When Inspiration Strikes

According to my Creative Writing professor, Dr. Luz, back in graduate school, “When inspiration strikes, write.” Well, I’m not sure if that’s exactly what she said as in verbatim but that’s how I understood it and remember it.  So, please allow me to quote it that way, OK?

Inspiration to write comes to me around 8-ish to 9-ish.  I don’t know why.  I’m not sure if it has something to do with breakfast or coming to work with an empty stomach.  But my mind is always flooded with these brilliant ideas. LOL. I take that back. Not so brilliant actually just for the sake of wordplay, I would opt with that.

Well, last week, I started a new theme called Inspiration (#).  It’s to search for an inspiring image online to help brighten my day.  Diverting my mind into something beautiful helps me look at life (especially the circumstances I am in) with a different perspective.  It’s actually good, you know.  As the Bible says in Philippians 4:8 (one of my favorite verses),

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

We are to think of beautiful and positive things alone.  No doubts, anger, stress, hatred, jealousy should occupy our cerebrum.

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Credits to: en.wikipedia.org 

There’s no point thinking about all those things because they’d just destroy our day.  Seriously.  It does not help us in anyway.  Besides, we only have one shot with these brain cells.  I mean, when they die, they’re gone forever.  What kind of person would I be if I indulge on those negative things and cause my brain cells to die? Terrible, right? So, I’ve made up my mind, only positive things please.  Ha! This logic actually reminds me of the quote, “You are what you eat.”

To be continued…

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Surviving Life’s Challenges

It is what we do or how we react to situations that defines us.

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A lot of things happened to me lately.  Some were pretty daunting that my initial reaction to each of them was flight.  Yes, I’d rather pack my stuff and evade from all the misery and the consequences than deal with them.  However, I am learning.  I am learning that when terrible things happen in my life that I won’t just leave and escape but instead pray about it and weigh things down, see where I failed and make necessary changes.  Yes, it may sound pretty easy to do but it’s not as my pride and principle would normally get in the way which would also bring me back to step 1-pray.

Praying allows oneself to be calm while submitting all our cares to our Father.  After talking to Him about it, we feel better.  I feel better.  I am able to think things through, forgetting myself but focusing on God–His goodness, His mercy, and love.  It also directs my mind to Jesus’ life here on earth.  Despite of what people did to Him back then–the mockery, accuses, spits, crucifixion–He displayed nothing but kindness, love, and understanding.  He lived a simple life denying Himself of comfort, leisure, and convenience and helping out the sick, the brokenhearted, the lost…What a beautiful example of living He has showed us!

Weighing down things is also important when things don’t go your way.  Life happens.  That’s it.   So. Just. Deal. With. It.  I used to think that I am a pretty lax person.  However, after everything that happened this summer, I realized that I was wrong.  I am indeed a serious person.  I don’t think things lightly.  I take things seriously.  I take things seriously that I tend to internalize things and when I do, my gastritis comes back.  Bad, right? So, if I want to live long, I better start dealing with things properly and learn from them.  Life is not all glitters and shimmers.  It’s also about challenges, difficulties, realities, etc. that one must brace herself and face everything with a tough heart, open mind, and gentle spirit.  Learn. Learn. Learn. Take the higher ground and move on.

Changes.  There should be changes.  There should be positive changes in our lives.  God puts us through situations to refine our characters–characters fitted for heaven.  Things do not happen just because they have to happen. They happen so that we can be better people.  Some may be so disheartening and discouraging that we feel like we can’t survive it but just let God take control.  As Carrie Underwood sings, “Jesus take the wheel…” We should let Him take the wheel.  He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to carry our burdens on our own.  He wants us to ask Him like how we ask our parents, our friends.  He wants us to come to Him and ask help from Him.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul gives us a good reminder, “But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation.” Very inspiring, isn’t it? 🙂

We are on a battle here–spiritual battle.  Satan and his minions are trying their very best to take us away from God.  However, the good news is God is stronger, way stronger.  Jesus has already won the victory for us.  So, when difficult things happen in our lives, just remember God is with us.  He will never abandon us.  We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4: 13). 

Let us just smile and stay optimistic, okay? 🙂

I got to go but let me leave you this song from Carrie Underwood first, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lydBPm2KRaU.  God bless!

 

 

 

Disappointed? Trust in God More

Not again.

How do we handle life’s disappointments? Do we go sulking in the corner of our rooms just because God did not grant our request? Do we hate Him for it? Do we stop praying? DEFINITELY, NOT.

I have come to the point in my life where I can easily let go of NO answers from God. Know why? Because He’s been faithfully guiding my life since the day I can remember. So when He says no, then that means it’s not good for me. I don’t insist. Rather, with gleeful spirit, I accept His decision. He’s my Father after all.

Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me of God’s an amazing love for me because He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future…”

Who am I then to go against His will for me? How can I fret when I know that He’s got everything under control? If something is for me, He will DEFINITELY give it to me. He will not withhold any blessing for you and me. That’s a fact. He loves us so much that He even gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16).

Next time, you feel like questioning God for answering your prayer against His will, stop for a moment and ponder upon His goodness in your life. For sure you won’t be asking Him anymore that.

As for me, I’m fabulous. He has reasons–sometimes they’re up fathomable but He has reasons and I trust Him for He is my God, Creator, Father, and King.

Courtesy of iPad wallpaper photos:

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#16: Meet The Ombaos at 117

“Hmm, I did not post anything last night” I talked to myself while busy mopping my floor.  “What if I start writing about other people like a ‘profile and human interest feature’? I can probably write about our dear pastor’s passion for cooking for my first entry” I thought.  However, since this is the first post, I am going to talk about him and his wife.:-) This is the first draft so please bear with me.  I am basically half-asleep but I don’t want to let go of this thought.

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“Uncle William” or “Lolo Pastor” as fondly called by close friends and church members is our dear pastor here at RISDAC.  He and his wife, Aunty Nitz came last July to be volunteers at our church.  Ever since their arrival, they’ve been nothing but a wonderful blessing to us.  They are so warm and accommodating.  They welcome everyone as if he or she is a family member.

I remember my first encounter with them. It was July last year and I was at the caf looking for something to eat.  I overheard someone addressing Uncle William as Pastor Ombao.  As a member of the church board then, my ears flapped hearing the name.  “That name sounds very familiar,” I thought.  “Oh yes, he must be our new pastor! He must be the one that my dear friend, Ambe, met back in the Philippines.  I quickly approached them and introduced myself.  From that day onwards, we’ve been “families.” I know I could just deliberately use the word “friends” but to me they are my family here, too.

(Forgive me.  So sleepy here. To be continued)

December 2: Cooking & Me

Cooking & Me? Na-ah. There’s no Cooking & Me.  There can’t be Cooking & Me.  

I know I am a girl and as expected by the society, I should be a great cook.  No, even a cook can be acceptable.  BUT, no, I am not.  You see, I grew up in a home where the elderly in the house cooked for the family.  My siblings and I were in charged of setting the table, cleaning up, and washing the dishes afterwards.  We were also in charged of cleaning the entire house, from the bathroom to the bedrooms to the kitchen to the drawing room and to the porch.  Oh, and also the front and back yards.  (Huh, this is probably why I enjoy cleaning a lot. Thanks for the training!^_^) We also wash and iron our clothes and keep the closets tidy and organized.  It’s all about cleanliness and organization.

I barely cooked when I was in elementary and high school.  I think I boiled or fried eggs, sauteed some vegetables, fried fish, and cooked noodles.  I spent most of my teenage years at boarding schools where school cafeterias mostly fed me.  When I went to graduate school, I was able to spend more time in the kitchen department.  With 12 units load a semester, I had all the time in the world.  I cooked and ate all day.  I enjoyed cooking pasta in different forms. 🙂 This explains why I almost weighed 70 kg back then. Wow! When I went to Korea, I tried cooking my favorite Korean dishes and my friends loved everything I served them.  I was actually impressed with myself.  Thank you, Lord.  I can actually cook for others.  See, the thing is, I can actually cook somehow.  I can cook for myself.  But letting others taste my cooking is a different story. 🙂

One day, out of the blue, a Canadian colleague decided to give me an oven.  Probably, he and his wife heard me voiced out my desire to learn how to bake.  They gave me their oven and some baking stuff they brought all the way from Canada.  So, picture a twenty-something girl with her PJs on a autumn Sunday morning feeling all bored and alone with nothing to do all day.  No chores to be done.  No work to be done.  All done.  She looked around the around and her gaze was fixed on the oven.  Yes, the oven.  The oven that had been sitting there for months.  Then, she saw the magic light bulb sparkle! “Yes, I am going to try baking today,” she said to herself.  She unearthed all the ingredients her colleagues gave her and started mixing, batting, and whisking and everything.  When everything was done, she put the mix inside the preheated oven and waited for the magic sound. Teng! goes the oven.  She quickly opened and a sweet aroma of baked bread welcomed her.  “Oh, what a bliss.  So, this is how it feels to bake your own bread,“she told herself.  She called some friends over and shared her wonderful experiment with them to their hearts content.  That was the beginning of her baking days.  She even ventured on baking cakes as well. 🙂 After that event, she decided to try cooking new dishes every day and invited friends to dine with her every single dinner time.  Yes, it was a bit costly but she enjoyed it.  The satisfaction on the faces of her friends gave her so much delight that she waited for the bye-bye time at school, 4:30p.m., with so much anticipation.  Cooking became a delight.

The girl then moved to Thailand for another job opportunity.  There she went back to her old ways.  She cooked whenever she wants.  But most of her meals were eaten outside the house–breakfast and lunch at the school cafeteria while dinner at some fancy restaurants with friends.  She lavishly enjoyed her meals outside the home.  Until one day, she developed some kind of indigestion.  It was not out of eating but out of stress.  Once in a while she would cook her own meal and devour it but there were still days that she would still be eating out.  Then one day, she decided to cook again.  She got herself a recipe book and hoped to experiment once again.  It’s a struggle for her to find time to cook in the morning but on weekends she tries her best to cook something.

Who’s the girl? Of course, me. Who else? LOL.

Someone inspires me to cook.  🙂 Alright, no teasing, OK? Well, yeah.  I’m inspired to cook for myself and for others.  Today I cooked all three meals I ate from breakfast to dinner.  Great job, Shiela!

Cooking is very important if we want to stay healthy and live a longer life.  After all, we cannot be dining out every night, right? ❤

There is Cooking & Me. There can be Cooking & Me.  There will always be Cooking & Me.