Friday, December 25, 2009

'Tis the season

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.

Once the first day of December hits the calendars, an unexplainable sense of euphoria and greatness seems to envelope everything. The mere idea of wrapped presents, Christmas stockings, rich chocolates, blinking lights, holiday decorations and work breaks (formerly school breaks) is enough to send me flying to the moon. Moreover, Christmas songs fill homes and streets with the much needed atmosphere of love and good tidings.

This year, however, I welcomed Christmas quite differently. A good kind of different.

Since April 2009, God - the awesome provider - has blessed me with work that has consistently been an opportunity for me to grow in all aspects of my life, especially in financial matters. So for the first time in twenty two years, I was able to buy gifts this Christmas for people I care for using money I earned. I am also very glad that I am continuously able to support my sponsored child since I started working this year (despite the aftermath of calamities and shadows of recession). What a blessing it is to be a blessing to others in this regard!

I may not have a huge bulging sack of presents being pulled by flying reindeer or a factory of toys run by elves over at the North Pole but I believe there's a little bit of Santa in each of us. Even though I've outgrown Santa Claus per se, I'm still a big fan of the big, jolly guy in red. For me, he is more real as Saint Nicholas: a man with an extraordinarily generous heart who lived centuries ago whose story has been an inspiration for both young and old until now. His charitable act is not tough to follow; we all have something to share: time, talent, or treasure. Most importantly, we have the love of Jesus Christ to give to everybody...

Christmas will always be my favorite holiday.

I realize I am no longer a little girl at 22 years old but I am eternally thankful in the truth that I will always be a child of God.

As the holiday season reaches its highlight, I am filled with joy in embracing more closely the belief that 'it is in giving that we receive' (mentioned by St. Francis of Assisi in his prayer). Truly, 'tis the season to be bathed in gratitude for the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. On Christmas day, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us - to envelope us in the eternal love of God.

In giving our lives to God, we receive God Himself into our new lives. God be with us.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12 B.C.

It 's that time of the year again!

DECEMBER - the month that brings life into a good kind of busy state and a good kind of crazy state.

What do you think prevented me from blogging in a while?

Obviously, the Christmas bug has bitten me very, very hard.

P.S. It's only 12 days Before Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Find Me

Today closes a full circle of a year that has passed since I came back from a half a year stay with my relatives in the United States. What a year it has been.

Before I left the country in June 2008, I told myself and certain close friends that the trip is going to be the opportunity for 'soul searching' I've always wanted to have. Since the path after college overwhelmingly branched out to so many different directions, I promised myself that I'd take a back road for a while and figure out where I'm headed for in life. I suddenly realized a few days post-graduation that twenty long years didn't seem that long after all. In fact, it passed by a little too quickly than I thought it would.

Six months in a looking glass away from home also flew by much like a breeze passing through a field. I knew I came back the same person but with broader perspectives, stronger convictions, better values, and deeper faith in God. However, the questions I have when I left still remained unanswered even after arriving back in the Philippines. My period of 'soul searching' was finished but I still haven't found what I've been looking for. At the time, I possibly felt more at a loss than ever.

As I began to re-adjust to life at home, I slowly found my place under the sun without being aware of it. It was like being given a second chance in life - a clean slate to start all over again. Now I've come to understand that 'soul searching' doesn't mean you have to isolate yourself to a far away place in order to have an epiphany. It means looking within... for wherever you go, there YOU are. You are the one thing you cannot escape from.

I have come to the conclusion that, indeed, "Home is where the heart is".

I couldn't be more thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to rediscover who I am and who I can be. Life is truly about the journey - going through every experience we face each day with much gusto. The destination is a bonus, an affirmation of what it took the sojourner to get there.

For almost eight months now, I am blessed every single day to be working with kids with special needs at a therapy center in the metropolis [after a whirlwind of serious decision-making]. I am wonderfully blessed to be living my dream of being a catalyst for good change and a positive influence in society. Moreover, I couldn't have asked for a more supportive family and circle of friends.

I am eternally thankful because when God found me, He not only helped me find Him - He also helped me find me.


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