Mirror, Mirror

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who ‘s the fairest of them all?

When I look in the mirror I want to see more than just a pretty face. I want to see a woman radiating with pleasantness because she has the following qualities.

I want to see a woman of confidence. It means she trusts herself and everything she has and she’s never embarrassed to share them with others. She can speak her thoughts not minding what other people will say. She can walk proud and tall despite the many odds going against her or the high level of pressure aiming to crush her spirit. She can smile to everyone even to strangers. She asks for help when needed because she believes that will not make her lesser.

I want to see a woman who’s happy. And they say that’s the best make up. One can have the reddest lipstick but when that happy curve is missing on her mouth, it won’t do the works. It’s the joy that comes from within. It’s being happy in everything she does and everything she sees that will give her peace which is really attractive. It’s the kind of beauty that won’t perish. It’s laughing at the simple things, laughing even at herself. It’s refreshing. It’s invigorating because it inspires other people to be happy as well.

R98 girls :)

Thank you Ms. Elsa for showing me in your own simple way what happiness means. Mishoo!!! 🙂

 

I want to see a woman of power. The power to lead. The power to give. The power to make sound decisions for the goodness of many. It’s being impartial. It’s being just. It means looking after the ones who are under her. It means supporting them and standing by their side. It means making allowance for their mistakes because she knows they will get better. It means passing on what she knows so that in time they can lead, too.

I want to see a strong woman. And with this I mean not only physically. It’s having the strength to keep going even the waves are going against her. She stands mighty and firm no matter how big and serious the adversities the world offers. Yes she stumbles and falls every now and then but then she doesn’t get discouraged. She stands up, puts herself together, and keeps moving. She doesn’t stop. She never gives up.

I want to see a woman of courage. The courage to do things even when she’s afraid, even when she’s doubting, even when success is uncertain. It’s having the guts to audition her dreams. It’s trying many different unexplored routes to fulfil her personal legend. The world belongs to the bold. I think that’s beautiful. 🙂

I want to see a woman who’s driven. It means working hard. It means being purposive. She sets goals and she meets them one by one as scheduled. It means doing serious stuff and doing it the right way. It means choosing to learn more and being open to commit mistakes in the process of learning. It means having dreams and being aggressive to make them within her reach. It means not leaving things to chance and not letting others steal your destiny.

I want to see a woman who’s honest. It means not allowing lies to slip from her mouth. It means not letting these lies ruin other people’s lives. It means she can be true to herself. It’s showing who she really is even when she’s flawed, despite her many weaknesses. It means being ready to admit wrongdoings even when it’s hard, even when it’s scary, even when she fears being ridiculed or laughed at.

I want to see a woman of service. She never lets an opportunity to help others pass. She offers her hands even when no one is asking for it. She has a heart for the needy and she is selfless. She helps without asking for anything in return. She helps because she can and she wants to. She helps because she wants to bring joy and hope to other people’s lives.

I want to see a woman who’s principled. She knows her truth and she values them. She has her own beliefs. She sticks to them and doesn’t wave them even when tempted. Her decisions may not always be the popular choice but then she fights for what she thinks is right. She knows what she can compromise. She knows what should remain untouched. She does not blur the line.

I want to see a woman who loves. Her heart is filled with it, overflowing in fact that she’s always ready to share it with others. She’s adorned by gentleness and a quiet spirit. Everything she does is worthy of praise because she does it with love. She chooses to do it even when it’s hard. She forgives. She is generous. She understands. She’s kind.

There are times when I look in the mirror and I don’t think I’m beautiful. There are moments when I feel unappreciated and small. But good thing You never fail to remind me I’m perfectly fine. That You look past my imperfections. That You see no blemish in me. 🙂  That my inner beauty won’t waste away. That I’m precious because I’m Yours. I pray that as I work on the many scars, insecurities, and shortcomings  I have You guide me and You show Your glowing face to me. This way I will never forget what I should strive to become like. Help me so that when I look in the mirror, I will see a woman radiating and smiling because of these qualities that no one can take away. As days go by, I know that this image I see will grow completely beautiful as it slowly yet surely takes Your image. 🙂

I believe that one day I will grow very old. My skin will dry. My hair will turn white. I claim that with the long, happy and fruitful life I will live, these few words will be enough to tell my story to others.

She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. (Proverbs 3:15-18

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A Blessed Wednesday

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Today is a blessed day because of You.

I heard You when I woke up this morning. You whispered words that spoke of joy and love. I felt You when I was running with friends on the jogging track. Your warm embrace never fails to make me feel alright. I ate with You when I was having breakfast. All the bounty I received was enough to give me energy that will last. I thought of You when we were planning to go out. I know that You will keep us safe and sound. I witnessed Your glory when I saw Brother James outside – happy, healed, and ready to go back. Too many happy things to be thankful for. But then that’s how You are. With generosity and faithfulness You’ll never run out. 🙂

I saw Your beauty when I got to know Port Vila’s not so known side. Thank You Ate Mona for this! It was completely different from what I normally see – laidback, quiet, and not so hooooooot. Thank You for the camera we have. It added so much to the fun. Images were taken here and there. And with every happy face and beautiful place captured by its lens was You quietly smiling and watching over us. Thank You for this few fleeting hours. The photo session no matter how corny and embarrassing to some extent was fun. It was time wasted but still worthwhile. How ironic is that! 🙂 We enjoyed walking on Your sand. We were happy to see the Your white clouds up above. The big ship on a stop gave us a reason to relax.

We went back on board with happy stories. Again we carried with us exciting memories. We went to work tired yet in a way rejuvenated. We went back to the ship more brown, too. Thanks to Mr. Sun which made us all the more tan. Healthy color though – yummy chocolate brown. 🙂 Thanks also for this. I’m beginning to like it now. I feel glad I’m different. Growing old isn’t bad after all for one learns to appreciate things not well accepted before. Less insecurities, more wisdom.

And then just before my day ended, I heard You once more. A stranger talking to me. Familiar stranger actually. Nothing much to say. Just making sure I’m okay. Thanks Grace’s dad. Simple words but they matter a lot.

Thank You for another wonderful day. Thank You for all the lovely things felt, heard and seen. Teach me to do this more. To look for loveliness offered. To give thanks always. Whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there’s excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. Remind me to keep on doing what I have learned and received and seen in You. Then the God of peace will be with me. (Philippians 4:8-9) 🙂

Today is a blessed day because of You. I look forward to more blessed days spent with You.

Sea of Dreams

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plansThey say that You planted dreams in our hearts. We have them inside as early as a child. And that we have to try our best and use all resources available to have them realized. I thought I already knew what I wanted. It’s something I carried tenderly in my heart and mind. I’m certain that this dream came from You, too. And I believe with all my might that one day it will come true. I don’t know what I’m feeling these past few days. I’m bothered by a thought that won’t budge. I don’t know but for some reason there’s a new color that’s starting to be added to the picture I intend to paint in my life. An unexpected new dream is starting to bud. I don’t want to entertain it but then each day this seemingly interesting mental image is starting to unfold. It gets clearer as more details are added. And I hold it dearly not knowing exactly where this would lead. I’m not sure how long it will last. Maybe it’s just temporary. Probably a passing thought. But then I’m happy to have it in mind. I’m confused though because once I allow myself to be charmed by it, it will go against the things I previously planned.  Haaaayyyy… 😦

The sea seems to call me. The waves seem to whisper a different sound. Before it was all about agony and restlessness. Now it speaks of a new love. And the scary part – I am slowly falling into its hands. It offers en exciting promise. It makes me think everything will be alright. Despite the uncertainties. Not minding all the odds.

I want to see the wonders of this world. I want to see the magic of Your hands. I want to witness those pictures I cut and articles I read as a little girl come to life. I want to see them for real, experience them first hand. I want to do all of these while I’m young and unattached. I want to hear more stories and write about them for others to read and understand. I want to make more mistakes which in the future will just make me laugh. I want to learn precious lessons and keep getting better wherever I’m at. I want to keep my zest for life. I want to meet new people. I want to learn other culture. I want to work harder. I want to earn more. I want to dream more dreams. I want to make all of them real one by one.

I know that this is not going to be easy. Complications will once again present themselves. But I also know that if something’s meant for me I will get it no matter what. I can do all things through You. You will help me. You will guide me. You will bless me. You will walk with me and help me shape my destiny. Thank You for this little fountain of hope. I’m not sure where this will take me, what new adventures this will give. Whatever it is, I’m excited to find out. 🙂  As you said, “ You know the plans You have for me. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) And I believe Your words.

Then speaking of divine intervention or simply good timing, I read this:

god's message1

Help me decide. I still have a few more months. I lift up to You the concerns of my heart. I know that whatever choice I’ll make, You will never leave my side. Even though I walk through the valley of darkness, I fear no evil for You are with me (Psalms 23:4). 🙂 Forever, you will stay with me.

Just Wait

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I am waiting. I am dying. I am trying so hard to ignore this ugly feeling. “Hang on. You’ll get there somehow.” I’ve been telling that myself for many hours. What a torture! One thing I hate about waiting – you don’t know how long before it’ll come. Then I realized you’re actually not sure if it will really come. 😦 You just keep hoping, praying, and guess what??? Waiting!!! There’s nothing else you can do. It takes a lot to bear the agony.

I was looking forward to visit this beautiful port once again. For many weeks, I’ve been thinking about Champagne Bay and the last time we were there. Happy images started parading in my head – white sand, cool water, bright sky, yummy lobsters, beautiful tan lines (thanks to Mr. Sun). Perfect timing for I was off in the morning. The only thing that didn’t fit the picture was that I had to wait for friends who were also dying to go out. How unlucky for us that most passengers opted to go out late. Open tender had to be adjusted. So sadly again I had to wait. I started losing hope for I’ll be working early in the afternoon. I was thinking of backing out and just wait for maybe months (ang tagal naman) before we’re back here again.  Good thing Ms. Elsa offered to swap schedules with me. She knows how I wanted it so badly. I can never thank her enough. You could just imagine the joy I felt once the announcement was made. Open tender!!! Hurrrrrrrraaaaaayyyyyyyy!!! I hurriedly went to Mary’s cabin. But then she’s still not dressed up. She just finished her duty. Also, Rain and her friend were still in the mess. Almost there, I thought. Just be patient. But then those few minutes felt like forever. 😦

When all of us were finally together, we headed to the tender area. To my dismay, we were put on hold and were asked to join the next boat. I didn’t want to start complaining nor start feeling sorry. Negative thoughts only sap peace and strength. I didn’t want to kill the little hope I have which was starting to flicker. I can do this. Or can I??? Good thing I did. One by one and carefully we went inside. The waves were dancing wildly. We can feel the tiny boat grooving from left to right. Then we finally started moving, I felt like winning an award. Haha!!! My happiness was cut short though because usually it only takes 15-20 minutes to get to the island but then due to a series of unfortunate events, I had to wait again. You know how bad it feels when you see something you’re aching to have, you know it’s almost within your reach. Suddenly someone comes in and tells you with glaring eyes you can’t have it just yet. That’s exactly how I felt. We were a few meters from the pontoon when we were forced to stop because the other tender boat was still there. They seemed to be having a minor problem. I can see it, I can see it. I just can’t touch it. Is this my marshmallow test? It didn’t help that the other passengers were upset. I felt tired and seasick. We were rocking and the more I can feel it because we’re stuck. The woman next to me couldn’t breathe. She was claustrophobic. We had to open the window on top because the one near us won’t work. Haaaaay when will all of these crazy things stop? Just when I was about to close my eyes I felt a sudden jolt that really made me smile. The wait was over. I wanted to jump. Truly, good things still happen even late in the game. Time check: Almost 1 o’clock. I only have like an hour to spare but I really didn’t mind. I can make the most of that little time. And I did with dear friends. 🙂 So in the end, my waiting paid off.

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You know how beautiful it feels when you waited so long for something and you finally got it in the end. It’s hard to describe. Beautiful is an understatement. It’s something more than that. It’s like winning. It’s like conquering something big and grand. You feel like giving up to avoid the terrible feeling brought by waiting, of not really knowing, of holding on to nothing except the belief that what you’re waiting for is worth it. It’s hard. Of course you want instant gratification. You don’t want to delay your reward. Surely, it calls for discipline. It takes growing up. 🙂 It’s a battle waged within, a game played in mind. You forced yourself to think that what you’re waiting for is really important. You compromise present comfort and happiness for future rewards. A wise exchange, I must add. But then again so haaaaaaaard.

In the past I waited and was rewarded. I cried and I died but then again I came back to life and received my prize. At present I am waiting for many other things. And I am dying. Many times I’m crying. I wish to know when this will last. Every now and then I get impatient. Every now and then I get disappointed. But I’m certain that one day the agony will end and I will once again emerge triumphant. So while I’m waiting I’ll get busy and strive to be happy. Thanks for this special anecdote. Something to think about. It’s enough of an upper. It really means a lot. 🙂

I was thinking about this, when a thought bubble suddenly popped. I’ve seen this video a long time ago. May this inspire you and make you laugh.

Vampires

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“We all have our own vampires. A creature that appears in the dark and eventually suck blood.” I remember using these lines when I was still studying literature in college. Surprisingly good timing for I see them all around. And if I’m not careful I’ll end up becoming like them. (Nyay parang ayoko naman non.)

You know how guilty I’m feeling recently. I don’t know why I’m being rude these past days. I’m not like this. I remember one close friend saying “I don’t wanna be the person I dislike.” That’s how I feel, too. But sometimes, unconsciously, I end up doing that.

It’s amazing how You created us. You crafted us in such a way that no 2 persons are alike. We’re all unique in our own ways. Our personalities differ. Our strengths and weaknesses vary. Sometimes though we tend to focus on the differences we have which make it difficult for us to understand each other. I know we’re not perfect. I know we’re all bound to commit mistakes. We’re prejudiced and we have our own limits and standards. People in the dark. That’s what we are in times of confusion and tension also (if I may add) for during these moments we tend to be blinded by our own hurts, anger, resentment, even biases. I believe that we are inherently good but then we come from different backgrounds. We have our own personal histories and these things greatly influence how we think, act, even how we relate with others. We are products of the many events in our past – the different people we encountered and the numerous events that took place whether briefly or not. Despite the goodness we have brought by the grace of God, I believe that we all have our dark sides. We all have our vampires which swiftly and smoothly appear in the dark and hunger and search for fresh blood.

Funny, I just remembered a friend’s word before I went back on board. Be careful with vampires she said and then she gave out a loud laugh. I shrugged it off knowing I have enough patience to deal with difficult people. I can always find a way to understand. But some days can be a total drag especially when so many crazy things are going around. Things that are beyond my control. Or things that are too tiny and merit no one’s attention but are suddenly turning serious.  It can be a taxing experience. There are people sucking my joy, peace, and in a way strength. I could just keep quiet. I could just let it pass. But there are times when I just can’t. There are times when I feel my love tank is quickly getting empty. There’s nothing more to give other than a sulk, a shout, a cold touch, or worst a hard penetrating bite. 😦 Yeah I’m a vampire, too.

But it’s Your love that will continuously mold and perfect us. It’s your gentle touch that will remind us to offer a tight embrace instead of picking up a fight. I pray that as I work on the shortcomings I have, I will learn to make allowance for the mistakes of others, too. After all, I am just like them, a vampire who’s killing herself trying to be like her God. 🙂 Grant me more patience. Help me see Your face in other people. In times of difficulty, help me remember that every person is a temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). This way I can treat them with respect, understanding, and most importantly love. Let everything I do be done with love (1 Corinthians 3:16). A love that’s pure. A  love that nurtures. A love that cures. 🙂

This is to inspire me to be a little more kinder than necessary kahit mahirap. 🙂

LSS

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Thank You for this wonderful feeling. Thank You for this immense joy. Thank You for seeking me. Thank You for finding me. Thank You for loving me despite my imperfections. Thank You for planting dreams in my heart. Thank You for giving me hope. Thank You for the little courage I have. Thank You for reminding me to be still. Thank You for the many blessings received. Thank You for all lessons learned. Thank You for more tomorrows. Thank You for the gift of love.  Thank You for letting me see Your face. Thank You for letting me feel Your embrace. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me. Thank You for making me believe Your words. You are forever in my life. I will never get tired of singing that. You will be with me through all the seasons.  I trust in You. I believe in You. I love You. 🙂

Ayayay Pag-ibig

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He was late. He was sweating profusely. He was catching his breath but he was smiling when he saw me. He was holding a flower. It was pink. It was tiny. It was pretty. It’s not a rose though. Bougainvillea siya e. Haha!!! “Happy Valentine’s day teacher! I got this for you. Took it from our neighbour’s front yard.” This he said with a toothless grin then off he went to play with his friends. Did I say he’s only 5? 🙂

When I was still teaching back home February is one of my happiest months. Well when you’re surrounded by kids every occasion has to be extra special. I remember the love hearts and cards we make, the chocolates and flowers they give. A happy spirit is all over the place. There’s no reason to feel lonely even when you’re missing a date. You’ll just feel the LOOOOOOOOOVE… But what is love really? Whenever we’d come across this word, I’d ask my students what this means to them. Interestingly with no hesitations, they’d come up with instant replies. Simple and honest. Just plain and pure. Love is mom and dad. Love is Ampa. Love is Jesus. Love is Miggy. When mommy buys me new shoes. When you share your toys with friends. When you give your baon to your classmate. When you help someone in need. When you don’t fight. When you kiss. When you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  When you get married. These and many more. Always ready to answer. I must say always ready to give love, too. 🙂

The Valentine Project. Crazy 3 weeks. Funny and happy, too. This is nothing serious, though. Just to fill the time. A way to fight boredom. Many crew members were surprised when asked one corny yet cute question. What is love? Some were too embarass to utter a response. There were those who were taken aback and were caught off guard. Others just didn’t take it seriously. But there were few who gamely took the ride. So many thanks guys for making this possible. I enjoyed hearing your answers (and the bonus chika about your lovelife kapag sinusuwerte). A different Valentine. 🙂

Love is…

So there. What is love again? Nothing much. Just that. 🙂 Whew!!!

Our answers may vary depending on our needs at the moment or the stage we’re at in our lives’ journey. After all, our thoughts and beliefs are shaped by our personal histories and individual experiences. Some already know what it is. Others are still struggling to find it. To a few, it’s a curse that only brings pain and heartaches. To many, a blessing that leads to immense joy. There are those who feel it when simply holding hands. To others a sexual bond which is hopefully much more than just an exchange of body fluids. To parents maybe, a lifetime service for their kids. To young daughters, working in faraway places to send allotment. And there are those who put their trust in God, believing He is the source of all love. 🙂 It’s inspiring. It’s exciting. It’s wild. It’s fun. But then it’s crazy. It’s tricky. It has dark sides that can cause harm.

Whatever meaning we have for love at present, let’s own it. For we’ll never know long we can hold that thought. In the end people, things, and even our theories evolve. Mean time, just feel the love in the air. Because love is real. Love is everywhere. It’s a special gift that’s meant to be shared. Enjoy your Valentine. 🙂