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The Proposal: It’s A Yes For Me

Remember when we were kids? There was a point in our childhood when we used to transform blankets into wedding dresses and dream of being a bride. We used to watch fairy tales and confidently tell ourselves “Someday, I’m going to meet my Prince Charming and marry him.”. Then, when we entered our teenage years, we started to practice writing our names with our apple of the eye’s last name; we fantasized about creating a family with them; we played FLAMES with our crush’s name and get so frustrated whenever we get “Angry”as a result. We used to do it over and over again as if doing it a hundred times over can change the result.

Back in grade school, I remember my teacher finding my love letter to my childhood crush. The note says “I love you, Mar__.” I was so embarassed. What do I know about love at seven years old? We used to think that love will come easy. That all we have to do is to leave a pair of shoe and let our prince find his way to us so we can start our happily ever after. As I grow older, life taught me that love isn’t the easiest thing to find. I am a late bloomer. I still played with Barbie Dolls when I was in high school. When I went to college, I still cried when my mom left me in my dormitory. But, when I started working abroad, though it was hard at first, I started to realize that I am a strong and independent woman. And being one made me believe that I don’t need a man to depend on. I can do things my own. Or atleast that’s what I tell myself.

I remember writing this blog post sometime in 2015, Cheeseburger.

Last night, I craved for a cheeseburger. I thought how nice it would be to have you around to buy me one. How easy and nice life would be if I have you as a constant run to person. A comfort zone. A secret hiding place. But instead, I found myself walking along the dark pavements of the street going to the nearest restaurant. I got myself a cheeseburger. After eating it, my craving isn’t satisfied. Then I realized, it wasn’t cheeseburger that I was craving for. I was craving for you.

No matter how independent we think we are, there will come a point in our life when we wish for someone. When my friends started getting married and having kids, I started to develop  an unknown fear of the future. It might be because the society tells me so. I never had a boyfriend. I am not getting any younger. I didn’t even have a love interest. Some days I don’t mind being single, but some days, I have an intense longing. I have spent my single life going out with friends, shopping, doing what makes me happy and not being sorry for it. But as years went by, I slowly outgrew these things. My closet is full of clothes, bags, and shoes but that special area in my heart feels empty. It’s not that only a romantic love can fill that void in our hearts but I know it can make a difference. Our hearts have always been full the moment we let God in. And I believe that even God dreams of sharing our hearts with an angel on earth that He has prepared for us. Because God wants to see us happy. Because God uses people as an instrument of His unconditional love for us. But because I am a woman, I can’t court guys I like, I can only pray for them to like me back. And if they don’t, then they are not God’s best for me. All I can do is wait. Wait with joy. Wait with God. My season of waiting is not a walk in the park. I’ve had heartbreaks but I also realized my worth. I am God’s princess after all. I have found peace in waiting. Trusting God’s better plan. I let go and let God.

A lot of people tell me that maybe I have high standards. I just laugh whenever they tell me that. What do they know about my standards? I wrote my negotiables and non-negotiables. My standards are not high. My standards are just right.

I always tell myself and others that I want to marry at the age of 32. That if I will have to marry someone. I want to marry someone who loves his family especially his mom. I want to marry someone who’s intellectual and speaks really well. My aunts sometimes joke that I should find a news caster for a boyfriend.

Then, I met Arjay.

He was introduced to us as one of the newest Singles for Christ (SFC) member. He moved to Qatar from Manila and was integrated. When I heard him speak in front for the very first time, he speaks really well, I remember giving that “look” to my friend, Diana. A look that says “pwede!”. New crush mode activated. Then later on, I found out that Diana has a crush on him too. So I just gave way. Years passed, we forgot about him, made new crushes, and moved on with life…as a single person. A single and strong and independent woman. Arjay went on with his life, too. He pursued other girls. He didn’t have an eye for me. His heart got broken too. He embraced the pain, he moved on until he was healed.

Then, a brother told me (Hi, Bro. Tristan!); “I think you will have a GG (God’s Gift – a term use in SFC referring to a boyfriend or girlfriend) this year.”. The thought iself gave me butterflies. But, I don’t have anyone in mind. I don’t even know if I am ready for it. So I didn’t have expectations. Soon after, I moved to a new house. It was in the same compound where Arjay stays. A sister even joked and said “Uuuyyy, lumalapit sa pag-ibig.” I didn’t entertain that thought because first, Arjay is not my crush anymore; I even said that I find him boring. Second, we weren’t even close, he’s just an acquaintance.  Lastly, I wasn’t focused on finding someone at that time. I was in my YOLO stage. I was busy enjoying my life.

Fast forward to that time in February 2017 when he invited me to join him, his family, and some of our friends who are in their house having tea. I was fighting jetlag at that time so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to join them. So I did. We had a great time. We made Valentine’s Day plans, he told me to come with them if I don’t have other plans. He started to constantly message me. Constant good mornings and good nights and anything in between. I told myself and my friends, I wasn’t ready for it. I had a butterfly riot in my stomach. My friends told me to just enjoy it and not to overthink things. But, I just can’t. He confessed that he likes me and wants to pursue me if I will allow him to. With all my strength, I gave him the go signal. Love is something new to me. We stumbled and failed many times so I decided to tell him to stop. He complied. We never saw each other for months, we never talked, not even a word. I won’t elaborate but those times were hard. Until God made a way for us to reconcile. God brought us back to each other.

Our relationship is not an ideal one. Sure, we fight a lot.  We both have our shortcomings. We don’t always see eye to eye. We hurt each other unknowingly. But, as time passes by, we have learned how to deal with our differences, we learned how to understand each other, we learned how to compromise. Our love grows stronger. It is strong enough to endure every misunderstanding, to accept all our differences, and to surpass every challenge. We chose not to give up even if life tells us that it is the easiest thing to do. We made a promise not to give up on each other. We’ve been through a lot and we always remind ourselves that giving up is not an option. It will never be an option. Our relationship got better in time. Thank You, Lord. It has been God who is working for us and with us all along.

We used to talk about getting married. I used to daydream about the day that I will marry him. We weren’t even engaged but I asked him if it’s okay if I will start to write down wedding ideas. He said it’s fine. I bought a notebook and I started writing down wedding plans. But, I laugh whenever I do so. It’s funny, I wasn’t even engaged. So, I stopped. He had fake proposals. There was this one time while watching “A Walk To Remember”. When Landon proposed to Jaime, he re-enacted the scene and asked me to marry him. He said just because we didn’t have a ring doesn’t mean we’re not engaged. The ring is just a fad. I was so confused. Then, when we went to the Philippines for a vacation together. We were sitting under the stars when he started talking about how our wedding will be. I told him, “but, we weren’t even engaged yet.” and he started giving me lectures on how the ring is just a craze and not really a tradition. That people can get married even without a grand proposal. I just threw tantrums at him. A lot of people expected and assumed that he will propose in the Philippines. I never expected him to propose though there were moments and places that look perfect for a proposal. But I know him, he will not do what others are expecting him to do. In short, I came back to Doha without a ring on my finger. And I am totally okay with it, I know what we are and I am certain about our future together.

I told him about my dream proposal. I said I want it to be well documented and I want him to sing “Marry Your Daughter” to my dad. “Not gonna happen.”; he said. Whatever. Haha!

October is my birth month. My birthday is on October 6 and our anniversary is on the 8th. He told me to enjoy my birthday with friends and we’ll just have my birthday dinner on the 7th; just like last year. I said okay. Days before, he constantly reminds me about it. I asked him what should I wear. He didn’t tell me where we’re having dinner. He wants to keep it as a surprise. I told him I don’t want to be underdressed or overdressed. So, he took me to the mall and bought me a dress. He said that’s the appropriate dress to wear.

He encountered a lot of challenges along the way, he lost his car key so he ended up getting an uber to pick me up. I still have no idea where we’re going. I made a lot of guesses. We were heading to West Bay area. I saw a glimpse of Sheraton Hotel. Then I remember his promise to take me there someday. I was right. It was the fulfillment of his promise. We reached the Nusr-et Restaurant. I was greeted with a happy birthday song, a bouquet of red roses, and a whole lot of smoke for a dramatic effect. When we finished dinner, we headed out. He told me beforehand that he prepared an outdoor activity. The activity requires a blindfold. He blindfolded me. He told me to just trust him.

The activity goes like this:

While blinfolded, he asked me to rate my happiness at that point in my life. 10 being the highest and each number is equivalent to 10 steps. I told him 5, because my life is a balance of happiness and sadness. He told me to take 50 steps. After 50 steps, he asked me if I want to be happier. “Of course.”; I said. Then it was followed by a question, “What are you willing to do to be happier? Are you willing to take a risk and move forward?”. I thought about it and said yes. He asked me how many steps am I willing to take to be happier? At first, I said 20 more steps then decided to take 50 more so I can reach a hundred which is the perfect happiness. After 100 steps, we didn’t reach the venue so he quickly think of something to say just so I can take few more steps forward. He said, “Do you know that even if you already reached the perfect happines, you can still be happier?” Then he told me to take 10 more steps forward. Then he told me to sit down. I still had no idea where we are at that moment. I felt the couch. He sat beside me. He asked me about my realization regarding our activity. My realization was “In life, we can’t be stuck. If we want to be happier, we have to move forward. We have to take risks. We have to walk towards happiness and sometimes though we are already happy, we can still be happier.” Then he removed my blindfold. I was in awe of the place. It was beautiful. It was perfect. It was in a canopy by the beach with dim lights and with rose petals everywhere. It was a romantic spot.

In front of us is a projected video presentation. He played it. It was a slideshow of our photos. Too much memories flashing right before my very eyes. It truly moved me to tears looking back on our memories. Each photo tells a story. A flashback of our good and bad times. We’ve been through a lot and there we are sitting hand in hand as we watch the video presentation. I got really emotional. Right after the slideshow were videos of family and friends giving their vote. Shouting words like “It’s a YES for me!”, “Please say YES!”. My mind went blank. I didn’t get it at first. I was thinking that maybe it was for our anniversary. Then came our parents’ messages with “Marry Your Daughter” as a background song. I was ugly crying the whole time. Then, he asked me to stand up which I gladly did. He bent his knee, reached for my hand, he started to speak and cry his heart out. I couldn’t absorb everything. All I can remember is him saying “You have no idea how happy you make me. This is the very reason why despite all the pain that we went through, God brought us back to each other. Will you be Mrs. Diego? Will you marry me?”

I uglycried some more and cried again until he took the ring from his pocket and put it on my finger right after I responded with. “Yes. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” Everything was followed with a lot of ugly crying.

Then 3 of my friends who documented everything popped out of nowhere and congratulated us. Thank you, Josh, Deej, and Diana.

Everything felt so surreal. We spent the night talking about how he managed to pull it off. I honor him for giving me that magical proposal. It is truly the most magical moment of my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve it but it is an affirmation that God sent me a man who will go out of his way to make me feel loved and special. To make me feel that he loves me with the love of the Lord. And, I love him just the same. We have come so far and we still have a long way to go.

 “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

As we gather all our strength and courage, please journey with us as we take the blessed sacrament of marriage.

The future isn’t a scary unknown anymore. The future is so much brighter. The future will soon make up for my past. My childhood roleplay will soon become a reality. If God wills it, then it is what’s best for us. I never thought that my heart can contain a love like this. Thank You, Lord!

The proposal video will be uploaded soon. Also, the wedding series section is up on my blog for my wedding planning journey. <3

Spreading the love,

PHOTO CREDITS: Josh, Diana, Deej <3

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.

I Love You With The Love Of The Lord

Five months of bliss

Five months of joy

Five months with the best

Out of all the boys

Yes, there were hard times too

Sometimes we barely get through

At times it just gets too tough

But, we always end it with a good laugh

Sometimes we fight for reasons; lame and unknown

But, your loving arms is always my home

In your warm embrace I always find myself

Comforted, relaxed, and safe

Sometimes I watch you sleep

What a special treasure for me to keep

And when the morning comes, I pinch your cheek

I rub your hair, I hug you tight and kiss your lips

It tastes like heaven and I know it’s real

Because our love is the real deal

In this world where nothing is certain

We choose to believe, we choose to love, we choose to be better

Who cares what the future holds

As long as God holds our tomorrow

This I tell you loud and proud, big and bold

We might experience sadness, tears, and sorrow

We might get grumpy, moody, and bored

I don’t mind because I love you with the love of the Lord

HAPPY 5TH, My love.

 

Sincerely,

This is How Letting Go Feels Like

“So, I uttered the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference…”over and over again until what seemed to be too difficult becomes, not easy, but less difficult.

Sometimes we are put in a confusing situation of choosing between letting go and trying harder. That is one of the hardest decisions we will ever have to face in this lifetime especially if both will cause your heart to break into pieces.

My life has been a series of letting go. Letting go of my pacifier when I was a kid. Letting go of my mother’s hand on my first day of school. Letting go of my comfort zone when I studied away from home for college. Letting go of my youth when I decided to work abroad right after graduation. Letting go of my pride for my first job. Letting go of my hope when my first business attempt failed. Letting go of my dreams when I realized that I don’t have one anymore. Letting go of everything that is beyond my control simply because it hurts. My hand is like a broken vessel where everything just slips away uncontrollably but not surprisingly because I know losing is a part of life and I am wired for it.

I am wired for it but I am tired of it.

Why can’t I just keep them?

I wish I could say that losing things, people, and other stuff taught me a reflective life meaning. But losing those just broke my heart over and over and over and over again. Losing those just made me ask if I am really meant to be happy. Losing those made me wonder how happiness feels like. Because I don’t know how it feels like anymore. But certainly, I know how letting go does.

Letting go feels like a long sleep where you are relieved but still feels tired.

Letting go feels like keeping tears from falling and finally releasing them. You feel lighter but the pain is still there deep down in your heart.

Letting go feels like flying back abroad after a short vacation in your home country. There is a physical pain in your heart, sometimes intolerable, but once you are done with it you will feel liberated and brave just by being able to do it. At the same time, it also excites you of what will happen next.

Letting go feels like having a butterfly riot in your stomach. The butterflies that used to give you a happy feeling now started to fight against each other.

Letting go feels the same or worse than dysmenorrhea. The pain is sometimes unbearable. You just curl up under your sheets and forget about the world outside the four corners of your room.

Letting go feels like a blessing and a curse.

No matter how I find words to describe how letting go feels like, nothing seems to be accurate.

Letting go is relieving but there is one thing I am certain of, letting go hurts.

Letting go is painful. Letting go is hard. But, letting go is inevitable. Letting go won’t kill you (even if it sometimes make you feel like dying) and we all know that what can’t kill you will only make you stronger. Stay alive for the ride.

Letting go made me realize how brave I am.

Letting go made me feel alive.

Letting go made me more prayerful.

Letting go allowed me to put my complete trust in the Lord.

By letting go, I have learned the meaning of full surrender.

As much as I want to keep a grasp of the things that I want to keep in my life, I just opened my hands and let them slip through them. And now, my open hands are ready to receive greater blessings from God who made me let go. The God who provided me grace and courage to let go of things that I badly want to keep. The God who gives and takes away.

I have read somewhere that God won’t give us things that somebody else is supposed to have. God takes away for a reason. It might be painful and hard to understand sometimes but God knows what He is doing. Let go, get out of the way, and let God do what needs to be done. Trust. Have faith. Surrender.

It is only in losing that we gain. We gain better understanding of ourselves. We gain a clearer view of how we want our lives to turn out. We gain more realizations of what deserves a spot in our lives. We gain more self-worth and self-love. We gain more strength and faith.

We only lose what we cling to. If letting go of things, people, and other stuff is the only way to keep them in my life, I am willing to go through the pain. The pain and the fear of uncertainty. The pain of longing for what was once constant in my life. The pain of seeing my high hopes stumble down and die. The pain of seeing my broken walls that seem to be irreparable. The pain of seeing myself that I can’t recognize anymore. The pain of seeing my future that used to be so clear becomes hazy. The pain of not recognizing happiness anymore. The pain of realizing that what was once a reality is now a memory. The pain of losing myself. The pain of missing things and people. The pain of feeling like I could never be the same again. The pain of dealing with anxieties. The pain of the aftershock of letting go. I realized that I don’t really fear letting go, it is the “what could have beens” that I fear. The act of letting go is painful enough, nobody wants to deal with what comes after that.

But then, there is God. A God who never lets go. A God who makes letting go bearable. A God who listens, answers, and saves. A God who empties us so we can be filled again. Let us trust the process.2017-05-09

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,

Happiness

That Friday was one of the most exhausting Fridays I’ve had so far since 2016 started. I went straight to an activity right after a sleepover; which isn’t really a sleepover because I didn’t sleep. I was half awake the whole night trying to put myself to sleep while trapped inside a blanket between my sisters and the next thing I know, the alarm was coming off. It was 5:15 AM and whether I like it or not and whether I was asleep or not, I have to wake up. So, I did.

My day started from there. Spent almost a day in a community activity then went straight to attend another activity which lasted until 9:00 PM. In short, my energy level is close to zero. I just sat down on the floor the entire time while waiting for my friends to finish so we could all attend our friends’ exhibition. I remember falling asleep while waiting. Slept inside the cab and woke up realizing that we couldn’t make it to the exhibition because we don’t have enough time. We decided to just go to a friend’s house and to just stay there until we regain a little amount of energy to go home. We were all tired and quite sad because things didn’t go as planned. Our restless selves ended up inside our friend’s living room. Each of us seated on almost every chair in the room not even saying a word.Until a bright idea popped in our heads, the next thing we know, we were ordering pizza. Once the pizza came, we were on beast mode. That was stress eating at its finest. I don’t know what we’re up to that time. All I know is that we are happy. We are exhausted but we are happy. And in that moment, that is all that matters. The room slowly started to be filled with laughter. We’re actually laughing over silly things. We laughed until our stomachs hurt. We laugh at ourselves. We laughed until we couldn’t laugh anymore. Nothing is better than that.

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Then we realized, we haven’t done that in a while. It feels so good to be able to do it again. We all managed to go to our friends’ exhibition the following day. A lot of expensive jewelries and watches were showcased in the exhibition. Some cost way too much. Do people actually buy stuff as expensive as that? Yes. Because some people just have too much. Then, we realized how expensive their happiness could be. And, are they even happy? They seem like they have everything but do they, really?  They can buy all these fancy stuff. They can buy literally everything they want. They can buy ten times, or even more, of the things that we want. It would take us a few months or even years to buy something that they can buy in a snap. What a wonderful life, we thought. But, are they really happy? Do they go home happy to their million dollar home and to their fancy things in the house, lay in their comfortable bed, but do they really sleep smiling? I don’t judge wealthy people but it makes me think, are they really happy? Will I be happy if I was able to get everything I want? Then, I remember that night with friends. The laughter echoes in my head as we boomerang-ed ourselves. I remember the joy on our faces when the doorbell rang and the pizza delivery man appeared right before our very eyes. The twinkle in our eyes the moment we opened the pizza box and smelled the pizza that is waiting for us; and the sound of satisfaction and relief the moment we finished everything. That very moment I thought to myself, all of us in that room doesn’t have everything in life, some are even struggling, but we are happy. Happiness is indeed priceless. I pray that everybody can get a taste of happiness; the most genuine kind. The kind of happiness that brings joy in our hearts. <3

Prayer:

Lord, teach us to find happiness in simple things; Laughing with friends, accomplishing a simple task at work, laughing at our silly selves, smiles from our family, eating our favorite food, having a restful sleep. May we be able to radiate joy to others because of the joy that you planted in our hearts. May we be contented with what we have instead of feeling sorry for what we don’t have. May we have more priceless moments with the people we love.  May we find the real joy and happiness in You; the only source of joy, the only one who can fill the emptiness in us. Amen.

 

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

Birthday Love Tank

I guess as we grow older, birthdays become ordinary. You don’t get that special feeling as the day approaches because you know that birthdays are not different than any other day. Unlike when we were kids, we don’t excitedly wake up and expect to get the present that we have been begging our parents for or to blow and have our favorite chocolate cake for breakfast. We don’t expect people to be extra nice to us because it is our birthday. We don’t look forward in wearing our birthday dress at school. We just don’t get too excited about it anymore. It lost all its magic. Period.

On the morning of my birthday, I woke up not realizing that it’s my birthday. I dragged myself out of bed and unwillingly walked towards the bathroom to take a bath. I still don’t remember that it was my birthday; until my housemate told me that there is something on our doorsteps and he thinks it is for me. To my surprise, friends dropped by our house and left some surprises on our doorsteps.

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That is when it sinks in: It’s my birthday! 🙂 What I thought would be an ordinary day became more and more special every minute. Greetings from friends all over the world flooded my social media accounts. I see my face every time I open Facebook. Everyone sending out their love for me in any possible way. I couldn’t help but feel loved. Because I am an adult now, I don’t get to have a birthday off so I just spent most of my day in the office replying to every birthday greeting that comes my way.

I went straight to the church the moment I got off from work. Our company driver offered me a ride. I solemnly celebrated the Holy Mass alone. I thanked God for all the love and blessings that I have received that day. My heart is at peace. There is no better way to celebrate my day than to have a date with the one who gave me life.

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After my birthday date with God, I accompanied a friend to hunt for the perfect shoes for her mission trip to Africa. We went to Souq (Market) and my friend kept on telling everyone we talk to that it is my birthday. I received tons of greeting from strangers. It was still a little bit hot that night. I grabbed the nearest carton and use it as a fan to ease the uncomfortable feeling that I have due to sweating. Before we left the store, one of the guys who works there handed me a cute little pink fan as a birthday present. For some reasons, i was extra appreciative on that day. I guess it’s a conscious effort to be happy. After finding the perfect pair of shoes, we went straight to the birthday dinner that my friends arranged for me. We already passed the stage of birthday surprises but friends still managed to surprise me in their smallest ways. We picked two of our friends from their house, when they got in the taxi they immediately handed me a bouquet of flowers and greeted me a happy birthday. When we got into the restaurant and handed the taxi driver the money for our taxi fare, he refused to get it. “You don’t need to pay because it’s your birthday. Happy Birthday. Have a nice life. God bless you!” he said. My heart melted. Faith to humanity restored! How can someone who earns a little give a portion of what he has to a stranger just because it is her birthday? My heart is smiling. I didn’t accept his gift but I made sure to let him know that I appreciate it a lot. “God bless you!”; I told him before we shut the taxi door close. I mean it. May God bless the selfless people.

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The birthday dinner was awesome as always. It wasn’t an extravagant celebration but sharing that moment with your family away from home made it extra special. We just talked about life, laughed at life over pinakbet, lechong kawali and sisig. I don’t know what did I do to deserve all the amazing people in my life. I must have done something right to deserve all the love. But, one thing is for sure, God loves me so He blessed me with everyone/everything I have in my life right now. I felt so loved; not just because it’s my birthday but because I truly am. I am God’s beloved. I am God’s masterpiece.

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Birthday 2015.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of life. May everything I do bring glory to you. Thank You, family and friends, for the love. <3

Solace

Picture1August has been a month of testing my limits; checking how far I can go. I came to a point that I am physically, emotionally and even spiritually weak. I made myself believe that all is well. But, it wasn’t. There have been days that I have to drag myself out of bed. Opening my eyes in the morning became such a chore. Surviving a hard day’s work requires extra effort. I also became extra emotional; everything affects me. I became a little monster for a time at work; shouting at every irate callers  and throwing an impatient look at every colleague who will joke with me the wrong way. (Sorry, guys.)

“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Rest and sleep deprivation got the best of me. Unintentionally missing prayer time because of sleep; Intentionally missing prayer time because I can’t focus. I feel ashamed of turning to God with my unfocused self so I usually end up hugging my little cross; trusting that God knows and hears my prayer even before I voice them out. This results to waking up guilty the next morning after realizing that I fell asleep while trying to pray. Days passed. I craved for solace. I craved for a worthy prayer. I craved for a genuine moment with God with no distractions. I knew right there and then that I am about to experience spiritual dryness and I know that I have to do something about it. I asked help from friends and I am so blessed to have people who will never deprive me of spiritual recharge (You know who you are.). We prayed in group. A friend prayed for me. I cried to the Lord. He heard me. My heart grew lighter and lighter and lighter. It feels like I finally found the oasis in my deserted heart. I feel like a dying plant that has been watered by my own tears. That day, I was reminded that God isn’t finished yet. He will renew us when our body and spirit weaken. I went home smiling.

But, yeah, God isn’t finished yet. He still has some work to do. I was, once again, became too occupied and busy with a lot of stuff for the past weeks that I never really had the time to contemplate and to do an examination of conscience until last Wednesday, our schedule for confession. I’ve been reminding my sisters to prepare for the confession and to free their schedule so we could confess altogether in preparation for the pray over session on Friday (Will post something about this on my future posts). With very little time to rest, I am usually knocked out the moment I dive into my bed for a short moment of slumber. I knew the confession will require a conscious effort on my part because I wasn’t ready yet. But, God guided me the moment I reached the church. Before lining up for the confession, I took a short moment with God. I knelt and prayed for guidance as I humble myself to ask for His forgiveness. I asked Him to give me the courage to be honest to myself and to admit that I have done so many wrong things in life. I asked Him to lead me as I confess my wrongdoings. I took a deep breath before standing up and before lining up together with other people who longs for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

When my turn comes, I knelt down and started my confession with the usual “Forgive me Father for I have sinned…”. No words came out. I choked with my own words. I opened my eyes and nothing was clear. All I see is a blur. I feel like everything around me is turning. I took a deep breath, calmed myself down and uttered a simple prayer in my head “Help me, Lord.”. I can feel myself holding back from confessing everything. I examined my past and present sins the best that I could and expressed sincere regret. I ran out of words which forced me to say “That’s all Father.”. I am forgiven; The Priest said. I claimed forgiveness. I went out of the booth and knelt in front of the crucifix at the church; face to face with Jesus again. Jesus Christ, the man who endured all the sufferings and torture because of our sins, is there on the cross bruised and battered. I was sobbing hard. I asked God to guide me as I repent. I asked Him to cleanse and purify my heart because I know for a fact that only Him can do this for me. I confessed my sins all over again to Him. Completely honest this time. No holding back. No filter. This time, it felt more real. It felt more relieving. I cried my heart out to Him. The forgiveness that the Priest had given me echoes in my head. I am forgiven. Yes, I am forgiven even before I asked for it. His mercy and love endure forever. I proceeded to doing my penance and sealed it with “In Jesus’ mighty Name, Amen.”

God knows everything. We cannot really hide anything from Him and He is always willing to grant us the forgiveness that we are sincerely asking for. But, the confession is such a wonderful gift. It gives us something real, something tangible to better feel the weight of our sins and to better feel the glory of His love and mercy.

That night, I was refreshed and renewed. The weight on my shoulders and in my heart had been lifted up. I found clarity in my confusion. I found solace. I found peace.

“Confession. Jesus is there and He receives you with so much love. Do not be afraid of confession. One who is in line to confess himself feels all these things – even shame – but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves free, great, beautiful, forgiven, happy. And this is the beauty of Confession.” – Pope Francis

Dear my child,

Nothing you confess can make me love you less.

Love,

Jesus.

Thank You, Lord, for sustaining me physically, emotionally and spiritually. You already know this but I just wanna say it again, out loud, I LOVE YOU. <3

Love a Girl Who Writes

Love a girl who writes. She can take you to many places. She can live your million dreams. She can enjoy your silence. She will always hear your words. Love a girl who writes. She writes because you exist. She knows you deserve all the best words and she will use them all for you. She can read you even if you cover yourself with pretensions and disguise; with rumors and lies.

Love a girl who writes because she will always believe that you are wonderful…even if you are not. She will always write good things about you even if there is not too plenty of it. Because you are the main character in her book. Love her. Because once you do,  you will always be significant.