Thoughts: Remembering the dead

It is customary for Chinese families to light red candles for the loved ones who passed away. It signifies that we are happy for their state in heaven. It is also customary to burn incense and “pray” to ancestors like what Mulan did.

While we still keep this tradition, I believe it is for the purpose of respecting the elderly in our community. People who grew up with their parents who are first generational Filipino-Chinese tend to be more sensitive when we dismiss their rituals.

For me All Saints’ day means visiting my grandparents’ tomb both on my mom and dad side. We also visit my great grandparents’ tomb on my dad side sometimes.

My uncle is really intentional when we go to the cemetery. He shares stories about my grandmother. He would often tell that she likes to paint and collect jewelry. He shares her beliefs and her experiences.

My uncle also likes to discuss the meaning of their names and other characters that are written in the stone.

When I took this picture my grandfather was already ill. It was his one year death anniversary at the start of this month.

This is a picture of my Angkong (dad’s dad). I like this picture a lot because of his stature and the waves! I never really got close to him because he was often out of the house playing mahjong.

When he was already bed ridden, my uncle asked me to let our Pastor visit him. It was really a hard time for us because we rescheduled his visit three times.

Pastor Collen shared about Jesus and my cousin, sister and I listened behind. Angkong could barely speak but I think He felt relieved. He also listened carefully. Afterwards, Pastor asked us to sing for Angkong. We sang Amazing Grace.

It was also the last time that I saw Angkong alive. Praise God for that one last chance to visit him and the opportunity to sing for him.

We also remember by looking back at their photographs. My grandparents’ house are filled with pictures!

My Guakong and Guama (grandparents on mom’s side) taken on my mom’s wedding day

I hope that as we remember our loved ones who passed away, we also remember to:

  1. Live our lives to the full. Live your life for Christ. Serve with your heart and hands.
  2. Thank God for the family and friends that you have (and show that you care)!
  3. Give your time, talent and treasures to the people around you (And not to spend most for our time on leisure).

I hope that when our time is up we will not regret anything. Remember that our lives are short. We need to make them count for eternity.

Jannel

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Words on Wednesdays: Say no

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After reading this book, I realized how entitled I am. Our parents, being baby boomers, really worked hard almost all their lives. They are used to working almost 24 hours. They cannot live without work. Our generation is more prone to self-entitlement. Everything is accessible in an instant. We want results now. We want to have life outside work. We are dissatisfied easily. At least that is in my opinion. What do you think?

I have to remind myself especially in the area of work that I need to do my best because it is not just me who’s in the line. As a believer of Jesus Christ, I ought to follow His example.

Dr. Townsend described two kinds of pain–success pain and symptom pain. Success pain is experienced when we push ourselves beyond our limits. For example, we do five more pilates stands despite the ache that we are feeling or keep on writing despite the rejections that we faced after we submitted articles to a news company. On the other hand, symptom pain is experienced as a result of mediocrity. For example, we notice that our work isn’t good enough. We feel that discomfort and yet we did not act on it.

As much as I want to feel more success pain, I can relate to the symptom pain more. Let’s not forget that we are here to excel and give our best. Let’s not forget to do hard things now rather than regret later.

stay motivated,

Jannel

Words on Wednesdays: Spice up your life

Sometimes we fall into the trap of doing the same things. We eat the same food, walk in the same route, have the same work routine, talk to the same people, and watch the same shows. When I tend to do routine work, I feel like I am not progressing. I know somewhere I have to tweak it a bit.

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Last week I challenged myself to alter some of the items in my routine list:

  • Instead of eating a spoon of honey I decided to try the orange flavored vitamin C drink
  • Instead of walking in the overpass, I walked on the street
  • Instead of eating in the cafeteria, I went to get some salad somewhere for dinner
  • Instead of checking my favorite blogs, I watched Mark Zuckerberg’s commencement speech in Harvard

Concurrently, in the office it was our first Friday to wear jeans so yay for a small organizational change.

Stay inspired,

Jannel

Words on Wednesdays: Let it be

 

A few weeks back, I was reading Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis because it was mentioned in one of the clips during a recent retreat that I attended. At first, I had a hard time understanding what the author meant. After a while, I came across a portion where he discussed about how the song “Let it be” by The Beattles was composed in relation to a discussion. He said that it was based on a dream where the songwriter’s mother gives comfort to him after a break up. I also listened to the song on Spotify because I got a bit intrigued. On our way home after dinner, I passed by this ped xing along dela Rosa that says “let it be”. What a perfect timing! It was a reminder that despite the things that go on in our lives that do not make sense, God is still there for us. Because of that, we can be thankful even though there are bad things that happen around us. God is in control so we need not worry.

Stay posi,

Jannel