This week was really busy – full sched for meetings, things-to-do, etc. And I haven’t done any sitting-down activity to reflect and digest all the things that happened especially on my special day. Until now.
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I was born 29 years ago at 5:50 a.m. (and yes, I checked my birth certificate for that! haha) to my wonderful parents in a hospital in Bulacan. Many things happened before I was born and until this very day (and til I die) I was, am and will always be grateful to God and my parents for choosing me (and my siblings as well).
My whole life wasn’t that easy. It was a roller coaster ride. Joys and pains. Success and challenges. Victories and failures. Laughter and tears. Thinking about it now, I am amazed on how I survived all of them. Oh I know, it’s all about God’s grace.
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After that near-death experience in Mindoro last December, I promised myself and my God that I would really take care of myself. In all aspect, that is. I’m now busy working out all the aspects of my life that needs to be organized, or probably overhauled. Difficult and painful process, but hey! All beautiful things come in time and hard work. And God’s grace. So, i’m patiently dealing with it. (Help me Lord!)
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I spent my birthday in Pampanga with my Aunt, cousins, nieces and nephews, and a lot of strangers around me. Weird, I planned it to be simple but God had better plans! Probably because my prayer for that week was to surprise me on my birthday. But I never thought to be like that!
My aunt, our yaya and I went to mass early. The earliest birthday mass I’ve ever attended in my entire life – 7am mass. Praise God it was in English and the homily was in Tagalog. If there were Kapampangan words, it was easy to understand. Then, went to market, breakfast and headed to my date.
I promised myself and Mom that I would try my very best to spend my birthday with her. I started it last year and again this year. But this time, I spent it lying on the grass talking and praying with her, and reflecting about my life.
As I lay down beside her, I was led to the realization of thanking my parents for choosing me to live after all. And because of that choice, my life is blessed. Because of that choice, I am able to live the life God has planned for me. I am able to do what I am supposed to do. For I am destined to do great things for my family and for the Lord.
After spending some time with Mom, I headed on to my Nana’s house. Nana is the resident nanny for us, the Esteban cousins. All six of us were taken cared by Nana. The longest one was my youngest cousin, which lasted for 19 years. I didn’t expect that they were complete in their house. They offered me lunch, but there’s a small voice in me that told me to buy food to share with them. And so, I bought pansit luglog (a typical Kapampangan pansit) and cake. And an instant party for me! And some kids of the neighborhood even came and ate! It was just a little salu-salo but ended up feeding a lot of people! And the whole neighborhood even sang a birthday song for me (with hugs and greetings from strangers). What a random celebration!
Btw, there was this one kid who went back to me and said Thank You for the cake. It was the first cake she has eaten her whole life! And she’s 5 years old! Wow, Lord, thank you for making me an instrument to make this child happy with the cake! 🙂
As I went back to our ancestral house in Angeles, I got another surprise. My aunt said that we will celebrate our birthday together, and I only imagined it as a small get-together with my cousins and nephews and nieces. But when I got there, there was really a feast on the table! And different people, whom I never knew, kept on coming every now and then. She invited the whole barangay! haha And these strangers greeted me, and when they knew that i’m my Mom’s daughter, they never stopped telling stories about her. I never knew these people but they made my Mom’s spirit alive on my special day!
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I am not use to honoring, even if it is always done every year during my birthday. But this year is different. I opened my heart to listening and accepting all the things my team mates told me. And got surprise of how they described me – as if the one that they were describing was not me! I never knew I have inspired them that much. Amazing how the Lord changed me, molding me to the woman He created me. Amazing how He allowed me to touch these people’s lives and be a witness of God to them. Amazing how the Lord became alive in me, through me and with me. It is still amazing how these transformations happened. I guess, it’s all about God’s grace!
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As I look back on how the Lord allowed me to celebrate my special day, I can’t help but thank Him for the surprises He allowed me to experience that day and everyday. For the overflowing love from people I care about and even with strangers as well. For all those who greeted me from all parts of the world. From the people of the past, of the present and the possible future with them. I thank the Lord for the non-stop out pour of His blessings and for continuously telling me that there will always be many chances for me to stand up and create another beautiful story with Him. And for the first time in my life, I looked forward in getting a year older, for I know that this year, on my 29th year, the Lord has prepared something amazing that will definitely change my life. Whatever it is Lord, yes, I am prepared for it!
P.S. Thank you Kuh-kuh for this wonderful blog as a gift. Read her birthday blog for me here.