Simple Fidelity

The theme of my blog is about positivity but it doesn’t mean that my life is perfect. On the contrary it is full of detours, I walked through fire and I crossed the deepest waters. I have a late onset asthma and on allergic march. I am suffering from an early menopause due to a TAHBSO surgery caused by recurring ovarian tumors. My father is battling with an autoimmune disease. This is my reality.

I woke up early today, I asked myself how I was able to manage through the years. That I am still here.

First, my faith in God. There are times that I cried before The Lord for answers, for relief but it never came. I am hanging by a thread yet I kept on. My faith in The Lord is one of the non negotiable things in my life. It kept me sane in my darkest moments. Even I can’t see and feel that God is working it is by faith that I know God will send me my breakthrough. God hasn’t answered my prayers directly but He had sent people to journey with me. Then I realized, this is not about me anymore but about what God wants to do and will be doing in my life. Total surrender to God.

Second, my roots. These are the people in my life who knew what kind of person I am since I was a child or my life before I came to America. They are my family, friends, mentors & prayer partners who never gave up on me. They continue to believe in me. They had opened their heart, their homes and even their resources to help me stay afloat. I will be forever grateful for their presence in my life. They gave me the reason to keep on fighting.

Third, my vocation. Not every person can become a nurse. For me, being a nurse was my calling. I may not have chosen it as a profession initially but because of the influence of my parents, I took this path. When I am frustrated, exhausted and ready to give up. God sends me miracles. Even a simple thank you from my patient’s family is enough to keep me going, to fire my passion and to keep on serving humanity through my profession.

I am weak. I am human. But God’s design for me is to be an overcomer. So I shall overcome.

We need to be strong to meet the day with self-control, to find our reason and purpose, but more important, to leave behind us the heavy and darkened thoughts that kept us from seeing the breathtaking beauty of the most important time—this morning. From the book Think on These Things by Joyce Sequiche Hifler

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“Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them, is simple fidelity to what each day brings.” -A.E. Dunning

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@Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida

Romans 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Reflection

Depression hurts. You might have seen this as an ad on TV, heard on the radio or read it in an article or a magazine. The past 10 years I saw it crippled a loved one then transference took hold of me. Like a shadow it followed me. The things that I used to enjoy no longer interests me. I can no longer recognize myself on the mirror. I have this unending feeling being in a black hole. I have no more tears to shed, they were dried up. I feel this pressure on my chest that’s about to explode. There is always this elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

I felt that I am fading away. Lifeless. Hopeless. Barely Breathing. I was worst than the comatose patients that I am taking care at work. Withdrawn from the world…shame…fear…anxiety became verbs in my life. And one day, I realized this has to stop, I don’t want this kind of life. This is not me anymore, I am turning into a monster. I sought professional help, I reached out to mentors and spiritual elders for counsel and prayers and started to talk about it with my friends.This happened five years ago. I am forever grateful to everyone who journeyed with me these past years. Due to the side effect of my surgeries, I am battling with an early menopause. I see it happening again.

I remember a very close friend called me the job in real life. I am not ashamed of it. It is true. My life is a roller coaster ride. But what I am thankful the most is the legacy of faith that was passed on to me by my parents. The God who brought me this far is still the same God I served and believed. My quiet time with The Lord is more meaningful everyday. Every battle I face, increases my faith. And more so another opportunity to enjoy God’s faithfulness and grace.

I am still me. Wounded. Scarred. But it doesn’t define me. In my Heavenly Father’s eyes, I am His child. His beloved. Today as I look at myself on the mirror, I have to make a mental note of this truth.

God isn’t finished with me yet.

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Reflection. Photo Credit: Franklin A. Gerochi Jr.

“First of all, you have to keep unmasking the world about you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: ‘These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting belief.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

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

Psalm 46:10
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

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.