Champorado is one of my best memories of childhood. It's a Filipino porridge made with sticky or sweet rice, chunks of chocolate (specifically Filipino tsokolate called "tablea"), brown sugar (but white is okay), and evaporated milk or coconut milk (whatever is available in the kitchen). I grew up having champorado for breakfast and for merienda. I still remember those mornings when Mama would serve us with bowls of piping hot champorado with a thick swirl of milk on top. Then, she would mix it in a circular way until it's cool enough for our little tongues to handle. She would show us the best way to eat the champorado, starting from the outer edges going in, because that's where the porridge is cooler as compared to the rest in the bowl, she said.
Now I do make my own champorado but for some weird reason it doesn't taste exactly the same as my childhood champorado. I'm pretty sure I use the same ingredients and the same, exact recipe. I even called Mama to "walk" me through the cooking process again and again but the resulting porridge is just not the same. Have you ever had those childhood memories and experiences that no matter how hard you try to duplicate them, they're simply not the same ever again?
I often look back to those times of breakfasts with champorado, or a big snack after a long siesta. My memory of those moments always come back to me, complete with the old sensations that were lovely and warm to the heart. It is still so vivid in my mind that I still remember the taste of the champorado and the "tingly" feeling of contentment it always gave me. I've always wondered why we remember some things from our childhood and yet most things we can't? All I have are bits and pieces of memories from when I was still a child and most of them are like snapshots. My memories of childhood are so unlike a movie. They are more like a photo montage instilled in my mind. Everytime I see a bowl of dark rich, hot champorado these days, it triggers a trip down memory lane with those images with sensations all coming back to envelope me all over again. That's why I so love champorado because it brings back that warm, cozy feeling from the past and the love a child can only feel from a parent. In my case it's from my Mama.
We are not the "huggy-lovey-kissy" kind of family. I grew up without those demonstrations of love from my parents but I've never doubted for a second that they truly care and love their children. We didn't show too much feelings and we didn't kiss and hug every time we see each other but I was sure that love is always there. There is nothing like the love a child can receive from a real loving and good parents. And then, I became a mother myself. Now, I do understand how capable a parent can love a child. It's the kind of love that encompasses and transcends everything. I would rather be the one sick than see my son not feeling well. I'd rather be the one to feel the pain and all the hurt this life has to offer than for him to go through all that. But, as I strive to be a better mother everyday, I know I have to let him experience those things so he can be a better person.
"Modern" parents are more demonstrative of their love for their children now. I hear it all the time on how new mothers profess a deep love for their child. On how much in love they are of their babies and how they will sacrifice and even die for them. As a mother, I do understand all that and more. To be capable of loving another human being so much is an eye-opener for a lot of "new" parents. And now that I have a teenager, I am even more amazed on how that love doesn't diminish at all. No matter how my son would mess up or make bad decisions that will hurt me and his Dad, we will always love him. Forgiveness comes easy and automatically for us. Sure, we do get mad and he gets punished for deeds that call for it, and I may not even like to look at him for a couple of hours (and this is always the perfect time for him to go to his room!), but I'm absolutely positive that when he gets out of that room, we will still love him beyond reason. I didn't have any idea that kind of love even existed before I had my son. How amazing!
My heart may be full of all that motherly love but there is a more perfect, even more amazing love that exists.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8
There are different numbers out there on how many times the word love is mentioned in the King James Bible, some say it's 314, others say it's 429. My online Bible comes up with 281 when "searched" for the word. Well, it doesn't really matter to me right now what the correct number is, because my only point here is, the word love appears several times in the Bible, and that is the only important fact right now. A lot of people might view this holy book as only a source of do's and don'ts, of prohibitions, rules and punishments, commandments and consequences of sins, but the truth is, this is the ultimate "love book!"
Since I had my own child, I comprehended more clearly the love God has for me. It may not exactly be the same but it gives me a glimpse of what and how it is. He says in His Word that He is my Father and I am His child, so therefore, His love for me is like my love for my son although His love is absolutely perfect and unblemished compared to mine. So, when He says that whenever I ask for forgiveness for my sins, He is always able and willing to forgive me, and He means it. For there's no other sweeter words I would hear than from my son sincerely saying he is sorry and that he loves me and his Dad. It's the absolute joy of my heart. And it humbles me to know that my praise and worship, my thanks, my profession of love, and even my begging for forgiveness, are my heavenly Father's utmost joy as well! He delights in me not because I am so lovable but because of His character and of who He is. He is the perfect God, the Creator, my King and my Father. He can't help but to be true to Himself.
"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish." -2 Corinthians 2:15
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand." -Psalms 37:23-24
Thank God for giving us love, great memories, and for champorado!