12 Things About 2012

Ah. Can you believe that 2013 is almost upon us? It’s so cliche, but I can’t believe 2012 is almost over, when it really feels like it just flew by. Of course there were months that seemed to last forever (I’m looking at you, August and November), but in general everything seemed…I dunno, different.

Wait, I think I always say that about my years.

So if I were to give a theme for 2012, what would it be? Well, my word of the year is love. I can’t say that I was completely loving this year  because I know I wasn’t. But as I have been sharing with my friends in various Christmas dinners this year, I shared that 2012 is the year when I learned to love. Not just romantic love, but love in general. I’m far from an expert, of course, but 2012 was the year that I think God taught me so much about my heart and I am surprised that I even thought I knew myself before.

All in all, 2012 was pretty…good. It was, it was. If I look back at this year, I think I will always look back at this year with fondness, maybe just a little bit more than 2011.

And because we like numbers, and playing with them, ((Or, not really. I don’t like Math.)) here’s 12 things about my 2012:

  1. 2012 is the year of community. One of my goals for this year is to go back to my church community, and I think it was the only goal I actually reached. I am really glad that I found a new spiritual family, and that I have started attending households/small groups again! And I even have a household of my own! :) Other than my church community, I also found myself surrounded by more people who I have learned to really love. They’re people who would cry with you, celebrate with you and would pray for your heart. They’re people you have history with, and you wouldn’t mind building even more history with them too. If you were a part of one of these communities (you know who you are), I just want to you know: I love you. <3 I am so blessed by your presence in my life this year. :)
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11 Things About 2011

I meant to blog last Christmas…but who blogs on Christmas? I mean, you should be with family and all that on Christmas, not blogging! But now that I’m waiting for the year to end, I figure it should be right to write an entry here now.

2011 was one of those years. If there was a theme for 2011, it’s…well, it’s kind of complicated. It’s not as bad as 2009 was, or quiet as 2010 was. It’s…different. And if I were to compare 2011 with the other years in my life, this year reminds me a lot of my 2008 and 2006, which were some of my favorite years. 2011 was kind of that, and with all the things that happened this year, I can’t even remember the others.

But it was good. This year affirmed one of my new favorite verses that I discovered this year, too: The Lord will give what is good. (Psalm 85:13) Because it’s true. The Lord really gives what is good.

So in an effort to get all these things down so I won’t forget, here’s 11 things about my 2011. :)

  1. Travel. The number one thing that I will always, always remember about 2011 were the travel opportunities I had. While I wasn’t able to visit the southern part of the Philippines, I did go to some other places around Luzon: Baguio, Pinatubo and Quezon. And of course, there was…
  2. Europe. This deserves a separate number because it was such a big thing for this year, that sometimes I can’t even believe that it actually happened. Like I said in my final Europe entry, “I know that maybe five, ten years from now (or even next year), there will probably be some other experience that will top this one (especially since I know God delights in surprising His children!), but I will never ever forget these amazing two weeks in August when I was drenched in God’s awesome grace and generosity.” Whenever 2011 comes to mind, Europe will always be the first thing. :)
  3. Concerts. I think this may be the year I went to the most concerts: Anberlin March, Switchfoot April, Mayday Parade July and Jason Mraz October. I thought I would’ve gotten to five, but there were no more artists I wanted to catch, anyway. I wonder what’s in store for next year.
  4. Home. I appreciated “home” more this time, especially when we moved back to our new-old house. Just proves how amazing and faithful God is, after giving us a new home again and giving us peace of mind in the face of the rains.
  5. I took chances. This will probably be a vague number, but just for the record, 2011 was the year I started taking chances. It’s…fun. It may not have ended the way I wanted to, but I don’t think it was a really big loss. Taking chances made me learn so many things about myself, and about life, and I am looking forward to taking more chances next year. :)
  6. I learned to ask. Similar to taking chances, I also learned to ask more this year. God is a generous God, and He delights in fulfilling the dreams of His children — and He gives what is good, remember — so I learned how to ask. And ask. And ask.
  7. I also learned how to say Yes. Well, actually, I learned that first last year, but this year, I saw it more. I saw how my “Yes” can change things, can change my life. And next year, I am going to say yes more.
  8. I also learned the power of No. I never got to write about this, but this year, I also learned about No. It was one of my important things I learned this year, from one of my favorite bloggers — our “No” makes us understand the power and the value of our “Yes”. No isn’t something to be feared, because for every No we get, we are one step closer to Yes. :)
  9. I am and will be okay. This year I learned that I am okay. That if ever I wasn’t okay, I know that I will be. That I am not too attached to the things I have now that I know I am capable of moving on. And I will be okay. :)
  10. There’s no reason to be afraid. Courage, it is me, do not be afraid.Because God is in everything, even in the rain, even in the things we fear and especially in things that we don’t understand. :)
  11. I am blessed with wonderful people in my life. And if somehow I forget about #9 and #10, I just have to look at the people that God has placed in my life. This year was the year of family and friends. I am blessed with a wonderful family (they never stopped being wonderful, anyway) and amazing friends, old and new. From people I have been friends with for over a year who would spend an entire night in pajamas eating food we cooked and playing the longest game of UNO cards ever, to people I can talk books with all day and night, and to people I met on a trip and got to know for two weeks who I know would always have me in their prayers and vice versa. With these people in my life, how can I ever forget how good God is?

In less than 3 hours, 2011 will be gone and it will just be a memory. Soon, we’ll be facing another year of endless possibilities, and the thought of it can be a little overwhelming. But God is already there, and He will give what is good. Remember that. :)

Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2012. :)

Seeds of Wisdom

Also known as: The quotes and verses I put in my planner to start of my 2011 right

Oh you thought I’m done posting here? Of course note. Remember: the newer and emptier and shinier the blog, the more I post. Once this is filled with too many stuff, watch how my posting declines.

That, and I really don’t have much to do today, anyway. :P What a boring peaceful January 1, eh?

Anyway, I was planning to do a post about photos and how I changed from January to December 2010 — a total vain and pic-spammy post, but I decided to leave that for another day because I don’t have Photoshop in my Mac (sadness). So instead of forcing you guys to look at how much I changed physically in the past year and boring you to death, I am going to post something more…worthwhile.

I hope.

I like quotes. I like taking note of quotable quotes in a book, I like highlighting Bible verses and taking down lines from TV shows and movies. I lose and forget them half the time, but I have some quotes that I can never forget because it helped me remember important things in the past few years.

So, as a reminder for myself and to share them with you…well, here they are.

(Yeah, that was kind of a fail in introducing them. Sorry. ^^ )

Solomon’s Wish

I am catching up with my Bible reading for my online book club, and I finally reached 2 Chronicles today after weeks of being delayed. I remember reading that book back in college but since Chronicles was known as a collection of names, I kind of skimmed over the other parts of the book. This re-reading is helping me to see things in a different light. I started on 2 Chronicles today, and it’s basically a retelling of some of the stuff written in 2 Kings. The start of the book shared the story of Solomon and what he asked from God, and I found God’s answer to him more striking here than the one written in 2 Kings:

God answered Solomon, “This is what has come out of your heart. You didn’t grasp for money, wealth, fame and the doom of your enemies, you didn’t even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could govern well my people over whom I’ve made you king. Because of this, you get what you asked for — wisdom and knowledge. And I am presenting you the rest as a bonus — money, wealth and fame beyond anything the kings before for after you had or will have.” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12)

I like how this puts things into perspective, how it stresses that when you have your heart in the right place, the other good things will follow.

Dreaming of happiness

I got this quote from a Lifeteen podcast last year, and I remember posting about it back when I first heard it. The Lifeteen podcast that I heard this from badly needs to be listened to again, because it has all the explanations and such. But since I can’t transcribe all of that down, I just wrote the passage in my planner to remind me of that always.

This came from Pope John Paul II and it is absolutely beautiful. Stop and read it a couple of times so you can marvel with me at the truth this sheds light on:

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness. He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you. He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal. (Pope John Paul II)

You are exactly where you should be

I first got this prayer/quote from my friend Tuesday back in college, when I was still active in my Catholic youth community. Back then, I was on my internship, and I was really struggling with it because…well, I hated it. I felt like I wasn’t made for the corporate world, and I was very lonely at work and I wasn’t getting paid and I really, really missed being in school. I guess I was having a growing up crisis then. Anyway, I was constantly chatting with Tuesday then and one day during a household, I think (if not, it was an overnight or maybe even a random chat with her), she shared this prayer to me, after her friend shared it with her. It became my prayer for 2006. It’s been a while since I last saw this one, and I thought it’s fitting to have it as a prayer again, even if it’s five years later.

That today you find peace inside you, that you can confide in your highest power because you are exactly where you are supposed to be, but do not forget the infinite possibilities that are born from the faith, that you may use the gifts that you have received and transfer the love that has been given to you, to make you feel satisfied that you are a child of God. Allow his presence in your bones and give your soul the liberty to sing, dance and be warmed by the sun, that is there for everyone and each one of us. (St. Therese of the Child Jesus)

One more time: you are exactly where you are supposed to be. How comforting is that? :)

I think there should always be conscious effort in remembering things like this that we remember at the start of every year. Conscious effort. It won’t be easy for the next 364 days, but by God’s grace, it is doable. Right?

There are infinite possibilities in 2011 friends. Let’s help one another remember that. :)