Less of me, More of God

Posts tagged ‘Love’


Step Forward!

Step Forward!

As this month is my birthday month, I am also taking a step towards a dream I’ve always had.

My Uplifted Spirit is migrating to a new site! http://www.janinapaula.com is now in the works and will be live soonest! Can’t wait!

“Push comfort zone out and you will be most fulfilled, because you will be doing more!” – Lynette Lewis

“Believe that dreams come true everyday, because they do.” – One Tree Hill

Even Just for Today….

Let whatever you do today be enough.

Let go of the judgement you have about what you should be or could be doing, and today, allow yourself to simply be.

Comparing yourself and your journey may be habitual, but it gets you nowhere. It makes you feel worse and keeps you stuck.

Stop fixating on where everyone else is, and start giving yourself permission to be exactly where you are.

Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at and what you are doing is enough.

You will get where you need to be in your own time.

Until then, breathe. Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process.

You are doing your best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It is enough.

You are enough.

– Danielle Koepke

Have You Ever Met Someone Who’s Changed Your World?

I have. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. The luckier ones, even, as I am actually related to the person who’s changed my world.

Her name is Janice and I’ve known her all my life. You see, she is my first cousin, and we grew up in a “clannish” family here in the Philippines. By “clannish”, I mean growing up in the same compound, and even when my family moved away, we still went to our grandparents’ ancestral house on a weekly basis, so I always see and spend time with my cousins. She is 6 years older than me, and I looked up to her growing up because she just seems to know everything! I was always considered an early bloomer, and maybe it’s because as I would often hang out with her and her friends. I learned and experienced a lot at such an early age—and this includes drinking and smoking (sometimes, since I have asthma), and dealing with suitors, maniacs and heartaches.

This is not to say we lived a low and miserable life before, in fact, some of my great memories are when I was with her, talking and laughing about stuff, discovering the new clubs and bars, gossiping and so much more. It also wasn’t shallow, as we’d have long talks about love lost, family issues and what we should and should not do in our generation. We have a big clan with lots and lots of complications, so at an early age, we got to see the wrongs of the ones who came before us. In high school, I think some of my classmates saw me as someone profound as I would always share stuff about “life” – and I don’t mean the sheltered kind of life we were ideally living in.

I think the best thing about my relationship with Janice is that despite moving away (for her, it was several times), and moving forward  with new discoveries, we somehow always pick up where we left off whenever we see each other. The problems we have faced, no matter how different they were, kept us close. We have an unspoken agreement that we can tell each other everything, and I mean everything, without the fear of being judged or misunderstood.

After her quarter-life crisis, she found her calling one day – to serve in her church’s ministry, The Rock of My Salvation Media Ministries – and everything in her life turned. Her talents were honed in a way that no one could ever imagine! She started editing photos, then short videos, until she was a full-time creator of documentaries that reached and touched thousands of lives. Moreover, she created a group that supports the women in prison, the Saving Grace Project (www.savinggraceph.org). Monthly, the project will be giving these women basic toiletries, and occasionally, good food they can enjoy. But what is important is the HOPE that these small gifts come with. Janice said that, after her darkest days, when she was sad and alone, God placed it in her heart to provide hope to everyone, especially those who are not able to see the light, and this is what gave birth to this project.

Seeing her go through almost everything seemed to prepare me for what I will be going through in life. Although the circumstances are much much different, I felt that I can go to this person for anything, as she has gone through so much, and she was never afraid to be transparent to me. I think Janice’s life is a real and complete testimony of God’s love. She has given strength and inspiration to so many people, most especially to me. Whenever I am feeling helpless or confused, talking to her always assure me that everything will be fine, and eventually, things will be great. She is my constant reminder of the great plans that God has for my life, and she is one of the very few who can truly motivate me to move forward and stretch my potential.

More importantly, she helped me see what I can be in others’ lives. And although I am a work in progress, I know that one day, I will be a source of strength to others, the way she has always been, and will always be, to me.

Happy Birthday, ate Janice ❤ Thank you for changing my world.



3 Years Ago.

3 Years Ago.

Going through my old Tumblr account, I saw what I wrote a few years back. This was for someone I lost because of lies and betrayal.

“I thought about you today…

… And for the first time, it wasn’t about the tears and the pain. 

It wasn’t about the hurt and the fears. It wasn’t about how you broke my heart or how I wish our future will be like.

It was about the end to all that and about something great for us — individually. So I really hope you found what you are looking for, and I hope you have everything that will make you happy, because I believe I have. 

I found forgiveness and peace. I found comfort and happiness. I found simplicity in life that I could’ve missed out on if I didn’t let you go. I found love. I found bliss. 

I will always have you (the good and the bad) to thank for that.”

I wrote it when I started to feel at peace again. It may have been a long way since my heart got broken, but I remember distinctly when I arrived at that point.

I remember exactly how I felt when I wrote this with utmost sincerity in my heart. And somehow, standing where I am today, it gave me hope.

One day, someday, I will feel this peace again. The sadness I am feeling will go away, and I will be whole again.

On Nurturing Relationships.

Today I was reminded that in order to maintain and improve my flourishing relationship with my Savior, I need to CREATE time for it… and I need to LOVE my time with the Lord.

Quoting Josh Harris’ blog:

“Jesus’ example teaches us that prayer is about relationship. When he prays, he is not performing a duty; he is getting close to his Father.

Any relationship, if it is going to grow, needs private space, time together without an agenda, where you can get to know each other. This creates an environment where closeness happen, where we can begin to understand each other’s hearts.

You don’t create intimacy; you make room for it. This is true whether you are talking about your spouse, your friend, or God. You need space to be together. Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can’t get to know God on the fly.

If Jesus has to pull away from people and noise in order to pray, then it makes sense that we need to as well.”

– Paul Miller, A Praying Life, page 47

Beautiful Vigan




I’ve always loved old houses with these gigantic windows made of capiz, so I know I’ll never pass on a trip to the beautiful Vigan, home of ancient Filipino houses and of course, Vigan longganisa and empanada! 🙂 Being a sucker for long drives and great food, I know I’m in for a treat!

Leaving late at night, we got to complete the 8-hour drive with just 2 stops to eat – one along the highway and another in one of the popular bus stops that surprisingly offered decent mami and tocilog. The drive was cool, peaceful, and with great laughs from my RGR and our other couple friends, Anj and Waf. We reached Ilocos Sur in no time.

We earlier booked the perfect hotel – near the plaza and Calle Crisologo, plus it wasn’t the old creepy place – Hotel Salcedo was a classy Filipiniana type with a good restaurant and WiFi (it’s a must for all our trips or else RGR will go crazy!) Best of all, it’s affordable!


After our short nap, we decided to walk around, it was really sunny, and a perfect day to take pictures as it wasn’t as crowded as we’d expected. We then landed on Café Uno, which was connected to Kusina Felicitas. There was just the four of us, but we were so hungry, we ordered double of everything! A sumptuous lunch indeed!


Vigan is quite a small city, as we were able to tour most part of the town for 7 hours riding a calesa. We got to see Gov. Singson’s Baluarte and its zoo animals, the Syquia Mansion or the house of former President Elpidio Quirino (beautiful home with so much history to tell), the Vigan Beach (unfortunately underdeveloped so we didn’t get to swim), the Vigan Bell Tower overlooking the entire town, and two churches, one of which is the Cathedral at the Plaza. Of course, the astonishing stretch of Calle Crisologo filled with souvenir items from small trinkets to the famous Vigan longganisa, and even the rice coffee and rice wine. We also tried the popular Cafe Leona –– known for their exquisite Italian cuisine, and Leila’s Cafe, which was just a few steps away from our hotel. 




This place is very quiet and family-friendly. No noisy bars or dancing at night, just quaint cafés that will remind you to relax and take it slow. I’d surely recommend this place, especially to those who would like to be reminded of reasons to be Filipino and proud. 🙂