Saturday, we had family lunch to celebrate Ariel’s and my mom’s birthdays. It was great, but dad wasn’t feeling so well and he didn’t eat anything, save for a hot cup of tea. By late afternoon, his fever was up at 40 degrees C and he was throwing up. Got me worried. Thank God that the fever eventually subsided and by Sunday, he was feeling better already. One thing I am also deeply thankful for are the pastors, leaders and members at my parents’ Church who immediately rushed to my parents’ home when they found out dad is sick. When my mom got hospitalized last year, they were at her side, too. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, they were with my mom when she received the news (I wish I was there, too). On my parents’ birthdays and anniversaries, they are there knocking at their door, bright and early before we kids can even make a phone call to greet them. I haven’t expressed it enough (or at all!) but I am so grateful to all of them for supporting my mom and dad, for praying for them, for the genuine friendships, for the love and concern not just for my parents but for all of us, and for physically being there when my parents are in need. They have become more than just members of the church, they are part of our family. They are truly a gift and we are so blessed to have them. I knew God had a plan when he brought my dad to that small town congregation in rural Cavite decades ago. So thank you Lord for bringing us there and making us part of the AO Church.

Leaders at the Church of Alpha Omega Christian Ministries

Sunday, the Photography Club at WWCF had a short meeting after the service. I love the group! And even if the meeting was short and sweet, I am thankful for our time together. It was great seeing everyone (save for a few who couldn’t make it), and I look forward to our planning session. I am thankful for Ptr. Raymund’s enthusiasm and leadership, and for his desire to push the group to make it more productive. May the Lord grant us wisdom as we map out our activities for the year.

Monday, after dropping me off to work, Ariel drove along Pasong Tamo and turned right to Pasay Road in order to exit to SLEX. As he was slowly (traffic was a bit heavy) making his way through Pasay road (one way), he noticed a man standing in the MIDDLE of the road a few meters ahead. Just as he slowly passed the guy, he heard a slight thump and noticed the guy bumped into the right side of our SUV (near the side mirror). The guy was carrying a bag of rice which spilled slightly onto the car. The guy went on to confront Ariel saying that Ariel bumped him. Unfortunately for the guy, Ariel noticed him earlier and figured out his modus operandi. So Ariel confronted him back saying that he bumped the car intentionally. Thankfully, the guy backed down and moved away spewing profanities – like he has a right to be mad (maybe at himself?). So, thank God for keeping us safe every single day as we go to and from work. That situation could have ended up badly, but it didn’t. And I am deeply grateful. May this also be a warning to other motorists out there. Let’ be vigilant while on the road.

It is the second week of our class at Snapshots of a Good Life – it’s a 3-month photography course about “shooting from the heart”. The class is being taught by a photographer-scrapbooker-blogger that I admir e SO MUCH, Karen Russel. It’s a dream come true to be finally taking her class (the wait list is LONG!). Been enjoying it so much! I’m just so thankful for the resources that allowed me to take this class. I am thankful for the learning. I am thankful for my teacher and classmates who make this class really worthwhile. I am praying that this class will help me fulfill one of my long-term personal goals.

One of my goals this year is to take better care of my physical health. I am glad to be finally on track in terms of my meal plan. I am already eating healthy this past two weeks and I’m glad that it’s not that difficult anymore. My body has adjusted well. My big challenge is really the preparation of my food since we don’t have a helper this week. It can be exhausting to come home from work in the evening and prepare my dinner, and lunch for the following day. Thankfully, I have enough energy to face those tasks and I haven’t strayed yet. Another health-related goal is visiting my dentist. I’ve already done the first oral prophylaxis
for the year and have completed half of my filling requirements. I have one more session with her to complete the fillings. After that, I’ll just have to visit for follow up checks and another oral prophylaxis. I thank the Lord for our dental care benefits that allow us to take care of our teeth at no cost.

Finally, I am thankful for my quiet time this week. I must admit it is hard. Specially since we don’t have a helper and I still have to do the grocery shopping (2x a week – since my veggies have to be fresh), cook and clean up after. I am still figuring out how to really schedule and manage this because sometimes, I come home late and tired. Anyway, I am glad for the Bible stories I’ve read this week. I am now in Exodus. One thing that struck me this week is the “management” tip of Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law). I thought it was brilliant! I mean today, we have the benefit of myriads of books, and other resources on leadership. Back then, it was pure wisdom with God’s guidance of course. Love it! I’ve also read about the guidelines for living (e.g. how to treat servants). Some might argue that those are outdated already. Maybe true, but just the same, there are things to be learned when it comes to treating your neighbors. I am also progressing through the Purpose Driven Life. And one important learning for me is how God wants to be involved in the littlest details of our life. I must admit I am one of those who think it’s silly to talk to God for something “petty” like shoes, or gadgets. After all, He is GOD! Might be a waste of time to ask him about hair rebonding, or buying a refrigerator. However, in the book, it was emphasized that having a great relationship with God is much like our friendships with people. He is interested in our lives. He delights in seeing our personalities shine. We can talk to Him about ANYTHING! Even what seems to be “petty” stuff. Wow!

So that wraps up this week. Thank you Lord for a great week!

Written by Alby Laran

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