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My Week

In adoration,

I consider the beauty and bounty in creation, and how much I take them for granted. Residing in a busy, crowded, and polluted metropolis, I nevertheless wake up to a sunrise made mild and gentle by a couple of trees across the street. Nearby is a narra tree whose amazing annual transformations from out-and-out bald and dry to madly flourishing in green and yellow, I can also marvel at from my window.

There is some meaning in the contradiction, I think, and it is that, in the midst of nature wrecked by man, there remains glimpses of the steadfastness of God's loving providence. And considering this, should we not feel called to a renewed sense of stewardship of creation?
Sunrise by my window

In contrition,

On the heels of the Christmas Season, I examine myself on the virtue of humility. Citing the Gospel of Luke, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (525) reminds us that Jesus in the humblest state with simple shepherds as His first visitors. However, "in this poverty, heaven's glory was manifest".

I find it bit tricky to live by humility. For example, it may be easy for me to refrain from bragging or praising myself or claiming to be better than Person X. But bragging is not necessarily at the other extreme of humility. I don't have to brag to THINK that I am superior to other people. I just have to think it, and out the window goes humility. Or in my prayers, I can tell God that I submit my will to His, but negotiate with Him about what I want Him to do in my life. Virtues do have nuances, don't they?

A lesson in humility

In thanksgiving, 

I remember the Christmas Season just past and the opportunities to gather with family, again and again, in the city and in the province, over Christmas, New Year, and January birthdays. I marvel at how big my parents' and parents-in-law's families have grown over the years, giving my children a combined total of 22 cousins, all of whom they are close to.

Red boots on green grass

In supplication, 

I keep in mind the Pope's intentions for January, which he entrusts to the Apostleship of Prayer:

Universal intention - "Interreligious dialogue. That sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice."

Evangelization intention - Christian unity. "That by means of dialogue and fraternal charity and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians may overcome divisions."

You can find the Apostleship of Prayer's reflections on January's intentions here.

Bird on the roof

Never say die (a.k.a. Around the house)

A couple of doable projects for this week:

~ Sorting through everyone's closets for clothes that need mending and those that may be given away.
~ Sorting through everyone's footwear for those that need repair and/or cleaning and those that need to be retired.

I worked on my One-Spread Planner during the early days of January. I will work on a separate post on it, but for now, you can check out the 2013 version here.

The goal of a One-Spread Planner is to simplify the exercise of planning your entire year. If you are like me, I tend to over-plan and miss the bigger and more important picture. I identify guideposts around which I plan monthly focus and activities. These year, the guideposts I used are:
~ liturgical season,
~ papal intentions,
~ monthly observances/dedications,
~ civil observances,
~ room in focus/organizational tasks, and
~ family activities.

A happy level of organization

Never ever say die (a.k.a. Around the kitchen

I've been wanting to make frozen fruit salad for months now, and today, I actually made a batch. Whew. I just placed it in the freezer, and judging time is tonight at dinnertime.

There are also overripe bananas waiting to be transformed into cupcakes or bread. Don't you sometimes wish that a magic wand is hidden somewhere in your utensils drawer?

'Best to keep her out of the kitchen during meal preps and mealtimes.

Primary educator, always

Book inventory and cataloging. My one big project this year. Cataloging is not just for big libraries, right? :-) There are many reasons why we should do this, not the least of which is for us to be able to maximize the use of our learning resources. When you know what you have AND where they are, they tend to be used more.

What Eldest Daughter did after her final exams

Tackling the book hoard and the bookmarks

I'm not making a books-to-be-read list this year. Instead, I will make a books-read list. Outcomes over plans. I read every chance I get, but not as often as I wish to (or plan to), so a half-done books-to-be-read list at the end of the year can be frustrating.

Outside of schoolbooks and work-related reading, I always have four books on my desk and/or nightstand. There is one book each for the following categories:
~ fiction,
~ non-fiction,
~ education and learning, and
~ spiritual reading.

Where I hope to read many books this year

Liturgical living and devotions

We are at the start of what I call "short Ordinary Time", versus the months-long Ordinary Time before Advent. Youngest Daughter just finished a little project on the liturgical cycle. Hopefully later, we can do more beyond tabulating the seasons, their keywords, and assigned colors. Keeping plans doable, I would also love for us to study the life of just one saint. I am thinking of Saint Thomas Aquinas whose feast day falls on January 28.

I also hope to do Candlemas well this year. If I can assemble a basket of candles for my sisters, mom, and mother-in-law AND have them blessed during the early morning Mass on February 2, I would have done well :-).

Our Lady of Caysasay Church, Taal, Batangas, Philippines, established in 1603

Have a good week, everyone!


  1. I love your writing style.
    And Yes, where is that magic wand?

    I too have lightened up on the reading plan to what we have read and we end up on different trails and have enjoyed the change up.
    I have rediscovered a few past favorites I might have missed introducing to my kids.
    Congratulations to your parents for their many grandkids! What a great witness to family.

  2. Thank you for visiting! You got me thinking about the good books that I should be encouraging my children to read!


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