Truly God answers prayers in the most unexpected way. I can still remember when I was still a little kiddo, sa postcards na pinapadala lang ng teacher ko nung elementary ko nakikita ang ganitong kagandang lugar. I can’t believe that God will bring me to places I’ve never been before.
As 2014 started, I hardly pray to visit a lot of places here in the Philippines and ofcourse, not to limit myself, I do pray as well to visit other countries. Would you believe if I’ll say na first time kong natungtong ang Tagaytay last January 18, 2014? Yes! Nakakatawa mang isipin, but that’s the truth. I am a traveller, just in my dreams. But now, I finally woke up to reality that if I really want to visit a lot of places, I have to start now. We all know na hindi naman ganun kadali ang lahat. First and foremost, I don’t have enough time and money to travel and travel. Gustuhin ko man, I still have to budget for such getaways.
At the age of 21, I pity myself na Batangas pa lang ang pinakamalyo kong napupuntahan, but now, I can proudly say na, hindi na Batangas, Quezon Province na! :)
March 15 and 16 are dates I will never forget. It was my first time a makarating ng Quezon Province, and besides, it has been really a moment not to forget because I was able to visit this place together with my best buddies. Hindi biro ang eight hours travel at jeepney ang mode of transportation. Mahigit 24 oras na gising at pagod pa galing trabaho. Nevertheless, everything is worth it ‘coz I can definitely say that being with these people is nothing but the best time of all.
Nakakatuwang isipin na kahit busy kami sa kanya kanya naming career, we still have time to see and bond with each other. At mas nakakatuwa knowing that the tight bonding is still there, nothing has changed… ♥
I thank God for giving us this time to spend quality time together, for all the provisions and safety during this escapade. If I have to describe this trip, wala na kong ibang sasabihin pa kundi MASAYA, SOBRANG SAYA, WALANG KASING SAYA.
Mas worth it nga talagang i-spend ang restdays if you’ll spend it with the people you loved the most next to God and your family – your real friends. Restdays kung tatawagin pero ang totoo, you’ll spend the days with them ng walang tulugan at paguran kung paguran dahil hindi kayo nauubusan ng activities, mas lalong hindi nauubusan ng kwento at hindi natatapos ang tawanan.… nothing really compares to the happiness and satisfaction it can bring rather than sleeping and eating at home all day.
Sabi nga, YOLO; You Only Live Once. Kaya naman, make the most of your days. You have all the time in this earth whether to choose happiness or not, the choice is always yours.
Life is about living to the full. It’s always up to us how should we do adjustments in able to spend quality time with the people around us. Being busy is not a reason, I think… dahil kung gusto mo, you’ll make a way. Hinding hindi ko pagsisisihan ang mga oras na hindi man ako nakapasok sa trabaho, I was able to spend time with the people na minsan ko na lang makasama.
I’m looking forward for more getaway with them. :) ♥
Photo by: Jewel Greenland
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I never thought that I will be so much happy, as happy as I am right now, because I have you. I cannot thank God enough for bringing us back together, you know, “sayo lang ako nagmahal ng ganito.” Of course considering that you are my first, grabe, ang saya pala talaga mainlove, no?!
No one can make me happy like you do. Ikaw lang ang nakakapagpasaya sakin ng ganito. Your simple yet sweet text messages can mean the world to me. Simple kasi ni wala man lang tuldok o smiley (Alam ko namang tamad ka magtext. Hahaha.) pero sweet kasi kahit ganun may feelings pa din, nakakakilig lang. Hihi. Thank you, for being always with me… through happiness even on my “toyo” days. You fill my heart and my days with so much joy every time you sing, make jokes, dance around, and make fun of yourself. Your countless, unpredictable ways of making me happy mean the universe naman. Hehe. J Seriously, all your ways mean everything to me.
I don’t know how shall I thank you because you’ve been so good to me since the very first day. I know we’ve been through “nightmares” before… I called it nightmares kasi kapag naaalala ko yun, nalulungkot ako bigla at natatakot. Maybe it’s God’s way of testing us; how strong we are, how brave we are to fight, how patient we are and how long natin kayang magtiis. Honestly, kinaya ko naman but to tell you the truth, pinapatay ako ng kalungkutan tuwing maaalala kita at ang nangyari. Well, I can say now na hindi naman pala talaga ako naka move on noon. Despite those happenings, I am still thankful kahit nasaktan ako, kasi I learned my lessons, at ganun pala talaga kapag mahal mo ang isang tao, lahat kaya mo, even if it means losing the person. But I did not lose you naman; instead, God has brought you back to me, closer to my heart… ♥
I thought before that you are my worse decision ever made. God proved me that I was wrong. You are the best thing that ever happened in my life. You are one of the best decisions. You are one of the greatest gifts from above. You’re the one who proved me na hindi ako mag isa, na hindi ko kailangan mag isa, na hindi ko kaya ng mag isa. You turned my darkness into sunshine bursting so bright into lovely colors! Your love has secured me all the way. Your every way of making me smile can turn my simple day into a special one. Ang sarap lang mabuhay kasama ka… sana habambuhay. ∞
Nakakatuwang isipin that my past is now my present and will surely be my future, di ba? Ano pa nga bang hahanapin ko sa’yo? You have turned now into a grown man. (Ikaw na!) Thank you for being brave enough to fight for me. Thank you for being so loving and caring. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, because of you I am reminded that I need to take care of myself, and I’m more than thankful because you’re here to take care of me, too. (Hanggang ngayon kinikilig pa din ako kasi pinuntahan mo ko sa bahay nung nagkasakit ako. :’>) Thank you for your sweetness that brighten up my days and nights. Thank you for bringing me to places I’ve never been. (Sana mas ibless pa pa tayo ni God ng more time and provisions to travel the Philippines this year, hehe. Kasi next year, countries na po. Haha.) Thank you for letting me watch cheesy-corny movies with you. Haha. (Alam ko namang hindi ganun ang taste mo sa movies eh.) Thank you for all the breakfast, lunch, merienda and dinner na kasabay kita. Thank you for making it sure na safe akong makakauwi, everyday. Thank you sa mga hatid-sundo times at sa pagdadala ng mga gamit ko. Thank you for waking me up every morning and letting me fall asleep so safe, sound and secured at night. Thank you for spending your Sundays with me. I know kulang pa ang mga ‘to, but I want you to know that I know every details of all the things you’re doing for me.
Hindi ko man ma-mention dito, I know it all; all the changes, all the effort, everything… Kaya in short, thank you for turning my so focused-busy-serious life into a life filled with so much happiness and love. Thank you for all the things, thank you even for all the little things you’ve done and you will do for me…
As we grow together now, I just pray na mas maggrow pa tayo kay God and in taking good care each other as well. I know we’ll do more – more bonding, more travel, more movie to watch, more food to eat. Hehe. At syempre, more talk, I will never run out of words to say, I will never run out of kwentos and I know ikaw din. (Wala na kaya akong palag kapag ikaw na ang dumadaldal. Haha. Ang sarap lang makinig sa mga kadaldalan mo. :>) My day isn’t complete kapag hindi kita nakakausap… I will really never run out of words in expressing my thankfulness and gratefulness, because I have you.
I promise to take care of you in the best way I can. I promise to be with you through ups and downs. I promise to never get tired of you, of understanding everything. I promise to support you in pursuing your goals in life, I will be with you. I promise to love you more and more each passing day. And I promise to never break these promises. :’>
You’re more than enough.
I couldn’t ask for more now aside from more pictures of us, please. :)
I really feel that God loves me so much because he gave me you.
Today I’m committing myself to go through so much more with you because,
I can’t picture myself living the rest of my life without you…
I can be the dominant person that I am and I still won’t overpower you.
I promise to be stubborn in fighting for this relationship.
Beginning today, there’s no more you, there’s no more me, but only we.
Together we will serve the Lord,
Together we can both be what God has called us to do,
Together we will laugh and cry,
Together we’ll grow old,
Together we can accomplish anything,
Together we can be better than we could be alone.
Thank you for helping me arrive at this point where I no longer can live without you.
I love you and I thank God for you, always.
I love you. You’re all I need to be with, forevermore. ∞
Life is hard, full of trials, challenges, adversities and the like. Life is confusing. It’s not always an enjoyable ride. It’s not always consists of smiles and butterflies, for oftentimes, there are lies. Life is hurtful. It will cause you pain. It will make your tears flow. It’s filled with struggles, sorrows, grief. Life is miserable. It can give you reasons to break down, stumble, quit, and give up. Life is deceitful. For a moment, it will bestow you things that will make you feel bliss, but at the end of the day, you will still find yourself hurt, grieving. You will always go back to reality. That’s why I stated, “for a moment.” Yes, “just for a moment.”
That’s how I find life; as worse as that. Life is simply life; that four-letter word you have in order to live, in order to survive. Fair enough, that’s what life means to me, back then, until I came to know the One who gave me this “life” I’m talking about.
I will never forget that very certain moment He said, ‘He loves me.’ That moment are moments; every single day of my life. He always reminds me how wonderful life is, and I understood it all when He said, ‘He loves me.’ Every time I wake up in the morning, and before I close my eyes to sleep at night, I can hear Him whispering that, ‘He loves me.’
Whenever He looks at me, He sees a treasure not a junk, treasure that is more than gold; one of the proofs that truly, ‘He loves me.’ Yes, I’m unworthy, not perfect, I sometimes fail, and I do mistake, but still, ‘He loves me,’ anyway. ‘He loves me’ for who I am. No matter what I’ve been through, even when I get out of sorts, when I was lost and all alone, though I sometimes break down and give up easily, whatever emotions I have and wherever life may bring me, at the end of every day, He’s always there uttering the words that keep me alive, ‘HE LOVES ME.’ Albeit, I’m a sinner, still with His comforting arms holding me, He will pronounce, ‘You’re forgiven,’ and will repeatedly says, ‘He loves me.’ He never gives up on loving me, and that’s what keeps me going.
Right then, I came to realize that I was blind. I’ve seen life in a very negative way. Seems like I’m so hopeless, and there’s no more reason to live, to love. Now, I’m quite sure that this is what life truly means, and I just know, this is the truest and perfect perspective on how to view life. I got the point, I was blind, and I absolutely do not know what life really is, until the One who never fails to say ‘He loves me,’ has proven me that the initial paragraph of my note are nothing, but all fraud.
(Delete first paragraph.)
(If that’s how you see life, there must be something wrong. Let me help you get a different perspective.)
What life is, therefore?
Life. Life is a gift, a very priceless gift. It’s a gift to treasure, a gift to be thankful for, a gift to enjoy and take good care of. And that vast love; that love is the ultimate reason why we have this life. Ever imagined why it’s considered a gift? Who bestow us this gift? Who loves us this much anyway? Someone righteous, pure and holy has sacrificed a lot, has died just for us to have this life we’re enjoying right now. He took the place. He paid the price. He gave His own life.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal LIFE." - John 3:16
And it doesn’t end there. He did not simply die just for us to have life. He has promised us everything; he has given us an abundant life.
"I have come that you may have LIFE and have it to the full." - John 10:10
Life is indeed wonderful. It’s surrounded with unfading beauty, the wonderment of the smallest to greatest. From the atom to the universe, all are created by His hands, far surpassing all that anyone could ever fathom. The tall, high-rising trees, the clear ocean, the warmth of the breeze, the rejuvenating blows of the wind, the sweet sounding peep of the birds. We don’t deserve all of these, but God, who is rich in love surrounded us with creations even greater than all of these.
"You flood my soul, like the morning sunburst drenches the landscape. Like the noonday sun, You light up my world. Like the stars in the heavens, You watch over me by night. Like sweet-smelling flowers lift my spirit, Your Spirit covers me with your sweetness. Like the dew that settles on the grass and sparkles and shines in the morning sunlight, Your Spirit settles upon me, making me shine for You. Jesus, You fill up my senses in everything I see. I look around Your creation and I’m overwhelmed by its beauty and richness. The sight of Your sunsets leaves me breathless. I’m speechless at the beauty of Your sunrises, thrilled by the rushing of Your ocean waves. I’m warmed by the feel of soft sand beneath my feet. I’m comforted by the gentleness of the songs of the birds, refreshed by the feel of the moss under the trees, cooled as I inhale deeply of forest scents. I SEE AND FEEL YOUR LOVE DAILY THROUGH YOUR BEAUTIFUL CREATIONS."
That’s more than enough for me to really believe that life is wonderful, yet, God doesn’t stop there. He even proved me that life isn’t that hard, thus, it’s hopeful, meaningful, and worth living to the fullest.
Life is hopeful. The pleasure and passion being alive is one of the most ultimate and evident proofs. Though God did not promise us a storm-free life, He guaranteed us a storm-proof life. Storms may hit us, trials may come, sudden forceful wave may cause us to stumble, and all sorts of those chaoses. Reality check! Those occur every day! Are you sicked and tired of facing and overcoming them? And when you wake up the next day, here they are again? Oh well, those were life’s ingredients. The good thing about those ingredients is that, they make us strong, taught us to valiantly stand firm and fight until they were solved, but the best thing is that, we really do not have to solve them on our own. Yes, we know we are capable of overcoming them through the aid of our strength and abilities, but the hint is this: Someone already solved those dilemmas. He has faced them all already and what’s indeed astonishing is that, He has already won the victory for us. So, you really do not have to spend time worrying about problem-solving for those problems have been solved already.
"So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:31-34
God wants the best for us. He even do not want to see us worried, exhausted, hopeless. That’s why whenever we are in our most hurtful situation, deepest hurt, stormy day, He wants us to surrender everything to Him. Don’t ever imagine yourself in the battlefield, trying to fight until you finally found yourself tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Let God face the battle for you, and He will surely bring it to pass. He can do more in just a second than what we can do for ourselves in a lifetime.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:7
You may get tiresome dealing with life’s major changes, unwarranted dilemmas, senseless tragedies, impossible problems, broken promises, hurtful situations, undeserved condemnations, and even unanswered prayers. Definitely, these will dehydrate your strength, will snatch your peace of mind, and may even cause you to drop your own faith. Those were life’s testing. God will test you through those mountains, but the good news is that, He wants you to pass the mountains of life, and so “He never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace He gives you to handle them.” It’s a matter of faith and trust. And when there comes a time you find yourself with decreasing faith, and diminishing trust, when you can’t do anything but just simply quit, when you are so tired carrying such heavy loads, remember that, in this life, you’ll always be bombarded with choices; either to run away, to quit, to worry, to stumble, to cry, to give, to lose hope.. Still, there’s no way out! Where to go then? Simply humble yourself before the One who gave those testing. Go to God, surrender everything to Him. Pronounce Him how much you believe and trust Him. You do not have to try harder on your own; you just have to trust Him more, and more.
"Give yourselves to God. Surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes." - Romans 6:13
"Sometimes I feel weighted down under a heavy load, like I won’t be able to make it, like I just can’t take one more step. Then at precisely the right moment You lighten my load. You lift the burden I’ve been carrying, take it in Your hands, and give me sweet repose and relaxation. It’s just what I need. When I can’t go on, and only You could that I need surcease from troubles, You give me a touch of Your heavenly love. You give me spaces between the struggles. You give me peace in the midst of storm. You give me rays of joy through the rain of sorrow and the shelter of peace from the raging winds of trouble. Everything that comes in Your hand is perfect - the joys and the love, the difficulties and the testing. But in Your love, You give me times of such peace and tranquility. I know that You’ve planned everything that happens. You told me to walk down this path - that You’ve arranged my steps one at a time - one footstep, then the next, then the next. You told me to carry my cross faithfully and diligently. You told me to be a sample of Your love, to carry Your sunshine in my heart and to wear a smile on my face for others to see. Thank You that You did not only show me the way to go, but You showed me how to go, and Your loving words lead me along."
How you face life’s testing will determine how strong you are as an individual, but more than being a strong person, at the end of the day, this testing will always ends up determining how high and how strong your faith is. Saying “I believe in You. I just hope that this will come to pass,” is far different from saying, “I trust You. Okay then, have it Your way…”
Having stated all of these, I admit, mine is not a perfect life. In my nineteen years of existence, I can say that I already experienced tremendous shortcomings, countless failures and disappointments, tough situations, heart-breaking occurrences. I’ve been taken for granted, rejected, bullied, discouraged, betrayed, defeated, down casted and unloved.
But how can I write such things that make you feel that it seems like I have a perfect life, when I’m also citing those difficulties? Ironic? No, simple.
In the midst of grieving, I thought of giving up, quitting, and losing hope, but my strong faith did not allow me to… My faith and trust to Jesus helped me to stand the test of time; this faith aided me to surpass all the troubles coming my way. My faith. My faith has carried me this far…
"See how very much our Heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children, and we really are!" - 1 John 3:1
"I am Your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born." - Isaiah 44:2a
Life has never been the same since Jesus came. I’ve never been the same since He called me by name. I’ve been refreshed, renewed, comforted, embraced, encouraged, reassured, cheered up, secured, reminded and loved. He refreshed me with His calming peace, renewed me with His soothing spirit, comforted me with His life-changing words, embraced me with His tender, loving caress, encouraged me with His fulfilled promises, reassured me with His sufficient grace and mercy, secured me with His great plans, reminded me of His vast, unlimited, compelling, unfailing love, and loved me as His very own daughter. He has soothed my ruffled nerves, He melted away all my worries and fears, He blew away all my confusion.
I am an unworthy sinner whom God chose to rescue and forgive. He is sinless but has suffered. He is holy but has been crucified. He is God but has died. He has given His own life, His dying breath, His all in all, and it is for us to be saved. HE GAVE HIS OWN LIFE TO GIVE US LIFE. And now, as willingly as He was when He has rescued us, isn’t it that He can also give us EVERYTHING, willingly? What else can He hold?
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
Understanding all of these, I came to realize that there is more in life if you live it with and for Jesus. And as I continue to live this life of mine, with nothing to worry about, with nothing to fear of, but with everything from God, I will always be thankful and grateful for what Jesus has sacrificed to save me. I will always be reminded of what has occurred on the cross. I will always be reminded of God’s everlasting love for me.
And now, as I finally came to face another chapter in my life, more than the great opportunities and amazing journey that await me, I only have one thing in my mind, and in my heart that will forever remains; “No matter where life takes me, I will always thank the One who saved me.”
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
(c) Jill Viray
Ang sayang mainlove, hindi ba? Sabi nga nila, it’s one of the happiest feelings you’ll ever experience. Yung tipong araw araw, masaya! Gigising ka ng may ngiti, dahil ‘Good morning’ message nya ang bubungad sa’yo. Yung pakiramdam na palaging may nag-aalala sa’yo, may nag-aalaga sa’yo. Yung bawat araw na kasama mo sya, espesyal, na parang kayo lang dalawa ang tao sa mundo. Yung feeling na, you’ll never get tired of building blocks and blocks of memories together. Na kahit ‘san pa kayo makarating, basta magkasama kayong dalawa, ayos lang. Yung araw araw, thankful ka kasi nakilala mo sya. Ang sayang mainlove! Yung susulat ka ng love letters, gagawa ng tula, at kung anu ano pang artworks para sa kanya. Yung susulat ka sa blog tungkol sa love story nyong dalawa. Yung tuwing magkasama kayo, hindi pwede ng walang pictures, na kahit yung pinuntahan nyo, yung kinain nyo o yung binili nyo nung araw na yun, pipicture-ran nyo. Yung hindi ka lang sa blog susulat, dahil may sarili kang diary, na bago ka pumikit at matulog, you make it sure na naisulat mo kung gaano ka kasaya, gaano ka kasaya dahil nakasama mo sya. Yung feeling na lagi kang excited makita sya, inspired ka, laging naka-smile, at parang walang problema… Inlove ka nga!
When you start seeing things in a different way, yung bawat angle, may spark! When you begin to imagine your future, with him, yung tipong kahit gising, nananaginip at napapangiti. When everything seems so special, and that person is the only reason why.
Ang saya mainlove. And there’s a perfect time for that. Everything will be perfect as you want it to be, kung maiinlove ka on the right, perfect moment, to the person God has reserved for you. Special, right? Knowing that, there’s someone na inilaan sa’yo si God. He knows best, and He wants that ‘best’ for you. Yung tipong kapag na-meet mo na sya, through God, malalaman mong sya talaga ‘yun…
Ang saya saya mainlove! Sa taong inilaan para sa’yo. Dahil alam mong kahit anong mangyari,
alam nyong kayo talaga ang para sa isa’t isa. Yung feeling na alam mong hindi ka nya sasaktan, dahil alam nyang mali ‘yon. Yung tipong igagalang ka nya, irerespeto, dahil alam nyang babae ka. Yung pakiramdam na, sya ang magli-lead sa’yo, dahil alam nyang gawain nya ‘yon. How amazing it is to know, na even though alam mong secured ka na with God, He will still send you the man na poprotekta sa’yo. Secured ka na, isesecure ka pa! And everything will just be possible if you settle for the man who knows God, the man who has a relationship with Christ, the man who loves Jesus more than you…
Sobrang saya talaga mainlove! That feeling when you and your man are one in prayers. Yung hindi mo lang sya boyfriend o future husband, but more than that.. Best friend mo din sya, accountable friend, leader, prayer partner. Yung hindi lang kayo basta basta magbi-build ng memories, but you both make sure, na aside sa memories that help you grow with your relationship with each other,
mas vital pa rin ang pagogrow nyo with your relationship with God. Yung relationship na ino-honor si God, na at the end of every day, you’ll express how you love each other, but still, everything’s for God’s glory. Always be on a love triangle; ikaw, sya, at si God. Make sure that God is the only center of your relationship.. At wala ka na nga talagang hihilingin pa. Knowing that God is in charge, everything will just follows.. At talaga nga namang mapapasigaw ka na lang ng, ‘Ang saya mainlove!’
- The writer is deeply inlove with God, and holding on to one of His promises, and that’s to meet the man God has reserved for her. Faithfully and patiently waiting…
(c) Jill Viray