Friday, December 16, 2016

Eventualities, praise and worship; if not now, when?

My friend and business partner never fails to say the phrase, "if not now, then when?" every time we speak. It is a good reminder of the lies we believe about our lives and the time we have on earth.

Lately, I have pondered the future, especially setting my goals for the next year. I was on the phone with a childhood friend--a girl I used to babysit, actually, and I tell her, " I am a year a half away from being 30. What would I have wanted to accomplish, then?"

The lies we often believe about our lives is that we have time. We actually do not. To get existential here, as I type this I am using the "present". As you will read these words, you will have read my "past" words while using your "present" moments. When you finish, I shall be in bed, asleep--it would be my "future" coming to pass.

Wednesday was the first time I led praise and worship. I have, for the better part of the last decade and a half, sang back up. It was a surreal moment when I stood in front of the congregation and we were in high worship. The thought occurred to me that my singing--the talents the Lord gave me were unused for the last long while. The enemy had succeeded in thwarting, diverting, and distracting me from utilizing these gifts. It's sad. But now, onward.

So, when will eventualities come to fruition?

Romans 12:6-8

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Goal Setting for the Next...

My business partner went to a convention a week or two ago and came back pumped. Her energy is always contageous, but the synopsis she shared about the meeting bled into what I was learning and praying through personally.

With this encouragement, the scale is tipped, and I choose to continue full throttle into my business. She challenged me, as she is challenging herself. My challenges for the on coming months, basically 2017, are below.

I will wake up at 4:30 am. I will do small exercsies 5x a week (until I get markedly stronger). I will talk to 6 people daily about my business.

The drive is there, and I choose the word "choice" because on some days, I know I'm not going to want to do one or any of these. I also have writing projects, and a language project I want to do. But for right now these are the pressing goals. I'll make time for those projects later when I have these mastered.

On to other things, I pray for my students. I want to have good vibes and energy when I step into the classroom. That can mean the difference between success and stagnation, sometimes.

I also plan on doing a detox. Not sure what yet, but it would be a mental one, not a physical one.

Psalm 24:1

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Change of perspective and radio silence

November kicked my ass. I had several disappointments and I promptly learned from them. I was learning, stretching, and growing.

A quick writing update: I wrote a few things after I stopped blogging last month. I was disappointed in that. Something came up which demoralized me and impeded my creativity. However, once I fixed this, and started to think about the story--the universe I was creating; my characters and their circumstances, I felt that thrill and life return to me.

Additionally, I finally began to teach. I had quit my job at T&Co, early/mid-September, but with bureaucratic red tape, I wasn't able to start teaching until the 2nd week of November. It was also testing because, after that, I had Thanksgiving and holiday-related no-class sessions.

As for the business, I grew it a little bit and I am very happy to be pushing onward. I was able to close in and welcome a new business partner. It was great! When my days at the school had me feeling bummed out, I would look forward to sharing positive energy with my business colleagues.

December's outlook: after re-evaluating my disappointments, I know this is the time to change tactics. I've created a great schedule and calendar. Which helps me track and "number my days", yet, not feel overwhelmed. I've formatted my schedule for my novel--alas, I didn't get to finish because I started teaching--which I hopefully will finish by the end of January-to-mid-February.

I keep all this in prayer. I'm living for my legacy.

Matthew 10:16

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NaNoWriMo day 7 - New set of vignettes and cleaning

I didn't write today, but I did brainstorm as I cleaned the house. I just needed to rest from the weekend. I felt good though because the next set to write is all about conflicts.

It seems to me that every weekend our house explodes. All the tidying done throughout the week is foregone because Sunday is a very busy day. I once explained to my co-workers in my previous job that I don't get weekends off. I do my "hobby-job" aka, Church.

Whether it's doing errands, picking up stuff, or mentoring. My weekends are usually filled with something. It's rare to see me home all weekend.

So, today was cleaning day. Ahh. I did a lot of organizing too. Yay!

As for writing, I am at a point where my characters are no longer children with hazy memories to recollect, but adolescents. The next few sets of vignettes will involve inner and external conflicts. The last vignette, the one with the first kiss, had conflict, which bridges the first few sets to the next few sets. As children, they didn't really have any cares... as teenagers...

AH. TEENAGERS. LOL Enter High School drama. Enter College drama. YAY!

So here's to the next set!

Exodus 34:21

Sunday, November 6, 2016

NaNoWriMo day 6 - First kiss scene complete; Back home and Church

I had a productive weekend in Boston. I'm sad that I didn't get to stay a bit longer to attend church with my Revolution family. But I had to go back home to NY because I didn't want to miss our Sunday worship.

Our Sunday worships have been full of great nuggets of heaven. God is really revealing Himself to our congregation. Lots of encouraging, life-giving, and loving correction from Him. I really didn't want to miss the continuation of my sister's sermon.

Anyway, although I didn't reach the word count today, I did manage to write about 300+ words. I also completed the kiss scene between my two characters. Let's just say I let out a squeal when I wrote the last word. I cannot wait to develop their relationship.

I will take all the knowledge I amassed this weekend and use it to further my business and train others! MASTER FASTER! Yay!

Song of Solomon 1:1-4 (totally appropriate! LOL)

NaNoWriMo day 5 - Shaklee Meeting, friends and scenes

Shaklee business partners <3
Today I didn't get to write much for my story, all about ten words actually. However, I did enjoy talking with friends about the plot and characters. I also had a great time at my business meeting.

The day started early when my business partners and I got ready for the meeting. It was great having to set up and meet Shaklee people. One of our scientists, Dr. Sonhee Park, conducted a talk about the scientific base of our products. I loved the energy and knowledge she brought from knowing the science behind the products.

After the meeting, we had a quick respite, then I went to talk to my dear friend. She and I were around Harvard Sq. walking from small eatery to another. We talked about current events and other concerns. Then we talked about the NaNoWriMo project.

I gave her privy to the plot and characters. Especially about the current scene that I am writing. I've got the whole scene in mind, but since I'm focused on my business/work this weekend I can't give it much time and thoughtful execution.

Although the caveat is that I'm using up precious "quantity" time for the quality of this scene. I raised this concern to my friend and together we figured that this scene is special and needs attention, and the others can be written in haste because it's not as clear.

Basically, this scene is the lynchpin for the future conflicts--yes, it is a BIG DEAL.

Song of Solomon 7:10

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo day 4 - Plot and Trip to Boston/Cambridge/Lowell

Today I didn't hit my target word count as I was traveling. Last night I only had 1.5 hours of sleep as my mom came home from the Philippines and then I was packing for my business trip. I missed my bus because there was construction. Thankfully the business meeting happens tomorrow morning!

Whatever I wrote today was a continuation of the characters that are falling in love. It's tricky because I want to "word vomit" all the things inside my head but it's jarring and that doesn't do the characters justice. However, I may be wrong in this. Nano is about writing quantity over quality. So I will try to carve out time tomorrow to finish this set and move on to the next vignette.

But really, young couple in love~~~

As for my trip, I am in Massachusetts for a Shaklee meeting with my business partner and her mom. Her mom is a senior representative. I am thankful for this opportunity to watch her in her element.

I was able to meet with my friend for dinner. We had B.Good burger which oddly enough has one of the best SALADS ever. The whole point of the company is sustainability and local food. I am addicted to their Southwestern salad, but today I got the Fall fruit salad, which is a savory salad--not the sweet kind. It's got pears, apples, figs, and candied walnuts on a bed of rocket. Love it!

I also go to eat my favorite ice cream, Toscanini's. My favorite flavors in order: Green tea, Earl Grey, Bourbon Vienna Finger, and Saffron. Today, I ordered the Bourbon Vienna fingers because Green tea and Earl Grey are staples.

Yay for old haunts!

Colossians 3:23

Friday, November 4, 2016

NaNoWriMo day 3 - Flow, and Falling in Love

Today, I didn't have much time or energy to write. I think I only wrote about 400+ words. I'm okay with this.

Succinctly, my mother is home from the Philippines and so we readied the house for her. My sister and I divided and conquered cleaning the house. I also did other errands.

Anyway, on the writing front, I was so excited writing the little bit I did. I had this section in mind since Wednesday. I was smiling ear to ear for my characters. One of my main protagonists is falling in love with a secondary character. It's endearing.

My sister's best friend walked in on me as I was squeeing with glee as I was typing. I love it! These are the scenes that push the story on.

I'm headed to Massachusetts in a few hours so I'm going to write as much as I can before sleep and then head out.

Song of Solomon 3:5

Thursday, November 3, 2016

NaNoWriMo day 2 - Pace

Today's pace was slow. I was falling back into my habit of researching. I lost time.

I also lost time for my counter. I guess people were trying to upload their word counts before 12am, that the site was slow. So I technically got my 3345 wordcount in at 12am, having gotten locked out. Sigh.

Better pacing tomorrow! A better blog tomorrow. I got tuckered out. Haha!

Hebrews 12:2

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 1 and a small surprise

I have uploaded my first day's word count at 1,704 words. It is a little over the projected daily word count, 1,667. I am quite excited. I was in a groove. However, I wanted to stop so I can write this blog.

The current writing set up is quite simple. My Dyson heater-fan to my right, for optimal temperature; the ultrasonic humidifier with essential oils is on with peppermint and frankincense (way to keep awake and focused without coffee). I also have guacamole and chips for snack.

I got my first mini-writer's block with some dialogue, so I went and cooked some oatmeal. Did I ever mention that I cook when anxious or need to think? I also walk, but I did that this after noon after my first writing session.

At the moment, I have 4 hours a day I can allocate for writing. To lessen on fatigue and frustration, I decided to break that into 2 sessions. Two hours in the morning right after I wake, and two hours in the evening after dinner.

I've allocated time for blogging, which is not part of the daily word count. Likewise, I picked up a side project for someone at church.

Finally, the surprise of the day, is that someone wants me to part-time for them as a grant writer. If writing in this season isn't meant to be, then I don't know! But I know it's a good thing.

I'm in a state of flow. I'll continue writing after this blog.

Proverbs 15:13

Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo Excitement and Plans for Next Weekend

I was planning to sleep late tonight so I get officially sign into the NaNo website at midnight. However, I've been having poor sleep the last few nights due to the excitement. Haha, I've tuckered myself out.

I figured that I wanted to be a "Pantser" which is to let my imagination take reign of the universe I'll be creating. My NaNo planning was all logistical. I've set my writing schedule and filled up on snacks.

I did do some minor character and plot planning, but I'm not sticking to it as I really want my experience to be organic. I have a post-it with a few character names. I've got a post-it list with character themes I want to write about. I also decided the rough breakdown of story/vignette length for each character.

All decided, however, I'm not going to hold fast on anything. I am just going to write as much as possible within the next few days, hoping that my weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts will be restorative.

The out of town trip is a business trip, much like my trip to Westchester a few weeks back.

Psalm 100:5

Thinking about Cars

I spent the last few days watching a great number of YouTube electric car reviews. It's in the spirit of researching electronic vehicles and hybrids. It's utterly fascinating.

My previous post featured the Tesla Model X, however, today I was looking into the BMW iSeries. And honestly, as much as I love the MiniCooper (BMW owns them now...) and am excited for the hybrid coming out in the next few months, I've got to say the Bulldog looking BMW i3 looks adorkable.

Learning about electric cars are fascinating. The EV-car culture is quite new, and those entrenched in (regular ie. non-electronic) car culture seem to view EV's with a wary eye. However, I was doing the math on cost effectivity and it blew me away. EV car culture seems to have one revolving fear, at leat for the moment, and it's called the "range anxiety".

At the moment, range anxiety is a valid fear. However, I think with the public's acceptance of EV's, more stations and technologies will come. I was just discussing that in Queens, a variable black-hole--at least compared to the City--when it comes to EV charging stations, there are a few.

I hope my first car is an EV or at least a hybrid. I'd like for my first long-distance trip to go to New Orleans. Hello, beignets.

Proverbs 19:20-21

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Short to Mid-range Goals, and Being A Steward of the Environment

Recently, I wrote a list of several things I wanted to accomplish within the next year, year and a half, two years, and five years. Some things include being financially free of all types of debt--consumer and educational. Then there are more personal things like weight and general wellbeing. Another thing I'd like to have within the short-range future is to get my Driver's Licence and get a car.

I still don't feel like I need it, living in NYC and all. However, the liberation and whimsy of road trips without taking the bloody bus--looking at you MegaBus--is edging toward the want. Having no private parking/driveway and to alternate parking regulations--the bane of anyone with a car in the city--does not excite me. AT. ALL.

Anyway, today, I've spent a great deal watching car reviews on YouTube. Namely, I was looking at Audi and Volvo SUV's. However, what piqued my interest was Tesla's Model X. 

As I sit watching Model X videos, I remember reading an article about "passive houses". Since Tesla's are known to be eco-friendly, I linked that to passive houses which are energy efficient. Basically, the house has minuscule heat and cold leakage. There'd be no need for heaters in the winter and air conditioners in the summer. I think this is cost effective for everyone in the long run, especially for the environment.

It dawned on me that I like this type of lifestyle. It is in line with what the Bible says about Man (humans, homo sapien sapien). Man is supposed to be a steward of the earth. However, we have grossly abused it. 

I'll continue to explore these thoughts. 
Image belongs to, Tesla Model X with its Falcon wings open. A bit ostentatious, but it goes well with me. I think its whimsy. Calling my Back to the Future peeps. 

Romans 8:22

Saturday, October 29, 2016

New York, New York - A friend visits

Today, I was able to hang with a friend. She's come to visit from California, and it was a day filled with walking, talking, and laughing.

First, we met at Dominique Ansel's Bakery. Since both of us were hungry, we made our way to the Birdbath cafe. We had salad and Farfalle pasta. Then, we walked around SoHo for a bit; picture taking architecture and fanciful shop windows.

After SoHo, we walked to the New Museum. The contents of the exhibits are contemporary and abstract. I favored two installations. Namely, one with the hanging lights.

Thereafter, we walked to CW Pencil Enterprise. I bought two pencils and a sharpener. The shop is neatly organized, which is always a treat to behold. But I was glad my friend appreciated writing instruments as much as I do.

After CW Pencils, we made our way to Bryant Park where we had a snack and then walked through the Holiday Villiage. Some shops were set up and ready for the holiday sale season, whilst others were not set up. We went inside the Schwarzman building (NYPL main library) and took pictures. We marveled at the architecture and I was telling her about the history and the cool things I've come across whilst conducting research.

Finally, we walked to Harvard Club and rested our feet. I gave her a quick tour of the place and we continued to chat about life. It was a good way to end the vigorous day.

I hope to visit her in California soon, but with all the things I'm attempting to do--I'll continue to pray about it.

Proverbs 12:26

Thursday, October 27, 2016

NaNoWriMo - Prep and Plot

I just received my "No Plot? No Problem" book by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. Thank you, Amazon Prime. I'm quite pleased with what I've read thus far.

He talkes about the excitement that happens at the onset of the endeavor. Then the waning of the excitement, and by the last week it's an arduous endeavor. Thankfully, the novel doesn't have to be 100% done by means of plot or characterization, but rather, one can celebrate accomplishing at 50,000 words.

The way I've set it up is a series of vignettes, so each character contributes to the whole narrative. There will be plot holes, definitely, as vignettes don't warrant a continuous time line. But who knows?

The key here is to get to 50,000 words, and hopefully have a story worth telling. Then the revisions start. Here is where all the questions on plot, characterization, and over all style has to be settled.

I remember attempting all this before and I would waste time because I needed a certain detail to be right, correct, or real. However, Chris writes in his book that this whole exercise--marathon--is to get as much on paper/written, it's quantity over quality. Quality takes time, and that can happen after the month is over.

Here's to the next few days in mentally preparing for the challenge!

Habakuk 2:2

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wistful Thinking - Traveling, Tapas Bar Owner, Sommelier, Surf Shop Owner?

A few years ago, one of my godsister's and her husband (my godbrother by marriage), moved to Southern California. At the time I thought it was a peculiar move. Upon their move, I saw pictures on FB of wine tastings they would go to. I remember thinking that her wistful new life was interesting. However, I'm at the point in my life where I embrace the wistful ideas.

I remember when I first visited Europe with my dad, I fell in love with a few countries we passed through. I instantly fell in love with the nature of Norway. My father and I stayed in a town, Askim, about an hour and a half away from Oslo. The drive through the permafrost was lovely.

Next, I fell in love with Austria. The people were so welcoming and gentle. We were able to stay in Vienna and Linz.

Finally, I fell in love with Spain. Namely, I fell for the atmosphere of Barcelona. Since then, I have said that Barcelona felt like 99% of 100% to me--a place to settle down. That's saying something because NYC is 100/100, and Manila, where I'm from is 80/100 (blame the humidity).

Digressing, the dream I had was to live in Barcelona and open a tapas bar and art gallery. It would be a bohemian type of life. Eclectic and deliberate.

Anyway, today, as I attended an event at the Harvard Club of NYC, I felt a certain excitement. The event was a talk about the "sixth sense"--memory, and how Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac evokes memories. With this, I fancied the thought of being a sommelier. That is something I'll think about further.

On the way home, I remembered this conversation I had with an old friend. We would set up a surf shop in Cebu, Philippines. My grandfather's family owns a small strip of land by an eco-reserve in their city. It would be eco-tourism at its best.

Tonight, though, I will think about the challenge next month. NaNoWriMo, here I come. I've gotten a few ideas for plot and the like. I'm super excited.

Genesis 27:27

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review - Shaklee Effect: Living my best life now

It has been a month and a half since I left my previous job. I stepped out in faith and drew upon that much courage. My business is coming along, although the part-time position teaching is still tied up in bureaucracy. I am happy and healthy and that's all that matters.

I was talking with my friend and business partner today about our company and the opportunities it gave us. And in tying up the decision to participate in NaNoWriMo, I told her about it. I told her about this passion I've had for so long.

See, NaNoWriMo, is a writing marathon that happens in the month of November. The object is to "sprint" writing a novel--actually, a novella--that is, 50,000 words. When I was younger, I was very active in fandoms and fanfiction. I was active in several writing communities and fansites as well. I wrote blogs in Live Journal and Xanga (before that!).

My contemporaries and mentors always encouraged me to write a novel. They believed that I was capable of it. However, the timing for NaNoWriMo was never quite right. When I was in school, it went along with finals time, and when I was working, it was around the busiest time of the year. Also, when I was working (for someone else, so to speak) I was so drained of energy that I was too tired to be creative.

Writing well requires a bit of drudgery. It requires practice. It requires a lot of focus and patience. I didn't have that when I was in school or working a conventional job.

So, in the conversation earlier, I thanked my friend for seeing the potential in me to be a part of the business. The Shaklee Opportunity is allowing me to live my best life now! I am living a deliberate lifestyle and finding creative ways to spend my time. I am building and strengthening relationships. I have energy, purpose, and time.

I've lost a bit of fat and gained muscle mass. My skin problems have cleared. My mindfulness and mindset are all the more being reinforced for positivity and opportunity instead of seeing my lack.

I thank God for this opportunity. He says that we are the head and not the tail. I wholeheartedly believe in that. I can't wait! My transformation and continues.

Before                               After
Shaklee Life Plan for complete Macro and Micro nutrition

Deuteronomy 28:13

Movies - My Love for Jane Austen

Amazon Prime is lovely. Even though I have two types of DVD's for Pride & Prejudice (starring Keira), P&P is on Amazon Prime Video. I've been rewatching it the last few days.

However, today I am watching Love & Friendship, based on Jane Austen's short story "Lady Susan". It's made by Amazon Productions -- Amazon has their own production company?! -- and it's quite delightful. It stars Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan.

This spurred me to go on Amazon and wishlist a lot of regency era books--I do love period pieces! Finding something to read, especially when one enjoys the topic feeds inspiration. I love to read and write. It is a great comfort to just dive into another universe.

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. I am not sure if I'll be participating, although I am in the best position to write this year than any other year before! Quite invigorating--the process of creating. 

Psalm 119:130

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Skin - Face Masks part 2

Today, after church, I came home early. I watched one documentary and then realized I had some time for a face mask. I decided to try the Osmia Organics Protein Exfoliating Mask.

Upon opening the container, the powder is pink with flecks of brown. It is hand milled Azuki bean with a type of French clay. The texture is fine to moderately coarse.

I first measured 1/2 a teaspoon which is enough for the face (later, I measured another 1/2 for the neck). I mixed in a few drops of Frankincense essential oil and water.

The takeaway: I prefer this mask prepared thin, instead of thick, as it's harder to spread because of the fine-to-medium-coarse texture. The drying of the mask felt unpleasant as it almost stung. My skin wasn't turning red because of it, but it was uncomfortable. The acid peel (which this is) was working. Perhaps, I am not used to it.

Overall, it was okay. I'll give it a few more tries before I decide to return or whatever.

Psalms 34:5

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bible Study - Apologetics: On Free Will and Choice

Today, we had a lovely and lively discussion about Biblical foundations. There were questions and answers, and there were things to further seek God for clarity.

One of the topics was about Angels having free will. I, in my limited study, do not know the whole picture, nor am I fluent in philosophical and theological jargon. So I will seek and pray.

Thus far, all I know is that there is a difference between free will and free choice. Words and how they are defined could help shed light on the matter. But mostly, it is to the Holy Spirit to inspire and teach.

This is the crux of the matter. It is to seek God and find out his truth. To read, seek, delight, and become enlightened.

Proverbs 25:2

Trying to Understand this Election Cycle

There is too much noise. There are too many platitudes spoken. Too many empty promises.

I am a conservative with liberal leanings. That makes me on the moderate side of things. There are issues I am steadfast in my opinion, and other issues--some important to others--that I am on the gray.

I stand for life, but I believe we all have a choice.

I believe in foreign aid, but I also believe America needs to fix itself.

I believe that both of the candidates are self-serving. 

I believe the people for either side are myopic in their stances at best.

I'm praying for this country. I suggest we all do too.

1 Timothy 2:1-3

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Skin - Face Masks, all natural you can eat it (but don't)

Today arrived the past piece of the skin regime puzzle. I bought the E.L.F. Pore refining and brush tool. It was out of stock at the E.L.F. website, so I bought it at Ulta. However, it is also out of stock there.

I bought three (and a half, one was a sample) face masks, Odacite Synergie, Osmia Organics Protein with the Detox Face mask (sample size), and finally, the Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy mask. I've tried the Synergie mask and the Detox face mask (on my neck!) and I must say both are good thus far.

I'm not a "face mask type" person, but I thought to incorporate it into my routine. I look forward to the next application. I do like the Detox face mask from Osmia because the cacao scent is yummy. The exfoliation effect isn't too apparent, I think because it was on my neck. I'll try it on my face some other time.

Finally, I'm still looking for a nice toner. It's hard finding all natural stuff. I'm so frustrated that I may just make my own, which I don't really have qualms about.

Stay tuned!

Esther 2:12

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Changes - Endeavors and Lesson Planning

Yesterday, I went to my old High School to get paperwork done. I was to look over the workbooks I'd need to order to tutor ESL to international students. I met a fellow teacher and got to observe her and the class.

Today, I did the same thing. However, I focused on observing another teacher. There were differences in style between the two I observed. That was comforting. Seeing them handle their class gets me excited for my own! I can't wait for next week!

Anyway, as I chatted with the teachers, I got a sense that they, too, are feeling the new-ness of their position. The program we are a part of services the high school, and this year is the first time the program is offered during the school hours (it was previously an after school program). It's exciting as I find that we are malleable to the changes.

I think that's why people find it so hard to change, or accept change. The unknown is terrifying. Being unsure is terrifying. I suddenly remember a conversation I had with a guidance counselor in HS. I remember saying that I was so afraid of the future, that I'd rather relish the past.

I've grown up since then, and one of the lessons I've learned is to be excited for the future. When you hold on to the past, you don't see the future as brilliant, you often see it as daunting. But when you embrace the future, it's liberating because of all the potential.

I'm juggling the new position as a part-time ESL tutor with the new business. This is all new. This is exciting. But I'm getting to meet cool people. I'm creating great relationships with brilliant people. It reminds me of when I first started Harvard.

I remember then, I was so scared to sound stupid. But now, I know that everyone is learning something new. We're all sharing the same experience. Those who bring the negative energy only stifle themselves. When we have positive energy, we can share that, and together we all grow.

Super psyched for what the rest of the month unfolds. Further, what the end of the year entails. Yay!

2 Chronicles 16:9

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Keep Your Heart -- Acknowledge your blessings, blast past negativity!

Today, I was able to encourage a friend. Actually, lately, because I've the time, I've been finding friends who need encouragement. Some have health scares, some have work woes, and others are broken hearted, by someone or a circumstance. I count it a privilege to extend my prayer and support with encouraging words.

The conversation with this young lady, today, helped me realize God's goodness in my life. I have friends who encourage me and build me up. They kick my butt in line so I can do better. I realize that, for some people, it is a fortune to have genuine friends who not only supports good endeavors but cautions and corrects.

When I spoke with another friend, I mentioned that we--because she and I are accountability partners--are fortunate to have each other. That God has caused us to grow in our respective fields. We strive for higher goals, together.

She just finished her PhD research project and is fixing her scientific paper for publishing. While I am endeavoring to build my small business. For some, these goals are but dreams, much more the action of accomplishing them is nearly impossible.

I count myself very humbled by God's grace, that He would entrust to me--us--such destinies.

My suggestion, dear readers, is to find good friends who enable you in the best way. They not only are your "hype"-wo/man but also the person to knock some sense into you. But know yourself first! Your identity isn't intertwined with theirs. You are you. You are awesome in your own right, you need them to help you realize how awesome you are all together.

Proverbs 4:23

Monday, October 17, 2016

Changes - Autumn

Autumn, is my favorite season. However, I dislike the first part of it--the fluctuation! The constant hot-cold weather change; being unsure of what to wear, and the humidity.

My skin often suffers between (major) seasonal changes. My mother finds it odd, but I can't do anything about it. The other season I also suffer is the Spring-Summer change. The humidity, and possibly the pollen in the air affects my skin too.

Anyway, I love Autumn and what it brings. Brightly colored trees, hearty vegetables and stews, and a slight chill in the air for sweaters, hats, and scarves. For the latter, I have a decent collection, and will take it out of storage.

I know Starbucks notes the change of the season into Fall when the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out, but for me it's when I start cooking soups or roasting veggies. My favorite recipe is the cauliflower-potato-leek. CPL for short. Haha.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Sunday, October 16, 2016


I purchased an organic all natural powdered mask. I'm quite excited about it. It can be mixed with water, yogurt, (organic) apple cider vinegar.

Perhaps it's because I've been drinking coffee, or that I've been having poor sleep--the nasty cycle!--but I've been getting breakouts. This is why I've gotten the mask. I've also made changes to my moisturizer. I'm trying out this new oil--Orchid by Herbivore Botanicals.

So, here's to cutting out the coffee! (Again!) More tea! Yay!

I also got some co-wash (conditioner wash) samples yesterday for hair stuff. Excited to try it. One is by Oribe, and the other is made by the daughter company, R+Co.

I'll keep you posted!

Proverbs 31:30

Super Saturday - Schlepping Myself to Mt. Kisco

Today, I attended my first Regional Event for Shaklee. Super Saturday, they call it. One of the key speakers is Les Wong, who has been with the company for (about) 40 of the corporation's 51 years.

Let me begin by saying this: I woke up at 4 blood AM so as to not miss the 7 train to the City. But because I didn't want to walk to the subway, I took an Uber to the Grand Central for the Metro North. I arrived earlier than needed--a whole three hours early. I was taken aback by the temperature, it was fridged, winter-like.

I met up with my business partners and we drove to the location. I got meal bars and got to sample other products. Yummy.

I am super proud to be a part of a health and wellness company that has a history. Their products are scientifically and rigorously tested--127 peer-reviewed and presented studies! The first product, which has evolved in different iterations for specific health needs, is over 100 years old.

I want to be a part of that legacy!

Having used the products for a few years before dedicating myself to the business, I completely stand behind it. I can't wait to let more friends know about it. Health is wealth after all, and I don't want people I know, respect, and love, ailing from preventable diseases.

For my readers--if you feel that you've not the energy, or want a life change, I implore you, give Shaklee a chance. You will feel the difference. Energy. Happiness. Vitality. Then it'll be a cycle of positivity!

If you want, my website is: Experience the Shaklee Excellence with me! I'm on my turnaround--health and wellness journey. Commit to one month!

I love my Shaklee family. Super supportive, open, and great energy! I love what I do, and I love the goals I'm on my way to accomplishing!
Feel free to ask me more questions. My contact is within the website, or PM me. 😃

Proverbs 17:22

Friday, October 14, 2016

Healthy, Slow, Minimalist Living

I think that the culture today is the exact opposite of the abovemebtioned. We are living an unhealthy, fast/busy, yet unproductive, over indulgent, malcontented lifestyles. And if anyone doesn't want to participate in that, they're branded as a "hippy", or "eco-snob".

Spiritually, I want to learn to be content, for contentment is a great gain. I want to be content with myself, my circumstances, my living, my posessions. I even want to venture out and say I want to learn to be more content with my relationships. I should be cultivating stronger bonds with people instead of seeking the next interesting person.

Hmm, all good things. Still haven't quite thought it through.

1 Timothy 6:6

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Scent, Memories, and Fuzzy feelings

I think my obsession with scents began when I was around 8 or 10. There was a Rite Aid (pharmacy) by my old neighborhood that had a good selection of colognes and body sprays. Unlike other pharmacies, they had their selections open and not closed off behind a glass shelf.

I remember that my dad purchased me the Calgon - Turquois Seas spray. I practically bathed in it. Thereafter, I got CK One and Tommy Girl. In High School, I fell in love with Armani Emporio She. I also wore Dolche&Gabbana Light Blue, Dior J'Adore (mostly because my mom likes Dior and I'd use her's!), Armani Code Black, Demeter's Gin & Tonic (which is the cheaper version of Light Blue!). I particularly like Clean - Out of the Shower and Soap. I didn't care for the original scent.

I once purchased something from the UK and received a sample. I got Floris Cefiro and Fleur. So delicious...So bloody expensive.

My mainstay is definitely Emporio She. However, today, I may have found a new favorite! It's by Reiss, Black Oudh.

Funny story, I was touring our guest at the Oculus (train station/mall) by the World Trade. We passed through some shops and I had to stop. I thought the wafting scent was from a couple who passed by, but then I started to backtrack. The scent came from the shop.

I approached an unsuspecting sales associate. "What's that scent?!" He pointed toward the cashier, "It'll be there--Oud."

Another associate pointed to the bottle and I began playing with it. "It reminds me of this scent in a mall I went to in Dubai. I got off the escalator, and I was about 100 feet, and this powerful scent hits me." (to note, I was already smelling it two floors down!)

"Yeah, oudh is quite powerful. It's good this reminds you of it."

Indeed, the scent reminded me of a good time; of sunny skies, and perfect weather (LOL for that time. I am aware that Dubai is hell-hot thereafter!). I really did want to buy the Oudh there in Dubai, but then again, I didn't think my parents would appreciate me burning the wood at home. Haha.

I want to buy it. Right now I've got the sample paper tucked into my Bible. Yummy.

2 Corinthians 2:15-16

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Being Frivolous - Social Media, Crushes, and art

I have a funny relationship with social media. I like to study it. I also like to observe how people interact with it. I believe it can do a great service to humanity, and alternatively, it can do irreparable harm.

I can go on about that, but I just wanted to talk about my "Instagram Crush". Back when I was a teen, we had--dare I say "legitimate"--celebrity crushes. James Franco, Zac Effron, and Hayden Christensen. Social media has blurred the lines of "fame", wherein we all have platforms and the efficacy of exposing oneself leads to a stronger viewership.

It doesn't hurt to be pretty. (Or undeniably creative/talented).

Anyway, my Instagram crush. Funny story actually. I was looking through the "discover" section on the mobile app. I saw this lovely painting. It truly resonated with me and I tapped to view it. The secondary realization was that the artist was good looking. However, when I finally got into the album/page, I was floored.

This dude was super easy on the eyes (to say the least). He was also creative. Something I'm always drawn to. Further, the caption on his artwork spoke volumes about his character.

I hit the "follow" button so fast. LOL

I just wanted to end on this note: I was checking my feed one day and I saw one of his (art) pieces. It was a color pencil drawing of an anatomically correct heart in a person's hand. I believe it was posted on Valentines day. His caption was equally as interesting. I was so awed by the piece I showed it to my mom.

My mother isn't really into art but she appreciates it. When she viewed the piece she was in raptures. It captivated her so much that the very next day she asked to see it again and we had a discussion about it. It's also pertinent to say that she's a nurse and worked in open-heart surgery for years. Haha.

Kudos, sir, for what you did for my mom. Your art inspired a discussion. ❤️

Mad Dash part 2 - Mom's Bibles

My mother is on the plane now, probably taxiing through the tarmac. It's been a whirlwind 5 hours.

She came home late from work. Had to get the rest of her packing done. Went to the airport late.

She was all nerves. I usually can tell when she's getting nervous. It's funny and albeit a bit frustrating.

The funniest part of checking in is that her carry-on luggage was 2x the weight allowed. When the clerk asked her to take stuff out, she zipped open the bag and then proceeded to take out two of the three Bibles therein. When weighed again, it was still overweight, so we took out the third Bible.

"Mom! Why do you have three Bibles?" I asked.
"Wha--? No, that one is Amplified!"
You'd only understand if you know my mom...

Psalm 119:105

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mad Dash

Last minute laundry. Packing with mom when we get home. No sleep again tonight because I've got paperwork for my dad.

Such is the life of missionaries. Yay to adventure!

I am so excited for my mom to be heading out to the missions field. She's got a powerful message! I can't wait to hear all about it.


Matthew 6:33

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Thoughts After Church - Worshipping

I arrived at church late. It was half way into Worship when I settled in a seat. The first few songs I sang distractedly. Many thoughts were in mind.

There was this moment, where I repented for not focusing--for not being present. All of a sudden, I was able to worship. A great load came out of my mind and heart. It was freeing as well.

However, there was this other moment where I grew honest and scared. I realized that my life, in the grander scheme of things, is truly fleeting. I began to cry earnestly. I felt like, 'God, I've wasted so much time'. Also, thereafter that thought, 'what are the next 10, 20, 30 years if not but a bat of the eye.'

I remembered a sermon about Mary Magdalene who brought the Alabaster jar and anointed Christ's feet. Some scholars say that this jar with precious oils, costing much, was a nest-egg of sorts. She could have tucked it away for her future to sell or for her burial. But basically, it meant that she was giving her future--unknown, undefined, costly, and laying it at the feet of Jesus.

Amazingly, Jesus says to her detractors that her deed will forever be recorded wherever the Gospel is preached. So, in laying down her nest-egg, the only valuable tangible representation of her future at His feet, she gained so much more. Where she laid to rest her personal gain and glory at his feet, she, all of a sudden, is forever part of the glory and redemption of the Gospel.

I'm still ruminating what that means for me.

Matthew 26:13

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cleaning - part 3

My work area is fixed! YAAS!!! I still have to fix the books and supplies that I moved from my shelf. Most of the effects are books...

I have a problem with parting with books. I love to read. I hadn't the time when I worked at my previous job. I often read news articles and scholarly articles. However, I really look forward to getting back into reading books.

I am thinking of buying a bean bag chair for reading. I cannot wait! I'll have a reading nook again.

My clear desk looks very official. I'll purchase more Muji acrylic cases/accessories to keep things tidy. Cannot wait~

90% done with room renovation. Also, I found that I have a lot of lipsticks. Haha.

Isaiah 41:10

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cleaning - part 2

In my last post, I talked about minimalist style and transforming my table/vanity into a work desk. It turned out harder than anticipated. After clearing the papers that had accumulated over the summer, among other things, namely change, receipts--I cleared space in my shelf to put my makeup tower.

What I was not prepared for was feeling unnerved that I was taking apart my "battle station", and moving it elsewhere. See, my makeup is organized in the Muji acrylic storage boxes. It is prominently displayed on my desk, next to the vanity lighted mirror. When I moved the tower onto the shelf beside it, I became aware of the empty.

I stared at that empty space for a good 20 minutes, trying to place a finger on why I felt vexed. It rattled me so much, I just went to bed. I slept quite late (or early in the morning), passing my bed time.

Anyway, feel that my desk is bare. But I am ready to accomplish great things. As I said previously, I always felt that if I let go of something, the energy otherwise used for that one thing can be transferred into something else. I feel that way with space--which is probably why I was so vexed about the empty space. I had spent such a great deal of money and time getting my battle station just right only to have to move it...

My vanity is now my workspace. It is the designated area to conduct work. It is a blank canvas used for productivity and efficiency. Yay!

Habakuk 2:2

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cleaning - minimalist lifestyle

One of my good friends and I have always admired the minimalist lifestyle. However, I don't exactly fit it in practice. I have a lot of stuff--I'm very blessed

Today has been about cleaning and clearing out my room. I envision a uncluttered area, but its an organized jigsaw right now. I am trying my best to keep things tidy.

I am making room on my desk/vanity for actual workspace. At the moment 2/3 of my desk is devoted to my makeup, which, while nice and organized leaves little room for paperwork.

I've got to shift things around in my shelf so I can move some make up there so it doesn't impede work flow. I've an office set up in mind, but I don't exactly want to put my makeup aside. I worked so hard earlier this year to get it all organized and tidy.

Here's to being 65% underway.

Philippians 4:12

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Plant-Based Diet Yet Again

Since 2012, I've taken up this thing where I shift my diet, which is meat heavy, to vegetarian/pescatarian. It usually is at the beginning of the year, where I naturally "detox" from the Holiday feasts. Thus far, I really like it.

Aside from fasting and praying, I make this commitment to fast meat. It helps me feel lighter and be at ease. I honestly don't feel like I carry a bunch of junk inside.

As for the post two days ago, and last night's post, I am on a scheduled "turnaround". Fixing sleep and work schedule, then my diet and after, work out my schedule. Yay!

Today begins the no-meat phase. I am so tempted to just eat meat, it's the easy alternative since there's already leftovers. However, I am making cornmeal "patties", my hack version of a tortilla.

I added some all-purpose flour so it would clump up and not be crumbly. However, I know this goes against traditional corn tortillas. Apologies.

Going vegetarian takes a little bit of planning, especially since I've made it a point to eat 6 times a day--small meals to keep metabolism up. It's harder than it sounds because it requires effort to be on an eating schedule. I remember Hillary Swank saying she abhorred the training and eating schedule for Million Dollar Baby. She had to get up half way through the night to take a protein shake.

My brother comically said, "you know, where people say 'I gotta get out of my school schedule', you have to get back on your 'school schedule'." I don't disagree because I am healthiest and most productive.

Psalm 18:2

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Yesterday, I was talking about focusing my energies. Today, begins implementation.

I spent the better part of the day preparing and finding reinforcements for the healthy habits I'm creating. This is about consistency after all. Exciting!

First phase, bed time. Second, phase, working hours. Third, phase diet. Fourth phase, workout. Final phase, repeat.

Also, I'm finding more creative ways of getting my business out there. Here's to more planning, development, and execution.

Psalms 37:7

Monday, October 3, 2016

Countdown to first fitness goal

Sigh, 29 days to my first fitness goal. Just being clear and envisioning it. I know I can focus!

This week has been hard with little sleep. Today, I'll try and sleep early. No more coffee or teas for me.

How bad do I want this goal? Badly. I've got to brainstorm how to get in more activity. I need to the change of weather, too.

All is well. I will sacrifice Instagramming during this time in order to focus on this goal. I always believe in loosing something to gain something.

Philippians 4:13

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Wanderlust - Where It Began

Being Filipino, I always knew someone who was abroad. Growing up and having family come to visit with souvenirs was a treat. They would have plenty of stories about distant lands and different cultures.

In addition, I was raised around foreigners. In Makati, Philippines, I saw Westerners and Asians, since it was the city center of the country's capital. Also, since my dad was an Evangelist/pastor, he had support from missionaries, namely, South Korean ministries/missionaries.

When I came to the US, we lived in a very diverse neighborhood, and the schools I attended reflected the population. It was great growing up with all these influences, i count myself very blessed.

But really, it was my grandfather who was a sailor. He sailed all over the world with his crew at a time where most societies were still segregated. He would tell stories about African, European, and Asian port cities and their misadventures.

My dad, too travels often. Even at a young age, I knew he would go to the provinces in the Philippines. And as I was growing up in the US, he would go back to the Philippines every year for a month or so at a time.

When I was sixteen, he began traveling to Europe for extended stays, first for a few months at a time, then up to six months. His travels always brought home great news about the churches in Europe, and the great things God was doing there.

Because of the internet, I had (and obviously still have) the privilage of meeting interesting people from all over the world. That's how I got to meet my friends in Dubai and South Korea. It's fantastic!

Traveling to the Philippines in 2008, and then to 11 countries in Europe 2009, really solidified that lifestyle. It helped me grow and expand my philosophies. It also gave me a heart for overseas workers. But more on this topic another time.

Travel just runs in my blood. I loved cultures, art, food, and people. I love stories. I want to amass stories for my children and grandchildren because I know the world will be a different place then.

Acts 1:8

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Dreaming of You - Convoluted Thoughts

The title is appropriate, seeing that today the Selena MAC (cosmetics) campaign began. Already sold out, and admittedly, I am quite nervous that I won't get the lipstick of that name. Sigh. More on makeup in another post.

I wanted to talk about the dream I had last night. I woke up with a start, feeling awful. I was mad and sad all the same time.

The setting of the dream was at Camp (Ashland, VA).  In the dream, it seemed like I lived there, but I was moving out that day. Some guy was helping me pack up and get all my stuff sorted, but after my possessions were in the van, I went around to say goodbye. He was following me diligently as I said my farewells. However, I was looking for a person.

This person I am looking for, "C", is someone I know. In real life, our general relationship is hard to describe. It's a case of misunderstandings, but great rapport, mutual affection--there's a lot of history and disappointments on both ends. I acknowledge it's not the best.

Anyway, in the dream, I was seeking "C" out to say goodbye. I was searching all over Camp, and in the last possible moment, right before I absolutely had to leave, I see him. From across the room, I ran toward him to give him an embrace. I hugged him tight, and then let go. He then told me to run to the van.

The guy who had diligently followed and helped me pack was called elsewhere as I opened the door to the passenger van taking me to the airport. The van was full of people who I was close to and strangers along for the ride to the airport. I called out the people I wasn't close to, asking them to leave the van if they had other motives in being there--namely, they wanted to join in the pre-flight meal we customarily have as a family (yes, this is a real life thing we do almost every time someone leaves!).

As the van pulls out of Camp, I call "C" telling him, "It's not too late to join us to go to the airport. There's space [in the van]." He replied, "I'm sorry, I'd like to but can't. I'm sorry timings never work out..."

I am distraught, and I wake up from my dream.

I woke up feeling angry with my(dream)self for not noticing the devotion of the other gentleman--the one who helped me pack and who diligently stood by my side saying good bye. Yet, I was also sad that I had spent so much time looking to and for someone who didn't feel I was worth the same amount of energy.

Whether this is a true representation (or devolution) of my relationship with "C", I'm not sure. But surely, I think I can believe that timing has, and will probably never be, right. How sad I am about this I'm not entirely sure.

I am a firm believer of letting negativity go. Yet, grey areas exist and "C" is there. Complicated enough to hurt, yet positive enough to inspire.

Proverbs 2:2

Friday, September 30, 2016

Relief - Falling into Place

Today is a good day although the weather seems contrary. I've finally submitted the last pieces of paperwork for the teaching job, and I had my first order for a Shaklee turnaround! Happy dance!

The walk toward my goal is long, but today is something to celebrate because God is good. I'm a firm believer that victories, no matter how small, should be acknowledged and celebrated. The adage 'fortune favors the bold' has been in mind lately, and I can't help but think that patience and prayers through the last few weeks have lead me here. Seemingly insignificant, but I cannot help but think of the Jesus and his parable of the mustard seed. 

A friend slept over last night, but before sleeping, we were talking (as I did the dishes). I was talking about my activities the last few weeks, and what I'm doing with the time I have for myself. I've also shared the renewed passion I have for mentoring, and how I'm finally working out my ministry.

She mentioned that couldn't help but smile as I recounted the last few weeks. And in addition, other close friends have noticed how 'chill' I am with all these changes. I always attribute the peace to the prayers.

A few posts below, I mentioned that I am interested in the slow living--living intently--and that the philosophy of one of my favorite chef's is "Time is an ingredient". I've been through circumstances that have stretched my faith these past few years. I'm just learning to rest and change my flow.

Things are settling down, and now the praying and the planning these few weeks can take effect. Soon more victories, in different forms, will come. I can't wait to celebrate those too.

Hebrews 12:2

Sunrise at Burj Khalifa observation deck

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Inspiration - Trip to Dubai and Being an Entrepreneur

November last year, a friend of mine came to visit NYC with a group of friends. I was so blessed to have dinner with them and to hear some great news. One such piece was of her engagement.

Fast forward a few months later, I find myself in Dubai, UAE. It was my first time traveling to a foreign country alone--although the previous year I went to Mexico (again, for another wedding), but met up and stayed with a group of people I knew. My cousin and her adorable son met me at the airport and helped me get settled in my AirBnB. There was an interesting circumstance here, but long story short, we saw each other one other time before I left, so I don't really count that as "staying in a foreign country with family" (more on this some other time).

As few days before the wedding, I was happy to join the festivities. I had my hands adorned with henna, and I was invited to tea at my friends home. Lovely all around. I loved the company and tea. 

Conversations and customary getting to know you's were had. I found that a few of her friends, professionals in their own right, had businesses. One has a jewelry line and another has a fashion line for bags. This intrigued me.

I found it odd that these lovely women who were established in their respective professions created their own businesses in their spare time. I mean, it's not unheard of, but I began to ponder 'why?'. However, after a while, I supposed that the 'why' didn't really matter. I supposed that they did it because they loved it. I wanted that, too.

In a succinct cultural commentary: being a first generation immigrant--coming to the US at a young age--I have observed that my parents (immigrants themselves) had this mindset, like many overseas workers. The mindset of "getting by". Granted, we came to the US legally because my mother is a professional--others are not as fortunate to have entered with the status and bearing (another topic for another time). 

I've heard other people make apt comments about the "getting by" mindset. Namely, someone mentioned that "Filipinos tell their children to 'study hard' so you can get a job, not 'study hard so you can have your own business'." I've had this in mind for a while, and seeing my friend's friends with their businesses, inspired me.

One of the conversation topics with the friend I visited yesterday was about my job--the job I've yet to actually begin (another story)--or the [current?] lack thereof. I stated that "I don't want to work for anyone else", and with this, she gave me a boggled look. 

Not for nothing, admittedly, I like to shock people. I don't like to be pegged by their preconceived notions. But those who really know me understand my quintessence.

Digressing, for the sake of my future family, my mindset has changed. I don't want to be a part of anyone else's rat-race. I've one life to live and all... 

I wish that my fellow Filipinos can have the confidence and courage to think outside of this 'getting by' mindset. I find it sad that they waste away in a foreign land not feeling the embrace of their loved ones, but especially, growing old without an enriched life. 

Apologies. I had meant for this post to be light and short. More pondering about all this on my end.

Proverbs 31: 24-25

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Slow Living - The Lie of the Rat-Race

Today, I was able to meet up with an old friend. I had not interacted with her for more than a decade. We enjoyed bunch at Qdoba, and talked about our respective businesses. I had a nice time.

Thus far in the recent re-direction of my life, I am enjoying the "free-er" time that I have. It is the opposite of when I worked for someone else, where I would be so tired I'd "nap" (ie sleep!) after I got home. However, I also attribute my increased energy to the shake and vitamins I've been taking for my turnaround. After the nap, I went to church. Happy times!

Digressing, I love the slower life style I have right now, and to be honest, I've always admired my friend Susie who runs the blog Oreeko (Oreeko on FB). She runs a blog and directory (!!!) on slow living. I always thought it was lovely to live that way.

Slow living, I think is great because one lives intentionally. Time is yours. The lie of the rat race is that the things on your list must be accomplished, but really, things take time!

Another tangent: that's why I love Dominique Ansel so much. I love the concept of the Dominique Ansel Kitchen [where] "Time is an ingredient"

Here's a few things I've learned: There are things one should not force. (Certain) Big decisions take time. Life is to be enjoyed. There's no point to being miserable with something you can change. Living the life you want takes courage and sacrifices.

I hope that from here on out, I live intentionally. That I use my time wisely. I am accountable, right?

Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On Healing - A Journey & Encouragement

Last year, about this time, I was hired full-time by my previous job. However, two weeks into training, I hurt my foot, specifically my toe, and couldn't walk. I was embarrassed and angry with myself.

While on medical leave, I was just angry and terrible to myself. I felt stupid, and frustrated that something so silly kept me from working. I was embarrassed because I had just started in that department. I kept praying for healing and was frustrated that it didn't happen instantaneously.

However, one evening, as I lounged with my foot propped up, I felt something inside. I heard the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I felt my heart changing.

See, our body is the Temple of God; He resides within us, ready to commune with Him and do His work. However, we often neglect it too. I, in my frustration, was cursing my own body for not healing quickly. I was harboring negativity about the situation. The nudge of the Spirit caused me to see this.

If we are to speak life to others, we should speak life to ourselves. "Death and life is in the power of the tongue," Proverbs 18:21, so calling ourselves ugly, fat, worthless, and broken, is profaning the Temple of God. It is contrary to everything He has made us to be. 

So, at that point, I repented for the awful way I spoke to myself. I renounced all the anger inside. I renounced insecurity for good measure. Then, I spoke the promises of God. I am His righteousness. I am free. I am redeemed. I am healed. I am loved. I am accepted.

To this, I have learned to treat my body right. I try to get good quality sleep. I try to eat healthy. I try to exercise. I try to stay away from habits or actions that may cause old injuries to get agitated. However, I've got to move away from 'try' to 'do'. 

I challenge anyone reading: Repent for seemingly innocuous words/descriptions--"I'm fat", "I'm ugly", "I'm stupid", "I'm bad at...", "I don't know any better..." This is not who you are or who you're meant to be. You're meant to have an abundant life--and fat means you're abundantly blessed with food! Working out may be necessary, but you're blessed with sneakers to run, or money for a gym membership! Accept the fullness of His Grace in Jesus--accept that yes, we're not perfect, but we are unique for a purpose. Our experiences and lessons are nuggets of heaven to share with others.

God gives (multiple) second chances. He allows us to live life, and when we focus on this blessing; we see His goodness. We start seeing the grander plan. We see order from all the chaos of the past and present. We see a clearer vision of a better future.

James 1:17

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Dreamer - Keeping the indomitable spirit

In Middle School, my best friend once told me that her dad gave insight about her friends. He had mentioned specific characteristics about each one of us, there was five of us that (often) hung out together, but three were tight knit. I often revisit this insight.

He had said, "[J] is a dreamer. She has her head in the clouds, and sometimes she may need someone to keep her grounded." I remember receiving that insight negatively. Was it bad to have my head in the clouds? Was it bad that I'd need someone to bring me back to the ground? In hindsight, it was my insecurities as a tween that shaded this lovely insight negatively.

In reaction to that, I closed my heart up. I focused on being "logical", "linear", "intelligent"--thinking that being a "dreamer" wasn't intelligent! I would only focus my whimsical attributes in art or writing. I grew mean spirited because I thought I'd need to be acerbic and witty. It wasn't my best friend's dad's fault, it was my own--I'd made myself miserable by denying a part of me.

Fast forward to my young adult development: I did away with all that heaviness and darkness. Thank God. It was a process unfurling the negativity; stripping away the heaviness, and being true. I mean, I'm still sarcastic, and of course witty, but that's part of my winsome personality.

More recently, while working at my previous job, I felt all the more convicted to not let anyone else take my joy away. As part of my personal testimony, I must spread the joy and peace inside. I was saved from my own dark soul and mind, and replacing that was Grace from Jesus. 

Tangent: my salvation prayer was simple--"God, take away the darkness in my soul."

Digressing, at work, I loved to talk with people, and one coworker, specifically, enjoyed our talks. We were of like mind, academics stuck in corporate. We would banter; ponder statements, and talk about art and literature. One of the nicest things he said about me was, "...I like you, 'ya know? You've a touch of whimsy. We need that in this place." 

I've learned that this whimsy; that I, as a dreamer, need not keep it bottled up. Yes, it takes more energy to be ernest, honest, and happy. And yes, people can take that transparency as vulnerability--weakness, but it's not. It takes far greater courage to love forthrightly. It takes more courage to keep on dreaming. It takes creativity to learn how to navigate the broken world. 

I like art and literature. I like to listen to sad songs. I like to look at real estate postings for magnificent houses. I like to peruse the internet for First Class tickets to wherever. I like pretty things.

I love broken people. Broken people have such great potential. That's how God sees them, and that's how I choose to see them, too.

Hebrews 4:12

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Countdown - Philippines, Shaklee, Weight-loss

Health is wealth--how can I possibly do the work of God set before me if I'm schlubbing around?

A few weeks ago someone asked be about the numbers on the home screen of my phone. The numbers are actually countdown widgets for several dates. The largest number is a countdown for my solo trip to the Philippines. The next is for the days I have left to qualify for a Shaklee incentive trip. Finally, the number to a weight loss goal--not my over all weight loss goal, but an attainable one.

In 37 days I plan to be back to my weight post-graduation. Summer 2014 was the lowest I've weighed since Sophomore year in High School and I want to get back to that. I had ballooned Junior year because there were some personal issues, and that led to an eating disorder. It took me a few years to get out of that, and almost a decade to have a better relationship with food.

Digressing, in 37 days I should fit size 6 jeans again. I just need to focus on sleeping correctly--which I have not in the last two weeks. I need to drink more water; I've not been drinking 4 liters of H2O daily. I need to work out, that's proving hard because I'm not sleeping well. These last few weeks I haven't had a regime to follow and that's bad because I need to be accountable with my time.

My business partner called me up yesterday asking how my Shaklee turn around is going--and while I'm doing what I need to, the last week I didn't have my heart in it. Now, as I write, this is my accountability: I will commit to my turn around. I will commit to my business. I will commit to my teaching. I will commit to being the most kick-butt I can be. I will commit to discipline.

A little tangent: mother and I were doing laundry late last night/this morning and we were talking about how people were getting dreams/visions/encouragements about significant others. I told her, "All I'm getting from God is 'focus on your business'." She agrees, obviously. But out of my mouth comes, "I've got to ascend to a position because if I'm going to marry some powerful, influential guy, I'll have to be influential as well."

Proverbs 31:16-18

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Love Songs

I wanted to post earlier but today was all over the place. My "day" hasn't ended yet, as I am doing laundry at this unforgiving hour. Nevertheless, here's a short post on several of my favorite love songs.

"Head Over Heels" by April McLean is such a sugary, lovey, yet straightforwardly earnest love song. I believe I first heard it as a sound track from Amanda Bynes' show--"What I Like About You", with Jennie Garth. Anyway, it's about a woman resignly admitting she's fallen in love, and in the last line of the song affirms it. It's an easy song to listen to. I hope to make it part of my Wedding Playlist... I had suggested it for Dave and Pre's wedding last May!

The complete opposite of this song--also an easy listen, is "Pills" by the Perishers. I am still distraught that the band broke up after two great albums, but what am I going to do. Sigh. It talks about a dysfunctional couple who cannot admit to each other they've fallen out of love. Awefully depressing, but it's got such a glass menagerie twinkle and sound--its nuts. I listen to this song (and recommend it often) when I'm thinking of certain people... Leaving that there.

Finally, I love "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden. What can I say, 80/90's kid. As cliche as it is, I thought (and still think) that the lyrics evoke such imagery. As I listened to it in my tweens I thought about traveling with a significant other. Probably why that is a non-negotiable in my relarionships. Okay, wow, just found the root of that intrinsic need in my life. Yay for blogging.

I've other songs, perhaps next time.

Proverbs 4:23

Friday, September 23, 2016

Conversations with God

One of my favourite sermons is about prayer. I believe that prayer is essential in spiritual growth and personal growth. Deep prayer is having deep conversations with God, and I love it.

When I was a child I thought it was something formal. That I first had to 'clean' my mind of thoughts so that God wouldn't hear them before I started. But that's the thing about an omnipotent-omniscient God--moot point in cleaning your mind before prayer 'cause He already knows!

Anyway, the sermon of the Tabernacle Prayer (taught by Paul Yonggi Cho) is a go to, especially when I want to 'soul detox'. Its not meant to be formal... it's meant to be real. I'll be re-iterating and exhorting on it at Church, so I might as well give snippets.

Premise: The Tabernacle/Temple prayer is a method of praying so as to engage God in deeper conversation. It also helps pace one's self in prayer time.

There are three stages and seven areas of concentration. The three stages are the outer court, inner court, and the Holy of Holies. The seven concentrations are: the Brazen Altar and the Cross, Laver, Lamp Stand (Menorah), Table of Show Bread, the Altar of Incense, and the Mercy Seat.

At each concentration, we engage God differently. At the Brazen Altar, we come to magnify the work of Jesus on the cross. To affirm His death, and His triumph. We renew our minds with the benefits of the cross: forgiveness of sin, righteousness, healing, conquered the world, fulness of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, redemption from the curse, etc; We get to clarify the vision of our identity in Him.

The Laver is where we look within ourselves using the 10 Commandments as our mirror. It is no longer a curse (Galatians 3:10 NLT preferred). A lot of repenting and renouncing here. Got other gods and idols? Got a problem with taking the Lord's name in vain? Am I keeping the commandment of the Sabbath? Do I respect my parents? Honestly, when you ponder upon these, you'll be humbled and see that we needed a lot of fixing. It's great! Its a recalibration. This is where I'm usually a sopping mess.

The Menorah represents the Holy Spirit and His seven attributes. He illuminates our spirit and soul with His: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge; fear of the Lord, and holiness. This is that part where the 'oil' or 'anointing' comes. Here I'm humbled by His abilities and realize what it means to function in and through Him. And, obviously, I engage Him and adore Him and take this time to fellowship with Him.

The Table of Show Bread is the word of God. The 'logos' - the written word, and the 'rhema' - God's spoken word. I like to think of it as the Doctrine within the Bible and the inspiration impressed by God through the Holy Spirit that brings these doctrines to life, able to apply divinely inspired Word to our lives. I thank God for the Word and the promises of the Word that has come to life within me for my wellbeing. Super powerful to know that God's Word does not return void (Isa. 55:11) and alive (Heb. 4:12).

Finally (for my snippet, rather), the Altar of Incense. Here, we are directly in front of God's glory. Our prayer is a sweet incense to Him (Ps. 141:2 & Rev. 8:4). Here we are able to offer petitions for ourselves and others, pray for blessings, protection; lay down plans and projects, etc; You've got this time, place, and space in front of the King of Kings and He's listening. Say, 'Hi' or just be still to listen to Him. 

I encourage you to make it real 'cause either way He's listening. Also, going through these points, I assure you, you'll have a long and very deep conversation with God. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

(Yes, I realize I may have blogged about this a while back. Always a good topic!)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time Management and the Curse of Flexibility

Time management: this is one of my many failings. I add that flexibility is a curse because, too often, it goes hand-in-hand with poor time management. And no, I don't believe there is such thing as a "work-life balance", but more on that in a bit.

It is ingrained in me to be 'flexible'. Whether it is a facet of the Filipino culture, or that it is heavily prized in my family culture, I am not certain. Personally, I treat it as a bad habit.

I have tried schedulers and calendars--not the same thing!--I'm a 'lister' so lists are good for me. But try as I might, I do not get to cross off everything on that list. It annoys me.

Case in point, yesterday evening (early this morning, rather) I was listing down what I needed to do for today. However, something happened when I woke up that needed attention. While that matter was important, I am now looking at my list. The will to accomplish it diminishes. 

However, I've got to learn to manage my 'work-life', seeing that I'm part-timing as a tutor/teacher, and I've a business to run. I've to learn to focus, prepare, and make contingencies. Honestly, I can plan but my intentions may not be right, therefore, what looks good on my list, I may not follow through. That statement makes little sense, but it does to me. 

Anyway, affirmations:  I will focus. I will do what is on my list. I want to do this.

As I wrote yesterday, Proverbs 16:9, I plan, but God fulfills. I'll just do my work and thank Him for the energy.

Psalms 103:1

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Excelsior!" A life change.

The word "excelsior" is Latin for "ever upward" and "still higher". It's on the state seal of New York--completely apropos. It also happens to be Stan Lee's catchphrase. To me, it's a dare.

Can I push myself to be better spiritually, mentally, and physically? Can I learn to face my battles efficiently, head-on, with a victorious mindset? Can I worry less about people's preconceived notions? The answer is, obviously, 'yes'. However, 'when?' is the more vexing question.

Some weeks ago, someone inspired me with a 'divine' word. That's nothing new since I'm always receiving or being told great words of wisdom and affirmations (prophetic words, so to speak). But the succeeding days, I couldn't get it out of my mind.

I sat under a pine tree at work, and instead of eating lunch, I was praying. I was faced with a conundrum. Who I want to be is far grander than what my current position could give me. It wasn't out of ambition or entitlement, but rather, an illumination within. It asked a serious question--which had been asked before, but this time, instead of brushing it aside, I had the courage to answer it.

It leads me here. A new career path, a budding business, out of my depth (for the moment! Optimistically, obviously), and committing.

The committing is the hardest thing yet, to be frank. But that's part desperation, part hope, and wholly faith.

I hope to write blogs regularly again. Perhaps it would help others understand the journey I'm on now, and for me to externalize whatever it is I'm going through.

God's grace is suffice.
Proverbs 16:9