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Because I am blessed, I am blessing the world in Jesus' name...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love 2013

In a few hours, the year 2013 will give its final bow and exit the stage to give way to another year. This is the perfect moment for our final verdict, whether we will applaud the year's performance or 'boo' it. I've been reading many year-end posts and I feel blessed that most of us had a happy year. There were bad times, but at the end of the day (or year, in this case), we choose to remember the good stuff and take the difficulties as mere spices to add flavor to our lives. After all, if we only eat chocolates, we'll die early.

So now I'm giving my 2013 not just an applause but a standing ovation with matching 'woot woot' for countless reasons. I am thankful for even the most microscopic blessing I get, but for my "year-end special", I am honoring the top 10 reasons why 2013 is a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious year. 

1. I became a lawyer. This A-T-T-Y title is the SECOND BEST blessing God gave me in 2013. (You'll know what's the best blessing later.) It's not all that matters to me, nor is it everything that I am, but it made many other dreams possible. I welcomed 2013 with prayer and faith, and God said 'yes' to me in a really sweet way.

2. I made a brilliant career move. It wasn't a big shift in terms of what I do. I am still doing the same thing and I have come to accept and believe, based on my core gifts, that tax practice is my anointing. But a month after I took my oath, I decided to move to a bigger firm where I could spread my wings a little bit wider. And just a few days after I made that decision, I found a new corporate home (actually, it found me by accident). Not only did I find a bigger place. I am in the biggest! 7 years ago I hated that place. My words are too sweet, I ate them. Hehe... I love my work and the people I work with. Each day is full of challenges and stresses and headaches and... (blah blah) But I always go home fulfilled, and I wake up everyday ready to conquer another set of challenges and stresses and headaches and... (blah blah) in fulfilling God's great plan for me.

3. I moved to a new place. No, I don't have my own house and lot yet. My goal is to pay for at least the down payment in cash and have the balance paid in 5 years. And it's gonna be my dream home. (Lord, I know You heard me. Hehe...) But this year, I moved to another apartment and I'm now managing my own household. It's a small place. (I mean it.) But I love the peace it gives me. I can be as messy as I want, or as OC as I want, and no one would mind. Show me one tiny ant and I'll end up cleaning the whole day. (I'm exaggerating. I can tolerate up to 5 ants as long as they don't bite.)

4. I traveled 90% solo. I say it's 90% solo because I was in the same flight to Macau with my friends. But after a few hours, when we reached Hong Kong, we parted ways. I stayed in a separate place. And because communication was difficult, I explored the city - disneyland, cable car, old train, shopping places, cultural and historical spots, restaurants - alone. On day 3, I went back to Macau and explored the place - tower, churches, temples, casinos - with a backpack and a map, which made me feel like that cartoon girl with bangs and a friend monkey. I totally loved the adventure and even if I could possibly go back in time, I wouldn't change a thing, even with strong wi-fi signal. :-D For someone like me who hates the feeling of being seen eating in a restaurant alone, this is such a big deal. Oops! I almost forgot to mention that it was my first time to go out of the country. That's another blessing which made the blessing of traveling alone even more awesome.

5. I went to Boracay for the first time. Yes, first time. While almost everyone around me has already been there at least once, and I know some people who think that's their second home, in all 29 years of my life I never stepped a toe on that white sand beach. Why? Because time and money seldom met. When I wasn't so busy, I didn't have enough money for vacations of that kind. When I was already earning enough, I had no time because I spent my weekends in law school. No, I never thought of skipping classes just to get a tan. There were those few no-work-and-no-school-too days when I could have joined my friends, but I would always choose to spend them at home with my family. No out-of-town trip can ever replace the joy (and the real rest) of staying with my family. So after finally getting blessing #1, hello Bora! Yay!

6. I joined the Truly Rich Club. I learned about it in 2009, but I couldn't afford the monthly fee. I t was quite expensive that time. I also didn't have any more space in my brain, again because of law school, for stock market, real estate or small business. But this year, finally, I signed up and began receiving stock updates, wealth strategies newsletters, powertalks and other regular doses of useful materials. Once in a while, Bro. Bo, being such a sweet guy, would surprise us with e-books. Recently, I received a paper copy of his latest book, The Abundance Formula, as his Christmas gift. The TRC gives its members financial coaching coupled with spiritual guidance because, as Bro. Bo would always say, money should belong to God through the stewardship of good people.

7. I started investing in the stock market. Because of the TRC, I am now able to invest in stocks without having to worry about not having time to monitor the market. Reaching my financial goals is a slow process involving a little sacrifice each month, but I will surely get there.

8. Lovelife. I won't put any detail here because I don't want to feed other people's hunger for gossip. (Bwahaha!) I'm blessed by God, my ultimate lovelife. That's all.

9. I gained friends, strengthened my bond with the old ones, and spent more quality time with my family. No more assignments, exams and case digests to keep me from having worry-free laughs with my friends and going home to my family at least once a month. Thank God for the gift of healthy relationships.

10. I'm alive. I'm able to write this and praise God for all the wonderful things happening in my life. This is the BEST BLESSING ever, not only for me but for all of us. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.

With that, I'd like to thank all the people who were instruments of God in delivering His blessings to me, and those who rejoiced with me when I got them. Join me in this silent prayer to praise our Dream-giver....

Welcome, 2014! I declare more blessings for me, my family, my friends, and everybody this coming year. Because I am blessed, I'll be happy sharing my blessings to others and back to God, knowing that I can never beat His generosity. Amen. Amen.

Happy new year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

God of My Dreams

"Because of who you are, I can live with hope,
Knowing that you'll always be
God of all my dreams
Everything I want to be is found in you"
(Who You Are by Gateway Worship)

November 4, 2012

Fresh from taking the 2012 Bar Examinations, exactly a week after the last of those 4 Sundays inside that room in UST that seemed like a big pressure cooker that time, I attended The Feast for the first time at PICC. To those of you who do not know what "The Feast" is, it is a weekly gathering to praise and glorify God, organized by Light of Jesus, a Catholic charismatic community founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez. Attending the Feast was a 4-year old plan that I was only able to do after I'm done with law school and the Bar review, when Sunday is no longer the busiest day of my typical week. Praise God!

So on that first slack Sunday, I met my friends at PICC and we attended The Feast. After the mass, I was amazed by the energy of every person inside the plenary hall. People were like in a rock concert, only that they were singing praise songs. My first impression was, "Parang born again!" But of course I've been a follower of Bro. Bo long enough to know that he is a Catholic lay preacher. I sang along.

And then they played that song that made me burst into tears as my entire law school and Bar review memories came playing inside my head like a scary movie. Then I saw my 10-year old self who, for the first time, decided that I wanted to be a CPA Lawyer. I also remembered taking my oath as a CPA in that very same place. While everybody was singing so loud, I cried out, "Lord, sana kasama ako sa mag-oath dito next year!" (Bar results come out the following year.)

"Who You Are" became my favorite song, my comfort song everytime fear of the Bar result would set in.

December 8, 2013

Fast-forward... I'm now a regular 'Feaster', actively attending (with some absences -- sorry) for more than a year. I've been into two (2) Kerygma Conferences, some CG (Connect Group) sessions, and a half-day retreat for singles. I also signed up for the Truly Rich Club. (You should register, too! Let me know so I can assist you.)

On the second week of the "Power Up" series, we sang my favorite song again. And again, tears came flowing down, and as my physical vision started to blur, memories played inside my head again. But this time, there were new images - my oath-taking, the day I signed my name in the Roll, my first baby steps as a lawyer, my struggles in this continuing journey to my bigger dreams, and the joys of finally being able to have time for myself and the people I love. I am just so thankful that the roles God gives me in this life are not hard to love and appreciate. Yes, I live my life dealing with everyday challenges. But at the end of each day, when my battery gets drained, I only have to tap into the Power Source, the God of all my dreams, who always reminds me of the reason why I have to go through all the stress and difficulties - LOVE. It is love that makes us want to be truly rich so that we can serve other people. It is love that puts balance between our desire to excel at work and to excel in our relationships. It is love that sets the strong foundation for our goals. And my goal is not to be a great lawyer, but to be a great person worthy of all the perks of being God's beloved daughter.

And so as the song was coming to its end, I thanked God for always staying by my side, for being my Dream-giver, my Coach and my Cheerleader. I bet He is also busy throwing big parties in Heaven for each little success I achieve on earth. That song will always remind me of how God shows His love through my dreams coming true one step at a time.