Friday, February 26, 2010

Why time is more than gold?

Time is Gold—this is too much of a cliché, right? In one of my master’s classes, we were asked of our top 5 mottos. This was my 4th (I don’t have a fifth). 2 people giggled when I jokingly said this to myself aloud. Not because it’s funny but maybe because it has lost its meaning- too cliché-ish. For some, this might seem foolish, thinking to themselves “I have all the time in the world, why am I not rich?” or something like it. No doubt about you having all the time in the world. You have it as long as you are alive and you can do anything with it. You can slack around, do interesting stuff, sleep all day, maybe work, study, establish a habit, and invent something— anything under the scorching heat of the sun.

Question is: Where does what you do bring you? Does it bring you to where you want to be?

Before answering that, let me share why I’m one of the believers of “Time is Gold”. If you are working for a company, most likely, you are paid for the time you spent at the office (whether or not you contributed to the development of the organization). If you do volunteer work, you are still of value cause the institution you’ve helped saved money because of you. I’m not saying that we are being payed solely because of our time but that is a big part of it—your skills are being paid by the hour. But time isn’t gold just for money. Gold is something valuable and so is time. This is what you use to be happy, to be of help, to sleep, to be problematic, and anything and everything. It is indispensable. Everything you do requires time. But why is time more than gold? if you lose gold, you can get it back (in value). But if you lose or waste time, you can never ever compensate for it. As Donald Trump (2006, Why We Want You To Be Rich) puts it,

"What you do with your time is a very big subject, because lost time can never be recaptured. Very often, lost money can be regained."

Doing unproductive things robs us of what we could’ve gotten by doing otherwise. You can educate yourself, do something part time, improve your skills, etc., etc.

I am currently reading “Why We Want You to Be Rich” by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki. I read business/ personal finance books once in a while because I think they are self development books. True enough because I’ve realized how I’m wasting my time on nonsense things. Let me share an excerpt from the book(page 129): (Please help yourself—get a pen and paper and evaluate yourself)

Review how you spend your time. There are 168 hours in a week (7x24).

Hours spent working ______
Hours spent commuting ______
Hours spent getting ready ______
Hours spent eating ______
Hours spent sleeping ______
Hours spent with family ______
Hours spent on a hobby ______
Hours spent exercising ______
Hours spent getting educated ______
Hours spent relaxing ______

I answered this. Let me share it to you..

Hours spent working=17 hours- I included household chores, tutoring my nephew and other stuff.

Hours spent commuting=15 hours– a whopping 15 hours! Yikes!

Hours spent getting ready= 12 hours- I don’t even go out everyday.

Hours spent eating= 14 hours- my favorite. haha

Hours spent sleeping= 49 hours- assuming I get 7 hours of sleep everyday, includes naps.

Hours spent with family = I don’t think I can compute this, I stay at home everyday. I think it’s included in the others already.

Hours spent on a hobby= 20 hours- mostly, surfing the net and a little bit of TV.

Hours spent exercising= 1 hour- pathetic. haha

Hours spent getting educated= 20 hours- 12 hours in school & 8 hours doing homework and readings.

Hours spent relaxing= I have no idea. (maybe the missing 10 hours plus in between activities. )
Plus, I added..

Hours spent on other activities= 10 hours –including attending church, teaching kids, preparing lessons and attending the Saturday fellowship


Where has my 10 hours gone? I know these are just approximations. But upon evaluating and re-evaluating my activities, I realized I am wasting too much time on nothing! I can chop my getting ready time. I can do something much better on my hobby time- like writing blogs- which I enjoy and will help me improve my writing skills and will reinforce what I’ve learned from my readings. Or convert some of my hobby time to exercise time. Can I do something about commuting? I live in Cavite and study in Manila. Nothing much? I don’t think so. What are the things that I can do while commuting? Well, I usually read a book—which I don’t advise to others, its bad for the eyes but I just can’t help it! Other things I can do onboard: plan my week, sort thoughts, or a power nap (haha, just don’t snore and keep your mouth shut!) Overall, a lot of my time is being spent unproductively. Things that would bring me nowhere but here (worse, even a few steps back).

Where do you want to be? A year from now? 2 years? Or maybe 5 or 10 years from now? Reading this blog is actually wasting your time if you realized you are like me (wasting time) and not do anything about it. Well, if you are one of those who can manage their time well, kudos to you! I would want to be someone like you. 

How we spend our time now defines who we will be in the future. And I’m not only referring to matters that concern money. If you want to be a good mom—what skills do you need to learn? If you want to glorify God—what should you be doing now? If you want to be wise—what are your plans? The list goes on.

But don’t get me wrong. Relaxing does not equate wasting time. Everything should be done in moderation. We should be good stewards of time.

Explaining further would be redundant. I’ll just be throwing you the question I posed earlier:

"Are the things you do right now bring you closer to your goals? If not, what are the things you need to eliminate? What should be done more?"

Note: Some of my statements here might be influenced by my past readings. If some statements resemble another author’s – its either we realized the same thing or I actually got it from him (without remembering—if this is the case, my apologies). *wink*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

on surrender

It’s a hot Thursday afternoon. I am reading a book entitled “Quest for Love” True Stories of Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot. Got no plans to go online until I bumped into these very words…..

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.—Elisabeth Alden Scott-Stam

It strucked me. I was stopped. I wondered—“when will I ever be able to surrender my life to Him like this??” Its easier said that done. It’s a commitment- a life long commitment. I felt selfish. Guilty. For a little more than 21 years what have I been doing? What have I done for my Maker? I made a lot of vows to Him—broken vows. Ive made so much decisions that in the end only I was hurt. And during those painful times, where do I go? To Him whom I disobeyed. I didn’t hear a word of anger. I felt comfort that I wouldn’t find somewhere else. In His silence I found unconditional love. In His love I found peace. And in His peace I found healing, happiness and a new beginning. Always a new beginning. He doesn’t count how many times I stumbled. How many times I disobeyed him. Or how many times ive asked for another chance.

Elisabeth Alden Scott known as “Betty” is a missionary in China. She was beheaded for fulfilling the Great Commission. Since the book is about relationships—she also surrendered this part of her life to God—completely. What happened? She was married to the man she loved—John Stam, in God’s time. Their watchword is “God first”. They are both willing to go wherever God will lead them. No hesitations, no subjections. Just obedience. So God rewarded them. They were married, both missionaries in China and not long, they had a daughter, Helen Priscilla. But months after, they were captured by Chinese communists of their time, marched half-naked through the village streets, and was beheaded. Priscilla? She was found by a Pastor. Their life inspired me. It moved me.

I want to be able to surrender every bit of me to God. Right now, I cant say I already did. There are just some parts of my life I was holding so dear to me. My prayer is that I will be able to fully give them up. Everything. Desires. Hopes. Plans. Past. Present. Future. Relationships. Lifestyle. Thoughts. And just about everything. And I want to be able to say & FULFIL:

“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.”—Elisabeth Alden Scott-Stam

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Refiner's fire

i actually have a lot in mind that i want to blog about (like weddings- I was tagged on a few notes about this on fb, or the proverb I really love or something that happened earlier). but this is my choice for today: Refiner's fire. a song i heard earlier at church. it goes like this:

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within

Tonight is a blast. God revealed a lot to me. He used different people. And a song.

Lets take a closer look…

Refiner's fire

Refiner’s fire? What does this really mean? Well, we all know what purifies gold right? Fire. Yes, I know, we are not gold. but we are like gold. we are precious. We are worth more than gold. and like it, our natural form is not purified. We have a lot of impurities. Dirt. We are filthy. We are sinful. We are stupid. we need to undergo a process. We need to be refined.

This process can be very painful. Ive gone through a quite a few major refinements. And im so thankful I did. Pero while I was there, believe me, if I could just vanish—I would. If I can escape, I would. It is just so painful. There are times that I felt so alone. I felt deserted. Though I always appear happy inside I am dying. The simplest things can make me burst to tears. Where is the Lord at these times? I thought He was just watching from afar. But im wrong. After all those painful fire episodes, I realized He was there all along. He was holding me. He was the only reason I survived. He allowed that because he wants me to be better. He wants me to be the best I can be. Like gold, we need fire to be purified. Yes, its worth the pain. When I look at the mirror, I like what I see. A girl tested by lot of things but have conquered. A girl who cant just be swayed by opinions. A girl who’ve learned what she’s worth. Someone stronger. Someone better. I may not be better than you but I am better than what I am before.

My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy

Its my heart’s desire to be holy. Im not being self righteous or anything. I want to be holy not because I can be holy. Im not—I cant. But just because that is what we were made to be. Sin just ruined everything. I want to please my Maker in my own little ways. Pero what struck me most is this line—“I choose to be holy”. CHOOSE is actually an action. We are not holy by default. But we can choose to be holy. We can choose right over wrong. Life over death. It’s a decision. I know I have a lot of bad decisions. Things I shouldn’t have done. Words I shouldn’t have said. Thoughts I shouldn’t have entertained. That’s just me—I am lousy. I can be stupid. but hey, my God is a God of 2nd chances. Everytime we get the privilege—lets choose what is right. Let us choose God. Lets us choose to be holy. Not for anything but to please God. I want to give my whole life to him. I am far from perfect but I want to ba an object of joy to him. Choosing to be holy is not as easy as it sounds. Often, it is the “fire”. It is painful. It is easier to get out of it and go with the world. But only through fire gold is purified. Just endure it and watch yourself transform. 

Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

I want to be different from the rest of the world. I want to be set apart for my creator. i don’t want to be mediocre. I want to do something extra for my great Father. I am ready to undergo the refiner’s fire if that is what it takes to be holy. If that will make my Father happy. If that will make me a better person. If that will help me fulfill all his plans for me. “Master, here I am, you servant” 

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

This is a nice prayer. I want to be purified. For Him and by Him.

I love myself now. Not because im perfect. But looking back, I am stale—I stink! All of the pain is worth it. Resisting His guidance will only hurt you more. So do yourself a favor. Be obedient.  (disclaimer: I don’t consider myself obedient. But I try to be. )

i cant-- and wont say i enjoy going through that fire!! no no no! it is painful. depressive at times pero knowing that God is there i can rest assured that tomorrow will be a brighter day and a better me. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

My ACS Experience ( Sept 2 08- Sept 2 09)

“Advanced Contact Solutions, Inc. (ACS) is a pioneer and leader in Philippine BPO. Started as a single site single client company with 300 seats to five state of the art facilities with over 6,500 seats… blah blah blah… “
I can say a lot of things about ACS. Of course, because that is what my work is all about. Ive answered a lot of RFIs & RFPs (request for Information/Proposal). I know quite a bit about all departments (again, not because of anything but because it is my job). I worked as a researcher for the business development department though I havent researched a lot—researches are on a need basis only. What is business development doing? We are more or less the sales and marketing leg of the company.

We’ll, I guess that was quite an introduction of what I did for a year. But who or what ACS really is to me or what has it become to me?

This is my first job. My first real job. How was it? Let me tell you a bit.

Last year, I was a timid girl—not really looking for a job cause I am enrolling for a Masters degree but am open to employment possibilities. I posted my resume on an online job database. ACS called me and invited me for a battery of tests and interviews. And I was accepted for the position. Sept 2 08- I accepted their job offer. Researcher for Business Development. Shift: 2PM-12AM. That same day, I was about to enrol online for my masters degree—only to know that DLSU’s psych department doesn’t offer Saturday classes—only weekday nights. Boom. Im stuck cause I already said yes to ACS.

On my first day, I went home 2am with no idea how to get home in the wee hours of the night. So I took a cab to the bus station. Surprise! No buses. The last trip was 11pm. Ooops. how do I get home?? Good thing one of my closest friends is still up. And volunteered to pick me at the bus station. I was home 4:00am. I havent slept a bit!! Not even for a few minutes. Haha. Jitters? Biological clock anomaly? I don’t know. So I went to work literally sleepless. My first week was painful. I havent slept much. 1-3 hours everyday—im a sleeper, I used to sleep 12-16 hours a day.

Hmm, my officemates? We’ll I only have 1. Yup, just the two of us. Marketing assistant and marketing researcher. And of course, our boss—with the initials—RUG, VP for Business Development. How are they? They’re fine. Erin is the whiz when it comes to graphic design and my boss is a super sales person. Me? Im a psych graduate stuck in the marketing department. Erin and I became good friends. We have no other choice. Its just the two of us in our little office. I enjoyed her company. My boss, I am a bit nervous about him (I hope he’s not reading this) he is like always shouting(though not to me). He reacts in a loud voice. You can hear it from afar—even beyond walls.

Weeks passed.. im doing fine. Until one day, I think im getting a bit depressed. Then more depressed. Then even more. Yeah, well, maybe im getting a bit exagerrated. Its not clinical depression. But I was feeling so low back then. I would even cry. I cry almost everyday. Dragging myself to work every afternoon. It was so painful. It was during my learning curve. Not just that—something personal happened. Which contributed to my so called depression. I am so so so devastated. I don’t get to see close friends cause of my working hours. At home, when I arrive from work(between 2-4 in the morning) they’re asleep. When I wake up, most of them are gone. So I have no one but myself. There was even a few times that I cried while on the bus. I didn’t know why. I just did. Oh well, uncertainties are creeping. I wanted to resign. *mind you,this is just not about work, I am also experiencing some personal issues* Through much prayers and tears, I was able to get over it. I was doing fine. Then my office resigned. Suddenly I was more alone. As in. I have that cold silent office all to myself. For 10 hours a day excluding overtimes. There are even times when my boss would go to business trips for a week or two. Not just that, work load was much more. I was doing my work and what used to be hers. Pressure was more, too, since weve got deadlines. And due to some reasons, the turnover was not completed. I don’t know photoshop. I am not a marketing person. Few friends from other departments resigned, too. More pressure came in. I needed to work with the mancom. I was so shy then. I was always nervous. But I have no other choice. Dead end for me. Thats when the story shifted its pace.

Bit by bit I started to open myself. Little by little I went out of my box. Ive learned a lot cause I was pushed to. Ive learned to face people with confidence—no matter who they are. Ive learned a bit about photoshop(yey!) . Ive learned about the industry. Ive learned about marketing. Ive learned to manage my time. Ive learned to work better. Ive learned that work can be fun. Ive learned that my boss is fun. Ive learned that I can actually have fun. That was it. I found myself enjoying what once seemed to be dreadful. I didn’t even thought id endure it til my sixth month.

March 27 09. My new officemate came in (after 3 months of waiting). She is a very good graphic designer. Our department developed a unique camaraderie. By then, I was out of the painful part of the learning curve but is still learning a lot. Months passed so quickly. I decided to pursue my studies—psychology has always been my first love. Today is actually my first day out of the office. Looking back, I cant be more grateful for what I have become. The learning was worth all the tears and sleepless nights.

ACS became a home to me. I love the people there. And the culture—we are family—bosses call their subs “anak” or “sis” but work is still work, very professional. I can’t be more thankful. My deepest and heartfelt thanks to them. To my boss—who has managed to always be objective. Ive learned a lot from him not just about work but about life in general. He has received all my cruel jokes gracefully and thrown a few too. He has managed to create a good learning and fun work environment for us. To the other bosses— the mancom. Ive learned a lot from them. A lot about life. The real life. When they talk, I always get bits of wisdom. I am just a bit sad about the gossips I hear about them. They are not “tamad”, “corrupt” or anything. They are so hardworking (they work for hours and hours each day, night or day) and they are so friendly. I just hope that the Management-Employees gap be addressed. To my officemates—they will always be good friends. To my friends from other departments—they made my stay lighter. Genuine friendships were built. And of course, to my parents who has endured with my runts and tantrums and who has always been supportive.

I will always be grateful to God for bringing me there. At first, I didn’t understand His plan. Now it is clear. It is for the best. All went well after all. I am different person on my first and last day (both are Sept 2 08-09). I was just so glad I have a great God who orchestrates everything. He didn’t leave me alone for a second. It turned out to be a good journey inspite and despite things. Now, I am facing another chapter in my life. I don’t know what’s in store for me but im excited knowing that God only wants the best for me. Im looking forward to new lessons that he has yet to reveal to me. Cant wait to see the new me after this unfolding season. Il just pray and trust and hold my Father’s hand.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

cluttered thoughts.

i dont know what to write on my first blog here. its a saturday evening. just finished everything that has to be done for the day.

since i am new here, maybe i should introduce myself first. um, im mia. im just like any other woman who happened to be different-- just like everyone else. i love myself. ive learned to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses even my insecurities (yep, i still have a bunch of insecurities am working at). you may find me friendly or suplada, timid or loud, pretty or ugly, or whatever. but i dont really care. yeah, i sure do appreciate compliments and i get a bit upset with unconstructive criticisms. but i will not let them define me. i will not let your limited thinking decide who im gonna be. i am who i am now(positive or negative) but i wont be the same person tomorrow. am a daughter, sister, friend, teacher, student, servant, leader and a stranger. i am not perfect. i have my times- i can be good but i also can be otherwise. you may or may not like me as a person. i am not trying to please everyone, im not saying i dont want to, i just "dont and wont" try because i wont be able to, ever, i know.

though there is one thing i would want to be. really really wanted to. and i want to be "that" badly. whats it? i want to be an object of God's joy. i want to make my Creator smile. i want him to define me. i want him to mold me. i am under His authority. call me "trying hard", i dont care. this is my purpose. i was created by Him and for Him. sadly, i cant say i am making Him happy. i still have a lot to work on. i know, at times, im an object His of grief. but that wont stop me from wanting it more, in fact, my failures feed my passion to make Him happy. im a "copy cat". a proud copycat. who am i trying to emulate? Jesus(im not saying im like him already-- im just trying). why? because God wants me to. dont get me wrong, i know i cant be like him. i am not perfect-- He is. i am not God-- He is. but one of the reasons the Father sent his son is for us to have someone to look up to. an example to follow. He is 100% God but also 100% man. He became a man to reach out to us. for you and for me. and that inspires me more. :)

yes, i have a lot of insecurities. but if there is one thing i am secured of-- it is God's Love. i may have bad hair days, monster mia days, emo moments, or whatever. i know God loves me. i dont need to be anyone around Him besides He is always around. he knows me inside out. so no need to pretend. i am just happy to be loved. love at its purest form. and being able to experience His love i know i can share it to others, too. and i want to share it with you. yes, you. i might not know you but am sure He loves you, too. this is not an issue of religion. i dont know what to call it. maybe, FAITH. God the Father sent His Son to save us from our sins. you know your sins. me, i have tons. but i am forgiven. how? the Bible says " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) thats it. just confess your sins to God. humble yourself. its not hard. its just acknowledging that God is your God and that He has the power to forgive you. ask for forgiveness. if your sincere, voila! your like a clean slate. he wont count it against you. he has forgotten your sins. (1 Corinthians 13:5[God's] Love.... keeps no record of wrongs.) Now, all you have to do is believe in Jesus (that he really lived and died for us-- for our salvation) Accept Him as your Lord (this means Master--willingness to submit to Him, surrendering your life to Him) and Savior (um, well, hero. from sins. from eternal doom. from the bad. from anything you could ever think of. even from yourself) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16) if you have done that now or when you were a kid or at some point of your life, congratulations. You are saved. no one can take you away from his hands. not even Satan. not even your own sins. Eternal life in heaven awaits you. and we will be seeing each other there!! yey! just please do remind yourself that it can never be taken away from you. "kahit na magkasala ka uli". remember, his love is unconditional. "hindi na niya babawiin what he has already given". i put so much emphasis on this because that is the dilemma of most of my students(mostly kids). because of the "guilt", they are feeling unworthy. in the first place, we are never worthy of it. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and it is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast"Ephesians 2:8-9.

there. ive written quite a bit about a lot. you have been a good audience. thanks for actually reaching this part! haha. feel free to leave a comment/question or whatever here or on my personal email. you may or may not agree on the things ive said. but hey, these are my thoughts. and im not imposing them to anyone. im just sharing. :) i would appreciate if you would leave some verses that could affirm somethings here. :) thoughts are much welcome. :)