Archive of ‘Teach Pray Run’ category

Of paper airplanes and little boys

I have an ongoing love-hate relationship with this boy because he won’t write properly and would purposely make his answers wrong so he can annoy me. He came home one day with papers screaming red marks and smugly told me he would tell his wowa his tutor sucks. I knew better than to argue with him. The next day, I found him crying because he just learned that instead of 3 days in a week, her wowa wants us to tutor 4 days instead.๐Ÿ˜‚ Talk about major backfire.๐Ÿ˜

Most of the time we want to strangle each other, but there are also those rare moments when we would find ourselves doubled up in laughter because of some funny joke or pausing in the middle of studying to do a quick game of tic-tac-toe. When he’s not crying and whining, I think I love him and when, I am not nagging and bossing him, I think he loves me too.

Yesterday, before I left him for summer, he gave me 2 paper airplanes and when I was getting inside my car, he told uncharacteristically he does not want to see me again. But then, as I was slowly driving away, I caught him in my rearview mirror with a sad wistful look on his face. And, just when he thought I wasn’t looking, just before I made a turn to speed away, I caught him making quick gestures. He was blowing kisses towards my car. Sometimes I really do think he loves me and you know what, just between you and me, I think I love him too. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ‘ซ

Dear God, thank you for this little boy who stretches my patience and tests my limits. Thank you for the opportunity to teach him, however hard and trying it may seem sometimes. Thank you for giving me the chance to mold him into the kind of boy you want him to be. I believe that out of difficulties grow miracles. Let him be one of my miracles.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Œ

This 2017…

I pray that you will have a blessed, wonderful year ahead. May you continue to dream big with the Lord and allow His mighty presence to fill your hearts and home with joy this new year. May you grow and bloom in faith and be filled with a burning passion to do good and be better than you once were.

Sometime this year, I hope you commit to a scary goal and with the boldest of courage, dare to achieve it. When things do not go as planned, may you discover and realize how beautifully mysterious and amazing God’s plan is, and with blind faith and trust learn to fully embrace it. Wherever you may find yourself this year, may it be at the peak of happiness and success or at the depth of grief, despair, or sorrow, may this thought always remain with you: no matter what happens, life is good. God is good. He loves you.๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Proudly Woodrose

A former student once asked me, what makes you stay in Woodrose? I’ve but one answer, family. Woodrose is where I found my family and family, it isn’t always blood.

Families take care of their own, I have witnessed this many times in this institution. I remember when my husband was rushed to the ER following a massive heart attack, it was Mrs. Tina Elloso, then Level Coordinator for Administration and present Grade School Principal of Woodrose, who readily accompanied me to the hospital. As traumatic and heartbreaking it must’ve been for her to see a fellow wife lose herself in grief, she remained by my side in that moment of deep sorrow to provide the strength I needed at that time. On the eve of Bianca’s surgery, it was Mrs. Au Sergio Katindoy, former Grade School Principal and now Head of Administration of Woodrose, who sent me comforting words thru text. The thoughful way she checked on us that midnight before Bianca went under the knife meant a lot because it made Bianca and I feel less alone. When things took a turn for the worse, it was Mrs. Luz Illagan, Director for Finance and Administration of Woodrose, who reassured me right away that she will always extend whatever assistance I need in the best of her capacity, and to this day, she remains true to her word. Bianca’s first visitor at home after she was discharged from the hospital was surprisingly Dra. Severina Villegas, Paref Woodrose’s Executive Director. Like the others, she took time to travel all the way to Cavite to show Bianca how much she cares. “To lead is to serve” is not something that we just simply recite in Woodrose, it is what everyone does in Woodrose wholeheartedly.

I will always be grateful to Woodrose because this where I have grown professionally and spiritually, and true to its familial nature, it still continues to nurture me. Under the expert hands of Mrs. Santos Ca, I’m slowly turning into the kind of teacher I’ve always wanted to be, and given the spiritual guidance of Mrs. Anne Adizon, I’m also growing into the kind of person the Lord wants me to become.

I have been blessed with life long friends from the day I started working in Woodrose. Friends who I know will continue to be with me through the best and worst of times. Friends who treat each of my life’s journey, struggles, and triumphs as their own. These past couple of years I have been called inspiring many times, what others do not know really is behind this woman you call inspiring is a strong community of prayerful women in Woodrose who never gets tired of celebrating the goodness of the Lord. I am just simply following their lead.

A prophet once said seek the treasure that the Lord has prepared for you, and there you shall find your heart. My treasure has always been my family. Woodrose is my family. This is where my heart will always be. Others who have left said the grass is greener on the other side, well I say from where I’m standing in Woodrose, the grass has never looked this greener and more beautiful.

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Thank you Woodrose for the 10 wonderful years. I look forward to more. To everyone who have been part of my 10 years in Woodrose, thank you. To the parents I’ve worked with and who have done more for me, thank you for the genuine care, respect, and trust. To my present and former students and mentees, thank you for bringing so much love and joy in my life. You make me proud to be Woodrose’s “Mrs. Dela Cruz.”

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016

  
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)—Standard Chartered Marathon, you clearly lived up to your reputation as one of the toughest international marathons around. You will go down in (my) history as the one that almost made me quit on myself, as a runner and a dreamer. Running your arduous course was truly a humbling experience. For the first in my life, failure and defeat stared me in the face, and I had to muster every bit of courage left in my body to hold my ground. You affirmed the truth that it is faith, it will always be faith, that would be my saving grace. 

I was one of the last remaining runners who crossed the finish line and I will never be ashamed to admit that. I will never forget this scene in my head, runners collapsing along the street due to heat, abandoning their dreams on the pavement due to fatigue, and me fighting really hard, really hard the desire and the urge to join them. Many times during the race, fear insisted I give up, self-doubt demanded I pull out, while faith strongly dictated I press forward. I pressed forward and just when I thought I had no energy left, I felt every fiber of my body sing with renewed strength as I chant Hail Marys and Glory Bes in my head. A celebrated runner once said, deep admiration should be afforded to runners who finished first in the race while deep respect, deep respect should be given to those who finished last because they struggled the most to fight the demons in their heads. I understand what that meant now. 

I will always remember how I fought back tears when I reached the last stretch that would bring me to the finish line not because it was finally over but because I made it to the pen only seconds before they closed the barricade that would separate me from the hundred others who weren’t allowed to continue. I made it to the qualifying time. The dream became mine. 

Truly, I am highly favored, deeply loved, and greatly blessed by the One above. Angels indeed carried me in their wings. More than the strategy and technique, pure grace brought me to finish. For this, I will always be grateful.

Never forget. Marcos is not a hero.

A while ago in class today, our topic was historical events and places in NCR, and very timely the discussion focused on the EDSA Revolution and the different circumstances that led to that life changing event. My students had a lot of questions about the dark years in Philippine history. As an educator, I adressed them as developmentally appropriate and as objectively as possible.

Before closing the lesson, I showed a video of the EDSA People Power Revolution. As the song, “Magkaisa,” played in the background, and as scenes from the martial law years flooded the screen, I felt yet again that strong, familiar stirring of emotions. In fact, I had to clear my throat a couple of times before addressing the class. When I turned on the lights as the video comes to an end, I was even more surprised to see some of my students with tears in their eyes. As the last notes of the song faded into the background, the class fell silent, clearly absorbing everything before slowly breaking into a heartfelt clap. It was deeply moving. Deeply moving.

Nine year olds…what do they know about martial law, about Ferdinand Marcos, or about history. Nothing except what we tell them. But then, how we tell them matters as much as what we tell them. So, lets explain history and what is happening right now in the light of faith and reason because this is the only way we can raise critical thinkers, sound decision makers, and upright leaders of the furture. Our roles as storytellers and witnesses of the past and present times matter. They matter a lot to our children so lets take these roles seriously.

It is a sad day for the Filipinos, I agree but this does not dictate how our future will be like. Before I even knew of the Supreme Court’s decision on Marcos burial today, a student raised this question just before we ended the class, “Should we allow Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani?” After an exchange of opinions and ideas, I let them decide. My 26 nine year old students made a stand. They based their decision on what they know about what makes a hero, in plain and simple truth. 24 out of my 26 students voted against it. Judging from the way my students made their choice, I see a “bright” future for the Philippines. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Happy Teacher’s Day

The other day, I saw my Grade 2 student whose been notorious for screaming and throwing tantrums in class when things don’t go her way, head to the bathroom. She’s been adamantly excusing herself often in class lately to sort of like take “little breaks.” When I saw her locked herself in, I sneakily followed her and slipped inside the other cubicle and in my best imitation of a deep booming voice, I said her name twice. I heard a shuffle and a quickly reply, “Who’s that? Who are you! I am not afraid of you.” I continued, “I am your guardian angel, gooooo back to the classssrooooom…go back to the classssrooom.” In all sassiness, she shot back , “No you’re not. Who are you? I’m not afraid of you…What are you doing in there…angel, what angel…” But then, I heard her hurriedly go out of the cubicle, mumble a few words, and do a hasty exit. When I was certain that the coast was clear, I went out to wash my hands in the sink. When I looked up, I almost fell to my knees laughing because I saw her hiding behind the door, whispering to herself, “Who are you? I am not afraid of you.” and when she carefully peeked and saw me, she triumphantly shouted, “I kneeeew it! I knew it!!! Ha!” with matching slap on the wall. She returned back to the classroom skipping, obviously in high spirits, while I stood there laughing till my sides hurt. 
In my 14 years of teaching and handling preschool and primary kids, this is what I learned: to truly survive in teaching, you have to learn not to take yourself or your students TOO seriously. You have to allow more room for humor because humor/laughter is always the best way to (especially) a (difficult) student’s heart. Always. Happy teacher’s day to my fellow teachers.

Back to Basics

After an engaging discussion in my history class today, I asked my students to draw how they pictured the “Kingdom of Maynilad” in their minds. Two of my students came up with these drawings.

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I was so delighted when I saw these because they were able to creatively draw and express in full detail their ideas. This is rare among 8-9 year olds nowadays. 5 or 6 years ago, our gradeschoolers were engrossed in drawing, reading, and writing, penmanship wasn’t even an issue and writing simple journal entries, not a struggle at all. If we could just go back to basics, and mindfully replace our children’s gadgets with pen and paper so they can draw and write more, imagine what these little critters can create and do.

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.

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 Christโ€™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, โ€œGrant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.โ€ (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. โ€œGood morning!โ€ 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.โ˜บ๏ธ

Updated: March 27, 2016

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