Labor Pains

“Martha, Martha” the Lord answered, “you are upset about so many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

It’s the first day of the new year!!! It’s time to write a new book in our life’s story.
But first let me remember how I got this far.

If asked to describe 2014 in just one word, I choose “meaningful”.

From day one of 2014, the scene in our home where we just moved just days before, was absolutely chaotic. Except for that spot where we sat for the obligatory family photo, everywhere we look at were boxes upon boxes of stuff that were yet to be unpacked and sorted out. It took us about a month to put order into our new home.

Since I grew up where New Year’s Day is the gauge to which the whole year could be predicted to become, we made sure that on every New Year’s Eve, there was bountiful media noche; a clean house down to each cabinet drawers and shelves; pockets full of coins and bills; among other handed down traditions that somehow shape the way we think and live.

But traditions or not, regardless of the disorder in our New Year’s dwelling, 2014 was one that’s full of trials, challenges and difficulties. A year which one with a weak heart and spirit could not endure. The pain was excruciating to say the least. Though not physically, the pain nevertheless pierced each and every part of my being to the very core. But then with each surge of pain, there was always an anticipation so great it momentarily made me forget I was hurting.

Like I was in labor after months of carrying, not a bundle of joy, but a load too heavy to bear. I finally heaved a sigh of relief when a couple of days before Christmas of 2014, my prayer was answered. God once again gave me a gift of hope, like on that first Christmas when Jesus is the “gift” for our salvation.

I cannot recall ever praying so hard like I did those dark days in 2014. And when I saw the light in my answered prayer, the more I felt God’s presence in the here and now. Nothing compares, even those two times I gave birth to my children. The labor pains I had to endure became flickers of memory. The pain disappeared into the wonderful sight of a baby. Now into the sight of a rebirth to a second chance.

It never stops at giving birth. We had to nurture the life that was entrusted to us until it grows into its own fullness in Christ. So should I not stop after receiving the gift of answered prayer. This new year 2015 and for the rest of my life, I have the responsibility to follow through my promise to fulfill the will of God in me; a humble way to express my endless gratitude and praise for His unconditional love for me. I don’t expect the labor pains to go. I’d probably give birth to a new hope over and over again until I grow into full spiritual maturity. Until then, I look forward to this journey to more New Years to come with the Lord in my heart. As that first way of Jesus to the Cross, the pain would be worth it.

So please do not be discouraged. All of us has battlefields to go through at some points in our lives. God will never leave us, if we only let Him fight our battles for us through constant prayer. We have to acknowledge our weakness and believe in His power over all things and in all things.

when the time is now

“Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8

we’re now ten days into 2011, and i still don’t have a list of new year’s resolutions.  not that i even plan on having one, but it has been tradition that before the old year ends, the list should have been done and must be followed from Day 1 onwards.  but since it’s a bit late already, maybe my new year’s resolution is to not have any new year’s resolution at all.

before Christmas, Megan was giving slight hints here and there about what gift she really wanted-a canon 550d camera.  since it is quite expensive and we don’t have the money to buy one just yet, i told her that patience is a virtue. wittingly she responded that time is goldhaha!  that camera might as well be gold!

aah youth! –  carefree, always in a hurry as if there’s no tomorrow.  but only with age will they realize that time is just a passing fancy.  and i sure finally did. in fact, as i grow older, i perceive time as a curse.  especially when life is defined by the years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds… 

when i was younger, i used to believe that time is really gold because our culture dictates our life in terms of the years that we live.  like when at 12, one has to finish grade school.  one can vote or date at age 18.  by 20, one has to finish college.  by 30, one has to have established a career already, earned his 1st million and settled down.  between 30 to 40, one should already have a family, built a house for them, sent kids to school…

between 40 to 50, one would be preoccupied with advancing with that career, take care of seeping health issues and playing on retirement plans.  at age 60 onwards, one should then enjoy the fruits of retirement, then eventually die of natural causes or old age.

imagine the frustration when one doesn’t catch up with the hands of time.  i won’t be surprised if that expensive rolex, that cheap wall clock or that annoying alarm clock can be as deadly as a butcher’s knife.  these timepieces may actually be the number one cause of stress.  and stress as we all know is the number one cause of any illness, or the reason some diseases get even worse  for that matter.

 it’s been two months since my surgery, and i’m still stuck here in my room. since i felt stronger, i think that i should be elsewhere doing something else, which “culture” expects of me.  but God put me exactly at this spot at this very moment. just as He planned.  building up my patience, strengthening my faith and bolstering my confidence in what He has in store for me.

we should be defined by the moments we live. not the hours we spend catching up with the future.  not the minutes fighting off the ghosts of the past.  we are in the here and now. and whatever we think or do now, will shape up our tomorrow .  or change how we look at our yesterday.

if you want a taste of hell, go ahead.  stare at that clock as it excruciatingly tick-tocks your life away.  waiting for that something that may just happen only after a century, or worse, may not happen at all.  do whatever you can wherever you are-NOW.

remember that in heaven, there are no clocks.  no calendars.  no new year’s resolutions. only moments of everlasting joy and infinite bliss with our Lord.  so savor each moment like you’re already in heaven.

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

autumn-leaves2

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.

a matter of time

“Do not love the world or the things in this world.  If any one loves the world, love for the the Father is not in him….  And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15, 17

new year…two words but countless different meanings for each individual human being.   to some it is just a matter of changing calendars.  to others, a cause of anxiety and panic.  but i’d like to believe that new year brings a deeper meaning to our lives. 

it is a time to look back at the year that was and thank the Lord for the countless blessings He had showered us each and every day of 2008.  it is a time to assess how well we have spent each moment of 2008.  it is a time to remember loved ones who already crossed over to our Father’s home.  it is a time to check our phonebooks and account for friends gained and lost along the way.  it is a time to ponder on where we focused our energies on and if it was worth it at all.

new year is a time to look forward to.  a gift from the Father for a chance to be better persons than we were in 2008.  a time to hope, that no matter what the circumstances in our lives will be, the Holy Spirit will be within our midst always.  it is a time to move on and be a light to others believing that Jesus is with us every step of the way.

2009 is not just a matter of time.  it is the time for us to matter in the eyes of the Lord.  time is the Lord’s gift to us.  and what we do with it through our lives is our gift to Him.  let our gifts be pleasing to Him not only this new year, but for the many more blessed and fruitful years to come.