Four years without being there, without experiencing it, already made me miss this beautiful thing…this wonderful crowd…this awesome experience. I remembered being here as a young child, one with many others who were just as enthusiastic on each and every day of this special week. As I was growing up, I began to appreciate the experience of teaching those who were younger. I started to look forward every year for this event. That though happening only every summer, I still expect each opportunity to present something great and new. Heeding to the call was never easy. At first, fear and hesitation creeps in. Then finally, courage has found its roots to stand upon. Gone are the days of working silently in the background. Now, I stand as a leader – one who's taking the challenge and is grateful for the joy and fulfillment of being a teacher in this Daily Vacation Bible School adventure.
Two months preparation never sounded enough. Quite true. Thank God for His grace, filling the shortcomings and limitations that we have. This day marks the start of another great adventure called “Home Planet”. Kids from ages 3-12, calling themselves Planet Savers, Planet Pals and Planet Rangers, made a commitment to take on this jouney as they learn to take care of God’s creation. Leading them are the teachers and volunteers acting as Forresters and Nature Guides, committed as well to keep these kids on the trail.
Knowing that I could share my time only for today due to work reasons, I grabbed every chance I could have to be with the kids. Armed with a Bible, manual and all sort of colorful visual aids…Groomed with a nature guide hat and face paint, I sat in our little room with much cheer and excitement, as I find myself surrounded by the youngest ones. Eyes filled with wonder and amazement gazed at me as we took the trip through the “7 days of Creation”. Smart young minds answered each of my questions correctly. Creative juices emerged while they worked with their little hands on the day’s craft activity. I cheered with them, as they raced to put together the pieces of the monkey-eating-eagle puzzle. And we surely enjoyed every beat of the music we danced with.
One young boy approached me excitedly towards the end of our session and said, “Teacher, ang ganda po ng mga ginawa natin! Bukas po ulit ha.” He smiled and waved at me as he left. In an instant, I felt as though all the exhaustion from the previous days of preparation faded away. It just saddens me that I couldn't be with them upto the last day. But truly, little words of appreciation from kids like John, or from parents telling how they learned too even while just sitting at the back, were more than enough for a reward.
More than the time spent on removing smudges and stains on hands covered with glue or paint, accumulated while trying to make those visual aids look beautiful and catchy. More than the feeling of a growling stomach that skipped a meal in exchange for a clean and beautifully-decorated kids’ room. More than the late nights spent studying each Bible story lesson. More than the mess spilled all over your shirt and jeans while serving snacks. More than the dirt and sweat you felt after an energy-consuming game. More than the trouble you get into while hushing a little kid who just outbursted with a loud cry for no apparent reason. More than the thought of how silly you looked as you demonstrated those action songs. More than all the things you’ve given or given up, combined. The VBS experience definitely outweighs them all.
My work week started with a project meeting a few minutes after taking my breakfast this morning. Glad that it's a quick one. Just some minor comments on the test plan and guidelines for the testing tasks in the coming weeks. Though I had to finish the test cases for the additional functional requirements today. But yes, I'm done with that so I can blog now. hehe...
Sunday was all about Mom's day celebration. Greeted her morning with hugs and kisses. In Church, we had this special tribute for the moms (which included my mom of course). And though quite far from the Nikki Gil sound, I braved to sing "Glowing Inside" together with my sis and Carlyn, as the Sunday School kids hand their especially made heart-shaped cards with the young people giving the moms some special gifts as well. Mom and the rest of the moms looked so happy yet teary-eyed at the same time.
For lunch, Tito Sandy's veggie kare-kare was a hit not just for the moms but even for us. The presentation alone looked so inviting. Made me forgot my name when I tasted it with the specially made bagoong. Extremely delicious! Tita Luz's gelatine with raisins for dessert was also an all-time treat. And as if we haven't had enough sweets for the day, we still bought mom her favorite ice cream before going home. By the way, I'd also like to thank my dad for preparing champurado and tuyo for breakfast yesterday. I was craving for those the entire week but couldn't find them anywhere here in Makati. It was definitely a yummy feast for me. (",)
It's sometimes strange that in times of sorrow and difficulty, God sends His comfort in ways you least expect it.
Not in finding someone to whom you could vent out your sentiments and frustration, but when you get out of your way and take time to listen to the angsts and whines of someone else.
Not in hearing the best advice you could probably get, but in sharing those words of encouragement where one could draw strength and hope.
Not in getting the reassurance you think you need, but in letting someone else know that things are going to be okay soon.
Not in finding a friend who will sympathize, but by being a friend who empathize.
It's when you get out of the "I, Me and Myself" zone and learn to reach out to someone else, that you realize how your burdens which seemed insurmountable to you, pale in comparison to what the others are carrying. And how it is somehow selfish of you to complain about your own share of sorrow and pain in this world, when there are many others needing that much desired comfort more than you do.
And what would compare to the relief you get the moment you see those enlightened eyes and hear that sincere gratitude from someone? Because eventhough they might not necessarily get from you the answers to their questions, somehow their burdens seemed lighter because you are there for them inspite of your own situation.
I couldn't agree more to what this quote says: "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." It may be frustrating when we don't receive the answers to our prayers the way we want them to come. But then I began to appreciate that quotation's paradox. And though I may not fully understand it, I'm grateful for God's unique and creative way of giving comfort and assurance to His children. Based on results, it's effective. You can take my word for it. (",)
Restless in my corner Beaten by the darkness Still seeking through the alleys In dim glimmers of light All the love I couldn't find
Lovers come upon me All-a-prancing with glee Flashing flames of fancy Alluring me to dance with All the love I couldn't see
I don't know Where to go I'll go mad and I'll get crazy I'll be lost in all the frenzy I'll never be What I can be I'll never be somebody Until I find you
No never be somebody I'll never be somebody Until I find you...
"On my bed at night, I sought him whom my heart loves. I sought but did not find him. So I will rise and go through the city, in the streets and in the squares I will seek whom my heart loves..." (Song of Songs 3)
I know I'm mad about You But I only see Your shadow I am lost without You Whenever I turn my back from Your light I sit and lurk back in the dark Or run, until I'm far, so far away From Your sight
Feel and touch the bruise in my skin Mend the broken wings of my dreams Heal, my soul's in a downward spin Whenever I choose the wrong from the right I spit and curse life of its spark Or chart another course Another way from Your flight
Oh, my Lord I've gone so far away Now hear my cry and listen as I pray Oh, Lord I beg You stay Have mercy, Lord Show me the way
I need Your wondrous Grace Your warm embrace I long to see Your face I miss Your loving ways Forgive me, Lord Will You, forgive me?
Will You forgive me? So bless me Embrace me Come save me...
-Inggo 1587- "No matter how far we have gone astray, He is there... patiently waiting for us to come home."
Flashback: I stepped at the reception area of this office, waited for the HR manager, filled up several forms and afterwards, I was ushered inside and introduced to the employees who were only few in number at that time. I also met the team that I will be joining of which I was the only "she". That was exactly one year ago. Yes! Time flies so fast. I can't believe I'm celebrating my 1st year here at OCS today. I could say that it's been a worthwhile stay here in this company that I've considered as my new home. Thanks to all the people who has made me feel welcome since day one. My greatest thanks to God Who has placed me in this company and blessed me with this job.
Whether in good times or bad, triumph or failure, gladness or sorrow...whatever challenges that may come, for as long as there are people who stand by my side, who encourages me to be the best that I could be...with God's loving presence to guide and strengthen me...I know I will move on and continue to hold on to a dream...
This is my life and I live by the day Not looking at the past That holds me back to stay A view by my window Is a road that leads my way
I hear a sound and I float with the song Not knowing what it means But I feel that I belong A dance through my journey Now I know it won't be long...
'Til I face the world and befriend what is real There's a light in the distance I should walk without fear Not a mountain too high In my strength I will believe I soar high with a spirit Holding on to a dream
What it is to be free by the break of dawn? As fresh as a dewdrop Like a child being born The chance is within me This is where I move on
I soar high with a spirit Holding on to a dream... (Got this song from the album "Inggo 1587" - a group of singing Dominican Priests. I was actually surprised when I first heard these gentlemen singing mostly pop, R & B and crossover. Their songs are truly inspiring. As what was written in their album's cover, it is their hope that through their music, "...God's love could effectively touch others the way it has touched them." It definitely touched me. I'm also sharing the MP3 here. )