Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank you God

There was a time in our lives when my family had to split an apple into five so that everybody could have a taste. My mom would buy the most-bruised bananas because it was what we could afford. It was Mamu's policy that no one gets left behind or is left wanting and not being able to taste what's at table. So, early on, we learned to share. And early on, we also learned to guard what was ours what we didn't want to share.

There were times when we'd rather eat outside what little we had so we didn't have to share. Because once you went home and you had food with you, you'd have to share it with everybody.

Now, it's different. God has been good to us. God has been so good that He gave my mom a wonderful job. She gave her the drive, the dream to lift us up from our situation. We no longer had to share one apple. We could now buy grilled cheese from the local McDo, Burger Machine. That was our treat. That was what made us happy. It's what we looked forward to every pay day.

And looking back at where we were, it's made us all appreciate what we have now. Yes, we still feel sometimes that we haven't eaten enough, as if we're going to run out of food, so we eat as much as we can. But at the same time, we've learned to give and to share.

My brothers have become very generous. Gorby would give the shirt of his back to help someone. Paul would always give to the beggars without looking back. Buddy would feed us, his family to our heart's content and Christopher would give of his love when he makes "lambing". I've also learned to share of my talents and resources and not to be so stingy with my time.

God has blessed us with such a wonderful mother who imparted us with such values.

Eating my lunch today I was brought to tears. I can't contain the feeling of blessedness because now, I can buy what I will eat. Be it simple or grand. Today I ate a sumptuous vegetarian sandwich and chickpea soup. It may be simple for some but for me, it was perfect! It brought tears to my eyes to eat every bite and to savour every flavour. We've moved up from the grilled cheese.

And I have God to thank for all of this. My heart wants to explode from the feeling of blessedness.

Thank you God.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Loving like the sandalwood

I was talking to my mom today and she shared with me something new and interesting. I really love talking to my mom exactly because she has so much information to share. Today it was about Sandalwood, how it doesn't "cry" and how God loves us.

She learned in one of her retreats that the tree sandalwood leaves a perfume on the ax that cuts it instead of bleeding or as my said "no bitter cry". I would like to paste here what she said:

Mama: the sandal wood is a tree that when cut leaves its perfume on the ax that cuts it.
Mama: with no bitter cry.
Mama: the song with the same title says true love comes from a broken heart.
Mamal: if the heart is true and the emotion is real.
Mama: remember that.
Mama: so leave perfumes with your true love, anak.
Mama: like CHRIST's .
Mama: HE loves us like the sandalwood.
Mama: HE broke HIMSELF for us.
Mama: and gives us the perfume of HIS Love

Unfold by Marie Digby

A song recommended by Missy ... Thanks Missy ... I love it!!!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Jowan on her wedding ...

Dearest Jowan,

As requested, here is your tribute. :) It's by no means exhaustive of my praises for you. Like Tito said, hindi naman kami nagkulang sa pagbigay ng wishes sa iyo. :) Hehe. I hope you like it.



Joanne signs her letters to me and probably to most "love and light" because she is love and light. For most of us who know Jowan she is love embodied in a joyous body who you'd love to be around. That even in her own dark moments, she can be a light to others. I can personally say that Jowan has been there even if I was in Geneva and she here - the distance was never a hindrance. I felt her friendship and her sisterhood. She was the sister I never had.

She may look petite but she is very strong. Very strong - yet very gentle in her ways. She doesn't pass judgement quickly and is very understanding.

Everybody could fall in love with a girl like Jowan - and I'm happy that she was able to find her partner not a rainbow away. We would often stay up to the wee hours of the night discussing anything under the sun but most especially the matters of the heart.

Jowan's heart is so good that our friends in Geneva took an instant liking to her because she was genuinely a happy person.

Jowan is not only a great friend but a great daughter. Like all the Barriga children she is the apple in her parents' eyes. She is a wonderful and caring sister.

She is our own love and light. In her own times of darkness, she in her great faith in God also found her way out. She is truly a remarkable person.

The love which she gives her dogs - "Pooh" and "Dell" - and all the living creatures that crosses her path, is immense, all the more with the people that really matter to her.

Jowan on your wedding day, I pray that your love and light will be multiplied and with Paolo as your partner in this journey called life.

Friday, March 06, 2009

"Non-transferable ang kasalan"

That's what Lemon told me when we saw each other. I can't tell what the specifics are but it's about a person who would like to take on another person's sin. And it made me think of Jesus. I thought how appropriate the topic was since it was the beginning of Lent.

There are times, when our loved ones would like to take on our sins or we'd like to carry the burden of our loved one's sins but most of the time, we would not even like to acknowledge our own sins.

It is heavy to carry the responsibility of a wrongdoing. All the more when it's not yours. But what about Jesus? What made Him carry all our sins to deliver us from them? His Father's will? His Father's love? His Great love?

I would like to believe that indeed God so loved the world that He did give His only Son. And yet Jesus in the garden asked His own Father to let the pass cup from Him. But it was to be. And He did it willingly.

And I think of the person that Lemon said ... and she retorted with that quote. I'm just glad that Jesus did take on our sins. Imagine if God told us that ... you and you alone will carry the burden of your sins and you will live in eternal damnation and you shall go to hell. Hmmm ... I would be totally scared.