Monthly Archives: December 2013

The last Friday before Christmas

merry christmas

Today’s the last Friday before Christmas. That means Christmas is just a few days away. Yay. Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Christmas. It’s the one season of the year when I feel like everything around me comes to life. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the fact that Christmas isn’t just a day’s celebration; it shouldn’t just be celebrated on 25th. Christmas is a season. I’m not sure when it starts exactly but I know in my house it starts on my birthday. It’s always been a tradition that we start putting up the decorations a few days before my birthday or latest, a day after.

Since we put up the Christmas decorations I feel like I was bitten by the Christmas bug. Everything just feels Christmassy. Maybe it’s just the good cheer, but my food tastes sweeter, and the cold weather makes the days feel even more beautiful. There’s something about Christmas; I noticed that two years ago. I spent all my days working. Not even music from live bands could do anything to cheer me up. It was horrible. I only got my Christmas break on Christmas Eve and even then it was too little too late. That was the one time in my life I felt like I never celebrated Christmas.

merry christmas 4

I learnt then, that Christmas is about spending time with others, spreading love and good cheer. Without that the beautiful carols will just sound like any ordinary song and all the traditions associated with Christmas will feel meaningless.

This Christmas, reach out to someone in need; spread a little love and the Christmas cheer. Forgive more, laugh more, and just celebrate the birth of our new born King.

merry christmas 3

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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‘Choir girl’ pregnancies

This past Sunday in church I saw this girl who had been M.I.A for a few Sundays because she’d taken a maternity break. She came back with a baby swaddled in pink, so I’m assuming she got herself a lovely baby girl. She’s an active member of the choir.

I’ve never talked to her really, but seeing her got me all excited. I guess it’s because I knew her as a young petite girl and now I was seeing her with her very own child. I guess part of me couldn’t believe it yet. Funny thing is I saw her throughout the period she was expectant.

In my excitement I shared the news with my family after church. I don’t know her name, so I call her ‘choir girl’. So I said, “Guess who showed up in church today with a baby.” My small sister was quick to say my cousin’s name. I said, “No, the choir girl.”

My sister was thrilled. “Wow,” she exclaimed.

Mom asked, “Is she married?” And seeing as I don’t know the first thing about the girl I just replied honestly, “I don’t know if she’s married, but I doubt it.”

“That’s a very bad example they are giving,” mom complained.

“Why? Because she’s a choir girl?” I asked.

“They make it seem okay. Kids will start getting the wrong impression.” Mom didn’t really expound on her statement, because in a way it was self-explanatory. The said girl got pregnant and still showed up in church, regardless of there being high chances that she wasn’t married. In a way, that would be like validating premarital sex.

“But don’t you see mom, she still came back to church,” my big sister argued.

“She took the baby to the priest to have her blessed,” I added.

“See mom?” my big sister said.

“She did?” Mom asked, apparently awed. Her earlier stance on the matter seemed to soften.

I’m thinking, from mom’s and many parents’ perspective, young kids would translate that as a green light to engaging in premarital sex. I don’t support the whole idea of kids ‘playing house’ with each other but nowadays with all the digital evolution where any porn material is just a click away, it would be foolish to ignore the serious fact that babies are having sex, and many girls are ending up pregnant.

It might not be possible to prevent young kids from having sex, but one thing I know is that we can act responsibly when babies are conceived in the process. For starters, I don’t support abortion one bit. Naturally this is a very controversial issue but the principal reason I take that stand is because life is precious and sacred. Any life, be it a day old embryo or a fully grown human being deserves to be treated as such.

That brings me back to the choir girl. When young girls end up pregnant, whether their parents are church leaders or not, whether the girls themselves hold important positions in the church, I feel that no one should be ostracized from the church and other social gatherings or even treated like sinners simply because they conceived out of wedlock. I’d love to believe those days are long gone.

Sometimes I feel the society is responsible for many wrong things that happen. If we can’t prevent young unmarried girls from getting pregnant, we can atleast point them to the right directions. Help them make the right decisions post-conception. Personally, I admired the ‘choir girl’ for  her bold step to find her way back into the church when there was a high possibility many people would be looking at her situation from mom’s perspective; judging and all.

I didn’t say this to mom, lest she started thinking that’s what I was contemplating; but I imagined, maybe the girl wanted a baby but she still wasn’t ready to get tied down to anyone. We can’t pretend that’s not happening nowadays. In the wake of many failed marriages, it would appear people are not so enthusiastic about getting hitched.

Speaking from a Christian’s perspective, I feel condemning people because of the choices they make is just unChristlike. A Christian’s work is not to watch from the sidelines, judging people, but to do what Jesus would have done; embracing all. He never turned anyone away; it didn’t matter to Him if one had a litany of transgressions. So really, who are we to judge?

How to be happy

Smiley face

Yesterday being the third Sunday of Advent was Gaudete Sunday. It’s the Latin word for rejoice.  Christian’s all over the world are rejoicing because Christmas is drawing near. The Lord is near; Christ’s about to be born. From a deeper perspective though, Christ’s second coming is nearer than when we first believed.

The world is filled with many problems. It’s almost impossible for a day to pass by without one feeling like something is wrong; like one needs to achieve something so they can be happy. Well, sad thing is, it’s impossible to have everything perfect in life. That’s just the way things are. Good news is, we can be happy everytime, if we will it. During mass, in the spirit of rejoicing, the priest shared a few tips on how to be happy that I felt I should share.

To be happy (in no particular order), one needs to:

Think happy; our thoughts determine how we perceive things. Adopt a positive mentality when handling situations.

Rejoice in those small things; as petty as they seem/feel.

Let go off grudges; grudges dampen our mood; they hinder us from seeing the good in others and they make us bitter.

Let go off the past; how does one move on if they can’t forget what happened in their past? Holding on to the past only prevents us from seeing the beauty of the present.

See the goodness in people; sometimes we feel inclined to focus on other people’s negative sides, and as a result that makes us negative. It’s easier to see the bad in people, but if we tried just a little harder, we would see the good in them. I believe even the worst person has something good in them; if you ask me, no one’s 100% bad.

Keep yourself busy; when one is busy they won’t have enough time to mope about the things happening in their life. Trying to be productive keeps one focused.

Don’t create problems; there are already too many problems in the world. Trying to imagine what could possibly go wrong when things are okay is just one of the biggest reasons people can’t fully be happy. If things are okay at the moment, be happy. Don’t be anxious about the future. You’ll cross that bridge when you get there.

Help others- those in need. You’d be surprised how good it feels to know you helped someone else get over some difficulty-big/small.

Don’t take life too seriously; remember to smile. When you smile the whole world smiles with you. It’s referred to as the ‘law of attraction’.

Don’t try to be like your neighbour. God blesses each one of us differently, in His own special way and at His own appointed time. Sometimes we fail to realize it, but when we try so hard to compete with others, we only end up feeling dissatisfied with what we have.

Be happy, won’t you?

 

Creating space

Some months ago I wrote a post, saying how much difficulty I had experienced deleting some texts I’d exchanged with a guy I was seriously into. Well, finally- I’m glad to say- my thumb bowed to the pressure; it finally coordinated with my heart and brain. I took my phone and deleted the whole thread. It’s nothing really, but I feel like a little heroine. For the past year I couldn’t master the courage to let go.  Everytime I decided to delete them I’d go weak, so I’d let them stay for a little longer. The ‘little longer’ graduated to a whole year.

As I mentioned, this week I’m turning a year older and the last time I had a decent conversation with that guy was a year ago, on my birthday when he was wishing me a happy birthday. I figured, if twelve months have gone by without talking, then there’s no point holding on to a relationship that died eons ago.

I’m thinking I found trouble letting go because our relationship-or the semblance of it-didn’t die a sudden death; it was the slow fade kind. We stopped talking every morning, lunch and at night, then everyday and before we realized what was happening, we weren’t talking at all. We only meet on FB, but I don’t take such relationships seriously. We’re just acquaintances on FB, nothing serious.

I almost started reading the texts before deleting them but when I read the last one, then the penultimate one, I started feeling like I was being pulled back into the past. That’s what texts do. They remind one of the exact state they were in when they first received/sent them. Me and him were in a happy place-our very own utopia- when we texted back then; I couldn’t risk getting sucked in, so I decided I wouldn’t read them.

I just scrolled through, without reading them all, and just like that, I hit ‘delete’. For a few minutes, I did feel like a winner; I finally found the strength to let go. Before deciding I wanted to delete them, I remembered this saying, ‘You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest, that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.’  I needed to create space. Those texts, as lovely as they were, were only taking up unnecessary space in my life.

This year I’ve had a very boring love life. I’m not even sure it was boring; it just didn’t exist. I’m thinking, either cupid was sleeping on the job, or… I wasn’t playing my part. Then again, how does one chase love? Last I checked, love is like a butterfly; if you chase it, it will keep drifting further and further, but if you give it ‘space’, it will come to you freely. Guess I opted for the latter.

Now I don’t just have free space on my phone memory, but in my life too. The texts went with them, the attachment that hindered me from moving on. Well I guess now, it’s time to focus my gaze on the horizon; limitless possibilities.

BLOG OF THE YEAR 2013 AWARD- 2nd star

Blog of the year awardI have received my second star for The Blog Of The Year 2013 Award from Ann. It’s such an immense honour to receive another nomination from such a gifted writer. THANK YOU Ann. Her blog, a friend of Jesus2013blog, is a place you can always go for something positive and uplifting.  It’s a place you can get encouragement or a good scripture to apply to a particular challenge in life and be able to see things from a different perspective. it’s a place to get the Word of God and encouragement in challenging times.

As is procedure, to accept my star, I need to nominate a few blogs. So here’s my second round of nominees:

Heike says she’s just someone who is trying to live her life to the fullest and stay positive. She writes her blog, just breathe, to always keep herself inspired, and also to share some of her thoughts.

Kim believes we are all capable of greatness; but we can’t have a future if we’re bound by the past.  This is why she has a blog, Kim Saeed’s let me reach;  hoping her posts can, in some way, instill in others  the insight, confidence and courage to believe in themselves enough to live the life they want. She says it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if one believes.  She asks, “Are you going to continue sitting on the sidelines, watching other people LIVE, or are you going to join them?”

If you crave a dose of inspiration, Pat Cegan’s blog, source of inspiration will give you that and more.

Vincent Egoro is a passionate student of life who is committed to inspiring and empowering millions of people all over the world to live their greatest lives, face their fears and grow stronger. He believes that everyone has a seed of greatness deposited in them at birth by God. But this like all seeds, require nurturing and great care for it to express itself. He strives to achieve this goal by sharing the secrets of optimal living and personal development through his blog.

Tric is a stay at home mum from Ireland, who has a passion for writing, among other things. She loves life and all it brings and is fascinated by people; how they think, act, look.
She’s been keeping a private diary for the past 30 years. It has covered her life from the sad and very lonely days immediately after her Dad died, through her engagement, marriage, birth of her children, (not conception) and all the other events of note or not. Now through her blog, my thoughts on a page, she’s gone digital and public. She writes what she thinks and prefers to do so with humour, although sometimes she may write something profound.

Erl is an average girl currently living in the United Arab Emirates, but is born and raised in the Philippines. Erl thinks of herself as a walking and talking contradiction; an accident waiting to happen. She loves to think, or over-think and make up stories in her head that she never finds time to put down on paper. She says she’s shy, and keeps to herself mostly. She’s also a bookworm, a fan girl (woman,) a Korean Drama addict, a sort of foodie, a chef wannabe, a trying hard photographer and a frustrated writer. Personally, I think she’s an amazing writer. Her blog, a mix of anything and everything, is primarily a chronicle of her life; how she feels, what she does/did, her perception of things; something along those lines.

Megan struggles daily with herself.  It seems a constant battle just finding the courage to go about another day, in the hope that her anxiety and fears will be minimal at best.  She doesn’t know how it began or even if there ever was a beginning.  In some ways, she knows that it has always been a part of her.  She struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which is no small matter. Through her blog, war in my brain, she shares her experiences.

To accept your nomination:

1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

Yes – That’s right-There are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

This means that you can check out your favourite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Best of luck to every one!

 

 

If money stopped talking

money talks

‘Money talks,’ how many times have I heard that expression? I wouldn’t even contemplate trying to figure how many times I’ve heard it. The expression isn’t just a misused cliché, it’s actually true; in my opinion atleast. Money really talks, and when it does, innocent people languish behind bars while the real felons walk the streets, free as birds. When money talks, unqualified people get jobs they don’t deserve while the really qualified ones watch helplessly as their hard earned credentials are sniffed at. When money talks,  truths are buried.

When one doesn’t have the money to ‘lubricate’ their way through hard situations, bad things happen. There’s just untold suffering. Nowadays it appears, to get things done, one has to keep ‘oiling’ hands of those, whose assistance they need. And when one wants an illegal job done, all they have to do is fork some cash out. It’s slowly becoming the norm.

I was watching this prog the other day, where this guy was released from prison twenty years after he was wrongfully convicted. Turns out his best friend-now sworn enemy- had him incarcerated; he had made him the fall guy in a business deal gone bad.

At the time of his imprisonment, his young wife was pregnant. Unfortunately she died while giving birth to their baby girl. His best friend’s wife gave the baby up for adoption secretly then passed her off as dead. When this man came out of prison, he thought both his wife and daughter were dead. As he wanted to give them a proper burial, he asked if he could have their bodies exhumed. After filling out all the necessary paperwork, he was told he would get the necessary permit in a few days.

His ex-friend’s wife went to visit her old friend at the cemetery. While there, one of the attendants saw her and assuming she was still friends with the deceased’s husband, asked her to inform him the bodies were ready for exhumation. The news caught her off guard; she hadn’t known there were such plans going on.

She was worried. She knew if the graves were dug up, the man would discover his daughter was still alive. That would go contrary to her plans. In an attempt to sabotage the exhumation, she signed a fat cheque, asking the attendant to say he misplaced the documents. At first the guy was like, “That would be contravening my work ethics.” But that was until he glanced at the cheque. His so called work ethics flew out the window; appearing totally non-existent, as he eyed the cheque lustfully.

Just by the sheer act of illegal money changing hands, a desperate, innocent guy would never know his daughter was still alive. That’s what got me thinking, when money talks, awful things happen. So what would happen, if money stopped talking?

It’s easy to dismiss the scene as the creative work of an adept scriptwriter, but truth is, just because it’s a fictional scene doesn’t mean someone somewhere hasn’t experienced the same plight. It might not be particularly about having dead bodies exhumed, but in the world we live today, wrong things happen in broad daylight because money changed hands illegally. Unlawful practices such as bribery are deeply entrenched in our society.

I envision a world where everyone remains true to their work ethics; a world where someone-in desperate need of money or not-refuses to dirty their hands with heinous crimes just because they’re being paid to do it; a world where money doesn’t talk.

 

 

BLOG OF THE YEAR AWARD 2013

Blog of the year award

I have been nominated for a Blog of the Year Award by the lovely Vicbriggs. I feel tremendously honoured, that she felt I deserved the award. I’ve searched for the words that best describe my feelings, but I feel there’s not a single word that could describe this intense emotions; in a nutshell though, it’s a delightful mix of immense joy and gratitude. Thank you Vic. I just can’t thank you enough.

Please visit Vic’s amazing blog, shardsofsilence. I hope you enjoy her posts as much as I do, because she’s a really talented writer.

To accept my nomination, I need to nominate a few blogs that I also feel deserve the award. Let me just say, that’s a real challenge, because I read posts from many blogs and I feel they all deserve this beautiful award. However, I can only pick a few blogs; so here goes my list of nominees:

onherwaytoperfection.com. As the name suggests, D. writes about her way to perfection. She quotes Vince Lombardi, saying, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”. It’s a great blog about becoming a greater person.

Secret Angel, is a former victim of abuse and domestic violence. Through her blog, The Abuse Exposé, she reaches out to other victims, to help them overcome their situations with information and inspiration.

Ann Friend’s blog, afriendofjesus2013.com is a place for anyone who wants to know more about the Word of God, developing a deeper and personal relationship with Jesus Christ or get encouragement.

Lesley Carter’s blog, Bucket List Publications portrays the beauty and limitless possibilities of this world. Following her dreams of traveling and experiencing life to the fullest has taught her that the world is full of endless possibilities. The quote, “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences,” by Eleanor Roosevelt describes her goals perfectly.

The Wine Wankers: Conrad, Neal and Stuart, write fun stories describing their interesting experiences as they search for a good glass of wine.

Fanny P., married with two kids moved from London to Italy, and on her blog The adventures of Fanny P. she shares her experiences, writing about the highs and lows in life.

Know my worth is Christine Morgan’s personal journey. She says, “When I don’t know my value; when I don’t recognize, or appreciate, my own strengths and talents, my life is not all it could be. My feelings of self -doubt have an impact on my interactions with others, and on the way I live my life.”

Karina Susanto, through her blog, karina’s thought, aspires to share stories from various sources, poems, quotes or thoughts that comes from her personal experience, which she hopes will motivate and inspire everyone.

 

To accept your nomination:

1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

Yes – That’s right-There are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

This means that you can check out your favourite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Best of luck to every one!