I AM SQUEALING. The end of August finally arrived, and you know what that means: -Ber months! Of course, it doesn’t hold any life-changing significance other than the fact that our favorite year-end holidays are nearer, our purses *might* get fatter, and everybody’s happy at the thought of gifting and getting gifts. I still shiver about that idea, though, because I am still literally broke, but good things are coming, in place of things we had to say goodbye to.

First off, my favorite things:

There’s now a good draft of Saltfolk

That’s right. The this-might-be-the-one-that-agents-read draft was done and I am currently revising it (I’m now on Chapter 14/27). It’s been a wild journey and I know I’m not done yet, but so far, things are coming together. I’ve picked up my writing pace, thanks to the nice cadence my old self threw in some shiny parts of my book, and I am excited. Elie, Lucy and Fifth’s stories are almost through, and would love you to read about them too.

Earlier, I was fretting about finding a local copyeditor for my novel. I didn’t find one, which was partly fortunate, because I realized the draft required so many revisions, plot-wise and grammar wise, that I’d like to take it on my own. Plus, I don’t have the money yet. Maybe in the near future. Maybe if I have chosen to self-publish. I don’t know; I’m keeping all the doors open.

Operation Bring Music to SIUMC Kids

Other than my Sunday School stint at SIUMC, I started teaching kids songs this month. We hauled in most of our things in the parsonage: the speakers, my brother’s guitar, then my piano, to give full support for their music ministry. I’m not good at piano but I will give the very little I have, because that’s how sowing works. I want to see the day when the SIUMC kids learn to sing with joy and excitement. Their culture is quite modest, reserved, and very different from Atlag. Medyo nakakaloka because back here I was among the more quiet bunch.

Our whole family helped out in the EE Training Clinic

Perhaps the most remarkable thing I did this month was this: to join my family in the EE Training Clinic as staff. I got to use my un-brushed EE skills (which is a mix of the kids + adult tracks) and talked to Ate Zeny, a 55-year-old heart attack survivor in Calero. She was bedridden, half of her body was in a vegetative state, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t help out in their house chores. I WAS SO TEMPTED TO TAKE PICTURES OF HER AND HER MIRACLE but I was sharing the Gospel, which she already affirmed in. Sobrang nakaka-bless.

More than that, this experience reminded me how big of a Christian family I have. Thanks to my dad, who was a lay leader and now a pastor, we’ve grown friends with people from so many UMC branches. Ang saya lang to feel at home with them. I think that’s what a Christian family is all about. Hopefully the others experience this too.

May we be door openers for the wandering and the orphans.

Now, for the not-so-happy things:

  • Separated ways with two clients this month, but not because of negative experiences. One client chose to let go of me as they enlisted a new marketing personnel for their brand. The other, I chose to say goodbye to so I can focus on writing my manuscript for the upcoming DVPit. God, I pray I get a few good likes. Or many.
  • Nana Belen died at the end of the month. It was sad, because we weren’t able to say goodbye. She died on a Thursday morning and we only heard the news in the afternoon. Now, if there’s something to rejoice, Tita Cristy’s family (excluding Dana) came home. Tito Dan finally saw Coby.

If there’s something that caught me in the middle of the mourning is this: I wanted to be a sunshine to make people smile in their dark days. Sure, I’m not perfect. I’m not a saint. But that fleeting moment when their weepings hearts are set aglow by a momentary flicker of joy, that’s what I’m all about. I want to be remembered for how I loved, like a light bulb turned on in dark places. That’s Jesus. That’s how He speaks through me.

It’s been a roller-coaster, somewhat wearying month, but things are going uphill. There’s no other way but up. It’s a tug towards the tip of the mountain, a footstool towards that grand leap. And I’m gearing up for that.