FAREWELL 2016

It’s been a big, tough, heck of a year guys! And now it’s coming to an end. Are you ready?

2016 had it’s ups and downs. Many people had passed away this year, not only well-known celebrities and great men, but this includes my beloved Grandmother (the link’s to a poem I wrote for her.) The way I’d describe my 2016 in one word, which is a word I found myself using quite often: overwhelming. 

I’ve learned a lot this year. Felt far too much emotions for my own good. Wasted time. Savored moments. Cried. Laughed. Made new friends. Met up with old ones. Hurt much. Loved even more. Spent time with family. Sang my heart out. Murdered my brain over and over again (thanks to college.) And man, just thinking of all the things that happened in a span of 365 days… it’s not enough! HAHAHA I WANT TO DO MORE! And thank God there is a fresh, new, untouched year… 2017! You are greatly welcomed!

I guess I’ve decided to write again- after a long time of not doing so (too lazy to explain)- I’d like to dedicate this post to the many who made 2016 a year worth remembering. WOOH this is for YOU! ❤

To GOD first and foremost, no words can describe how much great things You’ve done in my life. I don’t think I’ve been keen in showing my gratitude and gratefulness for all you’ve done for me. All the time I’ve wasted scrolling on Facebook, watching useless poop on Youtube- argh regrets! I’ve been a such a hypocrite, I realized. I failed to place my focus on you, which resulted to frustrating and empty days. But thank you for never giving up on me and for not keeping me that way. You’ve sent people to look out for me and encourage me back to you. You were always, ALWAYS there for me with open arms despite my stupidity. Gah You’re the best, Lord! Thank you…

To my parents and baby sister who continue to endlessly support me with whatever decisions I make, ya’ll who never fails to make me laugh (and cry), who listens to all my stories and rants through skype- idk how ya’ll put up with me! It’s amazing!

To my relatives who treats me like a Princess (Repunzel to be accurate hahaha), thank you for always taking care of me, feeding my hunger and making 2016 enjoyable! I’ve learned a lot from you guys.

To all mah buds (close/notsoclose/beri close), thank you for putting up with my hyper, odd, cringe-worthy moments. Hahaha for that, ya’ll get a virtual hug!

I didn’t really plan much for 2017, but I’m hoping to do a lot! Probably join a dance class if ever I have the time. Paint, if ever I find the time. Sing ALL the time. Study harder. Go out more (huehue with permission from fam of course! Psh!) Most importantly, spend more quality time with my family and relatives. Dedicate all that I do to God. And just work with all my best. Hit me with your best shot 2017! (actually, not too hard)

Let’s look up to a productive and an amazing new year! A year filled with awe and wonder, and a life dedicated to Jesus ❤

Grace and Peace.

Man, Give Your Day A Chance!

Putting my feelings in one word would simply be: overwhelming. There’s so much I want to do in life and I want to do them NOW. All at once perhaps? Right now, I  have two hands (note-to-all-who-thought-“duh”: figuratively speaking) itching to buy a canvas and some painting materials and take a painting course. I have a mouth twitching to scream and sing my heart out. I have feet that wants to paddle a bike and eyes that wants to see the beauty of the world. I want to do A LOT. But no, I’m here cramming for my prelim exams.

The point of what I just said? Nothing much to your benefit. I just needed to let it all out, you know what I’m saying? Probably looking for someone to relate with. If you were looking at me right now, you’d see a poker-faced girl who looks bored and unenthusiastic about life. But deep deep down, I’m a ticking bomb waiting to explode! I just LOVE life and people and small things. I smile at the clouds and laugh at silly birds. I guess, to make this more beneficial to your reading, let me leave out some words of wisdom…

Give your day a chance.
– Max Lucado, “Every Day Deserves a Chance”

(I do not own this picture)

Today may seem like every other day. Your daily routine PLUS the additional (irritating) situations which ruins your seemingly ‘okay’ day. But seriously, FORCE yourself to look at the bright side. You may call it “false-joy” but in the end, you’d be glad you didn’t sulk all day long and linger at your pity party. And I know this verse may seem repetitive, but read it in a different perspective for once:

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Rejoice about what? If you read the whole context of the verse, it talks about the Lord’s mercy. It won’t mean much to you unless you see how desperately you need it. Once we realize how much He has done for us, how he pours out His love and grace to us, I don’t think we’d be so -neutral- anymore.

Just give it a try. Before you eat, pray and give thanks then savor each and every bite. While you do your chores, do it with joy and perhaps even go the extra mile and do the dishes as well! When illustrating the skeletal system for your AnaPhy class, add in some details and color it for the extra glam. Do your BEST in everything and bahala na ang Diyos sa lahat (the Lord will do the rest)

I may not be able to fulfill all the things I want to do, but in everything I do, I do it with gladness for the Lord. (Colossians 4:13) And before you know it, the day will turn out SOOOO much better than you’d expected it to be. Just do it for the Lord.

HAPPY TO SERVE!

 

In My Mind: Doubt Your Doubts

The past few months has been a struggle for me. Realizations, confusion, distractions. It was all too overwhelming, and though it was quite hard to keep it to myself, I managed to. I’ve never been this emotionally drained. I came to the point where all I’ve known and learned (about God and… stuff) just dissipated.

Somehow, I think the root to all this was when I passed by a Youtube video of “Nabeel Qureshi” and his search for truth. After watching his testimony, it felt like everything I thought I knew (about Christianity, in general) wasn’t enough- which it isn’t. It affected me quite positively at first. I was encouraged to learn more about the Bible and study it in a deeper level (but subconsciously leaving out my personal devotion with Jesus.) What struck me wasn’t how Nabeel, a devout Muslim, converted to Christianity. But the fact that seeking the “truth” was so important to him up to the point that he’d actually study the Bible to see for himself- that. Got me.

If Nabeel didn’t seek the truth (despite his faith in Islam), he wouldn’t have known Jesus more intimately. In my mind, it came off as, ‘What if Christianity isn’t true? Will I let myself live life without seeking the truth?‘ This led me to allow myself to become “open minded” to different views, beliefs and religions. As a result, I became more skeptical, doubtful and very confused.

But then again, though there are many people who can prove God’s inexistence, I find it impossible to disprove His existence. All around me, wherever I look, to the right or to the left there will always be a glimpse of God. Love, joy, purpose, creation… from specks of energy? evolution? I don’t think so.

No doubt, this was the most heaviest problem I’ve ever encountered in my whole 16 years of living. I can’t even put a name to it. What is this? All I know is that it is deadly. To doubt the very existence of God, whom I entrust my eternity to is very, VERY scary. Nobody can help me. I’ve never truly agreed to Ephesians 6:12 as I did on that day, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…” So, I prayed. There’s nothing much I can do but pray. I prayed a very honest, desperate prayer. More like a plea.

“God, help me to believe.”

At that time, it seemed like I had gone far too deep. But God had answered my prayer (He always does) and now, I am just so overwhelmed with joy! I can’t explain it. He is definitely working in my life, day by day. He’s working in everyone’s lives! In my family’s lives, my friends and it’s just all around me. People may say, “It’s just a coincidence ” or “just pure chance” but man, prayer after prayer after prayer and they’re all answered by pure chance? That’s a whole lot of chances. God answers in ways we cannot explain, ways we cannot see nor comprehend.

Don’t you just get tired of trying to search for answers only to find more questions piling up? I just want to be with Jesus. That’s all I want right now. And the pleasure and satisfaction I get from just being in His presence, can’t compare to anything in the world. And whenever I start to doubt Him, I just tell myself “doubt your doubts.”

Stubborn Pride || Short Poem

That smug face of yours
Provokes my stubborn pride.
Trying to prove you wrong
When I know that you are right.

A headstrong lass you are
But alack, so am I.
Arguments starts to raise
And our chins held up high.

What do I gain, dear Self
But a black and hardened heart?
“To win is to lose” my conscience would say,
But to lose is to dust my pride away.

Right now would be the time
To cut out this silly war.
But pride fears the word “LOSER”
Written in bold with an underscore.

That smug face of yours
I wish I could wipe away
Provokes my reckless pride
To make all things go my own way.

But God rebukes my foolish heart
And tells me to let it go;
Chew it off like bubble gum
And pop it with a blow.

There are times when I am right
And what I say does have a point.
But my emotion-masked retorts
Hinders the “good” in my intentions.

If what I say, truest of truths,
Is without a care or clue.
All they’d hear from my own mouth
Is my pride I try push through.

In the end I’d have to learn
From the shame of my mistakes.
A loving and humble heart
Is all it really takes.

Not fighting back and giving in
Doesn’t mean that you are weak.
In fact, you’d be rewarded
If His righteousness ye seeks.

Lord, please begin to humble
My own hard, imprudent heart.
I’m willing to give it in
And walk my way back to the start. – Mary France

 

 

Dear Nay || Poem for Lola

[Philippians 3:13]

image

Dear Nay,

I wish I had more time to spend with you.
And God, who is Good, had made it true.

When we- well you, talked the whole night through
About a certain story of your youth.
I listened patiently though it had become slightly repetitive
(Which is usual for a woman your age)

Retelling of the “good ol’ days” as each minute passed,
Your eyes would twinkle with fondness,
And you laughed and smiled to yourself
As if your memory was freshly fabricated just yesterday.

Though in all truth it must’ve been more than decades ago.
I’m glad I stayed and savored that moment with you.
Little did I know… your days were few;
Your nights were numbered and your time would pass.

I thought we’d have more birthdays together,
You and I on the month of July, the 22nd.
I promised myself that I’d spend more time with you,
But I should’ve done it sooner,
Because you left far too early.

And it didn’t register in my mind that you were gone
Just thinking about the things I’d miss about you
Was enough to make me realize that you won’t come back.

When they tell me to rejoice because you’re in heaven-
Is it wrong for me to say that I’m not happy?

I’m not happy because you’re in heaven…
And I’m not. I’m not there with you.
It’s a selfish thought, but the world is crashing upon me
And I’ve never been as homesick as I am today.

I just want to go home…

Death came sooner than I expected.
A dental student, a college professor, a friend’s dad;
Innocent flesh dying every minute.
And now you too?

But if you ask me how do I do, don’t you worry.
I’m fine now, thank you.
Does that mean I have forgotten you?
Of course not! I will remember you ’til I too pass away.

There is a time for everything…
A time to mourn and a time for joy.
For at night, I cried myself to sleep
But then the morning came, the sun rose and a new day begins.

I strain forward to what lies ahead,
And look towards what God has in store
For Providence gave all these things to me,
And He too hath taken them away.

Praise be His name still, rejoicing for the glory that is to come.
If death is swift and time is passing,
There’s no need to rush, for Life will come
And carry me home to see you again.

Sa muling pagkikita.

Love,
Dannelle

God’s Got it Covered! || Dormitory Bible Study

Last week was our Bible study’s first monthsary! Praise God! I had the honors of sharing the word that day. But before that, I had to go through the burden of my anxious heart. Our midterm exams were being held on that very week and unfortunately for me, almost all our teachers forced to squish their subjects in a day. Talk about a tight schedule.

I told myself not to worry, I still had a week to prepare for the Bible study. “And you have just four days to study for your exams. Good luck with that.” my conscience retorted. Thank you for the support *eye roll* but even so, I placed my trust in God, reciting Philippians 4:13 in my head.

Surely enough, as I was reading my devotional that night, I felt a pang in my chest that this was the message I was to impart. Joy, awe and worry filled my little heart. I said to God, “Wow, that was quick! Thanks Lord!” and at the same time I thought “But how am I to deliver this message? This needs a lot of studying”  Time.. time. Precious time. I barely had time to even study for my exams! At this point, I was panicking inside. My heart felt worried but my mind told me to have faith. God’s got it all covered. So I let it go. But deep in my heart, I still held onto a teeny weeny bit of doubt.

Without much time left in my hands, I tried my best to manage it, being careful that I do things by the grace that God has given me and not by my own strength. I had to keep in mind that everything I did was for the Lord, and not for myself nor for anybody else. I wanted to be sure that I took the time to wait and listen well for God’s instructions, that I wouldn’t hurry everything up.

No matter how much I studied, there was always this thug in my heart telling me that I had to pray. Knowing that this feeling wouldn’t go away if I continued to ignore it, I prayed very fervently to God. I prayed that God would remove the burden in my heart and replace it with desire and passion to share His word. I also prayed that all my fears would go away, and that He’d guide and lead the things me. God reassured me with through His word and His promise that His holy spirit would speak through me (Matt. 10:20)

Four days had passed and it was time to take the exams. I don’t mean to boast, but everything was breezy! I answered the test papers with ease by the grace of God, my brothas! With that done, the Lord strengthened my faith. I finalized the message I was to impart, prayed and off I went to the Bible study with the feeling excitement and anxiousness (still) in my heart.

As I spoke, my voice and hands shook, and I was stuttering the words out- but one thing is certain… everything that came out of my mouth was from God. I couldn’t have said all those things much less speak.. But God had prepared me for this and He certainly fulfilled His promise. God removed the perfectionist in me and I spoke with passion.

Glory be to God!

Lotsa love! ❤

A Thousand Times Forgiven || Poetry

Isaiah 43:25
“I, only I, am He who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake,
And I will not remember your sins.”


In the pit of my stomach
There lay a deep burden.
A hidden transgression,
One hard to suppress.

I dare not denounce,
But I need say no more.
The finale shall come,
My stained veil shall fall.

There is no secret
That stays long unseen.
Behind my painted smile,
Is my cowering shame.

I may seem strong
But the truth is I am weak.
I'm searching for help
Acceptance, I seek.

Time will come, I know.
Anxious, my heart waits, 
Tainted with contrite
For my true self to uncover.

Penitent was I, a thousand times more.
Forgiven was I, a thousand times before.
How long shall I dance in the sinner's ball?
Up and down, yet down I fall.

Apologies don't partner with repetition,
I should've known that by now.
But sin is embedded in my skin like tattoo
That only the blood of the Lamb can undo.

Jesus, tear off my crooked mask.
Gently break me piece by piece
To be filled with more of You. 
To be the woman You want me to be.

You see me as I am,
Broken, frail and weak.
A lost child stained in black,
Yet You still chose to love me.

You chose to forget my past
And forgive my sins completely.
You saw the real me inside,
The me I shall and will be.

I hid myself and You sought me.
I thought of my worries; You thought of me.
I ran away and You waited for me.
I came back dirty and You ran towards me.

How can it be, O merciful God
That You never run out of mercies?
How can Your love stretch out so wide,
For an underserving filth such as I?

I could hardly sleep with the voice of yesterday.
Echoing in my head, "sin, sin, sin."
I don't want to go back to where You found me.
I don't want to go back to where I've been.

Yet You tell me, "I have set You free,
Free from the chains that hold you."
Then why can I still feel its bitter ghost 
Slowly wrapping its arms around me?

I claim that I am dead to sin
But sin is not dead in a world so full of it.
There are demons that lay about 
Waiting to snatch its next victim.

So here I am once again kneeling in repentance.
"Forgive me, O Lord, a thousand times more!"
And in a gentle whisper You say,
"Forgiven, my child, a thousand times before."

- Mary France