How To Develop An Attitude of Gratitude

Want to be more blessed? Be thankful!

Last night, I was listening to a preaching about gratitude. It spoke to me so much, I had to blog about it. I want to share the short talk I heard and add up some of my personal realizations. 

It may be hard to feel thankful right now with everything that’s happening around us, but what I learned is that it doesn’t take much to feel truly grateful within. The genuine attitude of gratitude can be practiced by everyone on a daily basis if only we have the right mindset. 

The talk was inspired by the letter of Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 4:10-19).

Just a background info (for those who are not familiar), Paul was once anti-Christ. He loathed Jesus. He persecuted Christians. He was an enemy of the church. One day, he got struck by an immensely bright light from heaven that it literally blinded him for three days. In that event, God revealed Himself to him, asking, “Saul (his former name), why do you persecute me?” That was Paul’s turning point. After that event, he completely transformed and decided to dedicate his life to preach the Gospel. For me, Paul’s story is one of the most, if not the most, inspiring transformation stories I have ever known. 

Based on the preaching that I was talking about in the beginning, there are four main reasons why Paul seemed so blessed. I believe that if we are able to practice these things, we will be able to master the attitude of gratitude.

Contentment

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”(Philippians 4:11).

Noticed how he used the phrase “I have learned”. Contentment is learned. It is not natural for humans to feel completely satisfied. We crave for things that we do not have. It takes time and experience, and of course, prayer and petition to learn how to be content. 

For a great start, learn to stop comparing yourself to others. Comparison kills contentment. Focus on yourself and your own growth. At the end of the day, only you and God can evaluate your work. As long as you did your best, you’re good. Things might not go exactly as you planned it, but sometimes, it is what it is.

Stop comparing. Just stop.

Last Friday, I felt God really spoke to me through one of my co-workers. Being the workaholic that I am, I was anxious about something, and I asked him for some input. We reviewed what we have done so far and we both agreed that we have done everything we could and more. Still, the outcome was not perfect. Then, he said, “You know what, Rina, all I can say is, have a good rest this long weekend and happy thanksgiving. You deserve it. You did your best, but there are people and circumstances that we cannot control. It is just how things are.”

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” (Galatians 6:4-5).

Being content, however, does not mean being complacent. Set a goal. Once reached, celebrate, then keep moving forward and go where your talents can be of good use. 

Detachment

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” (Philippians 4:12).

You will only know the meaning of plenty if you know what it is to have scarcity.

Little becomes a lot to people who have none.

Paul was once rich, but he turned his back from that and instead chose the hard life. He even went to prison on his journey to spread the Good news.

Detach. Simplify. Focus on the essentials. We are already blessed. Happiness is already within us, we just have to remove the non-essentials.

Commitment

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

The biggest secret of all: when you have Jesus in your life, you will be content, and this mindset can do EVERYTHING.

When you have Jesus, you can do anything.

This verse is not about self-belief, it is about trusting wholeheartedly that Jesus will fight the battles, run the race, and do the work you cannot do. 

In the process, don’t fear being vulnerable. Vulnerability is actually a show of strength – not only of you for admitting your weaknesses, but of God working in your life. You just have to trust.

Relationships require commitment, right? The same idea applies. When you give God your commitment, God will give you His. 

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

The promise: God will supply all your NEEDS (not wants). God will give according to His riches and generosity (not according to your works).

God does not only promise strength. He also promises to give you all that you will ever need. So, give your first fruits to God – time, money, service. Give freely. Remember, you can never outgive God. You can never give too much because He is the source of everything. His blessings are limitless.

Compliment

“At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:19).

When Paul wrote this letter, he was in prison. Can you imagine a prisoner being this excited and happy despite his situation?

Being blessed is a state of mind.

Happiness is not being in the right place/position, but with having the right perspective and state of mind.

Be grateful. Speak it. Shout it. Declare it!

I may have countless needs but I am blessed.

I may be tired but I am blessed.

I may be alone but I am blessed.

I may have gone through troubled waters but I am blessed.

Now, it’s your turn. Complete the sentence:

I MAY BE _____ BUT I AM BLESSED!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It is actually a statutory holiday. I love how a day in a year is dedicated to celebrate all the things that people are grateful for. Friends and family gather over turkey and treats to remember their blessings.

What a joyous sight!

Let us try to make every day a day of gratefulness and thanksgiving. I believe that when we practice this attitude of gratitude on a daily basis, life will be sweeter, more fruitful and generally more satisfying despite the lacks and losses.

Happy thanksgiving and see you in the next one!

❤️,

Rina

Honoring God’s Faithfulness As We Celebrate Four Years In Canada

Four years in Canada. Four Years of God’s love and blessings. An immigrant, single mom’s journey in a nutshell.

August 15, 2020. This day marks the exact date of when Van and I first arrived in Canada. Four years. Time flies so fast. Who would have thought we’d survive?

This week, we were strolling around the park where we used to go after Sunday mass. This was the only park we knew back then. We used to go there so frequently, it seems like we’ve taken photos at almost all its corners and sites.

Fast forward to the present, we’ve become well accustomed to the city. We’ve gained so many friends, tried numerous restaurants, and experienced the local culture like well, a local.

So many things have changed. As I look back, all I feel is gladness – glad that even if we are not in a place of perfect peace, we are not where we used to be. 

Let’s take a quick look back:

First arrival in Canada
First Day Of School
Bus rides all around
First winter
Sundays at the park
Pumpkin Farm
Eating taffy in Montreal
Niagara Falls 2016
Niagara Falls 2018

Folklorama

Beach trips
Sunflower Maze
Van’s birthday 2019
Serving at The Feast
Pinawa Dam
Camping at Steep Rock
Oh, just posing under a tree
On a recent Fellowship night

I have learned so many things in the last four years of being a single mom, living abroad. It sure is tough. There are days when all I want to do is cry because of exhaustion. There are nights when I go to bed and sleep almost instantly because I am tired working all day, maintaining a household, and looking after a kid. It’s been a one-man show for the past four years.

The light needs to be replaced? I replace it. The daycare is closed? I find child care replacement. My son is hungry? I fix a snack. Math homework? I put on a teacher hat. The Rubik’s cube needs to be scrambled? I scramble it. You get the picture.

People ask me how I do it. My answer is I don’t know either. I guess when you come face to face with any situation, you just muster the guts and simply deal with it.

In spite being able to hurdle all those obstacles, I cannot get all the credit. I may look like a Wonder Woman to some, but believe me, I’m not. This is where my life verse comes to play:

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Who allowed me to witness my dad replace a fluorescent light multiple times before? Who directed my steps so I can meet trustworthy and reliable friends along the way? Who gave the provision for us to have food on the table? Who allowed me to fail at elementary Math so I can master the concepts and be able to teach my son? From where does my energy come from? 

No one else, but the almighty God.

He was, is, and forever will be the orchestrator, the provider, the healer – the only one, who can make all things possible. I have nothing, absolutely nothing, to brag about myself. Every little thing is part of His perfect plan for us. It’s all Him.

We stayed in my cousin’s house on year 1, moved to an apartment on year 2, bought a house on year 3. Little miracles happened in between – full time work came, daycare spots opened, true friends met, and so on.

Every single day, I feel so grateful. I am able to survive, laugh, eat, and enjoy life despite the difficulties. Even if Van and I feel out of place sometimes because of our not-so-conventional family structure, the Lord never fails to remind us in simple ways, how favored and loved we truly are.

As I said, I learned so many things throughout my journey, but if I was asked to pick one of the most valuable, I would say, it is to learn to surrender everything to the Lord.

I used to want to control things and plan my own path. I never considered praying about it, or consulting God. In my mind, I want my own gain and pleasure. Disastrous strategy.

When Jesus saved me and called me back to the faith, I learned to let loose and chase after what God wants, instead of what I want. I wanted to please God first before myself. I learned to die to myself every single day.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

When I started aiming for what is righteous, true and pleasing to God, the worldly material possessions, relationships and money turned into a speck of dust in the very back of my head. I rarely think about these things anymore. What’s interesting is, that’s when God poured all these blessings unto me. I guess God just really wants to teach me that apart from Him, I am nothing. I learned to rely on Him alone and seek His face first. When I’ve mastered this, that’s when He added up beautiful things here and there.

Four years in Canada. Wow. This country just used to be a dream destination. Now, it is home. Thanks to all the people who supported us along the way. We are forever grateful. 

Happy anniversary to us, land of the Maple leaf, bear country, winter wonderland! Here’s to more fond memories and sweet tire d’érable!

Merci beaucoup! 🇨🇦🥂

When God Asks You Put Something Down, Believe That He Has Something Better

There are things in life that we have a strong grip on – a job, a person, luxury material possessions. We hold these things dear to our hearts as if life depends on it. They have become idols, and at times, the center of our lives.

If you have such bondages, be warned. Know that anything that keeps us away from putting God first is dangerous.

God thinks these things can distract us from being the best we can be. Because he loves us so much, He takes them away one by one, especially if it starts to take a toll on us.

Like a True Father

Imagine a father cutting off his child’s gadget time. The child loves the gadget so much and plays it nonstop. The father knows the gadget gives happiness to his child, but he is also fully aware that it can distract from studies, duties, and many other more important things. While it pains the father to see his child sad, he still uses his authority and take it away.

It’s because he knows that in the long run, it is for the best.

The child does not get it at first. He questions his father’s ways. Does my father really love me? If he really loves me, why does he take away things I like? Why can’t he allow me to be happy?

Be Alert For Red Flags

Like a true parent, God sometimes uses warning signs too – first, second and final warnings.

Initially, He might send a person to talk us out of our obsessions. He might orchestrate a circumstance to make us walk away from danger. Later on, He might stir our conscience and disturb us so dramatically, the message suddenly becomes so loud and clear:

PUT IT DOWN, CHILD.

His Voice, Our Call

But then again, God can only do so much. I mean, He is all powerful and can make all things possible, but He also gives us free will. The final decision still lies within us. Should we heed the call, or ignore it?

Be very careful during these times of discernment. It is when the enemy is strongly present. He will try to lure us away from God’s plan. He might persuade us into thinking that holding on to our bondages is not that bad.

Remember, a cheap present that’s wrapped in shiny paper and fancy ribbons does not change its value. It remains rubbish.

For example, a job that tolerates vices. I know of someone who used to work in a gambling-related account of a big company. Compensation was hefty, benefits were attractive, and location of work was very convenient. At first, he thought it was ok. But God continuously stirred his heart. He made a decision to look for other jobs, and with God’s grace, he landed in another position that’s way better and more helpful to society.

You see, when we decide to follow God’s instructions, no matter how painful and difficult it might be, He will equip us.

Stop Looking For Trash And Go After Real Treasures

One more point before I end this. Let me share with you the Parable of the Rich Fool. For those who are not familiar, here’s the full passage from Luke 12:16-21:

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Notice that the “fool” in this story is a rich man who has everything. He might have worked all his life to build up earthly riches and obsessed himself into working and working. Clearly, his focus was on his treasures. What did God do? Take his life away that very night.

Don’t let that “fool” be you today. Be receptive to God’s voice and act on it. Walk away from that relationship that’s dragging you down, uninstall that social media app that constantly wastes your time, release the unforgiveness in your heart, and give up controlling everything. Let go, friend, let go.

When God asks you to put something down, believe with all your heart that He has something better for you.

Happy new year, my dear readers! I hope this first blog post for the year has inspired you to look for nothing else but God’s best plan for you this 2020.

2019 was great as it was when I finally decided to go back into blogging. I hope to reach out to more beautiful souls and spread God’s love through my writings and musings.

See you in the next!

❤️,

Rina

When Waiting Becomes Too Painful, Maybe God Is Asking You To Wait A Little More

Have you been waiting for weeks, months, or even years for a prayer to be answered? My friend, I have one piece of advice: do not grow weary in waiting.

We all have different desires. In our limited human capacity, we try our best to achieve them, but at one point, we get tired. When we’ve exhausted all that we can do, yet answers seem so far, maybe God is asking us to wait.

Waiting is the least thing anyone wants to do.

We find it hard to stay still because we want instant results. We take matters into our own hands, ending up in disastrous outcomes, more often than not.

I believe God placed our dreams in our hearts for a reason – maybe for us to hope, to practice patience, to have a vision, who knows? All I know is that it is meant for the good. No matter what God plans to do with those dreams, we can be assured that He has a purpose for it.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

I have pretty decent patience ever since, but when it comes to highly frustrating situations, I have to admit that I used to take matters into my own hands.

There was a time a couple of years back when I let my temper get to me. I was not thinking clearly during that time, and I made decisions that I know I shouldn’t have. Up to this day, I regret all the things I did and said. Things could be better today if it weren’t for those actions.

When God showed me the nasty consequences of impatience, I promised myself that I will never let my stubbornness get to me ever again.

In fact, I have grown to really believe in the power of waiting that I even incorporated “patience activities” into my daily routine.

For one, I do intermittent fasting. When I first started this practice, my main goal was to lose weight. When I achieved my ideal weight, I realized that the routine also instilled in me patience and discipline. I was able to see the beauty of delayed gratification as it directly and personally worked through me.

Before, when I have something that I want to buy, I typically swipe my credit card, without waiting for the next pay cheque or billing statement cut-off. Now, I carefully strategize. I list down all the things I want to buy, then assign one purchase per pay period. At first, it bothered me that I have to wait every two weeks before I am able to get what I want. I mean, that’s what credit cards are for, right? For people to buy stuff with money they don’t have yet. As I look back, I am just happy that God gave me the wisdom to handle these things better.

I also try to teach my son the value of waiting.

We have certain rules in the house, and most of them require waiting. For example, he is only allowed to play his video games starting Friday night. He has to wait for the whole week before he can touch that controller. On weekday mornings, he usually finishes preparing himself first before I do. He always asks if he can watch TV while waiting for me. I always say no, to the point that I even made it an official house rule. More than a “rule set by mommy,” I explain to him the beauty of waiting. It makes him focus on his home readings on weekday nights, stay calm amidst the uncomfortable stillness, and have a better sense of appreciation once the waiting is over.

You see, waiting is not just for the big things.

Waiting is also for the small stuff that seem mundane. If we are not patient with the little matters, how much worse can we be with the big ones?

On days when we feel so impatient, let’s just think about the numerous bible characters who had to wait a lot. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years to have their son Isaac, David had to wait 15 years to become a king, the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert to get to the promised land.

At some point in the waiting process, we have to let go and simply keep our desires tucked safely in our hearts without trying too hard.

This does not mean we are giving up on our dreams. It’s showing God that we fully trust that He will fulfill those dreams someday. It may not be the way we envision it, but we can be sure that somehow, it will give us the joy we are yearning for because God thinks His version of our dream is the best for us.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)

The waiting will be worth it. Hold on. Keep on praying. God hears all our cries. Jesus did not give up on us. In fact, He died for us. He will never get tired of pursuing us. In the same way, let’s wait on Him, and don’t give up on our prayers.

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

I hope my long hiatus from posting was worth the wait. 😉 See you in the next one. God loves you.

<3,

Rina

What The Changing Seasons Taught Me (Plus Fall Photoshoot)

My realizations about the changing seasons, plus a fall photoshoot!

It’s the first day of fall tomorrow. The trees are changing, and the grounds are suddenly covered with yellow, crunchy leaves.

Gone are the warm summer days and the endless fun under the sun. While we all love the cool breeze of autumn, we know for sure that it signals the coming of the inevitable: the dark, cold winter.

Before coming to Canada, I didn’t get the full sense of the four seasons. I just know there’s winter, spring, summer, and fall. I thought it must be like in the Philippines, where the seasons change from sunny to rainy. No biggie.

Living here for three years, however, gave me a more meaningful understanding of the changing seasons.

Winter

Dark and gloomy. Sickening cold. Painful confinement.

That’s how I would describe winter. The days are shorter because the sun sets very early and rises quite late in the morning. The grounds are mantled with snow, and the cold outside can get unbearable (remember I’m from Winterpeg, errr Winnipeg). We rarely go out on weekends, simply because it is a hassle to go anywhere. Imagine wearing triple or sometimes, quadruple layer of clothing just to put the trash out. It can get really lonely and sad during this season.

Spring

The morning after. The light at the end of the tunnel. Muddy puddles.

Spring is when the flowers bloom, and the tree leaves return. We can now wear light coats, and stay outside longer. While it is still muddy outside, we can’t complain as this season gives us hope after the dark months of winter. It is much like a glimpse of the upcoming carefree, wild, and sunny summer.

Summer

Aaaaaah, who does not love summer? Putting aside the fact that daycare fees are skyhigh, there is nothing to hate about summer!

Children are out of school. Weekends suddenly get fully booked with beach and camping trips. Days are longer. Imagine going to bed at 9 p.m., with the sunshine still beaming through the windows. Because of that very reason, people stay outdoors and are generally happy everyday.

Fall

Leaves falling. Crunch sounding. Sunny yet cool.

After two short months, denial kicks in, as fall finally makes its way back to the scene. The breeze is cooler. School’s back, and everyone settle back to the usual routine of work and school. Bye bye vacation!

Back when I was still living in the Philippines, I never appreciated summer. It is always sunshiny there. Although there are rainy days, they are quite short and sporadic so people never really experience being confined in the house for so long just because of the weather.

The cycle of season changing goes on and on each year. Cheesy as it may sound, I can compare it to real life. There’s winter – the hard and dark moments, where we sit still, and bear the pain of problems; spring – hope comes and we realize that no hardship stays forever; summer – the most triumphant days of our lives, where everything seems to be going right; fall – where we are slapped back into reality and we see the beauty of balance between joy and calm.

I must say fall is my favorite. I like the striking contrast of sunshine and cool breeze outside. It also reminds me that life on Earth is an ever-changing cycle. We cannot live with only one season all our lives. To enjoy the best summers, we need to undergo the darkest winters.

Today, we went to the park and chase around the last rays of sunshine left this year. We had so much fun with friends! Thank God for this beautiful day. 🧡

We enjoyed taking these photos so much, and I hope I was able to emanate that to you somehow.

Fall is beautiful. Pruning is beautiful. Winter may come, but spring comes in the morning. Before you know it, your happy, summer days are ahead. So embrace your season. Go through the changes with bravery and watch yourself come out victorious.

<3,

Rina

Home Again: Manila Trip 2019

After three years, I went back to my homeland, the Philippines.

Hi! I know I’ve been missing in action for quite a while now. If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you know that I went home to the Philippines a month ago for my brother’s wedding, and of course, take a holiday while I’m at it.

Today’s post is all about that trip. Yeah, yeah, it’s been long overdue, but better late than never, right?

We spent a total of 19 days in the Philippines. I’ll try to make this entry as brief as possible.

We had a short layover in Vancouver, and a fairly long one in Korea. We planned to take the Korea Transit tour, but we ran out of time so I just did lots of Duty Free shopping at the airport.

When we arrived in Manila, my mom, dad, brother, and then future sister-in-law greeted us with warm hugs and kisses. We were all in tears. It was a very emotional moment for our family, especially for my mom, who has been enduring a knee injury for more than a year now. We went straight to Shakey’s to have our post-arrival bonding. Van and I missed eveything on the menu!

Sumptous meal at Shakey’s

My days in the Philippines were basically planned out right before we even arrived. I already booked my friends to meet me at specific dates and times. I had to make the most of of my short stay! See the photos below.

My Friends Since Elementary and Highschool

College Friends

Former Workmates At My Nursing Copywriter Job

My Cousins From The Doctor Side

I also watched live Philippine volleyball action. I so missed watching live. Because the game was held in the far south of Manila, my friends and I had to ride the PNR, which stands for Philippine National Railway. The experience was far from comfortable. In fact, I would never ever do it again. However, because the train passed all throughout Manila, I was able to see the city in its raw form – the slums, the big buildings, the jampacked highways. I was immersed back to my roots.

My Volleybeshies/Co-Nurses

I also brought my family to the Feast, a gathering of the Light of Jesus family every week. I am happy that I was able to bring them there. It was a wish granted in the perfect time.

The Feast Bay Area PICC

The Feast Pioneer With My Fellow Bosconian

The Feast Ortigas Galleria- Monday With My Former Schoolmate/Workmate

My favorite parts of the trip were my family’s bonding moments whether at home or outside.

Bonding At Home

Jeepney Ride To Divisoria

Van Reunited With Childhood Playmates

Araneta Center And Live PBA Game

Trampoline Park

Mall Trips

We also went to my in-laws house to have some BBQ and simple get together. We missed each other so much! It was a fun day of catching up, especially for Van and his cousin, Amara.

Bonding With The Doctor Side

The day before my brother’s wedding, we checked in at a hotel near the church and reception. We bonded in the hotel and also had time to go to a nearby mall. More bonding!

Day Before My Brother’s Wedding

The highlight of my trip was my brother’s wedding. I was so proud of him and his wife for pulling off everything. It was one of the best weddings I’ve been to. No bias. It was well planned and it was an enjoyable one. It was also a milestone for our family that we will forever cherish.

My Brother’s Wedding (Raw Photos)

The remaining days were just pure bonding. We even saw The Lion King movie on our very last day in Manila. Talk about stretching the time!

On our way back, we were able to avail of one Korea Transit tour. We went to Gyeongbokgung palace and Insadong. It was a mix of traditional field trip and shopping! It was so fun to finally walk on the streets of Korea. It felt like I was in a K-drama or something.

On this trip, I realized that apart from God, it is only our family who can give that sense of warmth and joy in our hearts. Although Canada is our home now, I can’t help but question myself, every now and then: “Should we just go back for good? I miss the comforts of having my dad, mom, and brother with me. I miss our daily bonding. I miss having a noisy house. I miss being physically part of something I know I truly belong to.” But then again, there was God telling me to shrug off the superficial feeling of emptiness. He repeatedly said, “My child, you have to go. You have to trust me. I have a plan. Follow what I say.” It is only God who can fill the void in my heart, and I know that as long as I keep on running to Him every time I feel down, I am good.

There you go. My Manila trip summed up the best I could. I also made a vlog about it. Watch it below if you want to see our adventures in action.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about this entry, and I hope to see you in the next post. Ciao!

❤️,

Rina

I Wore A Skirt Today: A Welcome Blog Post

Welcome to my blog!

I wore a skirt today, and I feel like another person.
I wore a skirt today, and I feel like a brave, grown-up woman.
I wore a skirt today, and people are noticing me like crazy.
I wore a skirt today, and I feel like
I can do anything.

img_3956-1

 

Hi! My name is Rina. I am a 30-something single mom living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I created this blog to document my adventures, big or small, and hopefully inspire a soul or two, while I am at it.

To be honest, I am not very new to blogging. I have a quite a few blogs up there,somewhere in cyberspace, but for some reason, I just can’t maintain it.
Nonetheless, blogging is constantly in my mind. The thing is, I ‘m not sure if I can keep it active once I restart – if I can think of enough content to write, stories to feature, skills to make it worth my reader’s while. In short, I have so many doubts and fears.

Then, today happened.

In Winnipeg, we have more cold than warm months. Winter lasts for like 5-6 months November to April). It’s crazy, I know. So today, the weather started to be real nice (+/- 30 degrees Celsius) as per Weather Network. Yesterday, everyone was in their shorts, summer dresses and sandals. If we are close, you know that I am a pants-type of girl. I don’t know. It’s just more comfy for me. Today, I decided to change it up a bit and wore a maxi skirt to work.

The moment I entered the office, everyone stopped and noticed me, as if rejoicing that I was in a skirt (hahaha). It was kinda awkward, but as the day went by, I realized, it was not bad at all.

Today, I realized that the fears we have in our head are just fears inside our heads. We are so clingy to our comfort zones that we fail to enjoy life and have fun.

My realization fired me up to write this first blog post after a long time of contemplating whether or not I should start blogging again. You see, we have to stop overthinking.

I am not pushing anyone to take the plunge and follow one’s passion without discernment, rather I want to encourage everyone to be brave, and to step out of that comfort zone. People often ask me, why risk living abroad being a single mom when I can actually live comfortably back home in the care of my parents? My answer is, “you never know what opportunities may come if you do not try and do it.”

I know I can always go back to the Philippines if things go berserk here in Canada, but so far, this land of the maple leaf has been embracing me like a clingy lover. Seriously. I love it here. But I would not have known that if I did not try.

Last advice?

If you want something in life, research about it. Read. Ask. Listen. Once you’ve set your mind into a goal, there is no turning back. Work hard until you achieve it. ONE STEP AT A TIME. Do one little thing everyday to fulfill that big plan, and one day, you will look back and see that those small steps have led you to your goal. And of course, be brave.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

No matter what happens, you can be assured that God is with you. You might fail along the way, but you just have to trust the process.

Today, I wore a skirt, and I am officially back to blogging. Woohoo!

Welcome to my crib and I hope you stick around.

<3,
Rina