Quo Vadis?


Half of the year is almost over. Recently I have been reflecting on how I lived my life these past months. After the hardship I experienced at the beginning of the year, my journey on the succeeding months was challenging. I believe having a heart broken and being called to move forward has always been part of becoming a better version of yourself. The experience made me remember a lot of my prayers in the past. It is a good reminder of who and where i should be. It was tough, choosing to move on from something that you want simply because fighting for it is not what the situation requires. It’s denying yourself of what you want and accepting that some things are not meant to be no matter how much you would want it. Holding on to God’s beautiful promise of love helped me a lot. It was tough but it was meant to happen, and I am grateful that God’s grace was ever present, that is more than enough reason for gratitude. The past months was nothing but colorful. I made good relationship with new friends whom I consider a family; strengthened bonds with people who are important to me, I discovered more of myself and what else I am capable of. I went for mission, traveled, go out with friends, enjoy and most importantly learned a lot. It was a good 6 months of fun, freedom and discovery. True to His promises, the Lord made me experience far better things.

So now the question is, “what’s next”. It is the same question I have been asking myself when this month started. In knowing that I am turning a year older at the end of this month, I have been in constant reflection on what He really planned for me this year. With all the wonderful people and experiences He made me go through (both good and bad), I am adamant that He is not finish yet. I know the best is yet to come.

Last weekend the Lord affirmed me and asked me the same question at the Holy Mass. The Bishop began his homily by asking this question. “Quo Vadis?” or “Where are you going”? The question comes with both reminder and a promise. A reminder to be rooted with God, to seek Him in everything that you do and wherever you go; a reminder to prioritize Him and follow Him more than anything else. After each experiences of accomplishments or milestones, do we get satisfied with the status quo or we move forward? Do we seek Him or we aim more success? Whenever we experience setbacks how are we willing to move on? How are we willing to move forward, how much are we willing to let go? So much of questions are running in my head, the homily led me to reflect on what the Lord wants us to do.The Lord never wants us to hold back, He desires us to keep moving forward. That reminder to let go of the things or people that doesn’t lead us to light comes with a promise of clarity and genuine happiness. However, if we cannot move forward yet, just be firm, stay where you are but never ever go back. I still don’t know what the future holds but I know there’s no other place I would rather be but under the grace and protection of God. I can see that I couldn’t stay longer than my current state, I have to let go of some things, I need to keep moving forward. I’m getting there, slowly getting back on track of where I am supposed to go.

Looking back but not going back. Looking back to be reminded of where to go and where I should be. It has been an amazing 6 months, it was not easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Looking forward to another amazing months and more.

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Rasa di Rumah


Home is where the heart is.

I have always thought that home is limited to the familiar place where you grew up, the place where your biological family lives with you and where you learned most of your values. That’s what home is for me for the past 26 years. However everything has changed when 3 years ago, I made the decision to leave the comfort of my own “home” and undertake new life miles away from the environment I am familiar with. Without any family members around, any place that makes you feel comfortable can be a “home”.

As for me, I am blessed to have the SFC community when I moved to KL, I have the best support system.  However, surviving on a daily basis especially after a long day of work is a different story. From someone who doesn’t know and appreciate house chores, living alone is not pleasing as you start. Having a housemate who guided and supported me as I start to awaken my domesticated side really helped a lot. Looking back, I couldn’t imagine how it would be if I didn’t end up with my housemates Nympha and Christian. How we changed from being just a housemates to a family is a beautiful story.  It’s fun recounting the times when I would call my mum to ask her how to cook certain food and when google became my best friend, when Christian eats and appreciates whatever I cooked and how Ate Nympha provided daily affirmation and redirection. Our condo unit isn’t just a place to stay or sleep, it became a home to me.

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Our last group photo before Ate Nympha left

 

Our home became a home to lots of visitors, temporary housemates and honorary housemates. Rizza and Gee moved out, and Ate Nympha eventually left Malaysia for good, a lot of memories remains and will forever be cherished.

Fast forward to today, I no longer struggle with house chores, I love to cook on a daily basis and we have new sets of housemates. With my new housemates Christian, Jom, Mark and Angelique, the homing feeling is just stronger, more memories are being added and we are looking forward for more. Despite the differences and different journeys that we all have, I am grateful to have found a home with these people. Our family is even extended to friends (Jared & Mon) and even to our new found haven in Melaka with the Supan family. I’m trying not to sound cheesy here but the gratitude I have in my heart is just overwhelming. I was blessed to grow up in a happy home and to end up finding that similar haven away from my family is a gift. A house will not turn into a home without us sharing our hearts, without us desiring for it and without us opening up to it.

Meet my housemates! It’s my first time to feature them here and definitely will not be the last 🙂

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L-R: Christian, Jom, Angelique, mark & I

CNY Holiday with Friends


It is said that teenage years are crucial because it is the time that we start to discover our independence, learn and discover new things and succumb to peer pressure. It is the time that we get too much anxious about life, our choices and relationships and face school work related stress. I experienced all of these, I struggled to establish my own identity and make sure not to be in the wrong crowd. I would say I am blessed, because it is during this crucial stage that I discovered friendship that will last a lifetime. The Lord blessed me with a family in CFC Youth for Christ (YFC), He blessed me with great friends in the form of Household (a caring group). Who would’ve thought that after more than 8 years our relationship with each other are much stronger despite the distance and different priorities. Whenever I go back to Philippines these people never fails to visit me, it feels mandatory to have at least a dinner or coffee with them. It is one of the things that I looked forward to whenever I go back for vacation.

So last weekend till Chinese New Year Holiday, these friends of mine visited me here in Malaysia and it feels like YFC days all over again. It was such a great joy sharing my overseas life, my new friends and my new environment to the people who knows me and my vulnerability. My environment have changed even the way I speak but these people reminded me of the heart that never changes. It was fun recounting our experiences that brought us to where we are right now, but I am more grateful for the privilege to create more moments and new adventures with them. What made me appreciate their visit is the fact that they came here not mainly for the tour but to see me and to spend time with me, things has not been well with me on the past days and having them to visit me really helped a lot. Thank you my Forever Buddy Kat, Tatay N!Lord and E.Z for the visit, it was more than I expected, you are all God’s love to me. Till our next adventure 🙂

Hello February


I have been waiting for this month to come, although one circumstance made me forget all the excitement I have for February, I’m glad to be back on this joyful anticipation.

February is going to be exciting not because I am looking forward to a special date with someone but because there’s a lot of things happening this month.

One of the highlight of this month is the CFC Singles for Christ International Conference 2016 (ICON) which will be held in Singapore at the end of this month. The ICON is an annual gathering of all SFC members all over the world, a weekend of spiritual nourishment, prayer, fellowship and moment with the Lord. When I moved to KL I have not been able to join this conference for some reasons, it’s a blessing that it will be held in Singapore which is close to Malaysia, so no more excuses to miss this conference. I was not paying attention to the theme for this year’s conference and it is only this week that I was able to read about it. So here is the theme for this year:

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I know it is going to be another remarkable and nourishing weekend and I couldn’t wait on what the Lord will speak to me on that weekend.

My friends from Philippines will also be visiting Kuala Lumpur this month (one group this weekend and another group before this month ends). I always find joy in having my friends visiting KL for the first time especially if they are very close to me. I can’t wait for the weekend and I’ll blog about this soon.

To those who visit my blog, I hope you will have a lovely February whatever circumstance you are in.

2016: Plans and Vision


The first month of this year is just coming to an end, however it has already been proven that no amount of time can stand against what is bound to happen.

I remember after New Year’s eve, I was randomly asking people about their plans for this year, I was doing that with a hope that i would also be able to set mine. If you are following my blog or at least know me personally, you would know that I love writing plans / goals on this blog or on my journals. 2016 was different, I purposely didn’t plan simply because I am waiting for February, i was looking forward on something which will be the basis of my future plans.  But life suddenly made a big twist, I am still lost in the moment but I am hopeful.

This first 3 weeks of the year has been tough, when I welcomed 2016 and challenged it to “bring it on”, a hasty response was totally unexpected. I can’t thank God enough for the strength, faith, hope and love that compels me to move forward in definite direction. I still don’t know what else is along the way but I know God will remain faithful in fulfilling my hearts desire (even of things that I am trying to deny).

I was having a conversation with a friend last night and she asked me for my bucket list, I won’t be able to remember the last time I made one if I didn’t check this blog. Although I never completed any of my bucket lists in the past, I am positive that this year I will do everything to make it happen, so here’s mine:

2016 Bucket List

1. Travel Alone
2. Hike 12 Mountains / Hills
3. Visit 2 islands (1 in Malaysia, 1 in Philippines)
4. Travel with my parents
5. Learn new language
6. Get a good incentive or salary increase.
7. Give the gift that I want for my parents.
8. Befriend a foreigner and visit their home country.
9. Do an international mission.
10. Organize a family reunion.

This year will be about conquering; to gain control over my emotions, to embrace my weaknesses and turn it into strength, to win over the call to indifference and moving beyond my limits.

It is through God’s grace that I managed to stay positive amidst the challenges and uncertainties of this life, it is through God’s love that I remain loving although it is acceptable and convenient to hate in difficult situation. I will move forward along with God’s favor and love to protect my heart and love as He loves. I will hold on to the promise of God that I am destined for greatness (we all are!) and remind myself everyday of this promise form Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

So 2016, I’ll say it again, BRING IT ON!!!!

MARKED


I saw this from my friend’s Facebook page and this led me to a reflection on what makes people soft-hearted.

Is it their environment? Is it their upbringing? Is it because they lack confidence? Are they really weak? Are we not supposed to be soft-hearted?

As for me, environment and upbringing are key factors, I was exposed to social work at an early age; the value of kindness and compassion has been taught. But growing up, I suddenly realized that the world is not kind, people are not easy; there is a need to blend in, to respond to hostility and the call to harden the heart. Like a normal human being I do get angry, I express disgust and even sarcastic at times but it never lasts, it never consumes me. I remember a friend who even scolded me because i was giving too many chances even if it hurts me.

I don’t know about you but for me being soft-hearted is a Gift. It is never a sign of weakness or lack of confidence but of Love. God created us to have a soft and ever-renewing heart:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26

It is our mark. Soft and tender heart available for His will. The world is tough, cruel and filled with lies, a heart that is attuned to God and to His ways will always choose to love, to trust and to give second chances.

Our heart will be cold sometimes, loving would be difficult but Heart will surely get back to its original purpose – to love.

Grace for the Moment; Letting go of Worries and Trusting God’s plan and ways


What’s in waiting that makes people uneasy? I think I have answered this question 4 years ago when i just started this blog. The uncertainty and the fear of what lies ahead, and the desire to move forward and hasten a new start, this and more makes me feel uneasy. I am again at the waiting end.

Last month, i made a decision to leave the company that I have been working for the last 2 years here in Malaysia. I accepted an offer from a global company and thought that transitioning won’t take that long. Being a foreign worker in this country my visa needs to be transferred from former company before i could start working. I have been waiting for my visa for the last 3 weeks and boredom has been hitting me from day 1. Although I am grateful for the rest that I have enjoyed for the past weeks, i’m starting to feel uneasy.

Today, I was reflecting on what the Lord wants to tell me, I came across the movie entitled “The Encounter” and while watching i was embarrassed when the Lord reminded me of the same message that He has been telling me from last week.

“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

This is also the same passage that we discussed during the last household meeting I had with my Singles for Christ sisters last week.

What the Lord has been telling me is simple yet i didn’t see and understand it fully.

I may have taken a break from the corporate world but did i ever open up to the rest that the Lord wants to give me? I have rested physically, rested from doing the usual activities that a corporate life requires but i think i haven’t completely surrendered to Him. The rest that the Lord wants to give is asking me to put my hope and trust in Him alone. It requires putting aside my worries, my doubts and fear of the unknown. He wants me to put the totality of my heart into the things that he is allowing me to experience. As i look back to the last weeks that I have spent, i realized that all the activities i have done, from running, hiking, eating, going for movies, and even serving in church (for both SFC and SSO), all these activities I have considered as something to distract me from boredom while waiting to start a new job. What a shame! I didn’t even see that it’s God special way of giving me true rest and calling me back to serve him with ever burning zeal for His work and mission. He has been telling me, “Majane, the yoke I gave you is easy but you take on so much from this world, so much worries and cares that burdens you”.

Why I didn’t see that? Why did i allowed myself to be anxious about something that i cannot control? But the Lord woke me up, all it takes was a deep conversation with Him in prayer.

Today i still have fears, i still have uncertainties but having reminded by God on how i should view things gives my heart a complete rest and enables me to trust him more and be joyful in my waiting.

I will now run, swim, meet friends and take advantage of this break by allowing myself to be used by the Lord in His mission, not to get myself out of boredom but because this is where God wants me to experience His grace and delight in His presence. A perfect rest, His planned break for me.

I still don’t know if I would be able to start working next week, but there’s one thing I am certain of; my God will never abandon me and will always give me the grace to move forward despite uncertainties.

Of Chances and Changes


It has been a year and 9 months since I moved to Malaysia uncertain of what God has prepared for me. Looking back into that first day, I never thought it will bring me to where I am right now. I am not bragging that I made myself successful here in terms of career and financial gain but I have learned more about myself, I started doing things that never tried doing (even cooking and laundry), and I am consistently exceeding my limitations everyday.

My life here taught me to become fearless, of both visible and invisible. From being a timid girl to a daring person, from being apprehensive to being progressive. I did change, not only on how I speak (as what my friends always notice), but also on how i view things. Not all the changes are good, Yes, some are bad but I never regret anything for all my experiences here taught me a lot of things that I won’t ever learn the other way.

I am happy with my life now, I have always been grateful to the Lord because never in my wildest dream had I thought of working and loving the life in another country. I found my second family in CFC/SFC Malaysia, made friends and special friends with some colleagues, my dream of having a younger brother came true, i met and made friends with Malaysians, explored different states of Malaysia with someone very close to me and many other wonderful experiences that i kept in my heart.

So how did Malaysia change me? If I’ll go through it one by one, i might not be able to finish listing. There’s only one thing that I don’t like, it is when I set aside my blogging interest just to cope with life here. So now, I believe I am already immersed with almost everything I need to survive KL so I guess it is time to bring that passion for writing back.

Before I end this post, I would like to share my favorite experience in this country, Here it is:

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I’ve always wanted to do hiking but I never get the chance to reach as far as Mt. Tabur, being on top and seeing the city below will always remind me how big is the dream that I need to reach, so I would always have to take courage and persevere.

I am God’s Beloved


“When God calls us to gather, he has a gift for us.”

October 19 – 20 was a weekend of surprises, affirmation and empowering love. I came to the SFC National Conference in Singapore with an open heart for whatever the Lord will speak to me. I was able to attend the same conference last July before I leave for Malaysia but I was still excited to attend the conference knowing that the Lord will speak to me differently. True enough, he made me experience the conference as if it was my first time. My greatest realization is that, He is a very personal God. Let me tell you how the Lord expressed His sweetest love for me that weekend:

1. He emptied me from all my fears and doubts, all His messages from the talks speaks about His plans and assurance that He is the one taking control of my life and situation.

2. He affirmed me of my mission and calling. I came to KL trying to discover my purpose and mission. While trying to get the hang of the life in KL I am also trying to ask the Lord how I can be of help to SFC KL. He made me see a lot of things and the situation of the community, and during that conference, I spoke to one of the leaders in SFC whom I really wanted to speak with. From Him, my questions was answered and I became even more excited to be used by the Lord in KL. Fears and doubts no longer succumbs me, In my heart I know that I have surrendered everything and put my trust in Him as he commanded me to be a witness to Malaysia. I am confident that the Lord who loves me unconditionally will also allow me not to put limits on my loving.

3. All the people that I spent the weekend with, the whole SFC KL, SFC Singapore, Kuya Noli, Ate Iris, and my friend Jayson who welcomed us to his home manifested the love of God in the most perfect way.

4. When the program ended, I saw my favorite couple Tito Melo and Tita Nini Villaroman outside the venue and I even had a chance to have a small talk with them. They never fail to inspire me and the always exemplifies God’s love.

A lot of things had happened but still I can hear the Lord declaring, “Majane, You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

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For Mom on her special day….


For the last 25 years of her life, she was raising me and for all these years I have always been with her.

She stood beside me on all my victories and embraced me on my defeats.

My typical day starts on a conversation with her every breakfast and ends with another talk with her before I sleep.

We had misunderstandings too but there was never a time that she didn’t make me feel her love.

It’s her first time to celebrate her birthday without me on her side, I miss the food she cooks and I don’t have the opportunity to hug her and give her birthday kiss. It pains me and how I wish I could fly to the Philippines even for an hour or two.

I know I can’t but my prayers will surely get there.

Happy Happy Birthday Ma! May the Lord bless you more and keep you healthy.

Love,

Bunso

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