Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHRISTMAS TRADITION - A Family Treasure

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The perfect words to understand family Christmas traditions.....
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I have read this on my dear friend's page, to quote......


"It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul..."

- Caroline Kennedy


 MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone! God bless you and your family.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

TO YOU ALL........

To my dear friends here in the blog,

a heartfelt MERRY CHRISTMAS!  May the season bring to you bountiful blessings from the heart of God .. way beyond measure -- far more than your kind hearts can hold.  Thank you for the gift of your friendship. 

God bless you and your dear dearest ones now and evermore.

Ellen



Friday, December 11, 2015

LIFE CANNOT BE LIFE WITHOUT PEOPLE IN IT

 
 
 
 
I was on my way down the hill at the tail-end of my morning walk when this silver-haired gentleman-foreigner heading my way from the opposite direction on seeing me slowed down and greeted me with a huge smile and a question... "How many times do you go round the neighborhood?" I replied "Twice, most times." To this he smiled even more and said.. "Good for you!" And walked past me still wearing his big wide smile..
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Apparently he too was doing his usual morning routine. And so were other Filipino residents of the neighborhood at that early hour. But one thing looks quite clear to me.... Filipinos are shy .. in fact, just too shy to jump at the opportunity to make friends or simply share the good vibes of the moment with someone. They hold back too much that the golden opportunity flies by swiftly and becomes lost forever.
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I remember Mom said this long ago....... "The art of giving and receiving does not come naturally to many. But it can be learned. Start with loving yourself, life and everything in it."
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Life without people would be similar to a landscape of meadows, mountains, rivers, forests running endlessly beyond the horizon and even farther. Magnificent but somehow incomplete. Full yet empty.
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People, on the other hand, bring into life those thousand-and-one things which make it come pulsatingly alive. Challenges... perceptions... insights.... excitement... adventure... joy and happiness... creativity... productivity... emotional diversity... development... growth, etc. Add to the same pot the worrisome and wearying disputes... arguments... sorrows... questions... destruction.... conflicts... negativity... and other things more which make you want to bang your head on the wall. These things happen between man and man interacting and colliding in a manner they alone best know how. We can include what happens between man and nature interacting and colliding too.
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Life cannot be life without people in it. Truly by God's design.

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Wishing for you and your family God's blessings beyond measure.




WORRYING WON'T TAKE YOU UP THE MOUNTAIN


 
 
 

 
One of the nicest things about early morning walks is the chance to watch the day unfold. Trees seem to look greener, flowers brighter, animals on the street light and cheery chasing each other on the paved streets, and people... Well, people are a good mix of both great and not so great. I get a good feed of both in that morning walk.
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Great disarming smiles come from people who have learned how to make peace with the world and life. Wan smiles come from people who are not there in the moment. Their thoughts, as a friend once said to me, may be on some worry or care, mostly of yesterdays, which they can't shake off or won't because it's their comfort zone. Can you believe that? Worry as a comfort zone? Perhaps they think that worrying is the thing to do. And that NOT worrying makes them LESS responsible or efficient.
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Well, when worrying tries to mess up my day, I turn to this verse.....
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Matthew 6:25-27 -- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
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Peace, as God has promised us.

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The absence of worry, as life has taught me, enables you to have a clear clean field to sort out issues with. It affords true discernment as to what is important and what is not. Then you can decide better what to do with it without the unnecessary fuss and flurry which usually accompanies stress and anxiety which in turn clouds the brain. That, in all good reason, is the responsible and efficient way of dealing with issues, problems, cares and woes. As a good friend once said, "Worry makes me lose sight of my goal. Makes it harder to climb the mountain."
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True, people can't help worrying. Worry, as seen to be, has its uses too. But don't overdo it. It's a struggle not to worry, I know. A habit hard to shake off; worry warts abound. I struggle with that, too. But be kind to yourself and save yourself frequent trips to the doctor, too.
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You might miss God's blessings if all you do is fill your mind and heart with anxiety. Free space for awesome blessings to come in!


Further, life is beautiful; you might be missing that too when all that you do is worry.

Wishing God's bountiful blessings upon you and yours.


Friday, December 4, 2015

LIFE CANNOT BE LIFE WITHOUT PEOPLE IN IT





I was on my way down the hill at the tail-end of my morning walk when this silver-haired gentleman-foreigner heading my way from the opposite direction on seeing me slowed down and greeted me with a huge friendly smile and a question... "How many times do you go round the neighborhood?" I replied "Twice, most times." To this he smiled even more and said.. "Good for you!" And walked past me still wearing his big wide smile..
.
Apparently he too was doing his usual morning routine. And so were other Filipino residents of the neighborhood at that early hour. But one thing looks quite clear to me.... Filipinos are shy .. in fact, just too shy to jump on an opportunity to make friends or simply share the good vibes of the moment. I remember Mom said this long ago....... "The art of giving and receiving does not come naturally to many. But it can be learned. Start with loving yourself, life and everything in it."
.
Life without people would be similar to one landscape of meadows, mountains, rivers, forests running endlessly beyond the horizon and even farther. Magnificent but somehow incomplete.
.
People, on the other hand, bring into life those thousand-and-one things which make it come pulsatingly alive. Challenges... perceptions... insights.... excitement... adventure... joy and happiness... creativity... productivity... emotional diversity... development... growth, etc. Add to the same pot the worrisome and wearying disputes... arguments... sorrows... questions... destruction.... conflicts... negativity... and other things more which make you want to bang your head on the wall. These things happen between man and man interacting and colliding in a manner they alone best know how.
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Life cannot be life without people in it.
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Wishing for you and your family God's blessings beyond measure.




Saturday, November 14, 2015

FLOWERS GRACING MY EARLY MORNING WALK



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This morning I decided to do something different with my early morning walk ..... to take pictures of flowers down the paths winding round the hilly neighborhood.
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You see, sometimes we, in-spite of our brilliance, don't notice our surroundings as much as we really should. We simply gloss over the terrain not minding the many wonders, big and small, God placed in there for our enjoyment and pleasure.
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We know it's there but we take it all for granted. Just as we think that the trees around us will always be there and so pay no attention to them. Not realizing that even trees, or all of nature for that matter, also need our attention and care. They too, as we all know it, take care of the air we breathe and the ground we walk on, and the water that rains down on our fields.
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Life on this planet is a give-and-take. A symbiotic existence.... there is something you have that I need or something that I have that you need. An interdependent relationship between man and man... and man and nature.
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So this morning I decided to pay closer attention to my walk. And with heightened expectations hied off with the rising sun so eager to see lovely surprises packed into this particular morning landscape. By God's design.
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These pictures were taken with my phone. It could be better with the right tool I know........ but this little ole lady makes do with what she has. I think in this case, it is the object and not the tool which is magic...... magically Magnificent!
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Of course, the morning walk wouldn't be complete without the usual trip to the talipapa (market) for fruits... banana, lansones, mangoes, pineapple (later sliced and slid into the refrigerator to cool). Added to my basket too were.. golden squash, sweet potatoes and saging na saba.
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Great day.. indeed! Thank God!
May God bless you and your dear ones.

















Thursday, November 5, 2015

LIFE IS BUCKETS FULL OF TURBULENCE - BUT ONLY BECAUSE WE NEED TO GROW



"The heart has its reasons and they aren't debate topics." 
 --- Robert Brault (American writer)
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When I saw this in my email this morning from Mr. Quote Man, but of course, immediately it resonated inside the walls of my brain and my heart. How many times in the past have I done this or that and to which I was pressed for an explanation or was imposed on with an argument. Words which didn't have to be there in the first place, if only they thought more on that my life was running its own course and story and that it really didn't have to be theirs, too. The heart more often than not moves in the direction of least resistance. I myself am not one for debates on any subject or for any reason.
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Life, as I now know it to be, is buckets full of turbulence or commonly called conflict, confusion. But we are asked to grow in its midst, like it or not. Yet we cannot if people around us stand as obstacles or hindrances by imposing or poking their own life stories upon us. Life is so designed by a bigger Authority above to be a perfect fit for every person who walk it...... male and female, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, and whatever your race and religion.
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We each have our own tailor-made set of experiences... successes... failures... dead-ends... mistakes... challenges... and the peeling off of layers in our core and character which do not belong there if we are meant to grow. And grow is the big thing on the agenda of life.
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We are continually asked or made to grow in the little and big things in life. The reason why stacks of problems are sent our way. Sometimes we understand it and sometimes we don't but the command still remains...... grow!
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Then the big questions come out to the fore..... What is it that we need to do to improve the self?... Why are we asked to change?... Where should we start?... When shall we begin?... Who can best help shed light to the path we need to be on?... How will we work things out to achieve the goal?...
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And this is how we begin to write our life story.
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May God bless you and your family. For always.

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(Thank you, Mr. Quote Man, for the lovely quote.)




Sunday, November 1, 2015

NOVEMBER ---- EVERYTHNG FLOWS, NOTHING STANDS STILL






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Another new month for the living … ironic to start it by thinking of the dead or of death as traditionally marked by All Soul’s Day (November 1). November is close to the end of the year. Most of us measure life by the number of years lived. We say ‘A good year’ or ‘A bad year’….. Blowing out candles on our birthday cakes accordingly with laughter in that year or a big sigh in the next.
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I have had my share of both the good and the bad. A huge diversity of experiences which comprise my storybook of life. Childhood, school, working, family, children, birthdays, debuts, anniversaries, death, travel, joy, sorrow, fear, disappointment, embarrassment, anger, suspicion, betrayal, surprises, sadness, adventure, worry, anxiety, middle age, adult, and now the golden years.
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That’s how life rolls out for every one of us. Our separate experiences despite being individual and unique run parallel to each other on the spectrum of life. We’re different from each other and yet so much the same. What separates us are the dividing lines of continents, countries, nations, governments, color, race, religion, ideologies, and this crazy idea that we are better than the guy sitting next to us. That makes living in this world such a burden.
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Well, since I can’t solve the world’s problems, neither can superman, but…………..
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I could at least do something about my day and life in my little corner of the world.
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I have learned that life should be measured not by the number of years but by the number of breaths of awesomeness we embrace. Those moments which fill our whole being with authentic joy, contentment, passion, compassion, understanding, love, empathy, gratitude, and positivity.
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Many have written about this '...not by years but by the number of breaths...' but it truly is a good thought. Imagine those many times we have wasted on negativity...... Imagine what we have lost by not loving enough what we love and instead wasting breath on bashing what we hate...... Imagine the strain on our senses as we ourselves create our problems...... Imagine how we have bit by negative bit been draining our souls of its power to heal our lives. We have always been our worst enemy… undoubtedly.
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November has a purpose. That is to remind us that we can’t live forever. Wake up and live life the way it should be lived…. By God’s design. The year will soon be ending as all things in life do. But let it not be said that we didn’t live a good life (tough life notwithstanding)... one precious moment at a time… one precious memory at a time… one joyful heartbeat at a time… one positive experience at a time... one prayer of gratitude at a time... one precious day at a time.
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Thank God for November, too.
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Blessings to you and your family.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TODAY'S MORNING WALK AND MORE...



In your day there are many things to see.... the old becomes new,   the new becomes more interesting,   the interesting becomes much more amazing.   Just pay attention.   Life is beautiful!   By God's design.






Sunday, October 11, 2015

LIFE IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU -- IT'S ABOUT OTHERS TOO


The homily at mass today was one I consider among the best I have heard. Delivered by a Filipino priest, it was so simple so much that it was easy to grasp. Unlike some other sermons delivered which tend to fall on the wordy nerdy side of telling, this one talked straight from the heart to other hearts.  Others failing this criteria will find me appreciating the architectural details of the church or chapel more rather than on God’s servant on the mike telling me how to be a good Christian. Oh but I do find others with their own ways of coping with a boring bland delivery… they doze it off or walk out to smoke their cigarettes. (This doesn’t happen with Bishop Soc Villegas with his homilies. In ten minutes, you get the right dose of medicine for your soul. You come out of church happy that you went in.) In this article he talks about ‘homily abuse’……..… 
http://www.rappler.com/na…/88758-bishop-warning-homily-abuse

Today’s homily in essence says about living a life not simply for ourselves but for others, too. Further down the narrative the priest tells of a story of new graduates for the priesthood. When asked how they see their future in about 5 – 10 years in the midst of the political and social problems of the day, the common reply was ‘I’d be very successful… get to a high position… storm the Vatican with my brilliance…’ Then the priest turned to us and said ‘Nothing wrong with all that. But what will you do with what ails your country and people?’

These are times when one is called to be more for others, too. Sadly this is not much understood in some. I have read this somewhere...a writer remarked that the present generation is called the ‘me generation’. The question topmost in one’s head when something presents itself is ‘What’s in it for me?’

Observe our politicians today as they gear themselves for the coming election; notice their gestures, mannerisms, their beliefs, thoughts-words-deeds. Do they seem familiar?

A wise man once said that ‘People are mirrors of you and me. Their good and their bad.’ Thus, they are not just bad politicians to whom we entrust the leadership and management of our country with, we are bad voters too. Is that right?

Selfishness. Selflessness. Two words poles apart (i.e. North Pole, South Pole) in meaning and intent. As defined by Webster…. Selfishness is the quality of being selfish. Selfish is lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure. Selflessness or selfless is having or showing great concern for other people and little or no concern for yourself.

Like mom would often say…. ‘Honey, life is not all about you. It’s also about others, too. Life is about being in this together.’   By God's design.

Let's be kinder. God bless you and your loved ones.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

YOUR PRESENT SITUATION IS NOT YOUR FINAL DESTINATION




Life is not the villain but just a vehicle on which rides the lessons we should be learning. And learning is what we are supposed to do on this planet.
 
 
 Blessings to you, my friends!
 
 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

GROWTH LIES OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONES






No matter our efforts or intent to change and even if that prospect of change would largely improve our selves or our lives, still we hold on fiercely to things which comprise our 'comfort zones'.


 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MAKE THE CHASE MORE PRODUCTIVE





It’s not always smart to spread yourself thin over a wide range of prospects.... quite unthinkingly. 

 ..... narrow down the choices to the best of the crop. (This is what employers do, too)








Monday, August 24, 2015

TALENT CAN HELP YOU BECOME A LOT MORE OF WHO YOU ALREADY ARE




The combined work of your ideas, energy, effort, and time can renew that sparkle in your eye.... recharge your spirit.... and rouse other interests for creative effort.





Monday, August 17, 2015

A FAMILY IS NEVER PERFECT - BUT IS GOD'S PERFECT GIFT TO US



In the natural nurturing order of things, they will expand or develop and in that process increase becoming finally their own person.... one day by Divine design.




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

TODAY IS EVERYTHING. LIVE IT WITH GRATITUDE.




Today is a gift.... God's wonderful gift. Let's do with it what we usually do with something we love...... handle it with care!! Love it for it may never come again. Today is for today, not yesterday nor for tomorrow.