(Click on photo to go to the source)
Always choosing thankfulness in every day. Always choosing to see the beauty of the Lord imprinted in every moment.
Always choosing to trust in the midst of fear. Always choosing to lean in Him in times of weakness. For then I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
I believe this is the way to really live this one life: always choosing to declare God’s wonderful deeds; always choosing to give praise and glory.
Always choosing Jesus and the life He gives – in every heartbeat, in every breath.
In 2005, while I was doing my best to recover, by the grace of God, from the illness that almost took my life, I didn’t want to accept visitors, except those from our Church. And even in 2008, a year after giving birth to my son, when physical weakness and difficulties hounded me again, I didn’t allow a cousin from the US to see me, though she let me know how much she wanted to. Only my husband and daughter met with her then.
About three weeks ago, another cousin in the US (a sister of the above-mentioned cousin, only that I was closer to this one because we are of the same age and we had happy times together during college in Baguio City) texted to inform me that she was coming home and she would love to see me and insisted that we have dinner together. I texted back telling her, “I’ll see what I can arrange”, then changed the subject.
I didn’t want my loved ones to see me weak and not well, and I worried that I might not be able to entertain any visitor the way I wanted to. That all the talking and excitement might exhaust me. These were the reasons why I shunned “special” visits like the plague.
But one day, while I was thinking about my cousin’s homecoming, the Lord spoke to me in my heart. He told me to meet with my cousin. That there’s nothing to be afraid of. That He’ll be with me every moment of the meeting to strengthen me. That I can rest in His Word and love that never fails. That I can find comfort in always leaning on Him, especially in physically challenging tasks (for me) like hosting a dinner.
And so I texted my cousin informing her that we would be having a reunion dinner in our home. Oh my. It’s been about two decades since we last saw each other. I was so nervous anticipating THIS dinner.
Last Saturday, my cousin arrived in our home for the first time. And although I only had about three hours sleep the night before (it was our Church’s Friday Overnight Service), the Lord gave me strength to meet and entertain them.
I’m thankful that my mother, sister, brother, nephew and niece came, too. And we really had a great time.
Thankful for Maricris (our very industrious housekeeper) who did all the preparations while I did all the planning. (I saw the table setting belatedly and she said she saw it in a magazine. OK 🙂 ).
Thankful for my charming sister who, together with our mother, traveled from our province to help me entertain our visitors.
Thankful that our home is lighted up again. And for my husband who has been really supportive.
Thankful for the food on the table: pinakbet (sauteed mixed native veggies such as eggplant, okra, bitter gourd, squash, string beans in fish sauce), kare-kare (oxtail with veggies in thick peanut sauce with sauteed shrimp paste dip), gambas al ajillo, grilled herbed chicken, and cassava cake for dessert.
Thankful for happy moments that make up happy memories. (My beautiful cousin is beside me in sleeveless blouse).
I mentioned in my post last Friday that over the weekend, may we learn a new song for the Lord and sing it to Him with all that is in us. Well, the Lord forgive me but I wasn’t able to do it. Friday was our Church’s overnight service and Saturday morning, I barely had three hours sleep. Then we became busy for the dinner preparations. And all-day of Sunday was church.
But yesterday in church, the beloved Almeda children sang two songs and the first song seemed very familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my hand to it. I was thinking it might be a song I heard from Avalon, since I don’t listen to it often. Today, I played my Avalon The Greatest Hits CD and voila! It’s a song they sang splendidly. Can’t Live a Day.
I listened to it almost the whole day. I’m absolutely enamored by it, but much, much more with the One whom the song is all about.
Listening to it makes me want to climb to the top of a mountain and sing it with all my heart and might until I have no more voice. It rekindles my love for the Lord Jesus Christ so much I feel like bursting at the seams!
The love of the Lord, it makes one so full yet one hungers for more, and more.
Maybe you could take a few moments to listen to it below? May you be blessed!
Thanks to phuoc05 for this video.