Slow down, take time, breathe in…

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This book just turned 1!! 

Over the weekend we were at this popular bookstore near our place to look for my son’s assigned books/textbooks for college. I knew that the said bookstore carries my book (uhm, my published novella) —   I personally delivered their copies sometime in January of this year. Out of curiosity, I tried to check where my book was displayed and yes, I wanted to know how many copies were left on the rack.

I walked around the store but couldn’t find one copy, so I went and asked Customer Service. So the staff checked their computer, then asked me to follow her… and led me to a pushcart, not so far from the counter. When I asked where they were supposed to move or display the books, I was told, “Oh, these are for pull out.”

Okay, so my eyes opened wide, my jaw dropped (and yeah, my heart pretty much broke). Casually I asked the salesgirl, Who ordered the books to be pulled out – and why? Basically she couldn’t answer. She looked at the other clerks who at that time were all listening in and staring at us. Nobody could offer an explanation. They just said the books are to be returned to the supplier. When I told them I am the supplier and I was not told about the pullout, they just all gave me a blank stare.

Calmly I told the salesgirl that I will just get in touch with Purchasing department. Hopefully they have the answers. I turned to leave before I ended up saying something mean – or throw a fit, or have a meltdown.

A LOT of things ran in my mind… Only a few people bought my book… Maybe it was too expensive?… My fault for not really marketing it…  Maybe I suck as a writer?!… Why do I even write when no one reads me anyway?! … What a loser… And so on, and so forth.

On my way out of the bookstore, I told my son, “Now I feel bad.”

At that time, I pretty much allowed eight unsold books to define me… and to ruin my evening.

Don’t we all experience those days?

Nothing seems to be going your way… Expectations are not met… Prayers are left unanswered… People disappoint… You feel lost… You don’t know your purpose… People do or say things that mess up your psyche… Circumstances strip you of your confidence, make you question your worth… People are hurtful and insensitive… We don’t know the answer to our many why’s.

The world can be cruel. It can weigh you down.

That is if you will allow it to.

For the past several weekends, our Worship Team in Church had been singing the song “Take Courage” by Bethel Music.  Over and over.

It’s about taking courage, holding steadfast, holding on to hope. It’s about waiting and watching for your triumph to unfold.

I kept hearing the song in Church. Over and over.

It was when I started having those days — Those seemingly bad days… Those I feel like such a loser kind of days… It was then that I realized that the song was being played for me. Over and over.

My God’s reminder that something good is about to come. Just wait.

When I got home from the bookstore that evening, I found a message waiting in my social media account. From halfway around the world, someone was telling me how excited she was that she finally got hold of a copy of my book. I believe God sent this angel to cheer me up. I hope she knows she was my angel that evening.

And to further make me feel better, a few minutes later, I received another message from another time zone — from someone I hardly talked to — telling me how much my blogs inspire her and that she enjoyed reading them. Totally unexpected.

Right when my self confidence was starting to spiral down, it was like I was reminded to just chill.

It happens. We get tired and weary. The world can be mean. 

But as the song goes, Slow down, take time, breathe in… He’d reveal what’s to come.  

In the meantime, God sends angels to comfort us, remind us that everything will be well.

Sharing with you the link to the song ‘Take Courage’… Because someone might be needing it right now.

 

#loveis…

They say that patience is a virtue… and that the good things in life are worth the wait.

I have been getting antsy these past couple of weeks, waiting for the approval of my book to be displayed and sold at two major local bookstores. The requirements have been met, only a few more legal stuff to be addressed, and we are good to go… 

Waiting is not always fun, though.  At times it can even be excruciating.  But then I also tell myself that there is a reason — and a season — for everything. There are things in life that you simply cannot rush. 

Just a little more… we will get there somehow.

In the meantime, let me leave you with this… 

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We were young. We were in love. The world was a happy place… – Lizzie, Chapter 18, p.54

Because love is a wonderful thing… and is worth the wait!  

***

Twenty Years in Between… The Love Story of Lizzie and Joseph

Available now at Central Books, SM Mega Mall Bldg A, 5F and http://www.centralbooks.com.ph online bookstore.

Available SOON at select National Bookstore and Power Books branches

❤ ❤ ❤

***

photo collage is the author’s 🙂

 

 

First of June

And just like that, it’s the first of June.  Five months have already passed… we are almost at the halfway mark of 2016.  Where has time gone??

I can still distinctly remember celebrating New Year’s Eve with my family and friends. Then came a series of post-Christmas reunions.  Then came Valentine’s day — which I honestly have no recollection of… Then Holy Week which we spent here at home. Then the national elections which happened first week of May.

And now it’s June 1.

Did I spend the first 150 days of the year well? Or did the days just pass? I wonder.

***

In the beginning of the year, I embarked on a personal project.  Amid the usual day to day tasks required of me, I challenged myself to do something I have long wanted to do… Something for, basically, myself. And no, it’s not a fitness challenge… and I’m not 5 lbs lighter or anything like that. This project has something to do with one of my first loves– writing.

Like what I said in one of my essays, when God puts a seed of a dream in your heart, He also gives you the tools to help you make it grow.  He will give you the inspiration, He will connect you to the right people — people who can help you fulfill your dream, and I believe He will also give you the courage and the strength to finish what you have started, despite the fear, the insecurities and all the uncertainties you have in your head.

And then there’s time. Time to work, time to pray… and time to wait.

This — where I am right now — is waiting time.

It can get so tiring to wait. I get impatient. I get antsy. I get all the more insecure.   But then I hear this Bible verse in my head telling me to just Be still...and to know Who my God is. 

My God who provides the seeds of my dreams.  My God who connects me with people.  My God where I derive my strength from… Who tells me to just press on.

***

It’s the first of June.  This morning after running my usual errands, I passed by my favorite coffee shop for a few minutes of alone time.

I looked back at the past 5 months. I thought about the progress of my personal project.  I drank my favorite drink. I said a little prayer.

I thanked God for the days, months that have passed, the provisions and the favors, and I thanked Him in advance for the bountiful blessings to come.

I also thanked Him for the Now.

***

Of course, I had to do this before leaving the coffee place…

June 1

But first, let me take a selfie…

the view

view from my favorite seat / work place

photo 2

June 1 breakfast

All’s well. 🙂

***

…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” – Philippians 1:6

The Saturday that was

heat glamour

Fantasy.

Saturday afternoon

So here I am, at 2:00 in the afternoon, standing in the middle of a field, basking under the summer sun… watching a baseball game.

It was a hot day. Scorching hot.  The ground was dry. So very dry. Whenever the wind blows, dust was sure to go with it.

I could feel the dust on my face, covering the layers of sunblock that I put several hours before.

I looked at my feet.  My black sandals have already turned brown.  I could feel my feet burning. Why-oh-why didn’t I wear rubber shoes instead??

“Why am I  here??”  I asked myself for the umpteenth time. 

I have been on the field since 8 o’clock this morning. This is already the fourth baseball game that I have watched and cheered for today.

The team is losing.  It’s losing pretty badly.

Three teams. Four games.  Three losses so far.  It has been a tough, not to mention, extremely hot day.  And my teams are losing.

My son isn’t even playing with any of the teams.  So, why am I even here???

heat

Reality.

***

Truth be told, I miss watching my son play baseball.  

Baseball has been his sport since he was 8 years old. He used to play golf before that, but the moment my husband introduced him to the sport of baseball — the moment he realized that he would gain more friends there, he kissed his (expensive) golf clubs, as well as his Jungolf championship dreams, goodbye.  There was no turning back.

And so for about 7 years, our weekends were filled with baseball games.  He has joined local tournaments, he has played in Asia Pacific Championships here and abroad, he has played with and against some of the very best youth baseball players from all over the region.

I have watched and cheered under the scorching heat, as well as in the pouring rain. I have experienced with him and his teammates the joys of victory, as well as the pain and disappointment that come with losing. I have gained new friends… I have made a number of enemies, too.   

Baseball is filled with moments, both good and bad. 

When my son decided to “semi-retire” from the sport… When he decided to pursue other interests (like singing, performing and yes, studying some more)… well, baseball pretty much took a back seat. 

I was in a way thankful that he decided to pursue other things. I mean, I do loathe staying under the sun for a long time.  And waking up at such ungodly hours to watch early morning games can sometimes drive one nuts — especially on a Sunday when you’d rather sleep in until noon. 

But honestly, I do miss watching him play.  I miss the thrill. I miss the excitement. Though some games can be very stressful, well, I sometimes miss the stress, too! (Sometimes I cheer like a maniac that my husband gives me dagger looks.)

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine myself being so involved in a sport. For some reason, baseball got to me. 

The universe has a sense of humor.

***

Last Saturday, three teams from our baseball club competed in a tournament. Three sets of players from three different divisions. The boys whom I watched training all summer long were given the chance to play against other teams.

Nope, they didn’t win all the games. In fact, they lost quite a number of times. Not one of the three teams brought home a medal nor a trophy.  The old me would have been disheartened and heartbroken.  No one likes losing.  

But after being a witness to all those games that my son has played… I have come to realize and accept that the players learn from both winning and losing.  

Losing isn’t always bad. Sometimes you have to lose so you’ll know what needs to be worked on. Sometimes you lose not because you are not good, but maybe because the other team prepared as hard as you did — or even harder.

But when you lose, lose with grace. Unfortunately, this is something that a lot of people, especially the adults, forget. 

Besides, baseball is a game of moments.  Each player somewhere, somehow gets to experience a moment… a moment that is his to learn from, his to remember and to savor. His moment on the field.

A winning catch. A double play. A home run. A successful slide. An almost impossible tag. One defining moment.  

These moments make the long hours under the sun worthwhile.

I was but a mere spectator that Saturday, yet I am glad I stayed and watched. Dust powdered face and all. 🙂

moments14

Pitcher-Catcher moment

*****

photo credits: summer heat photos via google images ; Pitcher-Catcher moment photo from my ever reliable SLR (Taken in 2014 at the PONY Asia Pacific Tournament, Pony Division) 

Harvest time

full grown

Every good thing takes time.

When God plants a seed of a dream in our hearts, I believe He also gives us the tools that we will need to see that dream grow and come to fruition.

  • God gives us the talent. Talent is innate.  Because each individual is different, we each attach our identity — or own mark — to the talent given to us.  Our talents are uniquely ours.
  • God gives us passion. There’s a fire inside of us that burns.  A fire that drives us to do the things we dream of doing.  Sometimes we don’t feel it right away, but a simple spark can ignite that passion.  There is a stirring in our hearts that is just waiting to be ignited.
  • People.  In the process of fulfilling your dream, you will realize that you are given the right people who can and will help you in your journey.  People you never knew nor heard of before suddenly appear in your life, ready to help you realize your dream. There is no other term for this but divine connections.
  • Time Planting comes before harvest. Sowing comes before reaping. And in between is Time.   Time to toil, time to labor and learn.  Time to rest. Time to wait.  Waiting is the difficult part, and yet we have to wait. We respect the waiting time because for a fruit to grow to its fullness and its best state, it should never be rushed.

Some dreams take longer to fulfill than others. But be patient.  Wait for God’s perfect time. Because as we wait, we also grow. We nurture our own selves as we nurture our dream.

When the time is right, that dream which was but a seed planted in our hearts will turn into reality. It’s harvest time.

Throughout the whole process, we give thanks. 🙂

*****

image via google