Tag Archives: Lord

Drowning out the noise

I made a blunder over Facebook wherein I commented on a friend’s status on marriage and she privately told me that she was no longer married. Right then and there, I wanted the earth to swallow me whole out of embarrassment.

Marriage scares the sh** out of me. Well, to put it more subtly, I am TERROR-STRICKEN with the concept.

But despite the fear, I would like to be married to one person, and start a family of my own as well one day. However the statistics of divorce, annulment and separation are getting so high even here in the Philippines, I am pained to think that marriage has no more meaning anymore.

I value marriage so much that I am careful who I see or date.

It is critical that me and my (future) spouse see eye to eye on a lot of things that involve parenting, roles between husband and wife, financial matters, lifestyle and yes, most importantly, our spiritual lives.

They say, if you put the Lord in the middle of your relationship, everything will work out on its own. I would like to believe that.

I would like to think that my (future) marriage would be so strong that it will weather out affairs, financial hurdles, the challenges of being a parent, death in the family and yes, even boredom from one another if we put the Lord in the center of it all.

I read somewhere that so many people wish and hope for the right husband or wife to marry, but they seldom pray to BE the right spouse to their partner. It’s always what we want, what we can get in return and never actually caring/serving the person you chose to marry.

I am guilty of this. I seldom look at myself and what I need to work on: my stubbornness, my headstrong personality, my bossy attitude. I don’t look at myself because I am too busy looking for someone who can cater to what I want in partner.

Obviously, I am not ready for marriage and needless to say, I have so many things to work on.

So when does one know when one is ready for marriage, really?

I’ve had my share of temptation and honestly it has not been easy for me. With invitations here and there, I am constantly tempted to forgo the marriage thing and throw caution to the wind.

But every fiber of me says “Wait. Stand firm, Paula”.

I am slowly realizing the difficult part of Love, the waiting.

There is this verse in the Bible which has been used to encapsulate what Love really means. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked,does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Cor 13:4-7

Do I show the qualities of love? Am I patient? Am I kind? Do I endure? Do I bear all things? Do I act arrogantly or unbecomingly? Am I easily angered? Do I constantly seek out my own?

I want to drown out the noise and focus on what is the substance of a fruitful and rewarding relationship and it will have to, painfully, start with one’s self.

Miss Tolentino still has so much pruning to do.

Building My Empire

Have you realized your maximum earning potential? I thought I did.

But it turns out, with God‘s grace, I can do so much better.

My journey has been really awesome and I am still overflowing with excitement about the years to come.

I can’t take all the credit. There are some unsung heroes in my book: Former colleagues who became my friends, friends who became business partners, people I meet along the way and ofcourse, the Lord.

It’s amazing when you’re really honest with someone. Things just fall together. You both click in terms of goals in life, what you want to achieve and what you can become. Eventually, you’re throwing ideas back and forth and realize there is so much to do, so many mountains to conquer and so much potential in this life.

There came a point in my life where I questioned purpose. What is my purpose here on this planet?

Back in the day, I tied my self-worth to company titles and the amount of money I was making. Boy was I a very silly girl.

In this world, money and titles are the tools that measure one’s intelligence (power), self worth (honor) and the number of people who work under you (influence).

I knew I was an intelligent girl, but was it really that necessary to show to the world that I was? Why did I have to measure to society’s standards of my self-worth? There must be more than this.

This lady that I used to work for was so bitter in her job because management treated her so bad. She wanted to get out but couldn’t because that would mean loosing her prestigious corporate title and compensation. She could not fathom the fact that she would just have to resort to being another manager in another company, when in the present company she was in; she got a little bit of “respect”.

You get boxed in. Your choices become limited because you’re too scared of what society will think of you. This is a tragedy in itself.

I don’t want to be that scared in my life. I don’t want to waste all my good years for something as fleeting as corporate titles and money. I refuse to be cornered like a whimpering dog.

The pressure to keep up will consume you.

Did you know that the country with the highest suicide rate is Japan? The reason for suicide: Unemployment.

Wow.

No way. Not me. I refuse. I will not be cornered.

Going on my own has given me so much freedom I didn’t know existed. I became my own person. I provide a service and get paid for it but this time without the bureaucracy and boot licking.

I didn’t have to live up to anybody’s standards except my own and those are: quality of services rendered and professionalism.

Have you watched the TV series Innovators: The Men Who Built America? I get so inspired by these visionaries. They move the world through their courage to defy the odds.

I know I have a long, long way to go in my journey but I am extremely optimistic about the possibilities.

The president of a foreign-owned company who has become a good friend of mine once told me:

Paula, you will fail. Not only once or twice, but many times and this will happen sooner or later. My advice: keep going…

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 

My Quiet Time Struggles

ThankyouGodformylifeandsorryforallmysins.Amen.Goodnight.

Zzzz…

This encapsulates my quiet time with the Lord: In the evenings, before I doze off.

Bad.

In the Christian life, quiet time is required. If not, a prerequisite to really grow in your spiritual walk.

Quiet time is best done in the mornings, a few minutes before you get out of bed. Quiet time prepares and sets you for the rest of the day.

I do mine by putting on Gospel music, lying in bed, raising my hands and then going back to bed (to sleep, nonetheless). Yes, quite funny a sight.

Quiet times with me are all done in a hurry, everything in short cut. I am very lazy to do my quiet time. (Which also explains why I have been getting into trouble lately) 😉

I brought this up with my group. And my D-Group leader has been very understanding.

For the past week, she calls me up first thing in the morning (more of like my alarm clock), then says have you done your quiet time? I say yes. She asks, what scripture have you read? I say I will have to open my bible again because I just made highlights. Then she asks have you done journaling? No, but I do highlight some parts in the Bible and she giggles, saying “Pau, you also need to do journaling or scripture won’t stick”…

I must say, despite my leader’s cool, calm and jovial exterior, she’s one tough spiritual leader.

I say, sheepishly…Ok… I will try do journaling…And she ends the call and sweetly reminds me, ‘Let’s talk later over at MBS. Please attend Pau’.

Why do I suddenly feel like a child in need of constant reminding? So embarrassing (shakes head).

My quiet time needs to seriously improve.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:6

A Single Woman’s Perspective

 

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:4

For single Christian men who are reading this, let me give you the inside dope:

I ain’t these things, homie.

So, feel free to move on.

My personality and temperament is not wired like this.

I get angry when provoked. I am playful and giddy when happy. I am honest to a fault. And from time to time, I get sad as well. In other words, I am all woman.

I don’t apologize for these things. With God’s grace, I am perfectly okay with who I am today.

I know I will ruffle a few feathers here (and I know my Christian friends will forgive me nonetheless for this boldness), but I honestly don’t have any plans of becoming a Pastor’s wife.

I want to be the wife of a decent human being who is secure in his spiritual walk with the Lord. Men who are legalistic robots are not for me.

With God in the center of our relationship, I would want my future husband to focus on our marriage and our family. That’s it. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

The reason I am writing this is because in as much as women want everything perfect: A Godly husband, family, stable finances, etc. we all have to live with non-believers. And to box oneself in a particular group will hinder growth.

You want to improve on your spiritual walk? Go out and meet new people!

I noticed that I pray harder and rely more on the Lord when I am in the midst of non-Christians.

If the Lord does give me a good, stable and secure man, then thanks a lot! I don’t deserve it but huge, huge thanks!

In the meantime, I will enjoy God’s greatest gift to me: My Vibrant Single Life 😉

My Poison of Choice

My liquor preference would revolve around three drinks: A margarita, mojito or at times, tequila. Beer always left a bitter after taste which is why I never had any inclination to it.

The penchant for drink happened during my college years when my dorm mates would sneak in a few bottles and we would get so rowdy and wasted on so much liquor it became funny.

With tequila and sadness in hand, I got so wasted my legs turned to jelly. I was literally crawling on the floor with vomit all over my shirt. It was embarrassing. I was throwing up till I had nothing to throw up anymore.

Just a few years ago, on vacation with a couple of girlfriends, I got so wasted on booze a friend had to help me walk. But the party didn’t stop there. My friend had this awesome idea of finishing another bottle while I dozed off. At the end (and from what I hazily remember from that night), she practically trashed our bathroom. Good thing by this time we were all locked in our hotel room or else she would have had the bright idea of going straight to the beach for a dip!

It’s funny as I look back, they were really crazy years.

My family (I will not say whose side) has the attraction for alcohol. To this day, our fridge and cabinet is stocked with booze. Whenever we have guests, liquor is always on the menu. It can’t be helped.

And since coming to know the Lord, it has become hard for me to let go of that lifestyle. It is a constant struggle. I love going out. I enjoy a good night with girlfriends and usually, it’s not a great night unless there’s booze in the equation.

When I feel anxious and restless, I would call up a girl friend to share a few drinks with me. But its because I simply crave the company.

I love alchohol not because I like the taste but because it releases me from my inhibitions. I laugh harder. I enjoy myself better (although in a dizzy sort of way). For a moment, my problems are gone. For a moment, I am numb. Even if its just for a moment.

Is it a sin to love this kind of lifestyle? Because I miss it so much. I still enjoy (and constantly look for) my drunken nights.

I can’t say with full conviction that I have weaned off liquor permanently.

I asked a friend of mine why he drank so much, he said liquor is the only thing to fill the empty void. His demon, emptiness. Mine could be the lethal cocktail of pain, loneliness and sadness.

We all have our demons. Can the Lord help remove my desire for alcohol? To exorcise me permanently from my demons? I have realized I can’t do it on my own.

A friend of mine prodded me to join this workshop. Later did I know I was in a circle with people who shared the same struggles as I have. A lady in my group mentions spiritual warfare a number of times. What it means, I don’t know exactly or what it has to do with my issues, I’m just hoping that these sessions will be the answer to my questions.

I’m just taking it one day at a time. So wish me luck.