Tag Archives: pearl of truth

The Gift of Pause

I am grateful for this time to write to you. I have taken time off to rest today. For me writing leisurely is restful. Lately, I have been rushing through life and I have to stop myself from working too much because a good friend reminded me to: “Love yourself!”

Indeed. 🙂

So, I am taking this day to pause for a while. The work can wait. But our health cannot. It’s incredible the amount of unnecessary stress we place on our bodies. I can feel it in my aching bones and muscles crying out for a day of rest and more sleep.

These days, in the busyness of our lives, and many things taking much of our time, it is so easy to neglect ourselves. It’s so easy to skip a healthy breakfast because we need to get to the office on time, to sleep less because there’s work to be done, and to rush through life focused on our vision for the future but missing the present moment.

I have been guilty of these on many occasions. But it is awareness that wins half the battle. Today, I choose to be in the now — to intentionally slow down and enjoy the moment, to give myself the gift of pause and rest.

What is your body telling you today? Maybe it is time for you to take a much-needed break. Maybe it needs more sleep. Maybe it needs to recover from the pressures it has gone through. Maybe it needs to calm down and let go. Perhaps, it needs a little more sleep.

Ah sleep — a luxury most people in the workforce are longing for. This is also true for many parents, especially mothers, who have to juggle taking care of their kids and balancing their home and work life. How exactly do they do it?! I honor all the mothers out there who sacrifice a lot to take care of their families. I hope your loved ones can gift you a time of rest to recover and recuperate so you can love them more. I pray you will also take care of yourself.

As for me, I must confess that I have over-scheduled my life lately. As a single person I feel like I can do everything. But at what cost! I have to learn to say “no” more often. I am learning that I can’t do everything even if I wanted to do. I have to choose to do the things that have more impact in the long-term.

Have you fallen on the same trap like me? Life’s busyness is taking a toll on your health too? It’s time to pause and take a deep breath! Inhale deeply and exhale all the stresses away. Go home early today and take that much needed sleep.

We can learn a valuable lesson from nature. Even nature slumbers during winter. Farmers say that a soil that has not been rested does not produce much harvest. Even land needs to rest so that it can be more productive. We are human “beings” and not doings. It’s time to be human again and not machines.

I remember reading about a young CEO in India who died suddenly last year. He was only in his early 30’s. Many were surprised at his death because he looked physically fit and was known to go to the gym regularly. Doctors soon discovered the culprit for his untimely death. He only slept for 4 hours a day!

Like the unhealthy food we eat, sleep debt comes back to you with a vengeance. A new sleep study said that we need at least 7 hours of quality sleep a day to recover from a hard day’s work.

That used to be eight hours. We find even new sleep research is adjusting to this millennia’s work schedule! But I think between 7-8 hours is a good measure. At least not just four hours a day. Or you can observe your body and know how many hours it takes for you to feel well rested!

If a full sleep is not possible, nap time during the day will be most helpful. Most successful people were known to take naps throughout the day such as Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and John F. Kennedy to name a few. Shut-eye during the day helped them to be alert, creative, and more focused. It made a whole lot of difference amidst their busy schedule. And it helped them produce great work.

We DO need to rest. It is not optional.

Yes, there are people to be cared for, goals to be achieved, work to be done, and dreams to reach, but you wouldn’t reach them when you’re no longer here because you did not take care of yourself.

Plus, as I have experienced, patience and focus decrease dramatically the lesser you sleep. You love less when you are sleep-deprived. You become grumpy, prone to accidents and to making unhealthy decisions. I don’t think this is the way to live a meaningful life. You put yourself and others in danger when you lack sleep and drive, or perform tasks that need high concentration like surgery or involving heavy machinery.

If we can’t afford the luxury of a nap time, at least make time for a full sleep at the end of the day, or at the end of each work day if you’re working in a call center. I hope you will make time for rest because your loved ones need you. And because a happy and healthy life depends on it.

Sometimes, we try to do so much in one day. But slow is fast in the long run. Good things take time to be built and to grow. We need to rest to be inspired again.

Jesus invites us, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). God invites us to rest in Him.

Everything will be all right. You don’t have to do everything today. Do as much as you can. Give it your best shot. But at the end of the day, surrender it all to God who will take care of what you can no longer do.

Let’s make time today to rest our body, minds, and hearts.

Psalm 46:10-11 encourages us to, “Cease striving (be still) and know that I am God…The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”

“Selah (Pause).”

Dear friend, rest well today.

P.S. If you need much needed rest for your spirit, I’d like to invite you to join us for a Soul Spa on September 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here you will learn how to love yourself more in a healthy way and discover your purpose in life. There will also be  a watercolor painting session to restore your spirit and calm your soul. We only have 30 slots available. If you’d like to take a pause from your busy schedule, please do register here <Soul Spa > to reserve your seat. Till then, take care of yourself because you are precious to God. Love yourself! <3

 

 

When You Feel Lost

I’ve been driving again, a skill I abandoned for the last 10 years. I once got a ticket for an unintentional error on the road, I just didn’t have time (made time) to renew my license until recently. And now we’re back. I know ten years! That’s another story for another time. 🙂

I feel better equipped now, at least mentally, to brave the challenging roads of Manila. The streets are no different, it’s still traffic in the city. But there are tools now that make life easier for newbie (again) motorists like me.

One of the well-loved and used tools I know now is Waze — the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Other drivers share real-time traffic and road information to help you get to your destination faster using roads less traveled.

I use Waze and Google Maps now when I need to go somewhere I have no idea how to get to. I once went to the north of Luzon, driving past a toll gate for the first time in my life. I was so nervous I had to back up on an expressway after entering the wrong side of  a diverging road. Thankfully there were no cars passing by then.

If I had pursued that wrong road, it would have been a point of no return for me. But I was pleasantly surprised to find Google Maps recalculating and recalibrating a new route for me that will take me to my destination via another way.

I love the app’s ability to reroute. In a way, you’re never lost. Because no matter how far you go off track, you can always go back to your destination through another way. It returns you to the right road.

I realized that “God’s Maps” works the same way in our lives.

Sometimes, we make wrong choices that gets us into  a bad road. Sometimes, out of ignorance or stubbornness, we follow the path that leads to heartache. Sometimes, in our pride, we want to do it our way and then we feel lost.

Where to go now? What to do with my life? Where do I go from here? Are the questions we ask ourselves when we we’re on a confusing road that seem to lead to nowhere or a dead end.

Thankfully, God’s Waze (ways) are not our ways. His ways are better than ours because He sees the whole picture. And God always has a way of getting us back on track. He has a plan B, C, D, and so much more! We just need to go back to him and follow him. His plans for us are never for woe. They are never meant to harm you, but they are plans to bring you the future that you hope for! (Jeremiah 29:11).

Maybe you feel like you’ve lost your way. Only return to God and he will reroute your life. He will make His good plans for you happen no matter how you feel your past is unredeemable or that you’ve wasted so much time. It’s never too late for God.

If you trust Him today and surrender your life, and follow His ways, you will get to your ultimate destination. He will have other ways to fulfill His purpose for your life. God is wise like that. 🙂

I know of no other place to get his GPS than to read the Bible. That’s our ultimate map to heaven right there. If you need a virtual app to have your daily devotional, you can try the Fantastic Life App, it gives you the daily readings of the day plus things you can reflect on. It’s fantastic! 🙂

Dear friend, take heart!

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it!’” (Isaiah 30:21)

Follow the Lord and you will not be lost. He is the Way. He’ll lead you back to the right path for you life. Follow God’s Waze today.

Pearl of Truth

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” — Isaiah 48:17

 

 

 

 

 

Make Time for Reflection

Lately, I’ve been too preoccupied with much work, and it hurts my heart. It’s difficult when we’re always on the go and we don’t have the time to pause and reflect on where we’re going. To check if we are still on the right path.

“An unexamined life is not worth living,” Socrates reminds us. It’s really when we take time to reflect on things that we can make sense of our lives, and hear what God is teaching us, where He is leading us.

Next Wednesday (March 1) is the beginning of Lent. I am looking forward to this time of walking more closely with God, to spending more time with Him. I want to be more attuned to His will again.

I realized that we can get very busy but totally miss the point of what God wants us to do. We can even be busy with good activities, but they  distract us from what we should be doing. I realized that it is important to say no to many things that take our time away from the things we are called to do. Those things that we must do, that cannot be delegated to others. It is important to say no, so that we can say yes to the things God wants us to focus on.

Would you join me in recommitting to prayer and reassessing our priorities to make time for the important things in our lives?  I really hope we would be right on target with what God wants us to do this year.  In the original language of the Bible, the word for sin meant “to miss a mark” or a target. When we miss the point of what God wants for us, we feel something is wrong deep within our souls. Our spirit may feel restless or not at peace. To be on point, and on target, is to know God’s will and to obey it. This entails a time for prayer and reflection, a time to listen to God’s voice in our hearts.

We are called to live a meaningful life. But a meaningful life is a life that is reflected on. Only when we take time to reflect on our days will we be able to catch our mistakes and not repeat them. We will not be running around in circles. Only when we reflect will we be able to hear the still small voice of God in our hearts telling us where we should go, what we should do, and what we should focus on. A scattered life will not make much difference, only one that is laser-focused will make a dent.

I know we  want to make a difference in this world. And so, we need to take the time to reflect on what we should be doing first. To set our priorities straight. To let God lead us to the right path.

Let’s find time to reflect amidst our busy schedules. We need times of silence, in order to listen again to the stirrings in our soul. I believe this time of reflection will save us from a lot of unnecessary pain and direct our efforts to the right path that will bring fullness of life. Let us make time for reflection this coming Lenten season. Our life, our truest selves, depend on it.

Pearl of Truth:

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” — Lamentations 3:40

Forward 2016

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Happy New Year! I find this verse so timely as we find ourselves in 2016.

Two words stand out from these beautiful words from St. Paul which give us two valuable actions for change: Forgetting what lies behind and reaching Forward to what lies ahead.

The past is over but sometimes we can find ourselves stuck in it. I understand this very much because I used to make it my home too. One day, God asked me to move to a new address, to Freedom Street where love and joy were found.

I had to leave the past behind, to let go and allow God to heal it. Today, with His grace, I am free from the shackles of the past.  He wants the same for you too.

St. Paul teaches us to forget what lies behind. Our past sins, negative memories, circumstances that hurt us, people who’ve caused us pain, those things we need to surrender and forgive, our past regrets, mistakes and failures.

We forget the past except for valuable lessons learned which would help us build a better future.

This year, we turn our heads and face forward.

Where exactly should we be going?  St. Paul tells us to press on toward the goal.  In other words, to focus.  You cannot move towards any goal or reach it, if you’re not even looking at it or are always distracted. What are you eyeing on this year? Will it bring you closer to your true home?

St. Paul encourages us to press on toward the goal.

We are headed toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. Where is that?  Heaven. What will lead us to heaven? Love. Who will lead us there? Jesus.

Amidst the many goals we have set for ourselves this year, let us aim for the ultimate prize, play to win for the things that what will last forever.

This year we are encouraged to leave the past behind because God’s plans for our future is filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

We may not be there yet but thank God that we are not who we used to be. Thank God for making all things new.

This year, let’s keep moving forward! May you press on toward the goal of your upward call. May you follow the path that leads you to the ultimate prize.

In the end, it’s the only thing that matters.

Pearl of Truth

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Cor 9:25)