Reading Paulo Coehlo’s The Valkyries in the Spirit of Christmas: Love, Courage and God’s Glory

In my attempt to make this celebration a meaningful one, beyond spending it with family and dearies, I decided to open this gift to self book I have long bought and is reserving for special occasion or for right moment to read and to explore.

I was first caught with this question on the first paragraph: ‘Something that is of great importance to me?’

And then the book ended up talking of love – true love, of courage to win and of angels. And reading it at this time when Jesus was born, I kind of connected these words J. said to Paulo in this occasion:

You have died and been reborn many times. All you have to do is remember

We do this yearly. We remember God’s love every 25th of December when he gave us Jesus. And then we become merry and joyous because we know we are loved and we are blessed. But what else do we need to remember?

It is for love, for victory and for the glory of God

LOVE

‘Love of God and of others shows us the way. Accept all that is wrong about us – and despite it, believe that we are deserving of a happy life – little by little our defects will disappear, because one who is happy can look at the world only with love

COURAGE

Have courage! Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. Follow those dreams, because only a person who is not ashamed can manifest the glory of God

GOD’S GLORY

You will still have many problems in your life, some of them normal, some of them difficult. But from now on, only God’s hand will be responsible for everything – you will interfere no more

God has the right to destroy me. I do not

If all these are that easy and simple, why is this question so disturbingly enlightening: Why do we always kill the things that we love?

And here are the words from Paulo in an attempt to make sense of it – of killing the things we love:

Because (we) are desperately in need of help. (We) have won important things for (ourselves), but we are going to destroy them, because we tell (ourselves) that they have lost their meaning. (We) know it’s not true. (We) know they are still important, and if (we) destroy them, (we’ll) be destroying ourselves as well … it’s just that the unknown was becoming too familiar to (us)

And Valhalla’s words:

Everyone has at some point in our lives, enter into such an agreement (not to win when victory is possible) … before long, (we) had destroyed all meaning in (our) lives because (we) just didn’t care about (ourselves) anymore

And it all boils down to finding meaning in our life – to answering the why’s? Why are we doing some things? Why are we celebrating this occasion? Why do we love and still believe in angels?

I kind of see myself in Rhoda who ‘have loved many … but spurned true love’.

And in Valhalla herself who, compared to Chris, Paulo’s wife, Valhalla ‘knew the arts of war by heart but had forgotten the lessons of love, knew the five rules of victory and had slept with every man she desires but she had forgotten the art of love’

May we all have a meaningful celebration this Christmas and may we not forget to spread love and light to all we come across with!

Some things are so important that you have to learn them on your own

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Monday Breadcrumbs: ‘Ask and You Shall Receive’

I asked and these words I received in minutes: ‘Just Do What’s Right’ and ‘Finding Hope’. You truly are amazing, Papa God, Your ways, I have no words for them. I’m humbled. I feel so blessed and so loved by You. Thank you, Lord ❤

Excerpts from yesterday and today's Our Daily Bread':

‘Yielding to Christ in all of our desires and decisions regardless of the outcome is what sets us apart in a world full of people consumed by their own interests … so if you want to light up your world in a compelling way, just do what’s right!’

‘No one is immune to feelings of despair…in a defiant step of faith … not to forget about God … there is always hope in God’

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Sunday Breadcrumbs: ‘What You Are is God’s Blessing, What You Become Is Your Gift to God’

Dear Lord, experiencing Your blessings abundantly humbles me every single time that it scares me not being able to act on its purpose – Your purpose for me and for those blessings You are lovingly showering me with.

I never imagined this kind of bliss is possible. True indeed, with You, God, nothing is impossible.

Thank you, Papa Jesus. I pray that You continue to guide me, Lord. For YOU to continue to lead my life and fill my heart with so much love for people to see Your goodness and all the Glory be bestowed upon You.

I know there are no coincidences with You. After hearing the mass last night on my way home, Manong driver unexpectedly turned on his stereo and started playing ‘The Gift’.

I hear Your message clearly, Lord. Thank You so dearly for always speaking directly to me in a lot of ways. A special gift I want to become for You. I lift and surrender myself to You, Papa God. Use me for Your purpose. Amen.

Sunday Breadcrumbs: Not What you Have But Who you Are

‘What really matters?’
‘Not what you have, but who you are’

The easiest way to be evangelists is to be who we are – people of JOY. Let us seek what is above, not what is of earth. Money is not the root of all evils, the love for money is.

Three key points in the homily tonight:

1. Our time in this world is limited
2. Be thankful, be grateful because everything we have is God’s grace
3. Do not be afraid to share, to give because what you give will be given back to you a hundredfold

‘We are loved and we are called to love’

The First Month that Was

October 3, I was still doubting whether or not my first day will really start. It has been postponed three times. But when I finally saw the sign on the Sales Room that says ‘Welcome New Frabelle Foods Sales Force’ and saw it jampacked with people with some that have that ‘neophyte’ look, wow, I know it’s game on and this is really is it.

I’ve been praying so hard for this and looking back at my ‘notes’, this is a blessing and an answered prayed, indeed.

Day 1:

Thank you so much, Lord, for this wonderful start. I know you really put me here and I’m accepting this with all my heart. Thank you sincerely, Lord, for blessing me with this one. Thank you for all the people who have been a huge part of this bigger plan of Yours. Use me, dear Lord, so I, too, may serve Your purpose. Amen.

Day 2:

I feel so blessed every single second of every day. Thank you so much, Lord. Help me to remain humble at all times. Let me not forget that it is Your heart I am carrying in my life and that Your love is the purpose of my existence.

Let me not forget, Lord, that my deeds reflect on You and on my parents and that Your kindness and peace should always be the deeds I am extending to others. I love you so much, Lord. Thank you for loving me this much.

Day 3:

Time moved sooo slooooowly today and I just contented myself sipping coffee one cup after another. For the last two days, Grace had been my companion. Just like Lola and Crea, she walks me to the spot where I can ride my way home. And now Lance and then Joan. Cheers to Day 3’s friendliness.

Day 4:

I think I crossed some line today. I can’t help but be grateful for the trainings and opportunities my former company and bosses have given me. I appreciate and miss them more. I miss our sales people. I miss my friends. But I have to accept that this is my reality now. And I have to adjust. Good thing I already know the power of silence and just keep my negative thoughts with me.

Forgive me, Lord, and thank you for overpowering my bad thoughts with Your wisdom, kindness and love.

Day 5:

The training was very humbling. At first I was comparing it to the trainings we had at my previous company. I even texted one of the bosses to let him know how much I appreciate the trainings and the modules I have been a part of.

I am happy to inform him that I am already beginning my success story in my company now and he is very generous enough to say kind words and extend help in case I need one. I am more than inspired.

As we go along the day, I realized I may know advance sales trainings but right now, we are all beginners and that’s where I need to begin – from the start. So even if I’m sure I already know the things being discussed, I changed my mindset. I emptied those knowledge and open my mind to what’s being discussed. And then I focused and got inspired even more.

I realized, I really need to let go of the past for me to have a good grip of the present. I learned. And I should always remember that only they gave me this chance, this rare opportunity to start anew and to change my path so I owe this to them big time and I should really really appreciate and put more value to the things they are imparting on me as a sales person and as a person.

Be humble and learn. I only have to remember that lowest point in my life for me to never ever have a chance to lift these feet on the ground.

Day 6:

I’ve been seeing signs that this is really the company for me: fieldwork (my passion) and Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra Caramel Drizzle (my fave) plus Vitamin C from the bosses given to us with love. What could get better than this?

Day 7:

The training was so inspiring. The more I embrace it, the more reasons I find why this is the company I really see myself growing old with. The company and the people honor God, they value family, they respect each and every one, they understand quality time with the loved ones and most of all, they want us all to WORK with a HEART.

November 3. What I learned in that first week, I applied and I am still applying in my day-to-day interactions. My first month was a total blast! My love for God is growing every single day, my family is happy because of the blessings that came pouring nonstop, I have good relationship with my colleagues, I still have time to do the things I love and not cut the connections and communications with people who I now treat not as mere friends but as my dearly precious ones.

Above all these, I love what I’m doing because I work with my heart. Cheers to more blissful and blessed months! Love, Rikki

A Call to Love and to Have a Heart

Since I was given a chance to begin again and to begin right this time, I promised myself these:

  • I’ll see goodness in everything
  • I’ll help someone in ways that I can
  • I’ll spend quality time with my loved ones
  • I’ll make meaningful relationships with everyone and
  • I’ll spread love at all times

When I made these my mission, things started to fall into their rightful places. Every interaction and every minute feels like a total bliss and the blessings came pouring nonstop. I was humbled.

shadow on my side of the bus' window ... lovely 😮

I used to hate commuting but during those times when I really have none, that’s when I found joy and happiness in the simplest of things. Now I even enjoy riding jeepneys and buses. And I even appreciate now the four-hour commute to and from the office when needed.

I love the music they play on the bus. Mostly oldies. I even stopped listening to my iPod and just reserved that for my lullaby at night because even the sound around me interests and inspires me now.

Weird, but yes, the noise of life is lovely.

I also love whenever they play a movie on board. Movies I didn’t get to watch on cinemas but I get to watch just riding a bus. But when they are too tired to turn the TV on board on, I just roam my eyes around.

And there are lots of good stuff only when we open our eyes and look for those.

One time, Lance, a colleague of mine, even asked me why I won’t take a nap the whole time and I’ll just tell him that there are lots of wonderful things to see out there and I just can’t afford to close my eyes and miss those.

Life is love. And true, indeed. There was never a time when I didn’t see something beautiful that made me smile.

When we’re still commuting, Lance and I saw a pink superman car along Edsa and we had a good time guessing whether or not the driver is a girl or a guy or a gay only to find a macho guy driving it seriously.

Last night, when he’s driving me home, there was this jeepney with the lights producing a face that made it look like Tomas (the train cartoon character) at night and I’m so disappointed because Lance drives a little faster and I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of it.

And then I realized, I also love the different people I see and get to interact with every day. Lance, for example. And the girl I’ve been seeing everyday going to work. I don’t know how we always happen to ride the same jeepney to think that the chances of choosing which one to ride and the time is so random.

And then this Lola I happened to sit beside one early morning going to work.

I always sit on the front row, just behind the driver, because I want to have a full view of the road and the surrounding. That spot is almost always not fully occupied every time I ride a bus. One morning, there is already a very old lady sleeping on the aisle seat and there is a man on the window seat so I had no choice but to sit in between. The lola looks so tired so I’m really tempted to offer my right shoulder so she can sleep better.

When she’s already on her destination, the conductor won’t let her leave the bus. The lola has no money and she said her son will wait for her on that area and will pay for her fare, but there is no son in sight.

Everyone’s starting to get mad and I remember the time when I have no money and there’s these people, complete strangers whom I now call my angels, who offered help without my asking for it. I know how it feels and I know exactly how that lola feels at that moment. So I paid for her fare and I talked to the driver and conductor to let her leave already and she’s almost on the verge of crying thanking me.

But I know it’s not me that should be thanked for. God put me in that situation as His instrument of love.

You see, when I tried to listen from my heart and to really have a heart, I realized that the moment I wake up, every move that I make has a purpose and an effect to somebody else. So, why are we so afraid to show some love even to people we do not know and just have a heart for everything and everyone when we, on our darkest days and time, are also craving for the same things?

See and give love.

Living and loving is crazy and noisy and is not easy but once we live with a heart, we’ll find magic and bliss in everything. After all, God is love, so if we have questions or differences on the idea about God – just love and have a heart.

It’s universal. One can never go wrong in loving.

Sunday Breadcrumbs.10.23.11

There are three ways to love our neighbor, according to the priest who presided yesterday’s mass:

1. Respect every one

2. Show compassion and be humble

3. Forgive

These are exactly what I needed yesterday when I was pushed beyond my limits. Being in a field known to be a man’s world, it’s so hard not to be the object of some people’s ‘endearment’ and ‘too much attention’ to the point of being bullied and offended by them consciously or unconsciously.

So I turned to my iPod for help and just ‘plugged my ears’ with my happy songs and let them talk among themselves all day long. I don’t want to be rude and mean and listening to them might bring that out from me so I let them be. As what one of my brods is fond of saying, ‘we are all entitled to our wrong opinions’ and so I am entitled to not listen to their opinions 😮

Before the night ends, I got a text message from one of ‘the boys’ apologizing for what he had done that might have offended me. And forgiveness in that case is not necessary because I was not harmed in any way. I did not allow them to do that to me in the first place.  Simply put, apology is not accepted because apology is not needed. But I admire him for what he did.

Going back to the homily, of all the three ways mentioned in loving our neighbors, the third one seems to be the hardest – forgive. But, remembering the homily last Sept. 11 about forgiveness, denying to forgive is denying love and denying love is denying God.

The question now is how to forgive if we are still hurting? There are two ways for us to heal:

1. Human intervention – by cleansing our heart and mind; and

2. God’s intervention – by lifting and surrendering everything to God and trust that He will take care of it.

But, like what happened in my case, it should ALWAYS start from us. Respect other people. Show compassion and be humble. Because once we do, there would be no reason to forgive.

Happy Monday! Love, Rikki.