Sa Wakas! (Or, In English, At Last!!!) (Random Photography+ Summer Recap+ Boring Plans Nobody Wants To Read)

DSC_0585

First off, I am really, really, reaaaaly glad my pictures are visible again.

Also, second off, if it seems I’m using a lot of Tagalog phrases, there’s a good reason for that. One of my charries is a second generation Filipino, which I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

Anyway, how are you world?

Not very good, I know, I know. But you’re still spinning and coping, and inching away from summer all the same. Take a break, why don’t you?

(Actually no keep spinning, we’d be in huge trouble if you didn’t!)

Summer’s officially over.

And I– don’t mind?

How odd.

DSC_0499

It’s been a great summer. A hard one, but a great one nonetheless.

Let’s see..

DSC_0562

May was a happy month. May was when my sister flew back home, we drove to Buffalo, the cherry blossoms bloomed, and I started working on Mirages. May was a giant birthday prank, with lots of secret texting and emailing. May was joining Bible Bee, not realizing how much it would change my life. May was when summer warmed up, May was when it was all okay, May was the calm before the calm before the storm.  (That’s intentional)

DSC_0540

June was a whopper.

Lemme just say that.

In June, I got to fly out and see family. Family. And my folks’ definition of family extends to the inlaws’ inlaws. Somehow we all fit and it’s awesome. I got to hang out with cousins I haven’t seen in 4 years. And steal donuts. June was heavy plotting month. PLOT PLOT PLOT. It was fun. June was when I first met my Camp NaNo cabinmates, some of whom I’d just met and quickly became close friends.

And June was when I got my DSLR and life through these lens has never been clearer.

DSC_0541

July was HARD.

Yet somehow it wasn’t quite the storm.

Still, it was HARD.

July was Camp NaNo. July was Niagara Falls and Royal Ontario Museum and deep downtown Toronto and fireworks and late-into-the-night-discussions.  *gulps* July was typing away for dear life, blasting music at 100% at 1 AM, July was gulping all the bacon crumbles, July was all the “nobody asked you to join Camp NaNo” and the “you spend too much time writing” and the “do something more productive with your time” and the “go read a book” and pushing and failing and giving up and not giving up.

DSC_0595DSC_0596

July was cabinmates who were really friends who knew me too well and yelled at me not to give up. July was a caring, interested person who thought I was a hard worker and treated me like an equal. July was a sticky hot summer day spent under the shade of a tree. July was a surgery, anxious waiting. July was all the accusations fired and finding solace in the Word.  July was dreams refusing to be dashed.

July was no sleepy month.

DSC_0558

August was a downpour.

DSC_0577

August was me wrestling with a lot of questions, hoping to find the truth. August was rest from Camp NaNo. August was bonding with friends I didn’t know cared. August was baseball, and the smell of leather.

DSC_0594

DSC_0593

August was the crickets chirping late at night, August was reading past nonexistent bedtimes, August was re-reading my stories and making new ones. August was silent stares, and earphones on almost perpetually. August was being up at 7 am washing dishes and belting out songs that surprisingly didn’t wake anyone up. August was watching the sunrise. August was intense Bible study that I loved and memorization and Greek words and the joy of knowing God more than I ever did before. August was teaching an eager girl how to secretly take pictures, and helping kids climb and swing from bars and block punches. Don’t ask. August was music, and words, and pictures. August was trying to find a safe place.

DSC_0599

It still is.

DSC_0597

It’s only at the end of summer we’re grateful for it, why is that? 😛

And that’s been my summer.

Before I’d be griping that we couldn’t go camping or to an amusement park or hiking or to the fair, or any of the other things I saw other kids doing, and I wanted to but never did.

This summer I wanted to take every opportunity that came my way. I wanted to take it, no matter what.

And I did.

And for that, I am grateful.

DSC_0536DSC_0560DSC_0551

And now September’s coming and the recap is done and I’m left asking myself something.

Now what?

I know I wanna continue growing in the Lord. I know I wanna write my stories.

But I don’t know much else.

I don’t know how I’m gonna commute to my first job, if I get one next year. I don’t know if my stories will ever be good enough. I don’t know how I’m gonna handle school. I don’t know what will happen during Christmas break. I don’t know how the year will end, or the next year begin. I don’t know and all these speculations are filling my head too much.

I know God does.

And that’s enough for me.

All the intricate details of my life, I can leave in His hands.

DSC_0609

But I do know that writing is gonna level up. I love my stories, and maybe they’re worth being told.

Maybe after I finish Mirages, I can finish What Goes On In A Small Town, and polish those. Maybe I can start Remember Me, and maybe I can write Skirt Girl And The Hockey Rink.

I can’t wait.

So goodbye summer. I won’t forget you anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

HARPs #5! On Discouragement, And The Overall Feeling Of Failure

HARPs Featured Image

Hey y’all! I’m posting for The Happy And Random Posts Contest hosted by Starling! ( By the way, go check out her blog because it is awesome.) The topic is:

Type up encouraging posts for others to read 

*gulps* Ok, I can see that I’m not off to a good start thanks to my title, but oh well. Here goes.

IMG_2203

Have you ever been down in the dumps?

I’m sure we all have, at some point.

You’re tired and frustrated and it’s pretty  much hopeless. Discouragement stings like a slap in the face.

And boy, does it hurt! Like when you’ve worked for something so hard, only to be rejected because of something so trivial. You get an unfounded, hurtful statement that has no other purpose but to leave you mad. And hurt too, if you’re honest.

And sometimes, you have to wonder if you should just give up. What’s there to lose if you do?

But oh, my friend, what is there to gain?

I get easily discouraged. Maybe it’s a project gone terribly wrong, or maybe it’s a cloudy sky to ruin my plans, or a mean comment driven deep inside, it discourages me.

IMG_1743

I’m pretty sure the prophet Elijah knew exactly what I’ve been going through. He had just proved to Israel that Baal wasn’t any god, and the queen was after him.

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.  Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” – I Kings 19: 1-2 

As you can imagine, Elijah was scared and ran away. He was more than discouraged, too.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19: 4

Yep, you read that right. Elijah asked to die. Like a ladybug with a crushed wing, he truly believed he lost all hope.

It may have only been a really long test and all these little troubles for me, but I truly believed I lost all hope. Were we right?

No.

Why?

Because the sun breaks through the clouds! And the light comes out from the storm. And God is in it all.

IMG_1766

Sometimes, life is hard. Sometimes, life is good. God in there in the good and in the bad, the little things and the big things. And as Christians, we have not lost all hope, because our hope is in God. We just have to trust Him.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? – Matthew 6: 28-30

IMG_2470

Life may not be going well for you, or maybe it is.  Either way, God is there. And He will always take care of you.

My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if You can hear me
Please help Your child to know

That You’re always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant to be understood
Will You help us to trust Your intentions for us are still good
‘Cause You laid down Your life
And You suffered like I never could – Andrew Peterson, Always Good

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Points Calculator!

  1. 3 points per post related to the HARPs Contest – 3 points!
  2. Photos which are taken by you (2 points per photo) – 4 pictures, so 4(2)= 8 points!
  3. Completing Little Challenges (2 points) – if you caught that crushed ladybug wing part, I got 2 points!
  4. Total= 13 points! 

 

Thanks for reading!