Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Crows, Widows and Tourists

Awesome preaching at church last Sunday that I got to hear a few hours after I posted my last entry. We're hardly ever at the Sunday services these days since the Saturday service started earlier this year. My reason is plain and simple - I like indulging in nothingness to fully recharge for the week. Sundays for K and I are either spent at home or out and about doing something random.


But last Sunday we wanted to see our friends who just got back from the US so we agreed to drag ourselves over to the center to see them and in turn, attend the 1PM service. A preaching series called Fear Factor had just started recently so the focus this week was on the 'Fear of Lack'.

Talk about timing. I heard just what I needed to hear! The reading was taken from Matthew with an illustration from 1 Kings. The story of Elijah and how he hid and how God sent crows to feed him, and then when the crows stopped showing up with food, God used a widow from a poor region to feed Elijah.

We just never really know how God is going to provide. He can use stingy crows or poor widows. Allow me to explain. I was assuming that since I do freelance voicings for radio and TV commercials, I would be getting a project, like I normally do, from out of nowhere when I most need the extra cash.

But after hearing Sunday's preaching, I realized it's not my business to decide how the money will come. So now, I've got my eyes wide open to any black birds or spouse-lessed women. (It's a metaphor. I'm not weird. At least, I'd like to think I'm not.)

I'm on the verge of losing my permanent resident status here in the Philippines. I never saw this coming, nor in my wildest dreams hoped I would ever have to. But a series of events, including the theft of my laptop bag, has left me with no choice. Too many details to get into but suffice it to say that - I don't have the requirements to change my permanent resident paper to a permanent resident card because my ORIGINAL US DOCUMENTS WERE STOLEN.

I'll spare you the sad, sorry details and regale you with updates on how I will soon have to become a Tourist in order to stay here legally. I find comfort in the fact that I'm leaving the country anyway. My hope is to eventually look into Dual Citizenship some day.

But that'll be fodder for a future post on this blog. Way future post.

song playing on my itunes at work: at the stars by better than ezra

Saturday, May 26, 2007

In the Waiting

Confession time. I'm slowly coming out of a three-week slump. More like a battle with doubt and unbelief. They came as tiny whispers, their usual tactic.
"What if Kyera's not approved...?"

"What if you can't find a job...?"

"What if you have no money to bring with you...?"

"What if you have no place to stay when you get there...?"

"What if you're apart for longer than you're expecting?"
An onslaught of their best weapons have been assaulting me. Little by little, my armor showed the tiniest chink and left me vulnerable. In the midst of this, I am left with the only thing I can hold on to - promises.
That there is One who holds me by my right hand and says to me, "Do not be afraid. I am here to help you."

That there is One who strengthens me and fills my mind with the peace that transcends all understanding.

That there is One who has plans to give us hope and a future.

That there is One whose goodness I will see.

That there is One who makes all things beautiful in His time.
I will worship Him because He is God and I am not. It is not mine to have everything figured out. It is mine to trust Him who does.

I will stand with my friend, Biko as she battles Cancer.

I will stand with my friend, G3 in New York who awaits the US Immigration approval of his wife and baby daughter who he last saw when she was a week old; she's now four-months old.

I will stand with eight year-old Ikey who has a tumor in his brain.

I will wait for Him. I will believe. I will trust. I will worship.

song playing on K's ipod: you're all i have by snow patrol

Monday, May 21, 2007

J Called

Just got off the phone with J and I'm looking forward to seeing her and R sometime this week or next. They've just moved their radio station into a new office and are in the middle of getting through their own To-Do List which got long while they were away.

We chit-chat about how fast D got her US Passport while in Hawaii - five days!

J suspects the ease had a lot to do with Hawaii's smaller population compared to the mainland's. They were anticipating a two month wait so the five days was a great surprise!

So now they're back and I have yet to hear back from the US Embassy on K's approval. I'm estimating to get word on June 13 or thereabouts as J waited for 60 days for D's. I filed K's April 13.

I think I'll start posting my pretty finds on stylehive.com for inspiration.

playing on my desktop: y98.com

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Things We Leave Behind

R and J have returned from Hawaii with their daughter D. I sent R a text this Sunday morning to confirm and he replied with, "...Yes, mission accomplished!.."

I have been procrastinating on my To-Do List as it involves government agencies, legwork and money. Not to imply anything by that statement other than the fact they each require 'having' - to go to, to do and to... have. Every day, I log on to my TaDa List and stare. We look at each other. It, mockingly and I, timidly.

But I'm not one to back down from a challenge. I embrace the opportunity to get things done so I can feel the sheer joy of checking off each item with the click of my mouse. (Saves paper too!) But I'm procrastinating. That, and I cannot do much without funds. But that's the least of my concerns now. I trust that when I need the money, it will come. That'll be another blog.

Two colleagues at work are transitioning out of Manila. One actually just left with his family. The Saison's had been on the mission field for the past fourteen years. They are now back home in Canada and will be heading for Jacksonville, Florida in a couple of months to call it home. The Watkin's will be leaving the first of June. First stop is North Carolina then the Ukraine as missionaries.

All of this... moving has gotten me thinking about the things we leave behind at every place we stop at along this journey we call our lives. I've been in a reflective mood this past week (Well, this blog was started for this purpose..) and in a car ride home Friday night with dear friend Mikey, I got to thinking about how much I will miss him and the many other young adults from church, when I, we, leave. That thought then led me to taking stock of the encounters and events I will miss and it got me wondering in turn if people feel the same way about me. More importantly, I wonder if I am leaving behind a trail of happy thoughts that point to my happiness with God.

Mikey's new discovery is U2 so we sang their songs at the top of our lungs on our way home, I couldn't help but feel amazed, and admittedly old, that twenty-one year old Mikey was just discovering the wonders of my high school obsession.
singing U2 songs at the top of our lungs in mikey's car! 'WITH OR WITHOUUUT YOU-OH-HO..' friiiiday night second wind!
'..yeo-hoo.. all i want is yeo-hoooo.. all i want is yeo-hoo..' thank you, everybody! good night..! *blowing kisses*
Later that night I couldn't sleep, so I borrowed K's iPod and clicked on my favorite album, The Unforgettable Fire. High school, 1984 and being one of a few who loved this band back then at our exclusive girls' school came back to me. And I looked at the time and space that has traveled since I was fourteen and how at that age, the future seemed so far away.

Here I am now, twenty three years later, with a seventeen year old daughter and another future. But this one comes swiftly. In a mere twelve years, by God's grace, I will be fifty. Half a century. More than half a life, lived. It was a sobering thought.

Will I be able to look back at my now and like R and J, the Saison's, and the Watkin's hopefully be all the more wiser, and braver and faith-filled for grabbing change and hopefully, have no regrets? And in that future, will Mikey remember me fondly not only for my rekindled U2 love but for my passion for Jesus?

I sure hope so.

album playing on K's ipod: the unforgettable fire by U2

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ballet school search.

hunting for ballet schools in florida online.

haven't found anything yet... hopefully, i will soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

happy mother's day!

Happy Mother's Day!

the world would be a really messy place without mom's. thank you for keeping things in order. :) *hugs!*

Friday, May 11, 2007

Good News from Hawaii!

My good friends R and J sent an SMS that their daughter D got her US Passport! J sent the text last April 30:

Gues wat! D just got her US Passport in the mail! Only6days aftr applying4 for it!,praizGod!We reachd our goal aftr 2yrs of paprwork&planning. Tnx4all the prayrs!
I am ecstatic for them. R and I chat recently and the expectation at that point was that they would have to wait for another two months. He was supposed to have flown home while J and D were to wait for D's passport. R shared that D was making plans of learning how to surf, getting a job, and buying her own car at seventeen. In other words, stay in Hawaii and send her folks back home to Manila.

Not likely to happen, R smiled through his big grinning emoticon on YM.

I would have gladly volunteered to let D stay with us. I've been her Tita (Auntie) Joey since she was six. But time has not yet revealed what our lot will be in this whole process and so I grinned back at R and threw in a big YM hug and 'Congratulations!!!!'

I know I will hear from them soon. Perhaps see them, or receive a phone call from a giddy J as soon as she returns and has gotten over her jet lag and has settled back into the rhythm of her life here in the Philippines. I anticipate her enthusiastic, "Joey! I just know Kyera's next! We're praying for you two, woman!"

I can't wait to see them. To hear their stories on Hawaii and the stretching of their faith, and be all the more bright-eyed and hopeful at the possibilities K's and my story holds.

My promise?

He has assigned me (us) my portion and my cup; He has made my lot secure. His boundary lines have fallen for me (us) in pleasant places; surely I (we) have a delightful inheritance.

Wherever in the world this journey ends, I know our lot will be the best - assigned, secure, pleasant, delightful.

Until then, the waiting and the dreaming continue.

song playing on kyera's ipod: cartwheels by the reindeer section

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Page from My Dream Book

Didn't realize it's been more than a week since we've posted. Lots of things going on in real life. I'm sure you know how that gets in the way. And my Twitterholicism allows me my daily blogging fix so if you're on Twitter, you understand the feeling, and convenience, of a micro-blog!

As I type this entry, it is a quiet Saturday morning in our apartment in Manila. I am now officially borrowing the iPod video that I used to own. I gave it to K whose iPod mini is on its death throes. It's either a glitch from its 2005 manufacturing or just the full extent of its lifespan. Sigh. If only they weren't so expensive here in the Philippines...

Expense is relative though depending on ones point of reference. Standards of living come into play. And because the Philippines is a developing country, what is cheap here to those in developed countries costs us an arm and a leg, or a Christmas Bonus, to get.

Interestingly, everyone whom I have consulted with and shared to about my plans to move back to the US are unanimous: "It would be great for you, two!"; "You'll finally be able to afford a car!"; "You'll get to replace your stolen iBook with a MacBook Pro!" They encourage and excite us with the possibilities.

The most recent encouragement came from a friend with three small boys whose job assigned her to LA for two years. She and her family have been back since last year and she told me: "Your daughter's already grown up. It'll be easier for you because you won't have to spend on Day Care or babysitting or juggling a job and a small child alone." I smiled at the reassurance. Our conversation ended with her voting for us to go to Orlando.

We are now in the middle of waiting for K's petition to be approved; the decision on our destination is still up in the air but our choices have been narrowed to either Orlando or Pearl City . So while we wait and stretch our faith, we pass the time with dreaming.

One of mine comes from a page from my dream book in 1999. I was in the middle of starting my direct marketing business and we were required to paste pictures of our dreams with deadlines in a scrapbook so we would stay motived to network, call, and meet with potential business partners. Pages were filled with vacation spots, cars, furniture, schools and cities around the world.

A page with a picture of Rockefeller Center at Christmastime showing ice skaters and the beautiful tree is nestled in between my dream of going to Disneyland and Paris. Pictures that I glued to my dream book eight years ago. My due date for New York was 2001.

Here we are, in a different season in our lives, making steps to accomplish a long forgotten dream. Without opening my old NuSkin scrapbook, my heart found Rockefeller Center at Christmas tucked away and filed under "Warm and Fuzzy Thoughts".

So this is now one of my goals - take K ice skating at Rockefeller Center for Christmas and her 18th birthday in December 2007.

May I ask that you pray with us that this dream come true...?

song playing on my ipod: you are my joy by the reindeer section