What Do You Live For?

Merry Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers!

And of course, last day of the year always makes you think about things you forget to even think about during the year… well today’s the day to be more thankful!

As I was reading Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly (I think it is God’s message for me today too), I came across the question, “What are you willing to give your life for?” It’s no longer what you are willing to die for, because we have multiple stories of martyrdom and in our society (where we live), no one is asking you to die for anything, but to live for something. We get so caught up with our life, emotions, plans, and building relationships with people around us that we forget to ask ourselves about our life, plans, relationship with God this year. How was it?

I gave up social media (IG, Twitter, sc, etc.) this year; it definitely was a difficult process the first couple months, but as the time went on, it became easier. There were definitely moments when I wanted to share my experiences through social media but I could not. I felt like I was cut off from the world because I seem to have no knowledge of what was happening with my friends that I don’t really see or talk to in a regular basis, I would find out through other people and it bothered me. This year definitely made me realize that if you want to maintain relationships, it is not enough to depend on social media to know what is happening, but for you to actually reach out to them. There were real relationships that flourished this year and relationships that I still need to work on and have realized my shortcomings. I pray that this year, I may have the courage to care more and delve into relationships that actually matter to me.

There were also a lot of “firsts” for me this year, and also realizations about myself that I have not even imagined existed. It was a blessed year in terms of travelling for me as I visited a lot of places. Those are the moments I wished I could share with everyone but I knew I could not share everything with everyone. Why and who did I want to share my life and experiences with was the question that popped in my head. For what was my reason for sharing? Visiting a lot of places this year put different perspectives in my head and heart. Where would I be three years from now? Would I still be where I am at? I pray that this year, I follow and find God wherever He is.

There were definitely a lot of questions that was asked this year as well, as per my questions that are already listed above. However, thinking about these questions or even thinking about the answers to those questions I realized that I may not always like the answer or the outcome. I may not like where God is leading me at the moment, but I have to think about the bigger picture (always think about the bigger picture). We may only see a fragment of the piece but God sees it all. I pray that this year, I may learn to trust more.

But really… how was my relationship with God this year? As usual, my answer is the same. It has been a wave of ups and downs. I struggle to maintain it. I struggle to pursue it. I just struggle. However, God never fails, He uses the people around me, my surroundings to always lead me back to Him. But I just dislike the fact that my high peaks do not surpass others, in other words, I’ve become stagnant and lazy with my faith. I found excuses this year to stay where I am at, because I like where I am at. I am simply did not grow in my faith. I remained the same. I pray that this year, I may have the strength to persevere with my faith even when things get tough.

So what do I really want to live for this year? I want to find myself again deeply in love with my faith, my family, and with what I do. I want to be able to look at things no longer in my perspective but through God. I want to answer others prayers. Matthew Kelly said in his book, “A lot of prayers go unanswered because we forget to heed the call.” I want to answer His call and I will start with myself again. It will be a struggle as always, but I want to look back through the year and say, “Hey, I actually grew in my faith this year.”

Blessings in the coming year 2018! I pray you will have more blessings with lots of hope, faith, and love.

 

Advertisements

“We cannot do it alone.” – Day 11

I finished my first and last exam this semester. And yes, I am taking night classes in case you were wondering. I have missed this feeling of being “free” after exams. It’s like you’ve been freed from your sins and you can’t help but celebrate.

My point of my reflection today is the power of prayer. I have a lot of intercessors in my life–my family, friends, and even coworkers. Every time there is a big decision or event happening in my life they have always been there to pray for me. They are a big part of my success, health, and spiritual well being. And I realize that we cannot go on this journey alone. We need the people around us who makes us a better version of ourselves.

May we be surrounded with more love and hope this Christmas through family and friends.

“We’re not home yet.” – Day 5

Matthew Kelly’s reflection of the day for #BestAdventEver is putting our hope not in ourselves, others, or things but putting our hope in Jesus. We are all pilgrims. We are still on a journey and we are not home yet. This might feel like home, but it is not where we are supposed to end up in.

Most of the time, we hope for things to come, to happen. However, when things do not go as we would like, we end up beating ourselves, others, or even God about it. We hope for things to happen for us, for “right now”. Our hopes do not coincide with God’s hopes and dreams for us. Because when both aligns, amazing things start to blossom. We see God’s bigger picture and not just our own. We have to put our hope in God, because only God can satisfy those hopes, dreams, aspirations, and desires.

May we be guided by Your love and unite us with Your desires.

“Our God is a God of Hope” – Day 1

Today marks the beginning of Advent. Oh, how time flies! It is the last few weeks of the year and as I reflect on the things that occured this year, it makes me wonder… what happened?

We all look forward to the Christmas season. It’s a feel-good feeling. I love it because of the decorations, the chocolates, you can feel the joy in everyone. You can feel the hope. Hope in waiting.

In the Gospel today, Jesus asks us to “Be alert.” The time will come. Christopher West had mentioned that the bridgroom keeps her bride waiting to stretch her desire. This desire increases our hope, and without this desire or longing, there would be no hope.

There was or will always come a time when we have/will lose hope, and that’s okay. However, we always need to remember that at the end of the day “thy will be done”.

Fiat voluntàs tua.

A priest in his homily once said, all our prayers will be answered if we end our prayers in “thy will be done”. This means that we do not rely on ourselves anymore but God’s power. This is hope. This is trust. This is love.

May we be filled with joy this Advent season.

2014: The Year God Tested Me

What do you remember most about 2014?

I’m going to admit that 2014 was one of my not-so-nice-to-remember years. Although, I do remember occasions of unforgettable moments with loved ones, I am thankful to have experienced all of it. Now, looking back, I have realized a great deal of urgency when God first showed me a sign of His ever-so-loving character at the lowest point of my year. It has been an “ebb of a year” not only in my faith, but most certainly in my personal and not-so-personal life, and in my relationships with friends and loved ones. There were multitudes of blessings God showered me with, and recalling the year, I acted a bit ungrateful and unappreciative of His blessings, because I was focusing on all the miserable incidents that was happening to me (i.e. lowest point of my year).

I have experienced tremendous doubt and fear this year. Dreadful moments in school, at work, at home, even in my relationship with the Lord was tested and scorned by the devil. I still recall the moment when the clock turned 12am on New Year’s Day. I was not with my family. It was the first time we did not spend New Year’s Eve together, but nonetheless I claimed that it will be a good year for me, because it will be the year I will be graduating and will be getting a good job. It was a tough last semester of school, and surprisingly enough, I graduated (Woohoo!). It was a vigorous battle of self-assurance and faith in the Lord. Through family and friends, who were keeping me at ease, I survived. (Thank You Lord for the people who surround and assure us!) This was also the year that I was reunited with my family after three long, miserable years we were apart. This was the year when I experienced the agony of rejection, and joy of gaining new opportunities; a year of resolving broken relationships, and forgetting what hurt the most. It was one heck of a year when God tested me excessively and most of the time I have failed Him miserably (but He still loves me the same, how awesome is that!). 2014 has come to an end, and with it came experiences that fashioned me to be the person that I am, and will be this 2015.

Most people will say, forget the hurt, and the pain that 2014 brought you and look forward to what 2015 will bring. Most people will claim that 2015 will be their year (i.e. “New Year, New Me” tweets). Most people will act on the resolutions they haven’t done on the prior years. We see all these, new year resolution lists every year, all these “I will do my best this year to-” claims, all the “Be fit” tags and posts, but we forget that all of these are just mere intentions. We forget that God and only God will hold our year. Our New Year’s Resolution to be the “New-Us” should always be the renewal of ourselves through God, because admit it or not, facing a year’s worth of challenges will not be easy unless we claim that God will be with us.

Until then, I can’t wait to hear all about your 2015: The Year God Was With Me.

Happy New Year and a Blessed Year ahead for all of us!

How Have You Done?

“If you come face to face with God right now what would be the first thing you would say to Him?”

I was caught off guard when someone asked me this question. Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to say. If I come face to face with God right now, I’d probably look like a deer caught in the headlights while trying to recall what my life was worth.

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord, we seem to be extra happy, caring, and loving to everyone around us. We seem to enjoy the company of our family and friends. We feast on good food, and appreciate all the laughs while recalling memories of the past year. We appear joyful, kind, and our hearts seem to be especially healthy. We’re more thankful, more forgiving, and more prayerful. We act as though our struggles never happened and that the birth of our Lord is enough to contain all the problems of the world.

Now wouldn’t it be great if we are all like this whole year-round?

Believe it or not, but the birth of our Lord is enough to contain all the problems of the world. We carry the anxieties of our lives all year-round wishing for a miracle to happen. We tend to overlook that a miracle did happen 2000 years ago. A King was born on a mere stable! Jesus will always be the reason for the season. Jesus is the reason to always be thankful, not just on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or on our birthdays. God loves you. If He didn’t love you so much He wouldn’t have sent His son! Always remember that we are very blessed and loved, no matter what circumstance we are in.

If I can ask God one thing, just one thing, I would ask, “How have I done?” And hopefully when that time comes, the Lord will say to me, “You have done good, child!”

Merry Christmas and God bless all of you!