Things I Forget

Sometime around last week, I started to feel this tiny little worry because my word for 2015 hasn’t found me yet.

Delight, my 2014 word found me perhaps a little around this time last year, but it felt a little obvious given everything that happened in 2013. Courage, my 2013 word found me sometime in December, I think, but I think I knew it before I finally acknowledged that word (because I was scared of it). And now, we’re about 5 weeks away from 2015, and I was coming up with nothing and I was worried.

But then there was no room for worry because the last few weeks at work were very tough ones – as in really tough – and a part of me wonders why these things had to happen on the year when I said I’d be joyful, and not on the year when I said I’d be courageous. I am supposed to be done with having to live courage all over again — it’s the year of joy, joy, joy. Why am I wrestling with fear again?

I know, I know – joy is a kind of courage, it’s not just happiness, and courage is a choice, blah, blah, blah. I know that. Except knowing and living it out are two different things and there was a huge part of me in the past few weeks that keep on resisting to what I was doing, and what I should do, and there’s this loud part of me that just wants to quit. Because it’s hard. Because it’s not fun. Because I don’t think I can do this. Because I don’t want this. Because I didn’t ask for this.

I’m trying to recall where all the guts I had from last year went. I called myself brave last year because I did things I never thought I could do. Did they disappear when I decided to take delight this year? I hope not. Or maybe I wasn’t really brave then, but you know, faking it the entire time? I hope not, too.

I remember something I learned when I started working for my current company, about how we get called to certain levels of faith. When we reach a certain point, we get to start from zero again not because we’re back to square one, but because we’re at a new level, and we need to level up with the faith points. Or joy points. Or courage points. Those kinds of things. While I was reflecting and listening to the community events I attended this weekend, I realized that maybe I am at a new level of courage, and that is why I am scared out of my wits.

Over the weekend, though, I learned that courage isn’t really what drives away fear. Which makes sense, because I always thought brave people are people full of fear who still decide to go for it, anyway. What I completely forgot – because I let my fears ruled me in the last two, three weeks – is this: love drives away fear.

How could I forget that? Perfect love. Okay, sure, my love isn’t perfect, but I am loved by a perfect God…so why am I so afraid? I know I am capable of love…so again, why am I so afraid?

It’s so simple, but I know it’s going to be hard, too, especially since I tend to fall away and worry and lately I seem to be so overwhelmed with so many things. I forget so easily, and I get distracted by so many things, and before we know it, I am back to the worrying and wanting to get out…and then today I was reminded of two things (among others):

Surrender control. Seek His will.

You see, it’s really not about what I want. It has never been that. It’s always been what God wants, what His will is. I know that I will find His will in my deepest desires, but I will only know what those deep desires if I seek His will. And part of seeking His will is surrendering all of my control. The more I try to control, the more frustrated I will get, and the more fearful I will become.

I forget so easily.

I’ve been restless in the past days because everything felt hard, so hard, and all I wanted to do was quit. But earlier today, as the people in the Catchfire 2014 conference sang Refiner’s Fire, and I leaned onto my dad, I started to cry because I realized what I forgot: my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you my Master, ready to do Your will.

I forget so easily.

It’s Monday again tomorrow, and I am already bracing myself for another tough week. God never promised that it will be easy, but He promised that He will never ever leave us. He will never ever leave me. Hasn’t He been faithful all my life – why would He be less faithful now?

Here’s to a victorious week ahead. :) Pray with me?

Oh my strength, I will sing Thy praises!
Thou o Lord are a shield to me!
Oh my King, though the battle rages,
I look with victory on my enemies.
Praise you Lord, mighty King of Zion! ♥


When I was a kid, I fell in love with the Sailormoon series. I loved it so much that everyone in school associated it with me, and I even cried several times when I missed it, or when I watched a particular episode where they all died and such. It was my first introduction to anime, and I thought that because I loved Sailormoon, I would probably like other anime, too. Eventually, I watched some, and then because I was such an otaku (or so I thought), I found this how to speak Japanese booklet at home and started trying to learn it, because I thought it was cool and all that.

Then I just lost interest, and never really looked back. (Except when I catch some Sailormoon episodes that they air here every now and then.)

Here’s the thing: I never had Japan in my bucket list. I have friends who love everything Japan and Japanese – from music to food to TV shows and all that, and every time they talk about it, I just nod politely and listen. It’s not that I didn’t want to go – I just didn’t have it in my list of places I wanted to go to. I wasn’t as fascinated with Japan as I was with New York City, or Europe.

Then late last year, a friend called me and asked if I wanted to go to Osaka because there was a seat sale and they were about to book a flight. Being a Yes-girl to a lot of travel stuff like that (which is how I got to go to Jakarta last year in the first place), I said yes, and then ta-da! I had a ticket to Japan!

I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t do much research until a few weeks before the trip when we were working out our itinerary. We had five days there – less, because we arrive in the evening on our first day – and there was just so much that everyone in our group of 9 wanted to do. In the end, after we got our visas, we decided to go crazy over it: Osaka – Tokyo – Kyoto. All in five days.

Let me tell you: it was ambitious and achievable, but prepare for aching feet, long rides, and very quick stops. Because friends, three cities in five days = crazy. Even more so, Japan in five days = NOT. ENOUGH.

Time to let the pictures speak for themselves! (Photo dump!)


It was raining on our first night, and we got lost on our way to the hotel. :D
First group selfie at the hotel! :D
The next morning, near the Osaka Castle. :)

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The Cornerstone Blessing

The thing about volunteering that I really liked so much is how it takes one’s focus away from themselves and puts it on others. I’ve always wanted to volunteer consistently for something, and when I was in college it was easier because it was a part of what we need to do for school to get our grades up. When I started working, it got a little bit harder, because I had to go out of my way to volunteer, and I always felt like I don’t have enough time to take that longer route for volunteering.

cornerstone00I became a Cornerstone tutor only this school year, and it all started with a heartache. I’ll spare you with all the drama about that. Let me just say that it’s true when people say that heartaches can make you do things you’ve never done before just so you can fill that hole that the ache is digging in your heart. I used to hate to admit to that, that it took a sad story for me to start moving and doing something, but I realized that we all get called through different circumstances.

So ever since August of 2013, I woke up early every Saturday, rode a tricycle, a jeep and a bus to our sector’s school, and tutored kids. I’m not really good with kids since I’m the youngest in the family and I don’t have little cousins or nieces or nephews to take care of and play with. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, exactly, but I prayed that whatever I lacked, God would fill. And that it wouldn’t be so bad. Like I said, I wasn’t good with kids.

Pretty soon, I started looking forward to my early Saturday mornings. It was so nice to start the weekend doing something for someone else, even if sometimes I have no idea what I was doing. Sometimes I danced. Sometimes I had to lead the prayer. Sometimes I had to struggle from not having enough sleep from the previous night because of work. Sometimes, I had to tell my friends that I had to skip a Friday night gimmick because I have to go to a Cornerstone session the next day. But I looked forward to those Saturday sessions, and I had fun. It was fun knowing new people, and playing with the kids and teaching them something that I really love to do: reading. And I’ve learned that sometimes it doesn’t matter if I don’t know what I’m really doing, as long as I am willing to do them. The small things really count in things like this.



But they say sometimes, familiarity breeds contempt. Or at least, when you’ve gone and done something for so long (even if it wasn’t really so long yet), you start feeling lazy, or less motivated to go. You start of thinking of excuses like, “Well the others don’t go there anyway, so maybe I can skip this”, or “Maybe I can just sleep in today because it’s so cold and they can do things without me”. There are some days when we just don’t want to show up. On the first Cornerstone Saturday of 2014, I almost skipped going because of those reasons above, plus I was feeling a little under the weather. I ended up still going, though, because I had somewhere to be later that afternoon, too, and I thought it would be unfair if I skip the morning and then go to my appointment in the afternoon when I wasn’t really burning with fever or anything of that sort.

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