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.

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no limits

  “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed”.  Exodus 23:12  

last saturday, my intense resolve to go to work was not able to overcome the weakness that i began to experience the night before.  i felt dizzy and whoozy.  and just too lame to even stand up for long, much more walk around.  you see, last thursday and friday, being weekend, i was up and about doing this and that at home. and friday night, i spent more than two hours ironing a week’s set of clothing for three.  no big deal really.  well maybe, when i was younger.  but since i turned forty almost three years ago, there were changes that most of the time, catch me by surprise.

busy bees
busy bees

like last weekend.  one moment, i was okey.  the next, totally incapacitated.  o darn! i know these are signs of ageing. but combine it with hypertension, obesity and pre-menopausal symptoms (ha-ha!), how worst can it possibly get?  whereas before i read about beauty and fashion, lifestyle and entertainment, now tops on my must-read list are about health and well-being, alternative medicines, exercise and diet.

there are times that i feel bothered not to be able to do things that i need to, simply because of my physical limitations.  especially those that i was used to.  like moving cabinets and furniture around the house, lifting heavy boxes way beyond my own weight, not to mention iron clothes for more than two hours.  sometimes, i get frustrated that these are now past tense.  and the sooner i learn to accept it, the better for me to live in the present tense.  and better yet to move on towards future tense (ha-ha again!)

but come to think of it, even superheroes have their own weaknesses and limitations.  remember superman and kryptonite.  spiderman and his dark side.  achilles and his heel.  how about darna minus her bato (stone)?

darna

so consider this.  i’m no superhero.  nor even a hero at all.  i’m just plain old me going through the motions of time, watching  my fountain of youth dry up by the minute.  the sooner i learn to accept that, the better i can see the wonders of old age.  besides, it is probably God’s way of telling me to stop, look and listen.

stop… to rest, recharge, rejuvenate, refresh.

look…to see the beauty of the world around me and be thankful for all i that i have, and maybe perhaps even those that i don’t.

listen… to that  voice from within;  God’s gentle voice which speaks to us moment to moment.  the same voice which soothes us… heals us… strengthens us…

but we are oftentimes deaf by choice.   we refuse to listen.  not even to our bodies which already beg us to stop, because it can no longer go on one more step further.  too busy with the dictates of our worldly clock that we burn out before we even know it. 

 i am now at my prime and i won’t let the hands of time keep me from doing what i still can.  because whenever i need to stop, i will.  and i will look and listen to what really matters.  and i know it does not always necessitate physical strength and stamina which is bounded by our humanity.  what we really need is love to share and time to do it.  how we do it is up to our imagination.  and that, my friend, knows no limits.

strength in weakness

“And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.

Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but He said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Helping hand

there were many times in my life that i was down, depressed and frustrated.  when i was younger, even the tiniest of  issues were like big deal. and they almost immediately initiate the feelings of being so “kawawa naman ako”. 

time passed and the issues  revealed their ugly faces.  they came to life, grew bigger as i grew older.  i realized whew! so this is what the generations before us were talking about.  how life can be really hard, and how it is a game of survival where only the toughest wins. 

eventually, in my mid-age, i have already experienced the worst, that i never imagined possible.   and what’s even more frightening was, there were times when i get anxious with the thought that,  it may not be the worst yet.

those difficult times, however, became my teachers in the school of  life.  for the most part, i have been betrayed, not once or twice; i stopped counting.  but i learned about trust as well.  i have experienced frustration, but learned about encouragement.  i have made mistakes, yet i learned about forgiveness too.  i’ve reached rocked bottom, but learned how to get on my feet and move on.  i tried hanging on, but then i also learned when to let go.  i faced desperation head on, and faith saved me.

God works in mysterious ways all the time in our lives.  during the darkest of times, i see the light of His Love guide me on my way.  in the coldest of night, i feel His warm embrace and i feel secure.  when there was none, He always provides. 

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now as i travel through what remains of my life’s journey, i will never be lost again.  though i know there may be bumpier roads ahead, i shall never be shaken.   obstacles may try to block our path, still i will not tremble.  for now the Lord is the driver of my life.  in His hands, i will forever be safe.

a RUBY by any other name is still as sweet

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for Thou alone, Lord, makest me dwell in safety.” Psalms 4:8

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one of the saddest realities of life is dying.  it comes in different forms and circumstances.  sometimes slowly, but more often than not, just suddenly.  there was a time when i see death as a possibility that can happen only to a generation ahead of us.  a remote eventuality for the much younger generation.  as i stand in the middle, i found out this glaring truth- that we are never too young to die, nor are we too old to live.

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she was a childhood friend, a next door neighbor, a classmate, a kumare.  we were together since 4th grade until high school graduation. we went to school together, played the same games, ate the same foods, enjoyed the same music, even shared secrets. we practically grew up together. our daily routine together changed only when we went to the university.  though she had a love life way later than i did, she got married long before i did.  she chose to be a full time housewife to her husband and mother to 5 wonderful kids.  but our friendship stayed on, though we no longer see each other that often.  we knew in our hearts that our love for each other remains.  but death snatched her away.

they say she was too young to die.  yet if we believe that our lives are already pre-destined by our Creator even before birth, so does the fulfillment of our life’s purpose, no matter how much time we have.  how we accomplish that with the given time, the Lord gave us free will to decide.

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last week, we were all unprepared.  Roobee passed on so quickly.   we never had time to say goodbye.  we could only stop and look back at all that we had shared together, and just imagine how it would be like to grow old with her.  but no matter how briefly we had her, in God’s eyes she had already completed her purpose.  what most mortals see as Roobee’s unfinished business, is now the life’s purpose of  those whom she left behind.   it would make her happy to see all of us to realize our own regardless of how many years we still have to fulfill it.

roobee1her first name was Rubira.  her childhood nickname was Rubie.  some spell it as Ruby.  when she got back from Thailand, she preferred to spell it  R-O-O-B-E-E.  but no matter how we call her, she remains my sweet and dear friend (actually there’s just too many beautiful words to describe her) who is always  in my heart.  she had so much love to give, and she gave it all away.  those  of us who have known her, are just so lucky to have received a piece of that unselfish kind of love that inspires us to also give a part of ourselves.  so that when the time has come for us to go,  love would still remain and live on.

fragments of time

“The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”  Psalm 37: 23-24

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it’s the 15th day of the new year 2009.  i wonder how those who made their new year’s resolutions are doing.  according to wikipedia, a new year’s resolution “is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned.” on this the 15th day of the year, are your resolutions being fulfilled? or are they now on the brink of that great abandon?

when i was younger, new year’s day is a day i eagerly waited for.  somehow it gives me the chance to formulate higher standards, correct past mistakes, and just basically make a fresh start.  it was like being born again, only in a year-older body.  but based on my experience over the years, either i just repeat my past mistakes or make even greater ones.  i usually ended up performing way below my own standards.  and the fresh start ends, shortly before the second quarter of the year.  my new year’s resolutions became year-end disappointments.

as i grow older (and hopefully wiser), these disappointments had taught me a lot about time.  one is that i should not live my life based on a year’s performance.  time is not a year. time is not a month. but time is a sum of all moments.  and just like art, it is usually quicker and easier to see the picture if you paint on a smaller canvas.

hourglassnow, living my life in the moment enables me to simultaneously live up to my standards as i formulate them, immediately correct my mistakes,  and consider each moment as an opportunity for a fresh start. that way, disappointments are dissipated the moment they set in.  not having to wait for another year to start over again.

Solomon’s wisdom

“Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong…”1 Kings 3:9

bedtime is always an issue when we deal with teen aged kids. every night, i sound like a recording saying to my boy that it’s already 10 pm and it’s already time to bed.  and the same story goes that we debate first for about 10 to 15 minutes.  he argues that even if he’d lay down at 10, he usually gets to sleep between 1 to 2am.  naturally for me, it’s not acceptable because he has to wake up early for school and i insist that the later he lays in bed, the harder it will be for him to fall asleep.  we already tried various strategies besides nagging.  like if he’d shut down later than 10, he would be penalized the next day.  no computers.  no tv.  if you have your own teen aged kid too, you would probably know more or less the ending of our story.  the kid complies, but not after seeing you turning into incredible hulk!  with that smirk as if he’s having a ball seeing me all green. grrrrr!

but every morning when i wake him up, the hulk in me is gone with the night.  instead, i turn into my old self again while i prepare his breakfast, and the uniform he would be wearing.  and i focus on him until i see him ride the school bus, and finally out of my sight.  aaahh! mothers. 

what keeps me sane through all this, is the realization that discipline is a relative term and one can not really measure how much a kid needs.  some kids are by nature subdued, rational and responsible.  so they need less.  some are bratty, careless, apathetic, wild.  sometimes these kids need OD.  ooops! and it will take a genius of a mother to know the exact dosage of discipline to give their children.  and when. 

you see, i am not a genius.  so i do the trial and error method.  and with this method, i learn from my children too.  the usual dosage i give is discipline with a dash of firmness and a pinch of consistency taken with a glass of understanding.  and like king solomon, understanding of what is right and what is wrong, is what i always pray for in dealing with difficult issues.  especially with raising my kids.  because on my own, with my human nature, i can never fully comprehend the complexities of it all.  only solomon can do that.  but i am ready to learn, if only to raise my children well.  because i love them.  and i want them to grow up pleasing before the eyes of the Lord.   maybe that’s what king solomon and i have in common, not wisdom.  but love.  (you see, even this hulk has a heart!)

the rock

“Be my rock and my refuge, my secure stronghold; for you are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3

according to dictionary definition, a rock is a relatively hard, naturally formed mineral or petrified matter; one that is similar to or suggestive of a mass of stone in stability, firmness or dependability.  in the Holy Bible, the Lord is always referred to as our rock.  during times of weakness and despair, we are strengthened by the truth that the rock of our lives is the Lord. the Lord provides our stability because He is ever present in our lives no matter how we often we take Him for granted.  the Lord is firm in a way a father disciplines his child not to punish but to give direction.  the Lord is dependable. whenever we are weighed down, He always lifts us up until we are able to stand and walk again.  but still, He stays on, ready to catch us when we start falling down again. if only we trust in THE ROCK.

let your light shine

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

oh yeah it happens all the time.  we enviously stare at the other side wondering why it’s always better on that side where others stand on.  on our side there’s always something petty or silly  to complain about.  we keep feeling sorry for ourselves and end up in despair for some things that are not really meant for us in the first place.  but how many times did we ever glance at where we stand? did we not consider that maybe, those on the other side may also be staring at us thinking how fortunate we are, and how they wish they are in our shoes?

yes we all are indeed fortunate in different ways, most of the times we don’t even realize.  the past days i kept trying to keep the website i built a week ago ‘alive’.  but i was drained of ideas and lacking of technical know-how because i was only a beginner.  i was frustrated.  maybe it was just the grand idea of having a unique website of my own that i forgot why i even need to have one in the first place.  i was busy browsing from one page to another in awe that i felt such pride that oh!  i can do that too.  and boy! i was wrong.  really very wrong.

the Lord has given me such gifts in another field that i am thankful about and yet i am not cultivating.  gifts that when nurtured and harvested don’t drain me at all.  those that come naturally and makes those who taste them see better, feel better and think better too.  the same way some web pages also do. 

i’m not giving up on learning how to build a website with lots of traffic and stuff.  but surely then, it will showcase not what my interests are as i first intended, but those ‘gifts’ that i already had, which i forgot to open, because the ribbons and the wrappers on the other side looked more attractive.

Our Best Friend Forever

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter and his brother, Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee and his brother, John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.  Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.  Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’.”  Matthew 10:2-7

The apostles of Jesus were His helpers, confidants and trustees. He passed on to them the task of spreading the Good News after He ascended to the Father in heaven.  They are His friends who, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, remained true to Him until the end.  His friends were unique in their own ways, but they focused on the same mission.  Their love, loyalty and dedication to our Lord is an example for us to follow too.

We may not have apostles, but we do have friends.  Some of us have a few, others a lot.  But one thing is certain.  We can never live alone.

By midlife, we may have already met our Peter or Thomas.  Maybe our Matthew or John . Or our Judas Iscariot.

When we look back to the past, there was always at least one friend during the best times and the worst.  

I remember one conversation I had with my daughter while I checked  my mobile phone.  I asked myself why is it that the older you get, the shorter the contacts list becomes.  My daughter who was fourteen that time, remarked that it was good.  She went on to say now you know who your true friends are.

Note that on top of the list on are my husband, my daughter and son. So consider your family as your best, true friends.  But there is one Best Friend who is not listed, because His line is invisible and unlimited.  We don’t even need a phone to talk to Him.  His name is JESUS- our BFF (best friend forever). 

Overwhelmed!

There’s always a first time! I feel so excited and anxious about doing this, you know this blogging thing. I’m not really quite knowledgeable in this field yet. but I’m excited to learn. (help!)

There are lots of reasons that motivated me to get into this.  One of them is to reach out to as many as possible, and in some way touch lives.  I have always wanted to be an angel. but I can’t grow wings so maybe I just have to make use of my gifts as a human being to be of help to others.  I’m not sure in what way, but that’s the closest I think I could get to being an angel. 

I’m a Catholic, over forty, a wife, a mother, a college degree holder, a lover of art and music, loves to cook, write, watch the news, and some tv series and lots of movies.  That’s basically me.  So if you happen to need to talk about any of these, or anything ‘alien’ to me at all, I shall be glad to hear from you.  Who knows maybe I could be of help and touch your life.  Or perhaps, be your angel on earth.