Friday, September 11, 2015

I Learned My Lesson

"...You should learn your lesson this time!" shocked, upset, hysterical; they begged me from the other end of the line.

Of course... I recalled how things happened so unexpectedly, how the waters became all fierce, furious, stronger and deeper as we cross; how I had that first row seat watching the waters claim the lives of our friends, one by one... how I fought against the current, how I reached and held on to a hovering tree to save my own. I recalled my desperation, my helplessness...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the Beauty of Being Still

There had been an unexplainable guilt haunting me for not turning all the roller-coaster of emotions and events into words. It felt like they have piled into mountains that are no longer reachable; and buried deep in oceans, no longer explorable, all lost and forgotten.

I’ve been driving on the fast lane— juggling so many things, hustling for so many pursuits, wanting to be in control, beating myself towards unknown destinations. While the road seemed easy and the journey worthwhile,  I suddenly find myself stuck with flat tires and forgetting where I was actually headed...

You know those ugly feelings -- When you're wanting to do a lot of things, like a lot, and yet you can't. When you're clueless where to start. When all you have are ideas, then they remain to be just ideas. When you feel apologetic about so many things -- people, opportunities, etc., When you're frustrated for the lack of outcome. When you die to perfect a routine, (and yeah, your Instagram feed...) When God seems silent... I could go on and on.  Keep doing, keep trying, keep finding, keep seeking, above all — never ever stop. ever.

...Yesterday’s devotional perfectly puts it:
Doing the will of God is more about WHO you are than WHAT you do. We get so caught up on careers and influence and performance; getting it right, ticking boxes, getting our behaviour approved by others.
Today I am very thankful I found an oasis in an emotional desert. (A planned trip was canceled for the weekend, and I find myself finishing a chapter from my current read, then breaking into realisations.) You know how God, for countless of times, shows us the beauty in being still. Jesus asked Martha to stop and be like Mary, just sitting on His feet. He calms the storm, asking even the wind and wave, "Be still." He asked Peter to do away with his fears and doubts, and walk on water. 
You don’t have run after so many things. 

The things you were called for are lined up to run after you. 
Dwell in my perfect timing, enjoy waiting and stand in awe of the process. 
Free yourself, rest in my abundance. Leave space for my Grace. 
Be still - Stop running. Stop paddling. Stop performing. Be still. 
There’s nothing to prove: not to yourself, not to others, especially not to Me...

My King has spoken, and so be it...

If you, my friend, are in the same boat, whether too tired of paddling or just sailing just where the wind blows... I pray that you find your rest, stillness of heart and peace of mind in God.

"Be still and know that I am God." - Ps. 46:10



Featured Destination:

Visual Diary: Laguna Weekend from Angel de la Flor on Vimeo.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Secrets from the Streets of Shanghai

I always believe that the closest encounter one could ever have in an unfamiliar city is through its streets. Being just a visitor, you need to somehow find a way to genuinely connect with the places that you visit. The sights and sounds will fascinate you, but discovering the soul of these places will change you.

We only had a little more than a day to trace downtown Shanghai. No fixed plans, no data and no maps (well, almost.). We took spontaneous turns, hopeful steps and some couple of snaps here and there to capture moments. We searched for bricked walls, colored tiles, trimmed gardens, dirty alleys, (and H&M for Kara, haha!) and had the best time of our lives. 

We walked for hours and hours, enjoying anything and everything that we find along the way. Despite the language barrier, and the different culture, the streets would find a way to unveil simple mysteries to you; to get you in touch with their simple ways, their routine, their spirit.

The streets taught me secrets that actually made our trip really really worthwhile...
  • Smile is a universal language! :))))
  • Thank you in the local will go a very long way! Xie xie ni!!
  • Be street smart, wise and be safe; yet be completely OPEN!
  • Know when to rush, & more importantly, know when to slow down.
  • Even if you know the way, ask one more time.
  • Collect and capture moments, but LIVE in those moments!
  • Be brave and adventurous.
  • Boredom is a choice.
  • Be keen to beauty, & play with perspectives.
  • Have lots of FUN!

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