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Wishy Washy, Rub-a-dubdub

Giving bath to our four pooches is something I don’t look forward. Yet it is something I take pleasure in.

All four are a heapful to handle. Giving them a bath would mean you also get wet while they get wild as they wiggle to their hearts’ desire.

Among the four, usually the most soiled (and happens to be fave) is Spot. Oh, how he loves to play and roll on a pile of dirt. One day he’s spic and span. In three days or less, you can literally spot the number of (grimy) spots of Spot.

Nonetheless, he is my fave pooch (he’s like a junior of my hubby – big round eyes, meek and an easy to love personality) and I take pleasure in giving him a “wishy washy and rub-a-dubdub” bath. It takes me a good 30 minutes, at times even 45 minutes to thoroughly clean him. Yet, it gives me so much joy to see Spot spicĀ and span – spotless.spot.jpg

Much like with our Lord Jesus, we can be filled with so much filth from our sins. Nonetheless, He takes pleasure in cleansing us from our sinfulness. He looks forward in giving us a “wishy washy and rub-a-dubdub”, when we ask Him and surrender to Him our filthiness.

And in the end, it gives joy to our Lord when He sees us cleansed, changed and spotless because that is how much our Lord loves us.

IreneA

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The Beauty of Goodbyes

Lately, I come vis-a-vis with goodbyes. Although some goodbyes were expected, others were sudden and some quite unexpected.

Before I saw the end of 2015, I bade goodbye to a wonderful couple who has blessed me with their kindness and selfless devotion to the ministry. The couple has migrated to the US. Although it was something everyone was expecting, we were never emotionally prepared for the inevitable goodbyes.

Then not so long, on four separate occasions, I attended vigil services of well-loved individuals who passed on to another life. One of the four was an adorable uncle. Another one was a beloved servant of God while the other two were respected individuals in the community. At this moment you try sympathize with the bereaved family as you mourn with them. And at times you need to give a strong front and not get too emotional in order to encourage the family to stay strong and move on.

And my very own episode of goodbye is when I resigned from a post. Despite a very short stint, I relatively had a hard time bidding goodbye to a few colleagues whom I developed a strong bond with.

Yet through it all, I have found that in spite of all the emotional struggles indeed there is beauty in goodbyes.

Saying goodbye to people who have made a mark on your life is quite hard. Yet I realized when you look beyond why God allowed such goodbye and not just on goodbye per se then you begin to appreciate the beauty of it.

While I initially found it heartbreaking to see the couple left, by the grace of God I was encouraged to pursue and emulate their Christ-like disposition.

While I could not help but shed some tears (a cry baby as I am) during the vigil services, with God’s wisdom He gave me the uplifting words to share and to assure the bereaved loved ones of God’s faithfulness.

And while saying goodbye to newly formed bond could be piercing, still it feels good on how God has allowed me to get to know wonderful individuals and the anticipation of getting together in God’s perfect time.

IreneA

 

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Beyond Skin Deep

There were times when I got mixed emotions when reading a magazine, especially when I scan fashion magazines. Excitement builds up as I turn page upon page of the newest trends in clothing – all those maxi dresses and even the classic LBDs or little black dresses. The same excitement allows me to create my very own ‘make believes’, like believing to be as regal as Nicole Kidman or a beauty as timeless as Audrey Hepburn.

Yes that excitement makes me giddy and makes me feel good but would soon be replaced with dismay or at times frustration. Dismayed to realize that no matter how stunning a dress maybe, I could never look half as great a Nicole Kidman. Or the frustration to know that I could never have the beauty as timeless as Audrey Hepburn.

The world has made us believe that we should look good all the time to be acceptable. That being beautiful means you have to be towering with a 36-24-36 figure, silky smooth skin and a flowing hair. In short, you have to be flawless.

Like me, you probably have ‘if only’ episodes . ‘If only I’m taller’, ‘if only I’m slimmer’, or the classic ‘if only I could be as irresistible as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman’. And the list could go on.

Those were moments I got miserable when ‘if only’ syndrome gets into me.

Not until I came across an FB post shared by a friend. It was a post from a cancer victor (with no hair and flat chest from mastectomy) who shared her joy despite what she has lost. I was in awe and totally humbled.

Here I was, consumed with my ‘if only’ episodes feeling miserable and wishfully thinking I could look better. Yet here’s this cancer victor who did not mind how a lot has changed in her or better yet how some things were taken from her. But still she managed to be thankful of everything. Mainly, she was thankful of how God has made wonders in her life and how God allowed her to endure the pain as well as the grace to accept everything.

I may never be as regal as Nicole Kidman or have a beauty as timeless as Audrey Hepburn, but in God’s sight I am more precious than any jewel. In His sight, I am special and He can make wonders in my life.

IreneA