Going to a Concert Alone on Valentine’s Day

THE CRAZY IDEA

“Are you really going to the concert alone on Valentine’s day?? Hahahahaha.” I asked myself a couple of times before buying my ticket online. It seemed like a crazy idea because I felt that it would be very awkward for me to sit beside thousands of couples celebrating Valentine’s day at the concert of Boyce Avenue. During that time, I could already imagine Alejandro Manzano dedicating a song to all of the lovers in the coliseum while I would just sit there and be reminded me of alone-ness and singleness. Haha. It was a funny thought, really. But somehow, it still didn’t stop me from buying one ticket.

Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

I didn’t have close friends who also wanted to watch the concert and my family members already had plans that Valentine weekend, so I figured that watching the concert alone was really meant for me. A few weeks before the concert, I told God: “Okay, Lord. It’ll be just You and me on Valentine’s day. Even though I feel that it would probably be a bit awkward and lonely for me at the concert, I know that You will always be with me and that’s all that matters. I can’t wait for our date!”

Tweet last January 26, after I bought my ticket online.
Tweet last January 26, after I bought my ticket online.

When Valentine’s day came, I was nervous and excited at the same time because I was finally going to Boyce Avenue’s concert. All I wanted to do was to relax, get ready for the concert, listen to their songs, prepare my phone and camera, and try to look for ways to meet the band after the show (since they weren’t selling meet and greet passes). However, God encouraged me not to worry about these things and He helped me find rest in Him that day. Instead of worrying about the meet and greet dilemma, He gave me the desire to spend time with Him in the morning and He allowed me to have the privilege of studying His Word and having accountability with Arra (a friend I’ve been mentoring) in the afternoon.

One-on-one with Arra before the Boyce Avenue concert. :)
One-on-one with Arra before the Boyce Avenue concert. :)

The first half of my Valentine’s day was very encouraging for me because God used those hours to remind me of my security in Him. The idea of being alone on Valentine’s day may sound sad and funny, but by God’s grace, He gave me the strength that day to focus on who He is and who I am in Him instead of dwelling on the things that I didn’t have. Actually, He has been giving me the strength to do so ever since, but it was only until a couple of years ago that I truly embraced it in my heart.

Being in a committed relationship is a privilege and responsibility that God graciously gives to people and He may or may not allow me to experience such in the future. But whether or not He does, I am encouraged to continue seeking the Lord with all my heart and to serve Him faithfully.  This is exactly what God was telling me to do last February 14, 2015. Even if I was going to be alone at the concert of Boyce Avenue, even if I was going to be surrounded by thousands of couples, and even if I didn’t have the assurance of meeting the band after the show, He encouraged me to still be faithful in spending time with Him and serving Him that morning and afternoon.

IMG_5520

“You make my heart beat steady to the love song You’ve written for me. I don’t want anything but You, You’re all that I need.” –Royal Tailor’s “Love Song”

 

THE EYE GLASSES

Fast forward to 6:45pm that Valentine’s night, I was already seated inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. I was an hour and fifteen minutes early, so I had the chance to settle down and observe my surroundings. True enough, there were couples everywhere! Hahaha. They were all paired up with buckets of popcorn, pizza slices, and drinks in their hands. I have to admit that at first, walking into the coliseum and sitting by myself felt a bit weird and funny. But, as the minutes passed by, more and more people filled the place and it didn’t really matter if I was alone or with a partner or with my whole family. We were all there to watch our favorite band perform and enjoy their beautiful music!

While waiting for the concert to start, I did something that I rarely do. I wore my reading glasses. I never really liked wearing my glasses because I felt that it didn’t suit me since I also wore braces before. Eventually, I disregarded my glasses for two years. It was only until a couple of months ago that I saw them again while I was cleaning my room. Somehow, I felt that I would need them during the concert because I wasn’t sure if my seat was near enough for me to see the band members’ faces. Thankfully, I brought them with me and I ended up wearing my eyeglasses during the concert which helped me see things clearly.

Photo of my glasses while I was watching Boyce Avenue perform.
Photo of my glasses while I was watching Boyce Avenue perform.

While the band was playing, I would slightly move my glasses up and down to compare what I see with and without them. It was during this time that God spoke to my heart and encouraged me to look at the situation I’m in through His eyes. Looking through my eyeglasses made a huge difference that night because not only was I able to see the band clearly, I was also able to see my dad’s friend (who helped me in meeting the band after the show) while he was more than 50 meters away from me.

In the same way, God reminded me of the huge difference it makes when I choose to look at myself or at my circumstances through His eyes. I was alone at the concert on Valentine’s day, but I had so many things to be grateful for too. Because I was alone that day, I was able to experience the ff.:

1. Focused on the music and the band. – Because I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I had the privilege of really listening to the music, singing along, and observing the band while they played and sing. I noticed little things that happened on stage, like how Alejandro tiptoes while he sings or how Fabian strums his guitar while he raises it high in the air or how Daniel smoothly goes on top of the bass drum while he bobs his head and plays his guitar. I also appreciated how the Manzano brothers interacted with each other (by smiling or making fierce facial expressions) while playing their guitars. Moreover, it was cool to see their crew discreetly and quickly change the guitars lined up at both sides of the stage which helped the band get the right guitars on time.

10989207_891950217491924_8044574444763726745_n
Alejandro Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo.
Fabian Manzano strumming his guitar!
Fabian Manzano strumming his guitar!
Daniel Manzano standing on top of the bass drum while playing his guitar.
Daniel Manzano standing on top of the bass drum while playing his guitar.

2. Stepped out of my comfort zone. It was my first time to drive to Smart Araneta Coliseum and I honestly wasn’t sure which roads or turns I should take. My dad helped me by giving instructions and I did check Google Maps, but once I was on the road by myself, it was pretty intimidating. But by God’s grace, I safely and smoothly got to the venue. Woohoo! Oh, and there were numerous times during the event when I needed to leave my shy self behind and muster up courage so I could talk to certain people (bouncer friend, dad’s friend, etc.).

3. Learned to listen more. Because I wasn’t speaking much that night, I literally listened more. It helped me understand what was going in my heart and helped me listen to God’s voice more.

4. Had the Luxury of Time. I had the privilege of leaving the house and leaving the concert anytime I wanted to. I also walked at my own pace and didn’t need to rush or slow down while I was on my way to the venue.

5. Free to be Me. My introverted self actually enjoyed my alone time. Although I did feel awkward at first, being alone eventually helped me feel more confident after a while. In fact, a man beside me was also alone, but he didn’t care too. He also got his phone, recorded the band throughout the show, and enjoyed listening to the songs just like the rest of the crowd.

Photo c/o Fabian Manzano
Boyce Avenue. Photo c/o Fabian Manzano

 

THE BEST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER

Before going to the concert, I already expected the band to say something about the lovers out there. But, surprisingly, they gave a shoutout to all the singles at the concert instead. Hahaha. The band even dedicated their song “On My Way” to all of the single men and women and encouraged us not to settle for anyone who’s less than the best for us.

Even if I was alone, I didn’t feel lonely on Valentine’s day because I felt God’s presence with me. He also helped me appreciate so many things around me. E.g. I had two hands which were very helpful in taking photos and videos at the same time using the gadgets that I had. I had everything I needed that day: transportation, access to water and food, extra cash, a really good seat, eyeglasses, etc. I had the privilege of enjoying the concert of Boyce Avenue, meeting them after the show, and sharing God’s love to the band on Valentine’s day through John 3:16! (Aaaahhhh!!!) But most importantly, I had the honor of enjoying a crazy, amazing, faith-stretching date night with God and experiencing Him in a much deeper way this time.

Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Boyce Avenue. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

Just so you know, I ended up crying while I was on my way home from the concert. I couldn’t explain or contain the joy and awe in me after my Valentine’s day experience because I saw how God graciously allowed things to fall into place. He definitely knows our hearts’ desires more than we do.

“’You could have been anywhere else,’ Alejandro Manzano said, ‘but you chose to be here.’” :)

Screenshot from a video I took during the concert.
Screenshot from a video I took during the concert.

I do enjoy spending time with family and friends, but every now and then, it’s nice to do something new and spend some quality time alone. Going to Boyce Avenue’s concert alone on Valentine’s day was a blessing after all. In fact, for me, it was certainly the best Valentine’s day ever!

Tweet after the concert of Boyce Avenue.
Tweet after the concert of Boyce Avenue.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 

BLOGGED: Boyce Avenue in Manila 2015: Meeting Them Again

At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!
At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Boyce Avenue in Manila 2015: Meeting Them Again

LOVE FOR BOYCE AVENUE

Boyce Avenue will always have a special place in my heart. Ever since I heard their covers and songs online, I knew that I would be listening to their music for a very, very, very, very long time. Five years and a hundred of YouTube videos later, I still find myself enjoying the chill, acoustic vibe of the Manzano brothers. Indeed, it is amazing to see them consistently use their talents to make and share beautiful music to the world.

At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!
At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!

Last 2013, my younger brother and I had the privilege of going to their concert at Resorts World Manila and meeting them after the show. I shared more about the experience HERE . It was definitely an unforgettable moment because seeing and hearing them sing and play live in the Philippines rarely happens. I enjoyed their show so much that I told myself I would go to their next concert in Manila, regardless of the price ticket and the date. Because they just had their concert in Manila last 2013, I didn’t expect them to be back soon. But to my surprise, two months ago, Ovation Productions proudly announced that Boyce Avenue was returning to Manila on Valentine’s day this 2015! It was going to be their biggest concert ever!

Meet and Greet with Boyce Avenue last 2013 at Resorts World Manila
Meet and Greet with Boyce Avenue last 2013 at Resorts World Manila
Boyce Avenue's Poster: Concert in Manila 2015. Valentine's Day
Boyce Avenue’s Poster: Concert in Manila 2015. Valentine’s Day

WHAT?! I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I heard about it, I immediately checked websites for possible ticket giveaways and I set aside money for the ticket, just in case. I also tried to ask some of our family friends if they had discounted tickets or free tickets that they can give away. However, by the end of January 2015, I still didn’t have a ticket. I prayed about it and thought of finally buying a ticket for the best seat possible since they were running out of good seats. On the 27th of January, I finally bought a ticket for me. Yup! Just one ticket. I was going to attend the concert of Boyce Avenue alone… on Valentine’s day! Also, by faith, I prayed for an opportunity to meet the band again. They didn’t sell meet and greet passes, so meeting them would really be a miracle.

IMG_5492

After that night, the days quickly passed by and all I could think of during my spare time was how funny and exciting this new experience would be for me! I was so excited to see my favorite band again that I consistently dreamt about them days before the concert. But, at the same time, I was getting nervous because there was no assurance for me to meet them in person. On the eve of Valentine’s day, I prayed about meeting them again and I started daydreaming about giving them gifts when I meet them. Talk about dreaming big! Haha. I ended up sleeping that night and dreaming about their concert one last time. In my dream, I saw Alejandro Manzano walking towards me while he was singing at their concert. Just when we were about to take a photo in my dream, I woke up. Aaaah!!! You could just imagine the suspense I felt. It was crazy.

Alejandro Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Alejandro Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

Finally, it was already the 14th of February. While I was browsing through Facebook that morning, I noticed a lot of similar photos shared by my friends online. It was an acronym of VALENTINE inside the Bible verse: John 3:16. Somehow, while I was looking at it, God spoke to me and I heard Him say: “I know the best gift you could give to Boyce Avenue! The best gift is Me. IF I allow you to meet and greet the band later, I want you to share Me to them. I want you to tell them that I love them.”

Before the concert, I made letters for Boyce Avenue even if there was no assurance for a meet & greet after the show. By faith!
Before the concert, I made letters for Boyce Avenue even if there was no assurance for a meet & greet after the show. By faith!

When I heard that, I felt a bit uneasy yet peaceful at the same time. Sharing God’s love to the band on Valentine’s day was a great idea! But, at the same time, I was puzzled because I didn’t know if I would meet them and I didn’t know how I would share His love to them. Nonetheless, later that evening, when I arrived at the basement parking of Smart Araneta Coliseum, I remembered what God said and I wrote personalized letters to Alejandro, Fabian, and Daniel Manzano. I wrote the VALENTINE acronym and John 3:16 on the sheets of paper and kept them in my bag. It was finally happening. I felt my heart beat fast as I left the parking lot and walked ins­­­ide the coliseum by myself. I was excited to enjoy my date night with God at the Boyce Avenue concert.

View from my seat
View from my seat

Since I was just by myself, I spent time observing the people around me, the setup, the stage, the production crew, and I had the privilege of sharing to God what I was feeling at the moment. It was also during this time that I tried to ask one of our family friends again if there was still a way to meet the band after the show. However, after a few minutes, our family friend replied and said that the band was leaving immediately after the show and that there wouldn’t be a meet and greet. When I read her message, I honestly got heartbroken because I had been praying for this request since two months before the concert. The smile on my face instantly disappeared and I felt so discouraged. I sent a text message to my mom and shared to her that our friend confirmed that there wouldn’t be a meet and greet.

IMG_5638

But, despite that update, I told my mom that somehow, God was still giving me hope and telling me not to let go of that dream. So, I took that opportunity to talk to God and I asked him to strengthen my heart and help me find hope in Him. He then gave me the desire to be grateful for the fact that He provided for my ticket, that I was sitting near the stage, that I safely got to the venue, and that I was watching the concert of Boyce Avenue that night. Suddenly, I felt lighter and I shared to God that I knew that He was still God no matter what and I knew that He could let me meet the band in a heartbeat if He wants me to. So, by faith, I asked Him one more time to provide an opportunity for me to see the band after the show.

 

HEARTBROKEN TO HOPEFUL

Just ten minutes before the band was scheduled to go on stage, I saw one of Dad’s friends from church who was working with the production team. Then, I heard a whisper from God and He told me to go to the guy and ask him. I started walking towards Dad’s friend, introduced myself, and asked if meeting the band after the show was possible. He warmly listened to my request and said that he wasn’t sure, but he could try to do something. He instructed me to meet him at the side of the stage after the show, just in case.

IMG_5587

I thanked him and went back to my seat as I held on to the hope that God was giving to me. I didn’t know if it was possible, but God changed my anxious heart and He gave me peace which lasted for the rest of the night. Finally, the Manzano brothers went on stage, strummed their guitars, and flawlessly sang their beautiful songs! IT. WAS. AMAZING!!! Everyone brought out their cameras and phones and the whole crowd recorded the band’s every move as we happily listened to their music. I didn’t even notice that I was alone because we all just enjoyed the moments with the band. (I’ll be sharing more about the details of the concert in another post.) It was definitely the best concert I’ve been to. Of course, they’re my favorite band!

IMG_5565

Daniel Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Daniel Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo
Fabian Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Fabian Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

After the concert, I rushed to the side of the stage where I was supposed to meet Dad’s friend. However, he wasn’t there. I waited for ten minutes, but I still didn’t see any sign of him. I decided to go to the other side of the stage and surprisingly, I saw a familiar face. I saw one of the bouncers that my sisters and I met while we watched the musical “Beauty and the Beast” which was also produced by Ovation Productions. I said hi to him and asked if he saw my dad’s friend. But, he said that he didn’t see him. Ten more minutes passed by and I was starting to lose hope because I knew that the band would be leaving the place immediately. Then, my bouncer friend and I saw the mother (who also knew Dad) of my dad’s friend and he suggested that I ask her instead.

With tita C! :)
With tita C! :)

 

DREAM COME TRUE… AGAIN.

I then walked towards her, introduced myself, and shared to her that I spoke with her son earlier that night. Just like her son, she warmly said hello and told me that she would try to check if she could help me and some of her friends (who were also near the area) to go inside the backstage. A few minutes later, she came out from the backstage and signaled us to go in with her. The next moments after that felt like a dream. We went inside a VIP lounge behind the stage and were instructed to wait for the band there. I was shaking the whole time because I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. We sat in a fancy bar area and were served with fresh, cold iced tea. It was crazy, amazing.

IMG_5716

IMG_5715

I was sitting on one of the sofa chairs when I heard low murmurs. When I looked at the entrance of the VIP lounge, I saw the Manzano brothers walking towards us, along with their body guards. I thought I was going to faint, but by God’s grace, he kept me sane. Haha. We spent the next minutes casually talking to the band, taking photos of them and with them, getting their autographs, and just enjoying a relaxing time with the group. I kept thanking Tita C for the privilege and for graciously allowing me to spend a few minutes with the band after the show. Before leaving the lounge, I remembered the personalized letters I made for them before going to the concert. So, I approached them again and gave my simple Valentine’s gift to them. They were so nice. They got the letters, hugged me, and said that it was these little things from their fans that they really appreciate. I thanked them again and left the place with a joyful and grateful heart.

Shared God's love to Boyce Avenue on Valentine's Day through these personalized John 3:16 letters.
Shared God’s love to Boyce Avenue on Valentine’s Day through these personalized John 3:16 letters.
Boyce Avenue's Autograph
Boyce Avenue’s Autograph

By God’s grace, He allowed me to meet the band AGAIN and share His love to them after the show. Indeed, God is able to do more than what we can ever imagine or think of. He is able to do the impossible. He is able to inspire, break, change, and bless our hearts for the best. I learned so many lessons throughout my Valentine weekend this year. But, one of the highlights that my heart will forever remember is learning to put my faith in God no matter what situation I am in, to trust that He is able to bring me through it, and to obey Him when He tells me to honor Him even through the simplest ways. I may not always understand why or know how and if He will allow things to happen, but I am encouraged to trust His heart and believe that He has His best in store for me always.

Boyce Avenue at Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila.
Boyce Avenue at Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila.

Once again, I thank You, Lord, for showing your amazing, AMAZING GRACE to me through this Boyce Avenue experience. As I’ve mentioned before, You leave me speechless. I only asked for a chance to meet the band, but You gave me more. You even allowed me to share You to them! Thank You for Ovation Productions, for tita C and her gracious family. May You bless them even more this year. Thank You for Boyce Avenue’s love for music. May You continue to use their talents to inspire people around the world. What a Valentine’s treat from You, Jesus. From the bottom of my heart, I thank You. :)

Took a grumpy cat selfie with Alejandro Manzano of Boyce Avenue at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Took a grumpy cat selfie with Alejandro Manzano of Boyce Avenue at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

To my favorite band, by faith, I will meet you again soon! Until then, I will see you online. Keep making beautiful music! :)

Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

BEST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER!!! :) <3

BOYCE AVENUE:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/boyceavenue

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoyceAvenue

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoyceAvenue

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.

25 Things About My Mom

It’s official. Both my parents are now 55 years old. My, how time flies. Exactly five months ago, I shared 25 things about Dad HERE, and now, I’ll be sharing 25 things about Mom too.

To my dearest Mom, thank you and happy birthday! :)

10671316_10152884698743548_8107826683335450003_n

25 Things About my Mom

1. She loves wearing monochromatic clothes with matching bag and shoes. Hehehe.

527548_10150717685423548_1774022381_n

2. She has a sweet tooth. Just this morning, she preferred eating bread with butter and hot cocoa than bread with lettuce, tomato, and sausage. She kept on saying how delicious and good the chocolate was!

DSC02721

3. 24/7 Dermatologist – well, only to her family. Haha. The best thing about having a derma mom is we could have free facials anytime. Before we go to work, in the middle of the night, while we’re on vacation… you name it!

223520_10150169320338548_2324826_n

4. When Dad and Mom got married, Mom attended simple baking and cooking classes so she could learn more and improve her skills in the kitchen. Now, she makes delicious meals for the family!

10806326_10152884721303548_6601472578646182547_n

5. She is the #1 person that I send text messages to. Hahaha. Mom’s very reliable and updated when it comes to family concerns and schedules. Also, she takes time to hear me out when I share updates/stories via SMS.

318187_10151422026448548_938806375_n

6. She is very neat and organized. She always makes sure to tidy things up in the kitchen, clinic, and rooms. She makes her bed every morning! Something that I don’t always do 365 times in a year.

7. Her smiley face vs. my smiley face. Hahaha.

smile

8. Since her last birthday (2014), she has been literally walking with the Lord around the village every morning. She spends time listening to God, praying to him, listening to Christian songs while walking.

9. She’s my flower/vegetable/herb plant buddy.

DSC09546-Copy
From her Tarragon plant.

10. Mom gets teary-eyed easily (Just like my older sister, Michelle :P). Usually, this happens whenever she watches movies with dramatic scenes, listens to the messages at Church on Sundays, listens to inspiring testimonies, or sees another person crying.

10888808_10152908678358548_8733667557604234153_n

11. She falls asleep quickly. Sometimes, in the middle of the movie. Sometimes, while we’re eating dinner. Haha. But, of course, even Supermoms need to rest. :)

Because I don't have a photo of mom sleeping. And even if I did, she might not allow me to post it here. hahaha!
Because I don’t have a photo of mom sleeping. And even if I did, she might not allow me to post it here. hahaha!

12. She spends money wisely. She doesn’t splurge on shopping, gadgets, etc. and she definitely isn’t an impulsive buyer.

13. She graciously helped me finish my crochet and cross-stitch projects when I was still in the 3rd grade. I will never forget how difficult it was for me and how amazing Mom was in assisting me. :)

14. She is the peacemaker in the house. Whenever we have conflicts with the other members of the family, she encourages us to resolve them immediately and sincerely.

10403595_10152884049813548_6449032027587919922_n

15. She has an intimate relationship with God and regularly spends time with his Word. Also, she naturally shares Jesus to the people around her.

16. She finds her security in Christ. I remember one time when my dad and mom went to Tagaytay for an event; my mom sent us a text message saying that she left her make-up kit at home. But instead of focusing on the downside of the situation, she spoke to God about it and she decided to find her security and beauty in Christ alone, and not depend on her make-up.

1918636_393202178547_2522042_n

17. She is an encourager! When I was struggling with my accounting subjects in college, mom would always send text messages to me to encourage me. Until now, I still have some of her messages in my phone.

312681_10150352917508548_632854760_n

18. One of the best examples of a submissive wife with a gentle and quiet spirit. She always chooses to honor God by honoring her husband, even in the midst of disagreements and problems.

10888602_10152881220943548_9023114850784244647_n

19. For the past couple of years, she has been preparing healthy meals for the family. She avoids cooking processed food and she doesn’t use MSG and high-fructose corn syrup anymore.

1972376_10152184382998548_128352341_n

20. Mom was interviewed by Karen Young and featured in her blog HERE, where she shared about God’s faithfulness to our family when we experienced the fire last 2004.

10525903_10152908660828548_7111533706635321460_n

21. She sincerely loves her family (husband, children, siblings, parents). It is a blessing to see her spend time listening to her mom and mother-in-law on the phone whenever they need someone to talk to. She also takes time to pray for us. :)

580050_10150717491773548_1509924847_n

22. She does her own hair and make-up whenever she goes to events/weddings.

183032_10150103419703548_693673_n

23. When asked to do a wacky face, she always pouts. Hahaha.

24. She enjoys watching romantic comedies and action movies. But, I think she enjoys the action movies more.

25. By God’s grace, she is the best faithful helpmate to dad! Always willing to encourage, support, and rebuke when needed. Oh, and she’s a pastor’s wife too!

375473_10151898026057481_136256225_n
Photo c/o Jim Welchel

Love you, Mom!

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” -Proverbs 31:28-30

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

As soon as I got out from work, I drove thru the nearest Starbucks on the way home. I was excited to finally get my free slice of birthday cake (thanks to the Starbucks card). One of the baristas informed me a few months ago that I could avail of the free slice only until two months after my birthday. Since I was born on the 16th of December and today is February 16, it was my last chance to get it.

While I was ordering, the barista who assisted me checked my card and confirmed that I could get the free slice of cake as long as I order a drink. So, I ordered a slice of Banana Chocolate cake and a tall, Java Chip frappuccino. He handed me a brown paper bag with the slice of cake and my favorite Starbucks drink. While I was paying for my drink, the barista swiped my Starbucks card again, but after swiping it a couple of times, the machine kept on prompting an error about the validity of the free cake.

After talking to his manager, he found out that I was already one day late. We both found out that Starbucks card holders could avail of the free slice of birthday cake only until the day before the two-month period ends. I was a day late and devastated. I quickly prayed and asked God if He could make a way to allow me to still get the free slice of cake. But after confirming it with the manager, the barista unfortunately and politely declined the request. I returned the paper bag with the slice of cake to the barista and kept my drink, since I already paid for it.

IMG_5727

I drove home feeling sad because I spent Php 160 for a drink that I didn’t really want to have tonight and I was tempted to feel irritated towards the barista because he assured me that I could still get the free cake before I ordered the drink. But while I was minutes away from our house, God reminded me of the huge difference it makes when I choose to delay action steps in my life. I was one day late and I couldn’t bring back time anymore. I missed out on an awesome privilege of enjoying a free slice of cake.

This was just a simple act of getting cake and it was quite depressing. But, I realized that there are far more important things in life that I sometimes unintentionally delay or ignore too. Like, being more appreciative or spending more time with the family or sharing Jesus to my friends. I really don’t want to experience being a day late when it comes to these things. It was a gentle reminder for me to be a good steward of the time and resources that God has blessed me with, while I still can.

I then looked at my Java Chip Frappuccino and asked God to take away any negative feeling and thought that I had towards my experience at the drive-thru. God allowed it to happen and He encouraged me to use that moment to honor Him instead. “Why don’t you give your drink to one of the guards in the village? Oh, and tell him that I love him too.”

IMG_5728

I felt like God was sitting beside me in the car because his instruction and voice were so clear. So, I immediately got my pen and wrote on my notebook. As soon as I saw one of the guards our family knew in the village, I stopped the car, said hi, and gave him the drink and note. He gave me a big smile and thanked me. Sometimes, God allows us to go through difficult, irritating, or regretful situations. But, whenever I am faced with these, by God’s grace, He always encourages me to focus on His character. He can use sad situations for the good. He can work and change a person’s heart. We just have to trust in Him and obey when we hear His voice.

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)