informal theme

tubaga daw beh...

nagaraya-mode :p (natubag pud...)
How are you?
(salamat buen jr. at careful ka sa tanong mo.
napahinto ako dun ah.)

hm, if you (me)heard the words you need to hear,
life has never been better.
How long do you intend to minister?
like, until Jesus comes back?
How do you feel about yourself?
kaka-opera. oucharap.
Is there something unhealthy with you today?
even a hint of paranoia is poisonous.
Why do you say the words you say?
sometimes i forget about the why.
carelessness in careful thoughts,
words wade through without the why.
Lacking good words to speak?
tahimik nalang dapat, ano?
women daw are like this.
the more we speak, the more things get wrong.
the more we correct the wrong,
the worst it gets.
deliverance :p
Why do you do what you do?
kung di dahil sau Lord...
bawas nalang dun sa maraming kapalpakan lately.
What does the Lord have to say about you?
nu nga kaya...
Why do you think your dreams are unreachable?
uy, kala ko reachable not until now...
haaay, wrong self-image--you stung. tsk.
im picking myself up.

Why do you think lesser than your dream?
malaking exposure ito!
Ptr Zhaleen: God doesn't give us dreams that are unreachable.
Why do you let yourself hinder your destiny?
will now resign from the blocking-mode.
Why do you let others challenge your perception about you?
i-ti-turn-off na po ang volume.
no longer challenged, just changed (and be changing).
Why do you hide?
huh, hiding is demonic?
Are you at the right place?
most probably.
Are you with the right crowd?
i love my crowd right now...
a few more changes
and things will be more purposeful.
Why do you take time to believe me?
bakit nga ba Lord?
help me not to waiver in the right amount of self-faith
because You first believe in me and in the things I can do;
then You chose me.
Watta Driver.
Whose hands touched you first?
Excited mode na po talaga to see you.
Beautiful hands that
created me out of
What did you conquer yesterday?
stress. shame.
What will you conquer today?
Why are you answering these questions?
nagbabaka-sakaling matantanan kayong mga dumadaa't tumatakbo sa mahiwagang kalsada ko... kayo'y dumaan--maingay man at nagtatagal kung minsan, ako nama'y natulungan...
Haaaay, Learning Highway.

If we died with him,

we will also live with him;
If we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
If we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

The Journey to [Love]

Of the ninety-plus entries in this blog, this I think would be the most vulnerable (yet). I am a little hesitant, but I'm gonna pen (and post) it anyway for the purposes of blessing you--and I hope it will, dear reader.

Ten. November. Two thousand. I could remember so well how my eighteenth birthday happened--half of it planned, the other a big surprise. I knew there would be a salu-salo at church, so I made invites for my college and high school friends. I cut my hair really, really short--went to school, and my, I love the day (since I promised to cherish each part of it)--
said the best recitation (good, I didn't embarrass myself on my birthday);
had all my classmate's attention (they liked my short bob);
letters and gifts kept coming (they all knew i like letters, at least nagreply na sila sa mga sulat ko);
and the teasing (grrrr).
On my walk home, I was talking to God. I didn't have my Book of Dreams then, so all my prayers were verbally sent. I was actually looking forward to the Purity Ring Ceremony later that night, but I wanted to tell Him my commitment without the ears of even my closest friends. I'm not showbiz after all. Haha.
Had the ring-giving part at the celebration, but it was later that night when I again closed my day with a prayer to fulfill the prominent vow minus triviality:

Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship. (Yeah, you have read this from True Love Waits)

Beyond the words above, I really had a growing intention of honoring the Lord even in the area of my emotions. Every time I get letters and cards from guys, my mom got to read them. A must. Although I have a bunch of closest friends, I didn't have one to call my BFF. But it saved me, too! My mom always wanted to know my issues first than hearing it from somebody else. And secretly, I said, Don't worry, Ma, you won't be hearing things late.

I tread the Love Road quite carefree and a bit more cautious than any girl in my circle. I wasn't into guys and into relationships, yet mushy things like these still happened:
I had a classmate that had his binder full of drawings of me. He would write me poems and good luck cards every time I join a contest in school. I was flattered, but I didn't like it.

I had an unplanned lunch date with another guy when we saw each other at the mall. When he caught me at McDonald's, he followed me there and got to pay the lunch. It was awkward (the talk was). I was flattered, but I didn't like it.
When mama was invited to speak at a Christmas gathering, the family who would be hosting her said that she'd bring me. I was excited then. But I didn't know what was up. Saturday night before Thanksgiving, their son took me to his classmate's reunion, and the whole class knew me. That was weird, I thought. After the uneasy time at the party, he toured me around town. I was flattered but I didn't like it.
Then there were youth camps of course. The hand-cuff moments which made me curious. I was the youngest of the Davao Team and thought I would be excused, especially because Papaps was the keynote speaker. I was teasing all my churchmates (like the tease that I am), until I got my turn. I thought I could run away and just repent for the mischief I made that camp night. It was too late. I was in cotton cuffs with the cute chinese guy. Though he was polite, and--yeah, again, I was flattered but still I didn't like it.
I could remember, too one of Chem's buddies in high school who was a basketball athlete. He sent me cards with all the familiar verses inscripted. I was almost blessed--haha--he wasn't a Christian at that (Chem, did you coach him? Tsk. Haha, right, he came to our Wednesday Babad services before... ikaw bat-ana ka!) In BCC-nese, "X na kaayo." And the [kornz] part, I was asked to sign the balloons his friends gave him on his birthday bash (artistahin siya! or ako kaya? ako man ang nagsign sa autograph... cge, ako nalang :p)
There was a church mate who composed a couple of songs. I think they were nice, but I didn't like it altogether.
A bright chinese guy in college asked me to spend time with him on his birthday. He wrote me letters and printed me stationeries of my favorite cartoon character (back then, ink is expensive and searching for the graphics take time ug abog pa ang wifi). I was flattered, but I didn't like the idea.
And so were the times I was told that a guy friend fasted for me to be his wife. Wahaha. I was flattered but I certainly didn't like it. (I was planning to fast double time :p).

These were most of the cute, polite and maybe, open ways of pursuing a lady. When I look back, I ask, why didn't I respond? Was it because I didn't like the guy? Yes and No. But a better answer would be--it's because I knew in my heart he wasn't Jacob. What would it be like if all these were done by Jacob and with Jacob? What would Jacob think if I gave a part of my heart with any of these guys, when actually I gave a part of my time already... Haaay, Jacob... If you only get the picture of the rehearsals I'm into just to say "sorry" for all these.

I always (and will always) believe that men do the initiation (or is it initiating?). Girls should never be forward, they respond or regulate. Girls should never even be unnecessarily open about who they like except to their leaders or parents who can be accountable with them and their feelings. Other than that, she just have to wait and be in prayer.
Rachel and Jacob were shepherds. Unless we go through the season of prioritizing God's call for us to pastor young people (that's so specific, just for starters), we have no right to ask God's hand on any other issue we have.
Rachel waits in preparation. And some girls are Leah's--just out there watching--and learning. I have learned that we might as well combine the three: work, wait and watch (out for our season).

Much of my college years was spent in ministry and passionate surrendering of my own causes. Like the mysterious girl that I am in school and church, I was always asked who's the guy I like. My answers would range from Joel Houston to Prince William--definitely in emotional slumber for years! But just like Lisa Bevere said, Sleeping Beauty neither soiled nor aged... she even became more beautiful in her rest. I have a lot of working to do in terms of my character and skill, and so I guess, it's just right to be emotionally at rest. It's a time of beauty preparation (Queen Esther)--a painful shaping in the vital areas such as ministry, socialization, cultural, and domestic life. Song of Songs 8:4 says Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.If you have awakened and think that you should still be asleep, lull yourself back to sleep. It's an effort, I know. But you can do it!
I could not forget this blog post:
It's better to be asleep a hundred years and be awakened by the right prince than to be kissed a hundred times by the wrong frog. To learn with a friend, all guys have their frog seasons... I'd agree and will add, all girls have to be sleeping beauties but they are first Cinderella's, too--having seasons in cinders and rags.

Not until the time is right and the heart is healed.

Careful, careful! I always tell my girls (and all the young people in my life--in-my-life talaga noh?) to be careful with the way we carry ourselves. From dressing up to the words we use--we attract men (girls, for the guys' case). It's normal. And it should be that way. However, we have to be extra careful not to cross emotional lines. Simple text messages such as take care's could be entertained by the receiver (which I call the Care Taker) and be a sign to the sender (the Care Giver, wahaha) that the receiver takes those subtle gestures. If not guarded, the two could send wrong signals. Who said wrong signals could turn right along the way? Weak foundations get destructive with time.
I have met a lot of young people that are not in relationships but are actually in emotional marriages (at worst, emotionally attached in a one-sided way). Like strands of strings, the mutual understanding attaches the two little by little. They slowly demand attention from each other and in some cases, display ways of being a couple, just minus the officiality. With time, if the playing around doesn't work, they try to pull away from each other, but it's a lot harder now since the bonds are there.
I have seen this over and over (sadly, inside church... I can't demand much from the world, anyway). And I'm amenable to the fact that I was scared I'll be involved in such activities. So I came up with rules: R.A.'s such as the Rejoice Act 1982--Anti-Take Care Law. Wahaha. Another is--no giving of phone numbers to strangers; do not reply to suggestive inquiries (except for ministry matters... and in one case, I got this reply: Then make me your ministry! Aba, matalino!) And so the list of rules kept stretching. Did I keep them all? Yes, most of the time (Ms. Imperfect, tsk). Did the rules help? Definitely. The rules are temporary and the victims may claim victims, but I hope we would together appreciate later how this stupid (if they are) rules guard us.

I admit, I am a loner at times, but I do not feel alone most of those moments. The sad thing about loneliness is we can be surrounded by a lot of people and still feel alone. In fact, I was open to the notion that if God calls me to celibacy, then obedience is the best form of worship. Myles Munroe said that we do not enter relationships because we want to be completed. We will be in a relationship because we are healed, whole again and ready to bless the other person. Like two eggs readied for omelet, each are first two wholes that will be beaten together. Neither can be separated after they are joined together. Just make sure that each are good eggs. One being rotten will spoil the whole serving.

No Boyfriend Since Birth, pity!? But, hehe, I admit I'm part of this deplorable club and my co-members most-of-the-time grieve themselves since fate signed up for them. The other half (where I belong, tsk) of the NBSB's (or NGSB's) pride themselves of being a part of this prestigious sorority (what would you call your group guys? Fraternity?), making the experienced feel inferior of being in (or having been into) relationships. Sorry about that. But the good news is oh so good it would shame the proud (oo, kasali ako dun): Anyone who reaches for the Cross and allows him/herself to be crushed and crucified in full surrender of his/her ugly past and present--and even the meager dreams of the future--will be restored. To desire a personal encounter and a destiny-changing experience of God's grace will allow all of us to start pure. Being in this new and glorious state, we are joyfully compelled to pursue God's call first--To love God and love people. Way to go, NBSE's and NGSE's!

is a term coined by Pastor Jonathan and my brother, Migz. It may sound like one of the names of the female networks in BCC, but it is definitely not a prophecy (In Jesus' Name!) In one of their dynamic tugudugdug discussions, they probed on the possibility of being a eunuch for Christ... I have learned so much from them, Pastor Jo, being married for six years now and Bem who has never been into a relationship (at least that's what I know, hehe, peace, Bem!). But they'd still end up concluding that in the vision, marriage is important. Men can only minister to men; women relate deeper and [safer] to women; and only the married have the authority to minister to the married. They reasoned, almost all of our young people [will] marry and the need for pastoral care will not cease. Hmmm?
Squarely, the Lord plans that god-fearing and responsible people build households that honor Him. Indeed, it's time to produce regenerate minds in healthy homes.

(Here are the choices by the way:
In grade school, we had a lot of boys-vs.-girls games. Often times, I would lead the girls team.
I was always assertive, competitive and protective. My young mind believed that girls can always do things without the boys, and excel. If I met Lisa Bevere in her teens, we would be best friends. But her tried growth and persistent seeking of the Lord led her to a revelation that women (yes, that's us girls, when we grow up---nakijoin noh?) are the answers. God gave Adam an enormous task in Eden. Yes, he didn't complain that the Lord didn't give him a partner when every animal had. But it was the Lord who saw the need and supplied Adam the answer in His own way and time. What a thoughtful God!

I knew people wanted to know someone not remote, but personally, I, too was asking myself Who?. There was no one, except Jacob (can be Isaac, or David, too... but let's just use Jacob for consistency ;)--somebody who doesn't really exist you'd complain. Haha, of course he does (now I'm insisting!). He is presently in a mold. Uhm, well, just like I am.
Who-I'm-spending-my-life-with comes second to Why-I'm-spending-my-life-with-Him. Trend-setting? Dati na pong uso ang purpose-driven life. Hahaha.
If I may put an order in the questions, it would be: WHY-WHO-WHEN. HOW and WHERE can be somewhere in between I guess. HOW--always a unique story but should always honor Christ. WHERE--as long as there are people who needed God's touch in their lives.

Joanna Castellanos-Proenca, in her book, iLove, enourages young people to make a Book of Dreams. It will be a book of prayers and conversations with God, since dreams are the language of God (akala ko pa naman, Bisaya). It will include the desires you want in a future mate. So, I made one. And the realizations brought me far which now humble me. I thought I could best things alone. But the dreams of becoming a great wife and mother can never be done alone, or can it be? :p

The Book of Dreams helps me know Jacob more and I sure will recognize [him] when he comes. Until then, I'd keep my hands clasped, knees bent and heart guarded. (Or is there a knock outside? kadali lang. False alarm? Pagkapait, labaw na kung kanunay nalang false alarm. Hahaha.)

I was told I would attract who I am. So I made a list of Jacob's qualities and mine. My cousin, kuya Jojo said, they should be compatible, the non-negotiables are the same, and the negotiables complement. Last Saturday, I remember myself telling Amor (we were rehearsing for her preaching the next day on Sexuality): If Jacob would come, would I like him? (she laughed). And would he like me? (hmmm...)

It’s always been a mystery to me
How two hearts can come together
And love can last forever
But now that I have found you, I believe
That a miracle has come
When God sends the perfect one
Now gone are all my questions about why
And I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life

I wonder what God was thinking
When He created you
I wonder if He knew everything I would need
Because He made all my dreams come true
When God made you
He must have been thinking about me

I promise that wherever you may go
Wherever life may lead you
With all my heart I’ll be there too
From this moment on I want you to know
I’ll let nothing come between us
And I will love the ones you love

Bridge: He made the sun He made the moon
To harmonize in perfect tune
One Can’t move without the other
They just have to be together
And that is why I know it’s true
You’re for me and I’m for you
‘Cause my world just Can’t be right
Without you in my life

He must have heard every prayer I’ve been praying
Yes He knew everything I would need
When God made you
When dreams come true
When God made you
He must have been thinking about me

And hey, I have high bars for Jacob, so I should be working well, too, eh? To be spiritually determined, involved and committed; socially flexible; academically excellent; physically tessellate; culturally-mannered; and financially wise. So, help me God. (and help me, Mom.)

Summer 2004, we attended a Missions Mobilization Conference for two weeks. Then, at the last service, our family was prayed for in front of the 17 congregations in joint service. Dr. Michael Brown prayed long for Papaps, then for Mamams. He then prayed for us three and his emphasis was--weird--on our marriages. (Haha. Sorry for the laugh. Uhm, Sarah is that you?) Lalai would always remind mom of that prayer. But our very forward biological mom (who happens to be my spiritual mom, too) would always remind us to wait and pray. (Is it not watch and pray?).
I like being in a conversation with Mamams. She's animated but direct to the point and I am always left in high hopes yet grounded every time we share deep things. For the nth time, she said, she and Papaps had been praying for our future mates but we still have to brave the decisions we're going to make. Her assuring words spell covering, love and trust for me. (Sometimes, I wish* she does not trust me that much, so she'd make decisions--HEART decisions with me--all the time. I am not so tough, after all).

I entitled this entry as Journey to [Love], as if I have a good grasp at the subject. But let's check Martin Smith of Deliriou5?'s song first:

Looking into yesterday and all the dreams that heaven sent.
Maybe love will come our way
And when I stand upon the land I threw the dreams into the sea
Maybe they will rise again

And maybe, maybe love will come our way
And maybe hope will come to us again

What is this thing called love?
I know I've found it, it's in your eyes
What is this thing called love?
I know I've found it, it's in your eyes

Looking to the 'morrows dreams
And all the secrets that they hold
Patiently waiting for these days
And when I look into the sky I see that
hope is coming soon
Praying love will come again

And maybe, maybe love will come our way
And maybe hope will come to us again

Love? Jesus. It's giving what the other (people) needs; It giving what the Other (the Father) wants; It's expressing even when the other (the person) isn't perfect.
1Corinthians 13 speaks more of what love is and I could never disagree.
Love. Am I capable of this?

Muddy. Stony. Dusty. Rough. Smooth. Love is either or sometimes, all.
It is long. Some would prefer shortcuts but end up missing the necessary and enriching part of the process. It is hard. I am delaying the things that I think would gratify me.
It is long. We can't skip parts--friendship and the voice of the adults. It is hard. We are misinterpreted at times.
It is long. The waiting sucks when worries come. It is hard. The doubts are torturing.
It is long. It is hard.The prayers--oh how I need them. If my parents (and a number of caring people) pray for me, I, too should do my own silent and consistent rantings. Emotional decisions--it's make or break. When it's time to walk that way, let's do it well just like Brooke Fraser said:

In the autumn on the ground, between the traffic and the ordinary sounds

I am thinking signs and seasons while a north wind blows through
i watch as lovers pass me by
Walking stories - whos and hows and whys
Musing lazily on love, Pondering you
I'll give it time, give it space and be still for a spell
When it's time to walk that way we wana walk it well

I'll be waiting for you baby
I'll be holding back the darkest night
Love is waiting til we're ready, til it's right
Love is waiting

It's my caution not the cold
there's no other hand that i would rather hold
the climate changes, im singing for the strangers about you
dont keep time, slow the pace
Honey hold on if you can
the bets are getting surer now that you're my man

I could right a million songs about the way you say my name
I could live a lifetime with you and then do it all again
and like I can't force the sun to rise or hasten summer's start,
neither should I rush my way into your heart

I'm the youngest of the six female youth network leaders who are 35, 30, 29, 28, 27 (and 26). Our Monday night close cell meetings would not end without the juicy heart musings. When the teasing stick turns on me, I would always tell them I'd let them marry first. These ladies, (my Ate's) are blessings to me. Being surrounded by them, I find the waiting season worth and rich. Worry caves in subtly in the talks and gets me realizing that we're not following the human calendar, but God's. If God plans that our eldest marries at 38, then wala pa gyud siya nabiyaan sa sakyanan! I tell them if God's calendar has me scheduled to marry at 25, then maybe, I am the one missing the chance. And we all were laughing out loud.
To be serious, it isn't about the age. Age plays the least of the factors in marrying. One can be thirty, and still act very childish, emotionally indecisive and unstable. It's rather in the purpose and preparedness, I guess.

We are all each other's books. We would now or one day exchange stories and I hope we get to learn and be blessed by each other. The next generation is watching and waiting, too. Let them be a part of the story's purpose. To release the pen and let God author yet another unique, uncompromising and birthed-out-of-prayer kind of story would be a step of faith... Let's all position ourselves for victory as we conquer the journey to [love].

xx No rush xx
Entry is dedicated to Mamams, Lai, my Twelve, ang power na mga Agilas, my Close Cell sisters (Te Emma, Indai, Te Debbz, Juvy and Ating), the PK's and you (xempre apil ka, ngano bitaw gibasa-basa nimu ning akong notebook! :p).
It has been my heart to write something about emotions. It took me a while. Sorry. I was held captive of my own fears and reasons. But the weight is heavier now. And your struggles are beyond my bearing
(wala lang, trying hard lang na maki-load lift). You, being able to reach this part of this writing, I hope you're with me in becoming more committed and chaseable to the grave. Toodles.

PS: NBSE/NGSE=No Boyfriend (Girlfriend) Since Encounter! :p

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