My Third Week Of May

Have you ever heard the line, when you pray you are speaking to God and when you read his words, God is speaking to you? I totally agree to it. Lately, I’ve been asking God for so many things and he’s been speaking to me through his words as I read my bible. The best thing is that God is really working not just within me but around me.

Recently, I asked self-centered requests from our Lord, and even undeserving he still gave it to me anyway. One of those was last Sunday (May 18, 2014) when I badly wanted to see someone and I ended up not seeing that person (who I shall not name) but to make it short, when I finally gave up my best friend, Mighty found that someone for me. It was like God wanted me to learn to have greater faith in him. And oh boy, it was totally worth the wait (only I lost faith).

Of course, of course and of course that’s not the first time it happened. There were days when I felt so insecure and some days I didn’t know what to do that I curled up on my bed crying. There was this one incident when I snapped and I was so mad that I forgot to think before I went into action. I suffered for almost two years trying to figure out what to do until few days ago, I went naked before God and poured my emotions to him. You know what God did after? He gave me the wisdom to say the right words (not the best grammar but the right things to say) and I texted that person right away. That day, God healed me completely. I finally told my best friends and I quote (myself), “It has been hurting yet healing. Today, it finally healed.”

And this weekend, my friend posted in Instagram a photo of a pack of cigarette and a bottle of redhorse (or whatever alcohol was that) with a caption “sinful week” and I hated him for that so I commented, “Oh boy, you didn’t just claim that.” Ending, he ignored me. And I was, once again, disappointed in him. But then Rick Warren’s word reminded me that as a Christian we must be sensitive with unbelievers (make no mistake, my friend believes in existence of God and he attends Sunday mass but most of the time he has other lifestyle on  weekdays even weekends). So I changed my tactic and shared God’s amazing works for me instead until we talked about his plans. His plan to attend at our church is still the same — a plan. So I told him to break the plan and make it happen. The good thing is, he said “soon.” It’s a progress because he used to reply “I don’t know.” At least now there is the word soon. I don’t know when will be that soon he’s talking about (I’m praying soonest) but at least he’s a work in progess. We all are, arent we?

In a week, I learned so much:

1. That God knows the desires of my heart and he will give it to me even if at times I am leaving my faith behind.

2. That God is a healer and his timing is always right.

3. That God can use even the simplest thing, like picture to reveal my (your) purpose.

The third one is the best for me — the best revelation. Yes, we cannot reach out everyone but we can reach out someone. Let’s start with those who are important to us: family, friends and relatives. Let’s speak the truth to them in love.

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren used the Living Bible version for 1 Timothy 6:21a and it says, “Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life — they don’t know God.” I don’t want them (the people I love) to miss the most important thing in their life. The truth is, I am still searching for God. Every day I am praying that God will give me wisdom and that he will ignite my desire to know him deeper. But then I know that even if I’m struggling, I can still reach out to others and tell them the good news. We just have to pour our hearts to him. God said,“You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13, NCV)

God is faithful even if we run away from him. His love is always perfect. Maybe just like me, you’re suffering from different kinds of pain and sometimes you don’t know what to do but take heart; God said, “I love you people with a love that will last forever. That is why I have continued showing you kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3, NCV)

And the best thing is that even my love fails, His love will never fail.

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Run With Your Heart

Just because you can run doesn’t mean you are a runner. And just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you’re not a runner. As what I’ve read somewhere, “When your legs can’t run anymore run with your heart…”

Running is just a word… a mere movement. The only moment a word can convey a thousand meaning is when we give depth to it. It is when we acknowledge it beyond its denotation. It is when we give our personal touch to a certain word as if it describes a part of us. Speaking of which, I have a friend who is fond of joining marathons, it’s his way of enjoying his free time and challenging himself. In fact, I’m thinking of putting an imaginary tagline between his first and last name that goes something like: “Edison the-epitome-of-a-true-runner Cruz

Recently, Edison joined two fun runs namely Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013 and Run United 3. And I tell you, he ran 42 kilometers a week after he ran 21 kilometers… Oh, well, I’m kidding not! He really did that. Anyway, this time, not only will I give you the glimpse of what had happened but I will also try to once again relate running to life as its metaphor.

 

MEN’S HEALTH URBANATHLON & FESTIVAL 2013

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Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner runs for Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival 2013

Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner joined 21k for this event. It wasn’t a regular kind of run since there were obstacles along the path making it more exciting and far way challenging.  Among the obstacle courses were composed of bars, walls, scaffoldings, etc.

A month before his run he told me he’s looking forward to what the event organizers prepared for runners since there would be some additional obstacles for 2013. I then asked him if it’s possible to just run and by pass those hurdles since I’m assuming not everyone would actually go through those barriers. I was in awe when he told me that you have to go through all of those challenges otherwise you won’t experience the underlying principle of what urbanathlon is all about. I guess the boy made a fair point statement there.

Sadly, I wasn’t there to see things right before my eyes. I failed to witness every runner as they moved and overcome each obstacle. But my friend Google helped me with some information and Edison fueled me with stories allowing me to come up with my own train of thoughts.

In fact, after processing what I’ve read and what I’ve heard I take hold of the idea that running is actually a metaphor of life. Men’s Health is actually closer to it. Why? Well, because of its obstacle courses. It is my desire that those runners who’ve joined the said marathon were able to see the underneath lessons that the event was trying to impart to of each of you… to each of us. I’m nobody – not even a part of Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013 in any form. Perhaps I’m not in the position to speak for them nor do I know if their real objective is the same as mine yet I still dare to say that there’s more than just running, beating the obstacles and  getting your finisher’s shirt – and for me it’s called Life Lessons.

What about that?

Life is full of challenges and we get to experience one of its kinds day by day. Let’s view things this way; the event itself is what we called life and the obstacles within the course of running connote life challenges and difficulties. The moment you signed up for Men’s Health Urbanathlon, you also acknowledged the truth that there would be obstacles to face and that you’re up to face them. At first it was easy but as you get by, the obstacles seem to be tougher and tougher and you just wanted to skip every barrier but then you maintained your focus and realized you’re not just the one struggling. And if they can do it, then you certainly can survive it.

And here’s the good thing, no matter how difficult things may look like from a distance, as you get closer to it, you’ll find out that there are people who are willing to help you get through it. Often times, they are just around the corner waiting for you to come near them. It’s taking risk but it’s always worth the risk. That’s exactly what made Men’s Health Urbanathlon closer to running as a metaphor of life.

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Edison with his friends after finishing Urbanathlon 2013.

 

RUN UNITED 3

No way will I ever get myself involved in any 42k runs. The idea itself is killing me, let alone doing it. But that’s not the case with my favorite guy; imagine he joined the RunRio with three different kilometers such as 21k (Run United 1), 32k (Run United 2) and 42k (Run United 3). The events were held in three different dates to give each runner enough amount of time to prepare for each run. Well, Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner called it a challenge… I called it death run!

Looking from a different perspective, it may seem easier since there were no obstacles involved. But let me tell you this, it wasn’t easy. Yes, obstacles were not presented the same way as what Men’s Health did but the distance alone had given me pain in the head… it scared the crap out of me! My brain couldn’t process how on earth I will ever get through it without me fainting or passing out! (Okay… okay… I didn’t join but the mere idea makes me feel like I’m going to throw up!)

Going back, just because there were no obstacles along the way didn’t mean it’s a struggle-free-zone. As what I saw from Edison’s facebook wall, he was cursing out when he saw the finish line. Again, running 42k was no joke! He didn’t run just for the sake of running or boasting that “Hey man, I’m good… I’m a 42k finisher” I believe that he did what he did because he wanted to complete the three medals. Those three medals can be formed into one big medal once you have the three pieces. And you can only attain your objective if you’re able to finish the RunRio. It’s called Goal – he has his goal and he was able to achieve it.

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RUNRIO medals: Run United 1, Run United 2 & Run United 3.

Here’s the thing, probably you’re running because you want to get the perfect body, to release some stress or maybe to think things over. And you’re throwing yourself into the field not because you’re nowhere to go but because you have goals to achieve. And you’re pretty aware that the only way to accomplish it is when you do something about it.

Seriously, I had no idea on what he was thinking when he was struggling to finish the Run United 3 marathon. All I know is that running is about taking risk and Edison took the risk. He knew right in his inner core that he’d survive, he just needed his body to bear with him. I’m sure that he was so stressed and too tired while doing the challenge. I’m also certain that his legs… his feet were excessively sore but his brain was shouting, “You can do it…” and his heart was telling him, “Go on… we’ll get by…” And a voice from within was reminding him, “Man we set our goals, we’ll get through this…” And he was able to push through because he was running with his heart.

 

WRAP UP

I’m not a runner physically, my feet have no ability to run as far as 10k or worst even 5k. It’s Edison’s thing. He’s expressing his life through running and he makes the best things out of it. Me? I run using my heart and my brain. I get to run with runners because I can put things into words.

What I am trying to say? I’m trying to give justice on my opening statement that you don’t have to run to be a runner and that you have the ability to give your own connotation to whatever words available in the dictionary as long as you can give justice to it otherwise the word will remain as it is.  And for my part, running is when you allow your brain to function so at the end of the day you can be able to share some words of wisdom to those people around you. It’s not my body doing the task, it’s my heart and my brain and normally they do have marathon inside me; it’s like, should I follow my head or should go along with my heart? They are running even if I stand still. And yes, that’s how running goes when I don’t do it on track. How do you do yours?

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Always RUN with your HEART! (Photo credit: Flickr)

Lastly, as we grow old we tend to lose our strength. Time will come that despite our desire to run, we can’t help but to shake off the idea. It will be painful yes, but take heart… you can always use your heart to run. You can always tell your stories and go back to the time when running was as easy as saying ABC– we are a natural story teller and I tell you, life is fair! And because running is a metaphor of life, you can count on that aging will not steal your experiences. You may forget it but it will remain somewhere inside your heart.  So as early as today, allow me to remind you to always run with your heart.

Running: A Metaphor For Life

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Photo credit: Edison Cruz’s facebook account. Run United 2.

“Running is the greatest metaphor of life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” –Oprah Winfrey.

I was browsing some quotes when all of a sudden Oprah Winfrey’s words got my attention. I failed to understand its true meaning the first time I read it but I knew it would be the best quote to use for what I have in mind – it would be perfect because my subject loves to run, but I don’t know how on earth it is related to life. Perhaps because running makes us healthy – physically and emotionally, but… is that all?

It was 3AM of Tuesday… I told myself: Later, I’ll figure things out… I need to figure things out or else I would end up giving Edison the first blog I wrote (A Happy Birthday or A Giveaway?).  But that won’t happen since obviously, I have this blog (maybe I’ll show him both). Now… let me tell you a brief story.

Looking back…

Edison Rances Cruz – Going to cinema has been our way of getting along or catching things up. On our last movie together he told me, “Pinag iisapan ko na mag gym at magpapayat” (I’m thinking of going to gym and be fit again). I don’t know if by then he was just telling me his plans or he’s waiting for my opinion. Unsure of what to say, I told him “Kaya mo yan, update mo ko ha!” (You can do it and please keep me updated).

Of course, he knew it was a hard decision – hard because one must devote his time in order to see the fruit of his labor. Results cannot be seen over night so without patience things wouldn’t be possible. There were days when he would call me because he wanted to just give up. There were instances when whining was the only option he had to lessen the burden. Over the phone he would say, “Nag oorder yung mga officemates ko ng masasarap at fatty foods samantalang ako panay vegetable salad sa KFC pero wala pa din nangyayari…” (While my officemates have been ordering delicious and fatty foods, I am stuck eating KFC’s vegetable salad yet nothing has changed [pertaining to his weight loss]). And he would ask me to cheer him up and say something to make him feel that he’s still doing things right.

And though he hasn’t seen the outcome yet, he still accepted the challenge from he’s co-workers. Certain group of people had to lose weight; the person who would get the lowest weight loss would have to pay the agreed consequences. Guess what? He won. He was so motivated not because he wanted to lose weight but because he didn’t want to pay the price when they defeat him. But let me tell you what I realized,  it was never about the money he had to spend if he didn’t make it but he actually wanted to hit two things at the same time. The idea of winning and losing some pounds has boosted his competitive side. It was… well… a healthy competition.

It was a challenge he had to do alone but it was and will never be something he has to face on his own. I couldn’t do all the routines for him but you can bet that just like always my ears are ready to listen to his stories – whether it’s about whining or some sort of happy things – doesn’t matter anyway.

But you know what? It’s not going to gym where he found happiness… it was through running. He started spending his time running alone. He fell in love with running – with his earphone plugged in his ears. Music has been accompanying him all along. Until… he decided to join fun runs and then marathons.

Running… running… running… and then life. What makes them similar? At what point? Maybe because running has been teaching us the same lesson life has taught us – to find our own pace, to learn how to endure pain, to know our reasons… our purpose. Every single time you run, there is a point of discovery. You will discover your limitations; take for example how many miles can you finish in one run?  Five miles perhaps? Or maybe you can’t even finish 10 miles, therefore, it will allow a person to accept what he can do and what he cannot. Pushing our limits will help us know our capacity. We could have been injured if we go beyond our power but if we know what we are capable of then things would be easier.

They say that life is a continuous process. I say it’s true. When we run there is always a point of interval, at the end of it there is always a finish line awaits us – to show that we’ve completed our goal, but… it doesn’t equate to stopping our pace. You can always choose what kind of fun runs and marathons to join… and then, begin again. If you intend to win but fail, just keep on trying. Let’s not make things complicated. Life is complex but it doesn’t need to be complicated.

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His way of enjoying his free time.

Going back, Edison once told me that running is his “ME TIME”. It is his way of processing things. Before it has always been about shedding some pounds but after discovering what running can do for him both emotionally and physically, running is no longer part of his ‘’must-to-do” things. Now, it’s part of his system… something he loves to do.

I don’t know if I am making sense, well… I hope I do. Guess I have to discover more connections between running and life. Maybe you should too! Seriously, I’m running out of words. By now, Edison must know, without a doubt that I am so proud of his accomplishments (losing 18 kilos is not easy by the way) because if not, I’m going to break his bone (laughing).

Edison is my real-life Flash (Justice League) better yet my favorite guy. Flash is capable of running faster than a speed of light. My favorite guy is capable of turning darkness into light (something flash is not capable of) because he has the power of making me smile in one hello.

In parting, let me quote something I have read somewhere, “When your legs can’t run anymore, run with your heart…”

P.S: Happy 23rd Birthday Ba***! Now, you are “Mr. Piggy No More” You deserve the hotness in every way possible! Well… at least for today! *to the moon and back*

A Good Man Never Dies He Just Says Goodbye

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Today is Grandpa’s 80th birthday. He passed away due to kidney problem and body complications about 22 years ago. All of his grandchildren address him as Tatay instead of Lolo (Father instead of Grandpa), because we mimic our parents and that is how our parents address him.

To give you a background, my older sister and I are the luckiest grandchildren because Tatay was able to hug, kiss and take good care of us. He was there when we were born and he was present during our first birthday. That is why my sister and I have photos with him.

Honestly, I don’t remember anything about Lolo because I was less than 2 years old when he died. All I know is that he is a good man. No wonder that he’s truly a good man because Nanay (mother but actually my Grandma) never thought of marrying someone else after Tatay died. She would tell us how lucky she was for having Tatay and for having nine kids with him.

I grew up going to cemetery yearly especially during his birthday, death anniversary, Nanay and Tatay’s wedding anniversary and all souls day. And you wouldn’t believe it but we love going there because Nanay would bring a lot of food while my Aunties and Uncles would buy pizza or anything we want during all souls day. But of course, we love to be there because we know that Nanay despite the long years still misses her husband. And among us, she knows Tatay inside out.

In my blog, “A Miracle Baby, A Wonderful Little Big Man” I stated there that my brother was born as we remember Tatay’s 8th years death anniversary. So even he’s no longer with us we still celebrate his life through my brother’s birthday.

Now, I just want to say “Happy Birthday Tatay and we love you so much” you are such a lucky man because your wife, kids and your grandchildren love you genuinely. We’ve heard a lot of stories about you and how wonderful you are. I just hope that you are still here because no words can define how much Nanay misses you… everyday!

We are celebrating your birthday! I am sending you big hugs across the miles Tatay! You will never be forgotten because “A Good Man Never Dies He Just Says Goodbye…” You are here, inside our head and inside our heart!

Adam & Eve: Partners not Playmates

“Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him and near his heart to be loved by him.” —-Matthew Henry’s commentary on Genesis.

Matthew Henry’s commentary on Genesis sums up the core responsibility of men to women. Sadly, today several men have forgotten how it is to be a man—-their roles, responsibilities and values.

The world taught us that women are now equal to men, thus men at some point see women as their opponent instead of as their partner. There are some relationships wherein if the woman gets higher income, it turned out to be a big slap on her boyfriend or husband’s face. Where in fact, he should be rejoicing and cheering for her. Isn’t that the guy should be tapping her back while saying, “Good job Honey!” (or whatever terms of endearment you want to address your significant other)  instead of competing with her salary and making a big deal out of it?

Having a higher income does not mean she would be your boss and would top you. Remember ‘Eve is not taken out of Adam’s head to top him…’ so relax. Why worry knowing that among the foundations of a good relationship are love, trust respect and not money. I don’t even remember that money is a prerequisite to enter a relationship.

Moving on, I wonder why there are some battered-wives. Girls are not punching bags for whatever sake boys! In the heat of an argument, a man should take off his hands away from his partner especially when he intends to hurt her. Your hands should wipe girls tears not beat her! And yes, she’s not even your maid to be trampled. Oh wait; even servants should be treated fairly. There are now existing laws about that. Gone are the days when rulers can just hit their servants anytime. So move on, today is 2013! Again, remember, ‘Eve was not taken out of Adam’s feet to be trampled by him…’ so why act that way?

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And… this is not written above but it is important to note that Eve (Woman) and Adam (Man) are partners not playmates. They are made to care for each other not to beat one another or play with each other’s hearts. The adage, “There is one woman for every man” is still true and should remain both in our hearts and minds. Stop playing ‘enie-minie-mini-mo’ game among women when you can’t decide which is which or who is who. Do not play with somebody’s heart! Do not even dare to play fire because eventually it can burn you…alive! And feeling sorry afterwards may be… well… usually too late!

Fine, I understand that we, women have a role to play too—- a role that should look after the welfare of our man. Just like the old saying, “It takes two to tango” so it is essential that lovers should complement and guide each other along the way. Because the truth is, ‘Eve was taken out of Adam’s side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him and near his heart to be loved by him’. —-Matthew Henry

Telling Myself: Stop Talking and Start Working…

I just have to write my thoughts down (through words/writing) because my head is about to explode if I won’t. I am just giving myself a sudden break dealing with articles…

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Lately, I’ve been doing some writing jobs. It’s pretty hard in a way that I rewrite articles without using almost the same words but should end up with the same thought when put together as one paragraph… as one whole article again. I am allowed to use synonyms but not to the extent that I am just changing words. I have to paraphrase everything… as in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, from word up to sentences… everything.

It’s actually a challenge for me because I’m not really good when it comes to basic grammar (thank God it’s not about basic grammar… I thought it was). Seriously, I mean… don’t ever ask me where the compound predicate is or where is the adverb or where is the conjunction. Of course, I know the answer (sometimes not.. haha!), but please! Don’t ever ask me that… I just find it so hard to deal with. As my Journalism professor told us, “teaching basic grammar is the job of an elementary English teacher.” Just ask me if your grammar is wrong instead and I’ll be willing to help you correct it but never ever ask me to explain why it is wrong… (unless you want me to open books and let’s study together) I don’t want that! I mean if you’re old enough and finished schooling, you should at some point know how to construct your own sentences correctly (even those in grade school already know how to construct sentences, common… shame to those who finished high school but can’t even express themselves using English. I’m not saying that you have to be very good on it, even a little knowledge will do. Give it a try!) However, sometimes we tend to make some wrong grammar errors and that’s acceptable… that’s normal! Don’t stab yourself to death if somebody corrects you. We all make mistakes, I bet even the best writers commit grammar errors at times (prolly that’s the reason why we have proof readers… that’s their job.)

I’m not writing to teach you about grammar. It’s just that I realized that I underestimated my capability when it comes to writing. The objective of my current writing job is to rewrite the article – title, subheadings and sentences. I was given also the following pointers: Don’t just change the words or use synonyms. Rewrite the sentence – change the sentence structure, paraphrase, while still keeping the meaning/thoughts of the original sentence (it has format by the way but I’m not going to explain it further.)

I was so hesitant to try it at first. Family members were telling me that I can do it since my vocabulary isn’t bad plus I do love writing since I’ve been writing blogs for my tumblr and wordpress account. Well, writing is just a hobby… my forte is on creative writing. I hate technicalities in writing… I hate writing formal letters. I don’t know what’s with it but something within me keeps on telling me “Ann, don’t write that… that’s hard… and boring!” *Kidding*

I guess our clients are from America. I am actually learning new words as I write those articles and it’s pretty cool. Really cool, didn’t expect that I could be able to finish even just one article. Sometimes it just a matter of trying new things and pushing yourself to learn how it is being done (you’ll get into it if it’s really meant for you! *crossing fingers*)

Well, while I am finishing my last two articles… it suddenly reminds me of Mr. Priceless’ assignment for her sister’s condo. His Ate (oldest sister) who lives in California has her condo unit in Rockwell and Mr. Priceless’ task is to look after it. I’ve been working on with these certain topics about how condo rental owners can effectively rent out their condominiums, or pointers to keep in mind when looking for new tenants and so on and so forth (topics are not just about condos we have a lot), which made me think of him. I wish tenants wouldn’t give him any headaches knowing that he’s too nice to suffer from one. (You just don’t know how good he is!)

Okay… I am just a lucky blessed girl for being able to write what’s on my head. Should also give credits to my ever dearest best friend named Patty who I fondly called Patchie or Boi for always believing in my writing skills. She pushed me to write, she even told me to look for writing jobs and even told me how good I am ever since I met her. She’s like my sister!

And Yes… to those who actually appreciate my blogs, especially that Mr. Priceless blog… Thank you!

Though, I’m still having a hard time doing my new tasks, I’m still willing to finish everything. I believe I can do all of those… (because I have no other choice but to finish everything) *Kidding*

You can’t be a good writer if you don’t practice your writing skills. You have to do what it takes to enhance your ability. God’s given gifts are made for us to use hoping to touch people hearts…

So there… not really something to ponder… just giving my head a big break dealing with articles. Writing allows me to express myself and at the same time my way of releasing stress!

So… I should now stop talking and start working!