Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ties rekindled: January 12, 2015

Tonight, I saw friendship in a different light. And I like what I saw.

Carrie, or Caridad as I would often call her, was a UP (University of the Philippines) chum. Prim and proper -- until she reaches the (in)famous Speech Nook at the AS (Arts and Sciences) Bldg. in Diliman where Speech Association members hang out and were often shushed by professors coming down the stairs, neat, not a strand of her pageboy out of place even after that long bus ride from Pasay to Diliman. She was almost like a sister actually, from 40 years back! And I don't mind giving a broad hint of our ages. Those years glowingly withstood the test as tonight showed.

Tonight, with another Nook habitue Deo, we had fun recalling names and faces and characters and incidents over Japanese food at SumoSam. The overnight rehearsals of "The Queen and The Rebels, the out-of-town stints of Tisoy, the "love" triangles (real and imagined and staged), trips to Baguio and Navotas and Philcoa, etc. Then there was the catching up...
With Carrie at an UPSA party in Paranaque in 1966 
and with Deo somewhere in BelAir in 1968

What I still can't get over is the fact that it was as if we've always been in touch. The truth of the matter is, I "bumped" into Carrie on FB sometime in September last year. It was one of my "empty" hours which I decided to  spend searching for some long-lost friends on FB. I chanced upon someone I thought could be her and sent a private message. My PM having entered into her "Others" folder, she only replied about a month later.

And that set the ball rolling. Then things just flew like clockwork. She said she was coming in January 2015 and we readily found a slot when we could get together.

And so, tonight happened. A short but sweet reunion of old friends from way back. Deo and I have been in touch and would meet for breakfast from time to time. But Carrie was "lost" for so long! Or so I thought. Because she never was as tonight proved. She was just away. That's all.

How wonderful friendship can be. It can soothe a tired soul, energize it with just a quick glance into memories of times past, and even rev it up to want to see other friends from way back.

Alas, we were too busy with the chit-chat, we did not even remember to have the usual selfies. But I for one, have the heartwarming image in my mind and heart, which are after all the best places for such.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Blockbuster Doctor

May 31, 2017

My doctor is Vic Sotto, AiAi delas Alas and Vice Ganda rolled into one. Or if one prefers, Michael Jackson, George Clooney, and Beyonce.

He is a blockbuster doctor.  And yes, there is such.

My comparison has solid basis. His clinic hours beginning at 3 p.m. sometimes run to 4 a.m. the following day. His list for one day can run to close to a hundred. For his patients, this means at least an hour's wait is -- WOW! 

Unbelievable? Well, ask the guard at the main entrance. Ask his driver-bodyguard. Ask the roving guards. Ask Nora, his secretary. Take a look at the countless patients' records on file. Or ask his patients, some from out of town coming over by land or by air. The familiar but nameless faces (because in many cases, that's all they know about each other), have evolved into a community of sorts. Oh, most are able to connect the faces with the names, particularly the personalities -- in politics, entertainment, business and the local art circle (because my doctor is also an artist who has completed hundreds of paintings and a collector of hundreds by major Filipino).

In spite of the horrendous schedule, my family starting from the previous generation   consider him the family doctor. Palpitations, cough, some growth as well as pain in whatever part of the body, etc. -- he is it. 

I can't imagine going to any other doctor. He is patient, explains things in a way you'll understand. He does not rush just to tick off your name from the day's list. He is also open to questions via text -- how cool is that! (But this I only do whenever really necessary.) He is abreast of developments and is well-rounded in spite of or perhaps because of his Harvard degree in medicine.  He's interesting and fun too especially when the conversation turns to art that he seems to become oblivious of the full waiting area in the deepening night. A techie, he maintains a Facebook account (perhaps tinkering with it more possibly on Wednesdays, his official day-off). He is consistently positive, open, and accepting.

When it comes to bedside manner which is crucial in medical practice, he has a way of giving patients a disguised push for one recovering from pain or discomfort. For instance, on his visit to me in the hospital day after my mastectomy, he lifted my left arm overhead without warning and said, "Galing!" I guess this was why I didn't go through what many mastectomy patients do, i.e., not be able to lift their arms overhead sometimes for months due to pain.

He visits his patients who are confined, even on Sundays. And too, while some may consider this minor, I really think it's cool that he sends his patients Christmas wishes via text. Even if it's one message sent to all by his secretary, I don't know how many doctors even think of doing this. And -- add to all that -- his handwriting is legible!

But I guess I am no different from many others. That's how many of us patients are with our doctors, at least with our favorite doctors, they who conjure pleasant memories of even the most trying circumstances in one's lifetime. Just the very sight of the guy or just the sound of the familiar voice breaking through one's sleepy stupor in a hospital room, is enough to perk us up. Magically the physical discomfort becomes a mere bad dream. Thus when in need of other medical specialists' care, he nevertheless heads the team.

This here is a photo story. My feet during my most recent check-up do the telling of what I typically go through while waiting.

First few minutes, feet together

In a while, right foot moves over left.. then the left one over right...

Still left over right here but in a slighted adjusted position

Crossed legs this time, right over left.
Feet come together in a somewhat unnatural way. Then they suddenly come apart.

Oooppps, where have my left leg and foot gone, Probably irritated at this photo bomber
both left and right decided to walk over to the nearby convenience store.

Back from that brief departure. Soon after sitting down,  a familiar name is called.         
It's my turn! Quickly I prepare to enter his clinic.

But not before I take one last selfie (hehe-- Pinoy na Pinoy!).

I'll take the waiting anytime, Dr. Renato Cheng. May the Lord make many more of your kind.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What's with rements, anyway?

I never thought that that teeny-weeny Lipton bottle with a faux peridot that came as a keyholder or dangler would spark what promises to be a lasting passion. 

A staple yield from each of my numerous trips to Japan in line with my work in the 2000s would be cute little key-holders and mobile phone danglers that came as premiums or freebies. I recall how I would stare at the line of bottled drinks on supermarket or convenience store shelves with these freebies 
hanging from their necks in expressedly designed plastic packaging. Most were replicas of popular bottled drinks -- mineral water, soda, tea, coffee, energy drinks, etc. But there were also assorted novelty items like cakes, cartoon characters, animals, etc. Once home, I would give them to family and friends and enjoy their shrieks of "Oh how cute!!!" as I handed out each mini. 

Yes, I gave them all away. Except, as I found out a couple of years ago that all that time, I had kept the Lipton bottle. I took pictures of it not knowing what to do with it but surely I was decided to keep it for myself.  

Soon after, I discovered on Facebook that other people were into such things, freebies and other amazing miniatures. I also found out that these items are available from selected online stores and were in fact among the best sellers. One needed to be alert to beat other buyers who seemed to have been engaging in this online trade. Otherwise one loses the chance to buy the desired mini and wait until s/he comes across it again in the future. These are priceless collectibles because most of them are freebies one can't 
simply buy. If available on ebay, they are expensive.

In the process, I learned that miniatures are also called rements. "Rement" is  a derivative of the phrase "reform the entertainment" signifying the intention of Re-Ment, Co. Ltd., a toy company in Japan, to revolutionize toys. It embarked on the manufacture of miniatures of characters in partnership with Disney. 

Alas, the term is not recognized by the dictionary. In spite of this, it eventually became generic (of sorts) especially among collectors.

I think they became popular in Japan because they appeal to the whimsical non-stereotypical side of the Japanese. The Japanese seemed free from the gender and age stereotypes common among other nationalities. I found it refreshing to see Japanese men with purple, bright yellow, or fuchsia mobile phones, complete with various pluggies and danglers which were usually seen among young females. Likewise, elderly women and men sporting youngish fashion. If one likes something for himself or herself, then he or she goes for it without any qualm or fear of attracting attention, much more censure from others. The Harajuku* regulars prove the Japanese are pretty non-judgmental and how I wish we could be more like them in that sense. 

I soon became a regular 
in online stores, watching out for those mini bottles. Some are pre-loved or pre-owned but what they represented and looked like were what mattered to me. 

I then realized at one point that I had accumulated quite a number. And I didn't know how to set them up so that I could enjoy them with ease every so often. I also wanted to make sure that I had a complete photo file. 

I organized them into types and took pictures. Then soon, other kinds of minis took my fancy. A mini of my favorite cha wan mushi kicked me off to start acquiring other types. I began collecting food replicas, cartoon/comic book/movie character figures, little sceneries, etc. 
Can you spot the littlest banana ready to be eaten? 
(By the way, the double A battery in the photos  
are to help one imagine the actual size.)
So now, I have 30 plus sets in my collection -- coffee, tea, mineral water, wine, sodas, condiments, soup, sushi, breakfast items, candies, pastries, fruits, among others. Many more pieces are in a box, waiting to be organized and set up and photographed when the creative in me flexes its muscle and gets to work. I also sometimes reorganize them, usually when I acquire a newbie in a particular category. 

Among my favorites are museum pieces like sculpture, paintings, and ruins of UNESCO Heritage sites, likewise odds and ends like mini kokeishi dolls and rare

The tiniest bottles in my collection are about to quench the thirst of this tired farm lady.

finds like an aquarium, figures of the Sakae cartoon series characters, selected Disney characters, potted plants, and an old Japanese lady seemingly taking a break from farm work, two teeny weeny bottles of mineral water by her side. 

Krsipy Kreme or J.Co?
Amazingly so real -- fishballs, isaw, turon, kamotecue
bananacue, and, oh, the suka with sili
A toast to Maryan Saavedra Marcos!

Sorry, this set not for diabetics.
Beyond their eye appeal, I marvel most of all at how expert the makers are that a sushi or cake rement can trigger one to salivate at its very sight. I also consider it a bonus from all these how I have made online
friends who share my interest. I "met" a few who are into making rements and Maryan Sevandra Marcos is one I admire most. She indulged my interest in Filipino street foods and delicacies, and eventually turned out for me what I consider the very best in my collection. (https://www.facebook.com/lulu.pasion/media_set?set=a.10207001001999588.1073741886.1115629530&type=3)

Some of them bring me back to places and incidents many of which encountered in my travels. For instance, those mini coffee items advertising popular coffee shops and products -- Tully's, Becks, Starbucks, Mister Donuts -- remind me of those times in Japan when I would meet with friends and associates or sit alone as I waited for my next meeting close by. The strawberry shortcake mini from Cozy Corner, the familiar white squeeze bottle of the popular Japanese mayonnaise, the soy sauce bottle that is a staple in most Japanese restaurants, the familiar potato chips brand, the shrimp tempura and teka maki, the luscious strawberries and tender peaches, and many more. 

My Lilliputian museum is coming up. Ribbon-cutting soon!
They say that "collecting" is just a socially acceptable and more palatable word for "hoarding" as the two actually mean the same. I disagree not because I am into collecting. 

I believe that collecting does not include the compulsion that drives one to accumulate things. A collector acquires things for and with a reason, even exercising decision-making

by selecting which item to acquire and sometimes even planning ahead on what s/he must look for next and what not to acquire anymore. Which of my categories do I consider complete? Which ones need other items? What other items need I look for and acquire? 

I must admit I was paranoid at one time. Careful that what I am not merely compulsive, I went into self analysis. Why am I collecting? I am because the things I collect delight me. Some are really pretty, some funny, some intriguing. Setting them up, photographing them, even storing them properly were fueled by creativity, even critical thinking. They are important to me in that sense and therefore worth my effort and time. Especially since I embarked on this endeavor at the very (over?) ripe "old" age of 69!

Beyond appearance and the meaningful use of one's time, I sense the creativity that went into each item. Even if a rement is machine-made, there is still a human mind and hand that fashioned the mold without which the machine would have nothing to reproduce. I admire the dedication of those who make such real-looking pieces by hand, like Maryan. 

It's a wonder how far God's gift of human talent can go. It goes as far as one who has been gifted by it is willing to use and hone it to turn out delightful things for sharing with others. How wonderful to realize how God takes our hand and works with us, enabling us to experience the process of creation, though it is different from His which can turn out wonders from nothing. Where He does purely on His own with not much else, we need materials of various kinds -- silicone, plaster of Paris, wood, metal, various tools, etc. Most importantly, we need His gift of talent, whether this be writing or making music or, yes, making rements that uncanningly look so real. 

Now I understand why I was mesmerized by that carved rice grain displayed at the National Palace Museum in Taipei with a magnifying glass in front of it so one could see the old man coming out of a cave through thick foliage. And also why I felt I just had to buy, and did, that walnut carved with people's faces at the Badaling gate of the Great Wall of China. 

Amazing, You truly are. And when we align to You, we can have a taste 
-- directly or vicariously -- of how awesome feels in our own limited way. Thank You. 

*Harajuku is a district in Tokyo, Japan that is known as the hub of young Japanese who find joy in expressing their individuality and freedom in what to most may be far-out outlandish fashion.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

"But only God can make a tree..."

Three months ago, I took a taxi to a bonsai fair to an area I wasn't familiar with near Greenhills. Less than an hour later, I was on the ride home in the same taxi with eight mini bonsais.

I have long been a frustrated plant-grower. But alas, my thumbs, both left and right, are really just fleshly brown and not green at all. So I would end up buying the plants but have someone else take care of them. The closest I got was to sit the plants where I want them whether out in the yard or indoor, and delight in them. I refrain from watering them because I always overestimate and they eventually die from too much water.

That day, I acquired a jadelet, jade tree, serissa, cactus, and Japanese bush in pretty little Japanese ceramic pots and dishes. 

Upon arriving home, I took pictures of them. Then I went online and researched on each of the plants. I wanted to be sure I knew how best to care for them in our setting. 

The tallest of them were 7", both Japanese bush. 

The two serissas both came as a bunch of individual plants. The smaller bunch was about three-inch tall and the taller one, about 5".

Two cacti of different varieties also took my fancy. 

Both about an inch tall, the one in the orange container is the smallest of the eight I got that day. It has me thinking still if it is real or a replica cleverly crafted by an expert miniaturist. 

The jadelet has pretty little light
green leaves outlined in white and a very light shade of brown. About two-inch tall, it sits atop tiny white pebbles. 

The jade tree is about four inches tall. It has a sturdy trunk, with a little rock perched right beside some of its roots.
Sadly, as of today, it is the last one standing along with the littlest cactus. The bigger serissa went to Elsie while the rest have all gone, their pots and dishes lying in wait until i can pick up some succulents.

Many of the jade tree's leaves have fallen off. Gone are their matte green and "fatty" look. 

But I am nursing it back to health. Bent on just doing my part, I pray sitting it daily by the open window on that side of the room where the morning sun shines directly then back by my bed at dusk will somehow work. 

I believe what Joyce Kilmer said in his poem Trees that indeed, only God can make a tree. And I take comfort in the knowledge that God knows our hearts better than we do and ensures the best for us no matter how things seem. 

Meantime, I am trying to harvest as much as I can in the process, believing that the God who transforms is at work in and on me just as He is with my little jade tree. However my little jade tree (or my littlest cactus) ends, it will be all right.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The terra cotta warriors -- amazing yet pathetic

The  terra cotta warriors of China have long held my fascination.

I have therefore often gone back to that day in September 2004 when I had the chance to tour the site in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.

I was mesmerized, to say the least. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around several things. 
How on earth did the ancient sculptors ensure that none of the 8000 warriors look like one another, just like humans? How did they get them underground, with their weapons and horses even, long before backhoes and such tools and equipment were known to man? After all, one terra cotta warrior is said to weigh an average of 380+ pounds plus the additional weight of their weapons, the 130 chariots, and the 670 horses. And at what cost? One documentary mentioned that the foundation material used was a composite of the very cheap (dirt), the not-so-cheap (sticky rice), and the priceless (human bodies). How much work did the 700,000 workers put into the
38 square mile-project? And what about into the mammoth structures that now house the site of one of the world's greatest archaeological finds? 

There are many more questions. But one issue stood out as sadly unsettling to me after watching a National Geographic documentary on the subject.

It is amazing the length man would go to achieve a vision. Yet how sad that he does so for something that is needless after all

In the end, what determines the real worth of something, of anything, is the purpose for which it is used. 

It pays to delve into and beyond what went into an achievement in order to arrive at a valid assessment of even a most impressive monument like the terra cotta warriors mausoleum. The initial awe could be tainted, but the resulting perception is more balanced, closer to the truth.    

The documentgay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUg5afTOqb0

Friday, January 20, 2017

Do not be careful what you ask for.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I don’t recall having prayed that way, at least not in those exact words. In my prayer time yesterday, I found myself uttering at one point, “Lord, make me more productive today than yesterday.”

This was borne of my recent discomfort at not making good use my of time, at least unlike before. Often being held hostage by vertigo and similar other health issues, I would be down to the basics of food, bathroom, and sleep for days on end. Time to mull on one's growing to-do list seemed one of the few things one could really do. Multitasking workaholics will easily relate with the agony and guilt.

Morning yesterday took the usual route. Until after breakfast when I decided to make a concentrate of the close to 20 dalanghita or native oranges Jenny brought home the day before.

As I went along, I found myself organizing the work, just like way back when, At one point, I realized it was too late to google or to search YouTube as my hands were already wet, sticky with the oranges. Besides I was eager or get on.

I (and Marilyn) took the following steps, varying the sequence and the pace to avoid being bored with the routine. I thought that after all, I wasn't part of an assembly line nor have a quota to make or deadline to beat,   

I cut each fruit in half vertically. Marilyn then did the squeezing as she had the strength to do that part while I did not.

That would have been it but I thought I wanted a concentrate with pulp bits. So, holding the already squeezed half, I snipped each section where it was attached to the core to extricate the remaining pulp bits that remained in the sac. Using a teaspoon, I scraped the hard-to-get ones.

Because it wasn’t really easy, I was tempted several times to discard some as I was getting at the pulp bits.  But each time, a faint whisper seemed to say, “Tsk, tsk, Vitamin C going down the drain...” and I would quickly proceed muttering mentally "What the heck!".

So, finally a bottle of orange concentrate rich with pulp bits is in our ref set to being taken as smoothie, shake, or juice.

On hindsight, I realize there's really so much more to that bottle of concentrate. 

My expectation in the beginning was nothing sublime, just a bit of achievement as I was recovering my equilibrium. I was also certain that it would be challenging for one like me who has not really been into housework -- to the consternation of my family at times. I guess though they seem to have accepted that reality and love me just as much (I think). 

I struck gold while I was at it. It suddenly hit me that God DOES listen and answer!!!! Not that I didn't know that before. But to sense that so palpably was something else. I was unquestionably productive more than I was yesterday or like I have never been for so long. 

My joy will be full every time I recall my dalanghita escapade. But that I was so much more productive than I was the day before as I asked was a measly part of it.

" Thank You for being true to Your promises, Lord, Indeed You are mindful not only of the big requests we make of You. You do make time to work on the little things that we ask for, even when we sometimes do so absentmindedly. I should keep in mind to ask You with abandon, just like a child. You are truly beyond our most ardent dreams.

By the way, orange juice does not agree with my tummy so I keep off it. Because of yesterday morning, orange thoughts will now evoke a nice warm feeling for me, maybe even giving way to a quiet smile. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A soothing kind of noise??!

(Late post)

What kind of a title is that?!!?!!!

Today for me was like a symphony -- it would reach a crescendo, have its low moments which allowed one to recover, pause a while, and take in a breath or two, then rise up again to new heights.

My reading this morning was a part of the 2nd verse of Psalm 23:
"He lead me beside quiet waters."

He really did. As I can feel truly and deeply now as I pound the keyboard.

Last night, I set the alarm for 5:01 a.m. as I estimated this will give me enough time for my morning rituals before I set off in the rented van for the 7:30 a.m. meet-up with Chiqui and Juliet near Kamuning. From there, we pick up Andy along EDSA somewhere between the MRT Ortigas station and the waiting shed near Star Mall. Our third stop will be at the Jollibee branch near the Alabang toll gate of the South Luzon Expressway. Then we will be off to San Antonio, in Quezon province.

I heard the alarm all right, woke up but fell asleep again. I woke up with a start and saw that it was 6:30 a.m.! Fortunately, I managed everything with a few minutes to spare before leaving at 7:30 a.m.

Upon boarding the rented van, I learned that the gas tank was not full as I had agreed with the owner. A bit pissed off, I told the driver about the arrangement. Without any choice, I told him to gas up but not full tank as I know we will not use up as much for the day trip.

In 15 minutes, we were at the first stop. Chiqui was her usual happy self and Juliet was her usual funny character. Seeing them washed away my earlier irritation. Crazy talk catching up on one another made us oblivious to the infamous traffic on EDSA. Soon, Andy came on board and we engaged in crazier and laughter-punctuated talk. The longer stretch and more traffic to our next stop didn't seem to matter much when Bem, Elsie, and Yolly joined the group.

At this point, the higher decibel level was really noticeable. Everyone accounted for and we were on our way!

But that was not the highest level yet. We reached a crescendo first when we arrived at Nydia's in San Antonio, Quezon, then while partaking of Nydia's sumptuous humba, talong, tilapia, spicy shrimp, green mango-tomato-onion salad, and macaroni salad. Everyone rated the humba very good. Andy berated Nydia for not enough steamed rice -- which situation was immediately rectified when Nydia brought out a bowl of brown rice.

Thinking back on how the day went, I wish I had kept a log of the very few quiet moments and the almost continuous raucous exchanges and picture-taking in the van and around Nydia's "hacienda". 

Strange but in spite of the almost three-hour drive from our breakfast stop along SLEX to San Antonio, Quezon and the longer drive back to Metro Manila through the rush hour traffic on EDSA, January 28, 2015 didn't actually seem that long. 

Of course, there will be singing and dance moves...



and food...

and picture-picture!

Indeed, God enriches us 
with precious, zany memories 
by way of friends 
who are one of His greatest blessings. 

(Thanks for the photos, Chiqui and Andy.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

The pieces do fit!

I have been a jigsaw puzzle addict for sometime now.

 Jigsaw puzzles have always appealed to me, preferring those of at least a thousand pieces. I have several sets kept in boxes as I have not had the chance to frame them. 

Thus, Jigsaw World on Facebook easily caught my fancy. And on this 3rd day of the year, I confess to being an addict. Not the kind President Duterte and his team are after but an addict in the real sense of the word just the same. To wit, "addict: a person who habituates or abandons oneself compulsively or obsessively to an activity, habit, or substance" (a composite of Dictionary.com's definitions of the word). 

Nowadays I do mostly images sourced online and uploaded onto the game. I like those that present me with a bit of challenge – monochromatic colors, shadows and bright lights, reflections, visual effects, etc. I juuuuuussssssttttt love those! 

I do lots of puzzles daily, for which Jigsaw World crowned me Jigsaw Shaman! My player profile reads 
(3 January 2017):
- Member since 29th June 2013           
- World rank: 10030 of 3627978         
Level 26: Jigsaw Shaman      
Completed: 2724 jigsaws   
- Created: 1076 jigsaws

My interest became an addiction after I set my desktop computer from the work room back into my room. It became very convenient and I found myself at it quite early – right after Bible reading/listening and most people’s rituals upon waking up.

When I realized it was already a habit beyond control, I sought God’s help to curb it. I found the Lord’s answer strange at first. He would reveal things like how I could be a better person, stronger, wiser. Hmmm, I thought, substantial things. And so, my time in Jigsaw World soon became a place where I found myself conversing with God. Disrespectful to some perhaps but to me it was simply proof that God will meet us anywhere for as long as we seek Him and open ourselves to Him.

This morning was special. 

I was moving pieces here and there on a really challenging jigsaw. It took me longer because the pieces simply didn’t seem related to each other. Then as what usually happens in the presence of a loving God, I had a eureka moment even before I completed the puzzle. 

Some puzzle pieces seem downright out of place, with nowhere to fit in. Maybe it is part of another puzzle?!!? But then as we move each piece, trying to fit it into this and that slot, we eventually discover its rightful place. Perfect! Just where it was meant to be! In the process, the image emerges. Then it begins to make sense. 

Jigsaw puzzle pieces are very much like people and the bits that make up our lives.

People --– some we find really lovable, just as some downright obnoxious. There are those we keep in our lives and are saddened when we sense they have gone a distance and grieve when we find that they simply left. There are also those who when they come to mind, trigger negative emotions or thoughts as well as extreme discomfort when they appear within our sphere. Sometimes we even wish we didn't meet them at all!

Life incidents --– some we value because through them we became happy, wiser, stronger, kinder, more patient, etc. We find ourselves reliving them and relishing the same positive emotions and thoughts they evoke each time. Some are downright painful, embarrassing, and unfortunately unforgettable. It takes a while before we could see their use in our lives. Often, we try to will them into oblivion but many simply refuse to budge.      

But come to think of it, both kinds of people and life incidents actually enrich our lives or more accurately, our characters. Proof that everything that God allows in our lives have the potential to enrich our character and enhance life for us. They do so after a process that begins with us seeking and asking and wondering to delving and studying to finally allowing God’s wisdom to take control over our human limits and His Power to make us soar. 

I feel good. I know my interest in jigsaw puzzles from way back, just like my other interests, come from a loving Father who will spare no means to reveal life’s gems to me, is relentless in getting my attention, and is patient like no other waiting for me to really see the meaning of it all. 

Forgive me that I sometimes feel puzzled by You, Lord. I now know that such struggle makes discovery much much sweeter, and the learning indelible. Etched forever in the mind and more importantly in the heart, they seep into the way I live life -- in worship and thanksgiving. Thank You!  

(I sourced the images online and thank the owners.)