Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Welcome Change

Finally -- a look I can finally call my own! And what better way to start fresh than to shed off the old blog skin and to dress it up to suit my personality best.

The new masthead is actually an oil painting i did recently called "Coming Home", which i never really got to finish (well, Picasso almost always left his paintings unfinished, didn't he?). Being the perfectionist that I am, I always saw something in it that I wanted to change or to improve. So I decided to turn a section of the canvas into something that i could appreciate better on a regular basis. The color schemes I chose are what I would consider a reflection of my state right now -- quiet, calm, refreshed and just enjoying being in the present.

Over-all I am happier with this new look.

Hope you guys like it! :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

An Incredible Baby

A year ago, on July 13, my nephew Deion Christopher was born 3-1/2 months earlier than he was supposed to. Anyone who didn't know about the miracle of his conception would have thought that his survival then was almost impossible. He was premature, he had a cardiac arrest a few minutes into the world and was revived, and was cared for in an incubator of the neonatal intensive care unit for weeks. But his family knew that he wasn't meant to leave this world just yet. After being told by doctors that my cousin would not be able to conceive a baby due to "faulty plumbing", the Lord granted the couple's prayers still and allowed Russelle to conceive. So how could a miracle baby such as Deion not make it through another trial still?

Fast forward to July of 2005, Deion turned a year old, and has never seemed more healthier and more "bibo" than ever! He celebrated his "incredible" life with an aptly-themed Incredibles birthday party at McDonalds. How quickly time flew, indeed! Everytime I look at his face and watch him crawling on our living room floor, I am constantly reminded that the Old Testament God that practically walked and breathed amongst His people, still performs mind-boggling miracles today. God must love Deion so much that He gave Him a special chance at life. I can't wait to see the unfolding of God's purpose in Deion's life. We all can't wait to watch the glory of God shine through him.

Happy Birthday, sweet Deion!

Red Sea, White Wedding

Peachy & Nicky off to a wedding
Originally uploaded by chrixean.
I am so back! I crossed the Red Sea as I said I would, and now I'm back on dry land. After a month and a half of hell and high waters, and a week of being cooped up in a hospital room (Allan was confined in the hospital for Atypical Pneumonia and Gout!), I am ready to move forward and face newer, brighter and more exciting days ahead! I mean after hitting rock solid bottom... there's really nowhere else to go but up, right? So up i go...

First few things on top of my list after stepping out of the hospital? Get a pedicure, have my hair shampooed and blow-dried, attend a wedding! For the latter, I really had no choice. I would have wanted to get a massage or a facial ( a much-needed one!), but Nicky was assigned to be a coin bearer at Allan's cousin's wedding so I had to go as his "moral support" (aside from the fact that Nicky can't drive to the church, hehe). Turns out Nicky didn't really need any. He was as confident as he always has been -- doing the task he was asked to do without any complaints or apprehensions. Of course, I know he would have prefered to watch Spongebob that night over marching down Santuario de San Antonio's looooong center aisle. But being the obedient boy that he is, he just took on the task and made sure he had fun doing it. In fact, he had so much fun that night that he made lots of friends, and made sure he included himself in every single bride-groom photo he could get away with.

Hmm... I could learn a thing or two from Nicky.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Surviving the Red Sea

The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has been before
That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you, shall be a highway of escape.

- Charles H. Spurgeon

If i have not been updating my blog for quite a long while -- forgive me. I have been, and still am, on a long journey. This journey has forced me to face life's cruel realities and has taken me to and from several hopeless situations. I guess, as Jennie has told me recently, it is just a season that I am in. And like any season, it too shall end to make way to a new and better one.

I recently read this book by Robert J. Morgan called the Red Sea Rules, which talks about how the same God that led His people into the Red Sea, led them out of it as well. The promise is true to us and our situations today in life as well. The same God who allowed us to be in this current problem, this ongoing trial, this seemingly never-ending adversity, is the same God who will lead us out of it. The reality of the Red Sea event, as Morgan puts it, is -- God will always make a way for His tired, yet TRUSTING, children, even if He must split the sea to do it. In my case, God has provided me with every single means to comfort and uplift me through these trying times, and He has done so in the form of simple and joyful circumstances or through very well-meaning and supportive friends who have never failed to stop praying for me and my family (you all know who you are -- God bless you!). He never promised He would remove us from our current situation nor did he say he would take away the problem, but He does promise that He will never leave us and that He will see us through till the end of the problem. So right now, my circumstances have still not changed, but at least I am filled with the hope, encouragement and comfort that God sends my way for me to endure despite the trials.

For anyone who may be going through a really tough time in their life right now, if it is your season of dryness or despair, or if tomorrow seems unclear for you and you are in a state of being lost and confused, Robert Morgan gives us 10 Rules on how to survive life's difficulties and uncertainties based on the story of the Red Sea:

RULE #1:
Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
RULE #2:
Be more concerned for God's glory than for your relief.
RULE #3:
Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
RULE #4:
RULE #5:
Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.
RULE #6:
When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
RULE #7:
Envision God's enveloping presence
RULE #8:
Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
RULE #9:
View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
RULE #10:
Don't forget to praise him - always!

I now face each day less overwhelmed because I now try taking smaller steps and deal with the challenges that come bit by bit, part by part. As I continue on this journey to the Red Sea, I am at least prepared to face it without the fear of drowning. I hold on to the promise that my God will lead me out -- safely and a much stronger person.

When you don't know what to do next, cast out fear and seek light for the next step. Trust God for guidance in small increments; taking the journey one footprint at a time. If you can't see what lies dimly in the distance, do what lies clearly at hand.