Friday, April 18, 2014

What's Next, Lord?

I am aware that I haven't written a new blog for a looooong time. Mea culpa! I want to blame work but I don't think that's fair. I think it's safe to say that I've been living my life. You know the expression "Get a life!"? I think that's what I've been doing the past few months.

The road has been paved with trials, all bumpy and rocky. At times, I wonder if I can make it to the other side.Thank God I have family and friends who have helped me through this. But at times, I have ended up resenting some of them. Not knowing that the biggest lessons lay behind these very same people and experiences.

And now, I am wondering... "What's next, Lord?"

And I can feel the next chapter unfolding. Mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation. Here we go!

Thank You, Lord Jesus. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Clarity and Gratitude

You know that feeling when things are crystal clear and there's no one to share it with? That's what I'm feeling right now.

45 Life Lessons, Written by a 90 Year Old

45 Life Lessons, Written by a 90 Year Old

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose Life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Grateful and Graceful - How to Deal with Mood Swings

"Feelings, good and bad, always come and go.  The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low."

Wow! Who knew dealing with mood swings could be so easy? Blessed Sunday, everyone! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


A few things I learned about freedom from my own personal journey:
It begins with forgiveness and acceptance.
Taking the high road means getting off my high horse and getting my hands dirty with love.
Freedom and freewill are 2 different things but they are closely intertwined.
Freedom means knowing when to stop and knowing when to push.
Sometimes, in order to be truly free, we must give up our freedom and trust that God will lead us where we're destined to go.

Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Independence... (Now I Can Dance!)

I used to consider myself fiercely independent and stubborn. But now I realize I was wrong about the independent part. Being stubborn is not something that I am particularly proud of, mostly because it does not result in good things and usually earns the ire of good people instead. Since this is a post about independence, I will hold off on the stubborn part and save it for another blog post.

A very wise sister once told me, in order to be truly independent, I have to work on my financial life. My understanding of that advice is this: once I am financially independent, I can do what I want to do with my life with little or no barriers. Well, the idealist in me sees it that way.

Now I realize that what my wise sister says is true. With financial independence comes freedom -- freedom to do the things that I want, with limits of course. I am still far from achieving my financial goals (I am not even halfway there) but now I understand what my sister meant. Now I am ready to pursue my dreams and be truly independent.

I have also unearthed a few (not so easy to digest) truths along the way:

I was very dependent on my Mama.
When she died, I crawled back into my little shell and have not emerged since. I was not only financially dependent on my mama, but also dependent on her for most of my needs - emotional, physical, even spiritual. So imagine my rage when God 'took her from me.' Yes, it's childish to say that but I have to say it out loud and see it in writing to fully understand the implication of that statement.

Acceptance does not come easy  for me.
After almost 10 years, her death is still a blow that hurts and now I understand why. For some reason I keep nitpicking on the details and the more I do that, the further away I run from the genuine healing that God offers me every single day. It's like a scar whose scab never goes away because the owner (that's me!) keeps on picking at it. Annoying? Definitely! So why do I do it? Because it's the easiest thing to do. Rather than accept that Mama has moved on to a better place that God has prepared for her and all of us, I keep holding on to her. I know this is not healthy for both Mama and me.

God loves Mama and me.
I finally understand why God took her home earlier than I wished He would. She was suffering and He did not want her to. And so He has brought her to a better place. It truly is not about me. It's about Jesus. It's about His plan for my Mama. And His plan for me. And I am convinced that His plan for me is greater than anything I could ever understand or describe here. And so, I will pick up the pieces and move on.

His message is clear:
Get up.
Take up your cross.
Follow Me.

And so I will do all this and follow Jesus all my life. Or die trying. Now I understand why God 'took my Mama from me.' Yes, I was being childish. I still am. But now I know that God has a reason for everything and sometimes the fun part is in finding out what His reason is. Now I know that Jesus was, is, and always will be the Great I Am. Because He is. And He is always there. I may not see Him sometimes but His miracle is always evident. And for that I am eternally grateful. Now I can finally rejoice! Now I can dance!

Thank You, Jesus. I am awed by You. Always have, always will be. You Are and forever will be My God. Praise You, Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been feeling really down… like I’ve lost someone but I don’t know who. Tomorrow is my late grandpa’s birthday. He would have been 95 this year. He passed away in 2003 so it’s been almost 10 years since he left us. But who’s counting? Well, maybe I am.

That could be one of the reasons why I’ve been teary eyed these past few weeks. It all started when I joined a mass at our local church one fine day. For some reason, after I took communion, I cried and cried and I could not stop. I cried because I was at a loss on how to help my grandma. I cried because I miss my mama and my papa who lives in Italy. And yes, I also cried cuz I miss my grandpa dearly. The days that followed have been really weird. The slightest provocation either got me down (in tears) or really irked me; it made me very mad or really sad. And I can’t pinpoint the source. I thought it was PMS but it’s been almost a month now so I'm pretty sure that’s not it.

And so I’ve decided to immerse myself in work again but for some reason, it’s not working! I don’t know what to do or who to call and so I am writing this to remind myself that life on earth may be fleeting but the people who have left us have gone to a better place and I dream of one day being reunited with them in heaven or where God decides to put me. At this point, I am reminded that I can’t control people or things or situations here on earth. Only God has the power to do that and I know He’s got my best interest at heart. He loves me and His timing is always perfect. So I guess my only choice now is to let go and let God. He knows what is right for me and He wants to bless me so I will wait.

Thank You, Lord Jesus for your love and your grace. Please bless my family, Lord Jesus. Always and forever I will love You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Good Samaritan -- an Attitude of Gratitude

Today's Gospel and Reflection from Kerygma Family

“And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 32 Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 33 But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. 34 He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ 36 Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” 37 He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Notice how the Samaritan went out of his way — binding up the wounds, pouring oil and wine, settling him on the horse, bringing him to a place of rest until he should return. And return he did! What amazing love and compassion.

It would be good to be reminded of the “works of mercy,” both spiritual and corporal. Perhaps we can use them as points for our examen of conscience in our meditations today. The spiritual works of mercy are: convert the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive injuries, and pray for the living and the dead. The corporal are: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: Of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy enumerated above, what have you been fulfilling diligently? And which have you been neglecting?

Father, make me a Good Samaritan. Amen.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cuz All You Wanted to Do Was Dance...

"That I should have bought you flowers and held your hand
Should have given all my hours when I had the chance
Take you to every party cuz all you wanted to do was dance."

Mother's Day is coming up and I've been thinking of new ways to honor my mom. And suddenly this stanza from Bruno Mars' latest single came to mind and I thought to myself, "It's perfect for Mama!" cuz she really loved to dance!

I think that's one thing that I inherited from her. I too love to dance. But this isn't about me.

Mama, I hope you're dancing now... dancing in heaven in Jesus' arms. Please pray for me and wait for me. I can't wait to join you! Looking back now, I realize that we (I) should celebrate life both here and after death... because now I'm starting to understand what they say that death is merely a way for us to be born again -- when we are able to claim our birthright -- life everlasting.

Thank you, Jesus! It's amazing to know that I have an awesome God just waiting for me to discover His Almighty presence in my life. So from now on, I surely will celebrate life! AMEN!!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pope Francis Says Constant Complaining Keeps Us from Noticing Jesus' Presence in Our Lives

—Constant complaining keeps one from noticing Jesus’ presence, Pope Francis says

Complaining frequently and stewing over disappointments can easily become an obsession that blocks one’s view of Jesus’ presence in difficult situations, Pope Francis said.

Celebrating the morning with staff members from the Domus Romana Sacerdotalis, a nearby residence and guesthouse for clergy, Pope Francis preached about the Gospel story from St. Luke about the two disappointed disciples on the road to Emmaus after the death of Jesus.

“They were afraid. All of the disciples were afraid,” he said. As they walked toward Emmaus and discussed everything that had happened, they were sad and complaining.

“And the more they complained, the more they were closed in on themselves: They did not have a horizon before them, only a wall,” the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.

The disciples had had such high hopes that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel, but they thought their hopes were destroyed, he said.

“And they stewed, so to speak, their lives in the juice of their complaints and kept going on and on and on with the complaining,” the pope said. “I think that many times when difficult things happen, including when we are visited by the cross, we run the risk of closing ourselves off in complaints.”

When all people can think of is how wrong things are going, Pope Francis said, the Lord is close, “but we don’t recognize him. He walks with us, but we don’t recognize him.”

Like the disciples joined by the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, people can hear beautiful things, but deep down, they continue to be afraid, the pope said.

“Complaining seems safer. It’s something certain. This is my truth: failure,” he said.

But the Gospel story shows how very patient Jesus is with the disciples, first listening to them and then explaining things step by step, until they see him.

“Jesus does this with us, too,” the pope said. “Even in the darkest moments, he is always with us, walking with us.”

Complaining and griping — about others and about things in one’s own life — is harmful “because it dashes hope. Don’t get into this game of a life of complaints,” he said.

— The Catholic Sun