THE NON-ELECTION REFLECTION

Following the electoral count over the next few days a new President will be sworn into office.  At home, while both my family and our household staff patrol the tube for election updates I decided to retreat into reflection…not about the elections nor about politics, but about righteousness, which sadly has been plastered and marked as a highly-overrated commodity these days…naturally, because these are the end times.  Armageddon in case you didn’t know, is not a fairy tale, it is imminent.

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I read something today that upheld my sentiments about the commitment I made to the Lord when I was nine years old.  I committed to live a life pleasing to Him and one thing He promised me that night was that I never needed to be afraid of the dark again.  It was a simple enough request because I didn’t know how to sleep alone in my room.  He didn’t promise that darkness would not come, it most certainly would, He just promised that He would be with me.  Wherever He is more than enough light shines for you to know where you’re at.  Read on to the end.


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TIMELESS PICK-ME-UP VIDEOS BY MODERN WOMEN

One of the things a hairstylist friend of mine observed really settled in my heart days after my shoot last week.  “Alam mo, Julia, magaling ka…pero yung problem mo lang is…madali ka madisappoint.”  He noticed how all it took was for one of my misplaced expectations let’s say in my career or line of work to stray off course and it would sometimes bring me to a dark place.  Sometimes closest friends would have to talk me out of a doom spiral where everything just kinda spins.  Because sometimes your thoughts are wrong you actually believe it’s getting worse and worse, to the point where you almost don’t recognize yourself in a vicious cycle, almost like losing several rounds of the Heads Up game to ALL THE GUYS and a couple of drinks, ’til just before sun up LOL.  Find me if you can.

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Everything is sometimes not at all what is happening to you, but a mere, seemingly endless whirlwind of thoughts and feelings…thoughts and feelings, feelings and thoughts which Henri Nouwen had something to say about.

“Then it is important to realise that most of these feelings and thoughts are just feelings and thoughts, and that the Spirit of God dwells beyond our feelings and thoughts. It is a great grace to be able to experience God’s presence in our feelings and thoughts, but when we don’t, it does not mean that God is absent. It often means that God is calling us to a greater faithfulness.” – HENRI NOUWEN, Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books on the spiritual life. Nouwen’s books are widely read today by Protestants and Catholics alike

Today I wanted to share with you four or five women whose words have affected me in the most otherworldly way over the last 3-4 years.  They’ve provided the most true pick me up videos ever.  I’ll mention them according to “theme”.  Read on to “meet” these women.  Fyi, they’re certainly not the sore losers above, haha.… To full post & COMMENTS...

VIDEOS TO RESET YOUR HEART THIS WEEK

Holy Week or Spring Break as it’s called abroad is a time of renewal and rest, but always hopefully a time of reflection.  Lots of people won’t really relate to what the Bible says about Holy Week, because they haven’t encountered Jesus in the way that matters or to tell you the truth sometimes frankly the words on the pages of Scripture don’t make sense or can point out our more obvious sins, but it’s not all about telling us about right and wrong, the Bible was written to remind us that we are loved.  Those of us who feel negatively about the Bible (more specifically broken people who spout the Bible) tend to shy away from festivities or activities of reflection in connection with Jesus due to the fact that a lot of humans representing Jesus have let us down or we think we’ve let Him down in our own way.  The truth is we can’t shock God with blow by blow accounts of how we’ve let Him down.  What He is waiting for is whether we’ll take his hand and allow Him to lift us up again.  Today, in a bit I am sharing two videos with you to soothe your soul and encourage you. Below is the short trailer of the longer video.

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I believe it isn’t ideal to shy away from God’s Word even when we don’t understand it, because His Word will always come through for you, even if you don’t understand at first.  The garden, the flood, the parting of the red sea, and the baby in a manger are historical accounts of God’s power and love coming through for the human race, and He hasn’t stopped.  Think of His words in the Bible as a foreign language, the truths are another language from another dimension.  You’ll only get the hang of the language if you try to talk to Him first in your own.  There was once a rapper/comedian who turned over a new leaf that said in a video somewhere that for him it doesn’t make sense when confessing or ranting to God and trying to avoid being profane or rude in his desperation at times because He actually knows the words in his head before they come out.  Think of God as the friend who’s watching you punch walls or rip up paper while trying to tell Him how awful it all us and how fed up you are.  Read on to get to the two videos I chose for men and women that I believe will help reset your heart and bring peace this week.… To full post & COMMENTS...

A No Make-Up Shake Up 1.1

Now, let’s see if I can get a trend going.  Quite a few have failed in the past and others are just disgustingly delayed (like the In Her Bag interviews, trying to secure another one after Donita). Weekly or perhaps monthly I shall try to post lovely photos sans the makeup of different faces in different places, young or old doesn’t matter.  First for this one is a photo that’s a decade old, I was 19 and with my aunts, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, whose husbands are mom’s brothers.  Here is a photo my mom pulled out of a box today unretouched and very precious.

Whenever they’re with us they don’t wear makeup, most of the time not even cologne or fragrance, at the most maybe they’ve got moisturizer, mascara (hardly ever), and lip balm on.  They really only wear makeup when they’re working and up to this day, their faces are still flawless.  I’m even more “vanedosa” than they are and find myself having to tone my random fussy self down around them because of their up front simplicity. These two lovelies, in spite of what people preconceive about them from time to time, are not fussy bout skincare and makeup and not even beauty obsessed.  They’re more into God, the Bible, worship music, their husbands, lulling their children to sleep, books, the kitchen, and gadgets that help them through the day.  Like everyone under the sun, they’re not perfect and will never admit to being so and I love and am truly inspired by both of them.  May God’s love, protection, and grace shine upon them always.… To full post & COMMENTS...