The Power Inside You

Many times, we look outside for strength and confidence. As if, we needed an external source for either or both.

The truth is, we don’t.

The strength and confidence we need to overcome life’s challenges is inherent within us. I do think it needs to be coaxed and nurtured, but it is there.

And if you’re having trouble having faith on a higher being, or you just aren’t ready to grasp the idea of a Source, consider this: S/He is inside of you. Keep faith in the Source within.

Lily Owens and August Boatwright’s conversation towards the end of the The Secret Life of Bees reminded me of that today:

“When you’re unsure of yourself,” she said, “when you start pulling back into doubt and small living, she’s the one inside saying, ‘Get up from there and live like the glorious girl you are.’ She’s the power inside you, you understand?”

“And whatever it is that keeps widening your heart, that’s Mary, too, not only the power inside you but the love. And when you get down to it, Lily, that’s the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love–but to persist in love.”

Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Peace and Serenity

Because of my slow Internet connection, I have been staying away from my favorite digital scrapbooking digs to avoid frustration over the extremely slow download times. Today seemed as good a time as any to go visiting again, so I clicked on over to my Digital Scrapbooking Blogroll and went on a ride.

The order of  the links on my digiscrap blogroll randomly change each time you visit the page. On this visit, I went through about four or five of the links until I stopped, because I was led to an interesting blog that I felt compelled to read through, or I found one I haven’t visited in a loooong time and had so much downloads to catch up on. 🙂

Apart from the great finds from Lindsay Jane’s and KimB’s blogs, there was one blog whose threshold I felt blessed to have gone over today. Megan’s Rackety Scrappety. Her blog was one of those blogs that I used to visit almost on a daily basis. I always looked forward to her templates, and her layouts showcasing her kids. Templates have always been effective in giving me inspiration for my own layouts, though I almost never stick to exactly how they’re designed. On hindsight, though I must have downloaded every template I found on her blog, I don’t think they were really the primary reason I went there to visit – I truly enjoyed viewing her layouts, and the smiles of her kids.

As it turns out, Megan is indefinitely signing off from Rackety Scrappety to spend more of her time and energy with her family, and her newborn Crew. You have got to head on over to Crew’s Journey, I suggest you start reading it from the first post. Her entry about meeting Dex, one half of the twins who flew up to heaven even before he came out from mum’s tummy, was so peaceful and serene. I’ve never read anything quite like it. I mean, I don’t remember reading about loss but not feeling the heaviness of it. 

Crew’s Journey is both a memorial to Dex, and a celebration of Crew’s baby steps to wellness. I think that most importantly, it is a chronicle of the mother’s road to healing.

Whenever I hear of mothers who lost their babies, I can’t imagine how it was for my mother, losing her baby many years ago after having spent only a few days with him. My dad once said that my mom wrote poems but I’ve never seen them. And we’ve never talked about it. I can only conclude that at the time, she had the support and love to keep her going.

Thursday Thirteen #18 – Sending you hugs!

Do you pray everyday? I don’t. At least not in a way that I speak to God directly. I’m pretty sure though that I send up one form of prayer or another, on a daily basis.

Like, when I say: Ingat or “take care.” Usually to someone on their way home from work, or to my dad on his way back from a trip. What I think I really mean is – “Lord, take care of him/her.”

I don’t devote a specific time of day to just have conversations with God. I used to pray every night though – just to give thanks mostly and that was a long time ago. I didn’t just decide to stop praying, it just happened.

I belong to this online group where women just chat about anything and everything. It is not strange to have someone talk about an illness she has, or something that a family member is getting treatment for. Even when I don’t pray a lot, I find myself responding to their emails and saying that they’ll be in my prayers. Sometimes I feel bad doing that, because I don’t really pray, so I just say they’ll be in my thoughts. 

But then I realize, that when I do read what they say, and when I reply back about sending a quick prayer on their behalf – I actually am praying for them. 

The way I see it, whoever God we pray to, He can hear us whenever we call out – in whatever manner.


When blog hopping, I find myself to be more conscious about comments I leave. I rarely say that i will pray for someone because not everyone believes in prayer. So when I read a post and I feel compelled to reach out and just say something – I just leave/send out virtual hugs. I’m not so good with words, you see, and I know that nothing I say will be truly comforting. And somehow I feel that hugs would be better when truly meant. I feel that a hug may mean as much to the giver, as to the receiver.

Here are 13 graphics to give out HUGS (or just to say “I’m here if you need anything”):



What about you, do you leave comments saying you’ll be praying for someone and really do? Oh, do you feel that when a blog friend leaves you hugs, she really means it?

Anyway, if you’re playing TT, leave a link so I can visit you too 🙂

Spread the hugs!

**Checkout my previous TT’s here and here.

Praise and Worship

For my TT a post down I listed the things/thoughts I have wanted to post about but have not gotten to. Today, as I was bloghopping (late TT visits and going through my blogrolls), I chanced upon http://www.gannsdeen.com/ and read beyond his TT post.

At first I only thought of linking to his page for his David Cook Always be my baby stream because although I followed AI this season, I missed the Mariah episode. I am rooting for Cook. Archuleta is adorable but really, Cook has got it.

Then I read about the best decision he’s ever made.

Here’s item 5 on my TT: My thoughts on being a non-active Church member who does not attend Sunday mass (or any mass for that matter). I specifically want to dig through my thoughts and feelings about what I can do to be part of either the Youth movement or Sunday School. I know I have something to contribute, I’m just not making time.

See the connection? Okay, maybe you don’t because it’s all still in my head, and in my heart. This piece is probably just going to expose one part of it. I know there’s more.

It started with the music. He’s TT was about Christian songs that you should hear. One of which was his own composition. I listened to it and liked what I heard. Understand too that’s it’s early afternoon here and the toob is tuned to ASAP and they just had their GaryV 25th anniversary tribute/celebration. I have been singing along and my parents have had no choice but endure the sound of my voice. Hehe.

I went to an all-girl Catholic high school. Whether or not you were Catholic, you had to be around to attend the mass that would be celebrated every month or for every special occasion. I seriously didn’t mind because the services were much like our own Church services, they provided an opportunity NOT to be studying, and I liked singing along and learning their Church songs. That was really what I enjoyed most about having to attend mass with a multitude of girls – praise and worship through song. Mass without singing is just plain boring for me.

At Church, we sing hymns and people read the music from the Hymnal. I like those too. There’s also local, relatively recently composed songs that go into the Sunday Liturgy. I like listening to everyone’s voice mingling with each other. As a kid I wondered whether the older people actually attended classes to learn those hymns, everyone just blended perfectly.

In Sunday School, we would listen to and learn Kids Praise (another memory of my Aunt I wanted to write about last month but didn’t get to) – yes, Psalty was my friend and I am so going hunting for his CDs – the complete collection.

Really, isn’t singing praises like 5 times more wonderful? I mean compared to just sitting and listening and reciting stuff at Church?

Anyway, so that’s what got me to thinking (again) about what my beliefs are and how my faith manifests. I belong to a Church denomination that’s fairly small – The Episcopal Church in the Philippines, part of the Anglican Communion. My family history is intertwined with this Church’s history. Really, it’s more like an extended family. That’s what I like about our small Church, we are found scattered throughout the country from up north to down south, but it’s all just like one big family. Growing up in what I consider the heart of the Church just gave me an awareness of its life.

I distinctly remember the last summer I spent active at Church. It was the summer we moved house. I was with the SKEP, the Church youth group, and we sat with the Cathedral choir. Really, I went to rehearsals and sang at the Sunday Mass. We even had an Easter Cantata, I think the first and last that it was done. We had an awesome conductor. I truly enjoyed that time. It made me think that perhaps that was my place, my ministry – in music.

Light of a Million Mornings

It made me feel the same way it did years ago when I watched Pauie and the rest of the UPSA perform it live in the Abelardo Theater (UP College of Music). I was in awe, and in a way, inspired.

Light of a Million Mornings became my favorite UPSA piece, next to The Circle of Life (hehehe).

Watching it on You Tube, and reading the comments complimenting Pauie on such a job well done, made me feel proud of my friend. We auditioned together for a then new organization at the UP – the Music Circle. They took notice of her awesome performance – how talented she was, and how she lights up when she sings. Anyway, we didn’t push through with Music Circle, but months later – Pauie signed up with the Singing Ambassadors.

She’s been a member for many years now, and it has been an integral part of her life. And we, her friends, have been sworn in to the UPSA fans’ club as lifetime members. 🙂 We would troop to the UP Theater, or to the College of Music, to watch their concerts, and it was always an amazing show. Even after college or when we had our differences, we would go.

I love the musicality of this song, having seen it performed by Pauie and the UPSA made it even more beautiful for me. But what appeals to me, is what the song actually conveys – deep faith in the Lord, and the joy that faith could bring into one’s life. I was surprised that over at You Tube, people are comparing the performances and pitting Regine’s version over Sarah’s, but that’s not the point. It’s not who sings it better. Anyone who has found something they believed in, a faith that sustains them, deserves the right to sing this beautiful song. We all deserve to have the light of a million mornings fill our hearts.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a candle that shines for the Lord? I think I saw myself as one, when I was younger and more – spiritual.

Anyway, I really just wanted to show everyone that my friend’s on You Tube. Haha 🙂

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