New Year Ramblings

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Hi everyone! Happy New Year!!! :) I hope that all of you guys had a great time celebrating the new year whether it be with your friends or families. I did had a mighty fun time being with my family at our province in Quirino and it’s always refreshing to be at home…doing nothing but sleep all day long..haha! I hope that was truly the case for me but I spent my holidays travelling through and fro my Grandma’s house back to my Dad’s since my little brother wanted to visit her, then do grocery shopping, then had to do general cleaning in our house {because,well new year.already.} So yes, it was a kinda busy holiday vacation but still I enjoyed it simply because of the goodness and favor God brought even in the littlest things that happened during my time off.

And now, I’m back to work…and there’s kinda lot of things (STILL) that I have to get fixed, like my broken laptop (long stooorryyy..) and other things but I thank God that today I get to have a easy schedule..so I’m here able to process some thoughts with the new year and all…

P.S. Interesting how we can have a lot of deep thoughts sometimes, no? Hehe I noticed that with myself lately, since I mentioned that I was always on the road lately…and you know when you’re in the car and you watch the scenery outside your window…you fall into deep thoughts..well, that’s the case for me! Haha And I realized how I’ve been blogging less and less as 2014 went by (oops, sorry!) and remember how blogging…or writing actually had helped me process my many many many thoughts. So, yeah, here I am trying to get back on my writing zone and process some thoughts. I would actually understand if at the end of the first paragraph above, you’ve closed my tab already since this introductory thing’s turning out to be soooo long. And I’ve been using lot’s of “soooo” I’m getting irritated myself, ha! So (again!) let’s have some thought processing, shall we?!

Okay, as I was listening to the message for today’s Worship Service, I thought that it really cuts deep into the core of what all the things we dive in each and every time new year comes–RESOLUTIONS.

Many times, we resolve to not do some of the things we have been doing the past year anymore, like…

..i will not sleep late, i will not wake up late, i will not be late, anymore.

..i will not curse anymore.

..i will not drink softdrinks anymore.

..i will not….

or maybe do things, finally, this year…

..i will do excercise.

..i will go on diet.

..i will go to Church more.

..i will…

Oh well, honestly, I write them down too..problem with this is, we can’t just sustain it..to last the whole year, not unless we resolve to do the only thing that will make us keep all these resolutions or faith goals not only for the year, but for good…and that is resolving to HONOR GOD.

Honoring God means putting Him above everything and anything else. It means a total abandon just so we could obey Him and please ONLY Him.

Many times, we say we do honor God…but only with our lips. The passage of Scripture that was shares was in Mark 7:6-7.

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

True isn’t it? Many times, we honor Him and resolve to do things for Him when in fact when we do a heart check, it’s not truly for God…it’s always been centered on us and our desires.

And so, my personal prayer as I start a brand new year this 2015 is that…as I write down my faith goals and resolutions for the coming year, may it come from a heart that loves God. That I would step out in faith to see things happen in my life and be able to have breakthroughs only because I want to please Him and only Him…not men, not me, not anyone else..but Him. :)

So…that’s my two cents worth of thought for the new year. Happy New Year guys!

Also, our Church is having a series about Honoring God for the next five weeks. To listen to podcast about the message, click here.

Love,Anj.

The Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas everyone! :)

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December 25, 2014 | 12:45am

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!! The clock turned midnight here in my side of the world and as I was the only person who’s still awake in our house, I got to have the special moment to sit on our living room…slow down from all the festivities and whatnot of the season…and take the time to reflect just what this Christmas season has been and how have I been taking it in my heart this year.

I realized I’m being quick to lean on the sad side of how things have turned out “for me” this season…my brother not being able to come home for Christmas…things not being they used to be in the past…not having this or that..and then it hit me that I’ve been evaluating my “Christmas Experience” based on my circumstance once again..that just how I haven been so quick to see things that aren’t perfect looking in my situation, I have also been so quick to forget the Most Perfect Reason for celebrating the season…

And so, let me be now quick to type away couple things I had to remind myself basing from this reflection:

CHRISTMAS IS NOT ABOUT:

– gifts I receive…or give for that matter. {I know…cliche. But, if I am to be honest to myself, I’ve been truly calculating just how happier this Christmas season is compared to last year basing on how much more gifts I’ve received or given. ps. Yep, this season they say is the season of giving but I believe this shouldn’t be that only season we should give out gifts to the people around us, amiright? :) }

– Christmas “vibe” aka decorations and all its shenanigans. {I guess being in a country with a Christmas calendar that starts at September 01 has its great points and not so great points…because yes, decors and all represents that we are celebrating, but when these decors becomes my reason for celebration I think I have missed the whole point. So yeah, decors or no decors, I can celebrate this season.}

– people around me. {I believe this mindset was the hardest one to break in me…and I believe God is still breaking it–that Christmas is ultimately about being with family…hard to swallow, right? Because what happens when you get separated from your kins this Christmas? Will that make the essence of the season any less significant? What about Jesus who got separated from His Father on the very first Christmas? Hmmm…I thank God that He continues to renew our minds and patterns it according to His Word. I believe being with family is important…but being with them or not being with them shouldn’t be the real reason for our celebration this season…it should still be about..say it with me…JESUS. :) }

After all these reminders God had to pound in my heart, I felt more secured…knowing that in whatever circumstance or place I may found myself in this season or in the future, I can have a MERRY CHRISTMAS because God has made his dwelling in me already…He is my Emmanuel, our Emmanuel…our Jesus…and that should alone be our enough reason to celebrate this season…<3

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Happy birthday, Jesus!!! <3

A special day that was.

I celebrated my 23rd birthday last July 16 and I still feel overwhelmed with how I truly felt so special and loved during that day! I don’t know about you friends, but I consider birthdays truly memorable because this was that special day you were born into this world! Oh, what great hope could have held! And so I believe every birthday should be celebrated remembering of those hopes and destiny God has breathed in us as He has sent us out into this world.

This birthday celebration was truly epic! From waiting with my housemates until the clock strike midnight and I was surprised with korean birthday songs and that awesome sparkly birthday candle that wouldn’t just die out then battled those ants who thought they owned my birthday cupcake then waking up and feeling so blessed and crying with my girls because Colbie Caliat’s new song “Try” is just so heart warming, then basked all day long in the love of God while I prepared for a preaching, to riding a tricycle then having those moments when you realize just how blessed you are, to getting suprise cakes and gifts after the other, to doing the best job ever and preaching before the young generation and setting them up for the great destinies that God has for their lives, to more surprises and silly video greetings like those from India, Papa P and Coco Martin (!!!) that the workmates lovingly downloaded for me, to talking with an old friend from another side of the world who bought a cake for me, to snapping endless selfies and groupies and churfies and whatnot, to praying for friends and being prayed for, to those mushy moments I felt like tears won’t just keep flowing, to loving and loved in return, to blowing more cakes and whispering birthday wishes, to taking the night cap with friends to the most relaxing farm house of the most generous church mates, to eating the most delish dinner prepared by the best colleagues in the world, to having brown outs and playing cards and singing songs to our hearts content then the clock strike midnight again and to my surprise another gift was given. And oh, did I mention there was a typhoon in the middle of it all? Haha! Thinking about how that day happened, I can’t help but raise my hands up and thank my awesome God who made it all possible for me. For this I know, none of these things I can ever deserve but because of His great love, He deemed me worthy. 

So as I thank my precious friends, loving family and even those sweet strangers who made my day memorable, I want to give it all back to my God, my sweet Jesus, my Great Savior who have watched over my from Day zero until now…thank you Lord for all these things you have given me and for the greatest gift when Love was hung on a tree. 

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Hi, stranger…

I decided to have my day-off this week in my mom’s hometown and spend time with my grandma who celebrated her 84th last March 5! (Happy birthday, Lola! ♥)

Just looking at that number truly amazes me how God has proved to be so faithful in her life and how He continues to sustain her even to her old age.

I’m just super overwhelmed with gratitude to God for blessing me with such a loving and caring Lola who is indeed one of my greatest inspiration and hero in life.

The weather was just so perfect to simply relax and hang around with my Lola and Aunt (whom my sibs and I call Mama).

There was that cool wind that made you forget the scorching heat of the summer and made you just want to sit back and savor every minute of this must needed day-off from work.

One of our Pastors from Church once said that we don’t work so we can have rest but we rest so we can work. I love that and I thank God for that amazing truth! I believe that realization would put things in proper order when it comes to work and play.

It’s good to have a good grasp of the things that we NEED to do (rest) so we can do the things we HAVE to accomplish (work). (I hope that made sense to you…? :D)

But wait, I’m not blogging about work and rest today, so maybe you can keep a tab on me to write a proper blog about that? :)

(Back to what I was trying to write about…)

Afternoon came and I realized I had to go to the ili (town center) for an errand.

I called out to my Lola and she asked me if I was really going out with that outfit I was wearing (referring to my pambahay matching green shirt and shorts which I actually borrowed from her. I know, 84 year old’s clothing in a 22 year old woman doesn’t even put frumpy to mind, right? I definitely must stop putting in humiliating truths about me in this blog. )

I had to check myself out in the mirror and answer “Um, yes?”

And yep, off I went wearing my super tacky comfortable clothes and shrugged my Lola’s concern since nobody knows me anyway around here, right?

But as I went and about my errands and did a little bit of peeking around what’s up and about the market area, a certain thought kept pushing in to my mind.

It was this thought that why do I have this sense of being “free” to simply walk around without any care for the world whenever we are in a certain place or situation where nobody knows us or sees us.

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I don’t know about you. But, I think that it’s actually a tendency for most of us to be more loose and relaxed when it comes to unfolding our “true selves” (i.e. in my case here fashion sense) when there’s no one who knows us personally is around to give a comment or (cringe) comment about us to somebody else—when we are stranger to world around us.

Just like when we suddenly get the guts to sing our hearts out in a karaoke bar since no one knows us anyway

but chickens out when they chorus out our names to sing even that simple nursery rhyme…

or that time when you can just pour your heart and soul out to that random stranger in the plane or in a foreign place because you won’t probably see him/her again anyway…

but then always filter the things we share to the people we live or work with because we have this constant thought ‘what if they think why was I so obnoxious?’

You see, being a total stranger in a certain place or situation changes us.

It has that power to transform us into becoming a whole new person—actually, our real person, our true selves if there’s such a term.

It uncovers the mask we often times put on just so we can look like everyone else.
It wipes out the filter we like to add to our outlook because maybe people will like us more if we have it on.

It crumbles the wall we cleverly build around ourselves and let ourselves be vulnerable even for a moment because we think we’re untouchable because of the unfamiliarity of the people and place toward us.

And yet as much as this could be the happiest place for us, what with this sense of freedom to be just us, we have to admit that we will always be known at some point, always recognized at some level, and always remembered even in a distant memory…

and so with these things, we can never be truly untouchable.

Our actions and decisions, whether or not someone we know or someone who knows us is around, will always be a reflection of who we are….

We will not be able to dismiss any single hidden thought, careless word or action and deny it’s reflection of who we truly are.

I don’t know about you, but it truly does make me feel “exposed” just by realizing this.

But I get refreshed that even with this rather uncomfortable truth–that I am not just known by the people around me…

but that all my thoughts, desires, inclinations and everything in between are FULLY known by God who alone knows everything…

thus, I can be at peace.

At peace, because I know that even with ALL of my imperfections, which is a whole lot (yes, even with my fashion taste), I am also FULLY loved.

I loved how Tim Keller put it in his words:

Fully known and lovedYou see, people around us can never know us fully…thus their love will always be impartial to the things they know (or don’t know) about us.

I personally think, there will be still be that question at the back of my head, where I would wonder if this certain person would treat me any differently if he/she knew this or that thing about me…

The love of men won’t be able to secure us completely…

But the love of God?

Ah…that unfathomable, out-of-this-earth kind of love?

His love is…

Him seeing through the entire smokescreen we like to put around us,

Him knowing every struggle we have,

Him fully aware of all our hang ups and how badly we mess up,

Him who see the very depths of our hearts

and still love us the same…

So amazing, right? Nothing frees and secures me more than this truth.

That I can be just as I am and be transformed to be the best that I can be…

because I know God is that Someone who knows me fully,

yet also fully loves me.

 

 

Beautiful mornings

Pinterest - Beautiful Mornings

As I start this post, I want to make a confession…I’m not a morning person. I’m probably not your favourite person to see in the morning (think like: anything between 4:00am to erm, 10:00am{ish}—okay, stop your judging eyes.) Oh yes, I also have to wake up  for work and all but when I do so you might just probably want to get out of the way or keep your voice and energy down to the minimum because I have little tolerace during these hours…

So why did you even title this post “beautiful mornings” when you would rather sleep your bum-self off, you ask? Honestly, I also don’t know…I would probably still choose starry dark skies over that harsh and bright sun anytime (in fact, here I am with my caffeine-loaded system typing {happily and energetically} away this blog during midnight with my other owl friends housemates.) But…there has been something different, almost surreal feeling about my mornings lately…something that makes me open little by little my eyes and welcome the rays of the sun with a surprising gladness in my heart.

As I was musing about how my mornings has become more beautiful each passing day, I realized this change of heart with how I face the brand new day literally is the result of the grace that comes from God alone. I just knew that this was not because the day holds exciting things at work {which is not always the case} or that I have just woken up from a fairy-tale like dream but I realized that each morning IS beautiful because of just how awesome and great my God is!

This realization is actually more of a reminder for me with how I should view each day literally or figuratively speaking—to welcome each day with excitement to how God’s glory be displayed and gratefulness with how God has been so faithful in my life.

And so here are some few random things that make me realize how beautiful each morning is:

♡ that gentle breeze of morning air + warm sunny rays waking me up in the morning.

♡ birds happily chirping their morning song from the tree near my window.

♡ my dog, Chuckie greeting me with his good-morning-can-i-get-my-breakfast-now-please body stretch.

♡ beating my alarm clock (lol).

♡ mom as the first caller of the day asking me how I am feeling and reminding me that eating at the right time is the most important of all (mama’s girl right here).

But you know what truly makes our morning soo beautiful every single day no matter what the day holds or what happened yesterday? It is the presence of God manifest through His word. I wouldn’t even put myself open to debate with that. Hands down, with us being refreshed with the presence of God first thing in the morning is the ultimate booster of all.

Need encouragement for today? Read the Bible. Afraid or simply clueless with what the day holds? Pray. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t like a quick remedy scheme for all of life’s worry but it’s more of an everyday growing attitude of trusting who holds our day.  And honestly, this is my personal prayer for this season in my life, that I would grow knowing and trusting God. That no matter how cranky or anxious or weary or just simply broken I get in the morning because of this and that, I will trust Him because HE HOLDS MY DAY…in fact, He holds all the days of my life and He knew what will unfold in them even before one of them came to be.

I know I could hold on to God and declare my morning, even noon, and evening to be beautiful because He made all of them. Isn’t that amazing??? That with all of life’s uncertainties and drastic (sometimes subtle) changes, we can be secured and be worry-free? Because we have a God who saw and is the Beginning and the End—a God who cares, a God who sustains, a God who will never fail, a God who hears all our prayers, THE GOD who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I love this verse in Psalms…

Psalm 3-5To beautiful mornings and beyond! ♡