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The Little Things

I used to picture out love like stars in the sky – shiny and extravagant. I used to believe that it will give us endless and constant butterflies in our stomach. I have pictured a fairy tale kind of love story. I have always been a damsel in distress waiting for a knight in shining armor to save me from the mess I am in. I imagined someone who will give me the moon and the stars in the sky. Who will do whatever it takes to win my heart. Who loves me like I have never been loved before.

I imagined waking up with flowers everyday. I imagined having someone whom I can call anytime of the day when I feel like the whole world is against me. I imagined myself never having to eat alone. I have always thought that it would put an end to my late night emotional breakdown when things get rough. I imagined seeing the world with the most important person beside me. I imagined someone who sees the best in me even at my worst. I imagined everyday reassurance and affirmation that I am doing just fine; that I am enough. I imagined love to be perfect and too big to contain. I have always thought that love’s extravagance will sweep me off my feet and will keep me wanting for more. I have dreamed of my happily ever after even before I met a prince.

I have waited twenty nine long years to get a taste of this thing called love. It was never a priority to me. I was contented with the company of family and friends. I am a strong and independent woman; a princess who wasn’t owned by a prince. I spent twenty nine years of solittude and for a time, I thought that I will never need a man to make my life more meaningful. Until one day, unexpectedly, someone brave enough knocked on my heart’s door and crashed the walls I have built around my heart for the past years of total independence. There he was, smiling the sweetest, his dimples making it a lot more sweeter.

Being new to it made it very challenging. I got a taste of what love is really all about. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s not about smelling flowers. It’s not about being in cloud nine. Butterflies in the stomach aren’t always there but a physically painful heartache is as real as it can be. I spent most nights crying. I have doubted and blamed myself. I have felt love sliding through my grasp. I had let go of it once no matter how much I wanted to keep it.

But love has its own way of finding its way back. Fortunately, God blessed the broken road and lead it back to where it should be.

Though I still secretly long for the extragance of love, I have also realized the warmth little things bring.

I value quality time. A lot. I believe quality time opens the door to more heartwarming moments. Togetherness brings comfort – the feeling of safety. Like nothing can harm you.

I love crashing into my Love’s arms when I am having a bad day.

I love overcoming challenges with him.

I love building dreams with him.

I love being enveloped in his arms. That’s the safest place I would want to be in.

I love reading little notes from him.

I love daily breakfast supply; not the food but the effort he puts in preparing it.

I love it when he holds my hand while he drives and when he kisses it everytime the traffic light turns red.

I love when we sing along together in the car.

I love sharing many good meals with him.

I love it whenever we talk about the future that seems so bright. It makes me wanna travel to the future as fast as I can.

I love it whenever I win over sleep because I know sleep for him is like air. It is essential to life.

I love sitting on the couch with him laughing at the silly things Vice Ganda says.

I love being silly with him and laughing with him.

I love our movie nights.

I love cuddling with him. I am always at peace.

I love seeing our picture as his wallpaper.

I love it whenever he encourages me to do something I believe I can’t.

I love knowing he’s excited to meet my family and friends.

I love how he makes me feel that his family is my family too.

I love how he looks forward in building our own family.

I love it whenever he silence my irrational thoughts and reminds me to have a little more faith in our love.

        I love randome ILOVEYOUs.

I love seeing him happy. I love it whenever he smiles.

I love it whenever he assures me that he will love me despite my double chin and extra belly fat.

I love it whenever he surprises me with my favorite ice cream.

I love waking up to sweet good morning messages even though the sweetest goodnight message from last night is still fresh in my memory.

I love the little things he does for me.

I love every little thing we share.

I love having him around.

I love having him.

I love him.

The little things. The little moments. They are not little. They are truly the big things.

This is the only love I am longing for. Simple but heartwarming, assuring, understanding, accepting. Imperfect but real.

We owe it to the little things.

High Standards In Love

A video of Filipina actress Jodi Sta. Maria, went viral on social media. She said,

“We should never apologize for having high standards in love, because the right man, or the man who really wants to be in your life will rise up to meet those standards.” – Jodi Sta. Maria

How did Jodi know what I was thinking? She picked the right words to explain it well and I hope people understood it very well. It could not have been said better.

Most of us experienced playing with Barbie and Ken and at a very young age, we were exposed to the idea of love. I grew up playing with “The Sims” as well and have watched my Sims build their own home and family. Since then, I have dreamt of having my own family someday. I have pictured it out in my head the kind of wedding I would have and the kind of home I would build. I carried those wedding fantasies in my head as I grow older.

Now that I am at a marrying age and when all my friends and cousins are getting engaged or married, people would  ask me all the freakin’ time how come I am not married or why I am not in a relationship. It is actually tiring to explain everytime someone would ask. Truth is, I think I don’t really have to explain myself to anyone. But for their own peace of mind, I always try to. But still, some people have made their own conclusions. Some would say maybe I have high standards or that I am choosy. Some would make speculations such as maybe I am a man hater or worse, I am a lesbian. They talk about it as if being one is a crime and as if they know you so well. I would tell them that none of those is the reason to why I am still single. They wouldn’t believe me, and would start telling me things like “You are not getting any younger.”, “It will be hard for you to give birth after 30.”, “You have to find someone you can spend the rest of your life with.” and the list goes on as if they are trying to scare me so that I would settle down right away. As if it is that easy.

Who doesn’t want to find someone who they can spend the rest of their life with? To have that constant person that you can annoy and love for the rest of your days or atleast someone to cuddle with on rainy days. Who doesn’t want cute mini versions of themselves? Who doesn’t want to have that wonderful wedding and an even wonderful Christ-centered marriage? I never know anyone who never prayed for these. It is everyone’s heart’s desire.

But, God delays the love story of some sometimes. Good thing or bad thing; Only God knows. Sometimes He delays it because we are yet to accomplish a different mission in life first before He gives us away to the man He prepared for us. Sometimes He delays it to save us from the wrong one. Sometimes He delays it until we realize who we really are and what we want to do. He delays it for a reason. Someday, everything will make sense. All I know is He delays it for our own good. We may not understand it or there will be days that we might find it hard to wait for God’s time that sometimes, we would do things our way. We will refuse to take the narrow gate and we will start making our own decisions and moves. We will start taking advantage of the free will that has been given to us. Chances are we will have our hearts broken. And when we end up heartbroken, we will turn to God like a child and would pray for the heartaches to go away. Do not be deceived by the earthly gifts people offer you or the flowery words that they feed your ear or by different ways that they try to impress you. Sure, having those romantic dates and having someone to have and to hold sound like a good idea; But, a wrong person will always be a wrong person. Be careful who you give your heart to.

In Proverbs 19:21, it says: “Many are the plans in man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”. God promised us a future that is full of hope.God never breaks a promise and only God has the power to fulfill this promise. You can fall in love to the next guy who will tell you he likes you or the first guy who will give you butterflies in your stomach; You can fall in love with your dream guy but if your dream guy is not God’s guy, he will be just like any other guy. Never rush. Trust God’s timing. Do not listen to what the world tells you. Just keep praying for it. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4).

Do not be bothered if they criticize you for having high standards or if they question your stand in love. None of them matters. At the end of the day, it will be God who will tell you to open your heart because He has sent the one. He knows you are ready. You’ll know it, not by having butterflies in your stomach or a huge smile plastered on your face. God will unfold His plan for you in the most amazing way. (Thinking about it makes me look forward to the future.)

May we find the joy in waiting for that magical moment and not be affected by the opinions of the world. While waiting, may we learn to pray more, hope more and to love more. May we focus on understanding ourselves and in preparing ourselves to be the best person to the person that God will give us as His precious gift. May we look forward to our love story that is not forced; a love story that is written by the author of all. In Nikki Gil’s words “gradual but consistent”.

I once asked an officemate, “Kuya, paano mo ba malalaman if nakita mo na si The One?” (Brother, how would you know if you have found The One?). His answer left me astonished. “Basta dapat yung mamahalin mo, yung mas mahal si Lord kesa sayo.” (If ever you will love someone, you should love someone who loves God more than you.) Because a guy who loves God more than you will always put God first and a guy who puts God first will be scared to hurt you.

Now ladies, this I tell you. Your standards are high not because you want a guy with a good job, a fat bank account, a luxurious car, good looks and a good body. Your standards are high because you pray for a guy who loves God more than anyone, a guy who prays with/for you, a guy who serves God with you, a guy who believes that you are a precious gift from God. A guy who treats you like a precious jewel because he believes that nothing can be compared to you. A guy who waited joyfully on the Lord just like you. A guy who can maintain a good conversation with you. A guy who can make you smile without you knowing it. A guy who doesn’t have to try hard just to impress you. A guy who have learned to love their mother before he decides to love any girl. Whoever thinks that these are high standards are probably those whose standards are low. So, never apologize for having high standards. Because  one day, you will be thankful that you have set your standards according to God’s promises to you.

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If I will be asked again why I am still single, it is not because I am choosy or because noone has the courage to tell me they like me; It is because God is still preparing both of us to be the “perfect” person for each other.

I strongly believe that someday, I would wake up and watch the sunrise next to the guy who don’t just gives me butterflies in my stomach, but with the guy who who will stand by me and pray with me until the sunset of our lives. I know he is just somewhere out there waiting for God’s go signal too. Once the light turns green, we’ll find our way to each other. For now, I will focus on my journey of knowing God more, of having God in my heart so whoever loves me has to find God first in order to win my heart. <3

I am God’s princess after all.

Much love,

LOVE

Most days go by like any other day. But there are days – like Valentine’s Day- when people focus so much on looking happy. They focus so much on hearts, flowers, teddy bears, chocolates, cards and other surprises and sweet nothings just because it is heart’s day. The day when people expect the whole town to be painted in red. When everybody is pressured to look happiest showing off the bouquet of flowers which they received from their significant others on every social media account they have. When most single people feel a little pinch in their hearts whenever they look at their flowerless selves in the mirror and whenever they see happy couples anywhere.When supermarkets run out of chocolates and flowers to sell just because people think that is what that day is all about.

My friends and I went out to eat right after the mass; Restaurants are packed with people. It is good to see representations of love everywhere. Romantic love, love for family and in our case, love for friends. I remember a friend praying before we eat telling that God’s love is enough for us even if we are *chokes a little* single. Then I had a flashback of previous Valentine’s Days. I never really experienced anything romantic on any Valentine’s Day of my life. I never woke up with a bouquet of roses on my table; I never had a surprise Valentine date; I never received a box full of my favorite chocolates or got serenaded with heartwarming songs. I never got excited for Valentine’s Day but I never got sad either. Why would I be sad? Why would I feel sorry for myself? Every Valentine’s Day of my life, I am always surrounded with love from people who love me more than a lover can. Yes, I won’t be a hypocrite and deny the fact that sometimes I wonder how it feels like to experience stuff that other people experience on that day. Sometimes I daydream about waking up with little surprises from someone who loves me; I daydream about cuddling in bed watching RomComs or just keeping the TV open but not really caring about it because cuddling is enough. But, just because this isn’t happening doesn’t mean that my days are meaningless. I mean, I am okay with how I spend my Valentine’s Day. I still feel loved anyway. In fact, this year’s Valentines has been awesome because I have awesome people in my life that even if a hand drawn flower on a post it note and sweet candies are all I got, they are enough to paint a smile in my heart.

In our community, we call our significant others “GG” which stands for God’s Gift and I strongly believe that it is called God’s Gift for a reason. From its literal meaning; a gift from God. Back in 2006, I remember writing a blog post about solitude and how not having a boyfriend doesn’t affect me. Ten years later, here I am now, writing this and staying true to my words. As much as I would love to have one at this point in time, I can still enjoy my solitude. I still have no problem doing things for myself, on my own. I have no problem not receiving goodmorning/goodnight messages with all the romantic emoji’s. I have no problem not having someone to tell me i love you in the most random time of the day because I know that no matter what’s going on, I am loved. I still don’t think that it’s sad to celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends. It doesn’t make me less of a person just because of my relationship status. There are lonely days but it is not a lonely life. Love is not something we can wish from our fairy godmother and will be ours once she waves her magic wand. People nowadays focus so much on this. It bothers me how some people made romantic love as something that could make their existence complete. Don’t get me wrong, I also believe that love is a wonderful thing and everybody has the right to experience it; the butterflies in the stomach, the sleepless kilig nights and the natural glow of being in love. The joy of finding The One. The joy of receiving God’s gift. The gift that we prayed for.

But, what if despite our best effort and relentless prayer, we might not receive that precious gift? let alone end up with the man/woman of our dreams? Would that be okay? For this I pray; I pray that we can all let go of the part of us that forces romance to happen. I wish we can have fun like we used to in our favorite places without overthinking that maybe The One is just around the corner.I pray that we can silence the part of us that tells us that (romantic) love is all we need. I pray that we can learn to love ourselves instead of being too hard on ourselves because we don’t have that special someone until now. I pray that we can overcome pressure from people that tell us that we’re too old so we have to settle. I wish we can prove to everyone that being single is way better than being in a miserable relationship and I wish that by doing that, we fall in love slowly, deeply, passionately and gently with ourselves. I pray that we can ignore the little voices in our head that tell us that we are not enough or that something is wrong with us. I pray that we will be okay while waiting for God to deliver His gift. I pray that we will find joy, hope and patience in waiting because, I assure you, it will be worth it.

Love has become so underrated these days. Love slowly becomes a status symbol. I still believe that love is not measured by the butterflies in our stomach or the number  of roses we get on special days. Our relationship status on Facebook does not define us. Love is already planted in our hearts. We just have to let it bloom on its most perfect time; in God’s time. Love is not generic. Love comes in all forms. Let’s undo the times that we thought that love is everything. Let’s be the best version of ourselves while waiting for God’s best. Let God prune you and prepare you to be the right person someone deserves. And in the process of waiting, please know that you are also worth the wait.

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BELATED HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! <3

The Vow: An Excerpt

If there is a song that could perfectly describe my process of waiting for you it would be Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”. I know it’s quite a cliché because that song has been used in many weddings during its era. But, hey, I died everyday waiting for you. Darling, don’t you know that I have loved you for a thousand years and I’ll love you for a thousand more.

I knew I loved you before I met you. In fact, I missed you even though we have never met each other yet. Have you experienced that feeling of homesickness for a place that you have never been to? I ached for you every day. I have always longed for your warm embrace. I craved for your gentle kisses every morning when I wake up. Every time something good happens to me, I always wished that you are there to share the happiness with me or share the sadness when it strikes. I imagined us cuddling in bed all day on a lazy Friday. I imagined you sitting on my couch while waiting for the dinner that I have prepared for you. I imagined you telling me I am a good cook even though we both know that I am only good at frying eggs and sausages. But, you appreciate me trying to cook a decent meal. I imagined us doing things together every day except when we need a time out from each other and be with our own set of friends. I imagined you meeting my family for the very first time. I imagined you getting along with them because you know that they love you. I imagined you meeting my best friends and dealing with awkward glances of the women in my life. I imagined you excusing yourself to go to the toilet when the truth is you just want to secretly send me a message that my friends are crazy and you feel a bit awkward around them. Without you knowing it, I’ll tell my friends about it and you’ll be surprised because by the time you get back on the table, you’ll find a totally different set of people. They’ll be nicer and more accommodating because that’s really how they are. No more awkward glances because the truth is, they really like you. I imagined us going home together and you’ll tell me how much you enjoyed the night. I imagined you giving me a goodnight kiss as you watch me close the front door of our house. I imagined an “I miss you already” text message just a second after we said goodnight. And, the “I love you” before we sleep and the “I love you in the morning” when we wake up.

Okay, I know that’s kinda cheesy. But, who doesn’t love cheese?

They told me to dance with God because when I do, He will only let the worthy man to cut in. I am more than glad that finally, God let you cut in. It took us endless dances before He finally gave me to you. I almost thought that the dance would never end. I turned down some guys who invited me for a dance because I knew that they will never be you. Because I know that someday, you will come. And here you are. Real and tangible. Now that you are finally in my life and we are dancing even though we don’t really know how. I don’t care if you step on my foot. We’ll figure it out together. We can change the music if we have to. Or we don’t really have to dance. We just have to stand still hand in hand, look into each other’s eyes and read each other’s lips.

If you’ll ask me how long will I love you… I’ll love you for a thousand years…and longer if I could.

To be continued…

Just Because It is Valentine’s Day and I Should Write About Love

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Today is Valentine’s Day. It is the time of the year when lovers show more affection towards each other, when flower shops run out of flowers, and when chocolates are given away to express love. But, for me, it is the time of the year when my newsfeed is filled with sweet nothings while I eat whatever amount of chocolate I could just to supply my body enough serotonin to keep my mood up. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a relationship with chocolate? It can instantly make you happy. Just kidding.

I attended a Valentine Party last night. I was really hesitant to go and I was not in the mood to dress up. But, for the sake of friendship I managed to put on my little black dress and made it to the party. For some reasons, I was not in my “party mood” last night. I was glued to my seat the whole night. Well, aside from the fact that my shoes are not as comfortable as I wanted them to be, I just din’t feel like dancing the night away. All night, I was praying for the night to be over so I can just sleep the strange feeling off. The party was nice and lively. It is just not for me and I have never felt so pathetic for being like that. Well, blame it on the hormones. Such a kill joy. (I hate you, hormones!)

The night ended earlier than I expected. I couldn’t be more thankful that I reached home before midnight. It is not because I have a stepmother  waiting for me but because I don’t wanna carry the strange mood until the next day. On a quiet night like last night, there is no perfect thing to do but pray. I prayed to God to give me a restful sleep and to answer whatever questions I have in His perfect time.

God’s answers to our questions is only a prayer away.

Valentine’s Day. 5:45 AM. I snoozed my alarm off for 10 more minutes before I woke up from a restful slumber to a bright and brand new day. “What a lovely day. I won’t let anything ruin this day. So, hormones, please back off.” I told myself as an affirmation. But, bitterness sets in. Seeing hearts, chocolates and flowers all over every social media site makes me think “Why don’t I get those?”. Worse, my cousin from Oman asked me a favor of buying flowers for her girlfriend and to deliver it straight to her doorstep. After work, I went straight to the flower shop. I picked some pink roses as requested. Later on, I noticed that I am the only girl in the flower shop. I wonder if people thought that I was buying flowers for myself on Valentine’s Day because I am not blessed with someone who will bring me flowers. Who cares?! I am doing my cousin a favor because I want him to be happy. I don’t care what they think. I don’t care about anything. I don’t care about Valentine’s and flowers and chocolates! Okay, that’s me being carried away by my bitterness. Of course, I care. I care about love. I care about people expressing their love for each other because that is how it should be. Love should be expressed everyday.

Whenever I talk to God, I always let my guards down. Fresh from my bitterness, I asked God “Why can’t I have that kind of love? the kind that sends me off my feet, the kind that removes any doubts and fears in my heart, the kind that makes me look into the world in a different perspective, the kind that assures me that I am worthy of being loved in return.” That moment, I was vulnerable. And God knew that He has to speak to me. He did. I opened my “Our Daily Bread” booklet.

February 14: Second Best?

“Though she felt unloved by her husband, perhaps she now realized she was greatly loved by God.”

I guess there will always be a point in our lives when we will feel bad for always being the second best or for doubting our own capacity to love and be loved. It is normal because everybody desires to be loved. But, never let it bring you down. The greatest love that we can ever receive is the love from the Almighty One. The one who knows all our imperfections but loves us anyway. The good thing about His love is that it is free. You don’t have to look good, to give flowers or chocolates just to gain it. You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of it. Because this love has always been yours from the very beginning. God loves us and it is more than enough.

I am not being a hypocrite here and telling you that a love from other humans is unessential and unnecessary. It is. In fact, this world, though full of wonderful things, is still way too cruel that we need this kind of love to survive. This love somehow assures us that we are good enough, that we will never have to go through this life alone. The love that somehow makes us feel whole. I have been wanting to experience this love ever since I learned how to fully open my heart to love. And, I thank God for taking too much time on preparing me and my future God’s gift for the time that we will finally go through this life together.

“You don’t marry your great love, you marry your true love.”

Assured. That’s how I felt after reading that. Though I have never been to any official relationship, I have never denied myself the right of loving. I have loved and have been denied a few times but never did I think about giving up on this crazy little thing called love. The chase is the most exciting part of it. The chase towards my true love. I have loved a few wrong people greatly; more than what they deserve I guess. I have done crazy things for the sake of love. There were love stories which I thought were great enough that it could actually be a reality and last forever but didn’t. There have been times that I cried for unknown reasons for a love that I thought was great but actually wasn’t. Because this love isn’t true. Because this love isn’t for me so God marked it “Not my will” and asked me to let go of it so I won’t keep hurting myself.

“But, God, I want this. Nothing will be greater than this.” I insisted. I begged.

“It can’t be great if it isn’t true, my child.” God told me.

Then, I told myself, no matter how cliche this statement is “if you wanted the wrong one so much, imagine how it would feel when the right one comes along.”

So, instead of wanting the wrong love which we thought was great, let’s just wait for our one true love and make the greatest love story ever told. A great love may not always be true, but, a true love can always be great.

“It is impossible for a love like yours, that overwhelming kind of love that flows out from you, to not catch on anywhere or anyone. It is bound to be reciprocated, not necessarily by the person for whom it was intended but I’m sure it will go full circle back to you.” – That Thing Called Tadhana

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3 God is wrapping His gift for you; He just can’t choose the best wrapper yet because you deserve something special. Enjoy waiting.