Monday, 11 April 2016

Praise and Worship

I am born, baptized and raised to a Roman Catholic family. My grandparents are Roman Catholic devotees wherein both of them serve the church in their ‘able’ years. My family goes to Sunday Eucharistic celebrations, pray the Holy Rosary and knew the Lord's Prayer by heart. I even went to a Catholic School until my tertiary level. I think it was not a conscious thing that my parents sent us to a Catholic school. Yeah, I’m sure now because my brother studied in a non-Catholic school during his elementary to secondary years. So basically it’s more on its accessibility to our house, my parent's workplace for most part. I never changed my religion even until I married a non-Catholic person. My husband and his family were actually Roman Catholics before they converted to Christian-Protestants. We even got married in a Christian ceremony with Pastor as our celebrant and wed in a garden, not in the church. I can say that we are just lucky (so I think) that both sides of our family supported and understood our relationship until we tied the knot. Both our kids were dedicated to our Lord as Christians and my eldest daughter went to a Catholic school. Religion was never a big issue in our family. And it should never be. Thank God! I believe that for as long as we live harmoniously, respect each other and our relationships’ untainted despite religious differences, God doesn't mind. I cannot remember I struggled so much adapting to these two different religions because there are also some similarities as to how Catholics worship versus Christian Protestants. I am not very particular on the history of why they are called Protestants but base on what we practice, the way they service Mass has a similarity of how Catholics celebrate. There are songs of praise that I am accustomed to singing in Catholic mass that I sing in Sunday service at my husband’s church. The Holy Bible is the basis of both church’s Gospel reading and worship. When I enter both house of worship, there is a big sign of the Cross which is situated in altar and the stage. It may have some differences but I think it doesn’t matter as long as we worship and believe in the same God and what's base in the Holy Bible.

Ever since I attended Sunday service mass at my husband's church, I feel an overpowering joy to the extent of tearing up. Every time I sing songs for God, I feel grateful for my life. I feel the Lord is touching and healing me. Passages from the Bible gives me a sense of relief and calmness. It gives me comfort, hope and joy for myself and my God.

And when an opportunity came for me to attend #TheFeast (a Catholic meeting of Prayer and Worship), I didn't have second thoughts. I am ecstatic and told myself this is my chance since the venue is near my workplace. 

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every Fridays at Cinema 3 SM Ecoland from 6:30pm-9pm.

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Fridays now is my 'Fridates' with my God and myself.

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A person who ran out of DREAMS is a person who ran out of LOVE. 

I've heard of this group way before because of Bo Sanchez. I didn't mind it at first until my cousin has been attending The Feast at their Bay Area assembly. Attending The Feast is an answered prayer. I love singing and I like it that I can sing here with all my heart's might. More than that, it gives me a breather and time for myself. My 'me-time' with my God. Even for just 2 hours in a week, it recharges my faith and remind me that God is with me whether in bad times not only in good ones. Honestly, I am guilty that my family don't regularly go to Sunday service. But attending this once a week is like having attended Praise and worship service. But I know it is still not okay because my family is not with me everytime I attend this. I need to restore our bonding as a family to God in order for my children to grow up knowing God. If my husband can't, then who else will? Putting pride aside, maybe God is giving me in charge of our Faith. Then I have to obey.

As parting words, what I am trying to say here is that religion will not save us. Our faith does and it is our ticket to salvation. Nowadays, I see a lot of religious groups formed through time and it is sad to note that there are some of its members who righteously brag that theirs is the truth. I mean, it is not right to judge. For me, as long as you find yourself and God in whichever sect you have chosen to join, then that's where you belong. If you feel in your heart comfort, love, peace, kindness and selflessness, then you found the right one. Let us respect each others' belief because I believe if respect dwells in each one of us, our world will be as harmonious as we would like it to be. God bless our world!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Pained Heart: Remembering Courageous Caitie

Yesterday is a devastating one for me. As a mother, I cannot imagine myself losing my child because of a life-threatening illness. During the journey, it's like each day gets harder and harder and you don't know what tomorrow has in store. You don't know until when the agony and pain will end. I am talking about the painful story of the almost 4 year old Caitlin 'Caitie' Lucas, daughter of Feliz and Jay Jay, who suffered and acquired a rare kind of leukemia which I got to follow in their facebook page, Courageous Caitie. Before, I was glued on the same situation of the 4-year-old daughter of actress Jackie Forster, Caleigh known as Kikay Caleigh at Instagram, who was struck with leukemia (but not the rare kind) also. But now, I rejoice because she was healed by God. It's so painful and I can't bear to feel what the parents of Caitie's undergoing right now. Sure, words of God and people who sympathize overflows with so much encouragement for the bereaved family. But nothing can ease as of the moment the reality of losing a loved one. I cannot bear to post photos from their Facebook page because everytime I see it, my eyes and heart tears. It aches so much. Yesterday at lunch break, I really cried coupled with sobs in between and even now writing this piece. I remember the photos of Feliz and Jay Jay holding Caitie's lifeless body in their arms. And in one photo, Jay Jay cradled Caitie and kissed her on the forehead. It's such a sorrowful ending. My only consolation is that Caitie is now pain-free and is safely in God's hands. My reflections about this journey of Caitie and her family is I PRAY that... I wish that accepting death is not too hard to deal with. Honestly now, I fear the life after death. Because I don't know where my soul take me. I know I will be in an unknown place and travel alone. I fear death because I still don't want to leave my kids behind at a very young age. I want to be present in their journey towards adulthood. Secondly, how I wish that my faith endures all things. Yes, I am weak. I need God in my life so much and I know that I've been missing a lot because I am preoccupied with a lot of worldly things.

Caitie touched my heart in so many ways. Like I said, I have a child almost as the same age of Caitie. That's why I am so moved and touched with the Lucas' family journey. Seeing my kids last night as I arrive home from work, I feel blessed and grateful to God that my kids are healthy and active. And I pray that it will always be that way. As a working mother, every minute that I got a chance to be with them, I take advantage of it by spending quality time with them. I know I am not a perfect mother and sometimes I want to take a break but with the realization Caitie has shared to us, I will never stop being there for my children. So that in the end there will be no regrets... only gratefulness of the moments that God gave to each one of us.

Caitie, my dear, you'll always be remembered. Thank you for showing to me how to be courageous, faithful and cheerful despite life's battles. Please help your Mama and Papa cope up with your loss. Always make rainbows in the sky so that they will feel your presence even in that instance. I love you!

For full details of Caitie's journey until the end, see links below:

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

McDonald's Happy Meal: February 2016

Toys, toys, toys... Now that I became a mother, my kids needs (and sometimes wants) mostly gets in with my priorities. Their joy are now my joy. And toys are kids happiness! My kids default fastfood is Jollibee. Most of the time, we wish that they could just abide with us where we want to eat. But we always end up with their choice. Or else, food will come to waste or they will never eat at all. And since, SM City Davao branch is close due to their ongoing store renovation, we headed to McDonald's. I'm happy that we chose to eat there not because of the food but because of the toys included in their Happy Meal.

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Completed all 4.
UPDATE: From L-R: Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, (?), Pinkie Pie
They also have Ben Ten for the boys.

I'm not sure or remember what they are called but my kids are into fairies now. (UPDATE: They are called My Little Pony Dolls Equestria Girls). Anything with wings and about flying (maybe except riding on an airplane), they just love. Lately, they have been engrossed with the 2015 animated movie 'Strange Magic'. Have you seen it? At first, we don't appreciate it because most of the characters have a beast-like appearance and scary to some. But what they love about it are the songs which they love to sing and even the dialogue and scenes they re-enact. The movie is played several times a day. No wonder they already memorized every song and every conversation and scenes. Even me and the husband can go singing along with them and enjoys watching them acting up. It's a happy and light movie that talks about love. 'Everybody deserves to be loved' is their movie caption.

What I love about McDonald's toys are its durability and quality. I even got their Hello Kitty last year but sadly, have not completed it because supplies run out very fast. So what are you waiting for. Grab now for your little ones and even for the young-at-heart! It's a good collection material.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Random Thoughts: The Smell of a Baby

I always love how a baby smells like. It's synonymous to a milk, a mild powder or sweet as a smell of a candy. I noticed that when I kiss the forehead of my almost 5 year old daughter, I can still smell it. Just this morning when I bid my daughters goodbye leaving for work, I told her you are still a baby. And then she smiled back at me. According to her, she is no longer a baby but an "Ate" (an older sister) to her 3 year old sibling. I can't help but sigh on the thought that my girls are growing up fast right before my very eye. Oh, I am just being nostalgic of the days that I still carried them and put them in the comfort of my arms. Don't get me wrong. Planning for another baby is out of the question now that I am in my late 30's and being pregnant again seems scary for me because of health-related issues. No, I'm not sick either but I have to take extra care of myself since my doctors told me to watch on my diet. I'm not getting any younger so as my health and the capacity to function normally unlike in my younger days.

A baby/child is a blessing and it gives so much joy to a family. As parents, they say, cherish them while they are still clingy because when the time comes they have their own mind set and discover new and interesting things apart from us, they'll be most likely spending time on those new found things. Savor the smell and time of your child until it lasts.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Christmas In Our House 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year again. December knocks so fast at our doorsteps and it's already here. So for this year, we decorated our home as we celebrate the spirit of Christmas looking like this...

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This Christmas tree is in its second year with us.
Since we have a small space, we put it on top of our side table.

This tree is not that heavy so not a problem that the table might give way.
Those stuff toys are already placed there and since we don't have
Christmas base cover, we used them to cover it. Nice idea too!

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When we still don't have Christmas tree, this wreath garland is the focal point of my Christmas decoration at home. It's still a work in progress as some of my old Christmas balls were detached from its string. I might buy new balls or any decor that would fit in with the wreath.  I thought of this because of the minimal space that we have. I decorated it with lights, hanged balls or any Christmas decor that is usually put in a Christmas Tree. Since we have a lot of stuff toys, I make use of it as decors because if by keeping it, it would just accumulate dust.  

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      I got these Christmas stockings from Watsons. It is priced at Php57.00 each.
      The Sales Lady told me it's marked down from the original price of Php99.00 each.
      I've been looking for the longest time a Christmas stocking that is of good quality
      and so happy to have finally saw one. I'm still planning to put letters on the green-
      colored space with names of my two kids for a more personalized look.

Most of my Christmas decorations this year are already used from previous Christmases. Only these two Christmas stockings and additional Christmas LED lights are my purchases for this year. My kids are happy with what I put up. After all, Christmas is for the children and for the kid-at-heart.

Happy Holidays everyone!