Archive of ‘Faith Walk’ category

21/52: Home is wherever I’m with you

Photographs of my daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014. Week 21.

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

Once upon a time, my husband and I lived in a roof top apartment. It was our first home, with just enough living space for two and a huge outdoor area that held some of our most memorable experiences as a newly married couple. We had a lot of memories in that rooftop, until we got pregnant and had to move to a bigger space on a lower floor.

Visiting the roof top apartment now, this time with our two little girls, makes me feel a little nostalgic. It wasn’t long ago when it was just the two of us, and now, we’re four, and wow there’s really no stopping time from moving forward.

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

As someone who’s moved from one place to another far too many times in the past decade, I’ve come to terms with the fact that houses are temporary, and “home” is that which you bring with you wherever in the world you go. Home can be a place, and it can also be a person, or a group of people, or a collection of memories. But home is not confined to a place, I guess that’s why a new house or a new city or a new country doesn’t instantly make you feel “at home”.

That’s kind of what’s going through my mind every time we go back to the roof top. It doesn’t feel like home anymore. The vines have grown unkempt, some of the plants have dried up, the walls are dirty, the windows are dusty. And yet, in the midst of the strangeness of what used to be a familiar place, I hear Dawn & Rain scream and laugh and run around while their Daddy chase them, and suddenly, there it is. My home, right there with me.

21/52: Dawn & Rain

21/52: Dawn & Rain

Today as I post this, my childhood best friend is on her one-way flight to New York to join her husband there for good. And maybe I’ll rant a handful about that in a separate post, but in a nutshell, her departure is making me think about how temporary most things are in this life. Babies grow, children get older, people leave and move and start a new life elsewhere.

I’ve struggled about moving my whole life, mostly because I’ve become a little too attached to places, to people, or to the memories associated with them. I hate saying goodbye. I don’t like packing. Moving scares me and I wondered many times why I kept doing it.

But something about my best friend leaving, and now having David, Dawn and Rain in my life, gives me this new-found courage, this quiet assurance. The assurance that wherever in the world the Lord takes us, whether we stay or move, whether friends leave or we leave.. we’ll be okay. As long as we’re together, the four of us, home is wherever we go.

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here.

My Hillsong story is NOT my story

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve recounted this story many many times. It’s a story I love talking about because God has taught me so many things through this experience—lessons on trusting His perfect timing, never giving up on dreams that He has planted in our hearts, and holding on to the truth that His ways are always higher than ours.

Today I’m in the mood to put together this little timeline!

Hillsong Story

(Click the image to zoom in.)

I never really made it to the Hillsong Conference

Looking at this timeline, you’ll notice that I never really made it to the Hillsong Conference at all. After my last attempt in  2009, I sort-of stopped trying. Not really because I gave up on the dream, it was mostly because God has planted new dreams in my heart. I was in New York in 2010, got married in 2011, gave birth to twins in 2012, landed a new job in 2013, and well, there really wasn’t any time (and budget!) to squeeze in Hillsong Conference the past 5 years.

My priorities shifted to easing into this new life with my husband and raising our little family. And although I still daydream about experiencing the Hillsong Conference, it’s one of those things I’ve set aside for later.

Still, this Hillsong story remains to be one of my “stones of remembrance”, something I always look back to, to reflect on what God has been doing in my life, or when I need to encourage a friend.  (more…)

ChasingDreams.Net, Year 5

Year 5

This blog post has been waiting to happen since Monday night when I re-launched, but every time I try to finish it, I always end up fixing other things in the site (OC stuff). Anyway, here it goes, finally.

Welcome to the all new Chasingdreams.net!

As June 19 was approaching, the date of domain renewal for Chasingdreams.net, I had to think really hard and consider how I want to take this site moving forward. I have to admit, the thought of trading this *ehem* cheesy-sounding domain name for a more serious, professional portfolio-sounding one crossed my mind countless of times. But, needless to say, I just couldn’t let “Chasing Dreams” go.

And it’s not only because I’ve invested the past 5 years of my life in this site, or that I’m too lazy to think of a better name. Mostly it’s because my life advocacy and desire has grown deeply embedded within the two words that make up this domain name, which means it didn’t make sense to change my online brand anymore.

Granted I registered this site at a time I was feeling lost and directionless, needing an online channel for my own selfish purposes. But God has a way of turning things around for His glory, which is exactly what happened to this site.

And so we came to this point. Five years. Hey, that’s the longest I’ve kept a domain name in my 13 years of blogging! The first two domain names I owned lasted for a total of 3+ years, not counting the free-hosted blogs. Five years is a lot of time in the blogging community and I want to do a little victory dance for having kept it this long. At five years, I thought it was the perfect time to do this overhaul of sorts.

What’s New

If you’ve been reading/lurking on this blog for a while, you should be able to connect the dots. I’ve mentioned this “change” in this post when I decided that I needed to start fresh. When I talked about pursuing my passions at the start of the year, I knew that this is one of them. When I redesigned the blog in February, I also said as early as then that I was foreseeing major changes happening around here come mid-year.

Relaunch!

My desire for this site is to be a channel that would inspire others to pursue their dreams and the calling that God has for them. (While also pursuing my dreams and the calling God has for me.) For a long time I imagined doing this through blog posts and photographs, and through a generous serving of my life story. I want to believe that we can all learn from each other, and we can use these God-given experiences to encourage and inspire other people for His glory.

But while I was doing that, this platform has extended my reach to female bloggers, creative entrepreneurs, and men and women who have specific dreams and visions for their own businesses and their own blogs. People who, just like me, have something to say/offer and dreams to chase.

For people who, just like me, have something to say
and dreams to chase.

And so I started helping people build their own online platforms, after office hours. I’ve began helping design their websites, blogs, and even special events. Most of my projects lately are collaborations with people who are aching to fill this same hole, who desire to help others find their niche, and their voice, online.

And oh. my. heart. It feels sooooo good. So good to exercise my passion in design, while also helping others, while also earning on the side. The monetary part is the cherry on top of the icing on the cake, but well, if I get to do something that doesn’t feel like work and it pays the bills too, why not right? :)

The blog, as you notice, is now on chasingdreams.net/blog, while the homepage is a portal that should take you to all the important segments in the site. Still working on that page though, so feel free to keep checking. In the next few weeks I’m going to start posting my recent design work and building up my portfolio.

I have many many many dreams for this space, and I hope you feel excited as I am. :)

To know more about my dreams for this site, and the road to getting here, feel free to read these related posts:

Halfway through 2014, starting fresh

Wow, it’s June, and the first week of the second half of the year is about to come to an end. This morning I found myself in a momentary state of paralysis, wondering where on earth the days went, and making a mental checklist of all the tasks, chores, dreams, drafts and photographs that have somehow piled up all over me these past months. Will I ever tick those items off my list?

Start Fresh May

(My instagrams from the month of May. I guess I didn’t need to ask where the days went.)

It’s actually my first week back at work too, after taking an entire week off to breathe and to reboot. Ahh, let me talk about that later. For now, I want to talk about starting fresh.  (more…)

Recently: An afternoon at UP Diliman, and thoughts about “being all there”

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I guess I’ve proven enough in my life that the unplanned trips are the ones that actually push through. So my husband and I took an afternoon trip, on a whim, to my alma mater, and it was gooood.

One afternoon at UP Diliman

One afternoon at UP Diliman

One afternoon at UP Diliman

He did a nice job documenting our afternoon in a post on his Facebook wall, and I thought I’d keep a record of our afternoon date in this blog too. Late lunch at Rodics, Mang Larry’s isaw (craving satisfied!), a walk around the acad oval and sunken garden, a quick stop at the university avenue to take pictures of the sunflowers (because they’re so popular latelythis and this), and a final stop at Razons for some halo-halo (his craving satisfied!) before heading home.

It was an added treat that the College of Engineering was having their graduation ceremony while we were there. It reminded me of my own graduation day, and gave D a little glimpse of how a UP graduation looks like. He was thrilled to see Oblation wearing a sablay, and couldn’t get over why it’s called “sablay” when it symbolizes success, quite the opposite of what the word means in Tagalog. (I couldn’t give an answer.)

One afternoon at UP Diliman

One afternoon at UP Diliman

It’s not the first time I took him there, but something about this particular afternoon that was a little extra special. Maybe because I left a pile of work at home and it felt so liberating to ditch a few tasks and do something on a whim. Or maybe because I’m a little bit older now, and having my husband with me in places like this makes me look back on years past, and how far God has brought me, us.

Being in UP Diliman always brings me this feeling of nostalgia, good memories, and maybe a little tinge of regret. I wish I made the most of that place. I wish I studied better, appreciated being there better. All those days I spent in the UP campus, dragging my feet to my next class, wishing I was somewhere else, and sometimes, wanting to get college over and done with already. If only I knew that college was going to be so quick, I would have slowed down a little and made the most out of my time there.

Not that I didn’t enjoy my college life, I did. I just sometimes wish I practiced a little “being all there” more. There goes my lesson for the day.

The babies were just waking up from their afternoon nap when we got home, it didn’t feel like we were away at all. Recharged, I went back to my desk, checked my email inbox and went over my never-ending list of tasks to see what else I can tick off for the day.

I’m glad we went to UP. I needed a breather, and to be reminded of things that matter. Besides, it was about time I satisfied my isaw craving.

11/52: Full Circle

Photographs of our daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014. Week 11.

Our little family

1152-dawnrainmommy

1152-dawnrainmommy2

Fernbrook Gardens

1152-dawnraindaddy2

1152-usfour2

11/52: The four of us, back in the place where this whole journey began.

One Saturday afternoon in March, my husband and I took the twins with us to a wedding at Fernbrook Gardens in Alabang. The wedding was beautiful, and my husband was reunited with some of his friends from New York who were here for the wedding too. What can I say, it’s always good to reunite with old friends and to revisit old places.

Meanwhile, the girls totally loved running around the place! There was so much space for them to explore, new things to see. And in typical mommy-and-daddy-of-twins fashion, we followed them around (often in opposite directions), pulled them here, carried them there, wiped their dirty hands and knees while the ceremony was happening. Anything, as long as you’re happy, darlings.

A nice cool breeze accompanied the golden hour; making it the perfect time to take photographs and to just.. bask in the love and the memories of that place. I longed to tell Dawn & Rain stories of that day, except of course they wouldn’t understand or remember a thing. At least not yet.

It was the same venue of our wedding, almost 3 years ago, and for the first time since then, we’re back.

Full Circle

We’ve come full circle. Wow.

Full Circle

How do you handle days like this? It’s one of those days you wish you could just step back and watch your life from afar, rewind and replay over and over again. I was just getting married here! How did it all go so fast?

Full Circle

Fernbrook Gardens to me will always be a place where dreams happen. Once we were just standing there, committing our lives to each other before God and our loved ones. And suddenly we’re back with these two little girls who happen to be the greatest validation of the decision we made 3 years ago. What a milestone! I’m glad I took lots of photographs. This one’s definitely for keeps.

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here.

Recently: Recovering from the flu

I’ve been down with the flu the past week. It was horrible. To start with, I can’t remember coughing as much and as hard in my life! It was painful, and I was sleepless for days. On top of the on-and-off fever, the headaches, and the horrible coughing, I was so worried about transmitting my virus to the twins. So I subjected myself to a pseudo-quarantine, sleeping in the couch for 4 consecutive nights to lessen my exposure with them.

Fever, headaches, incessant coughing, lack of sleep, a hospital trip and a blood test, plus muscle pains (and lonely nights!) from sleeping in the couch.. I’m just grateful that it’s over now.

Last week, I held on to this verse like a lifeline:

God is the strength of my heart

It may have been the worst week ever, but it’s times like this that you get a better appreciation of things you otherwise take for granted, like good health, and a husband who takes care of you, and antibodies that protect your babies from viruses, and back rubs, and lemon juice, and cough syrup.

Last week probably holds the record also for being the longest time I was away from my laptop and my iphone. Everyone who knows me can attest to me being glued to my laptop most times, but last week, my head would feel like it was going to explode every time I tried to sit down in front of my desk. My eyes just couldn’t stand the sight of a bright computer screen.

I’m so blessed (again, things that normally get taken for granted) to have a super understanding boss, and the most understanding of colleagues and clients, for letting me get away with missed deadlines last week. I promise to catch up on work this week, y’all.

One other thing I realized this week is how low my resistance is to viruses. Everyone else in this house managed to fight the virus, including my husband who took care of me the whole time, and the twins who are supposedly more susceptible to viruses than I am. The realization makes me want to be better at staying healthy and taking care of my body, and resting when I need to rest. Some lessons had to be learned the hard way.

Finally, it’s times when you find yourself at the end of your strength that you feel God’s strength take over. It’s a humbling experience, to be rendered weak when you’ve always thought you’re strong.

Whatever situation you are right now, whether you’re physically sick or emotionally weak, always remember that our strength can only take us so far, but God’s strength is eternal and powerful. We only have to hold on to Him.

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