I realized that once I’ve decided to write about my gratitude list for the week, I’ve been more conscious of my daily blessings. It’s refreshing to always see the positive in every thing, for the most part.

Anyway, this week can’t be any more wonderful. On Saturday, August 21, I attended a workshop called Photographic Flash Lighting and Techniques.
This was sponsored and organized by the Word for the World Christian Fellowship Photography Club of which I am part of the Core Team. Carlo Claudio, a pro photographer, was the instructor. It was a very productive session and I learned a lot about lighting. It was also fun as we interacted with our “classmates”. What I love most about this workshop is that I got to share it with Ariel. He was also there to learn about lighting. After the workshop, we stayed a bit longer to discuss the other events we have planned for the year. Carlo’s mom prepared a sumptuous dinner – one of my all time favorite dishes – Paella! So delicious! Finally, I am very thankful for the opportunity to be part of the organizing team. It’s a huge blessing to be surrounded by people who not only share my interest in photography but more importantly, share my faith.

On Sunday, Ariel and I woke up early again and headed off to Makati. Ariel dropped me off at McDonald’s Greenbelt 1 to attend a friend’s son’s 1st birthday party. It was a lot of fun to see several of my old colleagues from Unisearch. After the kiddie party, we headed to Bizu to continue our “reunion”. Ariel followed and we enjoyed lunch and coffee with our friends and their families.

After about a month, I finally got to have some nail pampering at Dashing Diva! Some girls spend a lot for skin treatments like facials, scrubs, etc. I love pampering my nails. There’s just something about pretty nails that add a little bounce to my steps. I’m a bit shallow that way. I’m just thankful I have the resources to indulge once in a while.

On Monday, I attended a role sorts meeting with our company’s leadership team and people managers. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of it. It was a long but productive meeting and we were able to discuss some issues that affect our day to day work. I am grateful that my company takes time to ensure good working relationships across different functional groups.

Had dinner with Aileen, Nollie and Criselle at Baja last Monday night. We had so much fun sharing storues and reminiscing on good old school days over margarita.

I also had dinner with Grace and Gen Wednesday night at Terrace at the 5th. We are 3 generations of Unisearch managers. I used to report to Grace and Gen used to report to me. It’s great to be able to come together regularly even as we already pursued different career paths. As usual, we laughed so hard with Gen’s many funny stories. Food was great, too!

I got my copy of Mockingjay on the release date. I was so excited! However, I decided to go slow this time instead of rushing through the book. I’ve been reading just a few pages each night since I got my copy. Still on books, I also picked up a paperback copy of Anne Brashares’ The Last Summer of You and Me. I loved her Traveling Pants series and I hope this is a good one.

I am also happy to re-start with The Purpose Driven Life. I started it years ago and sort of got derailed. I even bought a journal which I never got around to really using. I can feel the thirst for God’s Word and the desire to seek His will for me. And as I prayed for direction, I felt Him pointing me to this book. That’s also one reason why I am not rushing through Mockingjay. I am prioritizing my study time with TPDL. Anyway, I do feel spiritually energized just a few days since I started. I find myself thinking about what I’ve studied during the day, as I go about my work. Last night, I prayed like I’ve never prayed in a long time. I remembered people in prayer – people I’ve promised to pray for. I felt good after, like I have really taken a big step into the path God has laid out for me.

I am also thankful that I got to work out this week. Twice. A good start. Restart, actually. The week before, I only worked out once. The week before that, twice. I’m hoping to do it more regularly in the coming weeks. I am grateful for the baby steps I am taking to take care of my physical and spiritual health.

Lots of things to look forward to in the coming days. Thank you Lord for all the blessings.

Written by Alby Laran

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