Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nine (9) Evenings of Thanksgiving

I should have started this piece exactly 4 days ago. Unfortunately I am constantly bogged down with life's little coffee breaks. As part of the Filipino tradition, the simbang gabi or the early morning mass is being practiced by most in order for a wish to be granted. It was believed that if you complete these 9 morning mass, your wish will be granted. You can wish for whatever you want - money for more financial freedom, a dream house, a dream car and the most common, a wish for a love life. No wonder more teenagers attend this mass not for the celebration itself but to people watch. *sigh*

As I grow older, I no longer pray for trivial stuff, although I slipped into the selfish mode once in a while, but my perspective is no longer the same when I was 20 (sorry I'm a late bloomer).

This year, instead of asking something for every night that I hear mass, I send God little notes of thanksgiving ( I hope He reads this).

First Night:

For your constant hand in my life, thank you Lord for giving me the opportunity to experience love every waking hour. I am blessed to sleep and wake up next to my best friend whom I share the gift of laughter and tolerance with, even during the time when our faith is shaken. I am forever grateful for giving me the most generous husband who always put me in the pedestal - whatever shape I'll be in.

Second Night:

Although I'm not a big fan of technology - still I am grateful because despite the miles that separates me from my family, we are still connected. Thank you Lord for the gift of science and technology. It made it possible for our family to stay in touch. To hear a chorus of hello's and to see a cacophony of waves and flying kisses - it makes staying apart bearable.

Third Night:

Thank you God that chivalry is not yet dead and friendship is still worthy of gold. I guess there are still golds among these sand here in Abu Dhabi. I'm glad that there are still a few people who are still willing to give up their seat for girls. And I am thankful that I stumbled upon a few people whom I consider gemstones in the world of friendship. Friends who are willing to stay up late as long as you have coffee and listen to you babble about nonsense stuff. These people who will tell you straight in your face if you stink. Honesty, sometimes may be brutal, but it is always refreshing.

Fourth Night:

We have been so blessed as the year opened. Thank you Lord for giving us the opportunity to work and live comfortably here in Abu Dhabi. As what the priest said in his homily last night, You always provide for our needs. You continue to help us attain financial stability that we are also able to help our family who are in need of such support. Thank you for your generous heart.

Fifth Night:

It has been a year since our journey in trying to have a family started. Although each month was a constant challenge for me and my husband emotionally, still we are thankful. After one major surgery and bucketful of medicine we are still thankful for little signs of hope. There is still a promise that it is still possible. It is just a matter of timing - God's timing. Thank you Lord for keeping our faith strong.

Sixth Night:

Thank you that the art of giving never runs out of style. A lot of people still practice it. I am a recipeint of generous hearts. I am thankful that you You have taught me to widen my generosity. As Fr. Troy said, the more you give the more you receive. Just keep in mind that when you give don't expect something in return. The fact that you shared with open heart is enough.

Seventh Night:

Thank you Lord that we have freedom. Freedom to do whatever we want while living here in Abu Dhabi. Being an OFW, this freedom is luxury. Freedom to go wherever we want, freedom to eat whatever we want and freedom to enjoy whatever there is. We pray for those who have stumbled on the wrong side of the law here in Abu Dhabi, we pray for that they may have the strength for this challenge they are facing. God has mercy.

Eight Night:

Thank you Lord for the gift of time, chance and opportunities. Time that we are able to do the things we need to do. Extended time for everything rushed. Slowed time for those moments we can't rewind. Chance to grow as better person. Chance to be a good daughter, sister and wife. Opportunity to improve our lives. Opportunity to be a good advicer, friend and believer.

Ninth Night:

For the last nine (9) nights, it only boils down to one big thank you for the gift of prayer. I'm thankful that a lot of people still believes in the power of prayer. Prayer heals. Prayer gives hope. Prayer gives light. Prayer shares love.

Merry Christmas everyone. For those who are spending their Christmas with their family - enjoy it. Laugh in every opporuntiy, share a hug in every opportunity and give a kiss on every misteltoe you see. You are lucky you get to be with your loved ones on this special occasion. Cherish it. For those who are celebrating away from their family - that's ok. we will always have another chance next year. To my family, we'll just move Christmas on another time - I will miss tearing gifts while shrieking with delight after seeing the content of the box. I will be missing gobbling up pastries and calorific goodies with my brother and sister (tatay is not invited in this activity). I will be missing cleaning up the mess after all the gifts are opened and all the plates are licked. For now, Skype will do, I may not be able to kiss all of you on Christmas day, but know this, I will be doing that a thousand times in my head by the time the clock strikes 12.

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