A different face of God

I met a different face of God ~ one that never leaves… 

Even when I tried pushing Him away at times I feel I don’t deserve His love because of my sins, my mistakes and my stubbornness… God simply corrects me.

God loves me that He accepts me as I am. But He loves me so much, He doesn’t want to leave me as such. 

He prunes me gently and with love. He teaches me the way I should go. All the while, He is just around and never leaves.

I’ve done this before. Testing people. Testing families and friends. Even though they feel they already know a lot about me… if they haven’t passed my test, I guess I place them in my outer circle.

What kind of test? It is the test of trust… of love. The test that when I do something stupid or crazy, make a mistake or you know.. simply be me… will they still accept me? Will they still be friends with me? Will they still remain? Ps. Family members have no choice. Hahaha!

In the past, many have failed and have left. I guess it came to a point that I am no longer surprised when the next person fails… when the next person leaves… Though there are still few who have passed my test, it didn’t change my disappointment that a lot have failed my test.

This test.. I didn’t realize that I made God go through this too. I tested Him. I tested His love for me.

When I pray, I don’t ask Him for any “signs” just to be sure of His answers to my prayers. But I guess the sign I needed from Him is if God would stay.

Would He leave me if I do anything bad? or do something selfish? or disobey Him out of my stubbornness? Despite our recent closeness and deeper friendship, I tested whether He would stay once He gets to know the real me. All of me. Not just me during my good days, but also me during my bad days.

In the past month, I had a major pruning experience ~ a test on my obedience.

Sad to say… I failed. 

God made me realize how wrong it was even though to me, it was something so simple, not to merit that kind of admonishment. In my mind, I actually did what I thought was best and with good intentions.

Alas. Good intentions are not enough.

The lesson I got was ~ how can I be expected to follow the big rules, when I failed to obey the small rules. Likewise, how can God bless me with the big things if I cannot take care of the small things. 

I asked God for help as I faced my ordeal.

One by one, angels in the form of friends and families surprised me with a call, a visit or a text message – offering a listening ear, some cheering up and even reminded me how good I am with what I do.

God even used one good friend to make me realize that all my strength, intelligence and awesomeness (yup, awesomeness! Haha!) from Him alone.

God became my cheerleader when he said:

“He is not afraid of receiving bad news; His faith is strong, and he trusts in the Lord.He is not worried or afraid; He is certain to see his enemies defeated. He gives generously to the needy, And his kindness need fails; He will be powerful and respected. The wicked see this and are angry; They glare in hate and disappear; Their hopes are gone forever.” Psalm 112:7-10

This ordeal is not yet done, but after  overcoming the first big hump and feeling God is still by my side, napa-comment ako.. “in fairness.”

My friend asked me, “Wow, Joanne, ikaw pa napa-in fairness kay Lord ha.”

Later walking by myself, I asked myself why those words came tumbling out of me. Grabe na nga mga paramdam ni Lord ng pagmamahal nya sakin. Nagka-blog na nga ako para maalala ng makakalimutan kong puso ang pagmamahal niya. Tapos sasabihin ko pa kay Lord.. “in fairness.”

Boom. That’s when it sinked in. I was testing God. Others have left me when I became unlovable, when I chose to show my real me, my all of me (Hi pareng John Legend! Hehe!) Maybe God would leave me too, if He get to see my unlovable parts.

Well, God passed my test. In flying colors! With lots of happy tears and laughter when I realized He is still here. Even though I tried my best to push Him away. Haaaay… you know me so well, Lord. Kiligs! =) 

Love that is tested becomes stronger than before.

Thank you, Lord for our growing love… for our stronger love. Pa-hug nga muna! Hihihi!

One of the best things I got out of my ordeal was to learn who are there for me when I am down, who would stay with me despite my unlovable moments, and how others would be so judgmental despite not understanding the situation.

Going home reminded me of my identity. Talking to papa reminded me of who I am ~ someone strong who will fight the right battles.

…So that when I put out work, it is all because of Him for His greater glory.

…So that when others fail, make a mistake or do work below my personal standard of excellence… I should remain understanding, forgiving and patient.

God taught me that …it is not up to me to teach people in authority. But I am expected to respond in the way that God taught me.

True humility is knowing you can, but you don’t need to tell that to the world. 

True humility is knowing others can’t, but you choose to accept and help them understand. 

I will do my part well, even though I see others do wrong. I will not allow them to affect my work. I will strive to show that my work is a reflection of God. And to those who choose to abuse their authority, I leave them to God. 

“How terrible will be the Lord’s judgment on those rulers who destroy and scatter his people! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the rulers who were supposed to take care of his people “You have not taken care of my people; you have scattered them and driven them away. Now I am going to punish you for the evil you have done.

The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will rule wisely and do what is right and just throughout the land. When he is king, the people of Judah will be safe, and the people of Israel will live in peace. He will be called ‘The Lord our Salvation.'” Jeremiah 23:1-3, 5-6

The Lord is my best cheerleader when he told me: “Do not allow sadness to go into the soul for it does not allow the Holy Spirit to act freely.”

Thank you, Lord, my mighty King, my best cheerleader and my friend!!! 

I am drenched by your overwhelming love that second I realized you’re still here for me. You never left me!!!! 

I didn’t realize I was testing you to see if you will. And I am sooooo ecstatic that you stayed! 

Thank you Lord for your love that stays. Hihihi!!

“You never left me

I just need to step outside who I am

And surrender to Your higher plan

I ought to put my faith and trust in You”

You Never Left Me, Hangad

Ignacio de Loyola






Love life.




Spiritual exercises.





Give up.


Voice within.

Morning star.




Never look down.



Ignacio de Loyola.
That was just the intro. Hehehe!
I cried during the movie, not just because I heard someone else cried so I can allow myself to cry too, but because I had what Ignacio experienced ~ the life changing rock bottom event, the questioning, the doubts, the truth and the light.
Just like Ignacio’s rock bottom moment after getting injured from the war and his brother becoming the hero instead of himself as he dreamed, I too hit rock bottom after being heartbroken.

I didn’t know it then that it was God’s way of waking me up for a greater mission.
Just like Ignacio, I also asked myself countless times why something so bad and sad happened until I couldn’t answer it and life has to go on. 

But something has changed. 

I have changed. 
Just like Ignacio, I have also embarked on a journey of getting to know The Father more and His plans for me.

Just like Ignacio in becoming a beggar for Jesus- giving the alms and food he received to the brothers and sisters in need and discussing the spiritual exercises for help in discernment over the hard questions in life to those hungry for Jesus, I took it upon myself to make any person coming my way to feel God’s love through me ~ whether by a simple sincere hello to another’s day, a warm hug or just being courteous. 
Just like Ignacio, there are times even at present that I doubt myself, and get affected when the enemy tries to trick me with his lies and guilt tripping over my past mistakes.
Just like Ignacio, I struggled and had a difficult time forgiving myself.

Until the Lord made it clear to me… He loves me so much, believes in me and my goodness so much, that I should simply accept His love and share it to others.
Just like Ignacio, I refuse to look down and be under the enemy’s shadow when I could be in the light with Jesus!

Only when I had chosen to accept his love and our mission, did I gain new eyes ~ the eyes of faith. 
Just like Ignacio, I see things differently now ~ relationships over money, patience and peace over anger and control issues, and truth over lies.

Well I’m not a saint like Ignacio so I sometimes still struggle over these issues. But when I pray and remember His love for me, I don’t want to do anything which will break our friendship.
With this great news of God’s love, I cannot help but just talk about it and share it to others. I hope one day I won’t need to speak about God’s love because hopefully my actions day to day would be a reflection of God’s love.

Just like Ignacio, the fire burns within me brightly. And yes, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will set the world on fire.

Thank you Jesus for the fire in my heart.
“But if I say, “I will not mention his word

    or speak anymore in his name,”

his word is in my heart like a fire,

    a fire shut up in my bones.

I am weary of holding it in.”

Jeremiah 20:9
As a way to keep my fire burning for Jesus and always challenging myself to be “more” for his greater glory, I have this prayer to remind me which I want to share with you too:
“Disturb us, Lord, when

We are too well pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true

Because we have dreamed too little,

When we arrived safely

Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when

With the abundance of things we possess

We have lost our thirst

For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,

We have ceased to dream of eternity

And in our efforts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision

Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

And to push into the future

In strength, courage, hope, and love.”
attributed – sir francis drake -1577

Your strength, not mine.

​One Thursday, I accompanied a friend to attend Feast Legaspi although I normally attend Feast Salcedo on Tuesdays. I thought she needed help to pray for her discernment in her future plans over career and life in general..

Little did I know the Lord has something in store for me too that night.

First, upon the question and prompting by our feast builder, “Among the five: lack of drive, lack of dreams, lack of discipline, lack of direction and lack of depth, which do you think you need to work on?”, my friend opened up to me that time and shared her fears and worries.

I normally don’t press on others if they are not ready to share or ask for help, so I was surprised in a good way that my friend that time, finally found herself opening up to me. 

And so after admitting both our weaknesses and what we needed to work on, we both prayed for each other and it simply made us closer.

I was so happy with that experience that I almost forgot that I needed to pray over my discernment if I would still be able to serve this cycle 20 as light group head.

All lg heads/apprentices were asked weeks earlier if we would serve for cycle 20. I haven’t given my answer to Tita Eva because I said to myself I will pray over it.

As I closed my eyes and prayed when worship was about to end that night, I told the Lord I have many plans with Him for this year, especially the remaining half of the year:

– My 3rd bday outreach this June

– 5 out of town destinations with different sets of friends to give school supplies kita to students we shall pray for

– Feast Makati outreach activities 

– Attend bible timeline studies every Monday for 6 months and more

– All these, aside from my normal work as a lawyer, and travelling to and from home up north and work at Makati including the hearings here and there.

So I asked the Lord if He thinks I could still include in my schedule service as light group head this cycle 20?

Suddenly I opened my eyes and in the PowerPoint slide NB on stage it was written…

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

I cried. 

I know it was not literally a yes or no answer. But time and again, it answered the question in my heart. It gave me enough courage to strive on and push. 

Knowing that with Him, nothing is impossible, I know He will give me extraordinary strength, stamina, energy, wisdom, knowledge, and most of all extraordinary love… to do all our missions.

As the builder said that night, “God made me, wired me to be above average.” 

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Thank you Lord. 

We know you are always with us.

We know you are always just waiting for us to return to you. It is only us who sometimes forget you and keep you waiting, and for that we are sorry. 

But we will make it up to you, Lord. Thank you for always giving us second, third, fourth and never ending chances. 

Continue to be with us Lord in all that we do.


Of Glowing Hearts and Happy Tears

After 1 century (este 1 hour) of waiting in line for taxi in this rain… mapapamuni ka eh. 😁

Joining light groups (prayer groups) and sharing stories of blessings and trials to each other and how Jesus works in our lives make my heart glow.

But mobilizing families and friends for outreach projects, and tapping them to share their respective gifts and expertise to our brothers and sisters in need..  It makes me cry happy tears… It’s because I know we are creating a blessing link. 😅😅😅

Hindi yan patak ng luha.. Patak yan ng ulan! Char! Sniiiiff!! 😂😂😂

Thank you Lord for sending more and more angels!!! This is for you and our mission! 🙏🙏🙏

Thank you angels for sharing your big hearts!! Be ready to share your hugs and kisses on June 12 to the babies and kiddos, ok?! 😍😍😍

I cannot do everything. And that’s a good thing. For if I could do everything, what would I need God for? But this statement also liberates because it allows me to take unnecessary pressure off myself, the pressure that I have to save people. I cannot save people. Only God saves, and I am not God. And again, that is a good thing. But freedom is always freedom from something and freedom for something else. Though I cannot do everything, I can do something very well. Freed from the need to save, I am free to be a witness to God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Take the Long View

We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us.
If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8

#HugsAndKissesDay #OrphanageMission #BdayProject

Surprise me, Lord!

One day, my memory from Facebook a year ago showed a picture I posted of Coffee Bean’s planner challenge – to leave room for surprises, and that there is no need to schedule everything. So I said last year to “Allow God to surprise you!” and “Let life surprise you!”

Now I realized how haughty I have been.Who am I to tell people for them to let God surprise them, for them to let life surprise them? Why? Am I allowing God to surprise me? Am I letting life to surprise me?

I realized I wasn’t leaving room for surprises.

At that time, I planned for everything, scheduled all my appointments, and tried to strictly stick to my calendar in order for me to do more and be more efficient in work so I can have time for extra curricular activities that I wanted and to have Family time, Me time and most especially my Quality Time with the Lord.

I thought to myself, “Hmm…Should I ask God to surprise me?”

In an instant, I felt nervous and excited at the same time while thinking about this prayer. I trust the Lord that He always have good plans for me, and so I prayed silently to the Lord and asked, “Surprise me, Lord!”

I even shared this very story at Facebook and excitedly re-posted the coffee bean planner challenge and my plea to Him – “Leaving it to the one who makes the best surprises, surprise me, Lord!

In an instant, the Lord answered my prayers and sent a wonderful surprise!

After posting at facebook, I checked my fb messenger and was surprised to see an invitation that I gladly accepted!
An invitation to where? I choose not to divulge at this point, but know that in my heart, I couldn’t have received a better surprise in that moment. And no, I’m not giving any clue.

The timing is uncanny. This just proves how God’s timing is perfect. He is neither early nor late. He will not allow it.

Thank you Lord for your surprises!!! My heart is so happy!!! I will leave for you to act, for you to send me more of your surprises! You’re the best, Lord!!! Mwaaahuuuugs!!! =*

Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something! Gal 3:4

Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believed are blessed as he was. Gal 3:9

Even if your voice grows faint..

So many things have happened in the past months which started when I joined the Jesus Encounter ~ Miracles… Surprises… Blessings.. Grace… Moments of unexplainable coincidences – which are simply God’s way of making Himself anonymous.

After days, weeks and months of feeling so spoiled with the Lord, I have learned to just enjoy those special moments.. to cherish our quality time together and to allow myself to relax in His love.

After going through different lessons with all my teachers and schools – light groups, one on ones, prayer school, kerygma conference, spiritual accompaniment and direction, silent retreat, bible journaling, attending masses regularly, confession, and a lot more quality time with the Lord, the questions in my mind and in my heart have ceased. I know my mission – this time clearer and more fine-tuned. I felt a sense of renewed purpose. This time, more seamless than before.

Despite being on “high” with the Lord for so long and getting more than the answers I sought, suddenly gone were His more direct messages of love to me. And so I missed Him.

And so I whispered to myself, “I miss you, Lord… I miss our mega super duper obvious “it-could-not-be-anyone-but-you” moments. Hehehe!

But I just kept this to myself.

As days went by, I had a chance to attend mass at Sanctuario de San Antonio and pray at the Adoration Chapel. One paralegal who used to work at our law office gamely went with me to my hearing and afterwards to the Sanctuario. And to think we were just supposed to do some catch up. Hahaha!

Another friend shared to me her wonderful story about the Adoration Chapel and mentioned about its Blue Book where you can ask God for His message for you for the day by praying and cutting the Blue Book. I got so intrigued and excited to try that for myself. But it wasn’t until weeks after that the right time had come…

My friend and I prayed at the Adoration Chapel and stayed there for awhile to just feel His solemn presence and His peace.

When I felt ready, I grabbed a Blue Book and read the introduction and instructions at the front pages. After trying so hard to keep the excitement within me for so long, I finallu  flipped open the Blue Book into somewhere in the middle. And lo and behold… God’s message for me that day was:

“Even if the voice grow faint, you know that if you wait My directions will become clearer, so you wait on Me always.

Trust. Faith. Love. We are bound by these together.

You never see Me by your side. You just know that I am here and never leave you. And it is my love that goes with you. The power of it all, the warmth in the soul, the light to the bowed down. My love and all its power! Rays of light and power go from My heart to you.

You are never alone. I go with you always on your way!”


Thank youuuuu, Lord!!!! You make me feel you’re right by my side… Instantly! I feel so lucky and blessed and warm deep inside…

I have been praying that I miss you because I haven’t heard from you for a while – through your big and grand gestures! I missed those – the big and grand gestures of your love.

And yet here you are… Instantly spoiling me with your attention.

And oh you are so ironic, Lord! You told me… “Even if your voice grows faint… You are always here with me…” And yet, this is not your voice growing faint… On the contrary, this is your loud heartbeat booming next to mine!!! Hahahaha! You are so funny! And so weird. What we have is so weird and special. Thank you, Lord!!! Your love is more than enough for me.

“Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something!” Gal 3:4

“Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believed are blessed as he was.” Gal 3:9

Time to shine!

The Sheep Know the Voice of their Shepherd

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me… The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. …He goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:14, 3-4

So why the title of my blog, Quality Time With You?

I once had a talk with a friend. At that time, I was stressed dealing with different personalities at our law office and their work styles, which are different from my own that I blurted out, “Kapag pagod nako, saka ko sinusuko kay Lord.” (Only when I get tired do I surrender it to the Lord.)

But then my friend wisely said,
“Bakit ganon? Kapag binigay mo Kay Lord kapag pagod ka na, wala ka na time para makinig sa kanya. May sasabihin pa Siya sayo e. Dapat sa umpisa pa lang, ibigay mo na kay Lord para pag naging madali na, may time ka na para makinig sa sasabihin niya sayo.” (Why is it like that? If you surrender it to the Lord only after you get worn out, you no longer have time to listen to Him. He still has something to say to you. It should be – from the start, surrender it to the Lord so that when things become easier, you would have time to listen to what He has to say to you.)

I was dumbstruck. How old was I now yet this was the first time I heard of such concept. I guess I tried that before – asking for God’s help – but only when the problem has become too big for me to handle. If the task is easy – I shouldn’t need to bother anyone else, right?

I forgot our Lord is the God of big and small things. He wants us to go to Him for whether what we worry about is big or small. He is delighted when we bring to Him not just our giant trials but also our smallest worry – even asking for His help in picking cool jeans for OOTD at a price within the budget (based on another friend’s true story!).

In one homily of Fr. Patrick Calimlim at our office building, he asked, “Why do we pray when we are about to travel far, but not when we just have to cross the street? Why do we pray when a loved one’s health fails, but not when he simply has a minor fever? We no longer pray when we deal with minor matters. But even in the smallest details, He cares. Fr. Pat hoped that we become close to the Lord that even the small details we tell and pray to the Lord about them.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Matthew 10:30

The following days, I started each task with a prayer. I call on Him and thank Him every time I recognize Him and His works in my day. Even in moments when I am down, I know the Lord is with me because those were the moments I cling to Him more – those instances when I remember – that though people may fail me, the Lord never will because He is faithful and His love is constant.

But there was a second message from my friend that was even more awe-inspiring: there is a purpose why I needed to surrender everything to the Lord from the start ~ so I would have time to listen to what He has to say to me.

Huwaaat? God has something to say to me? And He is just waiting for me to ask Him what that is?

I have got to try this out!! It was a new game plan and I was excited with this takeaway.

It was not until after a few days later that I remembered to try it out.

At one time I got to do a 3 am prayer time, I did my usual prayers and prayer intentions. When I was about to end my prayer, I remembered my friend’s suggestion ~ to take the time to listen to God’s message for me!

And so I prayed,
“Hello Lord, this is the first time I’m gonna do this so it is sort of weird but anyway, do you have any message for me now? Your servant is listening.”

And then silence.

Without expecting anything specific, a thought suddenly popped in my head. I don’t know how or why? But suddenly there was this whole thought in my mind. Not word for word, or sentence per sentence, but a whole paragraph! I felt the Lord telling me,

Sabi mo quality time love language mo. Sabi mo pag may moments of quality time ka, feeling mo ni-hu-hug ka. E bakit ganun ang konti ng quality time natin, e gusto pa kita i-hug… (You said quality time is your love language. You said if you get to have moments of quality time (with others), you feel you are being hugged by them. Why is it then that we have little quality time when I want to hug you mor?

I cried. Buckets. I felt enveloped with His love.

It didn’t feel like someone making me feel guilty for not spending as much time with Him. It felt more like the Lord was trying to get my attention and requesting for more time with me!

How could this be? The Lord asking more time to spend with me? I know I’m busy but shouldn’t He be busier dealing with other’s people’s problems than spend the time with me? And yet here He is saying, nay, requesting, nay, wanting – to spend more time with me!

Right then and there I promised we would have more quality time – to simply spend time with Him, set dates with Him, even “waste” time with Him, every day. And trust that while doing so, He would take care of everything. I promised to defend this time with Him.

“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
1 Samuel 3: 1-11

Of course, I am far from being a Samuel. But I feel so fortunate for Samuel to teach me to ask the Lord for his message and pray,

“Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Thank you Samuel! Life has never been the same.

Last December 30, 2015 before I took on the challenge of having my own blog – knowing that is my gift and offering to the Lord last Christmas for His greater glory – I prayed before I started working on it.

It took me almost the whole day to think of a fitting title to my very own blog – something catchy yet unique to me and the message it will send to people. At morning, I asked the Lord to brainstorm with me and inspire me with what He wanted me to call our blog. Around 6 in the evening, I suddenly thought what better name to call our very own blog than “Quality Time With You”. That is what we have been doing – spending quality and even quantity time with each other, just getting to know each other more and more.

Writing the first article entitled “Quality Time With You: A Tribute To Outreach People” took a shorter time to finish – three-fourths of the night because I still had dinner and watched a bit of TV that night while on Christmas break then. Yup, I didn’t sleep that night and I got to finish it with the help of the Lord! It was one of those things I just have to do.

It must be noted that my quality time with the Lord that I wrote about in my first blog article, was not the first time I listened to the Lord’s message.  This story behind the title “Quality Time With You” was the first, thus, the most memorable to me thus far.

I end this article with a song from a mini-concert that I attended. Please take the time to listen to it online or better yet buy the CD para feel na feel ninyo message ni Lord. Hehehe! It was apt then as it is now –


This Time With You

Music, lyrics & arrangement: Paulo K. Tirol
Piano: Paulo K. Tirol
Guitars: Mark Casquero & Royd Andalis
Bass: Julius Lopez
Drums: Gabby Abes

I take a breath and close my eyes,
And slow my world down for just a while,
And in the stillness, I see You before me.
I let myself go, and open my heart to You

In this special time.
With you, in this secret time.
With you, in this sacred time.
I can’t help but fall in love
In this time with You

I love this time with You.
Only You,
Cause no one else could know me better,
No one else’s heart is closer,
No one’s whispers wake such wonder as Yours do.
And nothing else can make me stronger,
Nothing fills my heart with fire.
Nothing but our time together, me and You.
How I love this secret, sacred time with You.

Your arms so strong, are my strength too,
Your tight embrace, says “I’m with you.”
Your touch so gentle says through all that’s changing.
Through whens, wheres and whys,
The one thing that’s sure is You

(Pre-chorus and refrain)

Your heart to mine, we converse in the silence
Where so much is said wordlessly.
Lost in Your rapture, I gladly surrender,
Letting Your love move in me
With this time with You


How I love this secret, sacred time
How I love this secret, sacred time
How I love this secret, sacred time with You

Oh and advance happy bday friend! Thank you for challenging and teaching me ~ I know now how to listen better and got to hear the Lord’s first message for me! 🙂

Time to shine!

Quality Time With You

A Tribute To Outreach People

I love outreach projects. But the ones I do organize have a twist. I will tell more about these later, but for now the story is about outreach projects organized by other friends.

Last November, I had a schedule for two consecutive outreach projects, the first one, was for the elders of the Missionaries of Charity (MOC) at Tayuman, Manila sponsored by my friend’s company, and for the next day, for the little girls and boys of the Boys Town, Marikina, sponsored by two birthday celebrants, one of whom was my old student and “mentee”.

My friend and my student contacted me asking help on how to go about their outreach projects. So my role this time was merely to help coordinate the sponsors of these two outreach projects and connect them to the sisters of MOC and my other contacts, to share my tips and tricks of the trade as to where to get quality yet low cost materials for food and donated goods, assist in logistics, help bring in more volunteers, and to mobilize all involved.

After a successful day at the MOC and before getting ready for the following day’s outreach project at Boys Town, I rested by returning to the Gesu church at Ateneo, my alma mater, for a long delayed quality time with the Lord.

After having recently attended Prayer School at Don Bosco Church, I tried applying what they taught us ~ to ready oneself before praying.

So when I went inside Gesu, I found a spot and sat for a while and observed the belen, the Christmas lanterns, and the new church set-up, how peaceful it felt as there were only about five people inside at that time and a student taking pictures of the giant belen. I brought out my bible, book, and my giant fan. When I was finally ready to pray, I kneeled and closed my eye.

As my knees touched the wooden kneeler, I found myself listening to the sweet sound of instrumental music from the piano that started to play.

Deep within, I felt the Lord was pulling out the works to make me fall for Him more. Okaaay I have to admit, it was not just for our quality time. I went to Gesu for my date with the Lord. So to have music playing right at the very moment I started praying on my knees, made me feel instantly overwhelmed by His love and attention, that tears just instantly flowed. I felt so special and so loved.

In my heart, I told Him,

“I know I am called to be here. And now I am here. For our quality time. For our date. And now, you’re even showing off. Pshaw…  You truly know how to make my heart melt! Well… I am impressed, more than that, I am floored. You truly love me, Lord.”

“I know what we have is something special, and not everyone can understand it. But I feel safe and at peace. And what you say is more important than what others say. I know I have you Lord. So for now, you are my lover. And I am yours.”

Thank you also to the student taking pictures whom I guess was practicing church music for the mass that night.

I continued to pray and tell the Lord how my day went, my worries, and prayer intentions for others and myself.

After that, I brought out the book I bought from Prayer School, entitled “Stay, Wait and Pray” by Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB. It was gonna be my first time reading a book while praying!

I opened my book to the first chapter on Sinai, the topic from last Thursday’s talk to review and digest the words of the chapter – this time in my own pace.

“Moses went right into the cloud. Come right in. Welcome, my beloved servant. Enter the joy of your Master. But you must choose to pray. Let go of the marketplace. It will still be there tomorrow. Promise.

I’d like to tell you simple things that matter, like, when you gave food to a hungry brother, you did it to me. See?

I’ve been walking with you all throughout.

Whatever you were so busy about, whatever you worry about, whatever you cry about… I was and will always be with you. Do not be afraid. Climb right up. Make yourself comfortable.

My friend, the divine romance is just about to start.”

I started crying again on the second paragraph. And all I had were four pieces of tissue. And I already used up two!

You see that very morning I got the chance after a long time, to actually feed a Lola again. I was busy checking on everyone, asking how they are and if everything was going well until I got to a row of lolas, and I asked them one by one if they needed anything.

Suddenly the last Lola in the table asked me, “Hija, pwede bang magpasubo?” (Can you spoon-feed me?)

Of course I said yes. I was used to it. Some elders can eat on their own and would get irritated if you try to help them. Some cannot feed themselves and volunteers will be readily assigned to them. But nobody noticed this Lola needed extra help. I saw that her eyes were shut closed rendering her blind. So I guess before I got to her she was just feeling her way out of eating a plate of menudo and rice. We talked a bit, I teased her a lot, and asked how her food was. Lola was able to finish eating her banana too.

How did He knew exactly how to touch my heart? I know I should no longer be surprised, but I am!

You see I have volunteered for so many outreach projects and organized a lot of them on my own, but as I continue to play the role of coordinator, I had little chance to do the actual feeding of an elder or a kid during the recent outreach projects.

I guess it came to that point that we’ve become better in helping out and organizing outreach projects. We know what to do. We know what to say. I knew we were helping the beneficiaries. But I forgot that the lolas and lolas, the kids and all those we are helping and feeding is actually You…

I might have forgotten. I might have made my efforts a puny matter, but not to you. To you… It was a big deal. To you.. It was my great gift to you. And now you are saying you actually got my gift, Lord? Sniff!

“I’d like to tell you simple things that matter, like, when you gave food to a hungry brother, you did it to me. See? I’ve been walking with you all throughout.”

Out of all the chapters in the book, the days I could have volunteered, the days I could go to gesu, the actual time I could have prayed to you, you exactly chose this moment for your message. This could no longer be a coincidence.

Who am I Lord to have your attention? To have your reply and your very own confirmation that you have received the food I gave you? I am just your servant – deeply humbled and in awe of your grace. But thank you, Lord. Thank you very much for this. I might not be able to recover from this surprise.

“Spirit of love, consoler of souls, you never deny the sweetness of your loving gaze to those who sincerely search for you.”

Indeed I have been sincerely searching for you and I found you Lord!! You were always in my heart.

“Graciously open your heart to your servant that I may feel your powerful love.”

Thank you Lord! I will never ever doubt of your faithful love for me. With your love, I am content Lord. Because you are enough for me. I love you Lord. Huuugs!! Thank you for spending quality time with me. Til our next date. =)

Dear outreach friends, donors, and volunteers,

This one is for you. I know our hearts come from the same mould. I know the Lord loves me. I don’t need to do anything, yet He loves me. I am already saved. And so are you. But the reason I do outreach, is because I love Him too. Let us continue to share to others the opportunity to be more blessed.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

Time to shine!