Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"the one", church-wise

Disclaimer: This post will be about comparing churches, but not on the basis of faith or religion.

Last Easter Sunday, since we were in San Diego on vacation, we heard mass at a church we'd never been to. The mass hadn't started and our family was already seated in one of the pews. Isabella and her 9-year-old aunt were sifting through the hymnbook and singing some songs. It was an inspiring moment so I flipped out my phone to take a photo. While I tried to take a shot, my 14-year-old cousin, who sometimes serves as a sacristan there, leaped over 5 of our relatives to stop me from taking the photo and tell me to keep my phone in my bag.

Turns out, the church we were in was very conservative and gadgets were, I guess, not allowed.

It made me appreciate how progressive our church at home is. In our church, it is common for us to use our smartphones or tablets to access the bible. Even some pastors use a tablet to guide them as they preach the Lord's message.

I've also seen photos on FB and Instagram of churchgoers singing praises that I imagine could inspire others to trade their lazy Sunday of social-networking for an hour with God in church.

I also realized that day in that San Diego church that I am grateful for the Crying Room in our church at home. It's a sound-proof room off to the side of our worship hall. A huge transparent window separates the worship hall and the Crying Room. This way, parents with babies can go to Sunday Service without distracting other churchgoers in case their baby starts to cry. The seats aren't arranged in a rigid row so strollers can come in. Parents can feel free to stand up and soothe their crying baby since they are amid parents like them. While everyone on the other side of the glass (including me!) can worship God in literal peace.

I also appreciate that our "misalettes" include an outline of the "sermon". Sometimes there are blanks you need to fill in, while listening to the Pastor. Other times, there are big spaces within the outline to take down notes. This works very well for me because I need to do something with my hands to focus. So taking down notes, helps me listen more intently to the Lord's message.

I guess churches really vary and the important thing is to find the one that's best suited for you. I am grateful for that day in that San Diego church. Had it not been for that experience, I would have gone on taking my church at home for granted. I never would have realized that I was blessed enough to have already found the perfect church for me!

Photo from dirtroaddiva.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

oops, my neurosis is showing...

If you've been following my main blog, you might already know how enamored I am with the idea of wearing one's children's names or initials around one's neck. Katie Holmes started it by wearing her necklace with a Jennifer Myers' diamond-encrusted disc pendant of the letter S for Suri. 

As I posted here last year, I'd already gotten a set of discs with Isabella and Noah's names hand-stamped on it (from Tea Party Jewelry).

Shortly after, I also got a set of typewriter key initial pendants (from Gwen Delicious).

But during our recent trip, I ordered 2 more sets from Etsy: a set of these rectangle pendants - hand-stamped with my children's names again (from I'm Blessed)...

and a set of these tiny, delicate square initial pendants of an I and an N (from Silver Mustangs)...

When Isabella saw my new necklaces, she exclaimed, "What? You bought name necklaces again?! How many of those do you need?" It was then that I realized that she was right! I am obsessed!

But how couldn't I be? Aren't these tiny (they're only 7mm in size!) square pendants so pretty (remember these square bangles and rings)? I also like that the charms are brass and the necklace is silver (naks, mixing it up).

Then again, why do I need 4 different necklace sets of my children's names or initials? Eeep, my neurosis is indeed showing again!

P.S. I cropped the photo of Katie Holmes and Suri so you could see Katie's necklace better. But also to crop out those ankle boots that humiliates "Suri" in her burnbook. Have to say I crack up every time she disses Bennifer's girls' "style".

Click here for previous posts from the Oops, My Neurosis is Showing... series.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Today, I am unloving...

Today, I am sobbing... because my iPhone crashed the day after we arrived from our vake. Yes, crashed. 

Soft and hard resets wouldn't work. And I, and several technicians (I went to 3 different repair shops), tried restoring it but it kept on churning out a window with error 1603 or 1604. Long story short, it's still in the "ICU" and the technician warned me that it has a 50-50 chance of recovery.

I didn't realize how much I depended on the gadget until I lost it...

1. Eventually, I came to terms with the possibility that the vake photos in my phone will be lost forever. "Possibility"... Okay, maybe I haven't fully accepted it yet. There still is that tiny sliver of hope that my iCloud backed it up somehow.

2. My heart still aches at the thought of losing my Notes entry on the kids' quotable quotes & memorable moments, observations & insights during our trip. The Notes app on my phone has become my journal for these memories. And unfortunately, once I type them up on Notes, my brain's memory almost automatically relinquishes the task to my phone's memory. :( And when Noah uttered a new quotable quote a few days ago, I had to scramble for a pen & paper to jot down his words.

3. I tossed and turned at bedtime this week. I initially thought it was jetlag. Then I realized it was because I was used to falling asleep to a game of Word Warp or 4 Pics 1 Word.

4. I couldn't book a massage & nail appointment because I didn't have my trusty contacts. I couldn't "go back to work" either coz I didn't have my "work" contacts and my to-do list app (of course, laziness - er, inertia might have been a factor too).

5. Even my social media activities were put on hold because I only accessed Facebook & Twittwer via my phone, not my laptop. Same for web-surfing, blog-reading, online-shopping (am waiting for something to go back in stock!) and even cinema-sked-surfing (what time is Ironman 3 showing?).

6. Doing errands with Noah was also a challenge because it  turns out, my phone has become his digital pacifier - something that kept him busy so I could finish my errands without his constant "how many more minutes?".

7. I was late on some bank errands too coz I couldn't transfer funds, pay my credit card bill  and even monitor investments via my BPI mobile app. Expense-tracking via my Live Expenses app was also put on hold.

8. Yesterday in church, I didn't have a  bible because I was accustomed to using my bible app.

9. If I lived in the States (where we were the past 5 weeks), I'd probably be missing my  GPS and weather apps.

10. Blogging also became harder to do (hence, the 1 week lapse from the time we landed). I usually write my blogposts on Notes during my downtime - at night in bed, when everyone's asleep and I'm still wide awake or while waiting for Noah & Isabella to get dismissed from their after-school/summer classes. So I'm writing this post on my little moleskine notebook with my BIC 0.5mm mechanical pencil while waiting for Noah. I barely finished writing #2 of this post and my ring finger was already sore! By this part, even my neck is stiff... coz I need to write in my notebook (on my purse) on my lap versus holding up my iPhone & leaning my head on the backrest as I type my post. I haven't even gotten to the inefficiency of having to retype this handwritten draft on my laptop later.

I only started using an iPhone when I went on sabbatical. Just 7 months ago, I juggled an office phone, a personal phone and an iPod touch. I remember feeling liberated when I moved to my all-in-one iPhone. No more charging tray with different sockets for my different gadgets. No more 3-pocket pouch to hold them. But 7 months later, with what-I -thought-was-a-mere-utilitarian-gadget missing from my life, I feel crippled. I guess my iPhone has become my personal assistant - my JARVIS (Have you watched Ironman 3?! Awesome! Oh and JARVIS stands for Just A Really Very Intelligent System.). Just a week so far without it and I feel... trapped.

After my long 5-week vacation, I yearned for normalcy. So it's quite unnerving that even though we're back home, I can't go back to normal. It's like my life is on hold... until my iPhone is recovered... Oh, I hope my iPhone comes back to life! I can't wait to start living again...

Today, I am so unloving... that my iPhone has not come back to life.

Photos from heritage and acupofjo. 

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am unloving... series.