Code 1.1

Friday, February 24, 2012

From Supermodel to Role Model

Was checking out my Twitter account and saw a very interesting tweet:

' closet, 's baby tweet,'s empire & more
It's unbelievable how Kathy Ireland rose to stardom as one of Sports Illustrated's most famous cover model back in the 80s and is now a CEO to a multi-million worldwide brand name.

I love it when she said these inspirational words:

Whatever material thing you've got to give up to live your dream; it's not a sacrifice, it's a bold investment.

Powerful and compelling words from someone who started her empire at the kitchen table, making a pair of children's socks!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

You Will Never Lose Your Way

This week was probably one of my worst.

Thought that the year had started out really great: signed up as a Care Group head apprentice, got into a new hobby that could become a new side business, got 2 new employers from oDesk, attended the first Light of Jesus Leadership Assembly and got paid big time by Google Adsense and that was only in January. The highlight of it all was probably when I attended the webinars of Brendon Burchard. This amazing guy instantly became my hero after I saw the Experts Academy series. I realized what Brendon was talking about was what I have wanted to do all this time, something that I could give back after receiving a ton of blessings from the Lord: to share my story and be a testimony to God's love and generosity. And Brendon was offering to give an all-expense paid trip to his headquarters at Experts Academy and a free course there to anyone who would submit the most impressive and inspirational instructional video to his website.

Got so excited about the idea that I spent the next few days writing the message I wanted to put in the video, practicing my speech by recording my voice and speaking in front of Marti.  Marti liked it so much he even gave me some powerful inputs that I immediately added to what I was writing. Within a week the message I wrote seemed to be looking more like a motivational book and I even got more excited with the idea that this simple story was going to help a lot more people, especially solo parents like me. I began to have sleepless nights.

Back in the office, I felt uninspired, thinking my day job was now a hindrance to the many things I've always wanted to do. Looking back at my work life, I realized that my career was based on what people expected me to do and not what I wanted to do. By the middle of the week, I was so depressed I could hardly get up from bed. It didn't even matter my boss scolded me for the first time in 7 years because he needed me so badly at the office; I just wanted to sulk. What was really eating me up was that I wanted to pursue my passions now but it would be irresponsible for me to give up my day job when there were a ton of bills to pay and we were in danger of losing the place we were staying when my Dad said he couldn't help out anymore. I felt like a fake writing a self-help book when I couldn't even help myself. I stopped writing.

In all of these I tried to remain faithful, asking God to calm me down and grant me the gift of discernment but all I heard was silence. More sleepless nights with a lot of crying.

Sunday came and we were late for mass for 15 minutes so decided we should wait for the next one as I never liked hearing mass only halfway through. Marti and I went to the Blessed Sacrament to at least spend an hour there and hope would somehow receive the grace I was praying for. I felt the serious desperation for God that I haven't felt in a long time and that reminded me of one of the talks at the Makati Feast where it was said that our longing for God should be as desperate as our need for air.  Half an hour passed by and still nothing and I felt the tears well up. Drowning in despair, it was I who broke the silence and shouted with my heart to God that no matter what, even if I had but 1 peso in my wallet, I would continue to serve Him! And that's when I got His reply in one powerful word "SERVICE".

Wow, it felt like water was splashed across my face! I had lost my way for awhile there, going inside and nursing my ego instead of staying on track and concentrating on my initial intention of helping other people, of serving. At mass, I received  God's message in all 3 Biblical readings:

The First Reading was from Job 7: 1-4, 6-7, telling of Job's sentiments and hopelessness.
The Second Reading, taken from 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23, where St. Paul explains the rewards of preaching the Gospel.
The Gospel from Mark 1:29-39, where Jesus, after healing hundreds including Peter's mother-in-law, found time to be alone and pray and later on informs His disciples that His real purpose was to preach the Good News.

In the First Reading, I learned that all of us go through times of despair and God permits such moments in our lives so that we may gather strength and fortify our faith that even in our darkest hour, He will never abandon us.

The Second Reading made me realize that sharing my story to others of the miracles that God has done and is doing in my life is not a self-serving act but an obligation. For someone who has received salvation, it is now my obligation to testify to the All-powerful, All-merciful love of God to others who were just like me not so long ago: alone, hopeless and ashamed. As St. Paul wrote, "If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it!"

And the Gospel showed that even Christ gets distractions but He never once wavered from His true mission; moreover, He always found time to pray. Reminded me of this favorite line I heard from my college Theology professor: "Fix your gaze upon Jesus and you will never lose your way."

So now I'm writing again with a renewed fervor. I will finish this book and even if only one person would be transformed in his/ her faith in Christ through my story, I would be the happiest person in the world because  I could finally say that, in the simplest of ways, I have SERVED.

To God be the greater glory!
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