Being from Guam, we are usually protected or sheltered from the harsh realities of the world. Today, this reality chooses to hit home with the abduction and rape of a 15 year old girl. Not only on our island but about 5 minutes away from my home. I would be lying if I said that this is the first case of such magnitude. But, the reality of the situation is that many of our people are in such a rush to be caught up with the continental United States. But, when a situation like this hits home, we are quick to blame other cultures. Outsiders who have moved here and now call our island "home" are on the top o our list of suspects.

We are so quick to judge these men. I admit, there is no excuse for a man to abduct and rape a 15 year old child... or anybody, for that matter. But, we must remember that we, as a community, need to pull together to protect our children. To protect the innocence of our island. Instead, we choose to condemn these men to death. To kill them with our thoughts and our words.

At times like this, I can't help but remember the life of Sta. Maria Goretti. Maria Goretti was a child - only 12 years old - who was attacked, raped, and stabbed 14 times. She was an innocent child who loved her family and was obedient to her faith. Through her attack, she fought to defend her innocence and the innocence of the man who attacked her. On her death bed, she forgave this man and prayed for his soul.

We are so unlike Maria Goretti in this matter. Instead of praying for the healing of the victim and for the salvation of the men who attacked her, we condemn the men and seek revenge for the girl. If this world were so dead set on seeking revenge, where would we all be today? It is said, "An eye for an eye". In the words of Gandhi. "An eye for an eye will make the world blind."

We have to remember, these men will have to answer for their deeds at the final judgement. We are not God. We are not called to be the judge. I am in no way condoning the actions of these men or of any other people who choose to offend the law. But, there are systems that have been set forth that address these matters. We are in no position to do so ourselves.

Instead, as an island community, we need to pull together. We need to work as a unit to protect our island and our people. We must educate our people. We need to open our eyes and realize that these offenses exist. We are not so sheltered anymore. We should be more watchful of our children and the youth of the community. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, right?

My prayers are with you all. :)



Simply put, you're not a priority in my life simply because you don't seem to want to be. Maybe one day that will change. But, until then...


Almost A Year

November 16th marks a year since we've said goodbye to a woman who meant so much to our family. So much has happened in this year. Yet, I remember every single aspect of that day. I remember that I was at work and wished I could have been home. I remember grumbling because it was a rough day at work. I was at Sakura Noodle house with the two men in my life who have seen me through so much and I remember feeling lost.

Standing outside the emergency room of that hospital, knowing that this would be the last time I would see her, was the most excruciating experience. This woman who I had loved so much without having to say so. This woman whom I took for granted. There was so much to say and yet, I couldn't find the words or the courage - doing so would have meant admitting that I had done wrong. Seeking the advice of a dear friend, a member of the clergy, I was able to swallow my pride and say goodbye.

It was the strangest feeling - standing there and saying my silent goodbye, listening to her labored breath, hearing what people refer to as 'the death rattle', and feeling her body tense and then go limp as she took her last breath. I would be lying if I said I was strong and could just let her go. The truth is, while I knew she was going to her eternal home and I should be happy, I was selfish. I wanted to keep her for one more minute. To tell her how sorry I was. To tell her, one last time, that I love her.

Today, I know that she is praying for us. I know that she is looking at us and seeing the fruits of her life. I know that she cried tears of joy with us when my sister's dream of becoming a mother was realized. I know that she was happy to see that my mother, her daughter, was finally the grandmother she wished she could be.

We miss her so much, these days. Every time an event occurs, we run to the phone to call her - picking up the receiver and realizing that she's no longer here and sadly hanging the phone back in its cradle.

Much more important are the memories she left us with. The smile that she always had for us. The birthday calls, the birthday kisses and pinches. The faith that she instilled on us since childhood. Yes, even the sweets that she would make us during the typhoon days that we spent with her.

Grandma Taijeron will forever be in our hearts. The pain will fade, eventually. But, her face will always be in our minds when we think of her. When we drive up to her old house, we will always see her, sitting at he kitchen table, peeking out the window with her gleaming head of white hair. She was a strong and beautiful person and I thank her for all that she did for our family, as a whole.

Nana-hu biha, hu tunggu na gaige hao gi langet ya kada diha uma'tan hao papa giya hita. Put fabot, manaitai ham sa an taigue hao, gof mappot para hita. Inguiaya hao para todo i tiempo. Siempre, un dia, ta a'sotda hit ta'lo go langet.



Tonight, I say a special prayer...

Lord, you know what's in my heart. If it's in your will may it be done to us. You know who I am, what I need, and what I desire. I am not worthy of everything you have done for me thus far. But, you know that I am eternally grateful for the graces you have blessed me with. May I always remain open to Your Will in my life. Amen.


Final Hours

We've reached the final countdown for our flight to meet Jesus Christ in Madrid! As I write(err... type) this, we are at 14 hours until takeoff. I can't even begin to describe the feelings that are coursing through me at the moment!

The most powerful feeling I have right now is one of gratitude. Having been unemployed since March, I've had no other way of getting to Madrid than to fund raise. I am filled with the spirit of gratitude towards all those who have helped me on this journey. You are all a part of this pilgrimage. You see, the pilgrimage does not begin when we touch down at our destination. It doesn't begin with our check in at the airport. Our journey to meet Christ began once the desire took seed in our hearts. Basically, it began in 2008 with the closing of the last World Youth Day in Australia.

Without all your help with our fundraisers: ordering food plates, banana bread, truffles (OMG, the truffle saga)... Without you there in the background saying, 'You can do it!'... Without your prayers, we would never be able to step foot in that airplane. Let alone on the soil of what people call our 'motherland'.

Without my parents whose sweat and labor helped not only me but my whole group of friends, we would have tried and probably fallen flat on our faces. I owe my father and my mother a huge debt of gratitude! They were up with us on those nights that we didn't sleep, working well in to the morning hours. They were there for all the tears. All the screaming and fighting.

If you look at this now, it seems that the road to Madrid was all bumps and pot holes. But, it was far from it. For the most part, the road was paved with love, laughter, friendship, and faith. I have established friendships on this road that, I know, will last a lifetime.

God has been great to us. He has held us all up and has once again, risen, victorious! I look forward to the experience that he has laid out for me in Madrid, Spain and I pray that I remain open to whatever he has planned!

The plane ride though? That's another story!

Please pray for us while we journey half a world away to meet the Holy Father. I will be sure to keep you all in my prayers.

Thank you!


2 Days!

Ok! So, it's a little more than 2 days. But, who's counting? Really? Oh wait... I am!!

In less than three days, I will be in Malta. Well on my way to Madrid. Right now, I'm filled with excitement, anxiety, fear, and a whole list of other emotions! I'm trying to stay focused but have managed to fail pretty much every time!

I'm excited to see what is in the plan for me. Not only in the Philippines, Malta, and Madrid. But, in the long run. Will this be the trip where I find my vocation? I don't know. Will I be open to hearing what He wants of me? I pray that I am. I'm excited to meet new friends that I have made in the past few years through the wonders of the internet... Friends who share the same beliefs as I... Friends who already feel like brothers and sisters even though we live a world apart.

I'm anxious for the time to come faster! Yes, I know I'm not ready. But, the more that time goes by, the more tempted I am to give in. The closer the pilgrimage gets, the harder it is for me to remember what it took to get to where I am today. It took a lot of hard work. A lot of tears. A lot of yelling, screaming, fighting. Heck... If they'd have let use, there would of been kicking, punching, slapping, and maybe even some biting! But, I know that it was all worth it. The fruit which will come of this pilgrimage will be sweet and, I'm praying, long lasting!

I'm afraid because of so many reasons!! To list them here will not only be hard but it will also be pointless because just as quickly as my fear is voiced, it is soothed by the love that I feel. Whenever a fear pops in to my mind, I feel comforted just knowing that I do not make this trip alone. Not only do I have friends going with me but, I go with God before me.

I do have one fear that has stuck with me though... This is the fear that I will wake up on Sunday at 9am and have a feeling that I'm supposed to be somewhere. Then, at lunch time, I'll remember that I'm supposed to be on a plane heading towards Malta, Spain, and Christ!! God forbid that happen! I'll be crushed!!!

So, in about 2 days time, I shall be on a plane, headed towards the distant nations. Countries whose lands are completely foreign to me. I shall go to meet family who I've never met. Brothers and sisters through faith. I will have the time of my life. I shall go shouting the four golden rules of a pilgrim.

Rule No.1 - No grumbling.

Rule No.2 - No grumbling!

Rule No.3 - NO GRUMBLING!!!

Rule No.4 - Refer to Rules 1-3.

Please pray for me.


12 Days!!!

OMG! 12 days left til we depart and there's still so much that I need to do!

I need to clean my room because if I don't, mom's threatened to throw everything away while I'm gone. Although, I don't think that's such a bad idea. Whatever will get me through two weeks in Spain should be enough to get me by through day to day life. So, by the time I get back, we'll be preparing for a step in my community and she can threaten to get rid of all my stuff in the storage room. Then, I'll be all set to start over from scratch in a spotless room! But, in order to avoid the wrath of mom, I will try to clean the room as much as possible.

Ok! I admit, I have a ulterior motive! I need to find my sleeping bag. I can't, for the life of me, remember where I put the darned thing! I remember using it at a hotel thing with Andy, Law, and Jamie. I remember looking at it and thinking that I should take it camping on the beach and then deciding it was a bad idea because of the sand and it being so close to WYD. But, I don't remember where I put it after all that!

This memory thing is scary! I feel like an 80 year old woman with Alzheimer's. I forget where I put things like clothes, sleeping bags, books... don't even get me started on notebooks! OMG!

So, in the hopes of finding said sleeping bag, Law wrote me a little prayer. It goes like this: 
"St. Anthony St. Anthony I'm so sorry to nag... but put fabot, ayuda yu, to find iyoku "sleeping bag"."

So, please, St. Anthony. Help?

BTW... Pray for me, please. Thanks :)


20 Days!!!

I can't wait!! My group leaves for Malta and Madrid in less than 20 days and I can barely contain my excitement. I've got my packing list going. My bag is ready and waiting for the things that need to be packed. My shopping list is getting shorter. The days are going by fast.

Something is waiting for me there... I know it. I can feel it as the days go on. It's going to be beautiful!

Please pray for me.


Do Not Despise It...

This past Sunday was absolutely beautiful! For anyone who has ever experienced complete happiness, you know exactly how I was feeling.

We started the day off with Morning prayer beginning at around 830am in the church basement. Afterward, we headed towards the Department of Youth Affairs in Mangilao. For those who are not familiar with this place, it is a correctional facility for youth who have ventured in to the wrong side of the law. For those of us who grew up here, it was always a threat that was voiced towards us when we were younger. Many times, our parents would tell us, 'If you do not straighten your act, we will send you to DYA.' For the youth that we saw on Sunday, DYA is their reality.

Going in to DYA, I had mixed emotions. At first, I thought, these kids won't care what we have to say. They won't respect the experiences that we share with them. God is the last thing that these kids want to hear about. But, the longer we stayed, the more I saw that they did respect what we were saying. They were thirsting, just as we were, for something more than what any earthly affection can give us. They needed to hear that there was someone out there who loved them unconditionally. That there was someone who sent us to them on a beautiful Sunday that we could have been spending doing anything other than visiting a group of strangers.

As we were leaving the facility, I could see on the faces of some of those youth, a glimmer of hope. You see, just to hear that God loves them just as much as he loves us... to hear that the only difference between them and the youth that were leaving was that they were caught and we weren't... it helped us to see each other on the same level. I am no better than any of those kids... In many cases, I am worse. For, I know the love of God... I have seen it alive in my life. Yet, I still fight it, I still despise it.

A few hours after we left DYA, we had a meeting with Giuseppe and Claudia, the head catechists for the USA, at the seminary. I sat there, thirsting for a word, much like the youth we had seen earlier. A word is what I received!

The one thing that is burned within my heart was said by Claudia. Before they did a vocational call for women, Claudia said, "If the Lord is calling you, do not despise it!" After this, we were called to do silent prayer, praying for the Lord's will in our lives. My hands were sweating, my ears were burning, my heart felt as though it was going to pound out of my chest. Then, they did the call... For those who wish to partake in the mission in China. Even after all those sensations, I found myself still sitting in my chair. I was not on my feet with those other women.

Here's my question. Is God calling me and am I, in turn, despising that call? Am I so absorbed in my desires for the world that I can not recognize if God is knocking at the door to my heart? Am I so wrapped in the desires for success, a husband, a family, that I can not recognize a calling to something far greater? My answer? I truly don't know. I pray that if God is truly calling me, that I do not despise this call... That I find myself running towards the greatest spouse a woman can desire.

Please pray for me.


Two Things

For two different people...

I had a chimichanga today and now, no thanks to you, I will forever associate chimichangas with tamales and construction workers. Oh! And World Youth Day. I believe you ruined an otherwise pleasurable experience!

(edit - The second part of this post has been deleted for personal reasons. Sometimes, things are posted out of anger and pain. Then we move on... I've moved on)

Life has its way of throwing me a curve ball in the morning. I just have to do my best to swing and get that ball as far away from me as possible.



I Will Prepare A Place...

Many times, as a Christian, we hear this phrase. "I will go and prepare a place for you." Many times, when we hear this, our minds turn immediately to death. Today, this phrase is what I keep hearing in my heart. "I will go forth to prepare a way for you."

With the trip to Spain coming up, very quickly, my mind turns more and more to my vocation. To anyone whose been listening to me in the past few months, you know that my vocation has been weighing heavily on my heart since March. In March, I was asked about my vocation... What it is, what I felt about it, what I'm going to do about my future. At that time, it freaked the heck out of me. I didn't know how to answer this person. Was I thinking seriously about life in the monastery? Was I open to marriage and children? Was I considering a life as a single woman, not necessarily a nun but living a life totally devoted to announcing the love of Christ?

Today, I'm still not sure. But, the closer we come to August, the more I think about everything.The reading at church these past few weeks have been helping me a lot. From the readings on June 26, He tells me, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever." He calls me to partake in a life with him... to be one with him and all Christianity. He tells me that he has something for me that not everyone can partake in because it is just for me. The week after he says "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Life has given me my share of struggles and in the past few months, I realize that it doesn't have to be so hard. If I let him help me shoulder the cross, it will be as light as a feather. The problem is, I don't know how to let it go. I'm learning, however slowly. This week, he says "many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." Reminding me, yet again, that I am blessed.

You see, the Lord goes before me, to Madrid, to prepare a place. He is helping me by fertilizing the dry and barren soil in my heart. For anyone who has planted anything, you know that soil hardens over time. Without water, without anyone passing to till the soil, it is as hard as rock. Last year, the soil of my heart was hardened and dried out... it still is. But, with the help of these past few weeks, I feel the soil starting to loosen. It feels incredible. Through the hardships that we've faced in getting to this point on our journey, I have felt the presence of a God that loves me unconditionally.

In Madrid is a beautiful experience that is being prepared. I only pray that the seed falls on the most fertile soil in me and that it is fertilized and watered regularly in order to grow in to the spectacular beauty that only God can create. There is a vocation out there for me. God has prepared it just as He's prepared one for each and every one of us. Just as He is faithful in providing for us daily, He has provided a place for us on earth that is meant only for us and no one else. And, just as He is faithful to us today, He will forever be faithful.

The best that I can ever put it was as I put it to a sister today. God will never turn His back on us. No matter how many times we turn our backs on Him, He never turns on us. We may feel that He does. But, my life is a true testimony to the providence and love of God. Take it from the daughter of a recovering alcoholic. The former lover of a mentally abusive man. Take it from someone who has turned her back on the only man who will ever love her unconditionally and turned back to see Him waiting, faithfully.


As if...

I'm not sure how I feel knowing we were in the same room, locked eyes, and walked away as if we didn't know each other. Maybe it's better this way. We'll see...



So, I tell myself that you're happy where you are. That you are exactly where God means for you to be. When you share the way you did, I am reminded that it is true. We are not called to be of this world. Yet, the world continues to fool me.

It whispers promises of a brighter future. It gently wraps it's arms around me, reassuring me that if I work harder, reach higher... if I dream bigger, I will be happier. It dangles it's oh so tempting possessions within my reach. Intriguing me. Taunting me. Wanting me.

Then, I am jolted awake by the harsh reality. The world will eat me alive, if only I let it do so. All it would take is one step outside of my box and I can fall in to the abyss of emptiness.

With a history such as mine, I know that the only thing the world has for me is emptiness. The only happiness I will have, living 'in the world', would be an empty smile. I've been down that road before. The world had me convinced that I was happy where I was. It had me believing that my future belonged to none other than myself. I had myself so convinced that the only way to success was to forget where I was from... to embrace the promises of a brighter future through a man and success.

It wasn't until I broke free of those bonds that I realized how truly miserable I was. I wasn't happy. I wasn't even content. It was when I finally experienced happiness in the carefree being of a pilgrim that I realized that I'd been living a lie, deceiving myself. It wasn't until I had nothing that I realized, in Christ, I have everything.

Believe me, I know how insane that may seem to most people. Up until recently, I'd have thought myself completely absurd. I guess this is an experience that one must experience first-hand.

I am, by no means, perfect. I am definitely not, by the world's definition of the word, 'successful'. But, you know what? I am perfect in the eyes of the only being that should ever really matter. In the eyes of the only one who can truly judge me, I am a being of splendor and magnificence. That should be the only thing that matters.

Unfortunately, I am still, very much, a child of this world. I can only hope that one day, I can believe what you do. Maybe, with your prayers, I can do what you've done. One day, I pray, I will be able to see that I too am called to be something greater than a child of this world. One day, I will be able to say yes to being a child of God. Your experiences help me.

One day, you will make some people a great shepherd. Until that day, keep being you, with your butterfingered, graceless, awkward moments. They bring a smile to everyone who experiences them with you and it reminds us that the call can be for anyone. I am happy to call you 'friend'.


Four Years

It's been that long... Four years. Almost to the date. I miss you. I don't know why, but I do. I didn't realize it until last Friday. Just thought I'd let you know. That. Is. All.

Divine Providence

It's been almost two months since I lost my job. But, thanks be to God, I have been far from idle. He blessed me with the opportunity to use my talents. To be part of His mission. He allowed me the occasion to see His providence in my life. I've not had to really worry about money. About what I will do next.

Tonight, we celebrated the 9th Annual Seminary Gala Dinner for the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam in honor of the Carmelite Sisters on Guam. It was the climax of months of planning. The product of much sweat, arguments, tears, and sleepless nights.

During the planning stages of the gala, I put many months of judgement behind me and made peace with someone whom I judged for reasons that remain hidden, even to myself. Friendships were tried and have come out tighter than they were going in to this project. There were many doubts, on my part. But, in the end, God proved to be the Master of it all. He has mended wounds and opened my eyes, a little more, to my mission in His Church. I'm still not sure about the whole vocation. But, I know that the most important mission, right now, is to spread the reality of the love of Christ. If I put that first, all else will follow much easier than if I put anything else in the forefront.

The road is bumpy. There are many obstacles in the way to the ultimate goal. But, as the old adage goes, we might as well enjoy the ride! Throw our hands in the air, scream at the top of our lungs, laugh with your heart in it, hold on tight when the tires leave the road and always, always, always remember that it's not in your hands. It never has been in your hands and it never will be in your hands.

Mother Dawn - the Mother Superior of the Carmelite Monastery on Guam - was able to attend the gala dinner, representing the rest of the sisters. When I worked at the chancery, she was one of the people I always looked forward to seeing. She has a contagious personality that is absolutely bright and bubbly. When you see her, you can't help but feel happy. Tonight, I was very happy to have the opportunity to speak with her, if only for a few moments. She is an inspiration to me. To see someone who is absolutely in her vocation as a cloistered nun, gives me hope that one day, I will be able to be happy in whatever position God places me. It was a shame that we couldn't have more of the sisters there to enjoy the evening and to speak with the women in the pre-vocation group, most of whom were in attendance.

It was a beautiful night. One filled with laughter. I was graced with the chance to spend the night with family - both blood and those whom I consider my brothers and sisters. There were so many memories made. From the chocolate factory that made it possible to attend such an event to the ultimate accident that took the cake! (Mishap - one of my sisters fell flat on her face, coming down the stairs!) This night will go down in my history book and for years, I will be able to look back at it and smile, thanking God for such a beautiful gift.

There is so much to say about the night and the months leading up to tonight. But, if I were to put it all here, I would be here all night - or morning. All I can say is that God is truly awesome... I have personally seen Christ crucified and risen from the dead in the past few weeks. I have true testimony to the love that he has for each individual. Seeing the joy in the seminarians, hearing the gratitude in their voices, being able to sit with them and their formators has been truly amazing. There should be no reason for me to doubt His existence and His Providence.

Kristos Voskres! Voistinu voskres!!!


There Are Times...

A little later in life, I've learned that there are times in life where you just have to re-evaluate things. There comes a time in certain relationships where you just have to smile... thank God for the memories. For the love. For the laughter. Heck, even for the tears and the struggles.

Then, you pack those memories away. Put that smile back on your face, where it belongs. And, walk away. Knowing, in the end, that you are a better person for having survived.

I think it may be that time.


The Saga...


Whether I want it to or not, it does.

Monday, March 21, was my last day at work. The staff wanted to do a going away thing. So, they scheduled it for Tuesday. Could I just not show up for my sending off? Sure! But, that would have been rude. So, I ended up going in to the office for a few hours on Tuesday. Without pay, mind you.

After a bittersweet breakfast with the staff, it was time to say goodbye to them for now. So, I made my rounds. at around 11am, I walk out of the office. a week and a half later, I get a call that set my blood afire.

Apparently, they did not include me in this pay period because I have not signed out. Do you think they mentioned this even once in the three weeks that I was preparing to be unemployed? If you thought so, you'd be wrong!

Now, nearly two weeks after I left the office, I have to go in again to process my outgoing papers. Again, without pay... again on my own time. My blood is boiling. I have a spirit within me that I have not seen in years. A spirit of anger that managed to turn itself in to rage. A spirit of spite. I haven't felt this for nearly seven years and I was happy not feeling it!

I asked a friend for prayers because, in my anger, I wanted to go in and just give them a piece of my anger. To let it all out on them. After all, it is not my fault that the proper paperwork wasn't filled out and processed. How was I supposed to know? I'd never been in a position where I had to do such things before. Whenever I had resigned from a job, all these things were done without the need for me to be there. I assumed that since, this time, I wasn't leaving of my own choosing, there wouldn't be a problem with them doing the same... Take care of it. It's their problem, is it not? And, if there was paperwork to be filled out, should they not have given it to me while I was there? Am I wrong?

So, this friend... After I ask him to pray for me because I want to rip them a new one... Said, 'Look at Jesus on the cross.' - in his own ESL way. I responded to that, 'I feel more like the guard at the bottom of the cross, ready to thrust my spear in to the side of Christ'. His response? Good, you shall be bathed in his blood.

While to some, this may seem like a twisted thing, today, I am able to see it as a beautiful phrase to say. A phrase that I needed to hear. Maybe, through this event, I will be able to be bathed in the blood of Christ and, finally, be able to love my enemy. To be washed of this anger and the desire to kill the other and renewed in a spirit of forgiveness and love.

I just pray for patience in this saga that seems never ending. Please pray for me.


Faith of Our Fathers...

I love this story...

"Rabbi Moshe de Sassov gathered his disciples in order to tell them that he had finally learned to love his neighbor. They all thought that he had had a divine revelation, but Moshe denied this. 
     - In fact - he said - this morning when I went out to do some shopping, I saw my neighbor, Esther, talking to her son. She asked him:
     "Do you love me?"
     The son said yes. So Esther went on:
     "Do you know what makes me suffer?"
     "I've no idea," replied the son. 
     "How can you love me, if you do not know what makes me suffer? Try to quickly find out all the things which make me unhappy, for only then will your love be impeccable."
     And Rabbi Moshe de Sassov concluded:
     - True love is that which manages to avoid unnecessary suffering."

You see, my friends... there is a lot that we can learn from the faith of our fathers. The stories of the Jewish people are ones that we should learn and embrace. At the announcement, we heard... 'Honor thy father'. The Jewish people, by all definitions of the word, are our fathers in faith. we can not keep separating ourselves from them the way we have been. The only difference between us is that we believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah while the Jewish people are still awaiting the one who is to come. Their sufferings, my brothers, are our sufferings. We mustn't believe that they are not.

I have a brother in my community who is a convert from Judaism to Catholicism. It is a true gift to hear this man speak of the traditions of his childhood. To know that we believe in the same God. That we all await the second coming.

My brothers, let us be ready. Every day, we are one day closer. As it is written, 'So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.'(Mt 25:13).


Stand Still...

I feel like life is at a stand still. Things are crumbling around me and I can't move forward. I've two days of work left. I'm not worried about it. At least, that's what I keep saying. The truth is, I am as worried as I've ever been. I don't know what I'm going to do about bills, gas, getting materials for fundraisers... whatever it is I have to do. When I look at it from the outside - yes, it is possible - all the worries are material. I shouldn't worry at all. It's just hard not to.

It is written in the psalms, 'It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes'(Ps 118:8). Put it all in the hands of the Lord. Trust Him. Put Him first and all else will follow. Easy words to utter. Hard words to live by. Especially when you see your world falling to bits.

I've been looking at my loved ones and trying to fathom how I am to get through this. Mom has been sick for years. She's not in immediate danger. But, her health is deteriorating faster than most people because of her heart conditions in the past. Dad, we thought he was getting better. But, he's been coughing so much lately and it is starting to worry me. My sister's battling a condition that can lead to something more serious than any of us has had to face thus far. The Archbishop left on Tuesday morning for immediate medical attention for his heart. All this on top of the job thing.

The only plausible way, to me, is to lean on one being only. For me, that being is God. He is the only one that can help to pull me through this. Not the man who I invest my energy and feelings in even though there is nothing there for me. Not in the people I value as friends - although, they are a huge help. Not in my family. Not in myself.

Now, to practice living that...


Moving On...

I spoke to my catechists this morning, something I never do. But, today was different. I felt the need to hear the voice of my 'godparents'. So, after I told her what was happening at work, she asked me what I had planned. This is why I called. To voice them to someone who will push me to do something. While I am thirty one, sometimes I still need that extra push. And, my dear, a push is what I got!

I was told to look in to going back to school. Not to talk about going back but to actually do the foot work that needs to be done. To find out exactly what I need to do to get readmitted.

So, as soon as I hung up the phone, I called Rosa from the university. I have an appointment with her on Thursday at 5pm.

Onward and upward is my thinking... What are they going to do? Fire me?


What Now?

So, today, I received the news that I've been expecting for a week. I've had a week of preparation leading up to that moment where they asked me to step in to the office. The whole time, I knew what they were going to say... I knew the news that they were to deliver. All I could do was sit and nod and listen to what they had to say. No... wait... that's not all I could do. I also reflected on the readings from this past Sunday.

So, while they were giving their little speech. While they were giving me all the excuses. All the explanations. The only voice I focused in on was the voice of Fr. Alberto from Sunday and the voice of God whispering in my ear. What did he have to say? 'Do not worry, my daughter. Do not worry about what you shall eat, what you shall drink, what you shall wear. Look at the beauty I've set before. Look at the birds, they don't toil. Yet, your Father cares for them. What more you, whom he carved in His hand?' So, while I was destroyed by hearing this same news from other people last week, this week, I was filled with joy. I was filled with the excitement of the unknown.

On the ride home, there was an outpouring of love. I received words of encouragement from people who I didn't expect it from. I heard the love of my father through them. Of course I'm confused as to where to go from here. What to do now. I don't know if I should concentrate on the pilgrimage and on other things that are coming to a close in a few months or if I should run right out and find a new job. I'm not sure if I should jump at this opportunity to go back to school and not jump right back in to the work scene. There's no plan that's clear as day in front of my eyes.

I pray, Lord, for the spirit of discernment. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work so close to your church. For helping to keep me out of the clutches of the world. Please keep your hands upon me and allow me to see what you want of my in the coming weeks because without you, I am not... Without you, I am lost. What now?


Pride? WHAT Pride?

So, I'm probably going to be reamed for this. But, at the chance of being on people's bad sides for a while, I will voice my opinion about something that always bothers me. So, I beg of you, bear with me for a couple of minutes!

The other day, I was browsing through some pictures of a cousin of mine who was born and raised in the states. Said cousin has never spent more than two weeks on this glorious island. Not because he hasn't had the means to spend more than two weeks here but their family just chose not to and that was OK with everyone. I don't care, really... It's their choice not to know their home. I don't quite understand it. But, it's their prerogative. Who am I to say otherwise?

My problem? Well, it's not really my problem. But, it's a pet peeve that I've developed over the years of living here and following my cousins through facebook and other social networks. You see, it seems that every time I see pictures of my cousins, they're tattoo'd up with yet another 'island pride' tattoo. They speak of how proud they are of being from the island. They are proud to say they know how to cook Chamorro food.

Still don't see a problem? Let me expand on this. Bear with me.

First off, 'island pride' is something that an islander possesses. To be an islander, you have to be from an island. If you are living stateside and have done so your whole life, here's a news flash. You are not an islander. You are a statesider. You can't claim to be proud to be from an island is you really aren't from an island. Understand? So, please, I beg you, step down! You give other statesiders a really bad image of what a real Guamanian/Chamorro is like!

Second, if you claim to be in an 'Island Trybe', at least learn how to spell it correctly. It's 'Island TRIBE'. And, let's talk about tribes. We haven't had tribes on this island in hundreds of years! The closest thing we have to a 'tribe' these days is a 'family'. Remember those? Those are the people you can count on... the people you share blood with... the people with whom you share life!

Now, we move on to food. Here is something over which I share a hearty laugh with friends. Let me list a few things that statesiders - claiming to be Chamorro - misinterpret as Chamorro food. They are: lumpia, pancit, adobo, arozcaldo, and eskabechi. (I may have missed a few!) These, my dear dear friends... are not Chamorro foods! Lumpia, depending on which kind you make are either Viet-Thai or Filipino. Pancit is Filipino. Adobo - Filipino... Arozcaldo, again, Filipino. Eskabechi is a Spanish dish. So, if you're going for Chamorro food, stick with kelaguen, red rice, bbq chicken, mutsiyas, fitada, kadun manuk, kadun u'hang yan lechen niyok... I can go on. But, it's making me hungry!

My dear friends and cousins, I mean you no disrespect. But, please respect the fact that you are not from here. If you want to know what it's like to be Chamorro... to be Guamanian, come to Guam. Experience the island as home rather than a place you visit every ten to fifteen years for vacation. Then, and only then, will I respect the 'pride' that you have. Until then, I can not help but scoff and chuckle about your shenanigans.