Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Special Girl is 17 Today!

Are those cobwebs I see?
Well, hello there... blog! It's been a while, hasn't it? This place has been neglected lately, to say the least. I suppose these past six weeks have turned into an unplanned blogging break around here.

You see, the New Year arrived and was off to a speeding start. Life became quite hectic and busy! Then, I caught a flu bug and have been feeling nasty for almost two weeks now.

This weekend, I finally started feeling better! Last night, I slept through the night for the first time in two weeks... all night long without a coughing fit. Boy, it felt awesome to get a good night's sleep again!

And, we had a long weekend... the Family Day holiday... which gave me some time to rest, relax and recuperate... giving me some motivation and inspiration to write again. So... I guess it's time to clean up the cobwebs around here and publish some blog posts again!

And, what better occasion to break a blogging fast than this...

Today, we are celebrating a very special girl turning seventeen!!! Yes, you read that right... SEVENTEEN!!!

Time truly flows like a relentless river, never slowing down to wait. Just like a blink of an eye, my baby girl is suddenly seventeen! How did that happen?!?

Seventeen holds a special place in my heart. I was seventeen when my parents decided to move our family from the Philippines to our new home here in Canada.

It was the year I was plunged into a new beginning. 
It was the year I went from child to grown-up. 
It was the year I learned to cling to God. 

Because, you see... even though my parents moved our whole family to our new home here in Canada, they didn't stay. They went back to the Philippines to take care of the family business because it was the only way they knew how to support our life here.

So, even though our grandma and our aunt lived with us... at seventeen, I suddenly had to grow up... and be mainly responsible for my two younger sisters, who were just fifteen and twelve at that time. I was responsible for many things that normal 17-year-old girls don't normally have to worry about, such as buying groceries and getting the car serviced, such as home repairs and paying bills.

All that to say... one can really be a grown-up at seventeen!

So, in more ways than one... seventeen, to me, is a milestone birthday!
As I ponder upon my girl turning seventeen, I am suddenly hit with this realization that she is now a grown-up! It is time for me to let go... to help unfurl her wings and let her fly!

Oh, this mama-heart just can't seem to believe that the time has come...

Yet, as I look back at my girl's life this past year... I can clearly see God's hand in the many details, both big and small... and I can see that, indeed, He has readied her wings and she is ready to fly!

First of all, she became a licensed driver. Enough said. ;) Lord, calm my anxious heart!

In March, she was honoured with a provincial writing award for a piece she wrote on the courage of Malala Yousafzai.

She then experienced God answering her "break my heart for what breaks Yours" prayer as she served at UrbanPromise Wilmington during her March Break.

The summer brought the start of her scary, recurring vision losses which continue to this day. As we waited for answers and thoughts of more serious illnesses crossed our minds, her response and mind-set have totally floored me... she has always chosen faith over fear. This is from her blog post...
What if his plan was for me to become blind?
No really - serious question. What if he called me to serve Him without my sight?
Would I say yes?
I said it to my mom later in the week - "I hope if God called me to be blind, I'd be ok with that."
Not just ok, though. I hope my lips would praise Him still, and my life would continue to be His.
Because everything we have is only because of Him.
And how quickly He could take it all away - really.
But our loving God - he doesn't.
He gives. Continually, He gives us only His best.
Because - the biggest thing I was reminded of through all this:
All is grace. All.
And, on a lighter note, this year she officially became The Shorter Sibling and the shortest member of our family! ;)

In October, she launched Freedom Creations, in order to join in the fight against modern-day slavery... and has single-handedly taught me how to knit! That, in itself... is a huge accomplishment! 

In November, she was honoured by being awarded the YMCA Peace Medallion... opening many opportunities for her to speak publicly about her faith and how it is the foundation for her passion for social justice!

Her wisdom astounds me... evident in such places as this recent blog post she wrote about Justin Bieber, which has now become her most-read blog post! Wisdom beyond her years... truly God's grace at work in her life!

So, you see... at seventeen, my baby girl is more mature than I was at age seventeen... in more ways than one!

I can say much more... 
And this proud-mama has much more that she can say... but this much is evident, by God's grace, my baby girl has grown God-wings to fly... all that is needed for this mama to do is to help her unfurl them and to see her soar! 

Happy Birthday, my baby girl!
My heart gives thanks to God, our Heavenly Father, as I see you live life as "a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." I am blessed beyond measure and super proud to be your mama! ♥

:: :: ::

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... these are the things I am thankful for these past 6 weeks... #3153 - #3170:
:: God's grace so evidently at work in my girl's life.
:: The gift that my girl is to us... seventeen years of blessings!
:: Watching my boy play basketball.
:: God's peace, surpassing all understanding... during this time of turmoil and uncertainties surrounding one of hubby's business contacts.
:: New-found joy in knitting!
:: Serving dinners, together with our church family, to our homeless and hungry brothers and sisters.
:: The many opportunities for us to slow down and befriend a few homeless/in-need people... and the opportunity to bless them with even just a meal or some grocery gift cards or even just a cup of coffee. 
:: Top-notch and accessible healthcare for us to investigate my girl's vision problems... and an almost-sure diagnosis of eye migraines.
:: God's strength, for busy seasons.
:: His grace, for times when life is hard.
:: A great first semester at school for my girl... and a great start for this brand-new semester.
:: A baby shower to bless some moms experiencing crisis pregnancies.
:: Serving at a few Compassion events and seeing many children sponsored
:: Our church family... where we can belong and serve and love God together with.
:: A Friday night at a hockey game with our friends from UrbanPromise Toronto!
:: The launch of another AIDS Care season at our church!
:: Writing letters to all of our sponsor children!
:: A new Compassion Correspondent Child, Patrick from Rwanda!

In counting grace-gifts...
I am learning to let be and be still... and to pay more attention to my Jesus... and to be ready to act on the things that He has in store for me to do... because "all there is to see is Jesus."
If living eucharisteo is the key to unlocking the mystery of life, this I want. I want the hunt, the long sleuth, the careful piecing together. To learn how to be grateful and happy whether hands full or hands empty. This is a secret worth spending a life on learning.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. A very Happy Birthday to your amazing and wonderful daughter! I pray that God will continue to do amazing things in and through her!


    1. Thanks, Deborah! She is one special girl... I am deeply grateful for God's grace! And that's so awesome that one of the verification words for your comment was the word "injustice". So appropriate indeed! :)

  2. Can you believe that one of my verification words was "injustice"? How appropriate is that for a special girl who works so hard for social justice!