Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

GOD'S FAITHFULNESS THROUGH A BOTTLE OF LOTION

I could let go of lotion except that my skin needs it. If I do not moisturize regularly, I will have rashes on my arms and legs.  This condition is hereditary and it can only be tamed by a bottle of lotion with the highest moisture content.

If one buys his own lotion and suppplies for grooming (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc), one would also know that if this has to be bought in one grocery trip, he should be ready to say goodbye to his 1,000 php. Toiletries are expensive.  Agree?  Agree!

However, I am amazed on how God gives me free lotion when one botlle is about to end.  I do not share my skin problem with my relatives and friends abroad, but for some reasons, amongst their pasalubong, I would always find a bottle of lotion.  Believe it or not but in for almost 2 years now, I have never bought a bottle of lotion.  Some people call it luck, I call it God's provision.

Matthew 6:25 

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 


  

What did I do while waiting for God's best?


In my Mid -twenties, I already wanted to have a boyfriend.  There was a longing (and pressure) already.  Medyo naiinip na ko.  
So at 25, I did not wait anymore.  I hurried love.  I dove into an empty pool with closed eyes and tied hands and feet.

Do not do what I did.


Do not trade your life with temporary pleasures and love that you know from the very beginning is not from God. Do not exchange good for best.  Do not ARGUE.  Do not defend that he or she is kind, attends church, willing to "change religion soon", etc.  Hay naku promise, it is not worth it!!

I learned it the hard way and the spanking God gave me was hard - really hard.  Too hard that I found myself on the floor, literally asking for my life back.

Still waiting? Then just wait.  That is easier compared to being with someone who is not from God.

If I could just whack some of the girls I know who decided to follow their heart and not God.... I will, but I cannot.  So let me just say it, straight to the point.

Wag ng ipilit. Do not trade God's perfect timing to your temporary happiness.  Marriage won't be blissful if you marry a man who is not from God.  Sayang ang paghihintay kung sa maling tao ka din mapupunta.

So again, chill lang.  Hurrying love is like telling God you do not trust His timing and provision.



Do not trade a buffet with a bowl of soup.

PS.
Of course this story was before I met Bryan.  My husband was one of God's blessings when I completely yielded to God's will... :) 


**inspired by Pastor Tan-Chi


SELF WORTH vs. NET WORTH

"Our self worth is not determined by our net worth"


This thought pierced my heart.  It was a beautiful and timely reminder that I should continually seek for what is eternal than on what moths can destroy on earth. 

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.  (Matthew 6:19-21)


Do not get me wrong, I still want those pretty things (I would be happy to get  a new pair of shoes today) but in my motherhood, God taught me contentment -- to not base my happiness on worldly possessions, to not be controlled by the things I cannot buy, to not be driven by money and to not be jealous with the people who appear (as seen on Instagram) to have the every new thing.

I hope to make more memories with my family.  To cultivate friendships and relationships.  To feast over stories and experiences.  To help people. To be kind. To do ministry.  

And with my posts, I hope to click and share and not click and brag, because truly, what can I boast about?



This is what the LORD says: 
"Let not the wise boast of their wisdom 
or the strong boast of their strength 
or the rich boast of their riches. 
Jeremiah 9:23




Lord,
Thank you for what I have and I do not have.  I am thankful for the things I have now and for the dreams and desires You placed in my heart which I know will all happen in Your time. For now, I will wait.  And as I wait, I pray that You will continue to keep me contented.  That I will not be driven by money, possessions and status symbol.  Thank you for allowing me drop a lot of earthly things to prove that You indeed is my all.  With You, I am complete.  Amen



Paoay Summer Vacation 2014

Since college, I have never been a fan of 3 day trips.  I seldom stay in a new place for 2 nights, instead I always make sure to stay longer to really get to know the place, taste the local food and speak with the community.  This is so true for trips that require planes.  The first time I went to Boracay (2004), I was there for 2 long weeks.  Feeling ko kasi, pagod lang ang three day trips.  It will never be relaxing.  It will never be enough.

That is why, I am so grateful for our 3 week stay here in Paoay.  It was such a refreshing and fulfilling vacation.  We got to spend time (especially Risen) with Mommy and Daddy and got to reconnect with relatives, church mates and a few neighbors.  The abundance of local food also satisfied me, I mean us. :) Naimas (delicious) and veggies dito! Always organic and fresh from the farm.  I don't think I can ever find such greens in the Metro!  Oh plus the Tupig, Bagnet, Empanada, dudol (like Maja Blanca), Carrot cake of La Preciosa , and Daddy's Dinuguan and Igado! YUM!!

I also found God here.  He confirmed some things we have been asking for.  He also provided and made a lot of things more beautiful for us.  Though I was not able to understand the preachings in Bry's home church (mostly Ilokano), my spirit was silenced and comforted with the hymns and classic Christian songs we sung.  It feels so refreshing to worship God with old and slow songs with just a piano accompanying it.  I will surely miss this!

Father,

Thank you for Paoay. Thank you for remembering my prayer in high school when I wished to have a province hours away from Manila.  Naalala mo po talaga!  Thank you for the beach that Risen got to experience and I got to swim in .  Thank you for family who have done all good things for us!  Thank you for the rest and change of environment.  Thank you because You have blessed me with in-laws that I will always look forward of visiting.  Thank you for the fun, kwentos, fresh air, and love!  God, You always amazes me!  I will  forever be grateful! <3 span="">



FOUR Rs: A Guide to Choosing the "Right" Person

Last Febuary 14, 2014, we got up at 6am and headed to Cafe Breton for a hearty breakfast.  After this, I had my mani and pedi and Bryan had his haircut.  Though this was already a great way to spend Feb 14, we knew something bigger will happen.  That night, we had a chance to share how God moved in our lives through our love story.  A perfect time to share how God authored us.  And since we outlined our testimony, I decided to turn it into a blog. Read on.

**These thoughts and beliefs are in the context of being a born-again christian.  Examples used were also intended for HS and college students.

RIGHT MOTIVE

·         Ready to get married
·         Are you courting her because you need a gf? To show that you have a gf?
·         Have you ever prayed for it?
·         Did you ever pray for a lifetime partner even before you met her?
·         Did you ever ask God to direct you – as to whom to court. 
    
       If your reasons are because you feel lonely and incomplete, bala wala ng dumating, crush ko sya, magulo sa bahay ng parents ko, and kinikilig ako pag kasama ko sya, you might need to think things over.

RIGHT PLACE

·         any place is appropriate as long as the intention is not to hide.  In short, kahit saan basta hindi patago.

RIGHT TIME

·         Ready to make Mico my next priority after God.  After God, si Mico na.  Not my studies,       not my work, not my parents.

·         Assessed myself first
-          Ability to lead
-          Ability to support/sustain a family (has savings, stable income)
-          Ability to make firm decisions
-          Ability to be responsible for someone/family

·         Can fulfill ….
-          God’s plan for married people
-          words, dreams and promises into reality and actions.  It was NOT, balang araw papakasalan kita.  It was more of, liligawan kita kasi kaya at gusto na na kitang pakasalan.

·         You know it is the right time when you do not have to ask if it is the right time

·         Supported by family, friends and churchmates

      We both do not have issues (of the past and present). We are not moving on, kaka break lang, incomplete.

RIGHT PERSON – How did I know it was Bryan?

·         Got to know myself first
-          Comes with age and experience
·         Aware and firm with my non-negotiables
a.    Matured Christian
b.    Not an OFW - because I am not good with long distance relationship
c.    Will move out from his parents
d.    Not a Pastor - because I know I do not want and could not be a Pastor's wife
e.    Ready to get married
f.     Out-going

·         Ready for a clear and announced status
-          NOT “it is complicated”
-          NOT “special friends”
-          NOT “friends pero may kilig at malisya”
-          NOT “mutual understanding”
-          NOT “dedma sa personal pero super close sa FB, Instagram at Twitter”
-          NOT “kuya or ate”
-           
…status should be
-          Nanliligaw sya at nagpapaligaw ako
-          Bf ko sya, gf nya ako
-          Engaged
-          Considering each other for marriage

·         I knew it was him because I did not have to ask

·         He can make me follow

   KEY VERSES:

1 Corinthians 6:12
Everything is permissible but not everything is necessary
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace

Genesis 2:23-25
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Ephesians 5:33
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

1 Corinthians 6:12
Do not be deceived:  Bad company corrupts good morals

2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

·    




SIX


**originally written last June 2012

Where did December to June go? 6 months flew really fast.  Good thing my reliable planner is here to remind me that 6 months really happened and I (we) am (are) now facing the last 2 quarters of wedding/ marriage planning. 

In 6 months, I will be walking down the aisle and marry the man that God prepared for me.  Arrrggghhh, ang lapit na!!   I remember weeks ago, in one of our random talks, we found ourselves saying that we can’t put our feelings in a single picture.  It is a bit of everything!  It is a fragment of happiness, of excitement, of worry, of curiosity, of madness, of jitters, of happy tears ,et al.  This makes me really say “wwwaaahhhhhhh 6 months !!!”

Of course, in the middle of this emotional roller coaster, we are also caught between our wedding planning and marriage counseling.  What a joy that this is all happening on the days we know that we have 6 months to be extra prepared.  This is so true especially with our 10 counseling sessions with the Velardo(s).  Our talks with them are making us nearer to God and to each other.  I am totally recommending counseling for couples who are getting married. Couples should remember that marriage is more important than a wedding.  So, aside from wedding planning, dapat mas bongga ang marriage planning!   This brings me to the thought that a wedding will only happen for four hours, but the marriage is for a lifetime.  So choose marriage, not weddings.  



 “Lord, thank you for your time which I know is perfect from the very beginning.  Thank you for the last 6 months of preparations.  May You continue to guide us and prepare us as we strive to be the best wife and husband for each other.  Empower us and remind us that we can do this not with our own might but only by Your spirit….Amen”  


The pics below are the families that always pray for us and with us. 
 Thank God for your lives.

our marriage counselors + ninang and ninong + mentors = velardo family








BROWN BAGS AND GOD'S SENSE OF HUMOR


When I was around 6, I hoped to go to the United States. I would daydream about this as I watched Doogie Howser M.D and Small Wonder at night.  I remember literally asking Mama how I can go.   She would just then smile at me and ask “why”.  With much gusto, I would say “kasi gusto ko ng  brown bag na may maraming maraming grocery, tas mahirap dalahin kasi ang dami dami kong binili”.  Oh yes, at an early age, the grocery (with the brown bag) is already my favorite place in the world.    

Anyway, my “American dream” did not take place (as of 2012), but the buying of cartons of milk and boxes of cereals happened plusssss THEY PLACED IT IN A BROWN PAPER GROCERY BAG!!! YEHEY!!!

Thanks Maan for capturing this JOYOUS moment.  
Thanks to the Mayor of Muntinlupa, Aldrin San Pedro and his officials, our city has been “anti plastic bags” for (I think) 2 years now.  When I first heard this, I was just glad that we are more “environment friendly”-- I did not realize that this would be God’s way of answering my childhood dream.  God made me really laugh when I went to Shopwise, bought supplies and clutched 3 big brown paper bags.  I was all smiles when I carried the brown bags to the parking lot.  Bonus points was when I cannot find my car keys and I had to place one bag on the hood my car.  I WAS AMERICAN for 2 minutes!!! Wuhoooo!  hahahahaha

This may just be a simple “dream” but God made it happen.  Not to forget, that God made me laugh.  Siguro, He was like, “Sige, gawin na nating anti-plastic ang Muntinlupa (first in the whole NCR) para sa pangarap ni Mico”….Hay Lord, I just so love your sense of humor. .. J

 On a serious note, If He took the effort to arrange this tiny dream for me, He would of course take time to give the hopes I have been desiring and praying about.   It may not be the exact answer (no US visa for me) but it is still a response!  (which is apparently better -- more fun in the Philippines diba?)  Don’t you see how thoughtful (and fun) our God is?


Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

thirty-no-more


Today I am 31.  I can’t help but be amused on how God made this year wonderfully memorable and incredibly enjoyable.  

When I was much younger, I wondered where I would be at this age.  I think being 30 years old compels people to be at something, to be at a certain level.  It may be in one’s career, love life, savings in the bank, accomplishments, etc.  So, when it was 3 years before I turned 30, I was a bit squeamish because I felt that I did not have anything big yet.  I didn’t have a passbook I can be proud of.  No title on my name.  No relationship that would lead to marriage.  Nothing.  That is why when God turned my life around months before I turned 30, I was just so thankful.  I am something at 30.  I am happily engaged at 30. Wuhoo.

The second gift that God gave me this year was the restoration of friendship I had with 2 ladies.   We were distant for 2 years. Though our first meet up was awkward, our next try was flawless.  Thank God for burgers, cheesecakes and cups of coffee,  we (finally) found ourselves seated on a dining table sharing stories, and mentioning kept hurts in a very light and bubbly manner.  Our supposedly lunch together ended at almost midnight.  Definitely, not friendship over for us.  Yehey.

An added surprise was my survival in an engineering, procurement and construction firm.  Yup, you got that right.  Because of a need and priority basis, I decided to change career.  I remember my first week wherein I did not understand anything at all.  Nakakaiyak.  Plus, I am not used to not know what to do.  Dobleng nakakaiyak.  The job itself, terms, working habit, culture, people, jargons, and lingo were ALL new and dull (perspective of a Theater grad and a Literature teacher).  I usually sulk up my thoughts and fear then try harder. Good thing, I had good supports from the people around me and projects I was deployed in. They made me knowledgeable and confident in what I do.  It is still difficult at times and everyday is still a learning process, but I feel more capable.  I am not that dumb at what I do anymore.  So yes, I am still a Literature teacher in an Engineer’s world.  

Another Bryan related blessing was the Pamamanhikan (it went really well) and our relationship that is blossoming in God’s path.  Everyday is an assurance of His faithfulness in our individual lives and in our togetherness.  Though there are little discussions and arguments along the way, we are secured in our commitment, love and God’s grace.  

One thing more that makes me in awe were the changes and adjustments I handled all at the same time.  We moved in to our new home, closest church friends left Pinas for good, new job, wedding/marriage planning, went back to Masters, etc.  OH MY! Sabay-sabay silang lahat!  Looking back, I do not know how I was able to cope, but I think I did prett well.  I still miss my friends, our old home, and my teaching life (I do not miss being single at all -- haha) BUT since I know God and I know He wants me to be at my best, I couldn’t and wouldn’t complain.  Changes are blessings.

I am 31. When I was 9 and Mama was 31, feeling ko ang tanda tanda nya na!  haha Me? I do not feel old at all.   I am still young.  I am ONLY 31.   IT IS AWESOME TO BE 31! Try nyo! :)

Fluor Philippines Famiy

Pamamanhikan

church friends last get-together

cheesecakes that witnessed it al

ELEVEN - marriage countdown



** this was originally written last February 2012.  

It was supposed to be September 17, 2012.  When we decided to move it to December, I was a bit apprehensive because I felt that the three-month gap would be a long wait (ako na excited).  But now, that I (we) am exactly 11 months away from our wedding date, I am just so thankful we adjusted it.  Time zooms.

11 Communions to go, and we are off to marriage.

Now that I am counting days, God has been reminding me of the little “wishful thinkings” I had as a young girl.  During IVCF camps and conferences, when couples would inspire young hearts on how God authored their love stories, I would get jealous and say, “sana ako din ganyan”.  I NEVER fervently prayed for a man (up until Bryan courted me), but I remember saying to myself  “Gusto ko yan gawin with my husband.  I want to share how we met too.  His version then my version…”  And guess what? In one of our talks, he mentioned that he is open to the possibility of sharing how God puzzled us together.  And I was like…teka, this sounds familiar…I wished for this before!  I have forgotten but God has not!  AMAZING! Talk about how God moves and remembers!  YES! He is faithful -- even to those little requests I just spontaneously uttered!!

 I can’t wait for the day/s God will allow us to share how he brought us together. Even though we haven’t pegged any date yet, it is just amazing that Bryan is open for this idea too.     This journey with Bryan and God has been awesome.   11 months will quickly pass by but I know God will not stop here.  Isn’t He really great?


Shing, an ISCF batchmate/friend and K. Dennis, my ISCF counselor

A. Dot's home in Baguio inspired me to dream of families.
She and her husband are our marriage counselor too.

Kuya Eric, my KC Camp Director.  He was engaged and fondly talked about his love story during KC.