Tuesday, October 6, 2015

what a broken foot did to my life

how do you react when you are confronted with extreme poverty, a terminal illness or worst sudden death of a loved one?

in my case it is a broken foot.

for the first time in my life i decided to try my skill in driving a motor bike wearing my below-the-knee penciled skirt. I know, i know. how could i be so stupid, right? But i was.

I wanted to get some jogging pants for the children in my pastor's house and i wanted to go before the children's class end. So i ask ems to drive the bike and we'll go. i went out first, my signal for her to please hurry up (she always takes time to get off her desk, every single time!)

while waiting for her outside, i got the key of the bike and turned on the ignition but did not really let go. pastor ian turned the bike for me since i was having a really hard time turning it around in a graveled parking lot. well, to be honest wearing a penciled skirt while practicing bike, was not a very brilliant move.

i was able to drive it outside the gate and unto the bumpy, rocky, unpaved pathway and i stopped in little curb just maybe 3 meters away from the actual paved road. I stopped because i was thinking, "i can't do this". i was also calculating if I can make it safely to the paved road past that less than 2 meters of "gate". yes, there was a barbed fence separating the dirt, rocky, bumpy road from the paved one and the gateway is just less than 2 meters.

i did it anyway, i felt myself challenge myself and i pumped the gas and the next thing i know i have smashed my face in a bamboo post. i was on the dirty pavement holding my face but feeling something wet coming out of my nose. i heard people scared voices screaming and running to help me. someone shouted i was bleeding and hold my head up but there was so much blood coming out of my nose that i have to shake my head and spit out the blood or else i would choke on it. i can see people - my friends scared faces looking down at me not knowing what to do. they were probably thinking i was in a critical condition and not able to think clearly.

but i was coherent, i was thinking fast. i ask somebody to bring me ice to put on my nose to staunch the bleeding - somebody brought me a very big avocado flavored iced candy! Margie was looking atme with horror in her eyes and she keep repeating, "she punctured her nose", so I asked her, "does my face looked that damaged?"

ate lani and ems and other people called a tricycle and i was helped into it. i noticed that there was some scratches on the side of my foot and and it hurts to move put my weight into it, so i limped into the tricycle.

we arrived at the hospital, there's no available wheelchair in sight, so again i limped my way inside the ER. my vitals were checked, i was asked questions and then they determined there was not enough blood for my case to be interesting so i was left with a PGI (post graduate intern) to deal with. she said i need and x-ray for my head & my head. then she asked me to follow her and i found out then i can't limped anymore. my left foot has swollen so she said that needs to be x-rayed too. i thought, that foot is the least of my problems. really.

she asked me if i lost consciousness during the accident, or i feel nauseated or if i have a head ache and when i said no she seemed to look relieve. i asked her how long do i have to watched out for these things to occur and she said 72 hours.

that's when the worry set in. what if i damage my nose or ill throw up later tonight or ill have terrible head aches tomorrow. I have head aches for very non sense reason all the time. when its to hot or if i lacked sleep or during my period or when i'm stressed. what if... what if... worries i did not have to have since i'm just still on my way to the x-ray room.

when i got the result of my x-ray, the doctor, a junior consultant, told me, "your head and face are fine. what you have are just bruising and busted lip. the bleeding will stop, it's just temporary. put ice on it. but you do have a problem with your foot!

he said it emphatically, almost harshly. he held up the x-ray picture and pointed to me which bone is broken. "you can do two things", he said. "you can have it wrap in a bandage or put in a cast here now. Either way, you will see an orthopedic doctor in the morning. He will determine if you would be in a cast or if you need surgery".

And i was like, SURGERY?????!!!!! What????!!! (all in my head of course)

SURGERY = weeks and weeks of healing, what if i can't walk anymore... and the money. where would we get the money for it. we are saving for a house!

But we went to the ortho doctor the next morning. and he said he strongly suggest to me that my foot on a cast is the best way for now. let the body heal itself. for six longggggggggggg weeks.
i was devastated inside. those are horribly long days and hours.

all my fears came into surface and i did asked God why. why did this happened? because i was careless and i miss calculated the risk. but then there are a lot of people who courted trouble everyday. people who do not even pray for safety, etc.

i already know the answer in my heart. that God has his own reasons why he allowed this uncomfortable and very difficult situation to happen to me. i do not fully understand it yet, but here are a few things that might come out of this:

1. i did not hit my eye on the barbed wire - i have not been back there yet but my friends told me that my lipstick ( i just put on a fresh one before i smashed my face) is just a few inches below the wire. i could have been blind right now but i wasn't.

2. friends who worried for me and prayed for me and took care of me.

- i am not suffering from too much pain - just terrible itchiness and a desire to take the cast out.

3. family who visited me and bought me groceries. haha

4. husband who understood me, listened to my ramblings and mopings and encourages me and just loves me through and through.

5. a time to reflect and meditate and get to know God in a different way.

6. a time to study and read and read and study

7.  a time to be dependent on God and a chance to trust him and what he wants in my life.

8. a time for vulnerability and brokenness
a time to acknowledge to myself not just silently, that i am sooooooooooo limited so inept to deal with life without the power of God

I dont have a terminal illness, nor am i extremely poor, no one that i loved was taken away by God yet but i did have a scary moment. i must admit it still is scary... now though i can push myself to constantly call on God to consistently trust him (still learning), persistently look on to his promises that everything, every single thing in my life is for his glory.

Monday, September 14, 2015

society of religious freedom

i was reading max lucado's out live your life this morning. i am already in chapter 8 and it talks about persecution. this paragraph catched my attention because i can so relate to it. i am living in a society of religious freedom where there are really no actual i-will-physically-harm-you threat for christian believers like myself but plenty of temptations and pressure to let go of my values and convictions.

max lucado said:

"or perhaps you indwell a society of religious freedom but a community of spiritual oppression. you may not face blades and terrorists but critics and accusers. family members mock your beliefs. university (or high school friends and teachers) professors belittle your convictions. classmates snicker at your choices. colleagues pressure you to compromise your integrity. coworkers make it their mission to snag you in a weak moment. knife to your neck? NO. but pressure to abandon your convictions?

his "solution" to this is very simple and  a no-brainer.

"so how can we prepare ourselves? simple. imitate the disciples. linger long and often in the presence of Christ. meditate on his grace. ponder his love. memorize his words. gaze into his face. talk to him. courage comes as we live with Jesus."

oh, God please give me the strength and the grace to fight the lulling breezy winds of little compromises to my faith. the pull and pressure to succumb into the popular ideas and the "new normal" of this generation i live in which does nothing for my own desire to please you and to bring glory to your name. may you always be upper most in my heart and mind.

*special shout out to my best friend of 17 years. we've been friends that long mame =). i pray for all of God's favor and blessing for you always. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

make me love you, Lord

been couch potato all day today. still lying on the couch and staring on my blank screen. i do not know what to write. 

every time i thought of writing something
i want to cry.
no, actually i want to bowl. 
i don't really know why
but of course that statement
is all wrap up in a lie.

have you searched my heart my God?
Have you found something of yours in there?
Have you seen the rough edges?
the callous and the actual emptiness?

You might not believe this my God
but despite all that 
this heart is longing for you
for your fulfillment 
for the flooding of your grace

this heart wants to fall in love with you
again and again and again
this heart wants to see beauty in everything
knowing that you are its everything

make me love you Lord
make me long for you
make me hunger for you
devastate my heart with your presence

that i may live my life
every single minute of it for the purpose
of serving you, of pleasing you, of loving you

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

it's all about you

it's all about you, Jesus
and all this is for you
for your glory and your fame
it's not about me
as if you should do things my way
you alone are God and i surrender,
to your ways

Jesus, lover of my soul
all consuming fire is in your gaze
Jesus, i want you to know
i will follow you all my days
no one else in history is like you

history itself belongs to you
Alpha & Omega you have loved me
i will spend eternity with you

i did not mean to write all the lyrics of this song in this entry. i came in to work today and one of my co-worker was singing this and it stuck to me the whole day. yes, i think it must be what they call as the last song syndrome but i'd like to think that God is speaking to my heart through this song too.

God speaks to us in many different ways. and lately he has been tugging into my heart - reminding me through his words that though i may not truly understand everything that is going on, his hands is still leading me towards him if i choose to honor him.

choosing God everyday is a challenge because there are situations that are not in favor to my comfort.  i keep reminding myself that the steps that i take must lead to character and faith growth.

every single step i choose to follow now will show who or what will i become - a person so in love with my Savior that it shows in every thing that i say & do.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

paloma-berry wedding day

some more family & friends photos during our wedding. 

amazing shot by my cousin 

les & pipa

sister & boyfriend

pipa & gail


brother & sidsel

auntie emma, ranley & mom emelene

che & basti


kim, gail & maddy

ptr. kim & gail


kim, maddy & carsten


les & tin

sister & sidsel

with katrina

receiving our first gift of the day
pipa love

lady friends
with paulo
with mame margie

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

my views on same-sex marriage

for days now the news that the us government has legalized same-sex marriage has been a source for a very lively discussion. though i live in a country that still values the institution of marriage based on the Bible, i am still affected and deeply saddened. though the decision does not affect us legally it still is felt globally because of social media; my own social media accounts are very colorful because of the rainbow colored profiles in support and celebration of this ruling. 

i felt that i have to say something about this issue and i remember that i have read something about this topic written by a perceptive and gracious woman. in it she summarized what i felt and believe.

this is what charissa wrote:

picture taken during the time we went to dahilayan park
I’m tackling a different and far more difficult topic today that I usually address on my blog. For the past few days I’ve been weighing whether anything more actually needs to be said but, my heart is heavy over it and there are some things I’d like to say.
If you comment here (and I hope you do), please write with honesty but, more importantly, write with grace. Remember behind every “problem” there are people. Living, breathing, feeling, loving human beings. We don’t need to flog each other with our words in order to communicate.
This post is an extremely simplified look at homosexuality and gay marriage.
For me this topic is one of the most difficult intersections of my faith and life in our world today. I’ve wrestled with it academically (in a counseling program), emotionally (with friends who are gay) and prayerfully as I tried to reconcile a God, self-defined as love, with the church’s heated and often scathing response to this topic. 
I understand why it generates such strong responses. This topic touches on every aspect of who we are as humans – the emotional, relational, spiritual, moral, cognitive and, of course, sexual. Responses are fueled by each of those components.
We’re holistic people responding to a holistic issue.
What breaks my heart is the way many are responding. I am not gay but…what if, as a Christian, I struggled with same-sex attraction? Would I find a place of safety, friendship and grace in the church or with fellow believers? 
Not with the majority, I wouldn’t.
Jesus was neither homophobic nor a gay rights activist. We misrepresent his character when we force him into either box. We seem to allow ourselves only two categories; liberal and loving or conservative and cold.
Those who are conservative must, must find a way to also be loving.
I should pause here and openly state that I fall into the conservative category on this topic. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.
I believe it for some reasons I hold extremely sacred and, since boundaries are what preserve definitions, the way our cultural understanding of marriage is shifting scares me.
Christian marriage is representative of so many spiritually significant things.
God created two institutions: marriage and the church and marital intimacy is meant to reflect the larger structure and intimacy of the church body. Marriage is a divinely gifted, symbolic institution.
The intimacy between husband and wife represents the love of Christ for his church, the sacrificial love a husband should have for his wife imitates the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His leadership of the church, a wife’s submission to leadership is reflective of the believer’s submission to their God. Marriage, at its core is spiritual (even though no marriage always feels that way).
“Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?” – Malachi 2:15
There are aspects of God’s character a man represents and aspects of his character a woman represents. Together they are meant to be the fullest picture of God to a very hurting world; strong, sensitive, gracious, protective, loving, courageous, nurturing and warm.
A man and a woman’s one flesh union is deeply intimate. The way our bodies were created to connect is astounding; a man and woman are two halves of a whole. Symmetry, connectivity, life-long companionship.
That definition of marriage is foreign to our post-Christian, secular world. When sex is a past-time marriage is, at best, a loose contract. The reflections of the Divine grow fainter and fainter. 
Yet, I cannot abandon that definition. It’s written on my heart.
My faith requires I accept certain limits, certain boundaries, but it demands I love and serve everyone regardless of whether they fall inside, outside or around those limits.Just like my Savior did.
I also cannot forget the struggle many of my gay friends are facing. Their longing for intimacy, companionship and, yes, marriage is no less legitimate than mine. Sexuality is complex and, while a discussion of the supposed “sources” of homosexuality is far outside the scope of this post, I am strongly amiss if I suggest such desires can be easily resolved (for those who believe they should be)  or easily “dealt with” through heterosexual marriage, counseling or repression.
Let’s not confuse two separate issues – homosexuality and gay marriage and especially, let’s not belittle the emotions and desires of those who are gay by suggesting those things don’t matter.  Those of us who hold a conservative position on this topic also have a sacred responsibility to speak our view with grace and truth. We walk a fine line suspended over beating hearts.
I realize this post does not reflect the popular opinion, even among Christians, and I’m not sure how it will be received. The truths included are not new but there is much I didn’t touch on. I hope what was said has been communicated with both honesty and grace.