Little Blessing #4:  ROSE IN MY GARDEN

Another blessing of Spring since I do not do anything to my plants but water them!

                                   Easter Blessings: The Gift of Grace

When I was kid in Manila, Easter meant waking up at the crack of dawn (like 4 am!)  to attend the Easter Sunrise Service in Luneta (Rizal Park) with my family. I will never forget the powerful feeling of listening to the choir singing the “Handel’s Messiah” as it was timed to the rising of the sun. I got goosebumps every single time.  Even at a very young age, I was so touched and felt closest to God during Easter.

Then it was beach time! Mom and dad, brother and sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandmas and whoever– we would drive for the what seemed like forever to the beach. I have so many beautiful memories of summers spent on the beaches of the Philippines most especially Hundred Islands and those in Cavite, Pangasinan and Batangas. I have vivid memories of stuffing my face with  fresh oysters, giant prawns, crabs, lobsters;  the smell of pork grilling on charcoal,  swimming all day long, getting sunburned, the clear tropical waters, and passing out on our way home with a smile on my face.  And Easter also meant summer vacation! No school for two and half months!

Easter in  California is different. It usually means picnics at the park and hunting for Easter eggs. It is not the same Easters that I had as a kid but I am very blessed to have my those memories of growing up in the Philippines, as well as having an appreciation of both worlds – the Filipino and American cultures.

My Easter this year is so quiet and simple but it is not really about brightly painted eggs or bunnies or picnics or Easter treats. For me it is about hope, grace and salvation that my Lord has risen. It is not about religion. It is not about mine is better than yours, or mine is the real thing, or imposing my belief on you. Mine is so personal. It is not about going to church or tradition.  It is a very personal intimate relationship between me and God.  I am truly grateful to Him for the gift of life and special love that He laid down His life for His friend. And I feel truly blessed.

And Easter means Spring!

Happy Easter!

04.20.14, Oakland

*100 Little Blessings — The challenge is to notice little joys everyday and to say a prayer of thanks for life’s little blessings.

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