the waiting

“But I believe I shall enjoy the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14

it’s been a week now since i started working again in an office environment.  i’ve waited for this job for months now and boy, was i really thankful and excited when they finally called me.  my first day was quite scary.  i was ah hour anda half early because my husband had to drive me to my workplace before proceeding to his.  since the main door was still closed, i had to wait in the hallway of the 2nd floor all alone, with the familiar setting which i usually see in horror movies.  you know, long hallway, not a single sound, not a single face in sight.

but then again, all waiting had to end somehow, and the holder of the key finally came.  it was after i prayed the rosary andeven had a short conversation with the Lord telling Him how scared i was. somehow talking to Him gave me the courage that i needed during times like that.   and somehow i thought, this was a blessing in disguise since it gave me a much needed quiet time in the midst of this world full of chaos.  that quiet time also made me think about how my life, and maybe most of anybody else’s too, is all about waiting.

when we were kids, we waited:  for the school bus, for recess, for home sweet home after school, for playtime, for pasalubongs, for Christmas, for birthdays…

when we were teens, we waited:  for campings, for our favorite teachers, for our crushes to pass by our classrooms, for the prom, for love letters (no cellphones yet), for summer vacations, for graduation, for birthdays, for Christmas…

when we were in college, we waited:  for enrolments (long queues notwithstanding), for cute professors, for exam results, for classcards, for sundo, for sembreaks, for balls, for gimiks, for concerts, for movie premiers, for summer vacations, for graduation, for Christmas, for birthdays…

after graduation, we waited: for job interviews, for employment, for paydays, for bonuses, for promotions, for pay hikes, for friday nights, for gimiks, for weekend breaks, for longer breaks, for love, for wedding proposals, for weddings, for Christmas? (it depends on how many godchildren one has), for birthdays? (it depends on one’s outlook in life now)…

after the wedding (if any), we waited: for the baby, and another, and maybe more babies, for their first smile, first dapa, first step, first birthday, their 7th and 18th birthdays, their sembreaks, their graduations, and Christmas again having more meaning now with the kids around…

when the kids settle on their own, we shall be waiting:  for retirement, (if lucky enough…) for scheduled vacations and trips abroad, for Christmas when the kids will surely be coming home for reunions…

and after that, when the time comes that we are just about to pass on,  can we precisely tell ourselves that we had a full life?  or life just passed us by and we didn’t even notice, because we were too busy waiting. and for what?  seize the moment now.  make the most of it. value what really matters. hold it dearly in your hands. savor the love.  smell the roses.  feel the warm sunshine.  to wait is only meaningful if it is Jesus that we are waiting for.  and before He comes again, it would please Him if we made the most of the life that our Father had gifted us with.  because we shall pass this way but once.

our notebook, there is just too much love

“No one has ever seen God.  Yet if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us…We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.  God is love, and whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in him.” 1 John 4:12, 16

 “The Notebook” is a touching story of true love that lasted a lifetime.  it is the story of noah (ryan gosling, james garner) and allie (rachel mcadams, gena rowlands) who met one summer during the age of their innocence.  it is the summer they would always remember when they began to know about each other other and experience the time of their lives.  in short, it was when they fell in love.  but just like the summer that was, the magic had to end, at least for a while.  after so many years, and maturing from other less significant relations, their love never really died and somehow the passion of that summer had its way to pull each other back to each others arms. such love story was read from an old notebook by noah to allie, who was then at her old age, and was suffering from alzheimer’s disease.  they both believed that if noah untiringly read their story, as he did, allie would be reminded of the beauty of their love and her memory would come back.  i’d rather that you watch the movie for you to find out and experience the entirety of this beautiful story of noah and allie, as well as the heartbreaking end.

like noah and allie, bhoy and aninie also met during a time when all they knew was kids’ play.  they were too young then even to remember when they started to fall in love.  but unlike noah and allie, bhoy and aninie, never let go of their first summer together.  they held on to it, God knows how, and will surely do so until God knows when. 

the Lord has blessed me with so much, and most of it comes from having bhoy in my life.  he brings just too much love, it overwhelms me.  and that love radiates to all the people who know him and love him in return.  he is an angel personified.  and i thank the Lord for this day, when he was brought to this world to make it a better place especially to me and our kids, megan and miguel. like noah and allie, we’ve been through the hardest and toughest times.  but there was just too much love between us, only the happy times matter.  like noah, bhoy constantly reminds me of the one true great love that we have, and like allie, i will never forget, no matter what.

“The Notebook” is a movie based on the novel with same title written by Nicholas Sparks.  Ours is a true to life story of great love written by God in heaven.  It started the day Bhoy was born…

rainy days and paydays

I say ,then; live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.” Galatians 5:16-17 

hangin’ around, nothin’ to do but frown, rainy days and mondays always get me down…that’s a familiar line in a classic Karen Carpenter’s song that i often used to hear when i was still growing up.  but that familiar line would have been written differently now. other than rainy days, there’s a certain day that is most looked forward to, yet dreaded by most at the same time- that is payday.  and no one understands this last statement more than those who are employed and get their paychecks on a monthly basis, and in some cases every 15 days. 

time was when payday was a day to look forward to.  simply put, it is the day that we get paid for what we have worked for.  it is the day when we receive the salary needed to pay for essentials like food, clothing, house, transportation and more, depending on one’s lifestyle.  it means a day when efforts are finally compensated, and the need for fulfillment is finally satisfied.  to some wise few, this is a day when savings deposits get a boost. 

but in everyone’s life, change is a constant. we get married, build houses, have kids, send them to school and provide for their needs.  the paycheck that was once a whole big chunk for only one, is now chopped into bits and pieces. for those married couples who are fortunate enough to be blessed with prime jobs and fat paychecks, budgeting is no sweat. but for the majority of the ordinary workforce who are not trained enough to manage finances well, it is a hurdle.  the once upon a time, treasure of a paycheck is no more.  it is already spent long before it is even received.   and therefore, the payday that was once looked forward to is now the dreaded payday in another sense.  it is now a day when we need to pay what we owed, leaving us with nothing to take home anymore.  and at this credit card age and borrowing generation, when we live in a mentality to spend now and pay later, we live the next days on borrowed resources until the next dreaded payday.  and the cycle just goes on. and on and on.

this is the sad reality.  except for love, nothing strikes us swak in our cores as money problems does.  whether it was because of the economic meltdown, the wrong management of our own personal finances, the bad investments, or even swindlers stealing our hard-earned money under our noses, one time in our lives we experience the crunch.  no one is spared.  and i thought, if such financial turmoil could happen to the goliaths of wall street, then it surely is inevitable to happen to the davids of main street.  

it is easy to put the blame on anything and anyone other than ourselves.  sometimes, bad things just happen.  oftentimes we don’t see them coming.  but finances are only one fragment of our lives.  although it plays a vital part to make us whole, it is not the be all and the end all of our existence.  the depletion of our finances makes the other fragments of our lives more vivid, and makes us think about what is really important and what really matter to us.  paydays may dictate what our lifestyles should have been in the first place, but wisely, paydays must not dictate the quality of our lives in general.

right now, we may all be in a gutter… but we must keep looking at the stars.

being Megan, being hopeful

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds In Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

my daughter sent me franctic messages the other day.  she was overwhelmed with just too much to do and she thought there was just too little time to finish all of them.  you see, it is Megan’s first semester in the university. and like all of our first times, this is one heck of a hard time for her.  but i believe in her drive and perseverance, her guts and strong will.  if only for those qualities, i knew she could pull through.

but in those precious but few moments that my daughter was able to squeeze in for us to chat, there were words of wisdom that we were able to share with each other. but first i just let her do all the omg’s, the hmmp’s and whatever sighs she had to let out.  then i did all the lol’s.  and before we knew it, she already forgot what she was whimpering about in the first place. and we said our goodnights knowing for sure that the next day, she’d be alright.  that she’d be just fine.

apparently what was causing her panic was really nothing compared to what we, adults experience everyday.  i remember watching the other night in ‘the insider’ a feature about the rise in the number of suicide cases in the US recently because of the current financial breakdown that they are suffering from. it is a sad reality; so very sad indeed.  on the other hand, in cnn there were features every now and then too about how people are coping in some parts of africa and i am amazed that most of them still persist in what to us seem such the most difficult and harsh conditions for a people to live in and survive.  those afflicted with aids and those dying of hunger, we never heard about them committing suicides. but rather, they hang on to the last threads of their precious lives with what’s left of their humanity.  but their spirits were larger than life.  their hopes even stronger. and i guess that’s what keeping them alive. the magic word here is hope.  if we live not looking forward to tomorrow, then our todays would be meaningless. 

if somehow though, our today is in a state of panic and chaos, STOP! and for a while, close our eyes and let’s take a deep breath.  and think about this- we have 24 hours until tomorrow.  we can only do so much.  and if tomorrow finds that our human limitations reduces us to that weakling who cannot do anything at all, let us remember it is in our weakest that we are strong.  for our strength is in God. 

do you remember a time when you were still a kid, when you felt left out and it was like the whole world was against you?  when you tell you parents your concerns with matching tears and sobbing as if the world is going to end?  remember how it made you feel better when they said that everything’s going to be alright and that they love you no matter what?  it made us feel better because we believed that what they said was true.  but now that we’re too old to run to our parents (if they are still alive) and sob everytime the world is falling down around us, there is our Lord who never fails.  if our parents loved us too much that they would protect us from all the hurts and pains, how much more our Lord whose love is the greatest.

Megan would survive the first semester (and all the other sems of her life no matter how tough the going gets). she is intelligent. she is hard-working.  she is persistent.  but she also believes that first and foremost, it is the Lord who makes her so. therefore she will always be in GOOD HANDS. and so shall we be, if we only put our trust in Him. like Megan does.

no rewind, no replay

“Lord, let me know my end, the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am.  You have given my days a very short span; my life is as nothing before you.  All mortals are but a breath.”  Psalms 39:5-6

last night was the 4th night of a weeklong Eid holiday.  since i missed it last year, i waited in anticipation for the annual fireworks display to be held at the corniche.  you see, aside from being in love, (i believe my husband share the same passion), fireworks displays have their way of making me forget my age.  to watch the multi-colored lights as they gyrate in the nightsky as if they have minds of their own was like magic suddenly transforming me into that child again.  they excite me, thrill me and delight me.  oh! just like that song.  even those that highlight the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing olympics never failed even though i was able to watch them on a 10 year old 21″ tv screen only.  kudos to the Chinese for that contribution to the world.  so the very few chances that i get to seeing them live including each new year’s eve, i do try to grab so selfishly.

well, last night turned out to be a downer.  first, the van broke down.  so did everything else that followed.  the corniche was about 10 blocks away, and we decided that we would walk instead of taking a cab because the mood in the streets was quite festive and we just had dinner.  we were told that the fireworks display would begin at 10pm as it usually does.  at 9pm, when we were just about to get ready for the exciting once a year event that i waited eagerly and with childlike anticipation,  there goes BOOM!  my husband and i stared at each other as if saying “oh no! it’s just a tire blow out.”  hardly did we make another move, there goes again BOOM! and then PAK PAK PAK! we hurriedly ran to the window, forgetting that the corniche’s side was to the back of our flat, and there are no windows there.  realizing that the fireworks began earlier than usual, our minds raced as to how to get there as fast as we could.  i guess i even wished i could rewind everything, then we would have walked earlier.  we even tried to go up to the rooftop, but the only available access at that time was a small window and looking down was a 4-storey drop to the ground.  as we went back to our room, we found out that our boy was still in the shower.  at that point, we finally accepted the fact that there was nothing humanly possible that we could do and that it was too late.

if we waited for him to finish his shower, or even left without him and walked that 10 blocks, we wouldn’t have made it to the corniche in time.  likewise, if we waited for a cab.  if we opt to climb to the rooftop through that small open window, we could have fallen down and maybe broke a rib or two, if not our necks.  it would not have been worth it.  so we just tried to comfort ourselves with the thought that there is still a next year.  but not after feeling really, really bad that we had to let go of this one magical moment.

the fireworks display lasted only 15minutes max i guess, based on the boom booms, and pak pak paks that we heard.   even hearing those sounds broke my heart, i even covered my ears with a pillow. but there was something that i already knew before, but that i experienced only now, and that realization would last me a lifetime.  and that is how precious each single moment is.  on hindsight, i wondered if i had wasted such other moments just waiting.  just lik a year of waiting for that 10pm moment.  just like moments of waiting for right moments to come. 

last night too, i realized every moment of my life is just the right moment.  the Lord meant it to be even before i was born.  and if i had that such great passion to even consider climbing through the rooftop at the expense of a broken rib just to be able to experience a magical moment, then i guess i never wasted my time at all.  at this stage in my life, TIME is a treasure i cannot afford to lose.  though we may spend our time on our jobs, with our family and friends, even on our passions, but we spend it all for and because of love, then we are actually saving ourselves from a lifetime of emptiness and nothingness.

only God knows if i’d be able to watch the Eid fireworks next year, but until then every fleeting moment i would now cherish more.  because in life, there are no rewinds and no replays.