The Lord is My Shepherd

110918-kabc-daylight-ventura-fire-img
Grabbed from Google: UK.remonews.com

It’s like the gates of hell.

No one — neither the poor nor the rich deserve this kind of tragedy. Only God knows about His plans on these people/families who have lost their homes and valuables — some have lost their loved ones (may God bless their souls), only God knows. He may have allowed for this to happen but I am certain that He too will be their comforter and friend at this trying time. Know that in everything, there is a purpose, we just got to have faith and lift it all to Him. Let us all include them to our prayers.

**************

I have recently had a struggle and it was on my constant prayers. I was worried and sometimes, getting a little distraught about it, but I kept reminding myself that I shouldn’t be worrying for I have already prayed for it. Worry = you do not trust that God will solve it. With my constant self-reminders, thankfully, God has answered my prayers and has once again shown His faithfulness to me and my family. It is truly amazing how you can claim His promise whenever you need it.

***************

I am a little sad because my husband, out of the blue, told me that this year’s birthday was his lamest birthday ever. I don’t know what made him say that. We celebrated all together (he claims he wanted to celebrate just the 3 of us but we did) and I have given him awesome gifts,  I was extra kind to him all week-long (and I am always kind but given that it’s his bday, I have made it extra kind — the type of ignoring any fights that he is trying to create). I don’t know. He apologized for saying so but these are the statements that you cannot undo, no matter how you try.

I try to recollect from my life. Having said above that I was sad, it was merely the kind of sadness for him. Not trying be arrogant or something, but my life is quite joyful. I try to differentiate joyfulness and happiness all the time. Joy comes from the heart — it is what your heart exudes, it is something you have achieved.While happiness is a reaction to certain stimulus, you child’s smile makes you happy. Gifts make you happy! But these won’t make your life joyful.

I remember the time when I was not yet experiencing joy — it was not long ago, I wanted so many things that I thought to be the things that I need. I thought those would make me happy. I was never materialistic so most of them weren’t material things. Most of it were confirmation of being liked, sense of belonging, good times!  And then later, I came to a realization that my life is complete, that everything in addition to what I have are just garnishes, bonus — a complimentary ticket for being good (whenever I become good). I mean, I have come to the point that Psalm 23:1 has become a reality in my life (The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing). It is not because I have everything a person can want but it’s more of, God has satisfied me. I have nothing else to impart except for Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Life is really good knowing that “hindi ka na nangangailangan” – you don’t need a thing to satisfy you because GOD already has. Everything is just an icing to the cake.

Writing an excerpt from my favorite song, “Pass It On”

I wish for you my friend
This happiness that I’ve found
You can depend on Him
It matters not where you’re bound
I’ll shout it from the mountain top
I want my world to know
The Lord of love has come to me
I want to pass it on
***************
I really do want to pass it on. I want everyone to experience the Joy of the Lord.
Advertisements

Things in Life

wild-side-of-life
This photo is from Justin Buzzard of Risk or Rust

If there is a writer’s block, then there’s the reader’s block too. I have started three books, of which I have shelved 2 and the other one got left hanging.

What had happened?

First, I became too busy co-organizing an event and it was tiring but rewarding. I wish to do more of those although I am not sure if I have the time since my boss is coming back to town plus, I will be doing some schooling.  I am not sure if juggling motherhood + work would allow me to have time for other things but yeah, I should. I must.

Second is that my father-in-law (FIL) went away so the dynamics kind of changed when it comes to my son, we had to drop him to school, my bro-in-law fetches him and drops him to my parent’s house and yeah later, we have to pick him up from there, after work. That’s where our evening starts. Oftentimes, due to the absence of my FIL, my husband had to do several errands for his mom which would also lengthen our day, therefore, there’s kinda been too much lag in our system and things to be done for ourselves are put on hold. Not that I am complaining, these things are bound to happen in life and I have long accepted that I am not alone in the universe. We have to survive the ecosystem that we’re in.

Anyhoo, I am following this blog by Don Merritt and I feel that he’s actually hit a spot on Christians about being tardy on church services. I am the admin of our church bulletin board and I have always reiterated how important timeliness is on the worship service, but to no avail.

I have once been the kind of Christian who is always late because worship day just seemed to be a struggle. For real, it is, isn’t it?  I mean, that’s the actual time Satan does his best to distract you with everything he could come up with. I mean, you know that. But the example that Don has cited is just so precise, that we send kids to school daily and they were never late.  We are just soooo afraid that they’d be late for a minute and get a demerit hence, we oftentimes arrive earlier than required.  We’re such good PTA members, we deserve a medallion!

But how have we been doing as Christians? The service starts at 9, we wake up at 8:30? Not to mention that we have kids to prepare! How have we been doing? I am not acting all high and mighty here because I have been like this for ages. There were more times that I have skipped attending just because I feel that it was not important enough. I am totally ashamed of those times. We live in the now and God is not like our husbands who dwell in the past. God moves forward and welcomes the new US. When are we gonna start?!

I am quite hesitant sometimes to express what I believe in because people judge. And they judge hard. But I have read something interesting from Godvine today and it struck me like lightning! People are not defined as sinners and saints and that there are only 2 kinds of people in this regard: repentant sinner and the unrepentant – the former are the sinners who want to cleanse him/herself and be worthy of being called the Son of God and the latter is someone who could be living within the standards of man, however, continuously living in sin. One cannot be a proud sinner, deliberately disobeying God’s orders and claim that they are children of God. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I am not to speak about US politics because I am not an American and my country is wounded enough on its own and I don’t wanna be caught in a bashing fest and be told that I should deal with my own backyard before invading one’s country with my observations — but since I am a Grey’s Anatomy fan, all I can say is what the hell is going on, GA? I feel like it is not entertaining me any longer given that it’s been full of Liberal propaganda. Whatever happened to pure entertainment? (By the way, this blogger shares the same sentiments).

Grey’s Anatomy adds to my several frustrations in life, but anyhow, I will shelf this topic and not deal with it for the interim. I will swallow the propagandas that I do not support but if they’ve gone worse, like tribulation kinda worse, I may just have to boycott the show. I thought last week’s All Soul’s Day episode was weird with the low end CGs of Mark and Derek, come on!

Ending this with a happy note, Souq.Com is the best online merchant in Saudi Arabia. They are the fastest shippers ever! I highly recommend them with no ifs and buts.

I am off to see some friends! Wish me luck!

******************

IMAGE SOURCE: JUSTIN BUZZARD OF RISK OR RUST

Spoiler Alert: The Haunting of Hill House (Review)

The Haunting of Hill House (Season 1) is a ten-episode American horror / supernatural TV series created by Mike Flanagan. Somehow based on the 1959 novel with the same title by Shirley Jackson which premiered on Neflix on the 12th of October 2018.

When this first came to Netflix, we started watching episode one but then we had to stop because we’ve got an early morning. The next day, we couldn’t wait til late night to finally start the second episode. My husband and I agreed, this is one hell of a Netflix series! We decided not to binge watch because we’re afraid to run out of episodes. I began messaging my sisters about the series being that I am always the first one to discover life’s goodness and to my surprise, both of them have finished the series and can’t wait til I do so we can apparently discuss our theories and wishes for the story.

hauntingofhillhouse_poster

My favorite character is Shirley. Funny because my sister would tease me that I am a textbook Shirley. I liked her but when I am being likened to her, I am not so sure if it was a good thing.

Shirley Crain Harris is the eldest daughter of the family. She owns a mortuary with her husband Kevin and has a son and daughter. She is responsible and too composed.

The eldest among siblings is Steven Crain. As a grown man he’s an author, famous for writing about his family’s experience at Hill House. He is writing it the way others have remembered the story. He didn’t know what was real based on his own recollection because when they escaped the Hill House, his dad made him close his eyes. He was sheltered as a kid. His dad has protected him from the horror of the house. He is somewhat aware about what’s happened to their family and has attributed the occurrences to mental disease due to his cynicism and non-belief. Although his character has been well built up, I hated Steven.

The middle child of the five is Theodora “Theo” Crain. She is a child psychologist who is an empath like her mother (although I didn’t hear them mention the term empath within the series); they have rather referred to her gift as being “sensitive.” She wears gloves to prevent touching another person and experiencing psychic knowledge about them. It was her mom that has given her the first pair of gloves to use. It will later be revealed that she would ditch the gloves, perhaps fully claiming her gift?

And then there’s Luke Crain who is the older twin of Nell. He struggles with addiction as an adult to push out his memories of Hill House.

Of course, Nell Crain, the youngest among the Crains — she’s beautiful and thoughtful. She has been the one who would always gather the siblings all together. One of the main events in this series was Nell’s wedding. It will be later revealed that she married her sleep technician being that she’s got the worst sleep disorder. Nell suffered from sleep paralysis. However, some time in the series, her husband dies of an apparent aneurysm.

The freakiest among the characters is the mom, Olivia Crain. She is the one who designs houses. She, along with her daughter Nell, are among the most affected by the paranormal activity in the house.

The dad, Hugh Crain is the builder who flips houses. He is the most selfless character in the story. I loved how his sole purpose is to protect his children from the horrific experience and memories of the Hill House. It will later be revealed that he has an estranged relations with his children and this is not because of the non-affection on his part.

There are some recurring characters as well:

  • Clara Dudley  – She, along with her husband, Horace Dudley are the caretakers of the house and help the Crains in their efforts to revamp the mansion
  • Kevin Harris is Shirley’s husband who becomes caught in the middle of a sibling war between Steven and Shirley who refuses to receive a cut from Steven’s book sales referring to it as blood money. Shirley will discover that her husband had been receiving money all along. The secret was being kept by Theo, Steven and Kevin
  • Leigh Crain is Steven’s wife. I could not shake the fact that she is Penny from Grey’s Anatomy so I kind of disliked her too much. Her character seemed unnecessary for me, perhaps a bias?
  • Trish Park has appeared several times in the series, she is Theo’s fling
  • Ryan who is an apparition from Shirley’s memory. I was so confused whether he is a ghost but then they had this metaphor on ghosts to be our guilt and dreams etc…
  • The Funeral Director
  • Joey who is a recovering addict that Luke tries to help. Somehow a love interest  but was quite unclear because her character was too small
  • Arthur Vance, Nell’s husband (the one who died of aneurysm)
  • Poppy Hill, one of the ghosts inhabiting Hill House, wife of William Hill and considered insane when alive. She is the one being referred to as the one who lies.
  • William Hill, former owner of Hill House who went insane and bricked himself behind a wall; appears as Tall Man/Bowler Hat Man
  • Abigail, daughter of Clara and Horace Dudley. You will get confused whether she’s a real person or one of the ghosts
  • Aunt Janet, sister of Olivia Crain. She appeared to have been the one who raised the Crain kids
  • The man who fixes the clock; who is a ghost which will later be revealed to Steven, him having thought that he was an actual person – one of the workers his dad commissioned to work inside the house

The story is kind of freaky in almost all aspects. It gives an effect similar to the Murder House of AHS. I mean the concept of those dying inside it gets trapped in the house. At first I thought it was just the Hills because I didn’t see any other ghosts but when Abigail died (in the same night that Olivia killed herself), the Dudleys made it quite clear that they didn’t want to harm the house being that there are things that do not solely belong to Hugh Crain therefore, they just requested that Hugh keeps mum about it and that he keeps the Dudleys as the caretakers so they can continue seeing their daughter Abigail.

Additionally, it was also shown that the present day Horace had to rush (while carrying his wife) to reach the house. Clara, the wife seemed to be dying because Horace had to carefully state that “they made it” which means, they made it to the house and that the wife can die inside the Hill House so they can be all together, the baby, Abigail and Clara. I can only assume that Horace would kill himself or if he isn’t that kind of person, he’d wait to die in the house as well.

There’s this infamous red room. The thing is, “no one can enter that room no matter how hard they all tried to open it.” BUT apparently, everyone has been inside that room. Reminds me of the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter, If you have to ask you’ll never know. If you know you need only ask”  roomofrequirementda

So yeah. Theo needed a dance studio – the red room. Steven needed a game room, there goes the red room. Shirley thinks it’s the family room. Olivia all along has been going there because that’s her reading room. It was also Nell’s playroom and of course, the tree house for Luke. It was carefully emphasized to Steven by his dad, “I did not build a tree house!” How freaky was that? The red room becomes anything you want it to be albeit for real, it was molding and was the actual source of the rotting.  Seems like our dear old daddy has become an all-knowing dad through the years. Despite the verbal confirmation from Hugh Crain, Steven being Steven seemed to be fighting the desire to believe. Until they all went back to the house to find Luke. Only to see him inside the red room which will eventually allow Steven to enter, same goes for Theo and Shirley. They were all there trying to revive Luke who will survive overdose from rat poison (the longevity of that rat poison amazes me!) but they would essentially have short revelations, one of which was Shirley’s fling with that guy who always appears like a ghost on almost every creepy scene that only Shirley’s in. This memory will be elaborately narrated by Ryan, the guy from her memory. While inside the red room, Nell would have a monologue about it. About how their mom told them that every part of the house corresponds to a body part and that how the red room is the stomach of the house.

After saving Luke, the siblings had to take him to the hospital but their father had to ask Steven to stay. He was asked to stay for him to witness the phantom reenactment of the night his mom died. I admired how Hugh still tried to protect the present day Steve treating him like he was still a child. I felt a little pinch when Hugh asked him not to look and to just look at him (dad) instead because The Tall Man was actually on his face. He did not want for Steven to see that.  Steven had to relive how it happened and seeing how his mother killed herself gave him the realization. It all dawned to him, everything that he’s been trying to repress. It was also revealed that Hugh has died earlier on. He’s finally gotten inside the red room with Olivia and Nell.

The story seemed complete. For me, it’s finished. I don’t see how a second season is possible, perhaps with a different family then? Perhaps the Hills? Who knows. But if it’ll be as good as how season 1 is done, why the hell not, right?!

It was a happy ending, not the one that we’ve been thinking. Although we’re kind of fed up of these insanely sad endings that’s become a trend in this decade. I appreciate how they’ve given comfort to the viewers that they’d somehow get to live a normal life.

Plus points: The scoring was perfect. I won’t ever forget Theo and Shirley’s car scene. That did it for me aside from several other hysterical scenes.

I give this 5 stars without hesitating!

Image: RoR gif was from HERE and the poster was from Google Images, one of Netflix’s promo materials