1. I join the Rise up, Reposition and Rebuild Workplace Conference at my home church, where I am reminded of how Jesus described his followers in Matthew 5:14:Â “You are the light of the world.”
2. After the professionals conference, my Ian fetches me from church and helps me grocery shop. He willingly and bravely offers to eat my cooking, so I fry up some pork chops and eggplant slices for him, along with chicken noodle soup. Â My parents and younger brother drop by in the middle of dinner preparations, and they all hang out in my place waiting for the sudden downpour to abate.
3. In the real world, we experience strong gusts of wind and rain along with fluctuating electricity. Undaunted, weÂ dust off our rpg characters and go off on a successful and hilarious quest for a pricey lacquered black bird. The adventure includes a shared freezer clear-out lunch, innumerable fumbles and saving throws, computing for character stats (gaaah math), photos of a catfight, lego figures, a flickering gargoyle, an armorless lizard, a ranger on fire, a mage with a memory problem,Â a very wealthy halfling, a compelled fighter defeating the big bad brain, bags of kropek, loads of kapit, a fishy dinner and an adorably striped Timmy. Great gaming day!
1. Our late office dinner is interrupted by the blare of fire alarms, so we quickly pack up and calmly head down the stairs. A floor down, we meet some cleaning people who apologize and say that someone pressed the alarm by mistake. Better safe than sorry.
2. Four months in and I’m called for my first performance evaluation. I think mine is the first one in our spanking new conference room.
1. Today’s cooking experiment involves 1/4 kilo of ground beef, marble potatoes, cabbage, thyme and oregano. An office mate comments that the concoction reminds her of Brother’s Burgers. Later, my Ian gleefully finishes off the entire bowlful.
2. Our bible study focuses on trials and temptations as explained in James 1:2-18. All the insights keep going back to Stephen’s prospective pet dog, which makes for an amusing and unforgettable lesson.
1. Ate Aimee shares with us some insights on prayer from classic Christian literature. I am reminded once more that to the believer, prayer is a duty as eating, sleeping, breathing are duties. Prayer sustains.
2. Aside from the usual off lotion, we arm ourselves with tiny anti-mosquito patches that come in cute animal designs. Mine is a yellow koala bear, while my Ian has an orange puppy. They smell nice, like eucalyptus and flowers and sweet things.
3. We share love stories, and I remember the growing bundle of love notes I’ve carefully hidden away. My Ian is a wordsmith indeed. =)
And here is the quietly spectacular sunset that Saturday, photo courtesy of Chen:
1. On my way to work, I let the first Ortigas bus pass me by since it is the kind that waits forever for passengers at the loading stops. A few blocks later, I am horrified to see the same bus in a road accident, its windshield a mass of cracked glass. Grace indeed.
2. After three weeks on loan to another work group, I am reassigned to my normal tasks. My trusty Oxford dictionary seems to say, “Welcome back!”
3. Thanks to Chen, we are able to watch the premiere of Conan the Barbarian in all its gory glory. I am seated with the die hard geeks who keep up a running commentary throughout the film. And yes, my Ian and his mates are among the few to applaud at the end of the movie.
1. At last, I am able to meet with the 3rd Annex ladies over coffee and donuts. I realize that I have a lot in common with these young women: dormitory, UP Manila, Vesper Choir, bible study, passion, music, out-of-the-box thinking, youth, chattiness, imagination, huge appetites, brains, beauty and faith. The latter is our reason for being together every week, as we agree to study A. W. Tozer’s “The Attributes of God: A Journey into the Father’s Heart.”
2. My half a decade old Nokia phone is asking to be replaced, so the Myphone sale in Robsinsons Galeria is a godsend indeed.
“If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep, woods, and I’d look up into the sky–up–up–up–into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just FEEL a prayer.” – Anne of Green Gables
1. The first heavy raindrops splatter on the steps as I enter our office building.
2. My office mate thinks solar flares are causing the erratic Internet connection at work. I’m just grateful that despite the technical hiccups, this has been quite a productive day.
3. Boxes of pizza herald the arrival of our visitors from far away. To my delight, the small plastic tubs contain spices instead of the usual ketchup and hot sauce. I liberally sprinkle oregano, dried chili and garlic powder on a thick slice of vegetable and cheese goodness.
1. After weeks of nonstop rain and deadly storms, the world is awash in brilliant sunshine. On my way to work, I hum:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
2. I get a lot of “Happy birthday!” comments because of my dress, sandals and bag. Guess what my favorite color is?
3. My Ian stays way past his very early bedtime to watch Captain America with me. Work stress and spats fade in the magic of the cinema.
4. And my quiet time verse:
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
1. A disturbing dream wakes me up at 5:00am. When the sky is already too bright to ignore, I give up trying to go back to sleep. Thus, I arrive at an appallingly early time at the office…which means I am able to go home at an earlier, sane time on a supposedly crazy work week.
2. Our usual plain white lighting at work is pierced by the brilliance of blue and orange lightsabers. Hiss-thrumm! Duel!
3. My Ian cooks sautees corned beef with potatoes for me, while Lei amazingly devours the egg drop soup I concoct with all of my refrigerator’s leftover vegetables.