A few days ago, I posted a blog at Gardens and Empty Spaces, some shots of my garden blooms. I was excited to see my Amazon Lily in all its white glory. Here it is finally :)
Posts Tagged ‘photography’
I seldom endorse a product,I am not even a lover of donuts (meaning, I don’t crave for it) but I can’t resist sharing this. They’re the best I’ve ever tasted, not too sweet but melt in the mouth goodness. Compared to other brands, J.Co donuts are just so good and they come in many flavors with such eye-catching names. Fancy this – Alcapone, Mr. Green Tea, Oreology, Berry Spears, Forest Glam, Tiramisu, Coco Loco to name a few. These bite-sized donuts come in a box of two dozen different flavors, they are soft and chewy because they are baked and not fried. They have 29 branches here in the Philippines (next to the 135 chain of stores in Indonesia).
Pair it with their unique flavor of Italian blends coffee and you’re good to go. I prefer my own Twinings’ Green Tea and Lemon or Celestial Seasonings’ Raspberry Zinger.
The Catholic church celebrates Ash Wednesday today, 18 February and it is the official start of Lent, the beginning of our Lenten journey. I attended the 6am mass at St. Jude Parish, a beautiful celebration of reminding us what the season of Lent means, what the ashes symbolize.We are encouraged to attend mass in order to begin the Lenten season with proper reflection, conversion and repentance. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting means restricting the food we eat and the number of meals and the size of it while Abstinence is abstaining from eating What To Give Up.imposition of ashes is a reminder of our sinfulness and unworthiness, it is a renewal of our commitment to follow Jesus and acknowledging the sacrifice He had made for our salvation. I think next to the Christmas blogs that I write every year, my Lent posts come close. I would like to share a post that I wrote four years ago because I think the message is never too old to appreciate and remember. I particularly like the beautiful Lenten reflection I found on EWTN entitled
Give up complaining – focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism – become an optimist
Give up harsh judgments – think kindly thoughts
Give up worry – trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement – be full of hope
Give up bitterness – turn to forgiveness
Give up hatred – return good for evil
Give up negativism – be positive
Give up anger – be more patient
Give up pettiness – become mature
Give up jealousy – pray for trust
Give up gossiping – control your tongue
Give up sin – turn to virtue
Give up giving up – hang in there.
Beautiful, isn’t it? And you might say, it is easier said than done, after all we are just human, capable of making repetitious mistakes, capable of abandoning good deeds and choosing the easy way out, more focused on material things that make life easier, or so we think. But everyday of our lives we are given the chance to do something good for others if not for our selves. I remember the time when I was in the hospital almost six years ago, it was my first time to undergo chemotherapy. I was expecting that just like the rest of the patients at the Ambulatory Care Unit at the hospital, I would lose my hair but the chemotherapy nurse assured me that I won’t . I was apprehensive at first, who wouldn’t be, but I gave up the thought of going bald and I was elated and grateful that chemo drugs for colon cancer treatments do not result to that grim scenario. That’s a small miracle for me. God must be thinking , I don’t trust Him enough.
We are sometimes too quick to judge other people. The thing is, we must look at our own inadequacies first. Unless we know what makes them the way they are, we are not in any position to pass harsh judgment. Think kindly thoughts and think positively. Trust in Divine Providence, give up worry. How often do we feel anxious about everything in our lives? We are endlessly worrying because we want everything to be perfect but this is not a perfect world. If it is, we won’t need friends or our neighbors or our families even, to make us smile. Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. keep in the sunlight.”
Give up discouragement, be full of hope. I’d like to think that’s something I got lots of. Giving up hope is like giving up life. When you are confronted by a life changing situation, hope is a precious commodity that you cling to. No matter how painful your situation might be, you can and you will survive it as long as you don’t lose that thin thread of hope. Sometimes, trials are really just blessings in disguise. They are God’s way of telling us to trust Him, always.
It is not easy to forgive when you are full of hatred and bitterness. Let us not plant hatred in our hearts because in the first place, we are the ones greatly affected. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
What better life this would be if only we can follow these simple steps. Happiness is the simple thought of trying not to give up, just hang in there.
Woke up at 3am. Son left for work at 5am. I watered the plants and swept the yard a few minutes ago. It seems the clock’s hands are moving too slow, it’s not even 6am. I wanted to go back to bed but I love the feel of the cold February morning on my face. Maybe it is another perfect time to write a few words here.
I’m cleaning my document files of unwanted downloads and pictures that I have already saved to my hard drive, then I saw this, a shot I took of our place the last time I went home more than four years ago. A nostalgic longing, a trip down memory lane. It’s actually a narrow road leading to our place in the province, a single lane for cars.
I miss this place. Several years ago, this was just a dirt road which was not accessible to cars but it is now cemented. We live in a higher place than the town proper. It is actually overlooking the whole town but what I love most about it is the vast expanse of green, bamboos gently swaying on the roadside and when you reach the top, the green rice fields are a feast for the eyes. I grew up here and it was my home until I graduated from grade school. The house is old and small but the garden is vast.
The countryside brings you back to old but not forgotten days of childhood. You smile at the thought of visiting it again, once more to commune with nature, to see old folks at home and to renew acquaintance with the place where the sun rises early and bright and the night holds a certain magic because back there, the stars are brighter. If only for the quiet and peaceful feel of the place, I would love to go back.
I am having a second cup of coffee while watching our three dogs frolicking in the garden. It’s a simple life but happiness abounds.
Posted in Christmas 2014, family, family life, guilty pleasures, Happy Birthday Jesus, photography, silence speaks, tagged Christmas 2014, Closer to God, family life, Mickey Mouse, Our precious bundle of joy, photography, silence speaks on December 25, 2014 | 11 Comments »
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Please indulge me. I promise I won’t be talking about Christmas anymore until next year. Where was I? Ah, the beauty of seeing Christmas in the eyes of my two-year old grandson Nate. I think he is old enough now not just to make his eyes wonder at the tinsel hanging on a tree or and the nativity set he kept pointing at because we told him Baby Jesus was born today. In his excited voice, he greeted my brother and a close friend a Merry Christmas via Viber and they said that just hearing his voice was enough to make them smile and remember the significance of this happy season in our lives.
He was asleep when we came home from attending the Christmas Eve mass last night but when it was time for Noche Buena, he was wide awake. He kept saying, “dami, dami” while looking at the gifts in one corner with his name in lots of the pile. Nissa gifted him with a big Mickey Mouse stuffed toy, almost taller than he is and some battery-operated toys that he enjoyed playing with. At first he was reluctant to open the big package from Toys R Us. He only saw the back of Mickey and thought it was scary. We were laughing so hard when he finally glimpsed at his favorite Disney animal cartoon character and he embraced it while saying “Mickey, Mickey” in an excited voice.
I told Nissa she should have taken a video on Nate’s reaction while playing with his robots and shouting and dancing at the same time – a spontaneous display of joy. Such a simple thing to make a child laugh and smile and hug his mommy back. Every time I see a child’s appreciation for what you give him, it reminds me of how life should be lived – happiness is just within one’s reach if you’ll only learn to appreciate what is around you. We can surely learn from a child.
Thank you so much for all your Christmas wishes and greetings. I am truly blessed and lucky for having you all as blogging friends.
Do you keep a New year’s resolution? Have you made one?