Posted in God's victory, Inspiration, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Love, Minimalism, Non-negotiable, note to self, Womanhood, Word of God

knowing oneself

Lately there are lots of templates on Instagram where you will answer questions about yourself, it’s like an online version of the good old slambook! 🙂

I first saw it from my dear friend Gillian’s IG stories so I downloaded some of the templates from TheSundayChapter IG and answered them. Sharing some here:

Having been able to answer these templates quickly and enjoyably made me happy and realized that I know myself much better now compared when I was much younger. I guess that’s just how life works, as you go through life, as you experience lots of things, both good and not-so-good, you get a better understanding of who you are, what you prefer and why you prefer this one thing over the other, why you do what you do and you are happy about it (no need to explain yourself to anyone), you know your negotiables and non-negotiables which is really liberating. You don’t depend your choices and decisions on someone else because you know what works well for you and what’s not, and you are very cool with it (talking about acceptance :)).  

Knowing oneself is a lifetime process, so we better enjoy and love as we discover new things about us day by day. As we age, we change our preferences, though there are things that we will hold dear until the end, we improve (hopefully), we learn to let go of things quite easily because we now know what matters most, and we know that it’s never about material things but about our God (our life with Him here and thereafter), our life’s purpose, and every single person we are blessed to have around us. These people help shape who we are, and vice versa, so let’s strive to have positive influences towards each other, let’s walk together towards goodness and righteousness, all for God’s glory. 

Discovering oneself will not be always a walk in the park, sometimes you will have doubts, sometimes you will be judged and you might get off track and feel sad about it but you have to be reminded who you really are, in Christ. Your worth is dependent in Christ alone, He knows who you really are and He loves you just the same, unconditionally for all eternity. 

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

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“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Posted in Baking, Books, Coffee Princess, Family, Gifts, Goals, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, Love, Reading, Starbucks, Things to do, Word of God

So far, so good…

Hello everyone! How are you??

Hope you are all doing great!! 

We’re on the 63rd day of 2018, 2 months passed by so quickly, right?

My first two months were great! Thank and praise God for all that He has done and for all the blessings He has poured upon my family and all my loved ones and friends.

The biggest blessing/answered prayer so far is my little sister’s pregnancy. 🙂 Our family is soooo happy and grateful for this blessing, such a great way to start the year!! She’s on her 3rd month and we are so looking forward to the new addition to our growing family.

We are also counting the days to our first out of the country trip for the year, it will be my first time to travel with my sister and brother-in-law to Bangkok. It’s my sister’s first out of the country trip so we are all very excited. 🙂

With regards to my #Goals for 2018, I think I am doing okay, I have 10 more months to fulfill most of it. 🙂

Read and study the Old Testament. – I’m on Genesis 16. I am slow but it is okay. Reading and studying the Word of God is not a contest, it’s about consistency, commitment, and building a personal relationship with the Author. 🙂

Finish one-to-one discipleship with muy bella, Mel. Then participate at the Victory weekend and be water-baptized as a Christian. – I hope to be water-baptized this year, I am not rushing this, I will happily and peacefully follow God’s timeline.

Join VictoryFort’s feeding program regularly. – I will join VictoryFort’s activities after my baptism. 🙂

Buy an oven and learn how to bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes. – My target for this is next quarter. I hope to buy an oven by April and start baking thereafter. 🙂

Save up Pxxx,xxx by end of the year. – I think this is attainable. 🙂

Read atleast one book per month. – I’ve finished reading these 3 books but I started reading them in late 2017.

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I hope to finish these 2 by this month, March.

I bought 4 new books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair, here they are:

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I hope to read all these books this year, in addition to the original pile below…

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Learn French using the Duolingo app. – This one I am not consistent. I should start again very soon!!

For the first two months of the year, I had a couple of disappointments which caused me momentary heartbreak but it’s all okay now. I think I was able to manage my emotion well, and hold my peace thus no relationship was compromised. I have forgiven and learned to let it go. I know it is never right to judge anyone, but because of what happened, I had a better understanding and appreciation of why God has commanded us not to judge our brethren.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2

I have been judged, and it hurt so much. People, even family or friends, will not always understand why we do what we do, so it is best to not judge. Each has his/her own reasons for doing things, in most cases, only God is our witness and He’s the only one who understands, accepts, forgives and loves us, no matter what.

Anyway, I am so grateful that God is always ready to listen to us, to hear our prayers, our cries, and He is with us to comfort, to give us peace and the assurance that everything will be okay because He is our Father, He is in control and He has the best plans for each of us.

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Anyway, on a lighter note, I am very happy with my increasing commitment to working out/exercise. When I say “workout/exercise,” it means joining Thursday Bootcamp, planking and abs workout at home (checkout JessicaSmithtv), playing squash and doing treadmill at the company gym. I’ve recently discovered what will entertain me while I run, that is watching YouTube videos, I am specifically hooked with Erwan Heusaff’s videos, because it’s 99% travel and food! 🙂

On weekends, I try to jog/walk with my momsy, and then we would have coffee  (and French toast and baked sweet potato, oooopppssss!!!) afterwards if the time permits it. I think I am officially a coffee princess, in other words – coffee addict, which is not actually bad, for as long as I am not drinking too much. 🙂

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I super love our mom-daughter bonding on weekends thru jogging/walking and drinking/eating. 😛

We are only done with the first two months of the year, but I have been blessed with so much already. So many favors and blessings from God through my loving family, well-meaning friends and colleagues at work, good health and strength, travels to look forward to, a happy, healthy, godly baby for our family in a few months.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

The future is bright, it is so promising and filled with God-ordained circumstances. I am very hopeful and expectant of all things good, lovely and beautiful because my hope rests in the Lord.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord
    even as we put our hope in you. – Psalms 33:20-22

Posted in Bucketlist, Family, Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, note to self, Reading, Womanhood, Word of God

Happy, healthy, hopeful…

…blessed, lovely, and peaceful 2018 to all! 😀

Hello everyone! 😉

How’s your new year going? All good? I hope. 🙂

As I write this, 2 January, 2018, it’s all good. I had a good start, thank and praise God! 🙂

I was able to do some reflection, bible reading, I wrote my faith declaration for the year, prayer requests for family and friends, some goals which I offer and surrender all to God, the hope of glory. 🙂

On the last day of 2017, I attended the church service at VictoryFort. Before I attended it, I prayed to God to speak to me and guide me through the pastor’s message. Pastor Joey’s central message is about HOPE. You may listen to his message thru this link. I love the message and it was exactly what I needed from the Lord. I’m grateful to be reminded how great, how loving, how powerful, how generous, how mighty our Father God is, His unchangeable character and time-tested word [are] enough for us to depend on Him and hope in Him, it’s enough to be comforted and to have peace as we go about our days in 2018 and all the glorious days of our lives. Sharing with you some of the bible verses which Pastor Joey shared to remind us how important it is to focus and keep our hope in the Lord because HE is our Father, our Savior, our Provider, our Healer, Comforter, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, our Alpha and Omega, He knows the beginning and the end of our lives so trusting Him and hoping in Him is the best thing that we can do to live a victorious life today and everyday. 🙂 

Hebrews 6:17-19 ESV

17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Colossians 1:27 ESV

27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

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In the same way that the message of hope has given me all the comfort, peace, encouragement and excitement to face the coming year with a joyful, grateful and expectant heart for everything that the Lord has planned to bless my family, friends and me for the year, I hope you have been filled with the same strong hope from God’s unchangeable character and time-tested word. 

Cheers to a blessed, happy, healthy, hopeful, lovely, and peaceful 2018! 🙂 

God’s best always! 

Posted in Christmas, Gift-wrapping, Gifts, Inspiration

All about Pine Cones

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photo grabbed from Pinterest

I love wrapping gifts, and I love beautifully wrapped gifts. The photo above is my idea of a perfect gift wrapping this year. I love everything about it. 🙂 It’s simple, it’s classy, it’s so elegantly presented.

This year, when I was out to buy Christmas wrappers, I had no idea what to look for. Usually, I’m on the look-out for the perfect brown paper, or plain red, or plain gold wrappers but I wasn’t lucky to enough to find “the one.” Below are some of the beautiful inspirations I found on instagram. I used to like the traditional red-green-gold/brown Christmas combo colours, but now, I am open to try the not-so-usual holiday palette. Yearly, I look forward to seeing Peony Lim’s Christmas preparations, she’s my ultimate inspiration in many things, including her unique and very pretty wrapping ideas. 🙂

This year, I ended up buying this simple wrapper (photo below) — it’s all pine cones against a background of green hues. I don’t like some bold, “hey! it’s Christmas time” kind of print. Next year, I’ll think of something different and try my best to execute it. 🙂 I hope I’ll have enough budget to buy some accessories along with the wrapper/s. I might also decide to use different wrappers next year, and not limit myself into using the same print for all my gifts. 😉

I have some thoughts about Christmas gift-giving but I’ll share it some other time. For now, I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas time with all of your loved ones. May the true spirit of Christmas fill your hearts and your homes, every single day of the year. 🙂

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Posted in God's victory, Gratitude, Inspiration, note to self, Reading, Womanhood, Word of God

Jesus speaks, always…

From 7 November Devotion from Jesus Calling book/app

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WORSHIP ME in the beauty of holiness. All true beauty reflects some of who I AM. I am working My ways in you: the divine Artist creating loveliness within your being. My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away. I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that—abundantly!

Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your way. I am training you to depend on Me alone, finding fulfillment in My Presence. This entails being satisfied with much or with little, accepting either as My will for the moment. Instead of grasping and controlling, you are learning to release and receive. Cultivate this receptive stance by trusting Me in every situation.

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
—Psalm 29:2 nkjv

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
—Psalm 27:4

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
—Psalm 52:8

The Lord is our comfort. He is our assurance.

Thank you, Lord. You are the God of my life, have your way in me.

Posted in Bucketlist, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, note to self, South Korea, Travel

Some more Notes to self…

Yes, I’m still not over it, probably never will I… 🙂

I realized I have missed out blogging about a few more important bits which will be quite useful for me to remember for my future trips (take note, tripS 🙂) to South Korea, yes, not only to Busan, but to other parts of South Korea and probably to Japan.

I live in Manila, we don’t have spring, autumn and winter here. So if I would like to experience other seasons, the nearest that I can go to is South Korea and Japan. My first experience of spring is in Seoul in April 2011, while my first autumn experience was in Osaka & Kyoto in late November/early December of 2015. I am blessed to be able to go back to South Korea, to Busan just recently, but didn’t get to witness “autumn” colours as yet, but definitely felt the lovely autumn weather.

Spring, Seoul, 2011

Autumn, Osaka/Kyoto, 2015

It is likely that I will be going back to these countries because I love them so much for various reasons. I love the weather, the food (this alone is good enough reason for me to keep on going back), the beautiful sceneries, the courteous and disciplined people, the good quality of their products, and a whole lot more!

In every travel that we experience, we learn a thing or two, and we become a better traveler and a better person each time. The things that I learned in Europe are different from what I learned in South Korea. I have shared here some of the lessons learned during my first travel to Europe.

Today, I will be sharing some notes to self which I should remember by the time I’ll take that next trip to either Japan or South Korea.

Early November is a good time to go…

Some friends and even celebrities which I follow in Instagram went to Seoul this week and I actually wanted to go back on a whim! Their videos and photos are so beautiful, the food looks so yummy, I know they are, the weather is sooo cold, the colours are just so pretty and lovely… So I am praying and hoping to be able to go back to South Korea next year, most probably in early November, Godwillling. (The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9). 🙂

Bring a medium AND a small luggage

Well, I know I should always try to travel light but I’ll make an exception for these 2 countries because I honestly believe that’s it’s okay to hoard all the yummy food they have. 🙂 I wasn’t able to do this recently because I only brought my small luggage. The medium luggage will be for my grocery shopping, not for my OOTDs. My clothes and all other knickknacks should fit inside my small luggage.

When I told my friend Ina that I would be going to Busan, she requested me to buy this pack of honey butter almond, she said it’s yummy. So I bought a few packs for my family and for Ina. I didn’t try it while in Busan, had I known how good it is, I should have bought more and tried to squeeze some more inside my luggage… (I love nuts. Thank you Ina, it’s because of you that I discovered this 😍). There are other variants, which are equally yummy. I tried the mixed nuts, it’s so good too!

IMG_2734I love French Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato, so when I saw these in one of the convenience stores, I bought 1 box each, which has 8 packs inside. I should have bought more if I had more space. Now you know why it is important for me to bring a medium luggage, or maybe just 2 small luggages? Well, it depends on how long will the vacation be and how much will be my budget for food shopping. 😉 Let’s see…

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Try new drinks, both hot and cold…

As I have noted in my previous post, when in Starbucks, I should not only check out the available cards but also try their new hot and cold drinks from Day 1 of the trip so I get to try all by the end of the trip. 🙂

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Find time to check out quaint cafes (they have the cutest cafes!), other food stalls, and eat all the berries and other unfamiliar fruits as much as possible… 😉 I love berries and another thing I love about these countries is that they have the freshest fruits and veggies 🙂

Always thank and praise God, allow Him to surprise you 🙂

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you …” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I have probably said this before, but I’ll say it again, I thought 2017’s highlight would be my Europe trip, THE trip of the year, but God has His way of surprising and pampering His children in ways we couldn’t have imagined. I thank and praise God for our Busan trip as much as I praise and thank him for the Europe trip, they are both very special trips to me, cherished by my grateful, joyful heart. I give all thanks and glory to God for just blessing me with all good things. He knows I love to travel, and He delights in blessing me with wonderful experiences each time.

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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… – James 1:17 ESV

Posted in God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Womanhood, Word of God

the Woman that I aspire to BEcome

I’m officially 38 as of this writing. I had celebrations more than I had wished for, which makes me feel so grateful, grateful beyond words, to God and all the lovely, generous, wonderful loved ones in my life. He gives lavishes HIS children with HIS best, and I couldn’t be happier with how things are right now. Well, my life has not become perfect, it will never be, here on earth. I guess I just become more dependent on the Lord and I learned to surrender and entrust everything to HIM because He has the best plans (Jeremiah 29:11) for my life and I definitely want that more than anything else.

And I actually feel it, exciting and wonderful things from Above are up ahead. 🙂

As I journey with the Lord, as I wait for His plans to unfold before my eyes, I am determined to know Him more deeply in a personal way through His word, following His guidance, living in His righteousness by His grace and mercy. I know I couldn’t do this on my own, I need God’s grace day by day so I can become the woman that He created me to be.

So how will I be able to know as to what kind of woman I should aspire for? In Proverbs 31:10-31, known as “An Alphabet of Womanly Excellence,” I found the kind of woman that I want to become. For me, it’s the best guide, every aspect of womanhood is there, of course we are not expected to become exactly like it, it’s the ideal woman, but to aspire for it is a good start. In my current state, I want to focus on a few verses (Proverbs 31:25-26, 30). I pray for the Lord to help me become this kind of woman (I’m so far from it) and all that He wants me to be. I memorized these verses and I recite them often so I get reminded of it.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. – Proverbs 31:25-26

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

In this world, there are so many #pegs, so many #goals, but they are mostly worldly. It’s hard to cope up in this fast-paced world, where everyone is exposed to luxury, beauty, materialism, convenience, where everyone dreams for what the world dictates as “best.” Life is hard as it is, it will be harder when you don’t know the Lord and who He truly is in our lives. We need a guide, and that guide, only comes from the Lord through His word.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105

I am very grateful because for every single question we have, the bible has the answer for it, for every single worry that we have, the bible has an antidote for it. The bible is what I call “the manual for life.”

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,… 2 Timothy 3:16

When things get so confusing, the word of the Lord will make it crystal clear for us. When womanhood has become so complicated, so high maintenance, I’ll just go back to these verses, they will keep me grounded and always assure me that I am right on track. Womanhood can be simple when we get to learn to see our worth through God’s unconditional, unfathomable love for us. God loves us, His children, and that’s the most important thing. We are precious in His sight, period. 🙂

Ahh, I almost forgot, remember, we are only passing through this world, eternity is soooo much better, so don’t fret, okay? 😉 For a glimpse of what’s to come, read Revelation 21.