2011: A Prayer Year

2011 had been a great year for me. In fact, it was the best year yet!

Every January 1, I write goals or things I have to do throughout the year and write prayer my prayer requests. This year, I have practiced real prayer. The word 'pray' seems too common in Christianity. Christians say it every time but really, do they mean it? Well, I am guilty of that.

So this year, I embraced the real meaning of prayer and prayed intensely. I had 3 main prayer points- family, dgroup and myself. I was amazed with how God answered these prayers one by one. :)

Here are some photos that are witnesses to God's faithfulness.

The Christmas present I got for myself last December 2009
Praise God, I was able to finish the entire Bible for the 3rd time this year. :) Bible reading is very helpful in my spiritual walk. Stories from the Bible inspires me, I hear God through the verses and most importantly, I get to know more about God through reading His words. Even though I already read it for 3 times, I always make sure that I finish the Bible every year. :) Go ahead! Pick that Bible and start reading too! ;) I suggest you print out a good Bible reading style because reading it chronologically will bore you :) Here's a link of what I follow: Bible Reading by Genre

Grace Months! Look how hectic my schedule was!
My friend in UP Jzone, Angela told the team that "hell week" should not be called as 'hell week' rather, grace week. Why? Because it is through those weeks that you can feel how God deeply loves you, that He saves you from failing exams, reports, projects, etc. that even though you think your work is a trash, God will make it a masterpiece. :)

grades! :)
This is an evidence of God's grace. The two semesters that I had this year were just crazy! I experienced staying up for almost 24 hours just to finish ALL my requirements. I even took stress reliever medicines! I was really depending on God that He will help me get thru and finish my requirements. I just wanted it to be done, to be over.. but God had given me a gift that shocked me. :)

I was not expecting that I will be a University Scholar. All those stuff? Me? A university scholar? How? But God is so awesome that He made me a U.S. not once, but twice. :') It was not because I am smart or studious but it is because of HIS GRACE alone.


I just had to include this in my 2011 blessings. :)) ..because I love plays! Haha. These were requirements in two of my classes. So yeah, I got to watch it for free! (paid by my parents. Haha)

My lovely students! Sooo cuuteee!

Last summer was a blast! A lot of blessings showered upon me during that time. First of, DVBS! (Daily Vacation Bible School) I volunteered there as an assistant teacher. It was a great opportunity to serve God thru teaching cute little kids. It was definitely tiring! The energy of the kids were too much for me but seeing their smiles and calling me 'teacher' pays it all off. ;)

YYYYYYEEYYY!

And this time, I am a legit teacher. :) What do I mean? I got a summer job- tutor a Korean student! Wow! It felt so good to earn your own money with your own efforts. God made me busy this summer. Heehee. :)

SARAH LIM! OMGGGGG!! @-) 
Adam Levine :"> (c)Cheska Trinidad

It was a random night and I saw my friend, Cheska wrote a status, "Who are my true friends? :(" I replied, "ME!" Then she told me about GMA 7's contest for Maroon 5 tickets. She badly wants to see Maroon 5 so she told almost everyone who replied to her status about the contest.. and if one of us will win, she has to get one of the tickets because the information was from her. Haha. I love Maroon 5 too, I love Adam Levine but I do not have the money to go to their concert. Also, I do not watch local shows that often that is why I have not heard of this contest.  Anyway, to cut the long story short... I WON 4 GOLD TICKETS! Adam Levine is just soooooooooooo hot. :"> God is so great! Seeing my celebrity crush for free is crazyyyyyy. God loves me so much He does not want me to miss this chance :)) Additional blessing, I got to sell 2 of the tickets and the money that I earned here was the money that I used to go to a retreat. I am not lucky, I am blessed. :)

Retreat IDs
This year, I attended 4 retreats! Wiiild. We were allowed to go to only 1 retreat per year but God touched the hearts of my parents. God also made a way for me to pay the retreat fee. Haha. Thank you for all the people who sponsored me. :') Truly, God is a great provider. :) These retreats are very memorable. God used a sinner like me for His glory.

I LOVE THIS TEAM!! >:D<
First two photos above: (c) Teki Diaz
Lower right photo: Zechariah! My co-head in the team :) (c) Kian Capila
All In was my favorite among the 4 retreats that I have attended this year. It was in this retreat that God pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. Last December 2010, the UP team had an outing in Zambales. Then Andre (one of the administrators of the then soon to be summer camp, All In) asked me if I wanted to have games. I thought he wanted to play games in Zambales. Haha. But what he really meant was for me to be the Games Committee head. I know in my heart that I am not good in games so I declined the offer. Then after the outing, he again asked me if I wanted to be a co-head in Security Team. What? Security Team? Me? A young girl like me? NO. But he said, "pray for it first." and I did. I waited for God's answer... and God replied just in time! He said to me,

"But the Lord said to me, "Do not say 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you." declares the Lord." - Jeremiah 1:7
No more excuses. I said YES to the responsibility. Honestly, it was not an easy job.. but God sustained me and the team the energy and patience that we needed.

IT WAS A WHOLE LOT OF FUN WORKING WITH THESE PEOPLE! >:D< The photo shows it all. haha. It was an honor to be a co-head in this team. :)

My Testimony
I guess God pushed me really hard for me to get out of my comfort zone. Haha. It was also in All In that He convicted me to share my testimony. Again, it was not easy. Telling ALL the participants your past life? How sinful you were? Confessing to them the 'evil' things that you did? My friends would find out about my old ways? What would they think about me? SHARE MY TESTIMONY!? NO WAY. However, God imparted to me that "Hey Sarah, it's not about you. It's not about your life. It's about ME. It's not you saying your former sins.. but saying your testimony is about ME.. lifting you up from the bondage of sin that you were in." :') And yes, I realized how much God had saved me from death. My life is a testimony of God's love.. it will never be about me.

Left: (c) Vitt Salvador Right: (c) Rain Pangindian
(c) Zeus Martinez
In my testimony, one of the things that I talked about was.. looks. Oh insecurity, I loathe that word! HAHA. My friends heard my life story and I thank God they were all encouraging. :') Some of them are talented photographers. ;) I deeply thank God for them for uplifting my self-esteem by granting me free photoshootS. Yes, with an -s. :P Thank you for having me as your 'model.' :))

Anddddd! They were the ones who eventually covered for my debut! From pre-debut, invitations, tarpaulin and the debut proper. :) If you have a party/event that needs photographers, contact them! I highly recommend them ;) Rain PangindianVitt Salvador and Zeus Martinez :)

Evidence of God's Grace Again and Again :)
One of the prayer requests that I had last December 2010 was my brother's graduation. I prayed that he will graduate with honor because I know how much it means to him to have a medal. He had his shares of hardships in this university but I believe in his capabilities. And of course, God's capability for him to be a cum laude.

Can you see that small circular thing hanging around his neck? PRAISE GOD! HE GRADUATED CUM LAUDE!! :') He did not only rejoice but our whole family. Thank you, Lord. :)

Here's a short poem that I composed for him:

Dear brotha,
Thank you for protecting me like our fatha
And guiding me like our motha
I know someday you’ll give me a Prada
As well as an Avanza or a Mazda.
Well, I am just joking- Ha ha.
Even though now that you’re graduate na,
I will still not exchange you for anotha
‘cause I promise that I’ll love you forevah
My one and only… brotha :>
(c) Zeus Martinez

And it was time to say goodbye.. goodbye to the seniors of UP Jzone and my brother is one them. I miss them so much! As my brother leaves the university and UP Jzone, I was tremendously worried about one thing. I worry that I would not be able to join this team because my brother is no longer a part of it. What do I mean? You know- late night meetings, outings, gatherings, etc. I no longer have a 'guardian.' So in my mind, I was like part of this 'send-off.' But one of our teammates, Andre said, "Are you neglecting the power of God to soften the hearts of your parents to allow you to join UP Jzone?" WOW. That was an "in-your-face" moment. I prayed that my parents would allow me to still be active in UP Jzone...

(c) Safelight
Hmm.. See how God works wayyyyy tooo fast? :) Last May, I was able to head an ala-Amazing Race freshmen orientation. UP Jzone calls it, "Ikot Isko." The seniors from the team were in Nepal then doing mission field and I was one of the members that were left here in the Philippines. It was a really amazing opportunity to prepare and organize an event like this. :) And yes, my parents gave me blessings to it. :)

You hurt me so bad. My wisdom tooth! :P
Confession: I am afraid of doctors, dentists, any medical related stuff! I hate blood! Last June, my gums ached so bad. I had no choice but to go to a dentist and there, I found out that I had impacted wisdom tooth and it had to be extracted. WHHAAAT? But bearing the pain everyday is harder than having a one time tooth extraction. So yeaaaa.. I did it. The operation was actually easy, after the operation was the real challenge! When I spat, I saw my saliva filled with blood! Since I am afraid of it, I went black-out.. twice! Haha.  It was crazy! Thank God my parents were there. I was safe. Hehe. Although I could not eat, speak and even smile. Wow, for me not to smile? Impossible! I had to endure the pain as I smile. :))

First photo: Post-processed by Zeus Martinez

This year, since I was able to save some money (thank You, Lord. heehee) so I treated myself to salons. Oh geez, I guess this will be my chill out place when I get a permanent work. haha. In the first photo, I had my hair colored red. Yes, RED. My daddy liked it at first....... HAHA. It was last February that I had it red and exactly 6 months after, I changed my hair color to brown. Looks more natural on me. ;) Thank you, Azta Urban Salon for taking good care of my hair. Haha. They deserve a separate blog entry, which I will write in a few. :P
*the treatments that I got from Azta Salon were for free. :>

My invitation :)
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall.. who's the fairest of them all?

I always dreamt of being a princess.. (maybe because of what my name means, "princess".. haha) castles, horses, gowns- name it. Growing up, I have been exposed to fairytales and that made me think of... I want to be a princess one day.. someday. Since I am the youngest in the family (and in our clan), I have always been the 'baby girl.'I thought of celebrating my 18th birthday would be the perfect time to make my dream come true.. at least even for a day. ;)

Planning for this event was a total stress! My phone was even snatched as I was on my way to a meeting with my friends in Mcdonalds Katipunan. Whew! Then one by one, my friends were backing out, last minute "sorry-I-can't-come-to-your-debut" blues.. WRAAH! I cried a river. However, with the grace of God, everything went well. :) There were a lot of surprises and.. revelations @-)

My friend told me that whenever I feel down, I just have to remember this day- September 3, 2011.. remember how God orchestrated everything just to tell me that He loves me just the way I am. :)

From the bottom of my heart, I thank God for ALL the people who made my day very special and feel like I am a modern day princess. Heehee. :)

My cool d12!
Upper right photo: (c) Tin Advincula
Lower left photo: (c) Zeus Martinez

I thank God that my discipleship group is becoming closer and closer each year. I also thank God for letting Tin Advincula (she's the writer of http://terpsichoreanscribbler.wordpress.com/) pass UP Diliman :) I could remember the stress that we experienced lining up, getting subjects, going to different buildings, joining a 'raffle' just to get one subject, etc. GAAHH! The sweat and all.. but! it was all worth it! ;) We got to hang out more often because we belong to one university now. :)

I thank God that I can be brutally honest with them and that they pass no judgment to me.. and vice-versa. ;) I thank God that my d12 help me grow in my spiritual walk.

We laugh, we cry, we laugh again, and laugh some more. :) I love them sooo much! They are like my sisters that I never had. :) *I only have one sibling- an older brother. Heehee*


My lovely girls
Lower left photo: (c) Inah Flores
Lower right photo: (c) Zeus Martinez

Last but definitely not the least! My beloved girls. This year, God had given me opportunities to serve Him more. As I have said earlier, He did push me too hard to get out of my comfort zone. Haha! Last May, I answered God's call for me to be a d-group (discipleship group) leader. I was nervous at first but I know that God will help me lead these wonderful girls.

I am blessed by their existence in my life. :') Spending break times with my d-group is better than sleeping in a library. Talking about each other's life and carrying one another's burden is better than talking about futile stuff. And, learning about God's word every week is way too better than learning how to play that new application/game online. :)

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If to compare with the old era, this year was my Golden Age. It was not all glitters, of course. I have had shares of dark times but my God was (and will always be) there for me to pull me back in His loving arms and to remind me that He loves this precious daughter so much!

I praise God for everything that He had done in my 2011 and I am looking forward for more blessings this 2012!

I would like to end this entry with a quote and a verse..

"When a man works, man works; When a man prays, GOD WORKS."
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! :) God bless you :)

Sarah.Lim

He is Enough

the photo shows my former blogsite. :D the quotation is from the book, "Lies Young Woman Believe" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh 
     

Christmas?

I am a proud student of this University. ;) photo taken last Dec. 15, 2011.
     It saddens me to see my friends statuses or updates that has ":(" about Christmas. They have different reasons, some are reasonable but most are.. for me, not.

     It is amazing how Satan is working double time just to distort people the true meaning of Christmas. Some of my friends are getting emo because they do not have that special someone to celebrate Christmas with. Uh.. Calendar check: It's December not February. It's Christmas not Valentine's Day. Celebrate Christmas with your family, relatives, friends, etc.

       I see children becoming sad because they do not get the latest gadget, toy or clothes. Is it really a must to give what you want during Christmas?

       Satan has used media big time to influence and instill lies to us. Who does not Santa Claus? He is everywhere during Christmas season. Nothing bad about that fictional character but his fame is. People, especially kids know Santa Claus, expect Santa Claus and  talk about Santa Claus. How about Jesus? I have one classmate in college that in his 16 years of existence, he did not know the story of the first Christmas. He does not know the real meaning of Christmas, and sure he knows Santa Claus. Look how Santa's name is spelled: Santa = Satan. It is just a play of letters. Satan created Santa to forget that it is Jesus' day.

      Another observation: Christmas, with only 8 letters has a shortcut. Wow, a short word with only two syllables has its shortcut. "X-mas." But, look what was marked by X.. the word: CHRIST.

     Here's the real deal, Christmas is the birth of our Savior. Christmas is about Him. Christmas is about Jesus, not about us and will never be about us. Christmas should be a reminder of God's love to us. It is the date that He gave His one and only Son just to save us, just to set us free.. that is- TRUE LOVE. If you want to experience real love this Christmas, do not look for it in a man/woman relationship. Be in a relationship with Jesus. Always remember what Jesus had done, is doing and what He will continue to do in us. Focus on Him. Always go back to the basics...
.. it all started during the first Christmas in a manger in Bethlehem.

     MERRY CHRISTMAS! Have a blessed holiday! :)


<3 Sarah

Back2Basics

When everything seems dark..
..just remember what God has done, what He is doing and what He will continue to do to you.

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to share the gospel to a class. I was hesitant at first because I really do not like speaking in front of a crowd; however, there was no one available from the team that time except for me. Thinking of how many lives could have been saved thru that classroom evangelism, I said ‘YES.’

I could feel the battle of excitement and fear going on inside me while preparing for the classroom evangelism. As I was reviewing the gospel, it brought back the feeling when I first understood God’s love. I have heard of God’s love since I was an infant but understanding it with all my heart just happened during my highschool days. God encouraged me with that memory for me to gain courage speaking in front. In my mind I was saying, “I want others to feel how it is to be loved by the Almighty One. I want them to feel the joy and peace that I have inside my Father’s arms.”

Praise God, the classroom evangelism went well. God was the one who put the words into my mouth- on what to say and what not to say. It was a great experience although I know that I was shaking and swaying all the time.

When everything seems dark....just remember what God has done, what He is doing and what He will continue to do to you.


As to my former entries, you were witnesses on how much sadness had entered my mind, affecting all the areas of my life. I thank God for this classroom evangelism because it made me recall how He loves us- that He was willing to give His One and only begotten Son just so I, we, us could have eternal life. (John 3:16)

When everything seems dark..
..just remember what God has done, what He is doing and what He will continue to do to you.

Always go back to the basics.

Holding On

Running to Him will lead to him (maybe)

Jehovah Rapha

"LORD, SAVE ME!!"

That was my cry earlier this day.

It was around 6am when I felt a sudden pain in my stomach. It was terrible. Although still feeling sleepy, (for I waited for my brother who had a Christmas party and went home at around 2am. Gahhh. Haha) I rushed down to our comfort room. I know it was not an ordinary loose bowel movement for it was torturing me too much. I also felt like throwing up. I could not say a word or even scream, 'Mom! Dad! Kuya!' because I lost all my energy. Different thoughts entered my mind, 'Will I be admitted to a hospital? (FYI: I have a phobia in hospitals. I was never confined.) Is this appendicitis? Is this amoebiasis? Food poison? WILL I DIE SOON?' Maybe the last question that popped in my mind was an over reaction but who knows?


A little background may help you understand my sentiments:


Yesterday, I did not eat lunch. I had two reports and I did not have breaks in between and it was followed by my weight training class. Feeling good after weight training, I did not feel any hunger. So I just slept in the library and it was only at 4pm that I felt hungry. No vegetable meal was available then and since I am refraining from meat products, I ate mixed seafood. I did not have any water at hand then so I got from the fountain. I first sipped a little and it was okay so I got a glass of it. (Was it really okay?) I was waiting for my required 7pm play and I also did not eat dinner for the reason that I was still full. The play ended at 9:30pm and again, I was too sleepy to eat.


Back to my story...

I was all alone there in the bathroom not knowing what to do. I hold on to whatever my hand could reach just so I would not fall from the toilet bowl. I felt dizzy, things became blurry and I could not breathe. Since I was too weak, I gave up. I knew that I will have a total black out. I leaned on the toilet bowl and I said, 'Lord, I cannot do this. I know I've been feeling whatever these past few days. I've been running away from You.. but LORD, SAVE ME! SAVE ME PLEASE!'
... after that short prayer, I was miraculously healed- instantly! I began to sweat, I saw the clear tiles in our bathroom and most importantly, my stomach felt better. I immediately thank God for saving me, for healing me, for taking good care of me. Things could have been worse if I collapsed. My head could have bumped into something or whatever. God took care of me. He held me tight and He did not leave me.

I first held on to my pride trying to be in control of the situation. Things got worse and worse until I surrendered. I realized that pride will lead me nowhere.

This experience reminded me of God's genuine love to us. Even though we tend to run away from Him, He will always be there to catch us when we fall. I thank God for this incident because it woke me up from my crazy phase in life. I remember what our Pastor joked to us, 'When God did not get you with a tap, He will push you!' This was more than just a contaminated water intake or food poison.. this is God's way of telling me,

"I still love you and I will always love you. You are my precious daughter."


Thank You, Lord for being my Jehovah Rapha. You are the best doctor. :')

“For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord.
- Jeremiah 30:17a 
“Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,
   for the LORD is good;
   his love endures forever.”
- Jeremiah 33:11b
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