The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: I Don’t Know What Love Is.

Dear Reader,

Every single time a friend asks me for an advice when it comes to romantic relationships, I do not know what to do. I do not even know what to say. It was as if a big chunk of apple was stuck in my throat, and I was just waiting for it to choke me. And yet my friends approach me as if I was their fairy godmother who had every answer to their questions, without knowing that, really, I am as stuck as they are. Besides, I cannot really give an advice if I have not even experienced it, can I?

One thing I know about love- at least the one that resides in this world and the one that people know so well- is that no one can really fully grasp what it means. “Love,” as the world and our society describes, is like a maze- you do not know which way to go, really. It was all trial and error. Go this way and if there is no path on which to walk through, then go the other way. Sometimes, when one is completely lost, he or she stays on one place, waiting for someone to just rescue her and lead the way to the nearest exit. As simple as that. Or not. It is a mesh of beauty and ugly, honesty and lies, laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, vows and more vows, lies and more lies. And yet the world craves it like a drug for which they wanted to drown themselves in. People even kill for love, literally. And this part, I cannot understand.

Because- and the question that lingers in my mind is this- isn’t love supposed to bring peace and hope for everyone involved- or not- in it? Yes, I understand. You may be shouting at your screens right now saying, “You do not know what love is! You have not experienced it! You do not know what you are saying!”

But let me tell you this. Maybe, I know a different kind of love than you do, darling. Maybe what I know of love is not of this world but far from it. Maybe what I know is this…

The Way of Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. 

As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

(1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

Now I have to say this. I do not believe that love is crazy and that it makes one blind. The love I know of will not turn anyone crazy and insane and blind. It will give clarity. It will give peace and purity, humility and kindness. It is not a loud scream or a frightening roar; it is a gentle wind, soothing to the flesh. It dries up tears; it whispers songs of forgiveness and grace. This is the love I know of. This is how I know it comes from God.

This is maybe why I still cannot relate to the ways of the world. I cannot fathom how the world describes love as if it was just another word in the dictionary. And yet even though I cannot fully grasp the way the world uses it, I still give the people I know a few words that will linger in their minds as they think of love.

If this love is true, you will not be wanting to move on.

I know this for sure, because love cannot be only experienced romantically- as in a relationship with the opposite sex. Love can be experienced with your family who supports you, your friends who give you a good laugh, your best friend who stands by you no matter what, your teacher who inspires you to work harder, and the God who gave you all these and more.

And so my next advice would be this: Wait. 

Experience God first and then wait. Let Him teach you the way of love, and then, when you are ready in His time, experience this love growing and extending to the people around you.

And remember…

If this love is true, you will not be wanting to move on.

With love,

The Little Bonnie Lass


Flower crown girl original watercolor painting by OliveTwigStudio. Retrieved from Pinterest

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Bibliophilism

Asymmetry: A Five-Star Review of Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan

Balance.

Who said there was balance between the Dragon and the Witch? Everything was out of balance. Everything was out of place. From the time they met, there was no equilibrium. The world shifted on its axis and they claimed it for what it was- what it is: Love.

Grayson Hawthorn is a man of dark past. His mother gave him away; his father resented him; his stepmother was oblivious to his suffering, rage seeping through her veins. No one loved him. Or he thought no one did. Until he met the fiery Kira Dallaire, a sharp-tongued woman without a dollar to her name, well, except that of what her grandmother left her, which all started this love affair. These two people are both desperate to save themselves, all they have left, and the people who depend upon them for a living. And so when the only option left was to depend upon each other, one benefitting the other, they both shared in an experience neither of them could ever forget.

I loved how, like the Archer’s Voice, every word fell into place as if the full-length novel was written in one sitting. Every detail supported the other until it made a fantastic work of art. The author breathed life into the characters, enabling its readers to capture every emotion, every heart and soul of the story.

The characters were also woven beautifully. I cried with them, laughed with them, and even got angry and crazy with them. Even Walter and Charlotte has their own story to tell and a love they had for a sad boy who was stuck in a maze of life and hardship.

In all honesty, I found the story depressing in one point, which is somehow good in one way or the other, because only then will we know that a story written by someone far away from us, can touch us as if she was right beside us.

Unlike the Archer’s Voice, I also felt that the story was more fast paced. Seen on Archer Hale’s story, a standalone of the same author, was an evident build up which made the story all the more true in its content and logic. While Grayson’s Vow has the vibe of being straight to the point, it still gave out a certain truthness as if it may really happen in real life. Eitherway, if I am to choose, I would have to say that I loved how Archer’s story was written- a slower paced story with an evident buildup.

All in all, Grayson’s Vow did not lack in its beauty. And it’s asymmetry just proved how love works truthfully in everyone’s lives. This is Grayson’s Vow.

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Etymon and Polaroid

The Baby and the Needle

I was in the hospital when a nurse took my arm and told me to breathe deeply as she placed a needle on the inside of my elbow and took a sample of my blood.

I felt nothing.

I found myself staring nowhere, staring at nothing, pondering everything.

As I was waiting for the result of the test, a mother entered the hospital carrying her daughter. The mother sat at the same spot I took earlier and placed the little girl on her lap. And when the needle entered the little girl’s gentle flesh, the child whimpered and wailed, flailing her tiny arms and legs wildly, setting everyone in distress.

But what I noticed was the play of emotions on the mother’s face. A mixture of both hope and love as she closed her eyes as if in prayer.

And just then, I know that my thoughts and hers were one and the same.

“If I could only take your pain as my own, I will. I will.”


Words by Maria

Illustration entitled “Mother and Child Bond” by Steve Hanks (1949, American). Retrieved from Pinterest

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The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: Saying No

Dear Reader,

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Saying, “No,” is one of the most difficult things one could ever face especially when it comes to a friend. Saying, “No,” is always succeeded with the statement, “If I say no, *insert friend’s name here* might get angry at me,” and we know what that will bring. As a result, you might lose a friend, and if you lose him or her, you will be all alone. A.L.O.N.E.

I know, I know. I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t this a problem only children in the first grade encounter? Why should I even read this?”

Now, this is where you are wrong, because (and this is true, at least for me) the more we grow older, the more it is difficult to say no. Again, a ridiculous notion right? But here are some of the more ridiculous notions that we thought might happen if we say, “No.”

1. Living in this time and age is one big challenge. Society keeps on pounding its members with rule-of-thumbs and norms that when violated, will isolate and cage them away. People of every age experience this. A child experiences this at school; a teenager experiences this in the form of peer pressure; a young adult experiences this with a lot of decisions and choices he or she should make to face everyday; and the older ones may experience this with their families, their jobs, and their employers. As a result, we need companions to act as back ups whenever we need help, and to say no to them (even once) may endanger our friendship with them.

2. To say no means you are coward. (Blast this notion! I’m sorry, my impatience is getting ahead of me.) But let us face the truth. When told by a friend to go on a You-Only-Live-Once Adventure (without thinking of the consequences of your actions), and you said, “No,” (because apparently, you are in the right mind to think of the consequences), the next statement is of him or her taunting you and mocking you for not accepting the invitation. Mark. My. Words.

3. And lastly, the word “NO” is always associated with “negation” and “negativity”. You do not want to say, “No,” or else, you will be deemed a person who kills the fun. A “kill joy” to make it short.
Now, after explaining the reasons that hinder us from saying no, it is now my turn to actually tell you that these reasons are generally, One. Big. Lie.

Let me tell you two stories I have encountered about a month ago involving two friends of mine. The first one is all about a friend who genuinely does not want to inflict any disrespect or hurt on anyone. This person just acted in the spur of the moment, intending to have fun with me and my friends. This friend is fond of using Photoshop and actually edited my face to a different body (a sensual body, nonetheless). I did not like it, and I told her about it. I said, “No,” and she apologized for it and deleted the edited photo right away.

The second story, on the other hand, bordered on the line of atrocity, an act of seemingly bad taste. A friend of mine (supposedly a friend) demanded something from me that I could not give both because it is not right in the eyes of the Lord, and because giving it would violate the kind of woman my Father in Heaven told me I should be. I said, “No”. My friend continued on demanding it and yet, I stood by that one word. And the words I told the person next, made the conversation stop: “I won this round. You lost.”

Let me remind you, love, that a true friend will not lead you in danger where the only answer you could provide is, “No.” And if ever there was a yes-and-no situation between the both of you, he or she will respect your choice and will tell you that everything will be alright. A true friend will never leave your side and will walk with you through the bad and the good.

Also, saying, “No,” is not a sign of being a coward, love. In fact, it is a sign of courage! Standing up for what is right amidst all the people who are going the opposite direction, is an act of courage in all sides! Let us not conform in the ways of the world. Be different, love. Who cares if you kill the fun? Besides, there is no fun in making the wrong choices that will lead to the worst of the consequences. And if you truly care for your friend, your “No” should be followed by words that will tell them the extent of how much you care about them, enough to make them think twice of their actions and withdraw from it as soon as possible.

And love, remember what our Father said through Paul?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

With love,
The Little Bonnie Lass

P.S. Remember, love, “Only dead fish go with the flow.”

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The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: Crumbles of Faith

“I do not know how to continue. I’m losing hope. I still do things I shouldn’t and I feel as if God left me. I cannot see God nor feel Him. How do you do it? How do you continue?”

Every time someone asks me this question, I panic. I was faced with this question many times during the past years, and every time people ask me this, I simply tell them the truth (well, after panicking for a while and asking God what to do): that I was feeling the same thing. The only difference is that I kept on believing that our God is true and that He is constant.

Often times people thought that I am burning with faith and love and kindness. They thought I was always happy, without any bit of a problem, that I have nothing on my back to burden me. But let me tell you the truth: I am burdened, and it was I who burden me, and as ridiculous as it sounds, one of the greatest enemies we may have is ourselves. Yes, this is true. Most of the times, I am ashamed of myself, disgusted even. I did things that make me want to hide inside a cave and live there for the next thousand years. My attitude is also filled with flaws. I am impatient to a fault; I do not get angry often, but when I do, people would not recognize me at all. My own thoughts during the night plague me, preying on the prayers I should have been whispering instead. In fact, I always think of myself as a quite complex character in a novel- the one you cannot predict, the one you are confused whether he is the hero or the villain. And all these things cause me to lose hope on myself and lose faith on God, doubting whether He would ever forgive me. And so sometimes, when people ask me how I continue, I stay silent for a while (panicking deep inside), thinking it would be hypocritical of me to tell them it was easy- as if it was just a procedure on how to make pancakes.

And so again, I tell them the truth: I feel the same.

But then, this statement is always followed by a fact God always reminded me with. This fact, whenever I was reminded of it, gives me the peace of mind and of the heart that made me realize the folly of my anxiety. It was this fact, so extraordinary in its existence that makes everything so different: God is constant. And our sins are flecks of dust He blows away. Do not put God in a box. He is greater than our sins, greater than the sorrow we feel, the financial problems we encounter, the deterioration of health, the death of a loved one. He is greater than us.

And so when asked how I continue, I now say: I feel the same, but I collect crumbles of faith wherever I go. I try to see God in the little good things I encounter everyday. Children playing in the rain, strangers smiling to greet you, a safe ride on a bus, a simple Bible verse on a jeepney, good food, lots of books, a family to go home to, true friends to help you, our talents, simple things to remind us that God is good, and that He is constant in a world full of flaws and sinful people.

And always, I tell them of a passage in the Bible that is always in my heart and in my mind whenever I lose faith.

Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon

And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,’Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:14-20)

We can move mountains through the power of God, so let us continue to pick up crumbles of faith wherever we go and see how these pieces will bring about great blessings coming from God.

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A Voice Unheard: A Five-Star Review on Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

“Bad things don’t happen to people because they deserve for them to happen. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s just… life. And no matter who we are, we have to take the hand we’re dealt, crappy though it may be, and try our very best to move forward anyway, to love anyway, to have hope anyway… to have faith that there’s a purpose to the journey we’re on.” (Bree Prescott, Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan)

I am a lover of romance novels, but I have to admit that every single time I try to start on a contemporary novel, I am awash with deep anxiety and concern. Except for Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ and Jude Deveraux’ contemporary romance novels with witty banters and a great dose of TRUE LOVE, I am not easy to trust writers of contemporary who romanticize sexual intimacy with love and who tries to find normalcy in infidelities. Maybe I was looking in the wrong direction, I do not know. But this…

This was an epiphany.

Archer Hale lost his voice to an incident that occurred years ago- an incident that made him a totally different person. He was deemed weird, not right in the head, and stupid by the people in the small, wonderful town in Maine. He could not ask for help. He could not trust anyone. He was simply alone.

Until he met Bree Prescott.

Bree was not a resident of the small town, but she chose to stay in this magical paradise to heal her wounds from one nightmare she cannot seem to let go. Soon, she was to find out that it was not only her wounds that were about to heal but a heart that was broken, a past that was tarnished, and a voice unheard.

The author, Mia Sheridan, used the simplest of words in writing this novel, and yet these words seemed to seep out from the pages of the book, enveloping the reader to a tight embrace that made one want to shut off the world from one’s system and just drown in to the abyss and the heart of the book. I was exhilarated. Having the opportunity of reading this book among thousands, millions of books I would have found, was indeed fate working on the seams. The words were ambrosia, an aurora to an avid reader’s soul.

However, I would have to admit that I was fearful to ride on this adventure that the author seemed to tempt me with. I was broken by a lot of books in the past that literally changed my perspective on how society is trying to shape our minds today. Take infidelity for example. That and the many novels on heavy erotica without actually going anywhere. Yes. The society is trying to strangle us without our knowing by adding perfume to the wounds it inflicted, leading us to think that what is wrong is actually right when everyone does it. And so I was fearful.

But, and this is the truth, riding on this adventure is the greatest decision I have ever made.

The novel is soothing to the soul, a balm to a restless, hopeless search for true peace, true love, and true faith on finding the one true missing piece from a dark past: Archer’s Voice.

P.S. “Only you, only ever you.” Picture above is not by The Little Bonnie Lass. Find the photo’s owner on Instagram! jodi_bibliophile_x

P.S.S. Here is a fan-made trailer of Archer’s Voice by Becca Manuel. Enjoy!

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The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: Optimism

Dear Reader,

People always ask me time and time again how I always keep a light, positive attitude even under pressure. They believe me a great optimist- all smiles, rainbows, unicorns, and laughter- that they thought I never get angry or sad or irritated over people. Some even get to the point of trying my patience and angering me on purpose to see how a great optimist like me loses control.

I will tell you my secret in a minute, but first, I have to tell you something really important.

There is a great difference between being an optimist and being numb.

I get angry. I get sad. I fall in love. I am not numb.

Sometimes, people thought being an optimist carries nothing but gladness and joy, but everyone has to understand that before I got to this point in my life, I happened to be a depressed little lass without a pinch of self-esteem and confidence in her skinny bones. And still, at this point, bigger challenges come my way in the form of disrespectful men, competitive women, and the lack of freedom to wring their necks with my bare hands. (Okay, just kidding!) Worse, being an optimist, they thought, was analogous to being numb in one way or another. People thought an optimist is not hurt, is always fearless, and is always happy without thinking that optimism- at least in my case- is a choice.

And this particular choice, we have to understand, is a gift from God.

Yes. This is my secret. I prefer to look at life the way God looks at it. He did not breathe life into us to make us feel guilty over our sins or to punish us for the sins we have committed. He does not kiss us every night only to find out that we have been constantly looking under our beds, or worse, over the bathroom mirror to look for monsters. He does not whisper His love to us every second of our lives only to curse in the wind and whisper gossips to people.

He gave us life to enjoy it. He kisses us every night to let us know He will stay awake to protect us. And He whispers His love as a sweet lullaby to give us rest.

This is my secret to optimism. Be brave enough to trust God to lighten your day and to trust His will and purpose for you.

With love, 

The Little Bonnie Lass

P.S. Do not be so hard on yourself, love.

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