Hello, it’s the last year of 2006 and I still can’t connect through FTP so the layout will really just have to wait. Perhaps there’s other things God wants me to put in the layout so it’s waiting. Just be surprised when I have it up. :P
Anyway, I’ll be out later to go to my aunts’ house in QC for a pre-New Year visit, so I’ll be doing this 2006 look back now. I’d upload pictures, but it seems like I won’t be able to…so I’ll just link lots of stuff and re-post pictures I have lying around the site.
So…2006 was a year of fulfilled (and still being fulfilled) promises. 2004 eventful, 2005 was quiet, and 2006 was a year where I believed in God’s promises for me and the people I love; and also a year where I learned to branch out a little bit. Without further a do…here’s the monthly look-back I love doing. :P
Oh, and before you click that, I warn you this is going to be a long entry. :P
JANUARY. I started the year with just my brother, since my parents were out of the country. We went to Robinson’s Galleria for lunch with his girlfriend and on our way home (well, my way, since they were just planning to drop me off there), we saw this:
It was the rainbow that affirmed me of God’s promise that He has everything in His control. That time, the thing I was mostly worrying about was thesis, and well, thesis! I had a consistent prayer time because I wake up early every morning at the dorm to pray before working on our thesis, and most of the times were spent inside the thesis room, programming, eating and laughing. We were on the verge of dropping thesis since everyone else seemed to be dropping, but we ended up sticking to it: FIGHT!
Thankfully, there was time for me to go to households and overnights for YFC, although there was this one overnight that got my heart broken in a few places because of something I was suspicious of and became jealous about. The theme song for the month was Take My Love by Shane & Shane, with me singing these lines to my heart:
I think I read I annot love the world and love You
Take my love and plant it deep where life is found in You…
Plant it in the heart of thee, I’m tired of trying to believe
I’ve worn out all my strategy,
There’s nothing I can do, Lord.
All in all, January was eventful.
FEBRUARY. February was even more thesis, seeing as the deadline was at the end of the month. There were, however, some welcome distractions, like the NTREPRE Valentine’s Bazaar where we sold Chicken ala King and shakes, which were a hit in the lobby, much thanks to Baban. I got to go to Divisoria for the first time because of this! Haha. There was also midterms, other subjects we had to tackle, and of course, we shouldn’t forget thesis. :P
Valentine’s Day this year was also subdued because we were all busy, although a small part of me is hoping that someone would give me something on that day (and I picked out what I wanted to give too: a mushy Moshimaro stuffed toy which was only P100, sold at the lobby during the bazaar). I ended up buying that for myself. Other than that, my mom arrived from Saipan, and I missed GK1MB because of the final thesis overnight at Rye’s house. We finished our thesis then. :P
As for lessons learned…there was this particular household that was my favorite among all our Execom households. It was held at The Old Spaghetti House, where Greg talked about dreams, and how God makes use of our experiences to make us who He wants us to be…and I quote (from a past entry):
â€¦maybe I was asking for the wrong thing from God. Greg told us to follow Solomonâ€™s example: ask God for the wisdom to understand what was happening in my life, and the wisdom to see what He wants our thesis to be. Like I said, I could just ask Him to make us pass, pronto, but then I wouldnâ€™t be able to grow in Him. God isnâ€™t really concerned with the result we produce; Heâ€™s more concerned of the process we go through. I figured I should ask for the wisdom to see where God wants me to arrive â€” not only with my thesis, but with my last term in college.
– me, February 6, 2006
Songs for the month would have to be God Only Knows by Joy Williams and Back to Me by Building 429:
You’ve had your fill of questions,
There’s so much that you need to know.
But I don’t blame you for asking,
But it’s time to let go of control.
I’m sorry for what you’re feeling,
please hold on to this hope.
– God Only Knows, Joy Williams
But the second song has a bigger impact on me seeing that it brought me through thesis:
When the world is closing in, youâ€™re breaking down
Youâ€™re crying out but there is no answer
When you call, just close your eyes and know that
This twisted road eventually, is gonna lead you back to Me.
– Back to Me, Building 429
MARCH. Ah, I liked this month not only because of my birthday but there was so many victories in this month that it’s just amazing. First off was our EK testing for thesis. This was fun, although there was some kind of annoyance the day before it. That night, there came a very revealing moment that got me hurting until I got to the Animo Camp, but God was there for me all throughout. The moment I allowed myself to feel the emotions I have the right to feel, well, everything tumbled out in tears and I got out feeling so much better after.
Of course, I will not forget the day we passed our thesis defense! It was an early birthday present, and I believe God gave me a vision the month before because I saw the four of us getting out of the defense room, laughing. It was such a victorious moment, and then I realized how short my time in school is after. How about that!
Then there’s the 20th birthday, where God made me realize two things: (1) I’m not as patient as I thought I was; and (2) It’s not about me. Both are equally important, although the second one just snapped me out of “Why didn’t I have any birthday surprise from my YFC friends?” thoughts. Again, I quote:
Anyway, the second and most important lesson I learned yesterday is this: ITâ€™S NOT ABOUT ME. To be totally honest, I was kind of expecting a surprise thingie done by my friends because, well, we do that to each other. Even if I was pushing it at the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping for an honest to goodness â€œI canâ€™t believe you went through all thisâ€ kind of surprise. I wanted to receive a cake, flowers and get all the people I care for to be there with me for my birthday and hear all the nice things they have to say about me. After all, itâ€™s MY day.
But it didnâ€™t arrive. I got a different kind of â€œsurpriseâ€, which was cool, yeah. But I have to admit that I was disappointed. When I got back to the dorm, I was kind of expecting a hidden surprise there that my friends managed to set up, but there was still nothing. I pushed the disappointment away and just fixed my stuff to be ready for bed that night. Then I reached for my copy of Itâ€™s Not About Me by Max Lucado to read before I sleep. My eyes landed on the cover and I didnâ€™t even turn a page when I was struck dumb with all I am thinking.
ITâ€™S NOT ABOUT ME.
Even if itâ€™s my birthday, itâ€™s not about me. Even if itâ€™s supposed to be MY special day, ITâ€™S JUST NOT ABOUT ME. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME. How dare I ask for a surprise that honors me when my very existence in this earth is not about me, but about God?
The very thought led me to prayer and I thanked God for letting me realize what had happened that day for my birthday. God had taught me a very important lesson, not only in humility but also in the very reason of my existence. It was then I let go of my dream of having the perfect birthday surprise that Iâ€™ve been wishing to have, and the time when I fully accepted my role of being Godâ€™s mirror in this world. My birth is one of Godâ€™s works, and I am here to reflect His glory for others to see. I donâ€™t need the surprise, Iâ€™ll be well and happy to just be able to reflect Godâ€™s goodness to other people. I donâ€™t need people to honor me; I want them to honor the God who has been so gracious to let me live in this world. Itâ€™s not about me, itâ€™s about Him.
Song of the month is From the Inside Out by Hillsong United, especially these lines:
Your will above all else, my purpose remains,
The art of losing myself in bringing You praise.
I am God’s mirror, made to reflect His glory. :)
APRIL. Unofficial goodbye to college! I got my final grades, and even if I didn’t make it to the Dean’s List, I was graduating! There were a lot of events for April. The month started with Bung’s debut, followed by the Metro Manila pep rally where I first heard God’s whisper in my heart on one of His callings for me. It came in the form of a song: “And I would give the world to tell Your story.” I know then that God wants me to write for Him, but the next question is, where? How?
Now one of my most memorable experiences for this year would have to be our Davao trip for the 13th YFC International Leader’s Conference. It’s been my dream to go to Davao since my first ILC, but the venue kept on changing, until it came this time, which, as I think of it now, was just perfect timing. It’s the perfect way to end my school years and transition into a new environment. Davao is HEAVEN. Literally, figuratively and spiritually. It was the best weekend of my life, even if I had only about eight hours of sleep for three days. The worships (10, as I counted), the food, the place, the people, the cheap fares, the talks, the prayers and the bonding we shared was just amazing. Oh, of course, the beach, and the durian. ;)
Yes, I love durian. Sue me. :P
That’s just the first part of April. We also had the first and last formal dance of the batch, The Senior’s Night at The Heritage Hotel. It was fun because dressing up was fun, and I didn’t mind not having a partner. The food was good, and I loved the company, so it was worth it. :D Goodbye, Catch 2t6! The dance got me looking forward to my first slow dance with my future GG, whoever he might be. :P
A few weeks after that, to end my April were two things: I started attending the SFC Christian Life Program, which was my transition into the new world God is bringing me into. It was funny how I got in, but I know it was all God-ordained, so I’m not complaining.
The month ended with the Gawad Kalinga Summer Build at our beloved Dingalan, Aurora, which was even better than last year’s. :) I grew so much darker and heavier, but it was one of the best weeks I’ve ever had as well. :)
So many songs for the month, but one sums it all up: Heaven by Kuya Mike.
Lord, I wanna be in heaven with You
Right by Your side, I’ll stay, worshipping You all day
I will live and die for You
Anything I would do, for heaven is here in my heart. â™¥
MAY. As opposed to April’s activities, May was kind of quiet, probably because it’s summer and there’s not so much money for the most of us. There was the CLP, the movie plans that always got busted, and some controversies surrounding our friends which got us gossiping and getting angry to the max, and got all of us guilty for being such gossipers. This was also the month of discernment, of the things that I must do for my future, and such.
There was a big event, which was the Steven Curtis Chapman concert, although things got spoiled for me because of some feelings that I’m not comfortable divulging in public here. Anyway, I learned a valuable lesson in humility and was amazed at how many people God sent to talk me out of my moods.
The major accomplishment of this month was learning how to drive! Of course, it’s not that I’m driving a lot now, but at least I know I’m capable of driving. :P
Interestingly, there wasn’t a song I recorded for this month in my journals. So song-less month is May.
JUNE. June kind of started badly, with an argument with my mom, which brought me to realize how self-centered I could be. There was also some kind of spiritual emptiness, wherein I learned to always come to Him thirsty. The first half of the month was spent preparing for the upcoming graduation.
The second half opened with graduation, which is one of the proudest moments of my life. It was bittersweet too, although most of us I think, were just happy that it’s over. There were more prayers of discernment mostly for the future, plus some unwanted calls from unexpected job interviews and such. It was the middle of the year, and oddly enough, this was probably the month were I was in limbo most of the time. I didn’t know where I want to go, what I want to do and all that.
Other than that, I got new books from the OMF sale, discovered my first Christian chicklit book and went gaga over High School Musical.
Song for the month was Say Goodbye by Joy Williams:
Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before,
Say hello, say hello to a new beginning.
Say goodbye, say goodbye
To the you I knew before
This is your genesis.
JULY. I was supposed to start looking for a job here but it got postponed because of the Vibal stuff we had to finish. I ended up staying at home all throughout the Job Expo week because I was sick and it was raining, and that was just a totally bad idea because it led to sins I don’t even want to think about anymore. It was a struggling month for me because I felt pressured to choose whatever there is for me out there in the world.
I went to my first job exams and interviews, but at the end of the month, God brought me to an interview that led me to where I am right now. He also reminded me of his promise through a rainbow with a sticker, which assured me that everything will be all right. It was a different month, interesting because of the struggles, and yet amazing because God is faithful.
Songs for the month are Renew Me by Avalon and All You Ask of Me by Building 429, but I won’t be posting lyrics from that, but one of the things that got me through July, which was a book I borrowed from Jomar, The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. Below are the seven decisions for success:
THE SEVEN DECISIONS FOR SUCCESS (Andy Andrews):
- The buck stops here.
- I will seek wisdom.
- I am a person of action.
- I have a decided heart.
- Today I choose to be happy.
- I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.
- I will persist without exception.
AUGUST. August kinda started out not good because I didn’t get the call I was expecting. :( Well, not yet. I got caught in a funk, as my friend Kiddo mentioned in his blog one time. I was pressured to find work, because it feels like time is running out, and the moment when I felt despair, God brought in this blessing which landed me where I am right now. Amazing how He works. He gave me enough time to prepare for it, plus enjoy my last few days as a bum. :P Haha.
This is one of the lines from Ayiesha Woods’ song Days that made a big impact on me this month:
You gotta get through something if you wanna get somewhere.
SEPTEMBER. Ah, the month of big changes, again. But first, the book fair, where I got a huge stash of books and an argument with my best friend. Then came my first day of work, which unnerved me because I felt like a loner in the office. But then God gently prodded me and just told me to obey, and He’ll take care of everything. He gave me friends, a good boss and the feeling of satisfaction of being able to earn my own money. I learned again that God is truly faithful.
The month ended with Milenyo, and another affirmation that I was where I was supposed to be. :P
Song for the month: More Than Useless by Relient K.
OCTOBER. After getting comfortable in my position, God brings me into another place. Kind of scary, but like I said, God is faithful. I got new work in the office, and it was unnerving, but I’m learning. I pretty much concentrated on work for the rest of the month, although the end of the month, I was driven to my knees asking Him for mercy because I kept on doing something I told Him I wouldn’t do anymore. This was the time I finally became accountable to some of the people I’m close to, who I walk with in my faith. Thank God for them.
Oh, and I became a godmother this month! To my handsome godson Sean. :)
Song for the month is the theme of this layout (for now): Go And Sin No More by Rebecca St. James.
NOVEMBER. And even more work! Mygulay! But this month is somewhat fun, because I’m getting the hang of work already. I was also very busy with NaNoWriMo, where I started writing my first Christian/Catholic chicklit. I’m not yet done with that. :P
Highlight of the month was the Hillsong United worship. Aahhh, what a blessing. :) The month ended with a lot of work stuff, and God taught me to be really still and rest in Him despite the chaos all around me. :)
DECEMBER. Parties, parties, and more parties in the office. It was my first Christmas as an employee, and it was fun because I got to share with the holiday spirits in the office. Work was still work, although it was kind of light because of all the parties. This month is kind of indescribable because there were a lot of things I learned, and am still learning that sometimes it gets overwhelming. There are moments where I felt abandoned, but then God puts a gentle hand on my shoulder and turns me into another direction to see a part of the bigger picture and to see what He wants me to do.
December also made me value my family more, seeing as this is one of the Christmases that we’re all together ever since my dad worked in Saipan. This was the first year I got them actual presents, plus a lot of other presents for myself. :P I also got to reflect on how Jesus came into this world, not to live but to die (this is another entry altogether :D). It’s a month of reflection and relaxation, and sure enough, this is to make me ready for the upcoming year. :D
To top it off, I got a haircut for the upcoming year. How about that!
If you read all the way here, you deserve a cookie. Wait, make that a box of cookies. :D 2006 was a year of change, of promises and God’s faithfulness. It’s been good.
2007? I’ll reserve my predictions and resolutions once tomorrow comes. But for now, I have to eat lunch. ;)