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Archive for September, 2008

(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

It was an interesting week last week, wasn’t it? While half the world lost sleep over the most recent global economic hullabaloo, half the world was counting their blessings and rejoicing over small—yet very significant—events in their lives! J

 

I have a friend who, after waiting for many years to find the right man, wrote and expressed gratitude for marrying a very good husband whom she can confidently rely on during these times. She also learned through volunteering service how “beautiful it is to lend out your hand to help out someone in these trying times rather than to wallow in depression by yourself.” J

 

I was glad as well to read a CNN article that was written about the positive effect of the economic melt down. It reported that more and more people are going back to homemade cooking to trim their budget and consequently spending more time with their families around the table!! YayYyY!! J  

 

Then, there’s this faithful soldier serving in Baghdad, Iraq who shared a touching story on how humbling it is to witness the sacrament being solemnly administered and passed by a priesthood holder “with [an] M4 rifle slung across his back or [an] M9 9mm pistol strapped to his hip.” He said that their “testimony meetings are powerful and often [poignant].” I was deeply touched when he said that they were truly blessed by being there because their testimonies were strengthened as the Lord uplifted and supported them through their trials.

 

Isn’t it amazing??! J Either we look at the bright side of living in this world and be grateful for the many blessings that we have, or we let the dark side swallow us up into feeling miserable and despondent. Well, let us choose looking at the bright side and be grateful!!! J  

 

There was death in our extended family last week, but it was a time of outpouring of support and love from family members and friends. I also had a flat tire the same week, but miraculously made it to the examination center without knowing it, and was blessed to pass the exam I’d been preparing for all this time! J My son had a difficult time adjusting to the new graded school system he is in, but made it to top 9 in his class! J  Ah, my heart is brimming with gratitude for all these blessings and so much more! J

 

How ‘bout you? Isn’t it time you count your blessings, too? J

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

“What’s your favorite household chore?” I asked my teenage daughter as she helped me wash the dishes after dinner.

 

“Is there such a thing?” she replied with a puzzled look.

 

“Why of course!! Washing the dishes has always been my favorite chore since I was a kid. I like the sound that the water makes and how the soap and water clean up all the dirt afterwards,” I explained at length.

 

“So c’mon, tell me, what’s your favorite chore?”

 

“Well…” she paused for awhile and deeply thought about the question.

 

“Hmmm…” she thought a bit more.

 

“Are you SURE there is such a thing, Mom?!” J

 

We laughed hard and decided to change the topic. J

 

 

I saw an article last week about an Olympic medallist who, as a child, was abused continually for two years by a neighbor. The case was brought to a grand jury but no formal charges were made due to lack of evidence. The Olympian was devastated.

 

I felt compassion for her and remember thinking that one day she will get a fair trial before the judgment bar of God. Nobody gets away with anything in the end. It’s either we face and settle our issues here in this mortal probation, or they rise with us in the resurrection and we pay for them there. I would very much prefer the first no matter how difficult the consequences may turn out to be.  

 

I believe that with proper repentance, all of us may be made clean of all our sins, through the redeeming love of the Savior and the power of His Atonement—much like clear water cleans up all the grime and filth of the pile of dishes in our kitchen and makes them all gleaming spotless again. J

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

We’ve installed a mirror against a blank wall in our home last week. I am delighted to see the reflection it makes of the opposite side of the room making the place appear twice as big as it actually is. Yet I believe that the most significant image that the mirror reflects is not the content of the room, but the image of the person looking through it.

 

They say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” How important this truth is in terms of looking at our own individual worth. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to lift one’s self when memories of our wrong choices and decisions harrow up our souls.

 

A very good friend once reprimanded me for beating myself up over some things I’ve done which I was not very proud of. She would have none of my (what she calls) “self-mutilation,” and reminded me that we were “friends without conditions, ifs or buts, period.” I was humbled by how she viewed me and how she helped me magnify my strengths instead of my weaknesses and shortcomings. 

 

There is One who sees us more than we could ever possibly see ourselves. He knew us even before we came here on earth and knows exactly what we are capable of becoming. He loves us beyond what our human minds can comprehend, so perfectly that He bought our fallen souls with His precious blood.

 

At times when looking through a mirror reflects images of self-doubt and worthlessness, we can find relief and certainty from His perfect love for we are of divine worth. He offers peace that “passeth all understanding.” How comforting it is to know that we can come to Him for healing and rest from the weariness of this world. He is indeed our Savior, our friend, our all.  

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

During our weekly get-together at our dad’s place yesterday, my sister and I found each other reminiscing many things that happened to us while we were younger. Some were so silly and ridiculous that it made our jaws hurt from laughing incessantly; while some were poignant, such as when we discussed about our beloved late grandmother.

 

My sister expressed how amazed she was that even after 14 years have already gone by since our grandma passed away, we still talk about her like she’s still around. We remember her as if the last time we saw her was just yesterday. We still feel of her love, guidance, and remarkable influence in our lives. We still carry a deep love for her in our hearts and are looking forward to seeing her again someday.        

 

All of us have, at one point, lost someone we loved and cherished. Because of this, it is comforting to know and contemplate the doctrines of eternal life. That Resurrection is available to each of us through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. That this mortal body will be raised to an immortal body someday.  That life is eternal and that what we do here on earth will matter in the next life. We must cling to that hope and not let our world get shattered by the temporary separation we experience from those we love.   

 

How grateful I am for this simple truth. And I look forward to that day when all will rise up triumphantly from the grave as spoken of by the prophets. Wouldn’t that be such a wonderful and exciting reunion? J

 

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

We were quietly driving on our way home from visiting my sister-in-law who just gave birth to a baby girl in the hospital when my 17-year-old daughter blurted out with enthusiasm in her voice:

 

“I love our family, Mom! Everybody’s just crazy!” J

 

“Uhm… er… I’d take that as a compliment, sweetie, but what do you mean?” my baffled reply came.

 

She then told me how hilarious she thought it was when my brother put his eye next to the camera’s LCD monitor instead of zooming it electronically when I told him to look at the baby’s photo closer. And how funny she found it that her Opa insisted that the baby looked more like him because they have similar thinning hair! J

 

Having a newborn in the family is a refreshing reminder of the divinity within us. Staring at my infant niece while she quietly slept reminded me of who I am, where I came from, and what my potentials are.

 

There are times in life when we are very hard on ourselves and we completely forget what we are capable of becoming. When we focus more on things that are not working, instead of exploring things that would help us reach our divine destiny.  

 

In times like these, it takes a leap of faith to act suitably and keep hopeful of the promises awaiting those who would take the high road and live up to our Father’s expectations. There is an embryo of godhood within each of us and I am grateful to be reminded not to “undermine” this precious royalty within me from time to time.

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