Why not being okay, can be okay.

Mental health, emotional health, well-being, why not being okay, can be okay.

We actually make it harder for ourselves when we are in denial of our personal state as a whole. The same goes for our emotional and mental state. It is okay, not to be okay!

In this blog I’ll be sharing what we need to understand, what we need to do, why not being okay can be okay.

This pandemic has put as all in a corner and brought about restrictions that we never had, freedom has been redefined, our physical activities and daily lives disrupted, forcing us to adapt to a new normal. All these are a recipe for a roller coaster of emotional and mental stress. And I am not excepted from these either.

Here’s what we need to understand about emotions.

  • Emotions are valid, but we also need to learn from it.
  • Our emotions are important to God, God created emotions to convey something that we need to inquire of him and for us to anchor inGod.
  • Awareness of our current emotions enables us to respond with the right behavior.
  • Emotions should not define our behaviors but God’s Word can transform us through the renewing of our minds that results in right actions.
  • Emotions provides a rich source of information of the state of our heart.
  • Emotions is a gauge for processing and reflection and not a button for reaction.

First things first, Yes prayers and devotion should be part of every believer. The emphasis on this blog is the role of available tools and community in the journey that God has designed for us.

What we can do?

1. Recognize and validate emotions.

You have to recognize that your emotions are valid, it is telling you that there is something wrong and you have to act, left unrecognized and unvalidated, it is like a small stone inside your shoes rolling around that will, in time, trigger uncomfortable pain.

Left unrecognized, emotions can become an invisible layer of wall building on the layers of unsettled issues that will eventually blow up or create a relational divide towards key relationships.

We have to honest in asking ourselves the following questions:

  • How do I truly feel? am I frustrated? anger?calm? annoyed?elated? rage? jealous?
  • Where is it coming from? What is the source that triggered it? Example: a friend who normally greets me happily when passing by, did not do that today, that made me feel- unwanted/ rejected/ distant? Or made you think that you did something wrong?
  • Is there a potential lie I am embracing or believing because of what I feel? Example I feel insignificant, I am a failure, I am worthless, life is hopeless, I will never amount to anything.
  • What is the truth I need to embrace?Example I failed in a one time quiz, However that does not define me as failure in life. Here’s another one, “I will never be loved” the scripture say I am fully loved by God even before I was born.
  • For believers of Jesus Christ, what is your scriptural truth and worth? What does God think about me through my identity in Christ.

Tip: Research and understand the different emotions. It is helpful to find the right language with you feel and being able to distinguish it is important this enables us to respond with the right behavior. Google is rich source of listed of emotions.

2. Discover what works with you in understanding how you are taking up the emotions over the present situation.

One of habit I’ve develop over the years is keeping a journal. The process of writing has taught me that there is more to what really feel.

Another is running or walking, because I am an aesthetic learner. I am better able to process my overwhelming emotions and thoughts, doing these is also relaxing and has been helpful to focus on what truly is going on.

Self talk when walking, running or in solitude moments has been very helpful to process and understand why I am responding in a specific way.

Lastly having meaningful and honest conversation with a community of friends and spiritual community. These are vulnerable and unfiltered moments of conversations with people who provide safe place to fully express without being judge.

3. Actively participate in group discussions.

Being part of a community wherein you can freely express yourself without judgement and prejudice. These groups can be your friends, church community, Bible study groups, mentors and coaches.

Connect with other people, know what they are going through, aside from being listened to, be a listener to what really going with others.

We need a community that speaks truth and grace in our life, encourages us, speaks faith and points us back to our relationship with God and the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.

To answer why not being okay can be okay.

Not being okay can be okay because it can be a starting point of knowing ourselves better and this can be an opportunity of growth towards Christlikeness.

Not being okay can be okay because it can be a springboard of meaningful conversations with key relationships and staying connected to God.

Not being okay, can be okay when it is growing your character more, molding us to be more patient, gracious, understanding, content, forgiving, developing self- control, faithfulness, kindness, endurance. That is when it is definitely not being okay can be okay.


I am not perfect in following these principles either, I am still a work in progress but strive to build continuously in these areas. I am grateful for the gift of relationship with God and other people, that has encouraged me when emotional roller coasters arise. I would love to hear what you think about what you have read, or if there are things you think I could add or improved on this blog.

The truth that needs to be reaffirm daily.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

The Bible teaches us, we are not only saved by grace, but also living life by grace, every day of our lives. This so important yet so little understood or practice by christians.

Saved by grace, living life by grace .

The sound good faulty motto: “God helps those who helps themselves.” This is actually transactional.

It sounds and looks like this; if I try harder to be good maybe God will bless me more, and change myself maybe God will be gracious to me. If only I can commit more in serving the church, in giving, disciple more people, evangelize more, do good more with some help with God.

Remember what the apostle Paul said; “ But by the grace of God I am what I am”.

The truth that needs to be reaffirmed daily is this,

My daily relationship with God is base of the merit of Christ instead of my own performance.

God’s transforming grace liberates us from the daily performance mentality and sets us to faith place alone on Jesus Christ.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

2 Peter 2:18 ESV

May we learn to pray 2 Peter 2:18 in the journey of our lives, May we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus.

This writen entry is from a book I am reading at the moment titled “ Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges. These are my take home notes, from the preface portion. There are more from the book itself.

How’s and tips to start a reading habit.

I previously shared about prioritization of personal well being for 2020, one of they key aspect of habits to build upon is developing habits for the mind one of those is reading.

How can someone love the idea of daily reading or actually make it a habit? On this blog, I looked back to my experience and sharing the how’s and tips of it.

The reading habits of ultra-successful people is an article that may just inspire you to make reading a habit.

Reading is powerful, it takes you places you’ve never been, imagination beyond compare, it enlarges your knowledge and enable you to grow your understanding in so many aspects in life. It’s like meeting with another mind. Here’s my How’s and tips for you.

Find and explore the kind of book that interest you, Not bore you.

Let’s admit it, we don’t like boring readings,maybe just maybe, you haven’t really found what really meets you mind. As a starter, it is good to start with books that interest you first. This is the identification of your which genre of literature your into. Take this as your adventure and exploration time. It is best to find the books that meets your interest and enjoys most.

Through time I realized I have enjoyed multiple genre of book, I first started with Tom Clancy’s Virus, eventually ending up reading his other novels. Now the books I’m into are from a wide range of leadership, wellbeing and spiritually. How about you? What kind of book interest you most? Let me know at the comment section.

Read with a purpose to enjoy and right mindset.

If your not enjoying it, then your dreading it! Your first 5 minutes on the book will allow you to determine if you will continue reading it. However if this a course requirement in academic you are in pursuit at the moment. It is important to take heart the value of the book in your life pursuit.

If your reading a book filled with technical terms, reflect why you are reading it and why it is worth it, taking the time to devour and invest upon. When I was just starting the habit of reading, my primary motivations was for me widen my vocabulary, as I grew in understanding I grew in appreciation and in knowledge.

Challenge your self to a 20 minutes daily book reading.

Starting a reading habit can be overwhelming for a non- reader, to help you focus, setting a timer may just work for you, for a start set a ten minute or 20 minute timer and put an alarm at the end. Before setting the alarm, be intentional in keeping way with digital distractions. Keep away from mobile devices for more focus.

After the alarm rings, take a pause and think what you got from your reading. Take a 5 minute walk, do other task, play a game on your phone, have a short conversation with someone, do push ups then go back again to your timer to continue reading. The short break helps reboots the mind.

As time past, as you consistently do the daily habit, you will notice how you will naturally increase your reading time.

Handwrite your learnings from the books.

Having a pen and notebook at hand is very important in the process of handwriting your light bulb moments at the same time it helps keep retention of the valuable lessons or principle. Handwriting activates the brain more than keyboarding because it involves more complex motor and cognitive skills.

Handwriting contributes to reading fluency because it activates visual perception of letters, hence it is crucial for note taking. Taking notes by hand is vital for ages because it improves attention, comprehension and results.

Share your learnings with others.

The process of recalling the topic reinforces your mind to think back, giving more retention of the knowledge in our brain. Downloading your learnings does not need to be awkward or sound boastful, there is graceful way in putting it in conversation with the heart to help others, your insight may add knowledge to others and might just be very helpful. I enjoy listening to my friends, part of our regular conversations are sharing insightful ideas we have picked within the day or week. This kind of conversations stirs the mind for new things and great ideas.

Join a group books study or book club.

Part of the perks and privilege of my work is passion for growth and learning, and this is translated in our book study together and then we get to talk about it in our meetings. After all leaders are readers. That experience was really helpful for me, having the deadlines to meet, being accountable with my teammates and sharing my insights about the chapter gave me the extra push to do my readings. The principle of doing a book study together as community gives way to a more insightful learnings and conversations.

Conclusion:

The end goal is to make reading a habit, to enjoy and love the journey that each book leads you. It is not about how many books you can finish, thought that would be wonderful.The a journey of enriching the mind, heart and soul should ultimately lead us to help others. May our learnings leads to actions that impact lives and communities.

Personal Well-being Priorities for 2020

Where your priorities are, there your time will be. Personal well-being is just as important as our external priorities. When we are healthier on the inside, we live better lives and thrive despite life’s challenges.

No one else will take care of your well-being but you alone. In order for us to continue to serve the world, our private world has to be in order.

Below are 3 areas of our well-being and some suggested habits we can build to to help enrich it.

Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Aspect

  • Creating morning routines
  • Reading
  • Meditating
  • Spiritual practices
  • Journaling
  • Working on a meaningful project
  • Taking trips on a weekend

Physical

  • Walking
  • Joining fitness classes
  • Spending time in Nature
  • Have a good enough sleep that works with your body rhythm
  • Eating healthy
  • Excercising regularly

Social

  • Spending quality time with love ones
  • Talking to family and friends over the phone
  • Volunteering regularly
  • Attending cultural or sporting events.
  • Community involvement

In order for us to keep serving and loving others, we need to learn to love and take care of our self first; that is being intentional of a healtheir you inside – out.

How about you? What best practices for well-being helps you the most? Or what new habits for well-being will you be starting this year? I’d like to hear from you at the comment section.

My appreciation as a newbie in Spartan Race.

Me and my friends participated the sprint race category at the spartan race held at Alviera, Porac,Pampanga last October 27, 2019. This was my first time to ever join an obstacle course challenge, which consisted of 5 KM and 20 Obstacles. This race category is perfect for benginners and thank God my friends choose this.

I thought I came prepared, I had 3 months of endurance training prior to this event, but the moment we where lining up for the registration under the scorching heat of the sun it was already draining the life out of me. It turns out I didn’t have the endurance for the weather and scorching heat has always been a weakness for me. On the 3rd obstacle of the race I felt my body was shocked with the heat. Asking myself, where did all my preparations went? Though I did prepare, I can now say I was under prepared to what came that day.

Disappointment hit me, when I failed the monkey bars while my teammates made it well and I had to do my first 30 burpees in return, causing my team to wait, I have observed that my body was constantly catching breath after that, heavily breathing even as I slowly walked towards the next obstacle station, that was the Atlas Stone Carry, this was just a 6Okg stone ball, this was frustrating for me as I couldn’t lift it up. I felt life was coming out of me, while my teammates made it through, I was taking time and felt I was delaying them. But my teammates was very supportive and encouraging, they help me lift it up, assisted all through until I’m done with the atlas carry.

It was a humbling experience and the most physically exhausting challenge I ever had in life in so far, I wouldn’t have survived it if not without my teammates who helped and gave so much encouragement during the most difficult and struggling obstacles. During the sandbag and bucket carry, I had to stop several times and just catch up some air, spartan racers who would pass by me, utterred simple yet very encouraging words. Those words of kindness help me kept going but quitting was not an option. This race made me appreciate so much teamwork and life made more meaningful because of others.

Though making it through the Spartan race with a medal can be a bragging right. The medal reminded me more of undeserved grace. For now I will push harder and will continue to challenge my own limits as I prepare for Spartan Race 2020. Thankful to God above all else for this experience.

Why I had the best ever singles getaway this year.

This year’s single’s getaway theme was “PAUSE”. In a busy world and with our minds filled with things to do and life pressures, hiting the pause button is exactly what we need.

And here’s the reason why I love this year’s experience and if this will done again, I would definitely come and even if I would be married by that time.

▪️ It was more of Physical Rest. We normally think of more session and having team building games, that somehow kept you busy and mentally equip at these type of events. But instead we were given more time to sleep! Which is exactly what we needed, being a generation that’s highly deprived of sleep.

It was my first time ever to enjoy a siesta! A good after lunch sleep. And that was really refreshing.

▪️ It was more of a Personal Reflection. The session was less of a talk but rather lead us to an activity that help us reflect and see our personal journey in life through the consolation and desolation cycle activity. I have realized so much that despite the desolations I went through in life, God always provide a consolation. Through this activity it showed me that no matter what happens next, I will still see God’s goodness. That was really, faith building for me. I love the fact that I was able to share it with fellow participant and prayed about it.

▪️ It was about listening to God through his words. Again this session was of less talk from the facilitator but more on hearing God through the reading of the word. It was at this time I felt God speaking loudest in my life and actually Him giving a word to what I have been praying for the past few weeks.

This is really what I really needed most, a much needed time to hear God and away from the busy life. This getaway provided that avenue. It was more of an equipping in a way we can do in our daily life. Hiting pause is like a life reset button.

▪️ A much needed silence and solitude. The venue was so perfect and beautiful, it actually provided the environment for a much needed silence and solitude, which was actually encouraged during our stay at Balay Indang.

At this day and age, the principle and practice of silence and solitude is what a digital busy age needs. Even away from digital devices. It’s a good time to reconnect with our inner most being, acknowledge and name the underlying emotions that matters most to God the Father.

▪️ Friendships was forge organically. There was absence of pressure of meeting people nor mingling with via activities. It just became organic as we connect with one another over the sumptuous meals we enjoyed and board games we played.

▪️ It was about hitting the pause button, not about being single. Maybe the most dreadful part of being in a single getaway is the feeling that you get why you are still single? That feeling of being matched? Maybe of being fixed? (Singleness don’t need to be fix) And you don’t want to be part of it again. Thank God this was all about a much needed Pause and connecting to God, that really ministered most.

To the organizing team! (photo above) Thank you! We appreciate you! That was the best ever so far!

More photos below: (Food, Venue, Wonderful People)

How to Raise Funds for a Summer Youth Camp

Summer youth camps are just around the corner! For instance, Every Nation Campus Ortigas will be holding its youth camp titled “Wildfire” on May 25 – 27, 2019 at Caliraya, Laguna.

In reality, youth camps can be pricy but finance should not be hindrance. How can a student like you be able raise funds? Below are list of suggestion.

1. Pray & Save 

Yes! Pray first, remembering to ask God for provision and wisdom in doing the fundraising. God is our ultimate provider and hold  on of His promises from the bible.

PiggyBank

Save money, and set aside from your allowance. You may need to make some sacrifices maybe by skipping  a few Starbucks drinks, KFC meals, or movie tickets. Keep in heart that the youth camp is all worth the self investment. Keep the exciting vision of meeting new friends, having fun, having a great experience, and the life changing lessons to be learned.

2. Make a list of people

kid-making-listIf you are raising Php 3,500, try to list down 35 people who can donate  Php 100 each or 70 people that can give you Php 50 or maybe 7 people who can give you Php 500 each.

Start the list with your family members, relatives, neighbors, and friends. Raise more than enough, so you can also bless others!

3. Ask for referrals 

refer_a_friend

Approach the people in your list, after asking them if they can donate. Ask them if they can refer you to others who may be able to help you. Ask politely for names of at least 3-5 people. Remember to politely request if they can inform these people in advance before you contact them within the next 3 days! Yes, make sure you do the follow up too! Don’t forget to thank them.

4. Selling 

UE students doing a garage sale for Leaders Camp 2016 U-Belt

Fundraise through selling. You can do this individually or as a team. Show off  your baking skills like making cupcakes, cookies, graham balls, or pastillas. You can also make T-shirts or pens. Gather your slightly used fashionable clothes and accessories for a garage sale.  Make sure to personalize your product by putting your name or the title of the youth camp event. Don’t just sell the product, sell the vision that you and your friends will be in the youth camp! They are investing in the next generation leaders every time they are buying your product.

Make sure to mark up your price, for example if you make a T-shirt that costs you Php 100, sell it for Php 200 or more. Remember to sell the vision and that their support will go a long way.

5. Service through chores or job

Ask your parents, relatives, neighbors, churchmates, or friends if there are chores or job you can do in exchange for a donation.

DSC02011

I will never forget a great friend who offered car washing services a few years back just to be able to attend the camp. There were the students who help me cleaned the apartment in exchange for their registration for Victory Weekend. To what great heights are you willing to raise funds?

6. Organize concerts

If you and your friends or schoolmates have all the time, all energy, and resources to pull this off, why not? Be mindful that this needs a lot of preparation and consideration. This is great if you are raising funds for more students in your campus or community to attend. This is the least of all I recommend.

7. Utilize use social media

Make use of Facebook, and let the world know that you are fundraising. Tell them that they can help you by donating or buying your product.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 7.03.13 PM

8. Set target goals

Set a target goal amount to raise up every week. If you have 7 more weeks left, write a specific amount you need to raise. Be in faith to reach that amount and that you’ll be able to complete it before the deadline.

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I’m excited for you as you raise funds and encounter God’s faithfulness. Have fun and  always be in faith for God’s provision. God is more than able to bless you more abundantly than what you can ask or imagine. Remember to honor Him and worship Him as well as you give your tithe, remembering that it is God who gives you this provision.

Blog updated: 3/5/2019

Will your future be thankful from your decisions today?

We are, who we are today because of the decisions we made in the past. If you are physically fit today, it’s because you decided to commit to being fit. Maybe the best question we can ask ourselves today is “Years from now, will I be grateful for the decisions I made today?”

We have been given the power of choice everyday, you have been given the wonderful ability and privilege of embracing life changing decisions. It starts with a decision in the heart and mind to believe and step out in faith.

Let me share my story with you.

More than 10 years ago, during 2009 prayer and fasting week, I prayed and believed for the impossible to happen in my life and that was to go back to college and get a degree. During that time, I was working as a call center agent and helping provide for my family in the province. The financial challenges in my family drove me to give up the dream of a college degree and accept the weight of being the breadwinner.

But it was through a class in church back in 2007 that once again reignited that desire. Since then it has been constantly brewing in my heart, a hopeful thought that haunted me for two years. My response to this thought was resistance and saying how could it be possible? Considering the weight of responsibility I felt for my family. Who would support and help my family if I pursue my desire?

At the 2009 prayer and fasting, I said to God, yes I want it, and I want to continue. Started believing in my heart what can be, rather than what cannot. I felt it was God calling me on this and it was Him who put this desire burning in my heart. The one who called me is ultimately faithful and in that I rested.

A month after the prayer and fasting, my mom called me up to share her good news! She was hired to work in Macau as a domestic helper. The month that followed was another answered prayer, my sister’s education in a private school will be fully supported financially by a relative until she graduates. Isn’t that great?

God took off every hindrance, showing that truly nothing is impossible with Him. That year I resigned from work and went back to college as a full time student. The journey wasn’t easy, there was plenty of hurdles along the way, but the very words of God brought sustenance and strength throughout the journey.

Today I am grateful that I had made that decision to respond in faith. I am thankful that God enabled me to move in hope in a seemingly cornered and hopeless situation. This experience enabled me as well to see God in action in my life.

But truly the best decision I ever made was the moment I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart as my Lord and Savior back in 2006. I would not have the faith to believe for the possibilities If I did not embrace his Lorship over all things . I am in Christ, so is my life and all it’s circumtance.

These decisions where acts of faith to a faithful and all powerful God that brought so much joy and gratitude in life. It was not because I made a good decision but because it is God’s character who is ultimately good and faithful.

At the end of the day, we all make faith decisions.

Three things I want to point out;

• Never make life decisions base on personal limitations.

• Pray and trust God in all circumstance.

• Obey and act in faith in accordance to God’s words and promises.

What decisions are seemingly challenging and impossible for you, but will make you thankful in the years to come?