Loving and giving are Christmas components. Although we say that everyday should be Christmas, it is never easy to be loving and giving especially to individuals who continue to push the wrong buttons, rub us the wrong way or have a whole different value system compared to ours.
But sometimes, we fail to realize that if they are a work in progress, so are we! It is really a (physical) conscious effort on our end to embrace diversity, and be loving (and forgiving) particularly to people we don’t see eye to eye with.
To fore-give is to give grace ahead of time and grace undeserved, hence forgiving is giving: forgiving a parent, forgiving a sibling, forgiving a spouse, forgiving a friend, and even the grace of forgiving one’s self.
We may not have the ability of choosing our parents, family or present circumstances, but we have the ability of choosing forgiveness either of past pain or of future hurts, simply because we value the person more. Despite the many flaws of the relationship, we value the hidden heart of the person.
This may be the last Christmas I will be spending with my grandmother before I loose her completely to Alzheimer’s disease but I am thankful that I got to see her in her prime and had the opportunity to see the person she has become: a gentle, kind and happy soul who has never failed to smile at life’s setbacks while embracing with open arms her severely flawed children and grandchildren. The ability to fore-give and be gentle is courage in itself. My grandmother is the warrior woman personified.
As we hold our breaths in anticipation and celebrate another Christmas with ‘strangers’ we can barely stand, it is the mere act of forgiveness that makes us ‘family’.
Thank you Grammy for teaching me this not through words, but through your life.
When you turn 30, you’re supposed to act your age. Like what the rest of society is expected from a full grown person who’s supposed to be on their own, most likely married by now and popping babies, left and right.
But I don’t have a husband and I am carefully thinking where I can buy a customized one. Plus, I still have to decide whether I would like to go through the excruciatingly, painful process of child birth. (RANDOM THOUGHT ~ In this day and age of advanced medicine, there must be a way to keep the birth pains down a notch either by a new pill, procedure, conditioning, etc. It’s the 21st century after all, we should have something by now, right?)
Believe me, 30 years was a work in progress. I’m just relieved I even managed to get this far!?
Deep down, I have always been a kid at heart. Case in point, I came up with two very substantial examples: Adventure Time and fast food. 😉
Growing up on Disney movies, it was a no-brainer that I would love cartoons. I’ve sang with my nieces to the tune of Elsa’s Let it Go so many times already it’s sickening. Then there’s my infatuation with Wall-E, how convenient it would be to have a robot for a pet especially one who can do my house chores, and to have Alladin’s Genie as your best friend. Awesome right?
Lately, I’ve been hooked on Adventure Time. When I’m off the computer, I tune in to that show. I’m not plugging the show in any way, but don’t you just find the characters amusing? I am particularly fond of Lumpy Space Princess (LSP), who can be an annoying drama queen, is very self-centered and at times, arrogant but who you can’t help but love thanks to her saving grace of sassiness, sweetness, loyalty, intuitiveness and resourcefulness that, most often than not, gets her out of the most ridiculous situations.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out Lumpy Space Princess here –
[NOTE: Adventure Time is a PG rated cartoon. There are parts of the program that need parental supervision and guidance. Parents, you have been warned.]
And also, this comes as no surprise to most of you, I’m not much of a cook. The irony is that I come from a family that are fantastic cooks! Both my parents (and brother) cook. My grandmother on my father’s side is also a great one. She’s Visaya and all manner of home entertaining, she has down to a tee. While on my mother’s side (all Kapampangan), every single person in that family knows their way around the kitchen. During dinner, I would sometimes think, maybe the “cooking gene” skipped a generation — and guess who the lucky tadpole was?
“You maybe good at the computer, but your useless in the kitchen” my mom would sigh.
But I am an appreciative audience. Really. I don’t nitpick on food. I eat whatever’s served. Yup, I’m a good tadpole in that sense. 😉
The idea of food has always had a more practical use for me: it’s only good when I’m hungry.
Don’t tell anyone this, but I can live on fast food alone. Ssssh…Although, I do have my (never ending) goals to eat healthy and live a clean lifestyle.
If it weren’t for my family’s cooking, I’d probably be skin and bones. (So a big thanks to my family for keeping me alive! Yey!)
Despite my work as a journalist for a number of publications, being a content provider and social media specialist for some respected companies while running a modest start-up on the side, I can’t help but think — How did I get so lucky?
Truth be told, I would have to give the appreciation to the individuals who’s confidence in my capabilities and skills, to those whose lives I’ve been able to observe whether in their home, at work, with family or otherwise, have all been a cumulative source of inspiration.
For sharing your life with me, for showing me how it is be kind, how it is to share, to not take oneself too seriously, to constantly place a high premium on competence and integrity while reminding me to keep both feet firmly planted on solid ground. I dedicate this post to you. Thank you.
You have been an inspiration to me and I hope I could be the same with people I come in contact with for the remainder of my days. I hope that by the time I write on my 60th birthday, on this very same website, 30 years from now, I’ll be able to look back and reminisce what a privilege my life has been.
There is this verse that is very close to my heart which I also try to live every single day “He has told you oh man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)
Thank you for being a part of my 30 years. Happy birthday to me.
Old Lady Signing Off,
My Transformation (err, mutation?) through the years…
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.