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
“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.
It feels like ages when I last wrote a post, however, since I have neglected my writing a lot these days, I am really trying to get back on track with it. I’ve been journalling a lot lately and that only means that I have a lot to share with the Creator. The past month has been very tough and I admit that I have lost faith in myself. I’m desperate to get back every inch of “me” there is that I have lost along the way. I tell you, growing up isn’t easy and it sure is even more difficult when you don’t believe in yourself or when you don’t appreciate yourself. Us women have to struggle with these insecurities every single day and we also realise how much it affects our peers. A couple of weeks ago, I found this article. I love Joyce Meyer’s books and she is such a great inspiration. I hope this article helps as much as it helps me to remember, that we are worth it and that it’s what God wants us to see ourselves.
Secret #1 A confident woman knows that she is loved
The first and most important secret to being a confident woman is to know that you are loved by God unconditionally. Romans 5:8 says, …God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Even if your natural father did not really love you properly, you can still get the love and acceptance you missed in your childhood from God.
Secret #2—A Confident Woman Refuses To Live In Fear
I think you will agree that refusing to be led by our feelings can be a challenge, especially when it comes to fear. But we must remember that fear is not from God. It is the devil’s tool to keep us from enjoying our lives and moving forward with what God has for us. When we attempt to walk in faith, Satan immediately tries to hinder us through many things, including fear. Fear of failure, judgment or criticism will cause us to bury our talents. It will make us draw back and live in misery and torment. Unless we make a firm decision to “fear not,” we will never be free from its power.
Secret #3—A Confident Woman Is Positive
Being negative and being confident do not go together. Like oil and water, they just don’t mix. Being negative opens the door to a lot of problems and disappointments, which fuels the fire for more negativity. Fear is the “dark room” where all your negatives are developed. So why not look at the brighter side of life and believe something good is going to happen to you?
Secret #4—A Confident Woman Recovers From Setbacks
In this life you and I are inevitably going to experience setbacks. The important thing is that we not see them as failures. We are not a failure just because we try something that doesn’t work. It’s only when we stop trying that we fail. The truth is, many people get confused when they’re trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do with their lives. This was definitely true in my life. I discovered my destiny by trial and error.
Secret #5—A Confident Woman Avoids Comparison
It is impossible to walk in confidence and compare ourselves with others at the same time. No matter how good we look or how talented, smart and successful we are, there is always someone who is better than us. I believe that confidence is found in doing the best we can with what we have. God wants us to find joy in being the best we can be, not in competing or comparing ourselves with others.
Secret #6—A Confident Woman Does Not Live In “If Only” And “What If”
One of the worst things you and I can do is to focus on what we don’t have or have lost and fail to take an inventory of what we do have. I call it living in a state of “if only.” Does this sound familiar: “If only I had more education…more money…more opportunity. If only I were taller, shorter, older, younger…” and the list goes on.
Secret #7—A Confident Woman Takes Action
I have heard it said that there are two types of people in the world: those who wait for something to happen and those who make something happen. It’s true that we need to be careful not to get ahead of God, but we also must be mindful not to be lagging behind. I believe we need to step out into things and find out what God has for us. As I said earlier, if we make a mistake it is not the end of the world.
As a believer, Christ lives inside you, and you’ve got what it takes! I believe that as you seek the Lord and apply these seven secrets to your life, you too will begin experiencing the boldness and confidence God desires you to walk in.
I have had a lot of realisations the past couple of weeks and these made it even clearer about how thankful I am to be in this community to help out and to take care of everyone. It gives me strength to be around these inspiring people. However, this following entry is something that every community could need. Sometimes in life, things don’t go well enough on your own. That’s why it is even more important to have a group of people behind your back that are strong enough with and for you. But of course, everyone has to do its piece.
A great sister of mine held a talk about this topic and I would gladly share it with you. It’s in German, but I guess you’ve all heard of it already. Thanks Annie for letting me post this. Enjoy!
Choices that kill the community
Was bedeutet für euch die Community? Für mich bedeutet sie einfach sehr viel und ich sehe diese Community als meine 2. Familie. Ich hoffe ihr empfindet dasselbe. Es ist schön zu wissen, dass es eine Community gibt wie YFL, die für dich da ist wenn du es brauchst. Die dir helfen dich zu stärken wenn man sich schwach fühlt und das through god!
CFC-FFL bedeutet:We are Centered on Christ, Faithful to the covenant, Carrying the cross, working to celebrate Faith, Family Life.
Beim Camp haben wir alle unser covenant aufgesagt. Nun zum Reflektieren: Sind wir auch alle treu unseren Versprechen und Zusagen gegenüber von Gott? Tragen wir unsere ‚Kreuze‘ mit Freude? Feiern wir regelmäßig unseren Glauben?
Wir wissen, es ist nicht immer einfach das Christliche Leben zu führen. Wir begehen alle Süden aber dennoch sollten wir nie vergessen, dass unser Herzen immer bei Gott bleiben sollten.
Nun zu den möglichen Entscheidungen, die wir treffen, die die Community ‚zerstört‘ und abschwächt:Streiteren untereinander, Eifersuchtsgefühle, Konkurrieren, Wettbewerben, Gerüchte verbreiten, lästern, zu wenig vertrauen.
Und das ist nicht alles was der Community schadet. Faulheit spielt ebenfalls eine Rolle! Warum werden wir faul? Wir sollten Freude an allen Activities haben, die wir machen, denn das ist die Möglichkeit wieder mit der 2. Familie zu sein und die Community zu stärken! Weitere Punkte wären noch die Ausschließlichkeit. Keiner sollte sich in der Familie ausgeschlossen fühlen bzw. sich selber ausschließen. Wir sind für einander da! ‚Selfishness‘: In der Community gehts für mich nicht mehr darum was mit mir ist, sondern nur noch darum, was WIR als Community sind. Ich worshipe nicht allein zu ihm, WIR worshipen GOD! Und die Unsicherheiten gibt es auch immer wieder hier und da. Man macht andere schlecht um sich selber besser darzustellen!
Das sind alles Gründe, die unserer Community nicht gut tun. Spirit der Community und sogar die Liebe untereinander wird misshandelt und missbraucht.
Was kann man dagegen tun?Reflektieren: Wir sollten mehr bescheiden sein, mehr lieben, mehr Geduld haben, mehr vergeben, großzügiger sein & um die Community richtig zu stärken.. unser Prayer Time um 22:00h einhalten! Was gibt es schöner als zu beten und gleichzeitig zu wissen, dass der Rest der Community auch betet? :)
Das war im Grunde mein Topic, danke, falls ihr es bisher gelesen habt! Bitte macht euch ein paar Gedanken darüber, an welchen Stellen der Community man arbeiten kann bzw. wie man unsere Community zur einer noch stärkeren spirituellen Community machen kann. Wenn jeder von uns ein bisschen was für die Community macht, sind wir schon stärker als wir denken & können mehr zusammen wachsen. Wenn einer abschwächt, leidet die ganze Community darunter! Jeder einzelne von uns spielt eine große Rolle, vergesst das nicht! Thats God and his plans for US! ♥
“A simple question, “How many have you loved?”
Is your answer, one and only? Or is it several, all of whom have shaped your life?” – Wong Fu Productions
Another great short film by the talented Wong Fu Productions. They amaze me everytime. Starting with their filmmaking, editing and leaving it off with their amazing storytelling. The plot of this shortfilm is simple yet very deep and that’s what makes it so special. I am inspired, they inspire me to make simple things great and I can’t stop raving about this one.
Just the other day I got weirded out by my mother who seemed to ask me a lot of question early in the morning where my brain wasn’t really awake yet. So I kept nodding to all of her questions until she asked how my lovelife was. I nodded and added that it went well. She then said, “You know, your dad was my seventh!” And then she just left the house because she was late for work. Anyways, she left me there quite confused althought I knew in what context she meant it.
Just like in the video above, my mother taught me that if things go wrong with a certain guy, that life goes on. But more importantly, that the people who walk in and out of your life, shape your story on Earth. That is why I quite confidently go into the world being appreciative (or at least trying hard to be) with every person I get to know, because who knows how they can shape your life?
And don’t be intimidated by how many partners your current other half has had because there are thousands of better reasons why she/he is with you right now. Just be grateful to the past people she/he was with because they made her/him the way they are right now – they learnt from their mistakes, they learnt how to treat to you better, they learnt how to teach you how to make things better than they did.
I am very happy and thrilled with where I am right now regarding my lovelife, yet I can’t imagine and see what still lies ahead of me. But for now, I’ll just stick to being happy, glad and excited because the man up there writes my story.
More from Wong Fu Productions :
*On my site: Strangers again
Currently there is so much new going on and it takes some time for me to get used to it but I am getting there and my efforts are on the highest level. I took up the challenge to get out of my comfort zone and as much as I am very unsure and quite afraid of failure, I will keep on going because these signs are just pointing towards growth. Even though I feel like there was a set back in my personal growth, I cannot dwell on thinking that I am not good enough for every opportunity that opens for me. It is true, not everything turns out to be something for the longrun but then again, if doesnt work out, I can be sure that God has a greater plan for me. That’s why I need to keep on reminding myself why I wanted this, for what and for who I do all this.
In times like these, I admit it, I feel pretty alone because I feel like noone can help me but myself to get through this. Of course, I will never be alone and I have the most supportive people in my life but in order to grow, I need my mind to focus on its own and not through other people.
I won’t apologise for seeming helpless and I don’t care if what I’ve talked about is not a big deal. Every person is different and also has a different way of tackling new things. All I need is the feeling of support whether I am going to fail or not.
|It’s good to keep in mind where you are coming from and where your heart should be placed, which shouldn’t be stolen from a guy who doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
|Picture: John Kennet Panti; Font Edits: ezzycupcake
=] <3 don't forget to smile.
As you can see, I am quite an active member in my community and it has grown into a very important part in my life. It is not only a little get away whenever things add up but it also a place where I can hang out with my friends as well as learning more about Jesus. Last weekend’s activity was a purely great one. All the girls got to have quality time together as well as learning so much more about the roles of a woman and the way to live as a catholic woman. It was very educative and emotional but it was a lot of fun as well.
This activity gave us a chance to act like sisters towards another, since we are God’s children and it also gave us the opportunity to grow with one another, to open up to one another and of course learn from one another. It just feels good when you know that you can always turn to someone because at the end of the day, we do fight the same battles. I am proud of all the sisters and I am so glad, that I could share this lovely event with them.
|Picture: Raniel Mortel
|Picture: Raniel Mortel
=] <3 don't forget to smile.
Here I am, still lying in bed, not really ready to get up even though my belly said it needed some food. It’s been a rollercoaster of a month, juggling my time and energy with studies, preps for upcoming YFL events and personal issues. Since I didn’t really find something to fast for, I just decided to keep my prayertimes regularly as well as reading The Purpose Driven Life. That book has helped me understand a lot of things which I honestly just took for granted over the years. The deeper meanings of certain topics just feel more logical to me and make it feel as if it is the right thing to do. We may all not be perfect but I think just trying to do the right thing is something where we can say “way to go”. I myself have done some pretty weird things lately and sometimes your mind just plays with you but at the end of the day, you heart still tells you which path is meant for you. You might have to be patient and steady to know what you heart wants to tell you but one day a light will come up and you figure out that thats God’s plan for you. Before everything else, dont forget to pray and trust that God will show you his way for you.
So yeah, I am really excited about this upcoming weekend. May it be a very educative and affirming weekend. Up till then…
=] <3 don't forget to smile.
God blessed YFL with six new members in the New Year!
I have again learnt so much during this Special Camp and I am proud to say that I love serving H I M. These people are such an inspiration and I can also say that this Camp has been such a great and different experience. We had many laughs and also many inspiring and emotional moments. I’m proud of the Service Team and their committment albeit the short notice and a bit of stress around. But hey, what do they say “too blessed to be stressed!”
I am so happy that God called out these seven young people to be his followers! It is just great when the people you grew up with can share their love and their belief with you!
Welcome again, YFL-Babies! Just a week ago all the fun started! I hope that the two days of Camp are a lifetime memory for you guys :)
|(C) RJL Photography
=] <3 don't forget to smile.