All The Sweet Moves

“For it is God’s will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:15

Holy Monday, and here in Bahrain it’s business as usual.  I’m unable to go to Sacred Heart church all by myself,  yet thanks to technology, there is no lack of literature and videos that could somehow remind us of the importance of this week.  Not to mention the Holy Bible.

I’ve been distracted the past weeks.  Had recurring respiratory ailments, was busy with the tender , still concerned with Miguel’s pending leap from a career in films to a life in the kitchen, excited about Megan’s graduation, and worried about the hot weather when we come home for vacation in Pinas.

In similar situations prior, I vent all my perceived helplessness by binging on food.  They say sweets are great stress busters.  Especially chocolates.  But somehow added stress goes with the end result of having to lose the extra pounds later.  So eating just for the heck of it, is just a temporary relief.

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Now I found another sweet way to battle my way out of  the “insanity” of  it all.  Who says only the young can play candy crush?  It’s calorie free, but it’s bad for my eyes.  And it makes my back ache.  Yet for some precious MY moments when I reach home, I transform from a middle-aged, tired, sickly, corporate lady to a fresh and vibrant girl again.  All because of candy.

As I play it over and over, I learned that no matter how I try, if I am meant to stay on one level for a period of time, my jellies won’t get crushed, even if only one has to remain.

It’s not about the candies. It’s how they fall on my favor.   Because even with candy crush, someone wiser designed them so.  I just have to persevere. But not lose the enthusiasm  to play the game.

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Do you feel stuck where you are now? That you are heading nowhere despite the effort?  Do you instead get negative results after all the hard work and late hours? Do some obstacles block the plans that you so long prepared for?

We don’t have five lives.  But we have infinite chances to learn. We just have to try and try.  Even if all options seem exhausted.  We just need to wait. Try once more.  Until we got all the right moves. And everything falls into place.

Harry Potter is my son!

“The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed.”  Exodus 34:20

SPECIALIS REVELIO! This is a spell which causes an object to show its hidden secrets or magical properties. One of many in the Harry Potter series. Maybe, the very spell which causes HP followers to yearn for more.

When the first film was shown in movie theaters years ago, my children were then 9 and 6 – old enough to understand the story despite the accent, but young enough to be bedazzled with its awesome special effects.  From then on, our household increased by three – Megan, Miguel plus Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.  My kids loved their new-found siblings, and in Hogwarts, they would meet new friends with whom they would grow up with in time.

My kids indeed have grown now.  So did Harry, Hermione and Ron.  It is amazing to note the physical transformation.  But it is more noteworthy how their bond grew stronger through the years.

10 years, 7 books and 8 movies after, JK Rowling did a great job to steer our kids’ imagination towards a love affair with books.  Such that national bookstore was like a candy store to them.  The significant influence is written all over our children’s chosen career path.  Megan is a prolific writer with a passion for creative production layouts.  Miguel, on the other hand, dreams of becoming a filmmaker.  Thus, Harry Potter casts his spell .

We knew someday our kids would go and follow their own calling.  But Harry Potter had to go too, and we are sad that it all ends now.

On the contrary we are blessed, that in our time, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, their masters, friends and villains, came to life. Our household had been stupefied by their presence, and like a son, Harry Potter would live on in our hearts.

Thanks to GOD who is ever greater than magic and the creator of JK Rowling, Harry Potter would triumph over all evils for ages to come.  EXPECTO PATRONUM!

some kind of light

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” John 21:18

my daughter megan was compared by my mom with Christmas lights that blink and blink.  when she was younger, she had  a temper which she undoubtedly got from me.  fortunately she got the ‘flash’ type temper.  ’twas here, next second pfft, nada, gone. 

i wish i could control my temper like that when i was younger.  like a switch, i could have just turned it off as quickly in a flick.   and so should the spanking too.  (if that caused my behind to be this plump,  something good came out of it somehow, ha-ha.)

this is just to point out that as we grow older, the more subdued and considerate we become.  when as infants, we cry when we were hungry or wet,  no matter if it was in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep.  or we smiled and giggled when we feel like it, even when there was no one around  to smile with us.  who cares?  as kids, we were carefree. no worries, no inhibitions.  walang pakialam sa mundo.  at walang kamalay-malay. we didn’t care what time of day, or night it was.  our parents took care of everything we need.

when we matured as teenagers, tougher rules were implemented.  parents stared at the clocks longer. tick-tock, tick-tock.  “time to do this, time to do that”.   “you’re late again”.   darn! these were played on and on like broken records.  that’s the reason we couldn’t wait until college graduation was over.  when finally, we would be able to find decent jobs and meet financial bliss minus parental restrictions.  aaaahhh sweet freedom!  haha! or so we thought…

we don’t realize it until later that as we went about to build careers and eventually settle down and raise kids of our own, that we were never  free afterall.  when we signed employment contracts, we were bound.  when we get married, we tied the knot.  and the marriage contract didn’t even have an expiration date.  and the power over our own life would remain a dream, because our sense of responsibility decides when to turn on and off our self-indulgence.  we will forever be prisoners of time, jobs and loved ones.  or on a grander scale, prisoners of our own organization, company or advocacies.  

by prisoner here meant to be involuntarily restrained.  as adult human beings, it is an instinct to belong.  and to belong means that one exists no longer for himself alone, but for someone else or something that he puts higher importance to, at times even more than himself. this requires sacrifice and self-denial especially when one’s desires and comforts are set aside for the well-being of another.   

when we stretch out our hands to be tied down or when we allow ourselves to be taken and girded to be carried to where we would not want to go, we are perceived to be prisoners by human standards. but when we conform to a higher spiritual order, the restraints become the most profound symbol of freedom.  chains are made of love instead of steel.  and the prison walls of  warm embrace, instead of concrete.  when we are finally freed from the bondage of our own selfishness, we finally taste freedom of the sweetest kind.

Jesus stretched out his hands to be crucified.  He allowed himself to be girded by others and carried away to where we would not want to go, to Golgotha where His body and blood were sacrificed so that we may be all be free from the bondage of sin.  it was not about weakness.  but obedience.  and love.

the fate of St. Peter was predicted to be like that of his Savior, only upside down.  though he “blinked” 3 times, when he denied Jesus, he freed himself from the anguish and shame by accepting his designated task on earth.  to be the rock upon which the Church would be built.  to be the shepherd of Jesus’ flock after His Ascension.

wouldn’t it brighter, if instead of blinking lights, we would rather be spotlights?…ever radiant and focused where the hand of God sets us upon.

a heart-warming summer

“I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John 16:28

almost a week ago,  we saw megan off  to Bahrain where they would board a plane back to Manila.  we had just spent 36 days all together as a family. how time really flies when you’re having a great time. it seemed only yesterday when we picked her up at the airport in Dammam.  and now that she’s gone back home to Laguna,  we are just so grateful to God for those precious bonding moments that we had shared.

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there were very few tourist spots here in Khobar where we can take her.  but the corniche provided that perfect place where all four of us became one with nature. we had picnics in the parks along the corniche of Khobar, Dammam, Jubail and even the roadside going to Asisiyah basking in the great view of a small lake lined with dates. 

 stolen (joke!)

the beachfront near half moon was not as pristine as that of boracay’s.  but the fact that we were together made it just the perfect site for a fresh level of togetherness.  we grilled fish and chicken, went fishing and ate to our hearts’ delight.  it didn’t matter that we were cramped together in our small tent watching james bond’s ‘the quantum of solace’ on the laptop, nor that we were not able to sleep soundly after.  as we look back to that night that we’re all up together, trying to amuse ourselves with silly stories and corny jokes, made me realize how great a time we had.

starbucks moment

we remember those nights when we went mall hopping just strolling around.  we don’t have much to splurge on shopping, but we did have some for venti and cappuccino after those tiring walks.  and those small talks that we have over coffee; believe me they are worth far more than anything that money can buy.

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there were other things too that keep reminding us of megan’s stay.  like that pink shark balloon she begged us to buy for her.  it still in miguel’s room until now.  how she loved broasted chicken so much and the garlic mayo too.  the movies that we started to watch together, but most of the times ended up with poor me already sound asleep. how she loved to sleep in her abaya.  how tatay always dives on all three of us in bed with that sweet embrace shouting ‘group hug!!!!!!!!‘ the joy rides that we loved complete with video reporting like they were made for cnn.  and surely megan will never forget how we were swarmed by four young girls at a ladies’ rest room in Dammam corniche.  for some reason, those girls started embracing and kissing us the moment they saw us went in.  we had a very hard time trying to escape from their ‘clutches’ especially megan who they even followed to the car.

tgi fridays

this year is also the best mother’s day that i had so far.  the three of them conspired to give me a surprise.  well, they gave me roses and a certificate for being a good mother (i just wish that i really am) and treated me to a sumptous dinner.  but there was something in the manner that they executed their ‘performance’ that words can never describe.  it was just so sweet.

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 i believe that our bond together as a family only grew stronger.  we rediscovered each other as persons, and tried to showed each other our affection like we were trying to beat a deadline.  and as we saw the bus where megan was riding, out of carlton and on to the highway going to Bahrain, we realized that time is up.  but then again, amidst all the tears of goodbyes, the joy that we had together is now replaced with hope as we look forward to Christmas when we would all be together again.

imagesthere is one day far greater though, that we should all look forward to.  the ascencion of Jesus Christ gave us the hope that someday, He shall be coming back.  and as we wait for that day, let us  focus all our energies and our gifts for  the glory of GOD, especially by spreading HIS LOVE; that is His Good News to everyone.   so that when that time comes, we shall be worthy to welcome Him again, and take us together with Him in His kingdom for all eternity.

 

 

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…

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.