Friday, December 20, 2013

Gifts come in Different Packages

Despite the brutality of the world and all those catastrophes that hammered many parts of the universe, I still believe God has never abandoned people, His love for humankind is eternal,  we only need to recognize the beautiful things we see in the environment to feel His presence.  

I felt God's presence in so many ways, in the morning when I wake up and see the beautiful horizon, in the afternoon after work when I feel the soft tang of the air, in the evening when I drift to sleep and feel the stillness of the surrounding and when I go outside and come home very safe. It's amazing how I feel so at peace and calm despite the chaotic life in the Metropolis and that's grace which only God can provide. And with that, I am truly grateful.

As the year 2013 prepares to bid goodbye, I want to reminisce all the heavenly gifts I'd received this year and how each blessing inspired me to carry on amidst occasional blues. I thoroughly found my balance in life.  You see, each year, God gave us so many chances to experience the wonders of the world and feel His goodness through the kindness of people in our surroundings.

GIFT OF RECONNECTING

In life, sometimes we have disagreements and arguments with the people closest to us, which at times become the root of apathy. From trivial to massive disputes, these issues often gotten to our nerves and triggered ire and resentment. Though clashes are normal (the only people who don’t argue are dead people according to American Psychologist, Dr. Leo Buscaglia), it becomes unhealthy and injurious to our relationship with others, especially to friends, if we allow it to remain unsettled. Gift of forgiveness and being able to forgive genuinely is the most honorable duty a true Christian should practice.

I am glad I was able to reconnect with a friend whom I had a row at the first quarter of this year. Being able to re-establish a connection and forget all those petty squabbles is somehow relieving, making the end of the year very peaceful. It offers an enduring sense of importance and worth. I cannot thank him enough for being so nice to me through all these years, despite my stubbornness at times, he always put up with me.  Thank you so much!

GIFT OF FREEDOM

Singlehood offers an immense freedom and independence, isn’t that enough to consider a precious gift from God? Being able to explore the other side of life, establish individuality and recognize important things that matter in the long run, are the roses of being single.

While it echoes so many advantages, stereo-typed individuals--you know those people who are still breathing the ancient creed of the middle ages that men and women with normal heartbeats must, by tragedy or by ecstasy, get hitch or suffer the humiliation of the society—perceived it the other way, they stupidly thought that being single for so long is a curse rather than a blessing. I don’t share their gone-with-the-ages belief though, I always look things on the brighter side of life and recognize it as part of God’s grandest plan.
Explore. Dream. Discover. ^____^

Once, I'd read a beautiful book, Confession of an Impatient Bride, of Rissa Singson-Kawpeng, Editor-in-Chief of Kerygma magazine, about the value of “waiting”, where she illustrated clearly why at a certain point, God let us wait longer than expected, it helped me understood clearly God’s omnipotent will. “"Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses". (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11), my friend would pronounce it more assuringly “His (God) time is always perfect” :-D

GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP

I made so many friends this year, enjoyed their company and widened my perspective in life. When I decided to move here in Manila some months back, I was uncertain what I would be getting, what disasters (laugh!) await me and how to handle the risks and challenges I would encounter. When I got a new job, despite the costly living, difficulties of traveling and the huge amount of adjustment I adopted, I felt lucky to be blessed with another experience to count and new people to meet. 

I moved to the bustling avenue of Taft, just across De La Salle University, and shared a two-storey house with five colleagues: Maam Cindy, Fe, Aida, Ate Anette and Ate Liza. They're very supportive, accommodating and extra generous. They treated me so well as if we've been friends for years! I enjoyed being with them, laughing and sharing stories about our work at the end of the day. We had a nice dinner last December 18, Maam Cindy distributed a gift to each one of us, so touching! Thank you everyone for the gift of friendship!

With one of my colleagues, Maam Cindy Joaquin
from Maam Jemma Rubite 
(Authentic Honey Soap & Massage Oil, exclusive products from Ilog Maria Bee Farm-Tagaytay, and Victoria Secret body spray)

GIFT OF COURAGE

For decades, I’d kept myself very safe in one corner, never tried anything that might compromise my welfare and never plunged myself into ambiguities, afraid I might ruin the significant thread of my life in despair. When I read a thought-provoking quote “A life that is put on a safer side is a life that has not lived by”, I began reassessing my purpose and existence. Why not try to get my hands dirty and cross the ocean of uncertainties? I might discover something eventful and extraordinary on the other side of the shore.

By then, I had pondered on the memorable line I read from the eulogy delivered by Mona Simpson for her brother, Steve Jobs:

"Steve was never embarrassed of working hard even if the results were failures".

I figured, it’s better to encounter failure and defeat than let years passed without even trying, I might be spending the golden years of my life in regrets and "what ifs" if I would never try at all which is more remorseful than the idea of failing. So I closed my eyes and made a brave decision to leave my comfort zone while there's enough time to seize opportunities.


Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover” - Mark Twain

GIFT OF DISCOVERY

I discovered so many things beyond my station this year.

I was able to take a memorable adventure into beautiful places and discovered the grandeur of life outdoor. Hongkong, Macau and Boracay are some of the most stunning holiday getaways I'd visited this year. 

At the Avenue of Stars, Victoria Harbor, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hongkong
We only discovered this area while strolling around Hongkong Museum
of Art. Had not for our curiosity and eagerness, we would never discover this spot.

I discovered that I can walk through the thick crowd without being intimidated or feared someone would “assault” me. I’ve learned also that traveling alone is not scary as long as you’ve a clear sense of direction. That fears of everything are only in our minds and none of it will ever come true if we have a strong faith in God.

I also learned that the things that can truly make me happy are the ones I often ignored in the past—going home to the province during the holidays, quiet life in the countryside and a good laugh with best friends.


There you go! The greatest blessings I received this year. 

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