Transience of Life

Life is transient and temporary.  We do not know when’s our time to leave this temporary life.  But while we have everything at it’s best, make sure not to waste the only life we have for nothing.  Do something worthwhile while time allows us to do the many wonderful things in this world.  We do not want to look back where only emptiness reside in our hearts.  Life is not black and white.

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sunglasses on the beach

We would not want to walk alone with no memories to cherish.   As we cross life’s road, collect as many memories as the sand and hold them in the deepest chambers of our hearts.  In the end, we will still be happy because we are not empty inside.

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flip flops on a rocky sea sand

And while we’re still journeying, try not to forget that the most beautiful things in this life is with the word L-O-V-E.  Love the people who makes us happy.  Take some time to walk in the seashore.  The steps we take may be transient but the memories will always stay.

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bay walk couple

Be passionate.  Kiss more often.  Say ‘I love you’ and mean it.  Life is but temporary but love lasts together with the memories we made with the people we love.  So, let us spread L-O-V-E!

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a love to last

My Angel Friend

“And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Prov. 17:17 is a famous bible verse for friendship and I am highlighting a very common feature of the theme Friend. But, I wonder how many people would feature their best friends? I guess not so many except if they went up for that heavenly trip up there.

In our lives, people come and go. They say, you met them for a very certain reason. Reasons that sometimes we cannot understand or worse we cannot accept. But, whatever and wherever your friendship ends, they will always remain a part of you.

God called my best friend home about 8 months ago and the situation turned me upside down. Things have changed and they will never be the same again. However, these are all temporary. I am looking forward to that blessed hope when I will meet her again in that sweet Beulah Land. One thing that I would always be thankful for was that I was able to sat with her, laughed with her, prayed with her, supported her and took care of her during those times of her pain and agony. Those were the times that won’t be replaced by anything. I am blessed for having such a wonderful friend. I miss her so much.

Evanescent

I will be showing different tones and colors of the sun as it paints the empty sky in the breaking of dawn and eventually fades away at dusk after it does an awesome work. Just a perfect example of showing Evanescent.

Every color depicts memories, whether it is happy, sad or extra sad. Memories that only one (you) can decide whether to let it fade together with the sun or to let it stay until it shows another majestic sky artwork the next day.

There’s always a new beginning and it always start the moment the sun shows it’s sparkle. We can always let these memories stay but do not forget to live. We can also choose to let it go and still live. Whichever way we choose, there’s always a choice. Make a good one, people!

BON VOYAGE 2016

2016 is almost at its end of trail and before I reach the final trail, I want to look back at how this year has been for me.  Some people may have prospered a lot in 2016 – all praises to God for His providence. Others may have stayed the same and wasn’t able to find what they wanted in their lives – keep searching, doors may open soon.  But, for me, 2016 has been a diverse year.

At the first quarter of the year, God blessed me with unexpected blessings.  I was given an unexpected favor at work.  I advanced to a higher position in my workplace.  I must admit, it felt good having been recognized as a good example among other foreign teachers.  I did my job well.  On top of that, I was given a salary raise.  It was not that much but it made me happy.

Then, I was able to travel with my family.  One dream accomplished, although, I am looking forward to more travels with them.  We went to the place where my best friend, ate Dexie, and I planned to go.  So I let her come along with us.  Must I say, two dreams accomplished in a row.  I am thankful to God for allowing us to experience beautiful things while we still can.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well on the third month.  Ate Dexie got sick and became very ill.  I had to bring her to the hospital.  Thailand hospitals were never a good experience for me. I felt repulsive at some staff and doctors where communication was always the problem.  At an emergency room of one of the famous public hospitals in Pathumthani would never accept patients without fever, cut or bruise.  It was disappointing when you cannot explain what you really need to explain.  And with my little knowledge in speaking Thai, did not help explaining to them that Ate Dexie needs immediate aid because according to them her vital signs were all normal.  Goodness!  That time, she haven’t had eaten for a day and you call it normal!  To hell with vital signs – the person was not at all in her USUAL state!  Excuse the language.  So, I decided to bring her to an expensive hospital.  One night stay was worth a lot and we had to borrow money so she could be checked and be taken cared of.  They did endoscopy and biopsy altogether.  After seven days of waiting for the final results, the doctor only confirmed that she had cancer and it was malignant but he didn’t know what stage and what to do next.  She was recommended to see another doctor.  And then again, I was disappointed.  Doctors are supposed to be life savers but it was not like that at that time.   So, I had to encourage her to go home and do further check-ups in the Philippines where communication was never a problem.  We were thankful to our church pastors; Pastor Gutlay, Pastor Pran and members of Grace Baptist Church, Suanprigthai, Pathumthani for being an encouragement at that time and also for giving out financial support to her.

It did not end there, though.  I had encountered a lot following that.  After knowing her real condition, which was gastric cancer (stage 4), I had to do something to help her.  I had to sell our important things and I had to raise some funds to help her in her medication.  Doing it alone was not easy.  I asked help from my, her and her sister’s friends’ list in Facebook but few have responded.  I cannot complain because it was a matter between life and death.  All I knew was to do what I can do to help her.  Few months before the third quarter ended, I decided to go home and visited her.  I wanted to tell her that I would always be there for her.  I wanted to show her what it’s like to have a real friend – wondering what it would be like when it’s my turn to be on my deathbed.

Entering the fourth quarter was the hardest.   I had lost one of the best people in my life to cancer.  I lost one precious stone that cannot be replaced.  I will always treasure her as one best part of my existence.  This experience has changed many perspectives in my life.  How am I right now?  I would always say, “I’ll be fine,” but, seriously, I have to overcome the greatest fear I have – losing people in my life.  I am not fine but I will be – in time!

Unexpected things happen and it is not easy to accept these unexpected changes whether it is good or bad.  I may leave the footprints of 2016 behind but I am hoping I could immediately let go of the crucial things that happened to me this year. I am sad of losing my best friend but I know that we will meet someday in Heaven.  I just have to learn to accept this lonely stage of life.  I am blessed I still have my family and praying that God will grant our wishes as a family.  I expect more challenges in 2017 as I place in my heart the happy and hurtful things in 2016.  I hope God will give me more courage and strength to face my life’s battles fearlessly and fiercely as I say BON VOYAGE 2016.

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looking forward to a Prosperous 2017 (Kanchanaburi-Dec2016)

Weekly Photo Chalenge:Object

What could be more beautiful than the life of a butterfly?

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love-butterflies on the palm

At first, they are just wormlike creatures.  Then they become beautiful, as beautiful as their wings. Butterflies give us many things to adore in life with the beauty it gives to our nature. Most importantly, they allow us to see how great our Creator is for making ugly things pleasing in our sight.

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hopping butterfly

They give color and beauty in a messy place.  They hop from flower to flower and share the good life of the other flower to another. They don’t live long but their touch lasts longer than we could imagine.  That’s how precious butterflies are.

Under The Juniper Tree

Clouds of inspiration caressed me while I was listening to a Sunday morning sermon.  And while my pastor was confiding his message on the subject, “Alone but Not Alone,” I got very interested when he talked about an exceptional tree that gave impact in the life of Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-14 KJV).  I started scribbling down particular thoughts that he mentioned.

Elijah was a great character in the Bible.  He did many great things in his time, however, he was not excused from the failures, fears and discouragements we experience in this present time.  In the passage (v.4), he asked for death to end his agony because he sensed that his life was in shambles.  Just like any of us, we forget to acknowledge that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28 KJV) despite the misery we bumped into.  And while we’re at this point, we fail to look above and allow God to hold us in our most difficult time.

The Juniper’s Presence:

On his way to Beersheba, he got very tired and laid himself under a juniper tree (v.5).  A juniper tree is not just any normal tree.  Its leaves are scaly and prickly that no one would even want to touch it.  Its height is just about 7 feet.  Do you really think sleeping under it is a comfort?  But what choice has Elijah got? He was in the wilderness.  Everything was tough and he had to appreciate what was available for him.  So, he slept.

The worst thing may only be the best thing we needed.  Elijah’s comfort was far etched but God’s presence was formed in the image of the Juniper Tree.  Be comforted that whatever happens, He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5c KJV).

The Juniper’s Protection:

In the sermon, it was emphasized that no snake could ever get close to a juniper tree.  Can you imagine how Elijah was protected from harm while he was sound asleep? How I wish I could find one juniper tree and plant it beside my doorstep so that no snake will ever get near my place!

Same is true with God, when we face troubles in our lives and we don’t know where to hide, run to God and let Him be the Juniper Tree that will protect us and will shield us in the face of destruction.  His arms are always open to receive us and we will be secured.  Always remember that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1 KJV).

The Juniper’s Provision:

While he was yet fast asleep, an angel touched him and asked him to get up and eat (v.5).  He found a cake freshly baked and a cruse of water over his head (v.6).  God provided what Elijah needed while he was yet to prepare himself for a greater task.  Consider that before Elijah even asked for food, it was already set before him.  And consider again, a baked cake freshly made in the desert? Think twice, but, do not forget that even the sparrows are in His care, too (Luke 12:6 KJV).   So, when we don’t have anything, turn to God and hide in the shelter of the Juniper Tree.  We will be provided with everything.

Only one tree helped Elijah surpass the difficulties he was in.  We do not need to run away from our troubles because we are already safe under the branches of the Juniper Tree.  God helped Elijah before and He will do the same for us now and the next day.  He will not fail us because He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8 KJV).

Bless the Interruptions

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Rescue Tacloban
Photo Credits: Jordan Madjus

                      We have just wired into the threshold of 2014.  Everything starts anew – fresh challenges to face and different blessings to receive.  While reading Our Daily Bread dated January 9, I was already blessed with enthralling words of encouragements.  I decided to use the same title of the write up because it has given me loads of things to think about, to be thankful for and at the same time to respond positively to life’s twists and turns with absolute certainty.  It is not easy to be always on the affirmative side when we only get to see the undesirable angles of it.  At some point, we get paralyzed but before we become too sloppy, always remember that life must go on.  We have a new chapter to start writing and new aspects to consider without leaving behind the pieces that were left broken in 2013.

                      Many of us would not want to look back at the crucial ending of the past year where our country had been greatly tried and tested.  Some would wonder what life would have been if no super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) transpired.  Others have left their sanctuaries because of fear and with the thought that life back home will never be the same again.  Somebody said, “Moving on isn’t about never looking back.  Sometimes we must look back to realize just how far we have come.”  Changes are so drastic that nothing could be able to describe its outcome.  Acceptance is our only key to surpass the confusion and the pain it caused us.

                    Joe Stowell expressed in his write up that interruptions change his day dramatically and while they can be so frustrating, they can also be productive.  While I was reflecting on this phrase, Yolanda and its aftermath came vividly into my thoughts.  It was an impeccable interruption that changed the direction of our lives.  We may close our eyes and wished it never happened but we cannot escape the fact that it did.  And while we dawdle at the hardships we see in recovering from it, we cannot truly say, we have moved on.  Further thoughts backed in.  While we look at it as an interruption, it conveyed a significant message in the lives of many and had shaped selfless acts of love towards those who have been seriously affected by the monster typhoon.  Despite its destruction, many have endeavored to help us so we have now the courage to rebuild.  We have lost our loved ones, our friends, our enemies, many churches, buildings, houses and among other things were destroyed.  As a result, families have bonded closer, more friends were added, enemies became friends and churches helped other churches.  With these, many avenues have been opened.  Bless the interruptions!

                       At any given situation, there are always two sides of it.  While the other side shows every facet of destruction which causes us to be passive in life; the other displays the construction of it which will make us a better person.  We will never know what is on the other side unless we cross it.  So, when interruptions take place, accept it with open arms.  In addition, here are some tips to think through.  Be blessed!

  1. Replace fear with courage.
  2. Seek out for encouragements when frustrated.
  3. Look back but never dwell.
  4. Move on without resentment.
  5. Shed tears but don’t get yourself drowned.
  6. It is best when you are with people.
  7. Have faith, God is still in control!

Bloomed in Saraburi

This is my first contest article.  The theme was about “Your Amazing Place in Thailand.”

Why I chose Saraburi (knowing that it is not one of the tourist places in Thailand) because it is where God has planted me.  So far, I have learned many things from its people, its culture and its language.

Bloomed in Saraburi

http://www.tatnews.org/christine-grace-g-arceno/

When the school had some Thai artists for a visitor

When the school had some Thai artists for a visitor

Two years ago, I embarked onto the island of Thailand with no specific place to go.  I did not know anything about the country.  All I knew is that, it is a part of the continent of Asia, close to my beloved country – the Philippines.

I only knew one person then.  I had no choice but to stay where she lives.  Days went by, I had learned to accept that things will not change the way I wanted them to be.  I had to deal with them.  I had to find a good job in the area and grow with it.  And I did!

Being a novice, it took me three weeks to land in a teaching job.  I am blessed with how God’s power was manifested in the wide search of jobs and places.  One thing is for sure, He provided the right place for me.

With just about two hours away from Bangkok and still being a part of the central provinces of Thailand, a renowned locality, and the town that had served significant role in the country’s history, I have established myself in the City of Saraburi.

I cannot find anything good or exceptional in this place during my first few months.  I had a thought then that Saraburi is only a boring, sleeping city with nothing to do but work and just stay at home.  All the while, it’s been silent, until months passed on that it could not contain itself from silence.  It flared up to me with a great sense of calmness and pride that a quiet city compared to a spot light will shine its best when given the privilege.  I had no other option but to see what the city has to offer.  And I was amazed at what I had found out.  It gave me what I had sought for.

At the outset of God’s outpouring blessings is a teaching job in Anuban Ratsami School, a growing Kindergarten and Primary school in the midst of Amphur Mueang, Saraburi. And also, a place where I can stay that is provided by the school.  Though, it is not as spacious as others may have but I have called it home.  God is so good for making things available for me.  It has really proven beyond question that He will supply everything according to your needs.  We just have to ask.  And what is more surprising is that the pouring did not just stop right there.

yam, a Thai salad it's yum if it's not spicy!

yam, a Thai salad
it’s yum if it’s not spicy!

Saraburi, also, has aroused my enthusiasm to learn new things.  Because of its minor demands in life, the city has helped me to be more conscious of the people around me, to be more sincere with what I do and with what I say, to be more familiar with the things in the environment, to be more cautious with my actions, to understand the culture that Thai people have embraced all their lives, to at least try to speak the language so I might be able to communicate even if I have to say it in a snake’s tongue, and most especially to ‘chim’ everything I would not even dare to eat.  More than anything else, to teach what Thai people need to learn for them to expand their horizons so that they will be more competent in the fast pace of life.

What really moved me is how I have bloomed in the span of two years.  Staying in a less pressured environment and working hand in hand with the people I could hardly communicate with, has turned me into a different person – a person of worth, a person who gained more faith and a person with diligence and integrity.  I have attained all these in the place where God has planted me.  Given another chance to work in another place, I would always look back at where I have started while I keep in my thoughts the things that I have learned.   It would always be a great joy to look back at the pride calmness of Saraburi, the place in Thailand that inspired me the most.