these past weeks have been somewhat busy and pretty tiring, therefore a short weekend getaway sounded more than appealing. Though getting out of the city was just a bonus, the actual reason of getting out of the busyness of life was Christopher West’s Theology of the Body-Talk. The event took place at a pilgrimage destination in Germany, a few kilometers away from Munich and Salzburg. Altötting, to my surprise, is a sacred place of the Black Madonna, i.e. Mama Mary, in Europe aside from the well-known places Monserrat and Lourdes.
“Altötting is a town in Bavaria, capital of the district Altötting. For 500 years it has been the scene of religious pilgrimages by Catholics in honor of Mary including a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.” Wikipedia
hereby I want to present to you, my monthly favorites!
Lenten season has officially begun and I am pretty excited about it. This season most especially encourages us to step up in our spiritual life and I’m very curious what the Lord’s plan is for me during this season. So, I have already contemplated about what various things I could fast and since sometimes it is hard to find what to give up for Lent, let me just put this question out there:
“Is there something that I can give up to make more room for God?”
clearly, I am writing this in my naive state because whatever I might say now, may or may not happen this year BUT we’d like to stay positive.
The year has actually started quite promising. While watching the fireworks out of my sister’s bedroom window, I felt hopeful. I think I have let go a lot of BS in the last weeks of 2016 which pretty much lead me to feeling refreshed and restarted. I have planned quite a bit for this year though I can already see the anxiety creeping up on me, therefore my mind has gone back and forth figuring out whether some of the plans are realistic or not. But since I do not want this first blog post of the year to be listing down all my hopes and dreams for 2017, I figured, in order to stay sane in the whirlwind called life, I’d rather dot down some of my #NoteToSelfs to remind myself that there are more important things, such as, building character and growth. DARUM, I’d like to share these followings with y’alls by starting off with:
I’d like to share my milestones and the people that have guided me through last year with you. To the people who have made the last year great, you all know who you are and I love you.
CAUTION: this post contains 100% bluntness and honesty.
Twenty-fifteen was a year that felt like a longass (excuse my language) marathon! Nevertheless, I knew I needed it: the ups, the downs, the challenges, the successes, the hurts, the love as well as the losses and the blessings. Even though the year started off very tough and emotionally challenging, I wouldn’t change it for anything because it has truly made me stronger. There were a lot of times where I had to put all my energy into fighting off my flaws through accepting and understanding. There were dozens of moments where I had to humble myself and truly remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me. And the moments which I am most grateful for are the ones when I started to learn to value myself more. And learned that I truly matter and therefore must not settle for anything less than I deserve. It’s been a hurtful experience stripping everything off and letting go of things that held me back from genuinely being my Self, but just looking back, it was worth the pain and the tears. There were a few moments this year, that made twenty-fifteen immensely memorable to me, and I’d like to share them with y’all:
Today, I must admit, was quite a tough day. Well, not only today, but ever since the start of the week, I’ve found myself struggling with my time management and also a bit with my energy reserves. It’s gotten me quite frustrated and angry as well, because the will is there, yet the circumstances don’t allow you to do more than you want to. But also, the pressure and the fear is growing every day, which at this point just makes me want to turn back time and start over again. Whenever I’m stuck in my room studying or doing some things for Uni, my mind wanders. Even today, I wasn’t spared with negative thoughts. My mind constantly makes turns around my schedule, the things I have yet to do and also the rendezvous with the people I haven’t seen in ages. And all I can think of is ‘maybe this is too much’?
“Unlimited forgiveness. Unilateral, unconditional, self-sacrificial love. Love of enemies. Being perfect as God is perfect. Zealous proclamation of the gospel. All these are about mercy.” – Tito Frank Padilla, CFC FFL Servant General
Mercy. This is the year of mercy. Can we all just take a deep breath and feel the emotion when you hear the word mercy. Thank you.
Just by reading the quote that’s stated above, I can feel the power that this upcoming year withholds. For me, this year is such a crucial year to finally change our ways and to faithfully walk beside Him. It’s just something that I cannot explain but my gut tells me, it’s the year of “now or never”. For most of us, we constantly battle with the thoughts of the past, the mistakes and the wrong decisions we made, but for this year’s Advent, maybe we can take the small but big step that heads towards our goals and prepare for the future.
Ever since I’ve known about the theme of the church’s New Year, I’ve always gotten tingles in my body because deep inside I know, that His power will fill each and everyone of us, in ways that we’ve never encountered before. For my part, there have been occasions and times where I deeply felt his grace and mercy. Most especially for situations, that I couldn’t and didn’t want to control, He still showed me that He was in control, even though I always felt like I was not deserving of it. However, He pulled the strings and lead me to a direction with vital challenges that I have yet to face and that I can only overcome with His help. I just realise now, how clever He is – wow. He put my graduation, the congress preps and all other lifetime decisions into one year because He knew I couldn’t handle it without Him. Wow, so good! I just realise now that He gave me His grace to follow His ways because that’s what I’ve always wanted. And even though I am confused and I don’t quite know which move I should do next, I have the feeling that He just wants me to ask for His assistance because, let’s be honest, He put me in this situation because the will affect my future a lot and I don’t want to mess up. And it all starts by showing mercy unto others, like forgiving them for their shortcomings, forgiving them for the hurts they’ve done to me and forgiving them for just anything. And I think we always forget the most important person in our lives – ourselves. It’s time to forgive ourselves too. It’s high time to forgive yourself as well, B. Wow, Lord, you’re good. I’m quite amazed at this very minute because just by writing all this, I’ve received a long trail of realisations and it’s crazy but I’ve also gained a lot of perspective now. For everything that God has placed in our hearts and lives, they are worth praying for because if we want to get the best out of it, we need to put them in His hands to fully unfold.
Maybe I am late to this realisation, maybe not. But honestly, I am really thankful for this realisation because now I know how to fully prepare for Christmas. May God be praised.
Yours candidly, Ezzy.
I was in London a couple of weeks ago, and I dearly fell in love with the city. My sister and I were so blessed with the weather, which you obviously don’t get a lot in the UK, so, thank you Lord! Here is a mixture of pictures I took that have one or the other meaning. I must confess, I haven’t taken a lot of pictures but these are my faves. I took them with my iPhone and edited them with vscocam. Hope you enjoy!
Yours candidly, Ezzy.
P.S. stay tuned. More is about to come :)
Under the clouds above LDN
The one airport where passengers run for their flights – Frankfurt Airport
Wheels on LDN bridge
Buckingham Palace aka my 2nd residence
Covent Garden and a cloud’s cameo
Picadilly Circus at 6am – crowdless
Spitalfields Market… and where I left my heart.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Court Of Justice and a little bit of blue sky
Victoria Quarter, Leeds
Victoria Quarter, Leeds
St. Pancras International
East End Street Art
Photo Credits: taken from Pinterest
Currently sitting on my bed with my leoprinted snuggie under my butt and my fairy lights above me that I have just put up again after I used them for the Acoustic Night – hah. We’ve opened up our doors to the summer season which also means that finals week is coming closer and closer. I, for my part, am in #studyranger mode, however, a huge urge inside of me stirred up making me write something again – dang you, pinterest.
Yes, I have indeed put my writing on a hold for a very long time. Yes, I have a very good reason for that. AND yes, I will share – duh.