Breathe In, Breathe Out

I went out for a walk after dinner tonight because I needed some fresh air. I brought my camera with me and tried to take photos of the trees nearby and the stars that were twinkling up in the dark blue sky. After numerous attempts to take photos of the stars, I ended up with mediocre ones. In the photos, the stars were blurry and the sky was gray. I felt discouraged because I couldn’t adjust the settings correctly. Moreover, since I didn’t have a tripod, I had a difficult time making sure it was positioned still for 5 to 30 seconds.

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However, despite not having successful photos of the stars tonight, I had a refreshing walk outside. While I was taking photos and experimenting on the settings of the camera, I discovered a few more features that I forgot it had. It had various creative filters that display the ff. effects: soft focus, fish-eye, art bold, watercolor, toy camera, and miniature. Also, it was my first time to notice a simple feature: the camera’s panel illumination button, which lights up the panel’s screen when needed. After three months of using the camera, I only found out about these things tonight. It’s embarrassing, I know. -__- Because I didn’t intentionally spend time learning more about the camera in the last three months, I missed out on maximizing its settings and features. It was as if simply taking photos and adjusting the lens were enough. Aaaahhh!

fish-eye effect
fish-eye effect

Tonight, I was reminded of the hundreds or even thousands of opportunities that I can do with the camera considering its nice features. But, this won’t be possible if I don’t discipline myself in developing my knowledge about the equipment and practice applying the techniques. If the inventor of this particular model saw me using the camera right now, he’d be pretty disappointed. He knows the camera’s potential. He designed and made it the way it is to help photographers experience the best when it comes to documenting moments, sceneries, portraits, and many more. It would be a waste to take it for granted. On my way back home, I was motivated to finally pursue knowing and maximizing the camera this year. So, I am keeping myself accountable to you.

Trying out one of the creative filters.
Trying out one of the creative filters.

I really appreciate the short walk that I had outside because it also helped me see the importance of understanding and living out my purpose by knowing my Creator first. Just like my experience with the camera, I know that God created me the way I am for a special reason. He knows my “features” and limitations and He knows how to maximize them for my good and for His glory. I can go on everyday doing what I usually do or what I know, but if I don’t spend time knowing God and His plans through His Word, I will certainly miss out on experiencing Him and His best for me.

 

A simple daily exercise: Take a walk outside and breathe.

Breathe in God’s Word. Breathe out prayers.

 

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”-Jeremiah 33:3

Photo taken in Baguio last Dec. 27, 2015
Photo taken in Baguio last Dec. 27, 2015

Saturday with Maurie

“Today was a fun day! Thank you again.” :)

I heard my nephew say these words after we said our goodbyes last Saturday night. My siblings and I spent the whole day with him at home and joined the rest of our relatives for dinner outside. It was heartwarming to hear him appreciate our time together that day.

Bacon, scrambled egg, and homemade waffles.
Bacon, scrambled eggs, and homemade waffles.

I usually rest at home or meet up with friends at church every Saturday. But, last Friday night, our nephew, Maurie, asked if he could spend time with us and our dogs at home the next day. Without any hesitation, we said “Sure!” and my older sister picked him up the next morning.

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My sister and Maurie
My sister and Maurie

We spent the rest of the day cooking our breakfast, playing Kinect (Sports and Just Dance), sharing music, playing video games, walking the dogs, playing with our neighbors’ dogs, and relaxing in our living room with popcorn. Oh, and after lunch, Maurie helped my brother and sister buy groceries at the supermarket.

Maurie picked fresh basil leaves from the veranda.
Maurie picked fresh basil leaves from the veranda.
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My sister and Maurie’s chopped basil leaves

One of the things that I thank God for that day was our nephew’s initiative to spend time together. It was humbling for me, because honestly, I feel more rested and filled when I’m by myself, having my quiet time in my own little corner, and just appreciating the beauty of solitude. But, I’m learning to be faithful in obeying God when it comes to being intentional with others, even if sometimes, it may take me out of my comfort zone.

Maurie whisking the waffle batter.
Maurie whisking the waffle batter.
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Krups Waffle Maker

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. [Hebrews 10:24-25]

My brother and Maurie
My brother and Maurie

Maurie sincerely asked if he could spend time with us and I’m glad that he did. God used that day to allow us to get to know our nephew even more and have special moments with him. It was our first time to cook and dance together! It was fun and funny! Haha. I pray that I will grow more in this aspect – in being more intentional in spending time with God, my family, and friends.

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Maurie, if ever you’re reading this, I just want to say that I really appreciate the time that we had last weekend and that I’m looking forward to bonding with you and my siblings soon! God bless your heart! See you around. :)

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INGREDIENTS

SCRAMBLED EGGS
5 eggs
1/2 cup of fresh milk
salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp. of cooking oil
3 tomatoes (diced)
half of an onion
10 basil leaves (chopped)
6-7 whole small mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 cup of grated cheese
slices of mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. Saute onion and mushrooms with oil in a pan. Add diced tomatoes.
2. Scramble eggs in a bowl, basil leaves, grated cheese, and milk. Mix carefully.
3. Add egg mixture in the pan with the sauteed onion, mushroom, and tomatoes.
4. Mix until the eggs are cooked. Make sure not to overcook the eggs, so that they won’t get tough/dry.
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the cooked eggs and add grated mozzarella cheese while the eggs are still hot.

WAFFLES
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of fresh milk
1 tsp. of cinnamon powder
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 eggs

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.