Sharing my faith and my life one day at a time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Days 15 to 19: A Recap

Today’s Bible Verse
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)

Day 15
Paul and Tina Dario + their 3 adorable boys (Justin, Kobe and Aaron) hosted us during our stay in Nashville.

I feel truly blessed that God allowed our paths to cross, meet them and get to know them. They are raising such wonderful, affectionate boys!

My husband and I took the Dario family to Chuck E. Cheese’s for some pizza and a night of games.

They are such a beautiful family!

Here is my picture with Chuck E. Cheese

Day 16

Last day of training! It was a very productive week!

The Darios left for LA so we stayed at Eben and Malou Tabelisma's home. We had a lovely conversation over dinner -- shared a lot of funny stories and insightful ones as well.

Day 17

Was supposed to leave Nashville and head to Atlanta . However, our friend Jonathan Camcam invited me and Robert to stay one more day.

He had a benefit concert for the Filipino-American community. We also wanted to see Eben and Malou's daughter Keziah dance, The 1st Family perform and see MariCoo's ballet performance.

It was such a fun time! I admire Jonathan. He seems to never run out of energy or a smile.

Day 18

We attended another service at Bethel World Outreach Center. I love their worship!

It was slightly weird for me to see Pastor Steve preach with a jacket on a Sunday service. Got used to the casual dress code in Victory Fort!

We were happy to see Dr. Jun Escosar and Pastor Juray Mora. They arrived that day from the Philippines and will be in Nashville for the church plant boot camp.

After service we were invited to have lunch at James and Janet Harper’s home about ten minutes away from Bethel.

We met Pastor James during the FUEL conference. Robert and James hit it off right away. The Harpers believe in an organic diet. James prepared us this delicious turkey sandwich.

We prayed together right before we left their home and drove to see family in Atlanta.

Day 19

Love being with family again! I haven’t seen my cousin Nick in 9 years so this was a happy time for us. I grew up with Nick and my sister always playing together.

Nick knows his way around Atlanta. He took us out to eat at Felini’s pizza. The pizza was good!!! Gosh, I am so easy to please when it comes to good food.

Afterwards we went out and got ice cream from Bruster’s with Cathy. Got my favorite chocolate chip cookie dough! Masarap!!

The Challenge
I wrote a letter to someone who is important to me but lives far away. I hope it brought a smile to that person’s face.

I also had a specific message from the Lord to tell something to someone but I must admit, I held back.

Still praying for the strength to actually do it. Please pray for me!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Days 12 to 14: A Recap

Today’s Bible Verse
“Wisdom… is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others.” (James 3:17)

My laptop got overwhelmed with all the applications running so it conked out more than a week ago.

I went through every program, system file and application. I finally got it back to great working condition last night.

That’s the reason I was not able to blog in the past several days. However, I used my trusty digital voice recorder to make sure my thoughts during the past days are noted.

Day 12
My first baseball game: Nashville Sounds versus Oklahoma Redhawks. Thank you to the staff of Every Nation for the tickets!

Look at this pic. Do you think we represent Every Nation?

Day 13
The Every Nation staff prepared breakfast for us right before missionary training. It was so sweet of them!

Day 14
Here is a group photo of the missionary training class in Every Nation. They did a wonderful job in teaching us how to raise financial and prayer support.

What I learned during these days:
There is power in gratitude to heal us spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. I love being surrounded with people who are always grateful for everything that they are experiencing in life -- whether good or bad.

An attitude of gratitude opens up my heart to God, enabling me to see the world the way He intended it to be.

Learning about this made me excited to say thank you to all of the people I came across with. Staying in a place where culturally, people kinda look out for themselves a lot and not really for others -- this is very refreshing to do.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 11: Everest

Scaling the Obstacles to Unity

Today’s Bible Verse
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)

Today was the start of our training for the Ministry of Partnership Development. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the training is a week-long equipping of Every Nation missionaries to help them secure partners and funding for the mission field.
My husband is an American missionary to the Philippines so he is undergoing the proper training so that he may be able to invite people to partner with him in the mission field – whether through financial giving or prayers.

Although I will still be working full-time with for an indefinite period of time, Robert and I both decided that it is best that I participate in the training as well.

I believe that God gave me the gift of administration and I am pretty organized in keeping records, working on a schedule and managing paperwork.

Rob is gifted in relating to people and giving encouragement to anyone he talks to which I also believe is essential in his missionary work.

God is so awesome in bringing together a man and woman who are complimentary to each other. I am so grateful he made me and my husband the way we are.

To my own surprise, I really really enjoyed learning more about raising support for our ministry. The more I knew about it, the more excited I got in solidifying our joint commitment to do God’s work in the Philippines and eventually here in the United States.

Today was a wonderful revelation to me. God changed my heart COMPLETELY on how I feel about raising ministry partners.

One thing I love about first days of anything is meeting new people. The first lady I met today is Tracy and she is from Southpoint Community Church (which is a part of Every Nation Churches) in Jacksonville, FL.

We had lunch together and she is excited as well to do God’s work in wherever she will be called to. I think she is going to do amazing things.

We had one of those “small world” moments where she mentioned that she went on a short-term missions trip to Bogota, Colombia and our good friends Alex Compton and Kelly Williams were part of that same missions team.

This looks like an exciting week for us! Will give more updates on our time in Nashville in the next few days.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 10: Ocean

Exploring the Depths of Forgiveness

Today’s Bible Verse
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

I was excited to get up today. I have been looking forward – for a long time—to attend a Sunday service in Bethel World Outreach Center.

It is the church headed by Pastor Rice Brooks and is part of Every Nation Churches. Pastor Steve Murrell is my favorite preacher ever but Pastor Joey Bonifacio and Pastor Rice tie for a very, very close second.

Pastor Rice wonderfully talked about what we see – as human beings – as hopeless, Jesus sees a HARVEST.

Sometimes you and I get so caught up in this uncontainable exhuberance of sharing to other people the joy we have found in God.

That is actually a great thing.

But there are times when what we share is not met with any kind of enthusiasm – we might see it as hopeless.

Sometimes when we invest so much time in people to help them get their lives together and they don’t – we might see it as hopeless.

On occasions when we see someone we love so broken and lost and has not made any progress – we just give up and see them as hopeless.

Or… we just see them as a lost case, give up – because they are hopeless.

But through our Father’s eyes they are a HARVEST – the cream of the crop. Jesus sees the kind of people they can become no matter how miserable circumstances are for them at the moment.

It just reminded me once again that people’s most defining moments are not according to my terms but God’s.

I am grateful that God used Pastor Rice to remind this of me again today. He is such an awesome communicator. He always makes me feel “wow I am human to feel this way and I can do something about this to make it better.

After service, I had an American Idol geek moment. We were talking to some people after service and then I stopped in my tracks, held Robert’s arm and said “Scott Savol!

If you are not familiar with who he is, he is the 5th place in American Idol in Carrie Underwood’s year. And because I am a nerd, I shamelessly asked him if I can have a picture with him!

Robert and I decided to have lunch at Applebee’s right by the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. I like trying things I have never eaten before so I ordered a quesadilla burger. Boy that was delicious!

We heard about how grand the hotel was so we decided to walk over to the Opryland Hotel and look around. Look at the picture below. Yes, that’s inside a hotel.

There is a mall right across the hotel called the Opry Mills. We went inside Dave and Buster’s and decided to go try the photo morphing booth – just curious to see how our future son will look like!

How do you think our “son” turned out?

I also got to shop a little bit in the Opry Mills mall. Lots of nice outlet stores! Looved it!

So how did my day have to do with today's challenge in exercising forgiveness? Absolutely nothing! I am grateful to God on directing me to another path to learn from and blessing me with such a happy day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 09: Heart of the Matter

Relating and Not Waiting

Today’s Bible Verse
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

This chapter challenged me on developing an area of my character that needs improvement. I obviously value my relationships with my family and closest friends.

However, I have days where I feel too exhausted to know new people and just hold on to the ones I already know.

I consider this attitude a direct disobedience to what God has called me to do. Relationship-building is valuable to God.

He wants all of His children to value human connection over accumulating a huge amount of money or any other material thing (or even focus on just 1 human being in your life).

None of these can comfort me, console me, cry with me or love me. Today challenged me to add quality connections to my life on a daily basis.

I am actually really blessed – my husband is the BEST mentor on developing quality relationships with people from all walks of life.

Today’s Activities

Today, we left Bellevue, NE by car to go to Nashville, TN. The purpose of our trip to Nashville is to participate in the training for Ministry of Partnership Development.

To explain it briefly, partnership development is inviting people to be part of God’s work by financially supporting Christian missionaries like us to continue doing what we do.

I am really excited to know how we can accomplish this because Robert and I know deep in our hearts that being ambassadors of Jesus Christ is something that we are called to do.

Our road trip from Nebraska to Nashville was a total of 11 hours, 43 minutes (that includes the little stops we made).

We covered 744 miles.

I really love road trips with Rob. I just love it. I cannot find any other words to describe the pleasure I get out of traveling with him.

I know it is probably so easy for me to say so because he does all the driving – HAHA. But truthfully, there is nothing more pleasurable than having hours of great conversation with your best friend and soul mate.

Sure there are the “I love you’s” and the “You’re the best husband ever” lines. And don’t get me wrong, those are GREAT -- I can never get enough of them.

But what I am talking about are the meaty conversations about life, about God, about ministry, our own personal walks with Christ, our dreams for ourselves and the people we deeply care about – nothing brings me more joy than those conversations with my husband.

We arrived in Nashville a little before midnight. We were welcomed by a family – Paul and Tina Dario -- we never met before but oh so graciously received us.

I feel Jesus’ love on an entirely different level in moments like these. I keep on telling Robert this. I really dream of someday owning a home of at least 4 big bedrooms so we can host people often and make sure they have a place to stay whenever they are in our town. Can't wait to see that day arrive!

Photo: I took the sunset photo while on the road to Nashville.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 08: Kick Start

Today’s Bible Verse
“I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same might power that raised Christ from the dead.” (Ephesians 1:19-20)

I absolutely loved the power of this verse. I got reminded again that when I rely on God as the source of all the power in my life, you can see mind-blowing results that I can never attain on my own.

These words sustained me throughout the day. Today was my last day to pack and prepare for everything on second 3-week road trip.

I had to pack clothes good for 3 weeks. I do not like to run out of something to wear and have to buy new clothing.

I also do not like to repeat clothing in a matter of 3 weeks. I know – a character flaw. So I had to make sure I had everything.

I also had to wash all of my husband’s clothes so he can pack enough. It is just amazing how many clothes he goes through in just 1 week.

Believe it or not, it is so much more than my pile of dirty clothes! I purposely decided to wash all of his clothes the day before we left so no dirty stuff will be left behind.

I washed 6 loads and lasted the whole day.

I also had to do a lot of work so that I can afford to work a less amount of time while we are on the road.

Thank goodness for God’s grace to be able to cheerfully do all of these things! Just knowing that His power is more than enough to sustain me, I knew I was going to get through the day with a smile on my face.

Since I am in the one month to live frame of mind, I decided to – CUT MY OWN HAIR!! Ok, not my entire hair but I wanted to get some bangs to update my haircut.

I wasn’t that crazy spending at least $20 on my bangs (this is what I miss about the Philippines! $10 haircuts by a fabulous hairstylist!).

I realized – hey, I think YouTube has pretty much everything. So I went to YouTube and saw a good video on how to cut bangs properly.

I decided to live boldly and cut it myself! I was very happy with the results.

In the late afternoon, I went with my Mama (my mother-in-law Linda) and did some grocery shopping for our trip.

We wanted as a family to go out that evening but it appears that when there are 4 opinionated people (Pops, Mama, Robert and myself) in the group, it is hard to come up with decision on where to go – HAHAHA!

Then Mama came out with the best idea… she will cook some good ol’ barbecued ribs and we will all have a nice dinner at home.

The ribs were so delicious!! Each of us also took the time to say a prayer, give thanks to God and say some things that show appreciation for one another.

I am so grateful to God that He blessed me with a second family that are comfortable with showing affection for each other.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 07: Dreamsicle

Today’s Bible Verse
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

Today’s Question
Write out a description of one dream you have that you believe is from God. How has it “floated to the top” in your life?

One big dream that has been in my heart lately which I have been asking God is my desire to go back to school and earn a degree in Christian counseling.

What do I plan to do with this degree if I earn it? I am hoping to work with young adult women in discovering their identities in Christ and advocate God’s gift of sexual integrity.

I just have an ache for women in their mid-20s to mid-30s who are looking for answers in all areas of their lives. I would love to actively do that in the near future.

Right now, I am asking God if He wants me to do this. And if He does say YES, I will continue on praying that He may enable me and Robert to raise enough ministry support so that I may be able to afford to go back to school.

Something To Share
I wanted to share something with all of you today. A couple of months ago, I learned that Christian singer/musician Steven Curtis Chapman experienced a family tragedy.

His son, Will, accidentally ran over his little sister, Maria Sue who was 5-years-old. Tonight while working out at the gym, I caught The Chapman family on Larry King Live.

I was absolutely blown away on how they, as a family, handled this tragic event. No pointing of fingers, no one blaming someone. Just pure love, unity and encouragement.

When I went home I excitedly told my husband that he had to watch it and we did. It truly inspired us to move to another level of living a life that is Christ-like.

Sometimes we get upset over little things that do not go our way (oh my do I have my days!) and I can be real immature about it blame it on circumstances or the "enemy" trying to steal my happiness.

And then I watch the Chapman family be dependent on God's grace to get through this together and not allowing themselves to be broken by what was taken away from them.

It also affirmed my desire that someday we hope to adopt a baby. How I wish it wasn't so expensive to adopt one :-( I would love to give my home to children who desperately need one.

Please watch the video clip below. It shows the first part of that Larry King interview. I hope you may find inspiration in it too :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 06: Monkey Bars

Today’s Bible Verse “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

Today’s Question
What are you clinging to right now that you need to let go of in order to move forward in your life?

This is a really good question because when I generally take a look at myself, I can say I have pretty much surrendered every area of my life to God.

However, I have been feeling a sense of restlessness in a major area of my life (I cannot disclose what it is exactly until a decision is made).

When I talk about this area, I have been content on the way it has been going for a good, few years.

However, I have been expressing to my husband on how restless I have been feeling about it lately.

I have been feeling this way for about a month already and the feeling kinda just sprung up on me.

This particular thing has been my set of monkey bars -- holding on to it and not letting go to avoid a bad fall.

Because of this unrest, I have been asking God questions. I want to know if He put this in my heart because He wants me to give it up and commit myself to a big, big change that requires a huge leap of faith.

Right now, I do not know the answers but I am definitely searching His voice.

Today’s Challenge Describe your fears about taking a risk is calling you to take.

If what I mentioned in the previous question is indeed a risk is God is calling me to take, then I know I will be all right.

The big thing I fear is misreading His message, get all His directions wrong, get ahead of myself and act upon it.

Today’s Random Activities
  • Watched my usual favorite detective shows in the morning with my espresso.
  • Walked to over to the home of Mr. And Mrs. Waters. While walking I felt it was a great opportunity to pray to God to continually bless them. They are our second family and they are always so good to me and Robert.
  • Mama Waters cooked lunch. My goodness, it was delicious. I enjoyed eating food I missed back home.
  • Talked to them for about a couple of hours. That was really fun too.
  • Caught up with work the rest of the afternoon.
  • Worked out in the evening.
  • Another round of Forensic Files!
Photo: David Wall Photography

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 05: Oxygen Mask

Today’s Bible Verse
“Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” (1 Corinthians 4:16-17)

Today’s Question:

Are you living like Christ, following examples of others who walked with God in the Bible, and following the examples of those who are walking a more mature walk with God?

I am so grateful for the Bible and the words He has given to guide me in my life-long effort to walk closely with Him.

One consistent prayer I have always asked my Father is to continue showing me others (especially more mature, well-guided women) who are great examples of Christ’s life.

I have been blessed to have that back in Manila. One of the biggest reasons why I miss Victory so much!

Today, having a spiritual mentor is something I yearn for daily.

I feel privileged to be a mentor to several women but it would also be nice that while I am here in the United States, I have someone to look up to and learn and imitate her Christ-like ways.

Please pray for me. That I may be soon surrounded with good examples of others in prayer, in study and in communion with God.

Someone who can be my friend and sister. May my heart be open and aware to older women who would like to build a relationship with me.

Today’s Random Activities
  • Prayed to God today specifically to give me the strength to follow Christ’s examples and fold them into my life today.
  • My husband went to Creighton University today in Omaha to play basketball. In an effort to get out of the house, I worked in Panera Bread today.
  • Went to the drugstore and grabbed important personal items for our upcoming road trip. I am so excited! Another round of learning again.
  • Put on some new songs on my iPod before heading out to the gym. Put all the songs of Rascal Flatts and Natasha Bedingfield. I love all of their songs and I feel great working to them.
  • Had a great workout at the gym.
  • Another Forensic Files night. Boy, Robert and I really love that show.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day 04: Power Surge

Today’s Bible Verse
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Today’s Question
In what area of your life are you struggling the most to change?

Right now I believe that the biggest struggle that I am trying to overcome is building discipline. Although I think I possess it to a certain degree, I also find myself working a little bit too much – neglecting other areas of my life especially being consistently physically fit.

I still have to build discipline in taking my vitamins regularly, stretching well before working out, scheduling physical and dental check-ups. And on days where work tasks are extra demanding, I skip the gym altogether which I need to work on immediately.

I really, really wish my husband and I have a more established physical care. We would really like to work on seeing a doctor and a dentist for a regular check-up and build this consistency for the rest of our lives.

Today’s Random Activities
I was sick today so I opted to stay home, take up on God’s offer on Matthew 11:28-29 and REST.

Robert took good care of me and was patient in putting warm towels on my body to make me feel better.

We watched a whole lot of TV. Forensic Files is one of our favorite shows so we watched a lot of recorded episodes.

I felt much better during the evening and we just ended up playing silly games around the house. Overall, I am grateful that God made sure I rested.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 03: Time Squared

Today’s Bible Verse
“As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” (2 Corinthians 6:1)

Today’s Question

How would you describe your current season of life? Does it feel like you’re buried beneath frozen tundra, emotionally hibernating? Or is it more like spring, with signs of new life in view? What does it mean for you to accept and honor your current season?

Thinking hard about this question, I definitely do NOT feel like my life is on a halt, detached from the world. However, depends on whose perspective it is, I do feel like the crazy, busy life I had in Manila seemed like ages ago and I “froze” it and am currently retreating from it.

Does that mean I am in hibernation? Initially, I thought this season of my life was indeed a time-out period.

However, I am slowly coming to realize that God wants me to really step out of my impossibly-tight schedule in the Philippines, shut the door on it and start a new season here.

Everything that I have been experiencing here feels so RIGHT. God took the restlessness out of my spirit.

I do not know how long I am supposed to be in this place of my life. However, I am gladly waiting for direction.

Today’s Challenge

Keep a time journal this week, and jot down how you spend each day.

When I started the One Month to Live challenge, I made a decision to jot down my daily activities which I wrote in each blog entry.

The reason I wanted to do this was to assess my productivity and the level of passion of managing my time that is aligned with God’s purpose for me.

It takes a bit of an effort to remember to write down every activity in a given day. It required a bit of discipline on my part and kind of didn’t like the extra effort at first, but I am now getting the hang of it.

Besides, I DO need another lesson or two on building discipline.

Today’s Random Activities
  • Woke up and started thinking if I was going to go to a traditional Sunday service or have a day alone with God. No better choice than the other, but I wanted to know what God wanted me to specifically do today.
  • Robert decided we should go to Sunday service at Bellevue Christian Center.
  • Awesome message on living passionately like you were living your last few days. Great timing!
  • Had a double-date at McDonald’s with Mr. and Mrs. Waters.
  • Went to Dollar General to get a few personal items.
  • Went to Oak View mall to get my rings cleaned. Walked around enjoying the afternoon with my husband.
  • Caught the afternoon showing of The Dark Knight. Riveting movie. Heath Ledger was mesmerizing. Aaron Eckhart was a pleasant, wonderful surprise playing Harvey Dent.
  • Our friend Shannon cooked us dinner at her home. It was delicious! Spent time with her friends and played Catch Phrase. It was so much fun.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 02: Riding the Big Dipper

Today’s Bible Verse
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

Today’s Question
Identify an area in your life where you feel like God is pruning you right now. Why do you think He has chosen that specific area?

I believe that God has brought me and my husband all the way here to the United States to prune me in areas of being way too busy for my own good.

During the last few months in Manila, I was always busy. You know the whole Martha over Mary kind of situation. I had a full-time job to begin with, responsibilities in ministry which I loved dearly but really took up a lot of my time.

On top of that, we had endless birthday parties, get-togethers, dinners out, etc.

Do not get me wrong, I truly found joy in my job, the Bible studies, the volunteer work and being around friends. But God saw that I was weary and tired – that deep down I was desperate for rest.

He knew that even though everything I did had great intentions, I needed an alone time with Him for an extended period of time to re-focus on what His goal is for me and Robert.

He took me to an unfamiliar place and yet I am having the time of my life. I can BREATHE, enjoy the stillness of His presence and clearly hear Him.

I still have my job but I am privileged to choose my own location to get my tasks accomplished. I purposely decided to not get a cell phone while I am here. I also get to read tons of books in my free time! I get a lot of work-out and still enjoy Him while doing so.

I believe that at this very moment, He is still shaping my character and slowly revealing to me and my husband what He needs us to do here. He tests, He challenges, He molds me on a daily basis. Some days easy, some days more difficult but I know there is no place I’d rather be at this time.

Today’s Challenge
If there is a dream that God places in your heart that you have put on the To-Do-Someday list, what steps can you take today to ensure that the possibility of living for it passionately may actually happen?

A couple of things. I have been asking God lately about what He wants me to do career-wise. Does He want me to quit my current job in favor of full-time ministry? I haven’t gotten any answers but I am in no rush either. However, the asking never stops until I hear clearly from Him.

Another thing is starting to seriously inquire on online courses for a degree in Christian Counseling. No better time to do it than TODAY!

Today’s Random Activities
  • Woke up at 4am , had a double-shot espresso and wrote a letter to a good friend letting him know how grateful we are for helping us make our trip to the US possible.
  • Got my prayer journal and thoroughly enjoyed the Bible verse Genesis 12:2. Wrote several lines letting God know that He put a smile to my face through that verse.
  • Looked around for online courses for Christian counseling.
  • Watched my favorite detective show: Forensic Files. 3 episodes back-to-back. Loved ‘em!
  • Went to bed again and slept for a couple of hours and held Robert the whole time. Woke up feeling really well-rested.
  • Ate Mama’s sausage and eggs breakfast. With sinangag. Yum.
  • Bought some cute baby blue running shorts while Mama was getting a haircut.
  • Read the latest issue of Lucky Magazine and decided I want hot pink or pewter Doc Martens I saw on one of the ad pages. Robert thinks it’s a terrible idea.
  • Went to the post office to mail a gift for a couple of good friends. Bought some stamps to use while we are on our second road trip starting on Friday.
  • Worked-out at the gym. Got some great exercise. Re-read the first chapter of “Wild at Heart” while on the stationery bike. Did intense, power walking. Stumbled upon “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel on my iPod and wondered if I will ever memorize it someday.
  • Sang “No One” by Alicia Keys in my head while running. I was thinking of the lyric as my mid-day prayer to God.
  • Took a quick, 15-minute power nap.
  • Peach yogurt and granola. Yum!!
  • Robert and I –along with Pops and Mama—went to a 40th day memorial service for one of her friends. Kuya Eddie, Nikki and Ariel were there too.
  • We went home and the four of us spent the next couple of hours talking. One thing I really love about my in-laws is that I can talk to them forever and about anything. I learn so much from Pops. His wisdom always amazes me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 01: Living The Dash

Today’s Bible Verse
“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Today’s Question

As quickly as possible, without thinking too hard or too long, make a list of five things you’d change about your life if you knew you only had a month to live. Choose at least one to begin changing today.
  • I would like to not spend so much time working. I work an average of 12 hours a day. Take naps/get some rest whenever I need to.(Did this today!)
  • Get in touch with people who I was good friends when I was a child and when I was in grade school. I was friends with so many wonderful people during that time of my life and I wish I knew what they are up to now.
  • Write more handwritten letters that are sent through good old-fashioned mail. (Did this today!)
  • Watch a lot of good, funny movies.
  • Cook more often. Prepare nice, delicious meals for my husband.

Today’s Challenge

Describe how you would like your life to be different at the end of reading this book. What drew you to open these pages in the first place? What’s going on in your life now that has prepared you to think about who you are and why you’re here?

In absolute honesty – and I am not sure if this is a rare state of mind – death does not scare me at all. I embrace mortality as another fact of life – something that God designed.

I always told my husband this – if death knocks at my door tomorrow, I will be facing it with the kind of peace knowing that my time of earth is done. My passing is His will and it will not shake me.

You have to understand my perspective on this. It has nothing to do with how I perceive life. It does not mean that what I have in this lifetime is meaningless that I am ready to go anytime.

Not at all.

I LOVE my life. I am GRATEFUL that God decided I was special enough to be made in His likeness.

But just knowing that my time of death has always been pre-determined by Him and that it is yet another one of His wills coming to pass – I just do not see the sense of being terrified by it.

When we say, “Thy will be done” and truly understand that the “will” we are asking to “be done” is good, pleasing and perfect, then I trust our Father with my whole heart that He knows the absolute, perfect time to move on to more glorious things that is not of this world.

But more than being at peace with His will, the biggest reason why I do not fear death is this. Just the MERE THOUGHT of meeting my Maker and spending eternity with Him brings nothing but PURE JOY in my heart. Everytime the thought crosses my mind, tears just come out because I cannot even begin to imagine how wonderful it will be to finally see His face in all its glory.. It gets me choked up everytime and I am as I am writing this.

With that being said, yet I am still a work in progress, imperfect in so many ways – I find great pleasure in living life as authentically as possible. I am open, I am deliberate with my courses of action – hoping that it will bring a smile to my Father’s face.

I made a decision (along with my wonderful husband) to go through this book because I know my character still needs a lot of tweaking and correcting – even though I do not fear death, I fear breaking God’s heart. He sent me a clear message that He wanted me to do this that Sunday morning in Jacksonville and I am gladly obeying. There must be a couple of things about myself that I need to learn! Can’t wait to see what He reveals.

So I urge you to keep us in your prayers. That we may be always aware of God’s desire to shape us into better people and with a bigger desire to live like we are going to see Jesus tomorrow.

Today’s Random Activities

  • Wrote letter to our helper in the Philippines Ate Lisa. I miss her so much! I reminded her about how much God loves her.
  • Held my husband while he was sleeping and thanked God for bringing him into my life
  • Cheerfully did my job.
  • Took 3 little naps today!
  • Bizaare dreams such as friend's child having some physical problems, 2 friends who surprised me and Rob with a candlelit dinner and support for our ministry. Asked God for what was He trying to tell me.
  • Watched Grey's Anatomy with a scene of a wife saying goodbye to her dying husband after a tragic car accident – immediately said a prayer to God that He always keeps Robert safe.
  • Went to the mall with Robert and Pops.
  • Went to the recreation center with Robert and Pops.
  • Bought yogurt and granola at the commissary. Gotta eat healthy when you are about to meet Jesus! Haha, honestly, I just REALLY love granola. Bought a new box a couple of days ago and now it's gone.
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