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Weekend | Lantawan

May 19, 2019

Weekend at the mountains. Mahjong sesh leveled up 😂

Hearty lunch, happy hour started at 12:00 noon and even if I lost at mahjong, twas a really good weekend away from all the noise of the city.

xx

DMV

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Sunday Reminder

April 30, 2019

I’ve always been good at forgetting, I’ve mustered the skill, but lately, to be honest, I’ve been dealing with so much anger, I’m so triggered to be vengeful even if I know it would not do me right and so much hate is surfacing from places I never even knew existed.

Someone I met for the first time, while attending church last Sunday also for the first time this year as I’m not really a church goer, felt like she needed to share this with me.

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How wonderful, how awesome, that God sees, God knows. And when you truly listen, God speaks, sometimes through angels guised as strangers.

Maybe it’s time to stop running, to stop forgetting and instead start to remember, to surrender, to let heart. After all, I do not walk this life alone.

Thank you for this Karen.

 

xx

DMV

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Enemies of the Heart | Anger

April 10, 2019

Following a daily devotional to appease a lot of chaotic thoughts.

This one is for me and I’m just going to leave it here as a reminder that there is so much more to life than living with all this nonsense.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 3

“Letting Go of Hurt and Anger”

Scripture: Ephesians 4:25-32

The second enemy of the heart is anger. We get angry when we don’t get what we want.

Show me an angry person and I’ll show you a hurt person. And I guarantee you that person is hurt because something has been taken. Somebody owes them something.

We all know people whose anger could be verbalized in one of the following ways: “You took my reputation.” “You stole my family.” “You took the best years of my life.” “You stole my first marriage.” “You robbed me of my teenage years.” “You robbed me of my purity.” “You owe me a raise.” “You owe me an opportunity to try.” “You owe me a second chance.” “You owe me affection.”

The root of anger is the perception that something has been taken. Something is owed you. And now a debt-to-debtor relationship has been established.

How about you? What debt is causing the anger you feel?

How long are you going to allow the people who have hurt you to control your life? Another month? Another year? Another season of your life? How long?

I’d like to propose that today should be the day when you quit holding on to the hurt!

While it’s true that you can’t undo what’s been done, it’s equally true that you don’t have to let the past control your future. In Ephesians 4, we’re commanded to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.” We do that by “forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

The remedy for anger is forgiveness. If we hold out waiting to be paid back for the wrongs done to us, we will be the ones who pay. If, on the other hand, we cancel the debts owed to us, we will be set free.

Of the four monstrous forces we’re discussing in these devotionals, I believe this one—unresolved anger from intentional and unintentional hurt—is the most devastating. Yet in some ways it’s the easiest to overcome. You simply make up your mind to cancel the debt. You decide and declare, “You don’t owe me anymore.”

Follow this four-step process today:

(1) Identify who you’re angry with.

(2) Determine what they owe you.

(3) Cancel the debt by forgiving them.

(4) Don’t let the anger build up again.

“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:25-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Enemies of the Heart | Guilt

April 9, 2019

Subscribed to this devotional recently and I’m just gonna leave Day 2 here. Just in case you stumble across this, read up.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 2

“Fessing Up”

Scripture: 1 John 1:5-10

The first enemy of the heart is guilt. Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The message from a heart laden with guilt is, “I owe!”

Consider the man who runs off with another woman and abandons his family. Without realizing it at the time, he has stolen something from every member of his family. He has robbed his wife of her future, her financial security, and her reputation as a wife. From his children’s perspective, this man has stolen their Christmas, traditions, emotional and financial security, dinners with the family, and so on.

Now, the man who did all this doesn’t think in terms of what he has taken. Initially, he thinks in terms of what he has gained. But the first time his little girl asks him why he doesn’t love Mommy anymore, his heart is stirred. He now feels guilty. Dad owes.

Nothing less than paying that debt will relieve a guilty heart of its burden of guilt. People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, and even pray it off. But no amount of good deeds, community service, charitable giving, or Sundays in a pew can relieve the guilt. It’s a debt. And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.

How do you get your guilt canceled? The answer comes in one of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child: 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (kjv).

Confession has the power to break the cycle of sin. And like most medicinal remedies, it works when applied properly. Proper application happens when we confess our sins, not just to God, but also to the people we’ve sinned against.

Guilty people are usually repeat offenders. And as long as you’re carrying a secret, as long as you’re trying to ease your conscience by telling God how sorry you are, you’re setting yourself up to repeat the past. However, if you start confessing your sins to the people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not going to go back and commit those sins again.

Confess both to God and others, and you will slay this enemy of your heart.

What are you feeling guilty for? Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have hurt. Do it today.

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Vivid dreams

March 20, 2019

They say the moments that’s had the most impact in your life are the most vivid.

I remember the dining table was round. I ate eggs for breakfast that triggered my allergies. My elbows were swollen. The bathroom door was brown and open when I received the first hit from the belt’s buckle. I was 5.

I remember the Bengay ointment on the bruises on my leg, my back. It was a big tube. It didn’t soothe the black blue but instead stung the scratches the buckle left. I didn’t make the highest honor roll list that quarter. I was in 5th grade.

I remember being nudged to raise my hand and go up front every last Sunday of the month. We would sit on a wooden pew on the left side of the hall at 6:30 in the morning and I always had to wear a dress, she did not allow us to wear jeans. I didn’t go up front that Sunday and missed the month’s calling again. I was followed by a tirade of rants from when we got into the car up to when we arrived at home. She continued to lash at me during breakfast. I started to despise religion.

I remember the red altar lights above the piano when I came running up the stairs to my grandmother’s room wailing I did not want to go home. My friend dropped me off after feeling ashamed I was bawling at her house. She didn’t speak to me after Sophomore year.

I remember my Pop crying, telling my Aunt “What did I ever do to her” when he found out I was pregnant at just 18. That cry will forever haunt me. My grandmother was singing and hugging me as we listened from inside the room. She wore a green dress. I could still smell her.

I remember my grandmother, my aunts, my cousins crying as I walked down the aisle. The look of pity. They were all dressed in pink. My veil was suffocating. The red carpet seemed endless. My Pop looked 10 years older in my wedding pictures.

I remember moving to his house. It was small and quiet. I was mostly left alone. I kept the lights on that first night and tried to get some sleep despite the panic. He bought me a pitbull pup to keep me company. She was black and really tiny. She died.

I remember the spit in my eye. He pushed me to the bedroom floor. Tore my ragged cat. It was afternoon. The closet drawers were a faint blue with off white borders. I found out he was cheating on me, again. I was pregnant with his second child.

I remember the kitchen’s window grills were iron black as my head smashed into them, three window panes and an aluminum door with a torn screen, his hand on my throat. I did not eat the chicken nuggets he brought home.

I remember my new born son crying, wanting to feed. I’m alone in the hospital room and I can’t reach the small plastic crib where he was put, I had to endure the pain from all those procedures that was still fresh from the day before. I got up. I had to. I could still feel my back burning. We were both crying, we were alone. He got back the next day smelling of liquor and cigarettes.

I remember him packing up to leave and I’m begging him to stay. I just got out of the shower, my hair dripping wet and electricity was out. There was no stopping him, like as if he couldn’t wait to leave. He left 3 days after his third son was born that November, after one of the most tragic typhoons passed. I wasn’t able to sleep for almost 2 months.

I remember taking my kids to the center to visit and he was fussy and wanting to bail. The pots at the front were ceramic and blue and broken. He threw a fit that morning, so they said. I was begging him to stay and finish the program but he still left. Why am I always the one begging anyway.

I remember a liter of rum and pork barbecue and a Pomeranian puppy. And I don’t even drink rum. I was sitting on my best friend’s porch, looking out onto a rotunda, mind blank. Woke up to a splitting headache the day after, emotionless and numb. Never knew I could love a hangover that much.

I remember my kid’s face, holding back tears when he didn’t show up, yet again. My son was really excited that morning but when I got back home from work, he was still in the living room, waiting. He was 10.

There is just too much, too many, the chaos inside my head, that writing about it would be a novel. A sad one.

I’ve mustered blocking out ugly moments. Moments so vivid, so real, so fresh, they hurt.

Because although these moments have permanently scarred the back of my brain, purged the little left emotion from my damaged heart, leaving a level of pain that is almost indescribable, I am not all that.

That is not my life and I will live through this. I always do.

I am well set into this world to thrive. Just need to remaster this blocking thing and put my mask back on.

 

xx

DMV

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First of Summer | Boracay 2019

March 4, 2019

Photo set | Boracay Island

This world-renowned tourist destination was closed last April of 2018 for rehabilitation due to irresponsible tourism and reopened on October of 2018, 6 months after, accompanied with lots of drainage constructions, demolished establishments and investment restrictions.

Side trip from work and even if I was feeling sick, I decided to tag along, just really curious to how this beautiful island looks now.

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Such a busy route, trips to the island are 24/7.

Although there are a lot of construction still going on on the island, it’s generally clean. Haven’t swam in these waters for the longest time as it was infested with algae, it’s like green muck all over.

But now…

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Water is really clear! I certainly took a dip despite the scorching heat and my runny nose.

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White Beach

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I get off days too!

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Puka Beach

There are still lots of tourists coming in but I guess it’s more controlled, no longer congested like before where you walk shoulder to shoulder with everybody else. It’s also really dim and quiet at night now.

Lots of leg room here.

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And of course, the island still boasts of its pretty sunsets.

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No filters needed.

Lots of sneezes but no regrets. Going to the beach was a good idea.

 

xx

DMV

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Raising Teenagers and Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2019

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I was having my afternoon coffee when my eldest kid arrived from school, yanked open the kitchen door too hard (because we Filipinos don’t normally use the front door), threw his backpack on the library floor and slammed the door shut to his room.

I was ready to rage like what the f*ck was that when his brother followed inside after him, laughing. I asked what was funny and he said that his brother got turned down by a girl on Valentine’s day.

I’m raising teenagers aged 14 and 15. I’m 34.

I remember back in high school, every Valentine’s day, a number of girls would be called to the Student Affairs office to receive flowers from their boyfriends or admirers. Almost everyone would wait by the hallway to see the enormous bouquets and gush and giggle. (I went to an all-girls school by the way.) My name was never called, I never had the shameless opportunity to claim a dozen roses because as far as I could recall, I did not waste my time tearing over some ridiculous crush when I was this age, I was busy sneaking out to drink and play pool (not something I’m really proud of). Boys were the least of my concerns.

So I found my kid’s situation kind of amusing. I’m not a bad mother.

I knocked on the door to his room before letting myself in, it was pitch black. I turn the lights on and found him crying on his bed. I sat beside him and stroked his back, asked what was wrong. For a while, he was just silent, trying his best not to cry. He finally said to leave him alone. I’m not doing that, no kid is demanding me to do anything I do not want to do, so I remained where I was, told him that he could talk to me, that he could tell me what happened at school, that he could tell me why he was so triggered. I guess he realized I wasn’t going anywhere until he spills, so with a heavy sigh, he said that his heart was broken. I seriously tried not to laugh. I AM NOT A BAD MOTHER. But honestly, I don’t know how to deal with this. Motherhood, especially parenting teenagers, did not come with a manual. I asked how his heart was broken. Apparently, since it’s Valentine’s day, he gave gifts to this crush, but she turned away and he felt humiliated. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I mean here is my baby boy, all grown up, having his heart broken by some ugly piece of shit. Sorry.

I did not know what to say. I told him it’s going to be okay even if I know it’s going to hurt really bad at the moment. I told him there are still so many other girls he will eventually meet and fall in love with even if I know his heart longs for a certain someone. Not the best choice of words.

But I also told him, assured him, that even if we don’t agree on most things, Mama will never turn away from him. Mama will always happily accept even paper roses and half eaten Kit Kats. I’ve collected all those V-day cards he and his brothers gave me since they started to learn how to make one. When everyone leaves, Mama will stay, Mama will always be here. Mama will never stop loving you.

A broken heart, heavily laden with dramatic weight and sadness.

Many years ago, I too suffered from a broken heart. Lots of uncontrollable sobbing and tantrums involved. If I had a dollar for every heartbreak and disappointment I’ve ever experienced, I’d just well be able to quit work and travel the world. But I’ve long mustered forgetting and blocking out the pain, the hurt. We cannot just continue to keep reliving our misery. I’ve come to terms with what has been and have totally moved on.

There is no socially established mourning method for broken hearts. It’s just plain sad. But if we try to see it as an experience to learn about ourselves, the process of moving on opens up an opportunity of self-betterment instead.

He wouldn’t be able to understand this for now, it’s a lot to take in for a fragile 15-year old, so I just let him be sad and cry it all out.

Before I left the room, I asked my kid, curious, if his crush even accepted the gifts he gave before she turned away and he said yes (that b*tch). I told him to give it time, that maybe she was just shy (while rolling my eyes). I am not a bad mother. I asked him what he gave her, he told me he gave a single red rose and some chocolates. Hearing chocolates, I asked what kind he gave, he told me he got some of the chocolates I keep in the fridge. We had a good laugh.

 

xx

DMV

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