ON GOSSIPERS AND RUMORMONGERS

It’s important to be careful and discerning of things we are told. No matter how tempting it is to get into all the juicy details, there are three sides to every story. When you are on the receiving end of gossip, it’s best to pause and ask yourself:

  1. What do I get out of this information? How will it help me if I know this?
  2. Am I directly involved? Can I talk to the person to clarify the truth?
  3. Is it necessary that I spread this around?

Also when it comes to gossipers, remember that if they can gossip about others, they can definitely gossip about you.

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LIVING WITH LESS, LITTLE BY LITTLE

Over the past four years, I’ve made it a habit to clean out my room and re-assess my belongings before welcoming the new year. This blog is a little late (as I have been swamped with work and school papers), but trust me, the decluttering process has been consistent. Going through tons of stuff, clothing and shoes has made me wince at the fact that not all the purchases I made were wise ones to begin with. I thought that by investing in affordable pieces, I was winning but one thing I’ve proven—you really get what you pay for.

SHOES
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I don’t want to speak in general because I’ve met a lot of practical girls, but don’t we somehow dream at least once in our lives to have a roomful of beautiful shoes? I don’t  want to put the blame on Imelda Marcos but I’d say her collection has influenced me as a young teenager, to have as many shoes as I want. Heels, flats, mules, sandals in different colors and fabrics. Back then, I thought “I’ll use my own money anyway, so this is totally okay.” When I began working and got my own salary, I let my little obsession run loose—I bought about two pairs every month.

28936_119594764740179_4708811_nAt that time, Janylin had effectively positioned itself as a Filipino shoe brand that produces high quality, beautifully-designed footwear that stands the test of time. Of course, each pair would cost around P2,500-3,500. Quite hefty if you were to compare it to the price mark of other department store brands at that time. Payless Shoe Source then, wasn’t also that big yet in the Philippines.

A year or two later, I noticed that most of the shoes and bags I purchased from department stores easily disintegrated. The material flaked and peeled off and the colors faded. And I thought I was such a smart shopper. I ended up having to reinforce the footwear by taking them to Mr. Quickie. The repairs were quite costly (if compounded) because Mr. Quickie doesn’t scrimp on the quality of their work and the replacement parts. I computed the cost of the shoes + cost of repair/reinforcement and ended up realizing that the overall cost was enough to buy a new pair. One thing I can say though—compared to my other shoes, my Janylin heels have stood the test of time. The leather doesn’t disintegrate. If you wear them regularly though, it would help to put a rubber install lining and have the heel bottoms replaced to make them last longer.

I now only have about half of the number of shoes I used to own. While I still keep my key colors: black, white, nude, pink, blue, green and purple (these are easy to mix and match with my wardrobe), I am no longer inclined to purchase many of the same kind. What I discovered last year is that, I ENJOY SNEAKERS and low wedges! Oh my goodness. If you know me from way back, you’re probably familiar with my love for high heels and stilettos. I still get to wear them for events from time to time BUT only for a few hours. SERIOUSLY GUYS. Ang sakit sa likod. You also don’t get to walk as freely because there’s that fear of slipping or tripping and when that happens—good luck with that sprain.

CLOTHES

P1030536-001Girls have tons of options when it comes to clothing. Clothing is truly one of the biggest industries worldwide and even if you’re not that much into fashion, it is inevitable that you will buy clothes. Of course you have your basic, everyday casual wear, work clothes, something for sports and recreation and then there are those for special occasions. While fashion has always been an interest, I was never obsessed with luxury brands and I have my grandmother and mother to thank for that.

1 Peter 3:3 says that the beauty of a woman should not come from outward adornment. While there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to look good and be presentable, as believers it is important to check on our motives. Do we call attention to ourselves, giving more importance to the outer appearance than our soul and character? Ashamed as I am to admit this, back then, I used fashion to make myself stand out. I wanted to be known for my sense of style. The opinions of people fed my ego but the opinion of my God, I didn’t give much importance to. 😦

I did make a lot of impulsive purchases and sadly, the items may have been affordable but they did not stand the test of time. I let these items appeal to my ego and senses that I didn’t even pause to scrutinize the quality and wearability, and if these would cause others to stumble. As I got deeper in my relationship with God, I learned to include Him whenever I would pick clothes:

“If I wear/buy this Lord, will I call unnecessary attention to myself?”

“Do I really need to spend this huge amount for this?”

“Will it be honoring to You, if I wore this Lord?”

I also found myself getting rid of a lot of things every time I would declutter. I realized that I gathered so much but really, when I die I don’t get to bring any of them because they will only be left behind.

Nowadays, when I shop for clothes, I look at the fit, comfort, color, quality and wearability. I’m not so much a fan of “one time-wear” clothing. I like mixing and matching. The key to practical shopping, I’ve learned, is to choose items which you can wear multiple times in different ways. It’s good to have a balance of basic colors and prints in your wardrobe. Dresses in solid colors can be easily worn with different jackets and shawls, and can even be used as tops for your skirts. I usually buy my basic dresses off the rack, but for prints I’ve discovered the joy of having them custom-made. I pick and buy the tela myself and have them sewn into designs/patterns that I like. Another bonus: since it’s not mass-produced, the mananahi works on it with so much care and attention to detail.

Anyone else here who’s done some decluttering and minimizing? What are some of the things you’ve realized? What changes have you made so far? Let me know through the comments or send me a PM on Facebook. See you guys soon! Have a blessed week!

VLOG: THIS IS WHAT A FULL DAY IN CHURCH LOOKS LIKE

Saturday is usually ministry day for me, except if I have trips, workshops to attend/teach or events to host. Our leaders’ meeting for our Bible Study Fellowship evening women’s class in Ortigas is held Saturday mornings at 6:30. We prepare for class night, have separate leadership development sessions and we get to engage in God’s Word by sharing in the discussion questions and homiletics.

*Thanks to my fellow GL Riva for taking and sharing these photos!

For this particular Saturday, we had our leaders’ fellowship (we do this once a month) so we had time to catch-up and enjoy delicious finger food. 🙂

Following immediately was the launch of S.H.E., the support group for single young professional women in GCF. We invited blogger, speaker and homeschooling advocate Joy Tan-chi Mendoza to speak. She happens to be the niece of Tita Mina, one of the core members of the GCF Ortigas Women’s Ministry team. She brought along all five of her children, who she says are always with her and Edric (her husband) whenever they have speaking engagements.

Joy spoke on Identity: The P’s of God’s Best Life for You (Colossians 3:1-17):
1) Know your Purpose
2) Obey His Principles
3) Order Your Priorities
4) Elevate Him with Your Pursuits and Passions
5) Discover His Pleasure and Peace

Sorry if the bullet points are bitin. I tried to take down notes but I was busy making sure the camera was running well and we were still within the allotted time. The ladies looked forward to the QandA session where Joy answered questions about singlehood, homeschooling her kids, growing up, her background, married life and faith. Watch the VLOG below for more!

After the launch, I had a bit of a break so I changed to more comfy clothes. Youth worship followed at 5pm and then we also had the Youth Leaders Mentoring Session facilitated by Kuya Ave Gaspar. He taught us how to use the Precepts material for our discipleship meetings. Precepts is in-depth Bible study which challenges you to delve deep into God’s Word without the use of commentaries. You focus only on the Bible and let it speak to you as you break down the passages and do word studies.

I realized I’ve already written too much. 🙂 Go watch the VLOG below and make sure you SUBSCRIBE and give it a thumbs up! Thanks and God bless you!

THE S.P.E.C.K. BIBLE STUDY METHOD

Sometimes, the simplest Bible study methods bring forth the most enriching one-on-one meetings with the Lord. I have been using the SPECS/SPECK method for about two years now and even if I’ve been going through BSF, inductive study and homiletics, this method never fails to let God’s Word speak where and when I need it most. SPECS/SPECK is an acrononym for:

S Sin/s to avoid S Sin/s to avoid
P Promise/s to claim P Promise/s to claim
E Example/s to follow E Example/s to follow
C Command/s to obey C Command/s to obey
S Stumbling blocks (or others use Significant Truth) K Knowledge about God

When you are studying a verse (better yet, a passage) during your quiet time, try using this method and as always, begin with prayer—ask God to speak to you through His Word. If there are sins you need to be confronted with, if there are examples you need to follow in your own life. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. At times, personal Bible study can bring about discomfort and in my experience, that usually means that there is something being challenged in me—an area of compromise, a sin I need to confess and repent from or it could be a challenge to obey and trust Him more.

My passage for today is 1 Kings 11, which talks about Solomon’s downward spiral because he allowed himself to be led astray by his pagan wives. Imagine, the man deemed the wisest king of Israel, backsliding because of the compromises he allowed into his life? My initial reading of the passage made me notice the compromises he made:

  •      Idolatry
  •      Intermarriage for political alliances
  •      Trusting in these alliances instead of depending on God
  •      Infidelity to the Lord
  •      Not using the godly wisdom made available to him to make wise, God-glorifying choices

Now let’s use the SPECK method:

SINS TO AVOID

  •      Solomon intermarried with nations God prohibited (a clear act of disobedience)
  •      Solomon loved many (foreign) women
  •      Solomon let his wives lead him astray
  •      His heart turned after other gods (infidelity)
  •      His heart was not FULLY DEVOTED TO THE LORD HIS GOD
  •      Idolatry
  •      Did evil in the eyes of the Lord
  •      Did not follow the Lord COMPLETELY

PROMISES TO CLAIM

I don’t want to claim these promises as mine. Although I know that the Lord has many promises in the Bible for those who put their faith in Him, we also have to be aware that some promises in the Bible are given to SPECIFIC PEOPLE MENTIONED in the narrative. Say for example, we cannot claim the promise given to Abraham “I will make you the Father of many nations.” That promise was SPECIFICALLY given to him.

In this passage, I see God fulfilling His promises on the account of David, even if Solomon spiraled downward.

  •      There were still two tribes left for David
  •      Solomon reigned until his death
  •      Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) succeeded him as king

Promises to Jeroboam:

If you do whatever I command you and obey, do what is right in my eyes, I will build an enduring dynasty, I will give Israel to you.

EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW

  •      Despite David’s sins, God remembered him and thought of him dearly because he was after God’s heart
  •      David obeyed God’s commands and decrees (v. 34-36)

COMMANDS TO OBEY

Walk in obedience, do what is right in My (God’s) eyes, obey My (God’s) decrees and commands as David did

KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD

  •      The Lord remembers and rewards the faithfulness of his servants (David)
  •      The Lord was still very gracious to Solomon (on the account of David) despite his disobedience and idolatry and did not take the kingdom away from him
  •      The Lord appeared to Solomon TWICE. MINDBLOWN. So Solomon had THAT PRIVILEGE, yet he still went astray.
  •      The Lord can raise up LEADERS AND ADVERSARIES. Jeroboam did not have Solomon’s noble birth, yet God made him a king. God can thward systems that have been put into place just because HE IS GOD, HE IS SOVEREIGN AND HIS PLANS WILL PREVAIL.
  •      The Lord is MERCIFUL. He could have killed Solomon or punished him severely but the guy still reigned until his death. I wonder if Solomon ever repented when he was faced with his adversaries. Did he call out to God?

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you would always remind me to rely on you and not on my own strength and capabilities. Seek my heart Lord, and see any offensive way in me. Bring to mind compromises that I need to confess and repent from. Help me to JOYFULLY OBEY YOUR COMMANDS, to be FAITHFUL and like David, RUN AFTER YOUR HEART. Amen.

 

DISCOVERING MY COLOR SEASON

I remember going through a quick color swatch during one of my classes at John Robert Powers many years ago. I was a teenager then and was completely clueless about the power of colors. I would randomly pick clothes that I thought looked cool or trendy without thinking so much if they were in the right color for my skin tone. The result? I ended up spending a lot of money on clothes that really didn’t make me look my best.

Discovering your color season will prove to be very helpful when you go shopping, get your hair dyed or even do your make-up. It’s a journey of self-discovery and acceptance–there really are times when a dress would look smashing on a model but have the opposite effect on you. There’d be moments when you try to replicate a make-up look but end up frustrated because you can’t seem to nail it. Don’t doubt your skills entirely; maybe the colors just aren’t right for you.

The Color Theory revolves around the four basic seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. This doesn’t mean that your skin tone corresponds to the season of your present location. I live in sunny Metro Manila but my color season is Cool Winter. :-p My natural hair color is black (which of course, due to kikay purposes, I have dyed since I graduated from college), my eye color is dark brown and my skin is light with some yellow and pink undertones.

Color Analysis Spging

Color Analysis SummerColor Analysis autumnColor Analysis WINTER

Once you know your colors, it will be easier for you to tell if a dress is worth buying. Is it in your color or will it make you look washed-out? Will it make your skin glow? What hair color shades can you play around with? Watch the video below to learn more!

REAL TALK: The Story of my Single Life

A little break from the travel vlogs. This is what I shared with the young adults in Hungary (hence, the greetings). In this message I talk about boyfriends (LOL), crying over guys, asking God about marriage among many others. Coming to terms with the single life didn’t happen overnight. It was a process and I thank God for His patience and how He’s led me throughout.

SPEAKING AT LSGH AGAIN !

It’s always a joy for me to speak at La Salle Greenhills. When I was first asked to give a talk (I was actually subbing for my very good friend Ginny), I WAS SO NERVOUS! I was overwhelmed with the thought of speaking in front of a huge crowd of boys! I sought advice from some of my teacher friends and really went in with tons of prayer. I give credit to God for everything–the boldness to speak, the ability to engage and influence them. Watch the video below and see how much I had with the Grade 11 boys.