Be a Blessing!

I used to fret a lot when there are invitations to speak before a crowd. Yes, I joined a lot of declamation contests when I was still a student. I was always on stage back then as I became part of choral competitions, debates, and other sorts of contests. But just the same, there was always the feeling of stage fright. I remember my friend telling me, stage fright is a good thing because it leads you to depend on God and God alone. She said, it just means you are not putting your confidence in yourself but in the God who gave you the talent.

youth

If all plans push through, my husband and I will speak before the youth in our church a few weeks from now. When we were first invited for this, my heart tugged again in the direction of saying no because of fear of public speaking. But after some moments, I realized this is an opportunity to bless others by sharing the blessings God bestowed upon us. Our saying yes to this is an act of our worship to the Lord. It is also giving back to the church who nurtured our spiritual lives as husband and wife.

May we be a blessing to the young people as we share to them the love story God has especially written for us.

Remembering my Wedding Vows

Yes, it’s been 3 years already since I proclaimed my wedding vows to my now-husband Randy. Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. We may celebrate it apart from each other physically, but we’re still together in our heart and soul.

This is the best time to remember my vows and reminisce how happy that wedding day was.

Here’s  my vow. This is for you, hon. 🙂 And for those of you who wish to be inspired by a love strengthened by God.

—-

 

 

Hon, You know that what we have

Is a quiet kind of love –

A love that has been refined

Through the trials we had along the way.

 

The strong foundations of our friendship,

Have been the force that held us together

We may have shed tears along the way

But joy has always been deep down in our hearts.

 

This day, I will marry you, my best friend

You will be the one I will laugh with and cry with

I will go down with you in the depths of sorrow

When someone hurts you.

And I will rise with you in the heights of joy

When you celebrate your victories.

 

Honey, I will forever be your friend and lover

I will be your companion and helper

Together we will build a family

Whose God is the Lord of Love and Acceptance

 

I will not promise the heavens in our married life

But I promise, I will remain committed to love you

Not only during moments that we feel happy

But even when loving each other may be difficult.

 

Pakatandaan mo na pinili ka ng puso ko

Dahil ikaw ay ikaw

Mahal na mahal kita

Kahit pa sabihin ng iba

Na tayo ay nagmula sa magkaibang mundo.

Sa mata ng Panginoon, tayong dalawa

Ay pinagbigkis Niya ngayon upang maging isa.

 

In our Savior’s eyes, we are God’s best for each other.

I love you.

 

Love (not) at First Sight

“What was it that drew you to your significant other? Their blue eyes? Their ginger countenance? Their smile? Their voice?” And the Daily Post Challenge (He’s (She’s) So Fine) continues to prod me on.

If you’ve been a reader and follower of my blog, you would know by now how I met my husband. In a gist, for those who just got here – we were both church volunteers, he, a Logistics guy; me, a Sunday School teacher. You may read our love story here in this link.

But what was it that really drew me to him. Hmm, let me think for a moment. Because as you all know, it was not love at first sight. He grew into me.

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Maybe it was because of his quiet countenance of serving the Lord with all humility. No church task seemed to be too small for him to do. Maybe it was his total abandonment of how others might perceive him when he picked up that guitar and tried his best to accompany the worship leader. He would just laugh it all off even when the guitar stint failed. Maybe it was his positive energy that rubbed on my then pessimistic self.  Maybe it was his charm when he seems to be friends with everyone and when he always sees the good in people.

I was drawn to him not by his looks. Don’t get me wrong. My husband is the most handsome to me. But his heart is more beautiful. I am so glad it was not love at first sight. Because my eyes saw beyond the superficiality and discovered what is most important – his great love for the Lord.

 

Photo credit: Kimberly Chan Hung and Gary Albano

 

 

 

Young Love, Sweet Love

rose

When my emotions get the best of me, lovely words spring forth. This poem was written with the thought of a blossoming love life in my teenage years. It’s so long ago, but I really liked how the words flow from my heart.

Here it is:

Anticipation

By Leah Lyn E. Albano

Bloom forth,

White rose.

The sun waits

For your beauty.

 

Its warmth

Longs to know

Your sweet fragrance,

Your real substance.

 

Bloom now

And see

How the sun

Shall respond.

 

Will it capture

Your sense of purity?

Or will it hide

And let the rain pour?

 

Ironically,

If both shan’t happen,

Wilted or drowned

You shall be.

 

So let the sun

Feel you freely.

Let the rain

Make you grow.

 

Do not mind

Your thorns.

Set aside

Your weeds.

 

For when you bloom

Fully, wonderfully.

The sun shall be there

Shining on you.

 

March 16, 1996

 

Photo credit: http://www.pinterest.com

 

Wrong Choices

brokenWrong choices in relationships are a bitter pill to swallow in one’s young life. I’ve been there and done that. I’m not proud of it but I’ve been in wrong relationships in the past. The lessons I’ve learned after my fall and failure are a but a  glimmer of hope in that painful situation.

Here’s a poem I’ve written after my fall 12 years ago:

COMING BACK

By Leah Lyn E. Albano

Indeed, You are a God

Whose ways and thoughts

Are higher than mine.

I wanted so much to be ‘in love’

That I fell in love with ‘love’.

And forgot my devotion to You.

I walked into a path

That I knew all along was not right.

Yet I ignored all Your Word.

You let me explore life and ‘love’

Yet You knew it was not

The Life and Love You intended for me.

I soon saw myself

Messed up with the mire,

Struggling to get out and be delivered.

All over again,

You led me into a journey

That is confusing and painful.

I questioned Your ways,

But I found myself unworthy

To even continue doing that.

For I began to realize

You have a higher and eternal purpose

For all these things.

I might have been wounded.

But I know now

That pain causes growth.

You called me back to You.

You set my eyes back to You.

You got my heart back to You.

November 27, 2002

—-

I had to go through all the wrong choices for me to finally get into the right direction. And that direction is ultimately finding the right man God chose for me. 🙂

 

 

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Photo credit: investingcaffeine.com

Growing in Love with my Best Friend

4Not all are given the one chance to have a best friend and a lover at the same time. It has always been my heart’s desire – to be best friends first before becoming lovers. I’ve always believed that the strongest foundation of marriage is the solid friendship built by the man and woman in the relationship. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced all these and more with my best friend and my lover – my husband, no less!

It all started when I attended worship service in our satellite church. I’ve just come out from a broken relationship and was not ready to enter into another commitment. I decided it was just my time to serve the Lord. Little did I know, that someone out there was already observing me from a distance. Until one time, I began seeking assistance from this Logistics guy who would always help me put up the mats in the Sunday School room. I was a Sunday School teacher back then. And so this Logistics guy would always be around during Sundays. I began seeing him moving about the church, fixing the place, ensuring that everything’s in order in the sanctuary. Turns out, this Logistics guy will be my husband around 7 years later.

Our first, real encounter when we had our real, unhurried conversations was when we went to a church retreat. Everyone else knew each other. However, we did not have any groups to go to, that’s why we were left with each other to hang out.  He asked for my number during that retreat. And that’s how it all began. And the rest, they say, is history.

Best friends are there for each other, through thick and thin. They share laughter and sorrows. They know the inside out of each other’s heart and soul. They share deepest secrets without fear of being judged. They enjoy life’s simple pleasures together. They encourage each other to be the best person one can be. They love and accept each other no matter what. And that’s the way we were.

It wasn’t love at first sight. It was friendship first. And I’d always like the phrase, “I grew in love with him.” The friendship was nurtured until it blossomed into love.

I’m glad I grew in love with my best friend.

 

Photo credit: Kimberly Chan Hung and Gary Albano

 

 

Nabuhay Muli

in loveFailed relationships are bound to happen to us at one time or another. The pain may be so unbearable at that point, but the resurgence of new feelings for another is quite surreal. There’s the thin line of holding on and letting go. There’s this fear to embrace change especially the unknown. But one will surely find the courage to move forward and find new love once again.

Here’s a poem I’ve written 14 years ago when I moved forward in my life.

NABUHAY MULI

Ni Leah Lyn Albano

Matagal na akong tumigil

Sa pagsusulat ng tula.

Matagal ko nang iniwan

Ang mga titik na nililikha.

 

Ngunit bakit tila nanunumbalik

Ang pagnanais na makipagtalik

Sa mga letrang bumubuo ng panitik

At sa mga pangungusap na tila humahalik.

 

Ikaw ang dahilan

Ang puso ko ay tumahan

Sa paghahanap ng pag-ibig

Na kay tagal nang inuusig.

 

Mata ko’y nabuksan

Na may iba pa palang mundo

Na para sa akin ay nakalaan

Ikaw na ngayon ang hanap ng puso.

 

Matagal na akong tumigil

Sa pagdaloy ng aking luha

Matagal ko nang iniwan

Ang dati kong minamahal

 

Nabihag muli ang titik

Sa aking mga tula

Nabuo muli ang panitik

Sa puso ko ngayo’y nangungusap sa iyo.

 

Pebrero 10, 2000

 

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Photo credit: http://www.ghank.com

 

 

 

A Poem for Ahniemay

HPIM1443She was my DGmate (discipleship group mate) when we were in college. I think she was three or four years younger than I was. But the age gap did not stop us from building a long-lasting friendship. We bonded easily and we were vulnerable enough to open our lives to one another. I wrote this 14 years ago especially for her.

—-

A POEM FOR AHNIEMAY

By Leah Lyn E. Albano

You asked for love once in your life

And you got it with open arms.

You asked for happiness in your love

And you got it with open heart.

You thought all will be well

With your love and with your life.

At the forefront, you were abundant

With joy, with laughter, with warmth.

The storms set in, thunders roared.

Your life were clouded with doubts.

Heartaches were near,

Tears were not far away.

The love you once had

Is soon slipping away.

The life you hold dear

IS beginning to shatter into pieces.

In spite of these turmoil,

I know you will emerge

As a victor, as a winner

For your strength lies in Christ.

In Christ and in Christ alone,

You shall rest in true love.

True life you shall experience

When you end searching for human LOVE.

February 3, 2000

—–

A Touch of Pain

I remember who I wrote this for. But I will not divulge it here. We both live peaceful lives already. 🙂

friendsThis poem is for all those who were friend-zoned. But I say, there’s hope. You should say thank you to all whom you have crossed paths with, because they will lead you someday to the person the Lord intended for you to have and to hold.

So here goes:

A TOUCH OF PAIN

By Leah-lyn E. Albano

You never knew

How much pain you’re causing me.

You just continue on

As if nothing’s happening to me.

Can’t blame you

If you can’t sense

The depth of my love for you,

The depth of the pain I’m feeling.

The thought of wanting you,

Yet knowing that you want

Someone else

Just makes me go crazy inside.

I guess I can never have you.

I think I’ll be left here,

With you gaining her

And with me losing you.

Can’t imagine

How I put up this mask,

Pretending I’m just your friend,

Letting you believe I don’t want you.

You will never know

The pain you’re causing me.

I love you that much,

To let you go and be with her.

May 11, 2001

——

Yes, that was my teenage emo self!