I bear injuries out of love. The scratches on my legs are from my dogs’ paws when they jump and ogle at me every time they’re happy. The rest, however, are basically from the kids at the mission site, when the run, topple, wrestle and hug each other around with their dirty little hands and big, happy smiles. I have no regrets. I have, back then, prided myself by being flawless and clean and nice smelling all the times but that was stupid. This will be a bit graphic, but the kids hug me long and warm, with their hands they just put in their mouth (because they were big babies). I don’t know how or when they take a bath, but you know, humans before weren’t nitpicky about shampoos and soap. And for the first time, I grew to love these kids despite of their faults, as they grew to love me despite of mine.

Wakwak has been lingering by my side and doesn’t want to leave. I don’t know, but he seems to look at me as a mother figure who will look after him and understand him and pay attention when he needs it. Such a poor kid, in so many ways. Each time I see him, his large-sized shirt (because he ain’t wearing any bottoms, people), is always on reverse. There’s a joke my dad tells me that if your clothes are dirty, wear it inside out so that it’ll be cleaner and more presentable. I was kinda actually thinking this kid does that. Or he just really doesn’t know how to dress his self.

I made Tisoy cry. No, not deliberately. I just told him that he won’t take part in the snack time today because he didn’t attend class and he was all play. JC and the other kid with big and beautiful class behaved themselves as we went on coloring, and there’s a bunch of new kids in class: Ethan, Jannicole, and Krisha. I hope I got their names right. Back to Tisoy; it was only then that I realized how important food was for these kids. No Joking. It didn’t matter if it was tasty or expensive; what matters if it’s big and there’s many of it for them to hoard. I feel so heartbroken when I heard him cry as we headed home. I hope I see Tisoy next Sunday.

If there’s one thing to close for the week, it’s the book for Goal #1. Finally. You could not imagine my relief once everything was over. My heart cried. I was just so happy. Goal #2 is pressing in, about this month or the next, and the thing about it is it’s certain. I have never, in my life, felt so sure about something. This year is such a life changer.

We’ve still got three months in, but I am so excited to review all 2016 has done for me. I think I grew a little. The kid isn’t there anymore. I’m a woman who is capable of doing things on her own (trust me, I feel a bit offended when people think I’m a helpless thing). I’m going to make something with my own hands. I’m going to make myself a mountain (of course, with God as my solid rock). I’m going to be someone I have always dreamed of.

In that process, I think it included some letting go, including all of the things I have planned for myself. I’ve done it before and I will do it again, because the biggest rock on the road is a pile of my own wants, and I and letting it roll off so I can step into my promised land.

After all, it’s not just for me. When I am already strong for myself, I could also be strong for my parents and for the family I’ll be nurturing next.

Goal #3, I guess?