Thursday, August 10, 2006

Down but not out

It’s 1:15 p.m. as I write this. I just came back from some time alone. I had lunch at the Red Ribbon outlet nearest me and had the Palabok Petite Meal. Not bad for 74 pesos. It came with a slice of cake (my choice: Coffee Crunch) and a small Coke (bad for the body, but something I consider a treat once a week). Then I spent 30 minutes browsing at National Bookstore, weaving in and out of book aisles and magazine stands.

Every time I enter a bookstore, I feel like a kid in toyland. “You’re such a bookworm,” my son told me earlier this week. “Writers have to be readers,” I told him. I think I’m not just a bookworm. I’m a voracious mother-of-all bookworms.

I’m the type who can go out without lipstick but cannot go out without a book in hand. I panic at the thought of not having anything to read while waiting at a coffee shop, at the bank, even at a stoplight. And since I have to multitask throughout the day, I find that I have to lug around several books with me in a bag every day. Today, I brought with me six books: Healthy Aging by Dr. Andrew Weil (my nonfiction fix for the day), The Citibank Guide to Building Personal Wealth (needed for an article I’m doing), Experiencing God Day-By-Day devotional by Henry and Richard Blackaby (a reminder for me to stop, take a moment and pray), The Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway (my fiction fix for the day), Parenting Gifted Kids by James Delisle, Ph.D. (for insights on how to raise my son), and Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen (my rah-rah book to lift my spirits). Every day, I try to read a chapter from my book haul.

The last book by Osteen couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been feeling down the past weeks. My consultancy contract ended last summer and since then, I’ve just been relying on my freelance writing and editing jobs. It’s been hard to make ends meet. And with my savings gone due to medical bills since last year, it has been doubly challenging.

My friend Meg encouraged me to read this book, which incidentally was her gift to me a few months ago. And it’s been a blessing to me. I’ve been reminded to get rid of my negative thoughts and know that God’s favor rests on me because I am God’s child by His grace. “See yourself as God sees you—as a winner, an overcomer,” Osteen writes. “God wants to do a new thing in your life. But you’ve got to do your part and get outside that little box. Start thinking big!”

“May you enlarge her vision,” Meg prayed for me one time. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: “Consecrate yourself, for tomorrow, the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5