Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Birthday MOM

December 28 marks my mom's nth birthday...

I do miss her so.. she's been in Canada for years now and although I know that she is content there, I know she is not happy... I know that she is lonely.. more so when my siblings neglect her.. I can't blame them totally though.. life there is very different from life here and children are very different as well... so I know that as she puts up a strong front, I know how lonely it can get... but well I think that the choice you have to make when you want good health benefits as you grow older, that's her choice, to stay there since she knows that should she get sick, she will be well taken care of, at least on the financial side of things...

That is one of my greatest frustrations I think... I want to be able to take care of my mom and serve her in her golden years but as fate would have it, we are oceans apart and well, I'm really not stable financially to be able to support her during these years.  But I am optimistic, that at the right time, I will be able to do it.. Take care of her as a child should... I just pray it's sooner rather than later

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Welcoming 2013

2013 is fast approaching, in another few days, we would all change our calendars to mark the end of the year 2012 and mark the beginning of 2013...

This coming year, I hope to be more positive, to bring more laughter into my life and of course, reap the benefits of my more positive outlook...

this year started out great... I hit a few bumps along the road and had a rough mid year, but towards the end of the year things are looking up... Financially challenged, I am striving hard to come up with a solution to this concern and when I have all but given up... alas! a light in the tunnel... so I know that somehow, God is there and He is still listening and He is just there, I just have to learn to trust and believe that everything will work out for the better according to His grace...

I'm also coming to some realization that I will share in the coming posts and I hope that through this blog, I can help friends (old, new and coming ones) into a deeper understanding of oneself and that hopefully thru this discovery, we can all find our special niche in this world, where we are all free... financially, spiritually, physically and everything in between.... 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

I have always loved the festivities that go along with the season... always wallowed in the fun of gift giving/receiving, parties, get togethers and the festive atmosphere is always infectious... but this year I feel like this is the worst Christmas ever! We have been struggling financially and part of me blames myself, for not being able to work as hard as I should or for being lazy or for just being outright mean (sometimes - maybe even often) to the the people I care the most and for being too comfortable in the knowledge perhaps, that whatever happens I know that I am accepted.... Anyways, not being able to buy gifts for those special people in my life, makes me feel so inadequate.. I know that they are not expecting, since they know the struggles the family is going through... I still feel the "shame" of not being able to provide fully well for my family.

Aside from the stress of being financially challenged is the physical challenge that I am going through, my head is throbbing and I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and all I can do is lie in bed and wallow...

But I know that I have no choice but to face the world.. in due time.. for now.. I think I will just stay where I am and assess my life... Assess how life will be for me and my family if this goes on and what I have to do in order to prevent this from occurring...

I am not perfect nor do I wish to be... My family is not perfect nor do I wish them to be... we all have our own struggles that we need to overcome, I know that thru God's grace we will and it might seem like such a stretch but I know God is there, I just need to keep believing.. Yes it's hard sometimes to keep the faith, but I know I have to.. and I will.. I know I can...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Simbang Gabi - COMPLETED!

YES! We completed simbang gabi... 9 early morning masses but attending really did give me an insight to faith that I didn't have before...

It was sleepy mornings, some a bit warmer while others were cold.  Some happy moments, there were ugh moments as well but all in all, attending simbang gabi was an adventure that indeed is something I'm quite proud of, it is not easy waking up so early in the morning, more so if you slept late the night before, but we did it and I'm very, very happy...

There were a few lessons learned along the way as well. A lesson in humility, a lesson in faith and trust, A lesson on living right and just, so many things but one thing I know for certain is that God's love is infinite and His mercy endures forever.

I know as well that I have a long way to go before I can say that I have an immovable faith just like Mary or Joseph and even Elizabeth and Zachariah.  I know that I have a long way to go before I can face all my troubles and say that my God will save me.

I think I still need to develop my faith and still need to learn more.  One part of me knows that God is faithful, just and He wants to prosper me and give me all my desires, but the more practical side of me questions how  and even why... I feel like I need to do more in order to get more... I feel like I should offer something back in return for any favor I will ask, I feel like I don't deserve any "great miracle" that God can give me... Honestly, I know God's power and I know that if He wants He can give me everything I seek and more but as I said a part of me questions, why would God give me? Just because He loves me, the practical side of me says that this is not possible and the hopeful part of me hopes that He will and prove me wrong... that God's love for me is indeed big enough that He will give me what I want just because.

I realized that my own faith plays a vital role in this, I need to believe 100% that I deserve it, believe that God is REALLY willing to give it and believe that enough to stop worrying. Attending the simbang gabi showed me what was really missing in my life. Complete faith in God.

I realized how I was fooling myself and everyone around me when I utter words of faith that I don't really mean but even as I think I was fooling myself and everybody else, I wasn't fooling God and if I really want good things to start happening, I need to change my attitude towards God and give God the chance to really prosper me and my family as I want and as He wants as well.

Day 9 - Simbang Gabi 2012

Today marks the last day for the simbang gabi novena masses and I feel great that we were able to complete it.

The gospel talked about the birth of John the baptist and Zecharias song of praise.  I was quite sleepy so I really didn't understand most of the reading but part of me knew that I can always just re-read the gospel when I get home.  But I listened to the homily of the priest and it was a wake up call for me.

This morning when I woke up and got ready to go to church, I felt quite proud that I completed these novena masses, it is indeed an accomplishment and I felt proud. But the priest reminded us that everything comes from God and it is not thru my own doing that I was able to complete simbang gabi... It is only thru God's grace that I was able to complete it and that I was able to wake up even though I was very sleepy at times NOT me, but GOD. This was indeed a lesson in humility. I realized that I should learn to be humble and going back thru my life, I felt that I was always too proud of everything that I have accomplished.  My children, my job, even the car and all the perks I was able to acquire up to this moment.  I realized how arrogant I was thinking that it was me all along who got all those, all by myself.   Oh I would utter word of thanks and may even mean it at times but I realized now that in the end, I was one arrogant *toot*....

So with this in mind, I hope that this realization, I can put to good use, that one of these days, I may find myself truly humble and truly appreciative of how the Lord has blessed my life and find happiness and peace right where I am. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simbang Gabi 2012 - Day 8

This morning's gospel is also Sunday's gospel.

Today, we recall Elizabeth's greetings when Mary came to visit her and affirm Mary's place in history as the Mother of Jesus, just like last week when we started, we don't need to go to church again, but the children may need to still be accompanied, so perhaps it's 2x church day again for us.

Anyways, today the homily centered on Mary and her role as Jesus' mother and how John, still in his mother's womb that time recognized not only Mary's presence but Jesus, also in His mother's womb, presence as well.  Elizabeth also realized Mary's significance when she uttered, "blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb" - the passage, I would guess, where Hail Mary was derived from.

My mind wanders towards those earlier times when angels visit ordinary humans and gave them clear directions on what needs to be done.  I imagine how different life would be (perhaps) for a lot of people, if an angel would visit them and say exactly what will happen. My mind also sees the infinite possibilities of God, coz here are two women, both carrying children in their wombs when they well shouldn't be... a virgin and a barren woman, impossible, many would say, but it came to pass and it is indeed a great miracle, only possible thru God.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Simbang Gabi 2012 Day 7 - Magnificat

Today's Gospel: Luke 1:46-56
Mary's Song of Praise, The Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.  

I often wonder how good a heart Mary has... She was given a great privilege and a great burden to carry Jesus' in her womb. I imagine how can she be calm amidst a very distressing event, she was a virgin and yet she was pregnant and she wasn't even sure how her betrothed Joseph would react to the news, but even as these thoughts come to my  mind, I also realized how big her faith is in God.. that she willingly obeyed and said "be it done unto me" and how her faith continues to be her legacy until now.  

My life is not perfect and there are so many things I hope I can accomplish, I can have, I can achieve and how dissatisfied I am with my life and hope for something better, bigger, brighter and then I see Mary, with this condition and not knowing really what the future holds and yet hold steadfast in her faith, I pray that I may have even just a bit of her faith and perhaps then I can be a happier person... more content in what I have and satisfied that I have everything I need right now and perhaps even more.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Simbang Gabi Day 6 - The Visitation

The Gospel talks about Mary visiting Elizabeth and how the child inside her womb leaped for joy and what the implications of these events are.

Here we recall God's infinite goodness where He has chosen to bless two women with one of the greatest gifts a woman can ever receive, a child. The Visitation also forms part of the joyful mystery of the Holy Rosary, as I continue to learn, I am realizing that indeed Mary is the mother of Jesus and that even while He was still in her womb, her place was already etched in history so to speak.  She will be blessed, simply because she has become a vessel by which the Lord came and gave salvation to His people.

I am not certain how this affects my faith and my current concerns but one thing is very certain in my heart, with God nothing is impossible as long as I have the faith, real faith to see it through... It's like my worries are nothing when faced with these facts... a barren woman conceives.... a virgin has become pregnant...impossibilities in the eyes of men, but a DEFINITE POSSIBILITY with GOD. So what are my concerns to the infinite power of God who makes all things possible? Close to nothing! So I know that I should stand firm in my faith and believe that God has something great in store for me... that He knows the desires of my heart, my desire to help, my desire to give my family a good life and my desire to serve Him in my own capacity and the truth that I want to serve Him and not seek fame for myself, so I am looking for a good way to serve without giving issue to myself so that I can be assured that my service is for His Greatness and not mine.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Simbang Gabi 2012 - Day 5

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

This morning's simbang gabi talks about "The Annunciation"

This was when Mary found out what God has in store for her and how she reacted to the news.

I did not grow up "religious", my parents were never regular church goers nor do we pray daily at home... the first time I was ever introduced to Jesus and God and all that was at school.  So from the get go, I can honestly say that my faith was wobbly at best.  But ever since I got married, I have learned to value the importance of praying and trying to draw close to God.

If I have to be totally honest... life for me is not hard but it wasn't easy either, I grew up where both my parents were working hard to make sure the family has enough food on the table and that we go into a good school.  I grew up "practical" and as such, I never really valued spending time in prayer much as I value it now.

My husbands family is the complete opposite of mine when it comes to being "religious", my sister in law is very active in the church and the family often prays before going to sleep.  The adjustment is indeed a challenge but it also exposed me to the value of real prayer and going to church every Sunday and whenever else you can.

Anyways,  this morning's gospel was about Mary's willingness to do the Lord's bidding and what it was to entail.. She didn't fully understand how God wanted to use her, she asked questions but I believe that even as she asked the question on how it is to happen granted that she was a virgin and had never had any relations with any man, that she had an unwavering faith and the belief that God will do as He says, that even as she posted the question, the angel just gave her an outright answer, an different reaction as to when Zachariah generally asked the same thing when the angel visited him.  Mary had complete faith while Zachariah posted in disbelief.

Nothing is impossible with God, but we do have to believe and follow Him. I think this is the greatest lesson this bible passage wants us to realize... That God is infinite and He can do anything including prosper us and allow us all the riches we can possibly imagine, but faith play a very important role as well as the willingness to follow.

My prayer...

Lord, thank You for your infinite goodness and for making me realize the value of prayer and the value of immersing myself in your word so that I may become molded into your infinite goodness.  I know that my faith wavers at times and I pray that you will do your work in me so that I can have infinite faith in You and Your grace that I may begin to accept the prosperity You have planned for me all along.  In Jesus name. Amen

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Simbang Gabi - Day 4

The Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
1st Reading: Judges 13:2-7,24-25

Today is our 4th straight day at simbang gabi... wow! I am amazed at how God is touching my life these days... I am truly blessed that God continually gives me the perseverance to continue attending simbang gabi... It is indeed a challenge to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to prepare yourself for the 4am mass.. It's a challenge when all you want to do is to continue to sleep.. but with God's grace, I am able to get up and even pay attention the activities within the mass.. the singing, the responses and listen to the priest's homily and not allow my eyes to droop down and nap...

Anyways, the gospel was all about Zacharias and his disbelief with regards to what the angel Gabriel has told him, that he and Elizabeth (his barren and old wife) will have a child.  This disbelief attained him a 9 month penalty so to speak (or perhaps not :)) since he wasn't able to speak and his voice only returned after his son, John the Baptist was born and dedicated to the Lord. The gospel allowed me the complete realization that nothing is impossible with God, that even in her barren state and old age, she was blessed with a son. I am so lucky to have my children and how blessed I am when I carried them and gave them birth... I can sympathize with how Elizabeth felt when she realized she was pregnant... Oh what joy that must have been :)
On the other hand, I also realized that even in our weakness, God is faithful.  Zacharias, doubted what the angel had told him... He cannot believe that it was possible... But God didn't say, okay because you thought it impossible, it will not be done anymore, I will go and look for someone else who will believe me... No, God in His infinite faithfulness and love, gave Zacharias his pervent prayer and allowed them to have the child.  I, in my life, also had my time of doubts, whenever things seems to impossible, I question God's ability and even willingness to solve my dilemma, but I'm realizing now that all I have to do is keep the faith because God is always true to His word, that he wants to give me the desires of my heart and prosper me all the days of my life...I just need to learn to trust HIM.  I am still a bit far from the total trust, if I have to be honest, but I am learning... I am slowly learning to listen to HIM and slowly learning that indeed HE is faithful...  HE KNOWS WHAT'S BEST FOR ME... I MAY NOT HAVE EVERYTHING I WANT, BUT I HAVE WHAT I NEED AND GOD WILL PROVIDE ALL OF THOSE IN HIS OWN TIME... I have to believe that HIS timing is perfect, that I just have to wait and persevere and know that HE is the AUTHOR of my LIFE and that HE knows where He wants to LEAD me and I just need to follow.


Today also marks my sister-in-law's 50th birthday.... She comes with us to attend simbang gabi... I think she's happy that we are making an effort to attend, that she is able to attend too.. she believes that mama (my mom-in-law) won't permit her to go, if she will just go by herself since the walk from our house to the nearby chapel/church is dark and there are a areas which are what we call "danger zones" coz it's dark and sometimes a few nefarious personalities lurk in the dark.  And she, for lack of a better terminology, is the religious type and she always wants to go to church and attend daily mass and going to the simbang gabi masses is indeed something she always will want to do, and, for myself, I don't go because I want to accompany her but because I made a commitment to myself and to God that I will attend simbang gabi, as a thanksgiving for all the blessings we have received and will continually receive through God's infinite grace... And honestly, I am starting to appreciate the joy that hearing mass and partaking in the eucharist brings someone who comes to the House of the Lord with a joyful heart....

For our dear Manang Beth, Happy 50th Birthday... I pray that God will continue to give you the courage to continue the work He has begun in you... I am thankful that God gave you a giving heart that cheerfully provides for your family and the community... Thank you for helping us everytime we need it... May God abundantly bless you that you may continue to be a blessing to others...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 3 Simbang Gabi

This morning's homily was about Jesus' human father, St. Joseph...

about what kind of a man he was... that despite at first having thought that Mary for all intents "cheated" on him, he wasn't about to put her to shame by divorcing her publicly... he planned to do it in silence...and then when he learned of the truth regarding Mary's pregnancy, he went on and did the right thing.. He obeyed the will of the Lord and followed without doubt... He raised Jesus' as his own son and I think he might even be quite proud and humbled that he was chosen to be Jesus' foster father.

I think Joseph's role in the life of Jesus' has been downplayed since we all know that Jesus' is God's son, and God is his father, we often forget the role Joseph played... well, I would admit, I did... I don't often think of St. Joseph but realization dawned on me that it might not be that easy for him to do as the Lord has told, coz my father was a chronic womanizer and I have seen how this hurt my mom and our family... so just thinking about it, specially during their time, it's hard to imagine how he must have felt when he found out that his betrothed  Mary was pregnant.. I can imagine how hard it was for him to contain himself from shouting out in anger, and lashing out on Mary... how betrayed he might have felt...

But God in his infinite wisdom knows the heart of each and everyone of us, and HE knows that Joseph is a faithful servant and so is Mary and HE knows that they will be able to carry out the task He has for them of caring for HIS SON, until the time comes when JESUS need to fulfill His own destiny...

Lord, I pray that I maybe like St. Joseph... faithful and obedient, even during the hardest times and trials, I pray that I can have the faith he had and that I can fulfill what you want me to do in all eagerness and joy. May I have the strength to prod on when times seem to be tough. Grant me the humility to know nothing bad comes from you, teach me to know that YOU want whats best for me and even if everything seems to be in vain, YOUR name will be glorified through my faith in YOU and BELIEF that YOUR LOVE endures and will never depart from me.... Thank you Lord.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Simbang Gabi - Day 2

Readings: Gen 49:2, 8-10 / Mt 1:1-17

Truth be told, this is really the first year that I am attending simbang gabi novena masses religiously.. not because I have a fervent wish I want granted (as many say that if you complete all the simbang gabi, you can make a wish at the end and it will come true) but mainly because I'm realizing that I need to step up my faith in this not so faithful world... and I believe that this is one thing I can do to help me in this quest.... 

Day 2 of simbang gabi is a not a very good morning for me, I was still sleepy, feeling a bit stressed due to the piling up bills that we still need to pay... but I'm optimistic... and this is one "sacrifice" I'm willing to make, if only to show the Lord that I am capable... ha ha ha... 

The gospel pertains to Jesus' genealogy... where His lineage came from... we can see that He is a descendant of David, fulfilling the prophecy that the Messiah will come from David's family.  The priest's homily mentioned that David's family is not a perfect family... they had their own shares of struggles, temptations, sins and scandals but that did not stop God from loving the family and allowing the savior of all to be born thru this family...


Sometimes I strive to be perfect.. or at the very least desire to be and since I am not perfect, I fail at many things... I sin, I commit mistakes, I fall prey to temptations but I should learn to believe that God's love is perfect, that even in my imperfection He loves me and that I should accept God's love as unconditional and that HE desires to give me everything I need and desire, just as long as I accept His grace and allow Him to bless me and understand that yes perhaps it is not something I deserve, but HE is still willing and able to do it, if only I can accept it.  And even if I'm  not perfect He still desires to do the work within me and I can still serve Him amidst my imperfection and this way, I can glorify HIS name and show that HE is indeed a mighty, loving, and forgiving FATHER, whom I can always run to, whenever I want.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Simbang Gabi - 1st Day Lessons

December 16, 2012 marked the first day for simbang gabi... My husband and I decided that we want to complete the novena masses for this year.. Thanksgiving for all the blessings for this year and in anticipation for the coming blessings for 2013 =)

This first morning, I didn't realize that gospel is the same for the Sunday mass.. but all's good...

Lessons learned:

Do your work well.... that is all that God asks of us, is for us to do our work well... nothing extra ordinary.. nothing super just do the work tasked to you well...

Be a good parent, be a good child, be a good student, be a good teacher... whatever you do, do it well...

I pray that God will give me the strength to continue to be thankful to Him for giving me a good family and for giving me everything.. I pray that I learn to be continuously grateful for everything that I have...

Thank You God

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dress To Impress

Dress to Impress...

Today this phrase has caught my attention...I came across a friend's blog that talks about being fashionable yet the thought caught on to me..

I realize that for myself, I don't only dress to impress, I feel like everything I do is meant to impress, I want accolades and praises that what I'm doing is great, or what I have done is something that needs to be applauded and I feel like I'm always waiting for someone to tell me that what I am doing is good.

Today, I want to stop myself from doing this. I want to do what is right because it is the right thing to do... today I feel like what I need to do is start realizing the wrong things that I am doing so that I can move forward and find real success in this life that I want to pursue...

so from now on.. no more dressing up to impress, no more doing things just for the sake of praises...

My prayer:

Dear Lord,

Teach me to be humble. teach me to be grateful. help me to understand that everything I have, even the talent I possess is from you and that I should bring up all the glory to YOU and to YOU alone.

Thank you God for making me realize this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Keeping Positive in a Not So Positive World

As I fully embrace the life of an online network marketer.. I am constantly reminded to be positive and keep up the faith...

But truth be told, it is challenging to keep up a positive mental attitude especially when you are bombarded with things that makes you go the other way.

As I move towards my goal and ultimately reach that pinnacle every networker dreams of, let me share with you my thoughts, life events and the likes with regards to this industry that I have decided to join.

I hope that thru this blog, I maybe able to sort my thoughts out, share my experiences and hopefully give you the chance to stay positive and reach that elusive, or maybe not so elusive dream that everyone wants to reach at one point in our lives...