WHY IS HE WORTH THE KEEP

Your parents love him 
Mothers (more or less parents) have this gut feeling about your man.  
Ask them about him.  They may be 90% right.

He has a stable job and a bank account 
A man who values the future does not only dream about it but prepares for it.  He is not dependent on his parents or siblings.  He has a regular job and knows how to work his way up.  And yes, a wise man saves up.  

He does not make promises  
It is either he is actively working on his promises or he has done them already

You share the same faith and values
Married couple would have disagreements and this is normal.  However, you can lessen the pressure if you have the same faith and values.  Not convinced? Check this out!

He does not have personal issues
It is difficult to be with a man who has baggages on his shoulders.  His issues may got to do with his self-esteem, unresolved conflicts, debts, personhood, sexuality, etc.


He does not cringe when you drop the words wedding and marriage
Personally, I would like to be with a man who is not only willing to marry me but is also ready to get hitched NOW.  I don't know with you. 
Come to think of it, if not marriage, what will be the goal of your relationship?

He does not pressure or lead you to be physically intimate
Yes, men who are not after your thighs and breasts are still present!!
 Let me share a little secret. Me and my husband had our first kiss on our wedding day.  We have been together as an engaged couple for 2 and a half years and the farthest we have been is a peck on the cheek! Yes, it can still happen!!!




You see and know that he will be a good father
Remember that your future husband will not only be your spouse
 but also the future father of your children.  Think, think, think!

He is a follower of God
Trust me, you would want and need a man who follows God.  Let me take this to another level by challenging you to seek a man who is not only a christian (yes, some Christians do not follow God's commandments) but also seeks and obeys the Lord.  Your husband will be the leader of your home and family and it is just wise to have someone whose leader is the Lord.




BAR EXAMS 2014: 5 Things I Have Re-learned

1. I love Bryan - I felt his pain (actually parang mas affected ako).  A lot of married couples have been telling us that there will come a time that what your husband's passion will also become yours. That his pains and joys will be yours too. Ito na ata yun. It is really possible to feel your spouse in a very different level. I guess I have just experienced empathy.

2. Bitterness is a part of "moving-on" - As I continue to digest the result, let me come clean by saying that I have asked the question "Bakit sila pumasa? Bakit si Bryan, hindi?" in my mind for a hundred of times.  To think that Bryan has never failed a subject, He graduated top 3 of his class, he studied for over a year, he wanted to work as a lawyer for a low paying NGO, plussss we prayed really hard. So bakit nga ba hindi? (insert tears here).  However, just like a friend from church named Ate Lorena, let us not wallow on this but still focus on God's sovereignity.

3. I badly miss my childfood friends - When I got the news, all the landline numbers of my friends flashed back.  I wanted to call each one of them and say, "punta kayo dito sa bahay, bili kayo Coke at Pancit Canton, papa press-con ako". However, the fare from Canada, Australia and the US seem to be a bit expensive so I guess I have to settle with this person named Maan who will come home very soon. I guess that in bad times, you remember your true friends and the people who knows you the most, and since they are really your bestest of friends, you do not mind bugging or disturbing them - this has already been a part of the sacred deal.

4. I should not see people based on their title or profession.  Enough said.

5. Trials are really essential to strengthen relationships- To date, this is probably the "unang dagok" we have ever faced as a couple.  Facing problems as a couple is both difficult and easy.  Hard because, who wants issues to face? and "easy" because you have each other (and God of course). However, it was a good experience to encourage one another.  Ang weird that if I feel like crying, Bryan would try to uplift me by saying that "it's okay I failed.  I am okay with it", then pag sya naman yung down, I would hug and tell him that he could take the Bar exams again.  Haaay!

BAR 2014: Bryan Speaks Up - From Bitterness to Surrender

I FAILED THE 2014 BAR EXAMS

Yes. True. I did. It hurts. It’s heart breaking. Disappointing. Frustrating.

Waking up at 4 a.m. to read cases and books for several years? Memorizing laws and analysing cases of people I don’t know? All these are in vain. Staying and reading in the library for nearly 10 hours a day? Useless. Saving an amount to sustain law school needs? These are all scrap. Childhood dream of becoming a lawyer? Shattered. Sacrifices of my wife, parents, in-laws, schoolmates, bar ops, churches and friends? All wasted.  My son, Risen, having no father for the entire month of the bar exams? Worthless.

But this morning, I have this from the book of Psalms…

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations… Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Psalms 90:1-2)

“It’s good to contemplate God’s eternity in the light of man’s frailty… God is eternal. He is our dwelling place from generation to generation. The eternity we face in His hands… From generation to generation, from everlasting to everlasting, He has been faithful, and He will continue to be faithful.” (Warren Wiersbe, Prayer, Praise and Promises: A Daily Walk Through the Psalms)

Yesterday morning, before knowing that I did not make it, the Lord gave me this…

“He (referring to the psalmist in Psalm 89:46-52) starts with burdens and ends with blessing. He starts with sighing and ends with singing, because he lifts his broken heart unto the Lord in prayer.” (Warren Wiersbe, Prayer, Praise and Promises: A Daily Walk Through the Psalms)

With these, I say…

No cross examination, Your Honor.
No further questions, Your Honor.
I rest my case… not in court… but to You, my Honorable Lord.

GOD IS GOOD… HE IS FAITHFUL… ALL THE TIME. JJJ

P.S. To you who were with us through all these, thank you very much. As He promised, “…your labor in the Lord is not in vain...” (I Corinthians 15:58)



Bryan Eli Bagasin Sadorra
March 27, 2015
(a day after the 2014 bar exam results were released)

BAR EXAMS: When You Wait Then God Says "No/Not Now"

There was a strange feeling of physical pain in my chest when I did not see Bryan's name on the list of bar 2014 passers.  There was like a hole in my heart.  Masakit.  After a second or two, I started weeping  and all I can do is cover my face and say "I am sorry" to Bryan.  All I could do was cry.

I cried because I could not give the title "Atty" to Bryan.  As a wife, I would give anything to my husband.  And it badly hurts me that at this time, what we can only do is be sorry and comfort each other.

We have been waiting and praying for this day since we became bf-gf.  Every night, this has been in our prayers.  We also rallied people to pray for us.  Aside from all of these, Bryan studied hard - really hard.  On our side, we knew we did our part while allowing God to do His. 

However, amidst of our long waiting and praying, God replied with a "No/Not Now" - which at the moment really sounds bad and difficult to deal with.


We still do not know the reason why God allowed this.  Naiiyak pa din ako.  Masakit pa din. But at the end of the day, He remains to be the God who knows what is best for us.  Today, this is what is perfect.  Today, this is what is needed.  Today, this is God's answer to our prayers, to our waiting. Today, the answer is "no". 

Amidst of all the tears, the hugs, and the comfort we try to give to each other, we will not be moved nor question God's faithfulness to us. We have Him, our marriage, each other, Risen, our families, friends, church and support group. We are in pain, but allow us to declare that God is still good and He will continue to be.  All praises to Him!!!



When God Tells You to Wait While Waiting

Don't you find it frustrating when God tells you to continue wait while waiting?  I do.

image from http://www.micosadorra.com/2015/03/when-god-tells-you-to-wait-while-waiting.html

In the world where most of the things are instant, I easily become impatient.  This is true with the small and big things in my life. In many occurances, I want things settled or known in 5 minutes.

However, every time I reach the peak of my edginess, I am reminded on how God made many things in my life beautiful in His time. -- And during these seasons, I have seen on why the Lord asked me to not be in a hurry.  For a number of times, I have heard myself say "Aaahhhh, kaya pala ngayon lang binigay! :)"

As I type this blog entry, me and my husband are waiting for two things we have been praying for since we started our relationship.  We have to admit that we constantly look at the clock with the question "When, Lord? When?".  Good thing, the series preaching in CCF Muntinlupa on the book of Exodus, helps us to wait.  Let me share to you a few thoughts that was published in the Chronicle (weekly bulletin of CCF Muntinlupa).  This was from the talk of Pastor Roy Fabella.  I hope that this would also encourage you to wait while waiting.

God Hears
God hears everything, even those things that are mouths cannot speak.  We must always remember that we can call out to God foe help, whatever is happening in our lives.

God Remembers
Our God delivers his promise

God Sees
He watches over us and takes care of us

God Knows
He understands how you feel, the questions that go into your mind, 
and the battles that rages in you.






FREEBIES ALERT: A Headband and a Filmmaking Workshop!!


I saw these two freebies today and I thought it would be good to share it to you! :)  
Both are clickable on FB.  But if you are lazy, the links are also found below! 











Tough Love On Risen: Part 2

Here, I ranted on how we needed to break Risen's habit of wanting to sleep in our bed all the time. As promised, now, I will let you know how he responded.

Ate Dot, one of the seasoned moms I know told us to simply talk to Risen.  She also suggested to place a pillow or a blanket in his crib so Risen can associate this to his sleeping place.

So, on a Friday night, I said this (I also did a lot of hand gestures) to Risen before putting him to sleep. Just pardon the choppy English.  I just use the essential or content words so my toddler would understand.

"Risen, mommy and daddy bed.  
Risen crib. Risen, embrace Mickey Mouse.  
Risen, crib.  Risen sleep Mickey Mouse.  
Risen sleep crib. 
 Risen embrace Mickey Mouse."

I remember doing this for 3 minutes.  I did this while he was on my lap so my eyes could meet his.

After this, we prayed and hugged then I placed him in his crib.

And you know what happened? No fuss, no crying!  He stayed in his sleeping place. He slept on his own and did not wake up in the middle of the night!  I know, amazing, right?!



So, ladies and gentlemen, do not underestimate a 15 month old toddler!! They can already understand! :)

Tough Love on Risen: Part 1

**Originally written January 2015

For the past two weeks, Risen has been waking up in the middle of the night crying.  He would point at our bed and plead to be transferred.  In the beginning, we thought it was “sweet” for him to miss us during his sleep (he has been sleeping in his crib since day 1).  Little did we know, it would be a start of a not so good habit.

Today, he did not want to stay in his crib at all.  He wanted his morning and afternoon naps in our bed.  This means I had to watch and guard him the whole time.  This means that I won’t be able to do my morning tasks which include online work, a few errands, working out and some house chores.  He naps from 8:00 to 9:15 and  12:30 - 2pm.   These two naps are so precious that I can’t just give it up.  Yes, call me selfish, but still, I need this time of my day.

Bryan and I realized that his wanting to be in our bed in the middle on night gave him an idea that he can sleep in our bed always (yes, we are also one of the couples who think that it is not (always) okay to share beds with kids).  We hope to break this habit soon.  This would include crying every time we put him to sleep, tears in the middle of the night, sleepless nights in the coming days and maybe even frustration.  However, as young as 16 months, we have to teach Risen.  It may not be conducive for him, but we have to.

Funny on how we did not see this coming.  We thought he just wanted to cuddle in the middle on the night. Now, it is a habit we need to break.  We are still new in our parenting journey and we know that Risen will have a lot of habits that we would need to break in the future. For now, Risen has to be reminded that he can’t sleep in our bed just because he wanted to.

Painful but needed.  Masakit sya sa heart.  Pero sige lang, kailangan.

On my next blog, I will tell you how Risen responded to our "tough love".


How To Enjoy a Children's Party with your Toddler

Children's party are not only for kids.  In the Philippines, this is also the perfect time for parents to socialize with other parents.  Birthday celebrations could also be like a semi reunion or a quick catch up with relatives, friends and officemates.  However, this can be difficult with a toddler.  It is quite challenging to share stories with other guests when your little one likes to run around, play with other toddlers or just be a typical kiddo who would want his freedom in a crowded room.

Last Saturday, we were invited to Dria's first birthday and dedication.  We were really excited to spend a late afternoon with our Discipleship group from CCF Muntinlupa that we made sure we are "party ready" with Risen.  These are the things that we did, and hopefully, you could get a tip or two:

 


1.  Eat before leaving - This goes for both the toddler and parents.  Hunger could make the baby cranky and parents impatient.  Note that most parties would have programme and games first. If you leave the house with a full stomach, chances are, you will be ready to eat again (but not famished) once the food is served.

our handsome husbands ready to party (and attack the buffet table)!!


2. Parents, wear dark clothes - Avoid the white, beige, and pastel colors. Why? because any parent does not want food stain from his toddler's face and hand.  To be safe, use dark colored tops.  This would make spaghetti sauce, ketchup and soda spills invisible.


3.  Allow your toddler to participate in the party.  Risen only stayed on his kiddie chair for like 5 minutes.  However, that was still 5 minutes!! For a toddler whose parents were 3 yards away, that was awesome! Besides, this could be a good training for them.  Someday, they will have to party on their own. Just keep those wathcful eyes, parents!  


4,  Once the food is served, decide who will eat first.  It  is either the mommy or daddy (unless you have a yaya with you).

5.  Speaking of a yaya, ask your party host if you could bring one ;)  

6.  Accept the mess your child will bring on the table.  Feeding a toddler could be difficult, untidy and chaotic so just let it be and do not expect your son to eat like a gentleman.  Yes, food will be dropped, drinks might be all over the place and there might be a spill here and there.  Embrace it mommies, you are with a toddler!  

7.  Bring a stroller or ask for a kiddie chair from the venue host.  This will at least make your child stay seated while eating.

8.  Do not forget to pack the following:  extra set of clothes, wipes, tissue, water, cookies (or any comfort food), and lotsa party spirit!

Thanks for the invite again, Dria.  Please do not tell your dad that Risen stole a kiss from you! hihihi








A Retreat For BCF Pastors and Their Wives




Last Saturday, God answered one of our prayers with a "yes".  We have been asking Him to enable us to spearhead and provide for a one day marriage retreat exclusively for BCF Pastors and their wives and we are so glad this is over and done with!! We desired for this because we wanted to give back to Bible Centered Fellowship.  Though we are now with CCF Muntinlupa, BCF Camella has been very instrumental in my salvation and Christian walk.  Even up to now, my homechurch has been very supportive, welcoming and intimate (especially to Bryan).  Second, though we have been married for nearly 3 years, we have seen how a marriage can be beautiful and ugly.  With these, we started to pray that God will us to serve our BCF Pastors by sponsoring a marriage retreat.  Praise God, because as always He answered!  I would also like to thank God for our friends too who initiated to share their resources.  Maan, Erick and Tere -  Mabuhay kayo pati na ang mga kabuhayan ninyo!!






We invited Kuya Erickson and Ate Dot of EDV Ministries (who were also our pre-wedding marrrige counselors) to facilitate the retreat.  This power couple aims to help Church and christian organization with the different aspects of the ministries. You may send them messages or inquiries here.  




 As much as I want to tell all what happened in the retreat, I won't and I can't.  We vowed to keep all the details in private.  However, I took some pictures which will give you a clue that we all had a productive and great time!


























Meet Jihan. My College Friend Who Survived Cancer.

I hate Cancer.  I have seen my closest friends cry over their mom's death because of this disease.  When Jihan told me she cancer, I honestly thought I would lose her too.  However, God turned things round and made her Cancer free! Praise God.  Let me share to you this amazingly, beautiful story!!


Jihan is the girl in yellow daster and rollers

How did you find out you had Cancer?
I was experiencing shortness of breathe and I felt lumps on my throath area so I decided to have a consult.  I was working at TELUS when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The Pulmunologist from Makati Med (I forgot his name) told me that the findings says that I have cancer so he referred me to an oncologist in the same hospital.


Jihan is the girl in yellow (yes, yellow again)


How did you deal with the treatment? hospitalization? cancer?
At first I had to do natural healing for about 6 mos. However, the supplements were so expensive that we can't handle the expenses anymore so I had no choice but to undergo Chemotherapy. We opted to have procedures in PGH because it is a lot less expensive compared to other hospitals. And besides we can ask assistance from PCSO and Senators for the laboratory and treatment expenses.



I prayed really hard that I may be able to accept chemotherapy and radiation as my option to be healed. I heard and read a lot of feedback that Chemo targets not only the cancer cells but even the good cells. I was scared to undergo those treatments. That's why I remember begging God to heal me as early as possible with just the natural way in order for me not to experience chemotherapy and radiation, because I was so scared! But I drew strength from Jesus as I read the scriptures how scared Jesus was when He was praying at the Garden of Gethsemane that resulted Him to cry and sweat in blood, but He told God the Father, to let His will be done. And finally, I was able to say it to Him, let His will be done in my life. I told Him that I will embrace Chemotherapy and Radiation as His way of healing me. It takes a lot of prayers from family and friends and myself, a lot of inner healing retreats before I was finally able to say, Lord, let your will be done. I learned to enjoy each step of the way. I enjoyed being in the hospital. It was tough but I enjoyed the place, the fellow patients presence, the life inside the hospital. I just accepted everything. That was how I dealt with it. I dealt with cancer by accepting the fact that I had it and knowing that with God's grace my body will defeat it.

What part of Cancer was the most painful?
The blood extractions were painful because I was kinda bloated so they were having hard time to hit the veins. The blood transfusion was hard too. During my first chemo, they had to transfuse blood because my CBC count was not normal anymore, I am not sure if it was the hemoglobin or the platelet that was low.

There was one chemo drug that, that was painful every time it enters my veins but it was tolerable. One of the hardest part was the grogginess and the tipsiness that I felt after chemo sessions and of course the vomiting episodes...classic un...hahahah...I want to thank our kasambahay, back then,  Nerissa for being on my side that time to help me fall asleep even I was vomiting the whole day and night...hehehe

Did you think you would die during that time?
Of course, it came across my mind that I might die especially during the time that I was rushed to the hospital because I can't breathe. It was Holy Wednesday 0f 2011 when I was rushed to the hospital. That was the time, somehow, even just a bit (compared to Jesus' experience) I felt and experienced the sufferings and pains that Jesus experienced, the one that we usually remember during Holy Week. 

How did you stay cheerful and hopeful?
I stayed cheerful because that has been me. I mean that's my personality. I am cheerful in nature. I always see funny stuff in every perspective even in a very pathetic situation (as others may perceive). I stayed hopeful because I believe GOD LOVES ME. AND I USED THAT LOVE AS MY WEAPON TO BE STRONG AND HOPEFUL. That was the only thing I held in my hand, in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul. 




How did you know you are cancer free?
The CT Scan result in 2013 said that I don't have tumor anymore.

3 things that changed in you:

  • The way I express, understand, and feel LOVE
  • I now always pray not just for myself but I now pray for others especially for the sick. 
  • I now have more FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE in me. Because I EXPERIENCED GOD! 
What is your advocacy? Organizations that you support?

  • I now organize outreach programs for cancer patients at UP-PGH Cancer Institutesometimes at C.H.I.L.D Haus
  • volunteer catechist
  • church worker in our parish
  • I guess my greatest advocacy is to spread to everyone that God is alive and HE hears our prayers and HE will give, in His time, everything that we ask for.

As of today, she is happily engaged with Albert Magno and works as an Instructor in Southville International School.  She also helps out with their family owned school in Cavite.



A bottle of Pesto Sauce: A Pantry Must-Have

When you are a stay-at-home mom and a wife to a husband who likes homecooked meals for lunch at work, thinking of what to cook fast might be a daily struggle.  How many times have you uttered the lines "what will I cook for lunch or dinner?".  Though we have endless supply of recipes in magazines and Pinterest, most cooks still wonder what to prepare.  I mean, preparing a healty menu for the family could really be a chore!!

If you and I have the same dillema, let me help you.  One tip is to make sure your kitchen never runs out of Pesto sauce.  You can get this versatile bottle of goodness in groceries such as Robinsons, Shopwise and S and R ( 2 botlles for only 250 pesos).   Each bottle can approximately be perfect for half a kilo of pasta.  I make sure I always have one because it is instant yumminess for my toddler and husband plus, it is also one of the best ways to impress visitors that you can cook! ;)


image from http://www.aisaipac.com/2009_07_01_archive.html



Still thinking how can this help you? Let me share you four easy ways to cook with Pesto.

1.  Cook Pasta and toss it with Pesto.  Sprinkle some cheese on top.  You may want to add shredded chicken or tuna and chili flakes for an extra kick.

2.  Spread a tablespoon of Pesto on Pita Bread (or any type of bread will do), add cheese, put another Pita bread on top, grill.  Presto! You have Quesadillas.

3.  For a fuller tummy, you may again spread it on a Pita bread.  However, this time, add grilled or pan fried chicken fillet, ham, mushroom, pineapple tidbits, olives and any other yummy filling (imagine your fave pizza toppings).  Roll the Pita bread and eat!

4.  Marinate chicken fillets for an hour or so then bake for 10-12 minutes.  Put on top of freshly cooked rice and dig-in.

After mastering these dishes, I am pretty sure you won't order any Pesto dish from restaurants! Happy cooking (and eating)!