Aurora

On my 35th birthday, I asked for a sunrise as one of my gifts. A very symbolic turn around in my life. To embrace a new beginning and letting go of the past. That’s what what I wanted for a birthday gift. My emotional scars are slowly healing. My heart is ready for reconciliation and forgiveness.

I had witnessed sunrises from a mountain top and at the shoreline. As the ball of fire slowly ascends illuminating the earth, what a beautiful sight to behold. Even as I close my eyes the vision stays with me.

Every time I see a sunrise it always evoke a feeling of confidence, strength and hope. It feels like God is embracing me and saying it’s okay my dear child, everything will be okay.

My past mistakes, hurts, disappointments, failures and regrets doesn’t matter anymore. Because today is a new day I can start again.

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The sunrise on my 35th Birthday. Deerfield Beach, Florida
Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

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Sunrise @ Deerfield Beach, Florida
Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

Psalm 143:8 ESV
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Sunsets

We all toil during the day. When the clock strikes signaling that our shift is over, we ran as fast as we could to get out of work. We walk hurriedly to our car, to the bus stop or to the train station. Our eyes glued to our smartphones, tablets or an e-reader. We barely strike a conversation with the person next to us. How many of us do ever look up and watch the sky changes it’s color as the sun sets down at the western sky.

As the sun sets down, that is a means of grace. It is a sacrament. It is the visible sign of an invisible grace. It is a symbol for mediating God’s grace to your heart. ( The Meaning of Sunset by by Charles E. Jefferson (1860-1937). It is impossible for man to make sunsets only God can do it and to behold its beauty everyday, free of charge, is already a living example of God’s wondrous grace.

Sunsets are miracle. What is a miracle? Wikipedia’s meaning of Miracle is an event not ascribable to human power or the laws of nature and consequently attributed to a supernatural, especially divine.
It points us back to our creator, no human being can orchestrate something grand and amazing. Only God. If you love nature, you can not deny the existence of God.

It is my hope that even in our daily activities no matter how busy we are, let us pause for a moment to appreciate what God has created for us. As we marvel at the grace and miracle of sunsets, let us take time to worship the one who created us…GOD.

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At Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota Florida. Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

Psalm 65:8


Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.

Thursday @ Cohens

This visit is long overdue. Addison Sloane already turned two years old last March and Hannah Leigh turned one month this May. Marissa and I have been trying to sync our schedule so I can visit her growing family yet something always comes up.

So today, no excuses and my Thursday morning is free so is Marissa’s schedule. I drove over to their house. I saw Addie trying to fill her plastic swimming pool with water and Rocky ( their dog) following Seth (Marissa’s hubby) wherever he goes. It seems busy and chaotic yet it looks like a symphony to me, everyone playing their own part, contributing to a wonderful masterpiece. Nothing magical yet when I walked through the door, the warmth of home embraces me.

Marissa greeted me with a big hug, Addie still busy at her plastic pool and Grandma Lippmann arrived. Marissa asked me if I want to hold Hannah, absolutely so off I washed my hands before I hold Hannah. Babies are amazing they left you with this warm fuzzy feeling inside your heart. Time to feed Hannah so I handed her over to her mom and Addie started warming up to me and we ended up playing.

I had a great time, I didn’t notice that it’s already lunch time. I hate to say goodbye but I will be back soon. Thank you Marissa and Seth for welcoming me in your home. It means lot to me.

” The soul is healed by being with children. ” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Snippets of my visit with Addison and Hannah:-) I will be back soon!

Epiphany

June is the start of Hurricane Season in Florida. It is already third week of July, we survived June without a bad storm. This was almost four years ago. Our bags are packed, loaded in the car, ready to enjoy our weekend get away to Naples, Florida and to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We checked the news, there is a tropical depression looming ( this is one of the important thing that I’ve learned while living in Florida. Always check the weather forecast). The sky is clear in Boca Raton, we took a chance, we don’t want all of our preparations to go to waste. So off we go.

While traversing the alligator alley, the clouds are getting darker and darker then a heavy downpour. Enough to dampen our spirit but we still tried to be optimistic, we prayed for a better weather. We played my husbands favorite artists from Hall and Oates, red hot chili peppers and U2 just to keep ourselves entertained. We reached our destination, the clouds are still dark and it is still drizzling. Oh well! It’s time for dinner anyway, so the beach can wait in the morning.

When we woke up the next day, the sun is shining and we were eager to get to the beach. We hurriedly ate our breakfast, freshened up, packed our beach gears and drove to Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park. Nothing can go wrong with an $8 entrance fee until closing. It pays to be an early bird, we found a good spot and enjoyed the beach by ourselves for the first two hours then the crowd started to show up. We left the beach around two in the afternoon. Looked for a place to eat a late lunch and strolled along downtown Naples.

Chico and I we’re so excited to watch the sunset. While on our way to Naples Pier, we saw lightning, heard thunder, then it rained steadily for more than an hour. We took refuge in a nearby antique store. Oh no! We won’t be able to see the sunset. It is only by the gulf side in Florida where you can witness the best sunset. Then the rain stopped. We almost ran to the pier since we don’t want to miss the sunset.

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This is what we saw, clouds covering the sky,the stillness of the water after the rain. Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

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Though the clouds are covering the sun, the sun never quits. This reminded me of the Isarelites journey in the wilderness, God promised to be a cloud on day and fire by night. Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

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Cloud Art: Can you spot the Alligator and the Lion?
Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

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Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

Though the sun was hidden behind the clouds, it still made this beautiful impression on the sky. We considered this as God’s little surprises. We may not be able to watch the sunset, but God gave us an unexpected gift. We learned a valuable lesson. We didn’t come home empty handed. Our hearts filled with joy. Our God is always with us.

The Pier

Barely 20 minutes drive, Deerfield Beach is the closest beach to where we live. Five years ago we decided to move down to South Florida, to be nearer to the beach because of my asthma.

I work the grave yard shift, I should enjoy the beach more often but real life has it’s detours. Plans doesn’t always materialize as much as we want them to be. I guess this is why adult life is complicated. Life is far easier when we were still young.

The Deerfield Beach Pier is one of the structures that directs your eyes to the sea. Each time I visit this pier, it tells me a different lesson. I was reminded of the novel The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger which I read more than 15 years ago. The main character Holden passes the public library growing up and each time he passes by, it was never the same. The structures were the same, nothing new but what’s odd is that something is always new.

The Pier, is always the same, like Holden, I feel that there is always something new in the same familiar places. The changes are taking place inside me, I am growing up. A feeling of ambiguity. Scared but excited. Growing up is a part of life that we should never be afraid. It is after all the culmination of what our parents have prepared us for when we were still a child. Adulthood is not only a developmental milestone but as well as a gift to our beloved parents, who we are, what we become and strives to become. All in one package. It is the best gift we can ever give to our family.

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The Deerfield Beach Pier, Deerfield Beach, Florida

Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Playground

My best childhood summer memory was spent on the farm. Playing traditional Filipino games with my cousins, hike to the falls, pangulabo(going to a farm with coconut trees and eating young coconut meat and drink it’s juice),pang-us tubo (munching on sugarcane),eating bayebaye ( glutinous flour with young coconut topping cooked in muscuvado sugar with anise), nilupak ( boiled saba banana and was pounded in a wooden mortal & pestle) & more.

After living in Florida for 10 years, my soul is hungry to do some hiking in the mountains, a trek to the falls & simply enjoying the cool mountain weather. My very good friend and a dear sister in Christ, Yelli Rio who planned this trip last March 17,2014 deserved a star of excellence for all her efforts. I will be forever grateful for this gift, Yelli dear you brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. This may not be the exact place yet it feels familiar, a very close resemblance to what once used to be my playground.

View of Malanta-og Falls from the main road. Location: Don Salvador. Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines

View of Malanta-og Falls from the main road. Location: Don Salvador. Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The rugged terrain, almost no trail visible, 45 minutes had passed, the scorching heat of the sun but we're determined, we're getting closer to Malanta-og Falls.

The rugged terrain, almost no trail visible, 45 minutes had passed, the scorching heat of the sun but we’re determined, we’re getting closer to Malanta-og Falls.

Catching our breath but still wearing a smile for the camera. With my sister in Christ, Yelli Rio. ( she is the sole event planner of this trip)

Catching our breath but still wearing a smile for the camera. With my sister in Christ, Yelli Rio. ( she is the sole event planner of this trip)

We're never afraid to get dirty on this hike.

We’re never afraid to get dirty on this hike.

We conquered Malanta-og Falls after one hour hike. With Yelli Rio.

We conquered Malanta-og Falls after one hour hike. With Yelli Rio.

Nature's very own stage. I made it to Malanta-og Falls. Thank you, Yelli dear for this precious gift. I love you Sis! Nature’s very own stage. I made it to Malanta-og Falls. Thank you, Yelli dear for this precious gift. I love you Sis!

Freedom

I visited a butterfly museum once. I was amazed of the colorful exhibit much more when I went inside the butterfly garden. As they released the butterflies they looked liked dancing fairies in the air. Such a beauty to behold.

I am claustrophobic so I know it is very uncomfortable and terrifying in a narrow and dark space. But Is it really worth it? The restlessness, impatience and pain as it underwent metamorphosis. It’s no brainer, the smile you see in peoples’ faces as they marvel at its beauty is priceless. The new found freedom as they discover their wings and that they can fly is worth waiting for. Once in a cocoon, now it is free to fly. The story of every butterfly.

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Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr., University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr, University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr, University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A.  Gerochi Jr., University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr., University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr., University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr., University of Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr., University of. Florida, Butterfly Garden

Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr., University of. Florida, Butterfly Garden