Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The imperfect mom

I spent the whole day with Katy. Totskie had an event in Manila and our on-call caregiver needed to stay home to take care of her sick baby. The only option was for me to bring Katy to the office.

I love every moment with Katy. If I would choose to work of stay with her, I would always choose to be with her. But today has been extra challenging. We both have colds and all I wanted to do was to take a nap, while all she wanted was Mommy. Whenever she would lose my attention, she would throw tantrums, even when we were in the office. When we arrived home, she remained clingy and demanding. Then suddenly, I felt so tired and exhausted, I shook her shoulders and yelled at her. She cried more loudly and I felt worse about myself and our situation. I hugged her and said sorry about what I did. I bought some time off when I lend her my phone. I began washing her milk bottles and prayed to ask the Lord's forgiveness for what I've done to Katy. I felt God's comforting presence right away. This made me realize how limited I am as a mother, and how unlimited God is to us. He doesn't mind if we're clingy and demanding of His attention, in fact, He loves that. 

And now, Katy is fast asleep and I miss her already. 


Monday, November 23, 2015

i already have it

this morning, i delivered an impromtu speech during our book launch in sm dasma. it started good but i was lost for words towards the end. felt bad a bit, kahiya sa boss. but then i remembered the takeaway point from kcon yesterday, "i already have it." no matter what i do good or do wrong, i'm the apple of God's eyes. i am amazing no matter what. :) 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

God's promise: greening up


Totskie and I just celebrated our 3rd year anniversary. Let's add 5 years of being bf/gf and 2 years of friendship. WOW. Total 10 years of love and grace. Thank you soooo much, Lord!

And God is now promising us MORE. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Not without pain but without stain

I've been worried about our finances lately. We have not yet received our salary increase for the year and our family expenses are expanding. I'm also doubting if we'll achieve the required savings for our 2nd baby's delivery if ever I go thru CS again. So many things are inside my head until God's voice became louder enough for me to quit worrying. I humbled myself before God. He reminded me that we are not yet at the destination. We are still at the early phase of our marriage so we just started the journey. I acknowledged the simple life that God has been teaching me thru The Feast-a life focused on Him with less distractions. I asked God to take hold of our finances again, especially our debts and future bills. I know that He won't leave us unattended. I am a parent, and I know well how much a mother wants to give the best for her children. God feels the same way. God wants the best for me. 

This quote from CS Lewis just nailed all my thoughts about our finances:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Katy's Best Friend

We're having another baby girl!:) We actually wanted a baby boy just to have variation but I'm happy to have a baby girl again. I'm so excited for Katy to have a real sister, which I didn't have. I pray that God will lead them to be each other's best friend. Just imagining them playing and hugging brings tears to my eyes! Thank You Lord!:)


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First kick

Baby K just kicked! I'm at 17weeks of pregnancy and it's the first time I felt our baby inside. Thank You Lord for this wonderful gift. :D

*clapclap*

Monday, August 10, 2015

Safe place*

1. Kuya is home! :)

2. We are already staying in our new home for 1mo.
3. Goodies and gifts from family
4. Heart to heart talk with Totskie
5. God is my refuge

*God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

Psalm 46:1-3 MSG


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Papa is doing better

A week after my father had a vehicular accident, he's now doing fine. Thank You Lord! He still feels pain because of his fractures but he said he's recovering fast, just as we have prayed for. God is so galeng! 


Saturday, August 1, 2015

You traded heaven to have me again

yes, touch the sky is my favorite song nowadays.:)

Thank You, Lord...
1. katy fell asleep in my arms while i was singing touch the sky
2. totskie and i talked a lot today while doing house chores (thank God our yaya left!)
3. sold some old books and totskie got orders for empanada
4. my friend, isa, gave birth to a healthy baby boy
5. love for veggies (we're getting older)
6. kuya who assisted me in the veggie section of South supermarket
7. another productive day at work
8. free ride home
9. kiliti time with kuti
10. God's providence/sweldo 

miracles happen

papa met an accident while riding his bike this morning. 
1. thank God, he's alive.
he got head injuries and bone fractures.
2. neuro said no need for surgery in his brain.
we're waiting for the ortho and ent's recommendation.
3. the driver whom he had accident with is a good person.
he was the one who brought papa to the hospital.
4. we feel pity for him, manifesting forgiveness and love.
we will go with the amicable settlement instead of filing a case.
5. our family is stronger with this struggle.



Thursday, July 30, 2015

upward falling, spirit soaring*

tonight, i prayed for the biggest dreams in my heart. there are two. i told God that if there are two aspects i would like to be great at in this life, those would be in parenting and being a wife. those are my two primary mission areas. please hear me, Lord, and grant my prayer every day. 

today, i choose to beef up my grateful heart once again. and so... thank You Lord for:
1. a father who offered me free ride to the office
2. strangers smilling at me
3. a productive day at work
4. satisfied craving
5. huggie time with totskie and katybear

*touch the sky by hillsong



Thursday, April 16, 2015

The sum total is love

1. I'm feeling better and my voice is coming back
2. Trip to Phil Star
3. comfort food after a tiring day
4. Totskie's new haircut (ang pogi ng asawa ko!)
5. Katy's moment: she stopped nursing when she heard the theme song of Dream Dad from the TV. I thought she liked it so I searched for the complete song in Youtube. When I played the song, she also started singing with jumbled words. In the music video, the song ended with thr father hugging his baby. Then Katy started to cry aloud! She got sad because if the song and gesture. Soooo cute! We hugged her and it took several minutes for her to move forward with life. 😉

Katy and her dream dad 

*Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.

Romans 13:8 MSG



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Love has a name

Just had the most empowering Holy Week of my life, thanks to my Light of Jesus Family. We attended the Kerygma Lenten Recollection in Sta. Rosa for three days and ended the week with a blast through the Grand Easter Feast in MOA Arena. I keep on repeating in my mind all the learnings I've got from the talks and sharings so my heart won't forget...

One of the highlights of the Feast was the rendition of Kari Jobe's Forever and Isaac Wimberley's poem titled The Word. I've heard both before but still I was crying during the whole performance. To give you an idea, here's the original song and poem.



The WordIf there are words for Him then I don’t have them
You see my brain has not yet reached a point
Where it could form a thought
That could adequately describe the greatness of my God
And my lungs have not yet developed the ability
To release a breath with enough agility
To breathe out the greatness of His love
And my voice, my voice is so inhibited
Restrained by human limits
That it’s hard to even send a praise up
If there are words for Him then I don’t have them
My God
His grace is remarkable
Mercies are innumerable
Strength is impenetrable
He is honorable, accountable, and favorable
Unsearchable yet knowable
Indefinable yet approachable
Indescribable yet personal
He is beyond comprehension
Further than imagination
Constant through generations
King of every nation
ButIf there are words for Him then I don’t have them
You see my words are few
And to try and capture the one TRUE God
Using my vocabulary will never do
But I use my words as an expression
An expression of worship to a Savior
A Savior who is both worthy and deserving of my praise
So I use words
My heart extols the Lord
Blesses His name forever
He has won my heart, captured my mind
And has bound them both together
He has defeated me in my rebellion
Conquered me in my sin
He has welcomed me into His presence
Completely invited me in
He has made Himself the object of my sight
Flooding me with mercies in the morning
Drowning me with grace in the night
ButIf there are words for Him then I don’t have them
But what I do have…Is Good News
For my God knew that man-made words would never do
For words are just tools that we use
To point to the Truth
So He sent his son Jesus Christ as THE WORD
Living proof
He is the image of the invisible God
The firstborn of all creation
For by Him all things were created
Giving nothingness formation
And by His word He sustains, in the power of His name
For He is before all things and over all things He reigns
HOLY IS HIS NAME!!
Praise Him for His life
The way He persevered in strife
The humble Son of God becoming the perfect sacrifice
Praise Him for His death
That He willingly stood in our place
That He lovingly endured the grave
That He battled our enemy
And on the third day rose in victory
Praise Him because He rose!!Hallelujah He rose!!
He is everything that was promised
Praise Him as the risen King
Lift your voice and sing
For one day He will return for us and we will finally be
United with our Savior for eternity
So it’s not just words that I proclaim
For my words point to the WORD
And the WORD has a name
Hope has a name
Joy as a name
Peace has a name
Love has a name
And that name is Jesus Christ
Praise His name FOREVER!
Thank you Lord for saving us! You are my forever!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rewards

Last week, my colleague told me that she got free cinema tickets, popcorn, and drinks from redeeming her Smart Rewards points. She told me to check my points too so I can also get some freebies. I did it immediately and found that after 2 years of subscription, my Smart postpaid plan earned me 40,000 points! I used some of my points to earn rebates for my next bill. So when my bill arrived, it was PHP300.00 off my usual balance. It felt great because I never expected to get something out of paying my monthly phone bill.

This reminded me of my rewards in heaven. There were times when I think about the hardships I’ve been through and seek the purpose of all the pain. Sometimes I find the answers, but most of the time, I am left clueless. That’s the time when I ask God, “Why did I have to go through that?” His answer is always simple: to love. The more love I give, the move lives experience heaven here on earth. And eventually, there will be more lives saved, all of us earning more rewards in heaven all together.

A few days ago, I felt so hurt about a wrongdoing of a person I love dearly. I felt so betrayed. I talked and cried about it with God and asked Him to lead me to what I should do with the situation. The Lord’s message was clear: forgive. I didn’t feel like doing it at first, but after one day, I just felt forgiving. And so I surrendered to the Lord the situation, and entrust the person to Him for transformation. Again, I am reminded that I may not earn the rewards here on earth, but together with the person I have forgiven, we will reap God’s unfailing love in all eternity.

How about you, have you checked your rewards points?


So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us... Galatians 6:9-10 MSG

Love Yourself

That is my mantra for this year.

Yes, I love myself. But I realized lately that it's not enough. I used to think that it is sinful to love myself because God and others should come first. Yes, we must love God first and foremost. But lately I found out that there's a missing variable in my formula. According to the Gospel of Mark, "Love others as well as you love yourself."

So here's my new formula and I'll call it the iLove Theorem

x=y (where x is self-love and y is love for others).

I'm not so good in Algebra but I know that if x is 0, y will also be 0. And if x is 10, y is also 10.  

It sounds weird but we need to have a relationship with ourselves. If we fail to establish this "inner connection" we'll fail to connect to others. It's like the relationship of internet signal source, internet connection, modem, and Wi-Fi router. God is the internet signal source. We are the modem. The internet connection is our self-love. Once this is established, the Wi-Fi router transmits the signal to other devices. If we have good connection with ourselves, it is easier to transmit love to others. If there's poor connection, all we transmit is Wi-Fi signal without internet. And that is as good as throwing nothing.

And so we ought to search for ways to establish this connection. There's no need for ala-Star Cinema movie soul searching. I'm sure God has made the ways to self-love readily available around us and in us. Yes because He is love.

According to Marjorie Duterte's book titled Love Yourself As God Loves You, working on self-love can be easy. Let go of expired negative emotions (guilt and anger) that are eating you up. Stop for a while and be reminded that God is thinking about you at this very moment. Laugh even if there's nothing funny (your brain won't know it's not real). Write yourself a love letter. Embrace yourself. (Read the book for more).

Once we have mastered this craft of self-loving, it will be easier to accept love from others and give love as well. Remember the iLove Theorem, x is equal to y.

Love Like That

It was one of the most unforgettable moments of my youth. Together with other missionaries, we went to Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro for our annual summer house training. After two days of travel, we reached our training house, which we later called our “rehab”. After some introductions, our leader discussed the house rules. “Call and text your love ones now, because we will keep your mobile phones for the rest of the week,” he said, as one of the rules. I knew then that God will reveal a lot to me that week.

One of the highlights of that week was the night of surrender. We circled around a bonfire and our leader asked us to take away our masks. He told us that God wanted us to let go of our hidden addictions and deepest hurts, and we can only do that if we reveal our true selves to one another. Then there was silence. I felt fear inside me, and around me. We were afraid to tell our stories of shame because we might be judged wrongly and our friends would love us less.

The silence was broken when our leader started to share his story. Tears flowed from our eyes because we felt his pain and shame. It felt like his story was also ours. After his revelations, we embraced him. Then another one shared his story, until all of us have removed our masks. We have been set free.

The sun was already up when we finished sharing our stories. We ended the activity with a powerful worship to our God, who embraces us when we are full of shame; carries us when we are too weak to fight; and loves us no matter what. This same love is multiplied in our hearts, and so we were able to love others even if we know how dirty they are inside. It is the kind of love that cannot be explained. It is the love that makes us love more than we think we are capable of. That is God’s trademark of love-uncontainable, unexplainable, unending.


Blockbuster Finale

I took up one subject in college twice. The subject is called Molecular Biology and Biotechnology or BIO101. The first time I took it, I was either half asleep or lost in my own world. Whenever the professor steps inside the class and utters words like recombinant DNA technology, polymerase chain reaction, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens, my brain automatically shuts off and brings me into another world where there is sanity. I just didn't get what the professor was saying. My classmates also admitted that the professor was not so good in explaining things, but then they still learned something while I flunked the exams and eventually the course.

The following semester, I took up all the courage to take the course again (or else I won't graduate). I prayed hard that I would be assigned in the other section, handled by another professor, hoping that I would be enlightened with the world of biotechnology in her classroom. On the first day of class, I almost had a heart attack,  because the same professor entered the room. I felt frustrated and asked God, "Why, Lord?" thinking that what I was asking was for my good and was too easy for Him to give. Having no choice, I braved every class, attended group reviews, did my assignments, and prayed novenas to pass each test. By the end of the semester, my name was on the list of students who got 4 as grade, meaning I have to take the removal exam again or else I'll take the course one more time! I went to the church and cried bucket of tears, lamenting that I might not be able to pass the course again.

When I got my class card, I saw my grade. It is 3.0. I passed the course!!! (Play Alleluia Chorus here). It was as if I saw 1.0 instead of 3.0 because it felt like I aced the course.

There are these moments that we are too pissed off about the situation we are facing. It seemed like we experiencing the wrath of apocalypse and there's no more end to the hurt, frustration, and agony. Whenever I face such situations, I remind myself, "Hey, it isn't over yet." For sure God has the best in store for me and all my hardships would not end here. He's never deaf to my prayers. He loves me. So I hold my head up high again and wait for God's blockbuster finale to that phase of my life.


My BIO101 story did not end there. Four years after college, I found myself applying for a company with biotechnology in its name. I recalled my ordeal with the subject and thought that I might not make it to the company. But God had plans. I am now on my fifth year as a science writer in that company, developing materials and publications to demystify biotechnology and help the public make informed decisions about it. Now I can explain recombinant DNA technology, polymerase chain reaction, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens to anyone without batting an eyelash. Isn't it ironic, don't you think? 

Beep beep beep nose!

Kaitlin is learning to speak more words every day. It’s just so amazing how she has developed from a small infant who only knew “waaaah!” more than a year ago can now utter so many words like mommy, daddy, wiwi, kiss, bye, and nanite (good night).

Last night, she started singing a strange song, “Beep, beep, beep, beep nose...” We were so puzzled, because we did not teach her any song with such lyrics. We asked all the persons she has interacted with during the past days, but they were also clueless. We tried to listen to the songs and movies she used to watch but still, we had no answers.

This afternoon, I told the story to my best friend, a stay at home mom of a toddler. She affirmed that her baby also seems to compose songs but she later realizes which song her baby was singing. I sang the song to my best friend, and she knew the song! It’s from FrozenArendelle’s in deep, deep, deep, deep snow…” We cannot stop laughing at ourselves for not recognizing the lyrics and the tone.
This story reminded me about recognizing God’s voice in our everyday lives. His voice isn’t like what we watched in Super Book, where God speaks in very low tone coming from the clouds. Today, with so many voices in our heads, it could be hard to listen which one is God’s, especially if we are not used to listening to Him.


A prayer is a conversation with God. We talk, he listens; then He talks, and we listen. If we miss the part when God speaks to us, then the conversation is unfinished, incomplete. So let us speak to Him every day, and listen to Him more. By this, we become more familiar to His voice. We become more drawn to His call. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blessings, come here

Last week, I made a bold prayer for provision. God's answers came instantly in different ways.

In just one week, I got two free shirts which were unexpected. I also got rush orders for Cupcake Factory. Our boss treated us with pizza as afternoon snack! I know God has more blessings in store for us, and I am thanking Him in advance.:)


Monday, February 9, 2015

Must-be Thankful

You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 MSG

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Encounter

Three things I learned today after going to Luneta to see the Pope:
• Following God is tough. Sometimes you won't get what you worked hard for. But what matters most is that You encountered God wherever you are. I was not able to see the Pope upclose but I know in my heart that through his whole visit, I encountered the Lord.
• Faith is an adventure. You'll hit and miss. You'll feel pain and joy. You'll lose hope and find hope again. Just keep focused on where your destination is (heaven), and what your goal is (love God). Today, we walked from UN LRT station to Luneta, then Luneta to SM Manila, then SM Manila to Gil Puyat station. We got drenched in the rain. We had a glimpse of the Pope. We ate Chicken Joy. We bought new shirts and slippers. We laughed hard. We felt so tired. But I'm going home happy and fulfilled.
• Focus on the goodness that God placed in other people's hearts. We encountered a lot of selfish people today. however, I don't want to remember them. And so I thank God for those who showed kindness-the policemen who carried people over the barricade due emergency, the Kuyas who carried us in crossing barricades, the people who  accompanied us in the line, and the two persons who joined me in my dream to meet the Pope.

Thanks for being our sunshine, Pope Francis. Thanks for being our sun, God.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

I Just Want to Feel This Moment

I slept late last night because I made a pair of wings as part of my angel costume for our Christmas party today. When I woke up, it was already 1pm. No!!! So many things went inside my head like: How could I miss our Christmas party? Sayang yung costume ko! Namiss ko na yung iPad raffle? Kawawa naman yung nabunot ko sa exchange gifts.

I could not believe it so I told myself I was just dreaming. I jumped up and down, and opened my eyes wide, just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I checked the clock and it was still 1pm. I slapped my face and did a cartwheel, and it was still 1pm. Then I heard the sound the alarm clock. And I woke up. It was just 6:30am. It was just a dream! And so I stood up right away and prepared for our party with much gusto.

With so many things happening around us, plus various thoughts in our heads, it is so easy to get away from the present. We'll just realize later on that we've missed a good chance to embrace a moment. And the painful thing is that we are not dreaming.

Can you imagine a happy person in your mind? In my imagination, a happy person is someone whistling while walking, feeling the breeze with a smile etching on his face from forehead to chin. This means that a happy person is not in a rush. A happy person feels the moment. And I want to be like that. When I am at work, I want to be productive so I can achieve my targets on time. When I'm with my family, I want us to hug, laugh, and have fun because we are feeling the moment of togetherness. When in traffic, I want to engage in a fruitful conversation with the person next to me, or grab a book and savour some alone time.

God never rushes. He can actually make anything in a snap of a finger, but He takes his own sweet time for His intricate plans. For instance, He forms a baby for 9 months inside the mother's womb. Then it takes about another year before the baby learns to walk, and two years to talk a bit clearly.

Whenever we feel find ourselves in a rush, pray the "Do Not Hurry Prayer" shared by Bill Gautiere of Soul Shepherding ministry:

Do not hurry…
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in him and he will do this: he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
Do not hurry… Do not hurry.
Psalm 37:1-8*

Breathe in, breathe out. Feel this moment. God is embracing you now.

__________________

*NIV; Gautiere replaced "fret" with "hurry"

(Published in Feast Binan's Bulletin on December 20, 2014)