Posted by: marieayongao | July 11, 2009

through valleys close

Ephesians 3:20- “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..”

I have assisted a doctor deliver the baby of a female pregnant patient with leprosy.

I have watched another mother delivered a dead baby, had a heart attack thereafter and died after her baby.

I have ran to the pharmacy to get an ampule of a life-saving drug for another patient only to get back to the patient’s room to hear the doctor pronouncing the time of death.

I have held another patient’s hand and watched him die before his relatives could arrive.

On top of it all, I have washed all these dead bodies, filled out their death tags, and turned them over to be carried to the morgue.

None of these past morbid and traumatic experiences was enough to render me “equip for anything else”. The PRECEDING couldn’t EQUIP me for the SUCCEEDING. Everyday will always be a learning experience for me. I can never always know what to do. At one point this patient was talking to you (alive and enthusiastic), then you turn around and he’s already dying.

I resigned from my previous hospital with thoughts of not getting back to hospital work EVER again. Although at that time I had a pending application with another hospital. I focused with my masters and intended to get into teaching. But I have parents who would not tolerate my weakness and would keep on telling me to go on and on and on. So yes I got hired again. I don’t know what really happened but it was the masters degree that I gave up. I got back to hospital work. I don’t know how to explain that to you. Only God can cause a radical change of heart.

Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying “This is the way; walk in it.”

Two weeks ago I was standing outside the room with the signage “Airborne Precaution” hanging outside the door. I stood outside the room staring at the signage for the longest minute of my life. I was assigned to the suspect H1N1 patient. This patient is also positive for TB Meningitis and a lot of other infectious diseases which are mostly airborne and bloodborne. I was holding the thermoscan on my right and the N95 mask on my left. Had my grip been equally proportional to the strength of my thoughts and feelings at that time, I would have crushed both the thermoscan and the mask . I was thinking: “Lord ano na naman to Lord?” The housekeeper passing by noticed me and said: “Ma’am yan ba yung H1N1? Positive na ba sya?”… Now that was the go signal to enter the room…

As I’ve said, the preceding experiences couldn’t equip me for all the succeeding one’s. I was like a robot for the first few hours of my shift. Put on the N95 mask, get inside the room, do the nurse thing, get out of the room, wash hands intensively and obsessively , then back at step one again. On one moment however, I must have awakened the patient and he was looking intently at my ID then he said.. “Ate Marie…”.. It was like the password that made me stop from being a robot and start being a real nurse.. I looked at him in the eye and I couldn’t help but feel guilty.. Because I was scared for myself.. MORE than I was concerned of caring for him as his nurse..

Then God was just speaking… “This is MY CALL Marie… I was the one who assigned you to this patient… And I was the one who placed you in all those other situations that you would refer to as morbid and traumatic…”

While the whole world would run away from this H1N1 patient I was there by his bedside… It can’t be just the call of duty… Only God could have called me to do it… Only God can make me obey..

I remembered what God said to Moses when He called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt…. “I will be with you personally….”

Exodus 3:12 – “I will be with you and this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you…”

Exodus 3:13-14 –
Moses: “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them? ”
God: “I am who I am” Tell them.. “I am has sent me to you”…

And I thought…. Isn’t it EQUIPPING to know what God believes we can do? Despite of our inadequacies and failures…

Isaiah 55:8,9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.

Reminds me of an old song:
Ascribe greatness to our God, the Rock
His work is Perfect
And all His ways are just…
A God of faithfulness
Without injustice
Good and upright is He…

Thank you Lord for setting my feet upon a rock…. Truly though I walk through valleys close, I will fear no evil… You still my soul… In You I trust…

Hebrews 12:12-13 – “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled but rather be healed…”

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Posted by: marieayongao | July 3, 2009

for the Love of Mafia Wars

For those who do not know, I am Hitman Terracotta! (I haven’t yet paid a visit to the Godfather to bless me with a new name). New names are costly (for me it’s costly). Yes I am addicted to these mob wars online game.

Six hours ago I have earned the “Personal Fleet” achievement for owning 500 town cars (I have bragging rights okay? hehe). By character, I am a Mogul which means I earn money faster. I earn $16,045,150/ hour. I spend $698,070/ hour for the upkeep of my weapons, armor, and vehicles. So far, I own 87 Italian Restaurants, 56 Apartment Complexes, 69 Valu-Mart’s, 19 Marina Tourist Shops, 9 Office Buildings, 18 Five Star Hotels, and 30 Mega Casinos.

I have looted and vaulted the most sought after items. Along with my mafia, I have assassinated a political figure, exterminated a rival family, framed a rival Capo, sold guns to the Russian Mob, repelled the Yakuza, and ransomed a business man’s kid.

Now before you think my mafia rocks, take a look at my stats:

Jobs Completed 656
Fights Won 536
Fights Lost 560
Death 16
Mobsters Whacked 10
Hitlist Kills 1
Successful Heists 219
Times Robbed 1011

Don’t even think about it. Yes I know. You don’t have to tell me. It’s bad.
I have lost fights even to those who are only in level 50 while I”m at 67. I’m way ahead in terms of weapons, armor, and vehicles. How come I lose? How come they rob me and made off with millions of MY money? (bitter?! haha).

The answer is in the number of my mafia. I only have 26 while others have 100s in their families. I’ve invested so much in earning money, acquiring properties, and gaining achievements and badges but I haven’t invested in people. I thought I would do just fine as long as I had the best weapons and armor on my side.

With my cash flow, I can actually buy hundreds of chain guns in every hour and still lose fights in a row.

I was listening to a podcast last night – “Just in Time” by Norman Nakanishi of Grace Bible Church, Pearlside, United States.

May I quote some of what Pastor Nakanishi said that lingers in my mind:

“Do people know enough about you and your faith that they know they can come to you…?”

“Sometimes we are like canned goods, we don’t reach out…”

“God has entrusted you with a lot of resources for you to reach more lives not for you to reap a lot of comfort…”

“At 35 years being a christian, they say you kinda go into an automatic pilot in your christianity, No I don’t! I love HIM more than ever before. I wanna share HIM more than ever before. I wake up thinking about people who don’t yet know him but no I am not an evangelist. I just love people. I’m a normal christian guy who happens to be a pastor who understood when the bible said that Jesus’ last words was “Go, and make disciples of all men” not stay and they’ll automatically come.”

—–

So I ask, have you ever heard anyone respond to you this way… “Do you know that I was thinking about killing myself but we struck a conversation at YM and you told me that I have hope in Jesus and I believed, now years later I come to thank you for not giving up in reminding me of Jesus’ Love”

These responses can come in various ways. But they are heart melting. Knowing that you… we… can be used by God to show others His Love and Grace and how HE ALONE is more than enough…

Can you take just one moment and stop being a canned good… Open up and reach out to people… Smile to the security guard in your office, take your yaya out, help some kid fly a kite… we don’t need to have much… We have facial muscles to smile, arms to embrace, and feet that could carry good news.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” -Matthew9:35-38

P.S. Pls join my mafia! My workers are few… :p

Posted by: marieayongao | June 21, 2009

the glory of The Rod

I have multiple fathers. Wait! Don’t be soo quick to think ahead now… 🙂

I grew up calling all my uncles Papa. I called my grandfather “Lolo tatay”. Up to now, I still call all my uncles Papa. But of course none of them can ever equal who my biological father is to me. My father lives by the proverb: “Train up a child in a way he should grow, so that when he grows up, he will not depart from it.” I memorized and “thought” I understood this verse as early as 6 years old. This is what my Mom always quoted from the bible whenever they explained to me WHY I had to be reprimanded for something — “so that I will not go astray”.

“It takes 21 days to form a habit”…. My dad believed… I don’t know which book he read it… But whoever the author is.. he/she has to meet me… I was the practical application (for my mom and dad)… Mostly for my dad.. Contrary to what most people think, I’m not the typical “spoiled only child”… MY DAD was very firm in saying yes and no to me… They have set the boundaries before me very clearly… And when they said there’s a reward… there was a reward… And when they said there’s a punishment.. there’s a punishment..

When I was in kindergarten my father wanted me to build a study habit. HE believed it would be hard to learn the habit of studying when I’m in highschool or gradeschool already. There were sooo much books around the house then. My father got me a study table and organized everything into a study room. Then he told me… “When the clock strikes 6pm, you have to be inside the study room, reading your lessons from school”… (remember, this is when I was in kindergarten).

I remembered how I panicked and even literally ran from playing with my neighbors outside when the clock strickes 6pm. I would run to make sure that by 6pm my dad would see me inside the study room… I would open my notebook and “pretend” to read as my mind travels to thoughts of tom and jerry, roadrunner, donald duck….. 😀 I remembered I would even peep through the door of the study room to watch TV. My dad had to move the TV eventually. I had no tutors… It was all my mom and MOSTLY MY DAD!!!

I got The Rod most of the time… Back then, I thought what I did were the pettiest things… But I have come to appreciate everything from where I am now…

Just so I won’t have to spend a night in my classmates house for a group report, our house had always been the venue of all the overnight school projects.

I got through high school and college without having tried drinking or smoking AT ALL… I’ve never been to any bar AT ALL.. They made sure I understood clearly why YES and why NO… And if it looked like I was confused with the rules… They would repeat it to me for the gazillionth time in a gazillion various ways…

I’ve come to know my father in terms of the word “discipline”. BUT today… I can only think of two words when I think of him… SELFLESS and SACRIFICIAL….

Isn’t it amazing how fathers think — “I don’t care child if you are going to hate me for this but this is for your own good….”

Pa, I now understand everything. Thank you for being partners with GOD in setting me apart.

“Love always protects…” -1Corinthians13:7

Happy Father’s Day…

Posted by: marieayongao | June 20, 2009

peek-a-MiRaCLe

Today I chanced upon handling an “eye” patient. She had undergone eye operation yesterday. My understanding was that prior to the operation, she was having troubles with her vision (of course), only to realize that she is going to be added to the list of sweet and wonderful miracles that God allowed me to witness. 🙂

This patient had an eye patch which should be worn at all times. She was called for her post surgery consult at the laser room with her opthalmologist. I had to leave my five other patients to accompany her because it was urgent. In the laser room, I stood directly in front of her as she sat in the wheelchair. The doctor approached and removed her eye patch. Then went…

Patient: “Nakikita kita…”
Me: (startled, i thought it was normal that she can see me) “Yes mam, ano po ang nararamdaman?”
Patient: “Nakikita na kita…” (voice shaking, about to cry)
Me: (I didn’t know what to say, so I reached over to fix the pillow that she was resting on to make her feel more comfortable) “Antayin lang po natin si doctor mam ha?”
PAtient: “Miss nakikita na kita….. ikaw yung nurse ko.. Dati hindi ako nakakakita” (saw a tear in her eye)

It occured to me that I haven’t reviewed enough of her history. I thought it was only blurring of vision prior to the operation. But no. She couldn’t see. She was blind.

And I realized…. I was the first person she saw…

I was teary-eyed too…. I cannot put into words how I felt… I was happy for her… And I was more than privileged to be the very first thing she laid her beautiful eyes on….

God blessed her and I believe God blessed me too…. She saw me… And I saw GOD…

GOD, the God of Wonders…

When we came back to the unit… She had her eye patch back… She told her husband… “Nakakakita na ako…” Her husband said… “Nakakakita ka na?” And they were both silent… Her husband looking intently at her… She, with her eyepatch on, looking intently at us with her heart….

Oh taste… and see… that the Lord is good…

Posted by: marieayongao | June 20, 2009

battles and dole outs

BATTLES…

I was listening to a series of podcasts on three battlegrounds.. The battleground of the mind, the heart, and the tongue..

I wanted to share my notes and the useful things I’ve learned..

The mind:
What and how we think sets the course of our day and our lives..
What we constantly expose our minds to influences the way we think..

The heart:
What and how we feel influences how we treat ourselves and others..

The matters of the mind and the heart can be hidden.. But at the end of the day.. It’s our tongue that will give us away..

The tongue:
There are four things to ask ourselves before we speak…
1. Is it the truth…( If it’s not the truth… Don’t say it… )
2. Is it appropriate… On talking about others… (if you cannot talk about the issue if the person is in front of you then don’t talk about it)…
3. Is it motivating… On talking about yourself… (don’t badmouth yourself and others too)… Only speak of what BUILDS not what destroys…
4. Is it essential… (You don’t always have to say anything… )

“The words we say are like feathers plucked out from a chicken… once they’re gone… they’re gone… They will fly and scatter everywhere… They cannot be retrieved..”

“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ.” –

Ephesians4:15

DOLE-OUTS

Kindness is more than just giving dole-outs…

Kindness changes peoples’ lives and not just their circumstances..

Kindness is knowing that we are only unworthy stewards of everything we have that we can only share it with everybody..

Kindness is not selective..

Overall…. Kindness is not about giving dole outs…

You cannot keep still if you yourself have experienced the loving kindness of God…

You know that dole outs aren’t enough..

You just want to do more..

“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, WITH ALL humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forebearance to one another in love.”

-Ephesians 4:1-2

Posted by: marieayongao | June 20, 2009

perplexed but not crushed

I thank God that I can be honest to him and I was just telling him one time…. Lord, I am tired…
physically, emotionally, and mentally….. Lord I don’t want to be complaining…. But Lord…. I am tired Lord…. I was like praying (do something Lord pls)…

But by God’s greatest grace it is true…

My flesh and my heart may fail. But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -Psalm73:26

Today I was suppose to go to work on an evening shift (3-11).. Before I left home I looked at myself in the mirror, my uniform doesnt fit me anymore, my eyes are sooo small because of lack of sleep.. I looked at my mom in the eye and told her.. “Ma, I’m really tired Ma…” I wanted to cry…

I got back in my room.. and I told God… “Lord I’m so tired right now that I can fall asleep while standing.. and I’m going to the hospital to take care of six critically-ill patients… one wrong move Lord, and I might kill someone there…. Lord I need a miracle now… do something Lord…”

I thank God that God does not think that we are “swapang” in being demanding to Him at times… He is always a Father who delights in blessing us…

Lo and behold I got to the hospital and they told me.. “Marie ok lang ba sayo kung mamaya ka na lang nocturnal shift kasi may prob lang sa sched…” They were actually surprised when I said.. .”YES GUSTO KO GUSTO KO!” They thought I would be mad…

But I know God answered my prayer right there…. God gave me 8 more hours to rest so that I could better take care of my patients later…

His mercies are new everyday…. God’s love is steadfast…

Outwardly we may be wasting… but the Lord renews us from the inside…

We will not be able to fathom how He surprises us with his grace…

“I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” Romans 9:17

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Lord I praise you and I thank you… for in holding on to you… you bless us with your mercy and grace…. you never fail us…

I remember how Paul pleaded for God to remove the thorn of the flesh that he struggled with…

but God only told him… “My grace is sufficient for you….”

God’s power is truly made perfect in weakness…

In Him, we are perplexed but not crushed…

Posted by: marieayongao | June 20, 2009

All in a Day’s Work

Been working for a while now…

Somebody from our human resource dept said: “attitude is most often inherent and is hardly trainable…”

As a nurse, I have learned these simple things all in a day’s work…..

1. Honesty is Supreme.

2. A “servant’s heart” is a precious find.

3. Pride precedes Complacency.

4. “Sorry” and “Thank you” can turn away tension instantly.

5. Your Pen has 10X more memory than your Brain.

6. “Thinkers” and “Listeners” perform better than “Speakers”.

7. Diligence can outwit Intelligence.

8. Perspective matters.

9. No one can beat Time.

10. Role-modelling is Genuine Mentorship.

What more can you add?????

My list will go on… as I enjoy this journey of “working in God’s light”.

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