He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moving, Moving!

Last 15th Dec 2010 I was driving in the middle of
the night, early morning of the 16th, actually, to pick up my
husband and two teens from the airport, when this was what I encountered: A
house being moved by a prime mover along the small roads in New Lynn and unto
the North-Western Motorway! (Blurred photo taken by my right hand while driving with my
left. ) Whoa,... never seen such a
phenomenon since I was a kid in the Philippines when nipa huts (houses made of
bamboo and dried nipa fronds neatly tied up) were physically moved by a group
of able-bodied men - friends and family members of the owners of the house! There
would be a leader who shouts, “Lift!” when it’s time to lift and move the hut
and “Stop!” when it’s time to have a rest after some steps of moving. It takes
quite some time and lots of muscle and brawn doing this kind of community
effort but there’s a meal to share at the end when the job is done. It’s both
hard work and fun for the whole community. While the men sweat it out, the
women will be preparing the food and the children would be watching and
cheering the thrilling exercise of such a move – a whole house walking on many
feet! We used to call it “ligaw balay” in our local language and it’s known as
“bayanihan” in Tagalog, the Filipino national language. Now, with the advent of
modern technology, such community effort has been replaced by prime movers, at
least in New Zealand!
In the Philippines,
they have altogether given up the idea of moving a whole house. In fact, nipa
huts are fast disappearing, being replaced by the more sturdy and permanent concrete
and planks or concrete and GI (galvanized iron) sheets or tiles.

Our family has been moving house so often that we tend to
look at ourselves as nomads living off our bags. It’s quite unpleasant and
stressful and we do lose or break a few of our things in the process. However,
this last move has stripped us of our material possessions so much that it’s
quite humbling. I have watched a few movies on the Holocaust and I saw another
one, just last night, on board our flight from Auckland to LA via Qantas
airlines, and I am kind of able to imagine how devastating and humbling it must
have been for those unfortunate, yet precious people of God. I won’t dare to
elaborate, as the Holocaust – the literal, total giving over as in a burnt
offering - of the Jewish people, is for me, a solemn event in the history of
the Jewish people, too profoundly painful and private for anyone to casually
talk about. So, in a little way, this, our recent move has done something like
that to the persons of myself and the members of my family – some amount of devastation
and humbling, maybe much, in fact, depending on how we individually got
affected by the experience.

We do not understand why we are moving here to the US at the worse
of times in the financial annals of this country, as well as in terms of
weather – there’s an ongoing national recession in the past year or two and a
local blizzard within the past few days in the northeastern coast where we are
headed. We left Auckland in the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere and
we’re arriving in New Jersey, with a view to settling down in neighboring New
York city, in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere. If we had our
way we would be enjoying tropical weather in Southeast
 Asia from now till March and we would move here only then, when
the winter is safely past. But immigration requires us to enter the US together with our eldest child who has to be
back to his studies in New Hampshire
by 3rd of Jan 2011. Besides that, our second child has to be settled
in a new home in New York,
if she is to be ready to start her college education in a university there by the
end of the same month, January 2011. Just like most people, we would also want
to be in control of our circumstances but more often than not there are other
things that control our moves, and I believe God has got to be very much
involved in all these. He has plans that He is still working out for us and we
don’t understand at the moment, yet have to fully cooperate with Him.

I am not
excited about the prospects of living in a small apartment in New York, of waddling in deep snow,
fully-bundled up, not having a car, with my children in tow. I don’t look forward
to sharing laundry facilities at the basement of an apartment building, or
rushing to catch a bus or train. Being a person who grew up in a small town
near the equator, I don’t look forward to fashionable, cosmopolitan and grimly
cold New York.
But as a friend had voiced it, “You need to do what you have to do for your
children.” Probably, such is what we mothers are for: We have lost all rights
when we became parents, even the right to be sick or tired, or disheartened.
But one thought that encourages me is the fact that God is with us and among
us, and goes ahead of us, wherever we go. May we never lose sight of such a
bright thought. So, let’s keep looking up to Him and here’s to everyone of us,
for a cheerful and bright new year ahead! :-) 

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D