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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’


I was moved by my daughter’s shout out this morning in a popular social networking site: “Mistakes don’t define you, they refine you.” How true that statement is.


Have we ever been in a position where we felt more righteous than our neighbor? Have we ever looked down on anyone because of a mistake they have committed? Have we ever held on to bitter feelings or grudges and refused to grant forgiveness to someone who has sincerely asked for it?


When we are tempted to do any of these, let us try to step back and remember to judge not and examine ourselves if we are indeed clean and are in a position to point fingers or withhold our pardon.


I have watched this short clip about being careful on how we judge others and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s called “Looking through Windows.”


Enjoy the film and the rest of the week everybody!!!  🙂

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I have truly missed writing.


Lately, I have been preoccupied with my profession that I didn’t get a chance to write anymore. I realized that if it’s something that I really love, then I’d better make time for it. And so here I am. 🙂


It had been a remarkable weekend. I spent some quality time with my dearest sister planning and preparing for her daughter’s upcoming birthday. We see each other every weekend, together with the rest of our brothers and their families, but it has been awhile since we spent that much time alone. I kinda miss her.


But I recognize that love is eternal and it’s something we feel even if we haven’t seen those who are dear to us for a long time or even if they’ve already gone beyond the veil. Our hearts just never forget.


Hence I was touched to hear the words spoken by President Diether F. Uchtdorf during his address to the largest women organization on the earth. He spoke about a tiny flower called forget-me-not and used it as a metaphor to remind his audience to consider five things he would want them never to forget.


He said: “Forget not to be patient with yourself… Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice… Forget not to be happy now… Forget not the ‘why’ of the gospel… [and] Forget not that the Lord loves you.”


It was a very inspiring talk. I was reminded of a lot of things that I have almost forgotten.  Just like President Uchtdorf when he was a young boy, I sometimes feel small and insignificant in this vast world we live in. It was good to be reminded that we are “known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe!” That “He who created and knows the stars knows [us] and [our] name.” That our ‘Heavenly Father knows, loves, and cherishes [us].” It was a humbling thought and it gave me such a reverent feeling.


I’ve posted President Uchtdorf’s talk here for those of you who haven’t heard it. And to those who have, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to it again! 🙂


Enjoy the rest of the week everybody!!  🙂 Take care!!! 🙂

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Artwork by Liz Lemon Swindle

Some people would’ve considered last week’s Friday the 13th an unlucky day. Not for me. It was one of the best I’ve ever had! 🙂 That day, my daughter and I both received answers to our prayers that came at a time that we didn’t expect. It was such a pleasant surprise and we couldn’t have been more grateful. 🙂 YayYyY!!! 🙂

Later that night, I had some company over at our place that brought fun and joy to my heart. One of the topics we discussed stayed with me over the weekend and significantly contributed to the spirit of the lesson I taught in Sunday School. I had to stay in control of my emotions as I choked up several times during the class. It was about the “lost one.”

Nobody is perfect. Each of us have missed the mark in some degree or another. It is ironic that some people feel they are in a position to judge those who have fallen astray. It’s sad to see how people change their countenance when they find out that a person once lost their path and have found their way back. Shouldn’t it be enough cause for celebration instead? Such was the example shown by the Savior Himself in His parables. He rejoiced. Yes, for the prodigal son when he returned…and for the lost sheep when he was found. I think we should also try to do the same.

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(Photograph by Melanie Gapiz)

After three years of planning, preparation, and thousands of cumulative hours of participant rehearsals, the Jubilee celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finally come!!! 🙂


As I sat on the edge of my seat watching the festivity and cheering the other participants, I was extremely grateful and my heart was overcome with emotions for having had the privilege of being part of the momentous occasion! 🙂


Throughout the course of the rehearsals, I witnessed how the opposition worked his way through various means, using different people and their weaknesses, to try to stop this effort from progressing.  I have seen many frustrated faces, and people quitting in the midst of all the preparations due to disappointments and discouragement. Some left simply because they got exhausted and did not see the grand outcome that was meant to be. Many cynics doubted and some begrudgingly supported the event.


Yet a great majority withstood the test and endured to the very end. These are the ones who enjoyed their journey and learned the sweetness of its value as they looked forward to their destination. These are they who, despite their mortal differences, learned to exercise the virtue of patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humility. They are the ones who experienced the joy of service, unconditional love, and found among themselves new and lasting friendships.  


At the end of the celebration, I realized that all the grand preparations made were befitting the occasion. It was a token of gratitude from the Filipino people to our God and King, for all the blessings we received on this land since the preaching of the gospel 50 years ago. It was worth all the hard work putting everything together—our talents, our time—to come up with the best that we could offer Him. Hence, I was moved and most grateful to hear, by the mouth of one of His servants, that our offerings had been accepted.


I think that life in general will be like this Jubilee celebration. The preparations will not be easy for the glorious end. Many will fall and lose their way. Yet those who will endure to the end will receive their sweetest reward—much more than they have ever imagined.

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Happy New Year everybody!!! 🙂 It’s the first Monday of the year and I’m very excited about the pretty cool resolutions we’ve written down at our Family Home Evening tonight! 🙂


Of course I am bound by the undeclared pact of secrecy that surrounds these things, hence, I won’t be able to share with you what we wrote, but suffice it to say that they involve goals that will improve not only our lives as individuals and as a family, but others’ as well—and so I am extremely pleased! 🙂


I think that the New Year can offer us a clean slate, a new beginning, a time to focus on creating a brighter future and a chance to correct the mistakes of the past. In fact, I believe that in order for us to progress and reach our potentials, it is oftentimes best to look forward and hope for the wonderful things, rather than looking back and dwelling on the bad things that happened in our lives.   


In the coming year, I wish that we would all be able to continue doing the things that we are doing well, and get better at things that we need to improve on. As I always say: Let us all keep on keeping on!! 🙂


Here’s a fun video I found about moving forward and not looking behind us.


Have a great and fabulous year everybody!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)
 
Some time ago, I almost let my negative feelings toward one person get in the way of making a good choice. This person had an unpredictable short temper and would oftentimes be unpleasant to be around. I’ve experienced a few disappointing moments with this person that I tried every possible way I could to keep any type of interaction to a minimum.

Once we were alone together on the floor and I heard this person coughing incessantly. It went on for quite some time and while I would usually just ask if the coughing person was alright under normal circumstances, I held off on inquiring this time to avoid any unnecessary type of communication. In my mind though, constant prodding to offer some sort of relief kept popping up and I tried hard to ignore it.

But after a couple of hours (yes, I was that bad), I finally succumbed to the promptings and asked if the person was alright and if some vitamin C that I always carried in my purse would help ease the itchy throat. This person politely declined the offer, but I felt really good that I overcame my “wickedness” and chose to do the right thing.

Our relationship has not changed since then, but it was a moment that taught me a great principle that choosing to do good—even to those who are not very nice to us—reaps great intangible rewards that will stay with us for a long time. It’s always easier to be bad, but it pays more to be good.

There’s a saying that goes: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” I think that statement is true and I hope that we will all exercise a little bit more of kindness in our lives in the coming weeks.
 
Have a wonderful week ahead and take care everybody! 🙂


 

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)


My sister and I were making fun of my cooking skills yesterday during one of our many just-catching-up phone conversations. We had a good laugh when I told her that my son was able to tell what for dinner was after four guesses by enumerating what I usually cooked from my limited menu. She suggested that we attend a culinary class in order to enhance our cooking prowess and broaden our carte du jour. However, I told her that based on my many, many, (yes!) many years of experience trying to cook delicious meals and not being successful in most of them, I finally realized that cooking is a talent. I find it hilarious how sometimes people cannot tell what kind of cuisine I am serving by merely looking at the dish in front of them! Nyahaha! 🙂


But I am most definitely NOT discouraged! 🙂 I have two of the most avid and supportive kitchen fans in the whole wide world!!! 🙂 I think it’s thoughtful and loving of them to acknowledge my sometimes “creative” cuisines and even have the admirable courage to eat them!!! Hahaha!!! 🙂


How grateful I am for such supportive family members!! I know that the greatest joy we can find is within the walls of our own homes. It is where we learn to love unconditionally, forgive whole-heartedly, serve unselfishly, and be accepted unequivocally.


Once I was talking to a friend who just sent her daughter off to college. She said her daughter called and was feeling homesick on her first week away from home. She was a little worried about her daughter, but I told her that she should look at it as a good indication that she did a great job in providing a loving home for her daughter—enough for her to miss their home when she went away.


I think we should all strive to create a loving and comfortable home environment enough that we would miss it if we ever went away. Let us make our homes a bit of heaven on the earth; and despite the occasional burnt chicken in the oven and the bland beef stew from time to time, let us love and support our family members enough that we may all look forward to the day when we can be with them forever!! 🙂


Take care, everybody! Try to spend more time with your family this week!! And PLEASE watch that chicken in the oven!!! 🙂

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