Devotion, Encouragement, God girl, Gratitude, Jesus, Love, Self Help, Warmth, Words

Morning Manna

The best time to get to know God is in the morning. This norm was deeply impressed upon the Israelite’s by God’s daily gift of manna. The “Bread of Heaven” rained down from the sky early in the morning, six days a week, for 40 years. If one waited too long to gather it, the manna would disappear in the heat of the sun.

“And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.” Exodus 16:21.

Similarly, if we wait too long for our spiritual devotions, the cares and pressures of the day will get our attention before the Lord does. The busier we are and the more we have to do, the more we need to take time to pray. Let’s not allow the manna to melt!

Jesus akso practiced morning devotions. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and then prayed.” Mark 1:35.

Here is my incomplete list of Morning Devotion Benefits:

  1. Offering
    The first benefit of time spent quietly with the Lord each day, is that it allows us the opportunity to give to God, instead of getting from Him.  Some us may overemphasize our work for God and neglect to spend time simply worshipping Him. God deserves and desires our devotion. How long has it been since you sat quietly with Jesus and simply told Him, “I love you?” When was the last time you sing and worship Him.
  2. Direction
    Daily Devotions give us direction from Him for our day-to-day lives. When we sit quietly with the Lord it gives Him a great opportunity to speak to us and give us the wisdom we need to make the right choices. In our fast-paced world, we desperately need to slow down and hear from the One who knows the end from the beginning. Ask God to show you His will for the day and commit your schedule to Him.
  3. Strength
    Standing up to sin is no easy task. Just like athletes, our Daily Devotions keep us trained for any obstacle headed our way. We build strength every day so when we need it, we can run our race! By keeping our minds focused on God through our Daily Devotions, we can overcome anything with Him.
  4. Stillness
    In a world that’s faster than ever, we may find it’s hard to sit still even for a moment. But the Bible let us know how important that can be! Give yourself an excuse to stand still and reflect on God’s glory. It will help you find peace every day.
  5. Joy
    Spending personal time with the Lord means we will grow our love for Him and find time to bask in His presence. The secret of real joy comes from knowing God.
  6. Personal Relationship with Jesus
    Do you know Jesus personally, or do you merely know about Him? When we know a person intimately, we:

Spend quality time together.

Enjoy meaningful communication.

Know what each other’s likes and dislikes are.

When we expect to meet with Jesus during our Daily Devotions each morning we                will never be disappointed. We will always find that He’s waiting to meet with us                too.

  1. Change
    How do we become more like Jesus? We are made holy through the Word. Our sanctification comes directly through the time we spend in the Scriptures, getting to know God intimately and allowing His Word to correct our hearts.
  2. Healthy
    Not only by doing your Daily Devotions blesses your life, but study after study has shown the health benefits from reading every day: from daily stress reduction to the offset of Alzheimer’s. Just imagine if these studies had shown the benefits of reading the Bible! Daily devotions are good for your soul and your body. What could be more important?

“The morning is the gate of the day, and it should be well guarded with prayer. It is one end of the thread on which the day’s actions are strung, and should be well knotted with devotion. If we felt the majesty of life we should be more careful of its mornings”. – Charles Spurgeon

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Courage, Encouragement, God girl, God is Love, Love, Self Help, Thank you, Valentines, Warmth, Words

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

It’s an interesting saying: “Cold hands, warm heart.” It proposes that people whose hands are usually cold actually have kind and loving personalities (there’s no counterpart as far as I can tell).

I’m saying (writing) this because God is impressing to me about being warm and loving (oh, it’s love month!). When you feel the warmth you also feel the love, right?

Being warm is making real-meaningful connections with people, making them feel welcome, being respectful. It goes beyond giving people what they need or treating them with basic respect, it creates authentic interactions that strengthen relationships.

I have here an extremely incomplete list which I believe I exuded warmth.

  • Remember the people’s name. People feel more valued and respected when we remember their names. Try to increase your ability to remember names by associating with them and repeating their names.
  • Pay attention to people’s small needs. The smallest thing you can do to people can make a huge difference. Look for little ways to help. It all matters more than you know.
  • Relate when someone does embarrassing. Assure that’s it’s human to err. Make them feel at ease and comfortable.
  • Be vulnerable. Share a part of yourself, not only the shiny and pretty and fun but also what you deny or keep hidden from other people.
  • Smile. A small thing like this can put warmth feeling in one’s heart.
  • Lend an ear. Everyone needs someone who will listen when they are depressed, frustrated or mad. Just be there, sit with them. Venting through an issue is a huge help!
  • Send a message. Just a short note telling someone you appreciate them or how proud you are of them. Saying thank you for something they did.
  • Appreciate them publicly. Acknowledging and encouraging someone on a post / blog, in front of friends, family or in other public way. It’s a great way to make them feel better about themselves. It boost confidence.
  • Offer your help. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small help as long as you let them know that you are willing to help.
  • Generosity. It is not money or gifts all the time! Be generous with your praise (not flattery), when they did something astounding. Be generous with your time (quality time).
  • LOVE. When you start to look around and see everyone as part of redemptive plan, you begin to fall in love (from Translating God by Shawn Bolz). All these listed, starts and ends in loving. You cannot do these things if you do not have love in your heart. Accept people for who, where they are, imperfections and all. How, ask God to fill your heart. He’s our ultimate source, our supplier. You cannot      give what you do not have.

While these can be inconvenient, it has humble advantages. By doing these will make you feel better about yourself, it connects you with the person at least for a few moment, makes the world a better place (one step at a time!) and it can be passed on (warmth is contagious!).

I’ve been feeling this “warmth” for a while now. It feels so good. I feel it every time I’m down, reading the word, uttering a prayer, worshiping, during my quiet moments and sincere talks. I’m sure it was Him. He’s here, He’s available.

Love. I’m feeling the love of a Father, the love of God (Abba). It warms the cockles of my heart, brings me to tears. I’m in love.

Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” – Romans 5:5

Happy Valentines!

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Bike, Courage, determination, Encouragement, Endurance, Freedom of Speech, God girl, Gratitude, Ironman, Race Report, running, self confidence, sports, Swimming, Thank you, triatlon, Uncategorized, Words

Twice is not enough to TRI

Anything is Possible – is the Ironman mantra.

Well, I have my own version. “I cannot do this on my own, but with You ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”

My Journey in triathlon began in October 2014 at the 2XU Triathlon (sprint distance). Then I stopped for more than a year.

On the 28th of October 2015 while I’m training for my first Marathon I decided that my Ironman 70.3 attempt was to be realised in the following year on the 07th of August 2016. I joined Filipino International Triathlete (FIT) training sessions and have gained camaraderie / training buddies. Marsha Yecla was from the same triathlon, running, church group I am attending and a constant training buddy. We have talked about whether Ironman Cebu was feasible. I am sure Marshie (aka) had Ironman in her visions and I’m sure that she’s more than capable but I have no idea if I could attempt the distance.

Fast forward, we have finished the Asia Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship in Cebu on the 07th of August 2016 and here again craving for more (mentioned during my Cebu race report).

It was morning of 30th of November 2016, I came to work and saw in Facebook that Ironman 70.3 Dubai was already sold out! So many triathletes rant in Social Media that it closes too soon (I’m one of them, by the way). I thought I could let this slide this time, but door of opportunity came in the way. And I’m in!

It was a total of 07:15 hrs when I finished Ironman 70.3 in Cebu last August 2016. It was a reality-check for me and suffered badly from cramp all throughout the run. I knew I have a lot of work to do to improve my time. I try to maximize my training with the limited resources that I have (logistics, equipment and availability) since I cannot follow whatever is in the training schedule. I felt like I was more prepared during my Ironman Cebu than now. Although my training was an unstructured ad-hoc training, I still try to look at the objectives and benefits of every single one that I make.

The Ironman race week arrived very quickly. Jumeirah Open Beach (Ironman Race Village) was buzzing with very expensive carbon bikes, lots of lycra and Ironman razzmatazz everywhere (it was a privilege to be part of this whole thing). The waves are high that 25th of January, Wednesday morning; still tested the water although I arrived a little late morning. Same day evening, I attended the race briefing. The next day 26th January, me and tri-buddies tested the water again. I tried reaching the farthest buoy I could see but no luck, there’s a strong current so I swim back to the shore instead. Marshie and I racked our bikes and transition bags that evening and headed back to prepare for the race the next day.

Friday morning started early with a 4am alarm. It was difficult to eat at this time in the morning but it is going to be a long day so I forced the bread down with my usual coffee. At 5am we got on the cab  and headed up to the race venue. Ironman is different from most of the triathlon events that I have entered in that you don’t keep anything on the floor in your transition station. Everything has to be on the bike or in the bags provided and placed on your numbered peg. The only thing we had to do was get air in the tires and get our wet-suit on. Transition closed at 6:45am so we headed down to the swim start.

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Photo Credit: to the owner

07:15am the canon fires, the pros/elites get the first wave underway. The other thousands of us get in the line ready (according to expected swim time) for the rolling start (every 5 secs 12 swimmers). The swim exasperated the hell out of me as it was just difficult to breath for the first few hundred meters because of nervousness. I really do admit that I’m not a fast swimmer (If you did not finish the swim part within 01:10 hrs you cannot continue to the next part of the race). Lots of pushing, shoving, kicking and slapping and no place for well-mannered conduct as this was a dog fight! The water is clear and calm (unlike the past few days) that day. It was a perfect weather! I enjoyed the last meters and felt strong towards the end of the swim leg.

Swim: 00:53:05

T1       00:06:40

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Transition onto the bike was pretty stress free, I removed my wet-suit in the shower and hurried to the transition area to get my transition bag. The bike course was awesome. Riding on smooth roads was great and it felt so safe that I decided to push a fraction harder than planned while staying within planned power and heart rate ranges. My HR average never went above 131bpm during the whole 90kms and my pace stayed 29kph on the first 45kms and 38kph on the second half for much of the ride. I had more to give but I knew the half marathon in the heat was going to be a tough challenge. The bridges on the course were fairly easy. The feed stations were great with everything handed to you while riding and absolutely no need to stop during the ride – in fact I didn’t stop once in 90km. The 1 loop bike course was an absolute pleasure to ride.

Bike 02:54:18

T2     00:05:34

 

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Photo Credit: Filipina Hernandez

Coming off the bike I felt good – I knew I had hydrated better by a long shot and I was very happy being ahead of my schedule coming off the bike. T2 was also pretty stress free, I was off feeling rather pleased with myself and at this point thinking I could possibly smash my expectations for my second 70.3 Ironman race. The sun was up and the skies were clear blue and the run course along the beach was just lovely. I stayed within my planned pace for about the first 7kms then I started slowing down, I tried to keep the pace up but I could feel the pace dropping off in the heat but I wasn’t too worried as I just wanted to run, it didn’t really matter how fast at this point. Every time I passed with someone I knew, we are giving a little words of encouragement. The spectators are great giving their best cheer “you can do this” “you are strong” and even called my name! Not long after 10kms I felt a twinge of pain in my hamstrings, I wanted to stop so badly but instead I convince myself that I can let this slide, I will just slow down into a jog. Took deep breaths and pour water on my legs. After picking up my last band (3rd) the vertigo started make the running quite difficult. Everything is twirling around (I have vertigo because I have a problem with my left ear plus I have a poor eye sight)! I need to stop. I walked. Suddenly I heard Christa (FITmate) asking “Eden, are you ok?” I told her I’m feeling dizzy (almost wanted to faint) and I need water. Luckily, the feeding station was not far. I heard her asking water and she handed it to me. I also heard Julie (FITmate) on the other lane said “Maitim, Maganda, Malakas” I gave her a smile and a nod (guess it’s time to run again). Christa encouraged me to do a slow jog (thank you!). I did. I uttered a prayer in my mind, “Dad give me strength, I can do this” I repeatedly say this prayer in my mind (not knowing I was already ahead of Christa). On arrival at the finishers chute and the Ironman carpet I knew I made it. I loved every single second with the music pumping, my heart now racing, the shouts from my friends and I crossed the line in 06:22:39 to the PA announcing “Eden Uy, you are still running”.

Run 02:23:02

Finish 06:22:39

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In every race, the path leading up to the finish line was one of the most challenging rides—especially those last grueling kilometers of the race, where the legs felt like lead blocks and pretty much every part of the body hurt as we ran. There will be a strong urge to stop, sit down for the first time and just call it a day. But remember, no one was more surprised than yourself to discover that limitations are just something you set for yourself. Finding out what’s beyond them is truly a life-changing experience.

I feel limitless, more motivated than ever, and I’m already searching for a new, big challenge!

Until next finish line,

MaitimMagandaMalakas

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anything under the sun, Encouragement, Freedom of Speech, random, Words

Seasoned Words for the Season

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. – Pro 15:1

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. – Pro 13:3

Christmas is fast approaching. The Christmas decorations are everywhere (even here in the Middle East), holiday sale, exchanging of gifts, left and right party invitations, everyone is just in the mood for enjoyment and giving.

As we head into the holiday season I was reminded of the seasonings we use for cooking in those get together meals. Yes, I’m talking about the seasoning for food. Seasoning is the process of adding salt, herbs, or spices to food to enhance the flavor. Without seasonings, the food may taste bland. Which leads me to this verse in the bible: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person”. – Col 4:6.

We have given the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas but it comes with responsibilities (In some countries it is legitimately restricted). There are times I wish I didn’t made that comment or said the word (normally I’m very soft spoken). Perhaps, it is because of anger, fear, jealousy and even pride. I know that we should think before we speak but sometimes my knee jerk reaction gets the best of me (Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.- Eph 4:29). Words can help or they can harm.  We should be measuring our words carefully because we will have to give an account for them someday (I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. – Matt 12:36-37)

The old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” is completely untrue.  Wounds from sticks and stones can heal but often words wound us deeper than any superficial wounds and are sometimes next to impossible to heal (Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. –Pro 18:21).

I believe that Daddy God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a very good reason; we ought to be listening twice as much as we speak.  No one learns anything from speaking but wisdom and knowledge come by hearing.

With Daddy God’s grace and seasoned words (in the bible) we are able to control, change and guard whatever comes out from our mouth. Ask Daddy God for wisdom and understanding so that the next time we speak we will only say what needs to be heard on that given situation. I agree, as human it is not easy. Remember, we are a work in progress. It will come out naturally at some point the next time someone catches us off-guard.

 

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anything under the sun, Courage, determination, God girl, Gratitude, Jesus, random, Strength in Adversity, Thank you

Thankful

This month (November) thanks giving is being celebrated in some parts of the world. Unknowingly, just recently, I decided to change my prayer pattern from asking to thanks giving. I’m aware that when you want something, all you need to do is ask (Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you – Matt 7:7).  Through thanks giving, however, it can take you to the realm of miracle. It changes the way you move the forces around you. By being thankful we can access presence. We are able to receive the blessings of being alive.

By learning to say, “Thank You” to every experience we have, we move from a place of resistance, where we feel like a victim, to a place of acceptance, where we can be okay with change and eventually even embrace it. This simple act allows us to move forward with our lives in leaps and bounds.

Unfortunately, most of the time we’re so caught up in either avoiding pain or just getting through the day that we forget to say to ourselves: Amazing! Nature is crazy beautiful!  Food tastes delicious. I can be the person I want to be right now. What do I want to experience next?

Instead, we are too busy thinking: How will I ever pay my bills? I hope I don’t look stupid! I wonder if anybody will notice me today. Why do bad things always happen to me? I’m not good enough to have what I want. I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just do nothing. Life is boring! (That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? – Matt 6:25)

What’s up with that?!

If we open our hearts, aligning our minds and our thoughts with feeling grateful, we are able to witness the true meaning of life. On the other hand, when we are not aligned with gratitude—when we’re feeling like a victim, complaining about whatever is happening, or blaming others—we cloud our perspective and miss the whole miraculous life.

During this time, if you are struggling and having a hard time like me, don’t give up.  Instead, give thanks to what Daddy God provides for you every day.  Hold on and be strong until you surpass this season. Praise Him and give thanks for the blessings He is about to give you.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s just being thankful!

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. – Colossians 3:16

*Thank you Daddy God for everything! I love you!

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anything under the sun, Courage, determination, Endurance, God girl, Jesus, running, Strength in Adversity, tolerance

High Tolerance

According to Merriam Webster, the following are the Full Definition of TOLERANCE:

  1. Capacity to endure pain or hardship:  endurance, fortitude, stamina
  2. a. Sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own. b. The act of allowing something: toleration
  3. The allowable deviation from a standard;especially: the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece.
  4. The capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure(developed a tolerance to painkillers)

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So to simplify, a tolerance means that you can have a lot of pain and continue to do normal tasks. Those who have high tolerance are better at “sucking it up,” they can deal with a lot of pain and continue to function.

For a couple of weeks now, God spoke to my heart regarding tolerance. (Just to give you a background, my tolerance in pain is quite high) In every situation we must have tolerance that humbles our hearts.

Lately I have been feeling pulled in every direction by my spiritual journey, psychically and mentally. I’m being tested in every area all at once leaving me helpless and hopeless drowning in this sea of darkness. But Daddy God shows me mercy and grace, pulling me back to His loving arms where I could rest, where I could feel His presence.

In order to run in this race of life, we must learn how to walk, slow down, take time yet not giving up. Tolerance is one of these things when it comes to the people that rub us the wrong way, the surrounding that is annoying, the friend who complains all the time, colleague that has different belief and argumentative and the family that depends on you each day. Most of the times, these things weigh heavy in our hearts and minds causing us to explode.

When you experience those moments, don’t be unkind. Show them Daddy God’s mercy, grace and love (just as you receive from Him). If you can’t do it, pray. Pray for strength to do so and cling to His words for guidance. Surely, you will come out with understanding and wisdom the next time you hit the ground running. It’s human to blow off some steam, but remember, you cannot take back what was already spoken.

To be tolerant of others shows our maturity in life and compassion for people. We are made in His likeness, although we do not have the same ethnic, values, politics and religious views. Each of us are unique / different.

For me, success in today’s world depends on being able to appreciate others work and being tolerant to the differences that co-exist.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. – Romans 12:10

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anything under the sun, determination, God girl, Jesus, Strength in Adversity, Uncategorized

Take courage

Discouragement and disappointment, what a compelling topic! Sometimes we seem to create more drama around a disheartening event so that we don’t have to feel it.

Disappointment is such a tough thing to handle, and it seems to pop up in daily life so much that we are constantly dealing with it. When was the last time someone let you down?  I like to hope that the answer would be never, but we don’t live in a fantasy world. Reality bites. Most people will fail us time and time again. Without realizing that they keep hurting us each time. That’s a trouble thought to even bare when you think about it.

I read from the book “Feeling Good” by David Burns, that never use the word ‘should’. By using or thinking that word, we are projecting our own story-lines and creating imaginary situations which might or might not happen. Basically you can’t expect anything from anyone, because life just doesn’t work that way. I personally have found that having that mind-set (expecting people should act a certain way because I’ve done such and such) is one of my main sources for constant disappointment. Now it’s been so much easier for me to just let go of that. If I greeted and give gift to someone on their birthday, I’m not disappointed when they don’t reciprocate. I don’t expect someone to thank me when I make a kind gesture. I don’t judge someone when I ask them to attend an event or do something for me and they say they can’t, or even if they say they can and then don’t do it anyway. I am not excusing bad behavior, I consider this as a blessing and use it to learn for future interactions.

Of course! I am human and this concept is a work in progress so it’s not as easy for me as I make it sound here, but keeping this in mind has truly helped my perspective. Thinking about how I can’t expect anyone else to approach life like I do helps me let go of how I feel they ‘should’ and just accept that there are people like that and it doesn’t have anything to do with me. I am also forgiving with myself and try to accept that I am learning and growing and mistakes are inevitable. If I am able to stay true to my authentic self, being perfect doesn’t matter and I can accept myself “as is” in this moment, mistakes and all.

So it all sums to this, never depend on others, depend on God, spend time with Him. Show those that hurt you that they are forgiven.

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again–my Savior and my God! – Psalm 42:11

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