Friday, August 08, 2003

Blessings on My 29th Birthday

One of my addictions as an eight-year old girl living in Olongapo City was a Game & Watch toy owned by my older cousin. Every afternoon, for about a month or so, I would rush home from school, change out of my uniform, and play Popeye inside her optical shop, oblivious to the rest of the world. During those moments my only concern was how to catch the goodies that fell from the sky for Olive Oyl and I, and to keep them from Brutus who wasted no time in rocking my boat.

I think those goodies included whole pineapples, cans of spinach, bottles of cola, and one other item I cannot recall at the moment. Failure to catch any of these things meant they would be gone, wasted and lost to me forever. I never got to enjoy any of the things I caught as my hands were busy catching the next surprise that was thrown my way.

More than two decades later I'm still at the game. I juggle too many things at the same time. I don't have time to sit down and savor a slice of pineapple or a bottle of cola. I don't eat the spinach that is meant to strengthen me. I just acquire, acquire, acquire until my boat gets too heavy and I tip over. Sometimes the enemy succeeds in distracting me so he could get what I have and make me feel lousy for losing.

God's blessings come in torrents. Yes, I try to fix my eyes on heaven but I hardly have time to enjoy the blessings provided here on earth. My boat is easily rocked by the challenges and storms that I face, making me forget how blessed I actually am.

I met a car accident but loved ones came to my rescue immediately after. I had health and car insurance, plus the erring driver eventually paid. Even though I hardly enjoyed it, being a lawyer and having lawyers as friends worked to my advantage for I was able to protect my rights. The car is even looking better now because of the brand new spare parts that were installed. For three weeks I experienced the service of loved ones who drove for me. Whenever I needed to take a taxi, I had some cash to pay for the fare. Instead of being grateful, however, I was short-tempered and anxious during that trying month.

Rejoice in all circumstances, that is what Scripture tells us. For two consecutive years, brothers and sisters threw surprise birthday parties for me. Last year there were three celebrations in fact, and this made me promise myself that I would give back in due time. News spread early this year that court lawyers would receive a 100% salary increase. The timing was perfect, I
thought, and come July I would be able to surprise my lovedones with a party.

The salary increase did not materialize, so don't believe the newspapers and politicians. By June I accepted greater service so I was busy, I was tired, and I felt there was no reason to have a party anymore. I looked at the amount of love God had given me, and my friends, officemates, parents, siblings, brothers and sisters, and I realized just to be alive and loved is a reason to celebrate!

That, plus a hundred different things that came my way this year. A trip to Sydney, a fulfilling job, a loving community, and a whole lot more. I thought, Lord, you're right. It's time to party. He assured me that He would provide.

Last week, God did provide. :) Food and drinks flowed and I did not have to beg, borrow or steal for that. People came to celebrate the dawn of my last year as a twentysomething. God is faithful even though I was not! Though I have to pray daily for the grace to be grateful, one look at the 80 people who came and the others who called, emailed and texted, my brain tells me I have to say thank you.

Thank you everyone for being the cast of this telenovela. Secrets, grade school barkada. Phinx, high school friends. A-99, law school blockmates. Lingkod, community. Officemates. Friends. Family. God is so generous! My cup runneth over.

This email was not sent earlier because of technical problems. At least because of the passage of time, the message has been properly summarized. Otherwise kung nasulat ko agad ito after the party baka nobela na naman. :)

I hope that you all have the time to enjoy your blessings, which abound, even in times of adversity. God bless everyone!


Anonymous said...

hi ella
it's me again, richard :)
im running through your old posts. :) u love game and watch din pala. i had popeye before when i was little :) did u play octopus too? :)

Ella said...

Yup I did. Yun yung humahaba ang tentacles niya diba? The tentacles are separated into segments. I can picture the octopus in my mind right now. :))