Monthly Archives: September 2012

Teacher is Learning

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Learning should never be seasonal.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I read this before. Too bad, I can’t remember where. But I believe it carries truth of unspeakable wonder. Surely, it takes willingness and commitment to learn. And when one has that, one becomes more teachable.

I am having a blast. I can’t help but be inspired to be better. I want my students to enjoy learning the way I am enjoying it right now. This is probably the best schooling I had. Unlike the days I spent inside the four walls of my classroom, I don’t feel confined. There’s a different kind of freedom that invites a hungry mind to explore and not just sit still. The seminars, blogs, books and people I’ve been attending, reading and meeting these past few days were incredible. I can’t thank God enough for them. They’re making me realize that dreams can be made real. But you have to work very hard for them. They’re making me understand that learning should never be seasonal.  It is bringing me a positive perspective – something that is beaming with hope and belief that I am way bigger than what I think I am, my potential is immense, and my talents are gifts that are meant to be nourished and shared. Most importantly, this whole new experience is making me believe that truly “we’re all in this together”. Our dreams are all the same. And in our pursuit to become our best selves, we are called to lend a hand to those who are confused, struggling or maybe hesitant to take the challenge. In as much as there are people who will hurt you, make you feel small and do you wrong, there are a good number of God’s people out there who will help you, show genuine concern, and love you unconditionally. They will do good things for you for the sake of doing goodness not wanting anything in return. Thinking that there will always be friends (new and old, temporary, and long-lasting) who will walk with you towards your dreamland, the journey becomes lighter and more fun. 🙂

For a while I wanted so badly to go back to the ship again primarily because of the money. But then due to some exciting turn of events, I’m starting to find myself enjoying my stay. As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t want it to end. But then that will paint a different picture and that’s far from what should be made. There are just so many things to learn and do. There are so many people to meet and learn from. There are so many new places to see or places I’ve been to before but then I sort of want to see them again knowing they will bring new inspiration this time. I don’t know what to wish anymore. I know that He knows what’s best for me. So let your will be done.

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“Let us go into the house of the Lord.” PSALM 122:1

I’m extremely happy that you found your way home. Your presence brings me enormous joy. Many times I wished for this day to come. And now you’re here. I longed for your embrace. I wished to listen again to your stories. In those days you thought you were alone, you were hitting rock bottom, feeling hopeless and abandoned, I was there with you. I felt all your pain. I cried your tears, too. I worried for you. I fought those battles with you. It punctured my heart so deeply knowing I had to use all those trials for you to move closer to me, for you to listen to me, for you to allow me to take control. I know that your journey towards becoming a woman of courage, faith, and hope you want to be remembered for is still a long way to go. Don’t worry. I’ll always be with you. I’ll guide you. I’ll even send kind-hearted people who will help you. I can’t promise you the path will be easy. There will be more trials in the future. I can’t shelter you from all of that. But trust in me when I say that everything happens for a reason. In due time, all the pieces of your life’s puzzle will fall into place. In my grand scheme of things, all my children are bound to become champions. Don’t be afraid to let go. Trust. 🙂 Take a chance. Things will always work for the better in the end. I empower you. I anoint you. You will expand. You will be blessed. You will be richer and fuller just like what you always wanted. You will overflow with too much of my love that you will rush in sharing it with your brothers and sisters. Your stories will enrich their lives. And their stories will help you heal, too. Do things even when you’re afraid. That’s the way to grow. Think of me when you’re unsure. Think of me when you don’t know what to do. I will forever treasure you. I forgive you and I love very single part of you – the ugly and the beautiful. Cherish yourself. Love yourself so you can love others. Reach for your dreams. Those dreams I placed in your heart when you were just in your mom’s womb are meant to come true. I’ve forgiven you and all those people who hurt you. They won’t hurt you anymore. Find your joy and be free.Remember your gift of life. Live each day to the fullest. 🙂

Proud to Progress

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What to do while waiting? How do you pass the time? These questions I tried so hard to answer in the past weeks. Good thing I found what I needed to find. Yet despite the happy busy days I am now having, I can’t help but remember the months I spent on the ship. It’s been a long journey. The road towards it was richly filled with many different twists and turns. There were surprises, scary moments, trying times, and glorious hours. Having experienced them altogether, made a small part of my life synonymous to one great big adventure. As I ponder on this thought, very clearly I remember the speech I gave in the culminating activity we had for the short course I took with some fellow crew on board. The whole idea was inspired by one of Brother Bo’s talks at the Feast. It’s about doing things afraid”. These very simple yet extremely powerful words inspired me to try and to keep going.  And so I would like to share it.

 

They say that what stands between you and your dreams are your fears. And in order for you to fulfill your dreams you’ve got to have courage.

Many years ago, there was a man who had a dream. He wanted so much to save his people. But it was such a herculean task that it made him feel small. It scared the hell out of him. Yet despite that feeling, he chose to do things afraid. And so with heart pounding and knees shaking, he stood before a vast sea.  He held out his hand over it and the water divided. Soon enough the man and his brothers were walking through a solid ground. They were all lead to safety. And they were all blessed.

Like the man in the story, we too have our own seas to cross. We, too have our own battles to sweat over. And I believe that from the moment we signed our contracts and decided to work here and leave our families behind  we, too chose to do things afraid.

The past six months I spent here on board has been a great experience. It’s a mixture of everything. Some days were happy, others scary and sad. But all days whatever they may be were filled with learning –  from the ship itself and the many parts it has, its doors which look all the same to me on my first day, the stairs and the lifts, where to get the best signal, how to get the best signal, the crashing waves, fighting sea sickness, fighting homesickness. And then the people, people from different countries, working with them and making new friends, the weird accent, my Enlish. And of course the kids, the kids in the centres, making them happy, keeping them safe, writing incident reports whenever they get hurt, the search operations when they’ve gone missing, their parents, handling their complaints,  the hide and seek with them when they don’t want to sign out their kids. Also the dancing which was awkward in the beginning, the costumes, wearing high heels and makeup, wearing TC and Skipper. And then the rules which are so many, the rounds, the drills, MCA beware! 🙂 This Proud training. The life at sea. All these and more. They’re all learning for me.

And so I stand here before you better and wiser. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be here. Surely, in the near future there will be other seas to cross. No matter what, my stay here in Pacific Dawn will always be a memorable stopover. It made me realize I can.

Let us continue to take the step of courage and faith. Let us continue doing things afraid for when we do we grow, we expand, we become better people.

I’m Jennifer, I’m Filipino and I’m proud to progress. May God bless us all!


A Text From Heaven

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After so many failed tries of waking up early just so I can attend the Feast again, I finally had the much-needed strength to fight against my lazy bones and the incomparable comforts of my own bed. Hurriedly I got myself ready and took the long trip that brought me to PICC once again.

Nothing much changed. That’s good enough for me. I was welcomed by the sweet smiles of the ushers and the warm greetings of people I really don’t know. There was this air of brotherhood that never fails to amaze me whenever I am here. Everyone is inspired to be extra kinder because of the examples shown by the familiar strangers you see around you.

I finished the mass and was feeling high already. It’s the kind of ecstasy I missed while working on the ship. Being away from this has always left me somehow empty. I felt even more happier when I heard Brother Bo preached again. Two years ago, I remember coming across his blog for the first time. Indeed, Feast is one of the happiest places on Earth. You just can’t stop counting all the beautiful things you’ll learn and discover while here. Plus, you meet truly interesting people from all walks of life whose stories will inspire you and strengthen your faith in God. Then I saw, the other preachers like Brother Adrian, Brother George and of course Brother Alvin. Each of them were given 15 minutes only to bring life to the different topics under the Younique Series. The huge room was field with laughter, music, and inspiration. Each of their stories carry lessons on faith, trust, and love.

At the end of the meeting, an announcement was made. The woman in front was talking about a retreat for all singles to be held in Tagaytay. Her voice struck me.  Good timing!, I thought for this is something I really wanted to do for the longest time. I couldn’t wait to go out and sign up for it. I was seriously counting the money I had in my wallet. I didn’t have enough then. But I always thought if something is meant for me, miracles will happen.  An d so my long awaited moment finally came. I was face to face with the two women in charge. They were Sister Beng and Sister Pat. I excitedly inquired about it. I even asked them if it’s possible for me to just deposit the payment because I don’t have enough money at hand. To my horror, the two of them told me the list was already full. I was advised to wait for the next batch which might happen early next year. I thanked them and sadly went away. I wanted it so badly. I went to the toilet and fixed myself. I still could not believe I’ll be spending my weekend thinking what could have happened if I was in Tagaytay meeting new friends while happily learning about myself and the life I have. As these thoughts crazily swirls in my head, a very strange feeling went on me. I found myself going back to the table again. I was too shy to talk to them again at first. But after much thinking I finally had the courage to approach Sister Pat. I told her I know that it’s impossible but I want to take my chance. I left my number with them and asked them to text me if someone backs out. My name was put on the waiting list. I thanked them profusely after that. I went home extra glad thinking I did something to fight for what I think I deserve to have. Yet deep in my heart I felt that this is something I really have no control over. Everything is up to God. If it’s for me, I’ll get a call maybe. If not, there are other joys to be had.

And so the whole day passed. A lot of things happened. Some good, others bad.  But in the end there were still more blessings to be thankful for than bad events to gripe about. I went to bed grateful for that one day in my life. I actually went  to bed late which turned out to be a good move. As I lay my head and rested my back, I heard a familiar sound  – a beep came from my phone. I didn’t want to get it first. My eyes were tired and I really want to sleep. Good thing I did for when I got my phone and opened the mail it brought me the highlight of my day. In the quiet corner of my room, I realized God will always find a way. He will surprise us with gifts that will truly bring joy to our hearts. I guess you already know what the message was about. It was Sister Beng. She was happy to tell me there was one more slot. I love life!