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Archive for October, 2008

(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

My son came home one day with bruises all over his arms and knees. When I asked where he got the bruises from, he chuckled and said he was trying to chase the fastest boy in sixth grade, but failed to catch him. I asked if anybody saw him kiss the pavement. J He paused as if recalling the embarrassing incident and said with a grin on his face, “A lot. But that’s okay, Mom. It was a fun game.”

 

At that moment I knew he would one day come home with more bruises on his body that would add up to the many scars he already has. J  Should I try to stop him from playing the chasing game? I don’t think that would be a wise thing to do. I am just glad that he is having fun being a kid and is treating such an experience as part of his childhood.  

 

There are situations in our lives that feel pretty much like a chasing game. We have dreams and goals that we set and there are times when we run faster than we have strength. In pursuing these dreams and goals, we sometimes end up kissing the pavement ourselves.

 

But it matters not how many times we fall down because everybody experiences failure at one point or another. What matters is that we keep on keeping on. That we don’t give up pursuing our worthy goals. In any game and even in the eternal perspective of things, where we start is not as important as where we finish.

 

Last week, I’ve had the privilege to visit a home and listen to an awesome story of how this family’s life was forever changed because the father decided to keep persevering despite the disappointments he had faced in his life. In spite of his challenges, he humbled himself as he realized that this earth life is but a tiny part of eternity. He returned to the truth that he once left and managed to turn his life around so powerfully that he now serves as the stake president of the area where he lives in!! J

 

What a learning moment it was for me!! I realized that we should never, ever give up on anybody nor drop any of our righteous goals in life! We don’t know what the future holds or what’s in store for us if we just keep on keeping on.

 

Let’s get up and dust ourselves off! Let’s keep at all our worthy goals in life and not be afraid of kissing the cold, hard, grubby pavement from time to time!! J

 

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

Are you cheerful or grumpy? Lively or crabby? Do you despair and sulk at the sight of trials or do you swiftly stand up and take it head on?

 

I learned that our attitude in life depends heavily on our choice—whether to be happy or to be miserable. All of us are given 24 hours each day. Everyone has their own challenges to face. Yet some choose to dwell on the negative and are bitter about their lives while others, who are wiser, choose to see the colors around them and stand out from the crowd! J

 

A few months back, a strong typhoon crossed the Philippines causing electricity interruption in many areas, including our city. It was a weekend and I was sleeping in, enjoying the trickling sound of the rain, looking forward to a warm breakfast and a long, lazy morning with my family. Suddenly, the power went out. The lights along the hallways of our residential building came on, but not within the individual units. I called the maintenance office to inquire about the generator malfunction.

 

While waiting for someone to pick up, a text message from a friend who lived along the seashore came in telling me how their roof was completely wrecked by the storm and how all their things were wet from the continuous rainfall since the previous night. She said they hadn’t slept the whole night and yet she was telling me not to worry because her family members were all fine!

 

What a paradigm shift I had at that moment!! I felt ashamed of myself. I put down the phone and was taught a great lesson I will never forget.

 

Life is all about making lemonade out of the lemons we have been given. Attitude is what makes the difference. Let’s choose to be cheerful and lively and take everything that life throws at us with a smile on our face and a song in our heart! J  

 

And remember to smile! J It always looks good on anybody! J

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

A friend of mine was watching a rerun of CSI: Miami when I came by their house last week. The character of Lieutenant Caine said to one of his murder case suspects: “The truth has this funny, mysterious way of finding daylight.” I was impressed by that line because of the absolute truth in it.

 

That same week, I found out that my biological father had already died. The information came ten years too late.

 

I couldn’t understand the tears that fell on my cheeks and the sadness that I felt upon learning of that news. I didn’t have a relationship with him for me to feel a sense of loss. His was a name I only had on my birth certificate, yet meeting him in person a couple of times as an adult 14 years ago completed some of the missing pieces of my life’s puzzle.

 

I suppose we had a special relationship or a unique agreement before we came here on earth, making me eligible to be his biological daughter. Perhaps that was the only role he had to fill in my life. Yet for that I will always be grateful. 

 

As I sat in the celestial room of the temple last night, I felt a serenity that can only be found within those walls. I felt Heavenly Father’s love and assurance that my questions will one day be answered. I knew that if I did my part and carried out vicarious work for him, he could be given a chance to partake of the promise given by the Lord when He said: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

 

I have faith that families can be together forever. I know someday I will see my biological father again and I trust that by then we will have enough time to spend catching up and telling stories about our experiences here on earth.

 

Until then, I will rely on my dad whom I love and has treated me like his own daughter and lean on my Heavenly Father who, as a father of my spirit, has always been there for me through all the days of my life. J

 

 

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

While I was waiting for my turn at the lounge of a doctor’s office this morning, I decided to read the newspaper to pass the time. It was overwhelming to see page after page after page of economic woes being reported all over the news. If newspapers were the only source of finding out how things are going in this world, one would most definitely be discouraged and disappointed. It is comforting to know that there are other sources of stories that report more optimistic news that encourage one’s growth and development in this life. J

 

Yesterday at the Relief Society class, it was uplifting to listen to women discuss how important it is to know one’s priorities in life. That we are counseled to “Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you” (Alma 39:14). We were also reminded to “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin,” yet our Father takes care of them. “Shall he not much more clothe” us (Matthew 6:28-30)?

 

There are times when prosperity draws people away from the Lord. We should strive to achieve a good balance of all aspects in our lives for us to feel the joy and happiness that we are meant to experience in this journey called earthly life.

 

I love the talk given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf the other week about happiness being our heritage (http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,285-1-54-31,00.html). He mentioned that, “As we lift others, we rise a little higher ourselves… As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.”

 

I have a deep sense of admiration and respect for people who go out of their way to reach out and bless other people’s lives. For visiting teachers who make us feel welcome in our new neighborhood. For a very good friend who takes time to make a phone call to catch things up. For people who serve and seek the kingdom in exchange for nothing in return. Those who keep their focus on the eternal weight of things rather than material. These little things may not merit any international news coverage, but they mean most in the eternal perspective of things.  

 

In our troubled times, let us keep an eternal perspective and remember what truly matters. Let us trust in the love of our Heavenly Father who promised to take care of us and all our needs, if we put Him first and seek His kingdom (Matthew 6: 33). J

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