I guess many of us are into making goals by each start of the year.
‘No junk food!’
‘Keep track of my expenses..’
..and so on and so forth, just like me!
I am actually at the edge of giving up listing goals every year because I just get frustrated. However, one thing I learned over the years is to not rely on my own will, on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), but to fully trust in Him and set the anchor straight to God’s love and faithfulness.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. | Proverbs 19:21
Attend Purple Book Class
Attend Making Disciples Class
Discple & Start One2One
Disciple 5 lovely women this year
Know God deeper this year
Attend Leadership 113
Focus with my relationship with God this year
Praying for Mama to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior
Physical healing for Mama
Salvation for the whole family
Move in to our new house in Cavite
Hit our targets for the Friend Code Program every month
Study again – University of the Philippines Open University
Start business for Mama
Disciple 5 women this year
For every member of our team to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior
I guess it has been months already since I have been very active on social media. Part of it is because I am required to use Facebook and Messenger for work but after office hours, and even weekends, this has been consuming a lot of my hours which honestly has been affecting my life in general.
Although I want to shut my Facebook off, sad that I just really can’t because it is part of my job. What I did is I deleted my Facebook app on my phone and retained my messenger. This has been working good for quite some time already, thank God.
But still, those ‘Let me check my Facebook’ moments are still here of course! So, for me not to focus on Facebook, I’m giving myself the Blog-A-Day Challenge for 7 days.
The Blog-A-Day Challenge
Honestly, I still can’t overcome the fact that someone reads this blog (Hello to you!! Thank you!). And I am still shy about it. I even have a secret blog where I can just freely express what is in my heart freely without looking back at word 1. Glad that I have written my Ivory Coast Calatagan gala already without overthinking! Haha!
Also, just this recently, a rebuke from a good friend rings my mind often.
don’t stop writing. every great leader is a writer.
It hit me hard. Why do I write? Do I really need to be a perfect writer just to start writing again? What am I shy about?
And then I was reminded by one of the parables in the Bible which is the parable of talents. God gave us talents, why not use it for His glory?
The Only Rule
The only rule for this challenge is to just.. write freely.
I have the freedom to write whatever God wants me to write.
If there is a revelation, write about it.
If there is an answered prayer, write about it.
If there is chaos in my mind, pray about it, then write.
If I loved the cafe I went to, write about it.
Hopefully, this challenge will not just stop after seven days but will serve as the start of a new habit. Cheer me guys! 🙂
Have you ever heard about beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Me, yes. Countless times already and being the pessimist in me, I would usually ponder on to that fact a couple of times.
How can I suppose to do that?
And then, something happened a couple of years ago which helped me understand the true meaning of beauty.
As cliche as this may seem, beauty is actually everywhere. Try to look at the beauty of the children playing, the birds chirping, the old ones walking hand-in-hand, the majestic beauty of the mountains, the glory of the sun, and even the beauty of sadness and sickness.
Yes, even the beauty of heart-breaking situations.
It was a cold and gloomy Thursday morning when my Mother seated on her bed upon waking up, her head bows, and her fists are clenching. Being the wonder woman that she is, I find it very unusual since right after she wakes up, she would immediately go to our kitchen, make coffee, and sing songs.
Clearly, something is so wrong, I said to myself. I was about to ask her what’s wrong when she said to take her to the hospital.
And then I just told myself, “Okay Pia, the thing that you’re scared of, is now happening. Be strong.”
I immediately asked for the help of her Boss and off we went to the hospital. As we were heading to the hospital, I saw her tired eyes closed, her skin is so dry, and her body is very weak. But what I don’t understand is I am at peace.
I am happy that I can control my emotions and felt so strong and alive.
SEE THE BEAUTY IN EVERY SITUATION YOU’RE IN
I am happy to see the beauty of our situation. Happy, not because of my Mom’s sickness, but happy because I finally understood the meaning of beauty. That everything is just an issue of the heart.
I know that this is harder than it sounds. Actually, it is hard. Juggling work and being in the hospital before and after work and even sacrificing work is not easy. But I just realized that I feel so alive, and happy and responsible.
I started seeing the beauty with everything I do for Mother, for myself, and for the people around me. Even walking a long road because we are saving for her medications and operation makes me smile too! You may be thinking I’m going crazy, but that is what I feel.
Life can be full of hatred, envy, sickness, poverty, war, and chaos here in this world, but I believe that if we can actively see beauty in each and every little thing that we do, we can help build a better world to live in.
I know that I haven’t perfected and will never be perfect in seeing beauty in everything, but at least I know that I am trying real hard to find beauty in everything that comes my way.
As Philippians 4:6-7 says:
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
HOW TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE BEAUTY
I have been a sucker for this for a very long period of time. Just like you, I always have that eagerness to just find beauty in everything; to appreciate even the ugliest situation I’m at, or even control my emotions over people who’s been doing me wrong and still see the good in them.
1. See things differently, beautifully
I know we all have that I’m-so-bored moment in our lives where we think that we are just in an autopilot stage, and nothing gets better in everything we do, and everywhere we are, even though we feel like we are striving to be out of that era.
However, what I realized is that we actually don’t have boring days and nights. Yes! If only we appreciate the book you’re reading or the coffee that you’re drinking, or the person you are with now (that you feel boring too!), you will never get bored and will simply appreciate things differently – full of love and beauty.
We are surrounded with beauty, with everyday miracles, and finally, with never ending hope. We just don’t recognize them because of powerful mixed with emotional thoughts that we forget to appreciate this grace upon grace miracles in life.
2. Practice to appreciate small things
Due to the high technological advancement in our generation, we sometimes forget to appreciate the small things in life.
We forget how God gives us grace every day to wake up alive, we forget to appreciate the food on the table, the house we have, the friends who take time to ask how you are, your household help who prepares breakfast every morning.
And the list goes on and on and on. Let’s try to appreciate small things.
3. Never forget to smile
I feel like I have been keen to frowning lately, even if I am not upset. And I just realized that it indeed has a negative vibe not just to myself, but to people around me as well.
So, always, always smile. If you saw your not-so-close officemate down the road, smile. If you appreciate something, smile. There is always, always something to be thankful for.
4. Live intimately with life
Yes, you read that right.
When was the last time you actually try to appreciate the ground that you are stepping in? When was the last time you breath deeply and feel the air in your lungs? When was the last time you smelled the aroma of your coffee or tea?
Live intimately with life and who knows, you might discover or rediscover something in yourself.
5. Disconnect to the online community
I personally want to do this every week. Once in a week, why not try to disconnect yourself from all social networking sites? Sometimes, people tend to fetch hard emotions over the internet. Some rants, problems, and even online envy can lead to feeling down even if you’re not.
Disconnect yourself from the online community and see the real beauty outside the world.
Travel with friends, cook dinner with your family, connect to the real community — the outside world and you’d be amazed how this can change your mindset about beauty.
6. Evaluate and change your perspective in life
Sometimes, our perspectives hinder us to see the beauty of life. If not evaluated well as soon as possible, these sometimes make us a pessimistic person.
Here, we have to focus on the lesson, not the problem or the issue.
I remember searching (and saving!) for an expensive camera for my travels and for giving my photos a professional look. However, because we need to save for our house in Cavite, this dream of mine suddenly became a burden. I know I could never buy this camera anytime soon which indeed affects me. I know God knew how I love to have this camera. But what I realized is that I need not a very expensive professional camera. I just need a great smartphone for my everyday use! It is when I found Huawei P9.
What I love the most is its camera is co-engineered with Leica making it as the ultimate camera-phone! It has dual lenses that produce high quality photos and allow users to take amazing monochrome, slo-mo, colored, light painting photos among others.
What I learned here is that I can always share my thoughts, my travels, even without this expensive cameras and whatnot.
7. Know the real meaning of beauty in Jesus Christ
Oftentimes, we forget that we are made for a purpose. We just go with the flow. Wait for that perfect moment, perfect peace but only to end up being frustrated and disappointed. We forget that there is Someone out there who loves us so much, who never stops in pursuing us. I mentioned earlier that I was at peace during those trying times.
What I realized now was clearly, Someone was embracing every peace of my struggling heart during those times. He is holding me together, keeping me sane and strong and that is Jesus Christ. If you are reading this, know that perfect beauty is only found in Him and in Him alone.
Everything is easily said than done. It’s true. Eat together with your family, go out on a Saturday with friends, take a coffee break in an artsy fartsy coffee shop, read your favorite book, and take pictures of these moments. All of these might sound enticing and inspiring, but then again, the bottom line is we should all slow down and just enjoy life to the fullest. But this time, with God.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Beauty is never just about the physical appearance.
It is about your heart, your thoughts, and your perspective in life.
I am just so happy to say that, I may not be perfect in seeing beauty in everything and in everyone, but what I know is that this serves as a reminder to me and to everyone who’s reading this to appreciate yourself, see things beautifully, be passionate about something, change your perspective and always be thankful to God everyday, no matter what situation you are in.
As Wayne Dyer says, “change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” Beauty is everywhere all around us, we just have to open our eyes to see.
**Written last August 2016. Updated July 8, 2017**
Hi…. (Hmm. Sorry. I don’t really know how to call you.)
How are you? Where are you now? I hope you’re doing fine.
I know that our family has a really tragic story. Story of endless, unanswered questions.. And of abandonment.
Don’t get me wrong. I have forgiven you already.
I just want to write a letter for you because there are some things I learned today that surprisingly are connected to you.
And it has been years since I last talked to you.
Shall we start?
You know, I have been reading a book. The title is Captivating – Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul. I love it so much. It’s like, it was really making me go back and check my past. So, there.
Growing up, I had a lot of issues. Issues that I really don’t mind. I thought it’s just part of life anyway. However, I just clearly digested this year that the reason of who I am today is because of my past and of course, my choices. Maybe I just realized it just now because there are memories and past that I would never want to go back to.
And that includes you. It was quite a surprise to me that you are involved in who I am today because you weren’t even there while I was growing up.
Hey, please stay.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to condemn you. I am here to just tell you that God is just so gracious for He wants me know the messages of my past that will make me unlearn some bad mindsets and to just clearly focus on the messages I learned about you and my past.
We know that you abandoned me and my Mama months after you knew that she was pregnant with me.
But you made her your bride, right? Your beautiful bride. You promised for better or for worse..
May I ask what happened?
You never even told us.. Not even one of us.
You were like the coin in the magician’s hand.. Quickly disappeared into thin air without us not knowing where to look for you.
You abandoned not just my Mama, but me as well.. Your one and only daughter.
Growing up, I always wanna be seen.
As a little girl,I wanna know that I am delighted at, I wanna know I am loved, cherished, and that I am captivating.
Funny because what I am usually doing when I was a little kid is I look for a table or a high chair, sit or stand right there while singing or dancing. The joy in my audience’s eyes are my joy. I am loved. I am delighted at. I had a role that makes them laugh and smile. I am part of their lives.
As much as I enjoyed the happy eyes of those watching, I was looking for a particular face, that particular eyes.. Yours.
Then it hit me that I don’t have a Father. I never had a Father.
It was a sad night, you know. I saw my grandparents, Titas, Titos, Mama. All their smiles were wide that night.. But, still I am looking for yours.
And then I thought to myself, why is he gone? Why are we not sure if he is dead or alive?
But, deep in my heart, I know you are alive. I know. I just know.
And then, that glorious day happened when we knew you were alive.. Alive with 5 children and a new wife.
I realized then that I still love you. And I have forgiven you and will forgive you whatever will happen.
But then, questions sprouted everywhere again not just from my Mama who was left behind but for me as well, as your supposed-to-be only daughter.
Why did you leave us?
Were we not enough?
Am I a burden to you?
Am I not worthy to be loved?
Were you not happy when you knew that I can go out to the world after some months?
Did you love me?
You know, as much as I had a happy childhood, I also had my fair share of bad memories. Bad memories that I honestly don’t want to remember anymore. Maybe the reason why I am so forgetful was because I just want to delete a lot of memories during those years.
I sometimes thought to myself that maybe, just maybe if you were there during those times, I was not sexually harassed with people who just thought I was pretty, was not bullied, and belittled. I maybe had the courage to fight those demons saying I am not worthy and will never be because you, my Father, even left us.
Also, I grew up with inferiority complex.
I didn’t feel strong and beautiful all throughout those delicate years.
They said I was unattractive. I believed them. So I hide. I hid my true self. And oh, I also had a hard time explaining to them where were you.
I was bullied. And I let them. And the scars are just.. Oh, so deep. Sometimes it still hurts up to now.
College was also rough. Mother doesn’t have the enough bills to pay for all my books, projects, assignments, dorm, food, everything. It was really a hard time for us. But you know, you had a very strong wife. I never see her cry. I guess you made her strong. Thank you so much.
With all that you made me feel, I just felt like everyone who are or will be interested with me will just hurt me and it will just take them some time before they’ll leave.
..which happened a lot of times already.
Let me talk about the guys I’ve met.
I met my first love when I was in high school. But then again, he left. Chose another girl. He went back. Chose to hurt me again. Went back. Chose to go out again. I was so hurt. Wasn’t able to focus on my studies because, the feeling of love is something I am craving for.
College came and then I saw another guy. He seemed to be nice. I left my first love for him because I thought I will be happier. No more tears I said. But then, hello heartaches and trust issues. I was so clingy, I wanted attention. And I guess that turned him off. So, hello ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’, which led me to look for someone else.
After years together, I saw another man, who I thought would love me for who I am. And because he knows Jesus Christ, he said, I let him enter my heart. But then, I was so wrong again. I know he loved me somehow, but I also know he just used me to free himself from his own pain as well.
Father, here is THE MESSAGE.
..the message of my past. The message of those hurts.
Never seen by a Father.
Never delighted at.
Abandoned because he just wants to.
Always felt not worthy to be chased and pursued.
Always felt that anyone who would want to enter into my life will just leave.
No one will stay.
I will always be that second choice.
Sometimes, I am actually thinking.. ‘What if I had a Father who is really emotionally present? How would I act on these complicated things?’
Honestly, I don’t want to go back to this moment where I am being reminded that you left us not because you have to, but because you want to.
But God wants me to go back to those wounds.
I know God wants me back to this certain past because He wants to Father me. God wants Him to be the Father I never had. And it was the best thing ever that my heart accepted.
God wants me to go back from my past not to harm me, or to make me feel defeated but because He wants me to realize that He was there. He never left while I was crying and felt defeated all the time. He was there when I was asking for provision and was praying for my Mama. He never left.
And now, He wants us to start again. God, me.
I may have never experienced your love but I am happy to let you know that I am knowing a Father who will never leave, who will always pursue me, love me, and will always be delighted in me.
And little by little, God is healing me, restoring me, and changing me to the woman that He wants me to be.
From your little girl who never thought that she will see the light again, thank you for bringing me to this world. For giving my Mama the strength she has right now and for leaving me, your only daughter who just wants love from her Papa.
I just want you to know before I end, that all these forgiveness is because I have known the author of my life, Jesus Christ.
I hope and pray that you will also get to know Him, the One who gave His life for me and for you, who promises an eternal life if you will just believe in Him and accept Him.
Handwritten letters and notes are love. I love them so much that it tears me up sometimes. Because, memories.
Coffee is my best friend. I can drink up to five cups a day.
The mountains are addicting!
Sunset and sea are still my first loves.
Rain! Rain sometimes melts my heart. That feeling of something that deeply touches your heart.
Lately, even just a picture of flowers attracts me so much. I feel beautiful even if I just saw one in a picture. Haha!
P E R S E V E R A N C E – God’s big word for me this new season (James 1:2-5)
God blessed me with the ability to write and I know I have to nurture it.
The enemies are real.
But God is far bigger than anything in your head.
‘SINIGANG na may gabi, yung pinakamaasim sa lahat!’. If you know me well, this is the first revelation you will now quickly about me.
My go-to restaurant is Giligans. Because, sinigang!
My Mama is the proof of ‘Actions speak louder than words.’
Not fond of shopping not until this year. New season it is. Haha!
Dreamed of joining the Little Miss Philippines when I was young
I can reach my nose with my tongue.
When I was in grade 6, I talked to God that whoever gives me my very first Bible will be my husband. My crush gave me a Bible when I was in 2nd year! Haha! Pero nagbreak din kami. Super puppy love. LOL
I am in love with making websites.
My best friends are Maco and Angelic. Love them both!
Just knew that I love banana split. Cafe Lidia’s banana split is heaven!
I love singing though not sure if it loves me as well. Haha! Follow me on soundcloud!
Long drives with pouring rain are my thing.
Currently, walls in my heart are just too high.
Late night walks with the best people are one of the best!
God has promised me new and godly relationships this new season
Currently brewing a project called ‘Project Pii Time’. I know! It sounds.. off. Haha.
One of the reasons I blog is because I am a forgetful lady.
Dalawa pa lang ang lalaking pinayagan kong ihatid ako pauwi sa bahay.
I have almost 30 Facebook Pages
..and almost 20 blogs
My first choice for my course in college is IT. But, naubusan ng slot.
Only child here!
I love my Mama so much.
Not good in giving up on people.
Sometimes, I talk too much.
Sometimes, I am also good at being snobbish and sad.
I love hugs! Long, tight hugs.
Still not comfortable with one on one dates with guys.
I love how God answers me with His ‘Yes, No, and Wait’. And that’s when I learned to study His word.
2017 is by far the most painful yet greatest year ever.
My face and hands have the capacity to turn to a waterfalls sometimes. Yes, always, always perspiring. Minsan, nakakainis na. Huhu.
I have always been a beach lover. I love how the gentle sound of the waves give me peace.
Bringing my Mama to Batanes and Korea are some of my faith goals next year!
One of my best days at work was when I accompanied our Juanderlust winner to tour the whole Masbate (4N5D), Laguna (2N3D), Iloilo, Guimaras, Boracay (6N7D)! I miss those times!
If I would go back to a certain place here in the Philippines, it would be Banaue and Sagada. Everything feels surreal. I feel like I belong there.
The best decision I ever made is when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. No turning back. Best decision ever.
Currently working in Shopee. Let me know if you want me to refer you. 😉
Tagging 2019 as the year of investments and super adulting.
Mentioned above that 2017 is my most painful year, I think I can now say it’s 2019.
Yes, it still and will forever be one of the best quotes in life that we have to live by. And I am pretty sure that by starting your day right together with handwork, self-discipline, and perseverance, you will feel that you fully maximized your time for the day.
So, here is my step-by-step process in utilizing my time and I hope this will help you as well.
3 Easy Steps on How to Start Your Day Right and Be Productive
These steps are super easy but powerful. And if not taken seriously, you will not achieve the desired outcome.
1. END YOUR DAY RIGHT
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait, we’re talking about ‘starting’ here, not ending!”
Yes, you are right!
But in order to start your day right, you also have to end it right. Agree?
Ending your day right means writing the things you have accomplished for the day before you go to sleep.
With this, you can monitor your progress and see how well you have done for the day. After looking back on the things you’ve done, write down as well the things you needed to do for tomorrow.
You can now anticipate the things that you have to prioritize for the next day.
2. START YOUR DAY RIGHT
As much as possible, don’t oversleep/undersleep.
Sleeping for 9 hours or more will make you feel very unproductive throughout your day.
Sleeping under 8 hours though will usually make you feel a little agitated, thus being unproductive throughout the day.
Why not challenge yourself to exercise waking up a bit earlier than usual?
After saying a little prayer and stretching a little bit, and open your journal and review the things you needed to do for the day and schedule your time.
Exercise your thoughts because it will drive your day!
If you think you are lazy on this day, you will really be lazy and will not do anything productive. Shift your mind to see things positively and you will see your dreams coming true.
3. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT PROGRESS
I am pretty sure that for a couple of days, you may feel very lazy coping up with your schedule.
Don’t worry. We all experienced that in one way or another in our life.
But practice makes progress and daily progress is a sure way to hit the goal! Make your schedule a habit. It really feels good seeing your To-Do things written in your journal were all ticked out at the end of the day!
Every one of us already felt that we need to be more productive and that time should not be wasted, and we have to succeed in whatever goals we have.
I still suggest to open your mind, see the bigger picture, and try to not pressure yourself and beat yourself each time you fail.
Every day is a new day to live life to the fullest, to live the life you really want, to live with your maximum potential.