‘Tis The Season. ‘Tis The Reason.

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I saw this image on Pinterest and it instantly made me tear up. I am guilty of not always remembering why we are celebrating Christmas. God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save us and someday bring all of us who believe home. It’s not just the highlight of, but the reason of the season.

We’ve become so busy making wishlists, buying gifts, preparing the noche buena, planning vacations, that most of us have forgotten to prepare ourselves in honoring the birth of our Savior. I’m sure that He approves of us celebrating this special occassion with being with our loved ones eating good food and exchanging gifts because we are sharing our blessings to one another, but hey… Wouldn’t He like it more if we’d all take a moment to reflect on who Jesus is to us? It’s His birthday. Do we already have gifts for Jesus? How about we start with a heart that remembers, recognizes, and rejoices that He is our greatest hope, strength, courage and joy!

Jesus, thank You for everything. May we honor You with how we celebrate Christmas.

Happy birthday, Jesus!!!

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listening to: Christmas carols

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A Happy 1st Weekend of My Favorite Month

Yaaaay for the first weekend of December!

Welcomed my all-time favorite month in Mango Tree Bistro with great friends (plus an nff) and wine. It was the perfect mix of witty conversations and senti hits. We should have more nights like this, hopefully also with more wine.

Here’s chuma-chubby me, balingkinitan na Cindy, ang nff na si Joseph, and direct-to-the-point Jap.

I lovelovelove my highschool bff and my college bff. 🙂 They are two of the most beautiful people I know.

(Joseph, saka na kita tatawagin na beautiful ‘pag close na tayo.)

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Without a doubt, I will not be able to follow a proper diet during the holidays. I have been trying to eat less so I wouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in the coming days, and so I wouldn’t look like Miss Piggy come 2013. I try to avoid rice (because it’s eeevil) but I wasn’t able to resist when I craved for Aida’s Chicken Inasal. Waaah! I also wasn’t able to to resist pouring some chicken oil on the rice! Napakain kasi I got tired from looking for materials for my costume in every ukay-ukay in MCS. (I can hear you saying “Excuses, excuses!” Hehe!) Costume for what, you ask. For our team’s Christmas party! I spent Saturday figuring out if I’ll go as Katniss Everdeen, Cleopatra, Arwen, or the Energizer Bunny.

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Katniss wins. Because of her boots.

Speaking of fictional characters, I absolutely liked Rise of The Guardians! Ang astig ni Santa at ang sexy ng boses ni Jack Frost! Si Chris Pine naman pala kasi ‘yon! Aaaaaand the Easter Bunny is Wolverine Hugh Jackman!  It’s a movie with a simple plot that revolves around the fears and fantasies of kids. It’s not as funny as Shrek, not as epic as Mulan, but it’s definitely fun and heartwarming.

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Here’s what made me tear up:

“You’re the one who put me here. The least you can do is tell me why.” – Jack Frost to Man in the Moon

What made me go nyahaha? Finding out who really makes all the Christmas gifts in Santa’s factory. :p

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After the movie, I ate one of my favorite combos from Cash & Carry- gyoza and Ferino’s bibingka. Weird, noh? Pero promise, masarap! Trust me! May talent ako sa pag-partner ng savory-spicy and sweet-salty nomnoms!

I also have a talent (skill, if you wanna be technical about it, pfftttt) for cooking quick and easy dishes! Hello, laking Del Monte Kitchenomics, Wok with Yan, at Cooking with The Dazas yata ito! :p I made two veggie dishes last Sunday. If I can’t eat less, I’ll just eat something non-fattening. I’ll share the recipes for my special no-saute monggo and tarantang chopseuy in a separate entry. Wait for it. 😉

My yaaay-worthy weekend was capped off by this lesson:

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Last Sunday’s service was about God being able to turn a situation of limitation to a situation of multiplication. He is the ultimate provider and that is something I (or we) should always remember. When we have troubles, we always depend on our own understanding and this always results into fear– which is always an exaggeration of reality. Trusting Him is always the best choice, may it be in a desperate situation involving finances or career or relationships… anything! The Grace that God uses in one is the exact same Grace that He uses in another!

The weekend was His reminder to me that I am abundantly blessed and I can be blessed some more. More importantly, it was to instill in my mind that I am very blessed so that I will be a channel of blessing.

Thank You God for allowing me to share my time, ideas, love, and all the other gifts You have generously given me. And cheers to more blessings that I know I will receive this month!!! 😀

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listening to: nothing

Welcome to the Twitterverse, Pope Benedict XVI aka @Pontifex !!!

I think it’s terrific that the Pope is now on Twitter.

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Read all about it here.

Imho, the Vatican should really be in the digital arena spreading The Word. I followed several Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts to see inspirational verses before I finally decided to get my own Bible. The internet is a great stepping stone to make people get to know the teachings of Christ. I am very interested to read what the Pope has got to say about the hundreds of issues we’re facing. And of course, I am expecting that he will impart lessons that can answer a question with utmost importance– What Would Jesus Do?

Let’s see on December 12 what his first tweet will be. 🙂

You can follow Pope Benedict XVI by adding @Pontifex.

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Follow me : @iyassantos

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listening to: Casting Crown – In Me

God’s Letters to His Princess

Who’s His princess?

ME!

Or YOU! 🙂

It’s for all of us ladies who are waiting for the right person. Some of us patiently wait. Some of us wait with hope so thin or with anger churning. Sadly, some do not even wait anymore for they have lost faith.

I was one of those princesses who was on the verge of screaming AYOKO NA!!! to God’s face. Kapal ko noh? It was because I didn’t understand. It was because my will was stronger than HIS. To all those who know me and my story, then you know the pain, disappointment, frustration and even depression that I went through. Most of them self imposed. Because like I said, my will was stronger than God’s. It’s only lately that I have come to realize how much He loves me and how it is imperative that I first learn to listen and obey. And that I should really be patient and discerning! Hindi dahil may boylet na nandyan is siya na ‘yon! Maaaaan… I learned this the hard way and up to now, there are still tests thrown my way. I feel that He is indeed checking if I have already changed and if I am ready for His gift aka answered prayer aka fulfilled promise.

Jan, a close friend of mine (one of God’s many perfectly timed gifts to me) shared these letters when I was undergoing another (and quite recent) ANO NA NAMAN BA ITO?! phase in my life.

Read on and I hope your heart will also be touched.

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Nakaka-kilig, di’ba? I don’t know about you, basta ako kinilig ako ng bongga that God is preparing the best person for me.

It’s a drag to wait, I know. But if you know in your heart that what you are waiting for is the best, then it will make things lighter. Wait with joy. Use the time to focus on other aspects in your life. Love your family, your friends, your neighbor, your enemies (oo, pati sila!!! working on it!!!) and of course… LOVE GOD! Love our DaddyGod, our Heavenly Father. Para ka na rin hindi naghintay kasi masaya ka. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Right!

(Maybe you’ve already noticed, I started with me and shifted on YOU! My plan, exactly! Hehe!)

In times that you feel sad, tell Him. Kahit sa mga panahon na galit ka, o nagdududa, talk to Him! Coz seriously, sino pa ba ang makikinig sa iyo without judgment and with absolute understanding? You’re His baby. Magsumbong ka sa Kanya and He will surely protect you with all His might.

I would like to end this entry with a line from author/preacher Max Lucado–

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

My fellow princess, wait on Him. =)

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listening to: Layla Kaylif – Shakespeare In Love

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