to follow about dressing up modestly?

Here are three easy steps we can do to check if our clothes are just alright.

1. The Hallelujah Test

fashionglamorous
This is basically raising your both of your hands (like how you do when on a rollercoaster). If your tee moves up and shows a bit of your stomach, then that means it`s too short or your pants are too low. The same thing goes for your skirt or dress.

2. Check your skirt, dress, and neckline if they are “revealing” when you move, sit or bend.fashionista

The most frustrating part  is to get out of the house thinking our dress is just alright until we sit down and or move to pick up something, esp. when riding public transport. (I’ve seen a lot of girls with that problematic look on their faces in public transport and old guys begin staring at them). It’s really helpful to check before we even go out the door. If your dress is long enough when you are walking but gets too short when you sit or wear your heels, you can wear leggings.

3. Ask you Dad, brother or a trusted friend about what your wear.

teen

I find it really cool that my guy friends in church and in my previous church are too gentlemen to remind the girls around about what they wear. I have this Kuya (older brother) from Cornerstone who’s so kind to tell his girl friends when something is too short or too revealing.

The godly men around you…and your Dad! They know which clothes command respect or attract undue attention. And they care about you. So go ask them before leaving the house.
***

As I end, I would like to share with you these text messages left by Christian teen guys in TheRebelution’s Modesty survey.

I really like what one of these young men said, that modesty shouldn’t be legalistic. It’s really an affair of the heart and being right with the Lord.

We girls are so deeply loved and cherished by Lord and I pray that we would know that love in even more deeper ways that we have experienced before.

Have a great day!


If you (guys)  could say one thing to your sisters in Christ about modesty, what would it be


Age 18 | First, don't be legalistic about clothing. Modesty isn't a list of dos and don'ts but a matter of the heart. Be sure you are in the right place with God and that you aren't trying to make guys stumble and you'll be fine 99% of the time. Secondly, PLEASE, talk with your parents, especially your fathers, about modest dress. Seek advice from older women in your church, your mother, older sisters who can guide you, or experienced friends.

Age 24 | Sisters in Christ, you really have no concept of the struggles that guys face on a daily basis. Please, please, please take a higher standard in the ways you dress. True, we men are responsible for our thoughts and actions before the Lord, but it is such a blessing when we know that we can spend time with our sisters in Christ, enjoying their fellowship without having to constantly be on guard against ungodly thoughts brought about by the inappropriate ways they sometimes dress.

Crystal Jewels: 1,000 Gifts

Posted on July 19, 2011 by Cathy in , ,

twinkle-8Everyday, when we wake up God splashes color and goodness around us. But we seldom get to notice. How many of us stop for a while to enjoy the sunshine? To feel the cool breeze that blows on our face, surprisingly, on a summer morning? To watch carefully as rain pour down from the sky and into the leaves and petals of the flowers that grow outside our windows…and to notice that these are jewels after all—crystal jewels that are not rare but priceless!

 

171. For new baby cousins!  We`ve got two new addition to the family, and they`re both under age one! Adorable, cutie babies!1000 Gifts3

 

Patrick copy

 

172. The good health of my family. Everyone`s healthy and feeling good.

 

173. A bunch of really good Christian friends! I don`t know what to do without them!

 

When Your Heart Is Broken

Posted on July 17, 2011 by Cathy in , ,

fallingstars2

Do you remember last month`s post about telling our hearts to beat again when discouraging, heart-numbing times come? The jumping, cheerleading thing? I really did talk to myself so many times that time and did the cheering every time I would remember the discouragement. I felt that if I would forget His promises and cling on to what He says, I would wallow in despair. lol And God is really faithful. He really didn`t let me forget. And He just held on to me. He really held me close.

 

Actually, a couple of days before that… I wasn`t feeling so much into cheering my heart to start beating and trusting and holding on. I felt like bursting into tears and just running to Daddy—to our Father in Heaven.

I really didn`t know what to do. I  wondered if he would accept me, with all the tears and the broken heart.

 

And I was reminded of a very important lesson about His character. About who He is and who am I to Him.

 

I wrote a post about it. And it`s up on Incourage! Yey! {I`m obviously so excited!} You can read that post  here.

 

in-guestwriter200x300

Join me in Incourage today!

 

If you`re heart is broken or if you just need to be reminded about God`s love and grace… know that God is always… always there. He loves you.

 

Photo credit: Click photo

Free To Be Me

Posted on July 16, 2011 by Cathy in , ,

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen

misshappypill
I was born a perfectionist. Or maybe, I grew up a perfectionist. My teachers were perfectionists. My grade school was known for raising perfectionists. And I  really thought  that perfection should be everyone’s goal! Whoa!

But deep inside, all I really wanted was to be me and not feel bad for the things I can’t do. I may not be the Cathy who can make impressive AE effects for action scenes {I do get compared to boys who are so good in blast scenes! lol}, dance or pose for the camera like my photogenic sis and I may not be everything people expect me to be. But it’s nice to be just who I am, to be who God created me to be--even if I’m not perfect and sometimes so clumsy!

I really love this song from Francesca Battistelli. The lyrics are really what’s in my heart right now.


People are not perfect and I am not perfect. And it’s useless to try to measure up to perfection. I know that whenever I try, I would definitely make mistakes sometimes. I know that even in love, I would also need to learn to forgive. That when I ride a bike, I might  get a scratch on my knee.

And it’s liberating to know that God accepts me for who I am and doesn’t asks me to come to Him only when I made myself perfect and blameless. He asks me to come and be changed. Not the other way around.

Grace. My life is all because of grace. Never measured up. Never met the standards. And yet He calls me “loved”. He loves me. God loves me.

fasaiiisflyingtothemoon

Freedom from perfection and jumping into the sea of God’s grace brings this relief to my heart and soul. I don’t need to look like anyone or act like anyone or talk like anyone to be perfect. But I could be like Jesus and  be changed by Him from glory to glory—everyday.

And so today, I give up on perfection.  I would just ask for grace to be excellent instead—in love, in being a good steward, in life, in becoming who God created me to be, in accepting who I am because He loves me--and to be willing to be changed so I would look more like Him.

Click photo for source

A Simple Woman’s Daybook | Trees and Flat Tires

Posted on by Cathy in ,

For Today

Outside my window

It’s dark outside!  I was surprised ‘cause I just woke up and thought it’s Monday morning already. But it’s Saturday afternoon. haha I slept at around 8am this morning because we got home from Laguna at 7am. Still groggy!

 

asian fashion

I am thinking

of everything that has happened last night on our way home. Our tire got flat twice! Poor driver! But God has protected us. We were not on a busy street or on the express way when it happened.

 

tumblr_lkii9zKLVa1qbgl0wo1_1280

 

I am thankful for

protection, and family and nice bonding time with my friends from church last night. I saw Oliver, too, after many months! He’s grow so much now and he still remembers me!

 

From the learning rooms

I’m badly missing my Korean lessons! I’m many lessons late. I hope I can study this week! But I’ve learned how to make GIFs. lol  I wonder why I haven’t learned this before.

Periwinkle-Banner-GIF

{I made a lot of blinkies the day I learned this. My sisters would laugh at me if  they see all the blinky icons on my desktop.}

 

glamorous_gabi

From the kitchen

Papa went to the supermarket while I was asleep and came home with ingredients for Nilaga.

 

I am creating

To tell you honestly, I’m not in “creating mode” today. Still have this little headache and pillows are calling me!

 

I am reading

on Incourage. Tomorrow’s the day! My post will be up on the site. So excited!

 

haruharu-

I am hoping

to finish everything that needs to get done tonight. Need to send messages to Jessica for Kids Church and also to Sam for Multimedia. Busy girl eh?

 

I am hearing

TV. Papa is watching  a game show. I haven’t seen this before. Must be a new show.

 

Around the house

Ava is cleaning and Viola is preparing to sleep. She wasn’t with us last night and just got home. She was on a conference hosted by the Phil. Council of Evangelical Churches.

 

shirei

One of my favorite things

Travelling with friends and stop-overs. When our tire got flat twice, we were able to talk more and take pictures under a tree…and the second time it happened, we had coffee in a nearby friend’s house. So fun! But I feel so sorry for the driver and his friends!

 

A few plans for the rest of the week

Go to the bank again {Verifying my account is taking longer than I expected}, fill up my school application papers, send my CV, and pray about making greeting cards (An opportunity opened for me to design greeting cards for a company but I’m not sure if this is what God wants me to do.)

 

Here is a picture thought I am sharingIMG_0055

I lay down under a tree last night, while the tire was getting fixed. So tired. I used my backpack as pillow. That’s my view while lying down. The streetlight was so bright!

 

 

Photo credits: click photo

3 Things This Week

Posted on July 14, 2011 by Cathy in ,
1. I`m Dreaming of Nutcracker Ballet.

I don`t know how dance, so much more to do ballet, but I`m really dreaming of someday dancing with Nutcracker and being on-stage for Nutcracker. I don`t know how would that happen but a girl can dream. haha I`ve been having funny thoughts like this since I started writing my 100 Before 100 List {100 things I want to do before I turn 100}. I still haven`t finished; still halfway. And this is really one of those fairytale dreams of mine. To dance like a ballerina. haha

 

tumblr_lhkpyyyN2C1qzgt9no1_500

2. I`m Studying CSS.

I`m studying the codes {very geeky of me!} and my first try to do an image map is an epic fail! I was really very disappointed after trying to make it work for hours but it just wouldn`t work. It involved some math and geom—I had to take the coordinates of the photos. And I had put in a lot of photos! I`m not so much into numbers so that was really an effort.  I`ll try again and I`ll let you know. Never givin` up!

 

valium

2. We`re thinking of moving.

I mentioned in my new About Me page that I live in a mountain across the river. Actually, I wish we live in a grassy kind of mountain, one with barns and all, but our little mountain is a part of the city.  It`s very busy and not at all grassy, although much of the tropical trees have been saved.  {It`s one of the major cities of Metro Manila but close to the border of a province}.

 

We`ve been living in our little place since I was born. And we`re considering to move.

 

I really am not 100% into the idea. I love our house because it`s where I grew up and a lot of memories had been made there. I really wouldn`t want to let go.

 

But it`s really impractical to stay where are `cause were 30 minutes away from church, an hour away from university, and almost a couple of hours away from the business district {also because of the heavy MM traffic}. It really takes a lot of gas and cash to travel to and fro from our fresh, green home.

 

But I`m praying that whatever it is that God wills would just happen. Anyway, wherever He is and wherever my family is is already home.

 

Sweet Day!

 

 

Photo Credits: click photo

Sweet List: My Dream Room

Posted on July 13, 2011 by Cathy in ,

I`ve never really found anything as gorgeous are this. I really love simple, clean  designs that are warm and cozy at the same time. Those that feel so clean and you can almost smell the fresh sheets just by looking. And I absolutely adore anything yellow so if all those things go together, I`m like stunned and I can`t get my eyes of the picture!

 

I would really love working and writing and drawing in a room like this!  Mai really did a great job in remodeling her room! Totally awesome! All the pieces are those I would pick myself!

 

5903077741_d4a22b72cb_b

5903636138_704c2b7971_b

5903147513_fae2757b66_b

 

5903636618_caf6083f2e_b

5903636710_6ee7e8ef67_b

5903078357_bdd2e752fb_b

5903078301_8c83b6b6f9_b

5903636888_3ca5999435_b

All photos from A Cup of Mai

Weekly Reading List 7.1

Posted on by Cathy in , ,

tumblr_li08fecSAa1qcihlyo1_500

This post from Kuya Kevin really cracked me up this morning.

Filipinos really do have gestures unique to our culture. Like raising both eyebrows to mean yes or to say “Hi” (the one Kuya Kevin wrote about) and the lip-pouting to show direction (which his reader commented about).

 

I laughed so hard imagining foreign guys who have learned Philippine culture so well pouting their lips to point direction.  Their friends and family might get a huge shock!

 

And yeah, Filipinos really do pout soooo often esp. when saying “doon” or “over there”. The lips really do follow the direction we`re pointing to.

 

I think it`s quite cute.  But so funny to think of guys unconsciously doing it in front of westerners. Hilarious!

 

Here are the links! Everything on the list this week is my favorite!

 

Filipino Gestures by Kuya Kevin

What Finding Yourself Really Means by Holly Gerth

How Ordinary You Holds Extra Value by Bonnie Gray

Dear Body by Laura Parker

Lighthouses and My Dream of Owning One

Posted on July 12, 2011 by Cathy in , ,

I opened Yahoo and this is what greeted me today:

 

image

 

Seriously? You can get a lighthouse for a bargain? Even for free like a cookie?

 

Nah. I read the entire article and some of the lighthouses still cost too much. But there`s one that costs $5000 dollars and if I had a little took much, I would`ve consider that. lol And the freebie? They only give it to historical agencies. I love history but starting an agency would take me forever!

 

So in the end, buying a lighthouse…is still and only in a girl`s dream. At least, in my dream. If you`re dreaming of building a lighthouse for the fisherman of the sea, I mean, that`s totally possible and and that`s for a really great purpose. Buying it for myself is like a little crazy and selfish, eh?

***

425118322_49d24e70b0_z

Honestly, I really thought it would really be great to own one. A lighthouse is a lighthouse. I think it`s better than owning the most priced car. Winking smile A lighthouse stands tall in an entire island. It`s the first thing you see when you come to visit. It`s bright and it gives light to dark shore and sea. Fishermen and their families don`t know what to do without lighthouses. Lighthouses are generously helping the people they serve. And When you see one, don`t you get reminded of hope, and greatness and light?

 

 

I Have A Lighthouse

When you come to think of it, we don`t need to own a lighthouse or get ourselves one because we, ourselves, are like a lighthouse.

 

2846135271_e55cfbe9d7_z

 

You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.


If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 14:6

 

I don`t need to own a lighthouse. `Cause I am one. I am a light-bearer. God called me to shine His light like a tall lighthouse in this dark world.

 

Reminds me of the Sunday School song my sisters and I loved to sing when we were kids.

 

This is the light of mine

I`m gonna let it shine

Let is shine

Let is shine

Let is shine!

 

162271692_820079b064_z

I want to carry Your light, Lord! I wanna shine Your light!

I want people to You through me. May I always shine that they may see Your glory!