In God She Trusts

Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

    At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
–Matthew 18:1-3

A few days ago, I did something I haven’t done since middle school and it opened my eyes to see just how tired and boring I’ve become–I visited Knott’s with my brother.

Back in the day the thought of going to Knott’s or any theme park would be the highlight of my entire week.  When I was finally there, it always seemed like TIME had no existence.  So many rides to conquer and such a big world to discover.  Excitement filled every second of the day until the very end of the trip when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it was time to go home.  The end came so quick because “time flies when you’re having fun.”

Things have changed a lot since then.  I’ve been to Knott’s several times, so time did NOT fly while waiting in the lengthy lines for the rides.  The heat was uncomfortable and I was sweating my energy away. In the past, I would’ve stayed the whole day at Knott’s, but this time around, I was falling asleep after only being there for a few hours. I kept thinking about food or checking my phone to read emails, texts, or even Twitter.  Whomp!  Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun with my brother.  I love spending time with him, but I wish I could’ve enjoyed Knott’s like it was brand new all over again.

This is when I realized how “old” I’ve become.  At the very end of the trip, I was all Knott’sed out, walking up the hill to the parking lot.  Two little boys ran past me… laughing, racing, not because their parents were rushing them to get to their cars, but simply cuz the act of running and racing was fun to them.  There I was, just dragging along, while these kids were so full of life and happiness… sober.  It was in hearing their laughter that reminded me that pure and innocent fun prevailed in my life once, and I mean before the pressures of life and work, before the need of booze to relax, before the need of caffeine for energy, and before all of the crazy, intoxicating parties for fun.

When I was a kid, I didn’t need the help of any substance to give me what I needed–even to be creative.  If I wanted to play, I’d play.  If I wanted to dance or be silly, I’d dance and be silly.  If I had some kind of outrageous idea formed out of imagination, I’d just go with it and I didn’t need anyone’s approval.  It was that easy!  So, to bring up another thought, it’s really a sad thing that we grow up to be so uptight and insecure.  It’s unfortunate that people can fall into dependences and addictions when as children we naturally had whatever we needed for ENERGY or FUN or CREATIVITY without needing to take anything.  It’s amazing how much our experiences in life really mess with our creative energy… our sense of willpower.. or our fears.. and our attitudes.

It’s funny how the world seems so much bigger when we’re younger, and you only realize that truth once you’ve grown up and take a look back.  It’s like when you visit your old 1st grade classroom and you tower over the teeny-tiny chairs and desks you used to sit in.  I hope that in reflecting on my own past and youth, I can remind myself what it means to live truly in the moment… that even as my body is growing older and breaking down, my spirit grows stronger with all of the new things to learn everyday.  I pray to be wholly thankful and content with all of the things He’s already provided me and to remember the divine power of purity.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

the biggest mistake we could make is to think we’re ALIVE when we’re really ASLEEP in life’s waiting room

A few days ago, I was involved in a car accident that forced me to face my dreadful fear of death. Cheryl Koo, Asaki Imai, and I were driving on the freeway from snowy desert mountains (Vegas to Bakersfield) on a road trip for The Other Duck.  I knew this experience would be eventful–3 friends, 10 days, and 4 states, but I never thought it’d be life threatening.

At the point that our car suddenly skid on the ice, my body was shot with the biggest sense of fear I’ve ever felt.  We were in the middle of two white, snow-covered mountains on a wet, black road.  We skid violently from side to side, then spun around on the icy freeway, bumped the side of the mountain maybe two times before we finally crashed and stopped.  Damage to the car looked minor–we messed up a wheel completely. The frame must’ve been messed up cuz my door wouldn’t open.  The car became undriveable… But we were alive.  Thank God there weren’t any cars close by. Thank God our SUV didn’t hit the center divider while we were spinning wildly out of control.  We could’ve been hit in any direction by oncoming traffic. We could’ve tipped over or ended up on the other side of the freeway.  Thank God we were alright.

Having felt what could’ve possibly been the last emotion I would EVER feel.. That fear of death at such close proximity made me realize the shortness and quite ‘smallness’ of human life.  Shortness, because as everything literally flashed before my eyes, all I wanted was “tomorrow.”  I thought about how much I STILL wanted to do… How many dreams and goals I have yet to set in motion and accomplish.. How much I’ve regretfully NOT accomplished in His name… my family, my friends… And in one brushing moment like a car accident, all of those hopes and dreams would be gone.  I say ‘smallness’ of human life, because at the point our car was skidding, control was COMPLETELY out of my OWN hands and my will to live was relatively nothing in comparison to the existence of the entire universe who would change nothing about itself to help me survive.  We were helpless.  I had no control of the outcome no matter what I did–no pause button to stop the car from spinning or to stop others from hitting us… No rewind button to avoid the situation.  The fate of our lives rested on something bigger than myself… physical forces, nature… God’s plan.  Life seemed so small, because I would have lived only 25 years, but everything else will live for generations.  I would have only been a speck in time… And what have I done?  Who have I served?  Have I served enough?  What message would I have left behind to others and the ones I love?  God would judge me, and would my life have been enough?

Through this, God’s called out to me in the loudest possible way.  Though frightening, this experience has reminded me of his divine presence around me.  I’m thankful for another day and another chance to do what I’ve been put here to do for Him, and I hope that in the future I would be more prepared to face my Father… To live more… To serve and trust more… To just know Him more before I have to answer to Him face to face.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13

Love God.
Love others as you love yourself.

I now acknowledge my biggest fear through this experience.  Bottom line:  I hope and pray for God’s blessing.  I thank Him for everything.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

reblogged from aprilrodriguez.tumblr.com


Coming from a conservative and strict Filipino family, I initially did not have any support when I resigned from my University to pursue my dream as a dancer.  Throughout life, I acted rebelliously and disrespectfully against my parents, proved myself a bad role model to my younger siblings, and avoided God’s sovereign power over my life.  Why would they support the decisions of a selfish, wreckless, juvenile?  They did not support me… nor could they stop me.

“I’ll do whatever I want.  I don’t need you.”  Immediately packs her bags, leaves her family with her dog, and moves out of the house… with no money and no plan.

In time, I grew fatigued of myself and repetitive nights of aimless partying and cloud chasing.  I was addicted to wreckless fun.  I was a dreamer, but never took action.  I was broke.  I was losing sanity.  I was afraid for my life.  I’m not afraid to admit it, and you wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve done.  Soon, I hit rock bottom until a new spirit had filled me.. came to me in the most vivid dreams, suddenly causing me to re-evaluate the most important things in life–respect to God and honor and love to my family, being at the top.

Gradually, I began to make ammends with my family and things began to look up.  Familial support of me was earned through evident accomplishments following years of hard work and attention to my obligations.  By now, I’m in love with my family and feel lucky to have them.

This has not been the easiest road–battling to gain support and respect… but that’s life.  I thank God for revealing himself to me, for granting me a passionate heart, and for blessing me with the spirit to accomplish the impossible, to survive through countless storms.  I’m thankful for my loving family–the whole De-Aquino Rodriguez/Bristol/De Vera clan.

I pray to stay directed by His will.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

As a growing dancer, I might’ve been taking classes, performing, and teaching for quite a while, but  the more I do this, I hope I NEVER forget the beginning.  No matter how much I experience.. how many jobs I might do, how many classes I teach, or how many places I might travel, I hope to always maintain the same hunger, work ethic, and inspiration I felt in the beginning.. that same inspiration that started this all.

I’ve seen that people do forget.  People get comfortable.. start thinking they’re above something, and don’t work as hard as they used to.  People think that it’s unnecessary to hustle like they did in the beginning–and that’s unfortunate.  It’s normal to experience that.  After we repeat things over and over again, we establish familiarity with it, so we think we won’t need to work so hard anymore, right?  But I feel that people should think harder about keeping up with the times.  What people fail to realize after reaching that phase of complacency is that they WILL get passed up by the up and coming generation if they stand still.  They could get passed up by the new.. the energetic.. the ones who are workin day and night to educate themselves with older, foundational material and reinventing something new.

I’m inspired by beginners.  I’m inspired by people who are new to any game, willing to learn, willing to take risks, willing to listen to advice that’ll help further them.  I learn A LOT from beginners.  As much as I’ve danced, I am still a beginner to so many things… 5, 10, 15 years from now, I hope I can still call myself a beginner to protect the mentality that I’ve got lots to learn.

2010 has definitely been a crazy ride.  I’ve been at my highest with finally doing things I’ve dreamed of.. and I’ve been at my lowest with experiencing things I’m too embarrassed to write here.  Trust.  I’ve been through a lot… but I’m truly happy and am looking forward to the rest of my career as a dancer.

It’s only the beginning…

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

Oh, are you sure…
Where is the passion in this living
Are you sure it’s God you’re serving
Obligated to a system
Getting less then you’re deserving
Who made up these schools, I say
Who made up these rules, I say
Animal conditioning
Oh, just to keep us as a slave

Oh, just get out
Of this social purgatory
Just get out
All these traditions are alive
Just get out
Superstition killing freedom
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must die
Just get out

Let’s get out
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must die
Just get out
– Lauryn Hill

KNOWING MY CONDITION IS THE REASON I MUST DIE.

I think scripture says that when you receive God into your life, you are born anew, and the old you dies. You then no longer serve yourself, but you submit your new being to God.. to his will.. to his plans. The old you is dead, and the new you becomes a servant to his ultimate plan for mankind.

I feel that in this point in my life, I’m experiencing a lot of unexpected roadblocks along my path. This phase has caused me to be vulnerable and has forced me in a position to fall, and call out to Him for guidance.

Through this desperate time, I’ve been questioning the direction I’ve taken in life… whether it’s a direction I’ve taken to selfishly please MYSELF or if it’s a direction that the newlyborn me is taking to ultimately serve His purpose.

Recently, there’s been an inner restlessness in me. It’s almost unbearable sometimes. It’s that sinful nature, I guess–to clearly see the target, but intentionally shoot in the other direction. I don’t expect most people to easily understand this type of struggle. There aren’t many people near me who I can share this type of frustration with. It’s a very difficult thing to try to explain.

In the end, what’ll make me fully happy is to know that I’m just making the right choices–not for myself… I want nothing for myself… but for Him. It won’t matter how much I own, what I have to eat, or wear… just as long as His will is done, and I’m in the right place, doing what pleases Him. Ya… I would feel completely happy knowing that He is happy with me.

Praying…

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

These past couple of months have been difficult.  It’s been a crazy experience, forcing me to painfully bend in humility, then reevaluate certain important values in my life.

After pride comes the fall.

Through the struggle, it’s been a blessing in disguise for me to realize things within myself that need change.

Life has it’s ups and downs… and I forget to count my blessings sometimes.  I was painfully reminded of where to keep my focus, but ultimately, I’m thankful for His revelation.  I trust that this year will continue to bring me much happiness through faith.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

American Idol, here we come!!!!!

I’m thankful to this man right here for giving me my dream come true, and the rest of these amazing people for making the past few days the BEST thing I could ever ask for.

TRAVIS GARLAND

Director: Marty Kudelka Choreographer: Shaun Evaristo

AJ and Sarah James

Dancers: Dana Wilson and Devon Perri stretching

Dancers: Lyle Beniga, Johnny Erasme, and DMoe

sweaty buttmark….. -_-

Check out rehearsal footage here: MEET TRAVIS GARLAND
Perez Hilton stopped by our rehearsal to interview Travis

It’s funny how one small choice can change the course of your life.. (ahem…butterfly effect).  I was on the fence about auditioning for this due to my huge fear of auditioning.  Without having an agent, I told myself that I’d crash auditions anyway and test my luck.  I was hesitant to audition.. I was terrified during the audition cuz I’ve only been to about 4 in my entire life… but I had to keep in mind that this year IS different… this year, I’m gonna make it!  In the end, I’m glad I did something I knew I was afraid to do–Thank you to Knicole for calling me and telling me about this!  I wouldn’t have known about the audition if I didn’t hear it from you! Take chances… you never know what can happen….

So…..

We’ll be performing on AMERICAN IDOL tonight! What the heck?!?!? I .. don’t… really believe it yet…..  To be working with the people involved in this project is pretty unbelievable.  Travis is an amazing artist and is so talented.  To top it off, he’s hellamadd cool and humble and funny.. and he works damn hard.  By watching him, the other dancers, and the directors, I’m trying to soak in as much as I can at rehearsals.  I’m honored to be in the same room to watch how magic is made.  It’s exciting to watch your role models in action and to have the opportunity to learn from them.  I only hope to do my best–to listen, learn, and improve..

I want to thank those who believed in me by making them proud.. I want to thank those who’ve given me this opportunity and who saw something in me, cuz this is what I’ve been waiting for and I don’t want to let people down.  There’s so much excitement and gratitude I want to express that I don’t really know what to do with myself…. I’d freak people out if they could see how I’m really feeling inside.

Thank you Shaun. Thank you AJ.  Thank you Marty. Thank you Travis… Thank you everyone… I really could go on and on about this…. but… maybe I’ll write more after the show tomorrow 🙂

Catch it on TV if you can 😉

When God has a plan, things come together.
–Travis Garland

Thank you, Lord.

old video – Travis’ rendition of Beautiful Nightmare

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence


PROVERBS 31:10-31

You don't know me yet... but you will. - BZ

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