Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Fabric Necklace

Some friends and I gathered a few nights ago to make some fabric flower necklaces for our moms.  Despite the lateness of the hour, the crafters were in the "flow" as they cut, glued, decorated the materials.

My "soul sisters" from Ligaya ng Panginoon (Joy of the Lord) Community were adept in crafting the jewelry but they said they wanted them for themselves!

Here are the samples I made:

Do you like them?

Here's a tutorial video on how to make them from Jessica

I'd like to honor my mom here.  She is an extraordinary woman and she has the heart of eternal youth.  She is not only my Mother but she is also my friend.

This is Mommy brushing my hair.  Isn't she beautiful?

Dear Mom,

All I ever knew about love began with you.

Thank you for all the times you woke up in the middle of the night to attend to me, cared for me when I was sick, chatted with me when I would otherwise eat alone or left that piece of fruit just so I can have some more.

Thank you for teaching us how to be hardworking and to persevere in whatever we are doing.  You love to create with your hands and you've shared this delightful joy with us.  You have a stick-to-it nature that truly makes up for every successful endeavor.

Thank you for being strong.  Strong in doing what is right and speaking about it so others learn from you.

Like the time when you were just about 5 years old in the middle of World War 2.  When a marauding soldier was about to harm your mother and sister, you screamed at the top of your voice and the soldier, looking at you said "Bah!" and left.

Like the time when you were still in school (in pigtails) and classmates were passing around a dirty picture.  When it reached you, you tore it up and no one blamed you for it.

Like the time when you attended a public gathering with the city Mayor.  When it was implied that all taxpayers would deliberately cheat on taxes, you stood up and told them different.

Even now you grab any chance to tell others about how to live life well.  You tell the young people not to forget God, to pray and look up His promises.

You're someone who stands up for what is right and you make the world a better place.

You never stopped being the Mom that you are (it sure is a lifetime 24 hour job!) and I love you!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Labyrinth Prayer

Yesterday some dear friends and I ventured out and visited Maryridge Convent.  They have a beautiful garden and breathtaking view of the Taal Volcano.  But we went there specifically to do a labyrinth prayer walk.

It was my second time to do this yet my insights were all different.  I wish to share these with you here in the hope that they will bless you as much as they have blessed me.

The labyrinth is like the journey of life.

The Path is within an enclave of trees and shrubs but not everything is shaded so at times, you are on a part that is too hot.  This impressed upon me as the hard times in life.  When I was in the shade, it was like a time of rest and refreshment.

Though I longed to be on the shady path, I noticed that without the shadow of the branches blocking the sunlight, I could see so many forms of life like the butterflies, ants and grasshoppers.  So too do we learn much more from the times of trial we go through.  We get to see how we handle hardship and how we have matured through time.

During the shaded times of rest, I noticed that I wanted to stay there longer but the journey was not yet over so one always had to move on.  These "easy" portions of the walk though more enjoyable held pitfalls in the guise of dog poop in unexpected areas!  In life as well, it is in times of rest that we let our guard down.  We neglect to see God's presence, or fill our lives with our own quest for selfish gain or pleasure.

Though our group were doing the labyrinth individually, we were still doing it during the same time, each at different points of the labyrinth, sometimes passing each other on the path, stopping sporadically where the Lord was speaking to us or at rest.

So it is with life.  Each person has on his own journey yet we are all on different journeys together.  When people pass into your life, let them stay, let them go as they please, respect their journey.

Whether I was feeling so tired from the heat or rejuvenated by the wind, I could sense God's presence throughout the circuitous walk.  He is with us whether in good times or bad, whether we feel His touch or not in our lives.  He loves us at every point in our journey.

There is a bend in the path where you think you are nearing the center and your heart skips a beat then it drops as you see a longer path ahead of you.  Sometimes we think we are so near a breakthrough then realize we are still far from it.  God is teaching us to wait instead rather than celebrate our victories.  Then at times, He surprises when we think we are still so far from Him He reveals Himself to us.

Sometimes the grassy delineations get blurry so you don't know if you're on the right path or not.  I learned to just keep moving.  Many times we need to do the same in life.

Many times along the labyrinth, one must make a U-turn yet not on the path from which you came.  This is like when we meditate on our lives, go on retreat or examine our conscience.  We go back and yet go forward in self awareness and spiritual growth.

I actually made a mistake and inadvertently walked a shortcut.  I didn't see the path behind the tree.  The Lord told me that this is symbolic of my life.

Many times I complain from lack of adventure in this life, not getting to experience what others do.  God was telling me that He has given me a less tiresome journey avoiding many insignificant detours that won't bring me any closer to His goodness.

After we did the labyrinth, the sun seemed to mellow and cast a shade over everything even when it was nearing noon.  God was showing me how His love is so scorching that we cannot stand its power nor fully understand its intensity.

*All of these photographs were taken at the Maryridge Convent Garden.  You are free to visit them in Tagaytay (Philippines) and you can buy their homemade Ube Jam to support their mission.

Beholding Glory

Life: Unmasked


Now ladies I really did the writing of this in 5 minutes (but the picture editing afterwards took a bit of time).  Enjoy!


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