Happy Father’s Day To Me

That moment when your 15 year old daughter gives you a long talk about her plans, hopes, and dreams for senior high school, college, and sigh, the future. You sit there and listen as she shares passionately how she wants to be a Medical Technologist and eventually a Pediatric Oncologist because she wants to help children with cancer like her, and you think silently, I’m not ready yet emotionally, mentally, and yes, financially to let you go. You stare at her with your mouth wide open, and wonder to yourself, where the hell did your crying, scrawny little kid go, and when exactly did this sensible, level headed teenager take over?! So many thoughts running in your head and so many conflicting emotions fighting their way into your poor mommy heart. But then, you continue to sit there and let yourself have it, and when she finally said, “What do you think mommy?!” You just nod your head and mutter, “Gee, that’s some plan,” and you go hug her and tell her you’ll support her. You stand up with a big brave smile on your face and watch as she leaves excitedly to search for some senior high school scholarship program. You brace yourself as the usual painful twist in your heart comes and quietly whisper, “Oh Lord what do we do now?!” Happy Father’s Day to me. 😌

Adam Levine Reveals Secret To His Confidence

If for some insane reason, you do not remember who Adam Levine is, let me refresh your memory. He is the lead singer of the Grammy Award winning band, Maroon 5. He is responsible for such popular hits as This Love, Payphone, and Sugar which earned gold and platinum record awards. He made quite a name for himself in the music industry with his amazing voice and signature good looks that never fail to make women swoon (this one included). He sat as one of the judges in the Emmy Award-winning singing contest, The Voice, and starred in the indie film, Begin Again, where his 222 Records label track Lost Stars was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.

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While most women go gaga over his hot looks (he was declared the “Sexiest Man Alive” of 2013) and remarkable talent, men aspire for the same kind of charisma and confidence that he exudes. What others do not know is that, he too suffered from severe acne breakouts back when he was a teen. This took away much of his confidence and forced him to stay away from the crowd. Adam shares, “I was so ashamed of my acne. I had horrible breakouts and would hide from cameras or hide in my room. It is like one day acne showed up, caused trouble, and messed with my confidence.” You would think that acne’s been a thing of the past for Adam, but no, when his schedule gets busy, the stress still takes a toll on his skin. He discloses, “I am a very active person and truth is, it kind of lead to zits.”

Fortunately for Adam, America’s #1 acne treatment system, Proactiv Solution, took care of his acne problems before it became worse. If there one thing Adam wants people to understand it is that, just because celebrities look so good on the screen does not mean they do not suffer from skin problems like everybody else. Says Adam, “I always want to make sure that people understand that even though we are celebrities or successful, we are no different than anybody else.” Adam encourages those with acne to try Proactiv 3-Step System. He emphasizes, “You have to take these steps if you want to take good care of your skin. It has your skin in mind, it is legit, and in fact a lot of it is restorative and healthy, which is great.”

Proactiv’s 3-Step System is dermatologist-developed and is designed to help clear existing acne and prevent future outbreaks, while gently taking care of the skin. It is ideal for people on the go because it takes no more than five minutes to complete. It starts with the application of:

Step 1: The Renewing Cleanser which contains Benzoyl Peroxide that help kill acne-causing bacteria. It has ultra-fine, micro-crystal BPO that gently penetrates pores and tiny exfoliating beads which help unclog the pores of impurities, such as excess sebum, keratin and dead skin cells.

Step 2: The Proactiv Revitalizing Toner which refines and purifies pores through gentle exfoliation. It contains soothing botanicals to gently remove excess oil for a refresher and clearer skin.

Step 3: The Repairing Lotion which helps heal breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.

Each Proactiv kit comes with a free Refining Mask that helps keep skin clear and acne-free. Formulated with sulfur, a proven acne-fighting ingredient, this Refining Mask reaches deep into the pores where blemishes begin. It also unclogs pores, pampers inflamed skin, and softens the skin’s texture.

Adam Levine described Proactiv’s 3-Step Solution best when he said, “It is game changer; it treats acne and your skin right,” Adam said.

Proactiv Solution comes in 30-Day kit (P2,495) and 60-Day kit (P3,995) and is available at all Watsons stores nationwide.

Nature to Nurture

When my daughter, Bianca, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 12 three years ago, I cannot help but look back and ask myself, had I done things differently, like be more discerning with the things we used around the house and things we exposed her to when she was growing up, would I have been able to shield her from cancer? Though doctors pointed at genetics as the root cause of her cancer, studies show that genes can be altered and influenced by chemicals in the environment.

Babies and mommies nowadays are lucky to have vigilant mompreneurs who make it their passion and mission to develop safe baby products. One such mom is Jacqueline Siy, co-founder of Nature to Nurture. In her desire to protect her child from exposure to unwanted chemicals, she painstakingly studied the usual products we use to clean our body and our home. When she found out that most of them are unhealthy and unsafe for babies, she looked for safer althernatives. Since there are not that much available in the market that are just as effective as the commercial ones, she created Nature to Nurture, one of the brands that I wish we had when my Bianca was just a baby.

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Nature to Nurture products were designed having children in mind. Since Jacqueline is a self confessed cleaning addict and a fan of disinfectants and bleach, the first thing she developed was a fragrance free Baby Bottle and Dishwash. This solution contains only ingredients essential for cleaning. It does not have the nasty and harmful chemicals, colourants, and fragrance. When used on feeding bottles, they come out sparklingly clean and free of residues since the mixture of plant-based surfactant and baking soda effectively remove the grease from breastmilk and eliminate milk film and odor. It rinses easily too thereby cutting down the time you spend washing bottles. It is perfect not just for feeding bottles but for toys, teethers, breastpump accessories, fruits,and veggies as well.

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Another product, Nature to Nurture Multi Purpose Cleaner concentrate, acts as a cleaning agent for surface residue. It contains plant based ingredients that safely yet effectively cleans dirt, buildup, grease, and grime. It uses Tea Tree Oil, an antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral solution that kills germs and deters insects. It can be diluted in water and sprayed on surfaces, or for cleaning or mopping floors. It has been proven to kill 99.99% of E.Coli and Salmonella becteria and 99.92% of Staph bacteria by SGS Phils, Inc., a world renowned testing center.

I know some of you would not even give cleaning solutions in your household a second thought but believe me, after having had a close run in with cancer, I say we should especially if we are raising and nurturing babies and toddlers at home. Little things like this matters especially when it comes to our children’s health.

Nature to Nurture products are available at The Parenting Emporium, Cash & Carry, Lazada, Shoppers Mart, Echostore, and Sesou outlets. For more information connect with them on facebook and instagram.

Benzoyl Peroxide: The Best Acne Treatment

Known to be a compound that fights acne from getting worse, Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) is perhaps one of the most deeply misunderstood acne treatment in the market. Users have shied away from this relatively cheap and effective cure mainly because of some misconceptions that surround it, the popular of which is, “quitting its application after continued use will worsen the acne.”

To better understand why it is the best option for acne treatment, here’s a quick rundown of how it works, what it does, and how to use it:

Acne happens when a pore blocked by excess keratin, sebum, and dead skin cells comes in contact with the bacteria which in turn causes inflammation. What BPO does is it breaks down into benzoic acid and oxygen. The oxygen acts as a free radical that destroys the cells that blocks the pores and the bacteria growing on it. During the early stages of acne formation, BPO is known to effectively prevent breakouts from getting worse.

Its misuse, however, can cause stress on the skin. Too much of it can elevate the stress level of the skin making it more vulnerable to breakouts. Experts advised that it should only be used conservatively and as directed since overuse can easily damage instead of repair skin.

Fortunately, America’s #1 acne treatment, Proactiv Solution, offers a 3-Step System. Developed and recommended by dermatologists, this skin care regimen helps clear existing acne and prevents future breakouts while gently caring for the skin. It contains only 2.5% of BPO which is lower than any other over-the-counter acne treatment in the market, making it is safe for daily use.

It only takes no more than five minutes to do this 3-Step System:

It starts with the use of Proactiv Renewing Cleanser. This cleanser has ultra-fine micro-crystal BPO that penetrates deep into the pores to kill the acne-causing bacteria. These tiny, round exfoliating beads unclog the pores of impurities, such as excess sebum, keratin, and dead skin cells.

The alcohol-free Proactiv Revitalizing Toner which is applied immediately after, refines and purifies pores. It exfoliate the skin further by unclogging and removing more dead skin cells. It also has soothing botanicals that gently balance the skin tone leaving skin clear and feeling more refreshed.

Lastly, the Proactiv Repairing Lotion heals blemishes off the skin and prevents new acne from forming. It is what seals the deal to healthy glowing skin.

Each Proactiv kit comes with a free Refining Mask. Since its main ingredient is sulfur, a proven acne-fighting ingredient, it helps keep skin clear and acne-free. It unclogs pores, soothes inflamed skin, and softens the skin’s texture.

Proactiv Solution comes in 30-Day kit (Php 2,495) and 60-Day kit (Php 3,995) and is available at all Watsons stores nationwide. So what are you waiting for, grab a Proactiv Solution Kit and trust BPO to care for your skin now.

Election Fever

“You will have trouble in the world; but courage! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)

Whatever will be the outcome of this election, I realized, I will still be doing the same things after this. I will still be teaching about love for our country and good citizenship to my students. I will still be working hard to provide for my family. I will still be performing my civic duties. I will still be making myself available to whoever needs my help and service. The outcome of this election won’t change me or stop me from doing something good for my family and country.

I refuse to believe my life is doomed in the hands of whoever will sit in office because if I do, that is just simply saying, this life that I work so hard to build is not my own doing. I refuse to let myself be carried away by talks of a gloomy future for my kid because as it is, I am doing the best I can to raise her in a way that she’ll survive and thrive in that future that everybody seem to be afraid of. Yes, current situation appears worrisome I see that, but my faith dictates that I remain hopeful, and I will. God is not finish with this country yet, and things always happen according to his plan.

Ten Things I Learned From Motherhood

1. Babies don’t really come in neat little packages labeled cute.👶 🍼 Most often, they come in mismatched clothes and soiled diapers. But hey, they always smell good with or without the poop. 💩
2. There is no truth to the “Terrible Twos” or “Terrific Threes” theory because they can drag on even way past the age of 2 or 3. 🙊
3. Typical doesn’t even begin to describe your kid. 😂
4. You never really know what reserved energy is until you’ve become a mom. 💃
5. In most cases, joy comes not from seeing your child happy and carefree, but from seeing him asleep, peacefully and soundly in his bed. 😧💤💤
6. There is nothing glamorous about motherhood because by the time your child becomes a teen, you’ve already turned into a momzilla or worse, a momster! 😇😡👹
7. God made children difficult to sanctify and purify us.😜 They are our means to heaven.👼😆
8. All things being equal, our children will have their turn when they become parents. Trust me, I know. 😏🙊
9. Motherhood is not a vocation like what Hallmark claimed it to be. It is a loving devotion where double portions of grace are given. 🙏
10. Motherhood is always worth every face-palm and hair-pulling moments. 🙈😖😊

Happy Mother’s Day to all the badass ladies out there who’ve managed to keep their wits together despite the challenging role of being moms to your kids. You sure have earned yourself a spot in heaven.☺️

I Am Healed

Singapore-“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

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For the past three years I have turned down invitation from my sister to visit her here in Singapore for the simple reason that I had such great memories with Nan here, I thought returning would be too difficult. This was our last trip together before he passed away. It was for a time our little playground, our home away from home. Yesterday, our first day here, we walked the streets of Woodlands and saw the grocery store where Nan used to disappear to do his market for the day. We spent the day at Universal Studios where Nan and I went crazy and silly together. In the coming days we’ll be retracing and going back to the places where we once have been with him and to new ones where he would have love to go. He was a happy camper, a great travel buddy, always wanting to try the local food and rides, always making sure my mom is comfortable in her wheelchair. I will forever miss him. The wonderful memories hit me so hard yesterday that I braced myself a couple of times for that usual painful twist in my heart to come. None came. Looks like, I am healed.😌

Alex Gonzaga Goes “Mellow”

Nope! TV show host extraordinaire, actress, and certified funny girl Alex Gonzaga did not shed off her feisty persona! Lest you get mixed signals, let me set the record straight. She just recently visited the radio station of Mellow Touch 94.7 in order to promote her latest endorsement, Proactiv, a top skin care product.

Exhibiting a young and vibrant charm, Alex, a loyal Proactiv user, wowed her hosts with her trademark wit and candor. She candidly and effortlessly explained how Proactiv’s 3 easy steps makes it the best choice in daily skin care routine:

Step 1: Use the Renewing Cleanser, an oil-free medicated exfoliating cleanser that kills acne-causing bacteria with benzoyl peroxide.
Step: Apply the Revitalizing Toner, a refreshing, alcohol-free toner that refines and purifies pores, with Glycolic Acid that exfoliates dead skin cells to help keep pores unplugged.
Step 3: Follow it up witn Repairing Treatment, a feather-light, invisible medicated treatment that kills acne-causing bacteria preventing zits and acne.

Alex is one of the top TV hosts in the country today and the first Filipina face of Proactiv. Watch her full interview here: http://youtu.be/qhnq7HPzkl8.

Proactiv Solution comes in 30-Day kit (P2,495) and 60-Day kit (P3,995) and is available at all Watsons nationwide.

Eclipse

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Sometimes I think of the sun and the moon as lovers. Though they rarely meet, they continue to chase each other but almost always, miss one another. But once in a while they do catch up, embrace, and kiss. When this happens, the world stares in awe of their eclipse.

40 Day Lenten Devotion (including the 4 Sundays of Lent)

To prepare myself this lent, I decided to start this 40 day lenten devotion. Starting Ash Wednesday till Easter Sunday, I will be writing a simple prayer/reflection that is based on a verse from the bible or gospel reading of the day. I will be sharing them here with you in the hope that these will help you in your own lenten preparation as well. This list will be updated daily.

1. “Lead me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” (Psalms 115:35) May my heart always finds its way to you my Lord, for there is where true joy lies.

2.”If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me.”(Luke 9:23)—Reading the gospel today reminds me of the late Fr. Lisa, former chaplain of Paref Woodrose. He used to say, “With joy, not a single day without the cross.” St. Josemaria Escriva explained it as a day without a cross is a day without God. Our own cross that we bear with so much love, strength, and grace is what keeps us close to the Father. And as we carry this cross, this burden, and follow Him everyday, we’ll be surprised at just how easily His own cross takes it all and how abundant his shower of blessings is on us in return.

3. “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) Dear Jesus, I know that the “little deaths” I experience as I bear my own cross everyday are nothing compared to your own sufferings on the cross. In your grace, may I always find the strength to overcome adversities and through the light of my own faith, see them as opportunities to love and glorify you.

4. “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands.” (1 Timothy 2:8)—Prayer makes us closer to the Lord. It is in prayer that we cultivate a grateful and a giving heart as well as a heart that desires to give up wordly things for the Lord. Prayer puts meaning and joy into fasting and almsgiving. Without prayer, they merely become actions we do out of tradition. This lent, lets persist in praying. #threepillarsoflent

5. “Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16:14)—Lord, help me find ways to show your love.

6. “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16)—The hardest question that’s often asked of me is, “How did you get over the pain of losing your husband to death? I am always at a loss for answers when people asked me that because honestly, painful isn’t the word I would use to describe it. I wasn’t screaming or crying because it hurt all over. When it happened, I felt the opposite instead. I felt numbed all over. Loneliness and sadness to this day yes, but pained never. Maybe because the Lord in His wisdom, wrote my name on the palm of His hand even before I came to be. He did so such that when this tragedy finally strikes me, the pain from the wounds that his hands incurred from being nailed down would already be enough to save me from unbearable heartache. He took my pain with Him when He suffered and died on the cross such that I would never feel burdened by it forever.

7. “Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8)—Dear God, thank you for always anticipating my needs..for lining up solutions to my problems even before I bring them to you…for being one step ahead of me all the time…for blessing me with so much more…Knowing that you hold my future, that you have complete control of my life, brings me peace.

8. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me in quiet waters.” (Psalm 23:2)—Dear God, life is tough but, you and I together are tougher. Thank you for getting me through anything and for providing me with the strength I need during times when I feel like I’ve nothing left. I am grateful for your showers of miracles and blessings everyday. They assure me of your presence. I also appreciate your staying with me even long after the storms in my life have passed to do much greater things. You have kept your promise of a life made victorious on the coss. In return, I pledge to keep my heart turned towards you always and to speak only of nothing but faith and victory.

9. “Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!” (Psalm 86:11)—Dear God, teach me wisdom that I may strive to understand and respond to others only with kindness and respect. Help me grow in maturity that I may to learn to accept others’ preferences, choices, faith, and beliefs even when they run contrary to mine. Show me the way of humility that I may learn not to force my own or insist that mine is better than rest. Amen.

10. “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 30:7)—Dear Lord, teach me patience so I may learn to joyfully wait for your answers to my prayers. Show me the beauty in waiting so that my faith and trust in your own perfect plan and timing will continue to blossom and grow.

11. “So you see, a person is justified by works, and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)—Dear God, I know that more than hearing me profess my faith, what will bring you true joy is seeing me transform my faith into actions. Do bless me with your grace so that I may continuosly give life to this faith by doing good deeds that will help, inspire, and touch others.

12. “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10)—Dear God, strip me of bitterness, stubborness, laziness, anger, and pride. Teach me instead the way of love, compassion, obedience, patience, and humility so I may become like you.

13. “Let the greatest among you be the servant of all.” (Matthew 23:12)—Over the years, I have met a lot of people who have made it their business to help. People who would graciously and generously offer their time, skills, knowledge, and expertise simply because doing so makes them happy and also because they genuinely care. I’m thinking that if all of us would just transform ourselves into this kind of people, we wouldn’t see a thousand different faces in the crowd. Instead, everywhere we look we would only see one face, that of God’s.

14. “She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” (Matthew 20:21)—Dear God, may I fully learn to entrust my fate and surrender my future in Your hands.

15. “Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Yahweh and whose confidence is in him!” (Jeremiah 17:7)—Dear God, I oftentimes give in to fear especially when things I cannot understand or control happens. I tend to forget that I only have to call on you and blessings and graces will come marching right down in front of me from heaven. When I am beset with worries, bless me with the eyes of faith so that I may always see you at work in everything. When I am consumed with fear, calm my restless heart so I may find rest in your unfailing love. Amen.

16. “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:18) Dear God, may we learn to find joy in the midst of sorrow and peace in the midst of suffering. May we always see our cross as our way to heaven and our opportunity to live and receive your graces. Amen.

17. The father said, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But this brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found. And for that we had to rejoice and be glad.” (Luke 15:32)—Dear God, no matter how frequent we break your heart by sinning and falling into temptation, you still contine to love us. Nothing seems to make you love us less. Your love indeed is the only one that is perfect. It remains constant, unchanging, endless, and complete even if at times we are underserving. Thank you for being that amazing.

18. “God called him from the middle of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!” (Exodus 1:13)—Dear God, if there is one thing I learned from the story of Moses, it is that you certainly have a plan for each one of us and that there’s really no getting away from that plan. You will eventually call us and use us for greater things and purpose. Let your spirit drone out the voice of worries, self-doubts, and fears in our heads then so that when you call us to lead or do what you have set our hearts to do, we can boldly and FaithFULLy say YES to you like Moses.

19. “He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)—Dear Lord, when I start to compare myself with others, please send your Holy Spirit to stop me from doing so. It is because I realized that if this will always be the case, even the big things that I or others do will never be enough to make me happy. Remind me instead to use only you as my measure, to approximate my thoughts, words, and actions with that of yours so I will always stay humble, content, and grounded unto you. You are greater than me and I am nothing next to You.

20. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways, says Yahweh. For just as heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isiah 55:8-9) —Dear God, I can never out think you. I can never figure out the plans you have for me. No matter how much I demand, dictate, or insist on something in prayer, if it is not what You want for me, it will never happen. This is why I constantly ask you to bless me with the grace to accept and embrace your will as my own so I may learn to take delight in your wisdom and ways.

21.”On the other hand, whoever obeys my commands, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)—Dear Jesus, I often wonder why in the gospels, you always implore your disciples to follow you right away, like the time you commanded them to lower down the nets even if they adamantly told you that there’s hardly any fish in the sea. Now, I understand. Had the disciples refused to lower the nets and depended only on their own understanding, they would’ve missed the great catch that awaited them. You are always insistent when it comes to our obedience because you do not want us to miss God’s blessings. Please show us your way then Jesus so that we may know how to quickly respond with obedience at the Lord’s promptings.

22. “Walk in the way I command you and all will be well with you.” (Jeremiah 7:23)—Dear God, please continue to bless me with an obedient heart that longs to please you so that I may continue to live the blessed life that you have promised. Amen.

23. “You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)–Dear God, I woke up today with the same set of problems and worries. The pile of work that I need to finish did not disappear overnight like how I wished they would, and my family and life struggles still remain. But for some weird reason and despite all these, I woke up feeling happy. If this is what it means to live in your grace Lord, with gladness, I look forward to everyday. Thank you.

24. “Let us strive to know Yahweh.” (Hos 6:3)—Dear God, sometimes we get lucky and meet friends who’ll make us feel like we just had the best conversation with you after being around them. It is because when they speak of the faith, their words ring with sincerity, wisdom, and truth. They live out the faith with so much passion also, they radiate joy. I just want to say thank you Lord for blessing my life with this kind of friends. Friends who help me grow in faith, and make me appreciate and love you.

25. “Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)—Dear God, you’ve been attentive and faithful to my every need, how can I not feel loved by you?! When I feel small and insignificant, your grace moves me to do great things. When I feel discouraged, your spirit fills me with joy. When I feel worthless, I only have to look at you on the cross and I’m reminded of my value. Your sufferings and death alone show just how important I am to you. Clearly, I belong to you and for that, you have my heart forever

26. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her.” (Proverbs 31:25-28)—Dear God, with your grace make me into this kind of woman everyday. Firm yet loving. Strong yet compassionate. Fearless yet wise. Gentle yet tough. Turn me into this kind of woman who is not afraid to fully embrace triumph and defeat, and joy and sadness in her life. Inspire me to be this kind of woman who deliberately work at creating for her family a home of quiet refuge, where faith, hope, love, and charity thrive.

27. “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” (John 4:48)—Dear God, teach me to find miracles in the mundane and ordinary so I won’t have to demand big things from you before I believe in your capacity to meet my needs. Train my eyes to see the blessings that you so generously give everyday so I won’t need convincing of how a great a Father you are to me. Open my heart and mind so that I may understand that the wonders and signs of your love aren’t always spectacular. In fact, it is nothing but simple and poignant, you dying on the cross to save us.

28. “Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)— Dear God, teach me how to demonstrate love in big and small ways. Teach me how to value people the same way you value me. Teach me how to show genuine mercy and compassion towards others so they may always see and feel your love through me.

29. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)—Dear God, help raise a visionary child. Help me mold my daughter into the kind of person who can dream big things, desire good things, and do great things not only for herself but for others as well. Bless me with your grace so I will be able set good examples to her on how to be God-seeking instead of self-seeking in her pursuit of happiness and success in life.

30. “Led by mistaken reasons they think, “Life is short and sad, and there’s no cure for death.” (Wisdom 2:1a)—Dear God, when Nan died I was so consumed with grief I thought I will never be happy again. I’m grateful that you’ve met every occassion of sorrow in my life with grace until there’s nothing left for me to feel but joy in your presence. Thank you for making me see everyday that though life is short by human standards, every second of it is still worth living and that the cure for death is simply a whole lot of prayers and faith.

31. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)—Dear God, train my eyes so I will learn to see the beauty in others. Train my tongue so I will learn to speak only the language of love and respect. Train my mind so I will have nothing but good thoughts about others. Train my heart so I will learn to forgive and understand easily their shortcomings and mistakes. When I thread the path of self-righteousness, Lord, let your Holy Spirit enlighten and lead me back to you.

32. “You know all things even before they come to be.”(Dn 13:2)— Dear God, you clearly own my tomorrow. I have complete trust in your great design for me. I know you always have my best interest at heart. You’ve brought me this far so I am sure that you have prepared a bright future for me as well and that, you’ll take me even farther than my hopes and dreams.

33. “Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:2) Dear God, when I want to do little else but pull my hair out or throw my hands up in the air in frustration, I am glad there’s always heaven to look up to and you to call on. Thank you for being my 24/7 hotline and lifeline.

34. “As for God, his way is perfect.” (Psalm 18:30) Dear God, amazing how everything falls into place when it is your plan. I’m sorry if I allowed doubt to creep in and fear to grip my heart when I was trying to work things out on my own. Forgive me because I tend to forget sometimes that I need not do things alone because I always have you to run to.

35. “The Lord is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trust.” (Psalm 27:6)—Dear God, thank you for turning my battlescars into victory marks. Wounded, blessed, loved, and healed. That’s me after you took over my fights.

36. “Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)— Dear God, today I realized that even the little things that you called me to do have meaning and purpose. And that, when done with the same amount of love and effort as the big important tasks, they become my simple yet significant way of loving and glorifying you.

37. “Faith is the way, and all is given, by grace.”(Romans 4:16)—Dear God, my faith is what allows me to move forward despite life’s many setbacks, and your grace is what connects and propels me to the greater things that you have in store for me. Thank you for the gifts of faith and grace, I’m truly blessed beyond measure.

38.”He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross.” (Philippians 2:7)—Dear God, today I realized that what will bring me to heaven is not so much the gravity or weight of my own cross but the way I carry it with so strength, cheerfulness, and grace. Make me like Jesus Lord so I may learn to lovingly accept and embrace my own cross everyday.

39. “Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes.” (Isaiah 30:20)—Dear God, though it may seem like I’ll never recover from the blows of life, I realized that I can. I can heal from the ache, bounce back from the hurt, and get up from a fall. If I just draw near you, if I just live under your shadow and bask in your light, I can.

40. “I went to those who were not looking for me, I was found by those who sought me not.” (Isaiah 65:1)—Dear Jesus, there are times when a cross appears without my looking for it. When this happens may I recognize that it is you seeking me out. May I learn to fully embrace this cross and offer my own “little deaths” on it for your glory. May I learn to serve and save others in my own unique way as well and make your death on the cross truly worth it everyday.

41. “And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38)—Dear God, thank you for making me realize that, though the cross often signifies death and suffering, it actually means so much more. A shot at heaven, a chance at my own resurrection, and a way to show my deep love for You. So even if my cross is heavy, even if it pains me, I will try my cheerful best to embrace it with open arms, close to my heart. Truly, my cross is sweet because if I allow it, it will open a lot of opportunities for me to live and receive your graces.

42. “O all you that pass by the way, look and see, was there ever a sorrow to compare with my sorrow.” (Lamentation 1:12)—Dear Mama Mary, I never really knew how painful it was for you to see Jesus suffer on the cross until I stood beside the recovery bed of my own suffering child after her surgery. My sorrow even then was nothing compared to your sorrow. As I watched my child cry in pain, my heart broke into a thousand pieces. I can only imagine what your own heart must have felt like seeing your own child die on the cross to save us. As I venerate the cross today Mama Mary, I venerate you as well for giving birth and raising our reedemer, our savior, Jesus Christ. You are the perfect example of deep courage, humility, and trust. May I learn to be a perfect handmaid of the Lord like you. May I learn to carry grief and sorrow gracefully, and may I learn to submit myself and surrender my child graciously to the will of God like you.

43. “But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find him here. He is risen.” (Luke 24:1)—Dear God, your easter message is not lost to us. There is no easter surprise like what the easter egg hunt or some easter bunny has been claiming about only an easter promise fullfilled. The promise of a new beginning after that somber ending. We will make sure to rejoice in that.

44. “The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him.” (Matthew 28:8-9)—Dear Jesus, I am still able to smile despite difficulties because you, my Lord and my Savior, has shown me that at end of each season of suffering comes resurrection. Victory is indeed ours, thanks to you.

This ends my 40 day lenten devotion, thank you for praying with me. Happy Easter.☺️

Updated: March 27, 2016

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