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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Riding in Cars...with God
Woke up Sunday morning, almost dragging my feet to the bathroom to get ready for Sunday mass.

I was a little anxious again, seeing the mounting bills on my computer desk. Just the day before, the salary loan I got was almost depleted in an instant just for Marti's books, school supplies and uniform. Thinking back, his books and supplies cost as much as my high school tuition back in 1992! And by next week I would be needing another P10,000.00 to pay for household bills alone.

Felt a little ashamed of my anxiety, having thanked the Lord just a few weeks back that I am now paying all of the bills and not just my own. That was the first wish I crossed out from my Novena to God's Love: to become financially independent. I was independent alright, I am now the only breadwinner of our family when my Dad got remarried in December 2010 and moved out. What I should have wished for was to become "financially abundant" so that I wouldn't be a nerve-wreck every time a bill is delivered to my door!

Was close to tears again, asking the Lord what else did He want from me. Through the Makati Feast I learned to completely trust in the Lord. I felt my life~ actually my entire being~ transformed by the Feast in so many ways:

  • Depend on The Heavenly Father instead of my earthly father? Done! Everyday I hold God to His promise: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26)
  • Become more generous through the practice of tithing? Done!
  • Become financially independent by increasing my earning capacity? Done! Aside from my day job as the Executive Secretary to the Consul General, I took up internet marketing and virtual assistant workshops from Jomar Hilario so now I manage 12 earning blogs, put-up a promising handmade accessories business and recently became a virtual assistant, earning part-time in dollars.
So WHAT, WHAT, WHAT else is there left to do to gain financial abundance?!!

I was becoming exasperated...

Then, in my sanctuary~in our condo that would be the bathroom~ I saw the free May 2011 issue of Kerygma I got from the Feast and from its pages God's answer suddenly hit me like a lightning bolt! As soon as I opened it, this was the passage I saw:
God calls you to be the driver.
God wants you to hold the steering wheel of life
Okay, I might be taking this literally but it suddenly dawned on me that I may have improved so many aspects of my life but I haven't changed at all as a driver!

Filipino drivers are one of the worst in the world but I tell you I'm up there in the list of the worst!
- Never observed speed limits
- Cussed at every bus, jeepney, tricycle, motorcycle drivers I encounter. Even told myself that if I ever become a serial killer (that probably comes from watching too many episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds), I would mow down those pesky motorcyclists who think the 1-foot gap between vehicles is their designated lanes!
- Yellow-blind when it comes to traffic lights
- "There is no law against swerving" is my mantra
Okay, okay...when God makes a point, He really does and most of the time with an exclamation point!


Hahahaha...just kidding! Will choose the first one to help me a lot in my transformation as a better Christian.

So when you're down, always find time to talk to the Lord because rest assured He is there listening and if you open your eyes and your heart, you might instantly get an answer!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Best Mothers' Day So far

May 8, 2011 was the Mothers' Day I will never forget.

The day started out as bleak. Short in cash for the past few weeks, anxiety was eating me up so I had to pawn my gold dangling earrings for us to have enough for groceries and bill payments for the week. I know it's just jewelry but my heart was breaking because it was the first set I bought for myself, a gift for finally getting the high salary grade I deserve. Pawning it gave me a feeling of defeat and desperation.

I was almost in tears on our way to Sunday mass at the the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart when Marti tried to cheer me up saying, "Don't worry, Mom, God will replace your earrings with diamonds!" My son's faith and hope almost made me smile. I'm proud that I was able to raise him that way.

Inside the church, it wasn't fully-packed as we were attending the lunch-time mass and we had a full 30 minutes to wait. I was admiring how beautiful this church is and saw the Marriage Banns on the LCD screen when I told Marti that when I get married, I'd want to get married here at the Shrine. He asked if I was sure even if the aisle wasn't that long---he remembered our conversation about the Royal Wedding---and I told him that it was okay, what's important was what the church meant to me.

I suddenly remembered that we've been going to the Shrine for the past 7 years and my first experience here wasn't a good one. Our first Christmas eve mass there, I was approached by one of the usherettes and asked if I could be the wine bearer during the Offertory and I gladly accepted. But when the usherette asked where my husband was and I told her that I wasn't married, she hurriedly took back the offer---without even apologizing. It was one of the rare moments I was discriminated against for being a single mother. And it was Christmas eve on top of that.

Nevertheless, it was here that made my relationship with God more profound than ever, even compared to my Catholic-school days. It was where I went to mass more than once a week, heard confession monthly, where I got inspired to join a weekly prayer meeting at the Makati Feast and where my son and I became closer amidst his academic and our personal problems. I thanked the Lord for bringing us to San Antonio Village and making the Shrine our refuge.

In between my silent prayer, an usherette came to our side and asked if me and my son would agree to be the bread and wine bearers for the Offertory. I had to ask the lady twice considering my previous experience, even told her I wasn't married and she replied, "it's okay ma'am, we'd like to ask you and your son to be the offerers for this mass since it's Mothers' Day."


I looked at the image of the Sacred Heart and He was smiling down at me! I had to fight down the giggle from the surprise that He gave me on that very day. And as Marti and I walked down the aisle, bearing the wine and communion wafers, he whispered to me, "So how do you like Jesus' Mothers Day gift to you, Mom?"

I couldn't ask for anything more!

So Happy Mothers' Day to all the Moms and remember that no matter how desperate and hopeless your day is, have faith that the Lord is watching and is about to give you your best day yet!

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