MAY THIS ENTRY AFFIRM MY LOVE TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY

I have learned how to respect the LGBT community back in college. My four year stay in the Philippine Normal Univesity made me witness how these group of people shone as student leaders, organization presidents, class wizards and talented individuals.

the people in this photo may not be a part of the LGBT community
My connection with them did not stop when I graduated.  Up until now, I have very good friends who are gays and lesbians.  I guess, from respect, I have also learned to gladly love and treasure them.  I have heard their stories, both beautiful and painful, and I can say that their wanting to be "accepted" is real and deep.  They are just like you and me who also want to be "liked" by the people around them.  Their longing to be with someone is also genuine.  It is not because of lust nor of just being in a relationship.  Just like us, at the end of the day, they want to be able to call someone their own.  

However, I also believe that no marriage or person can make someone complete.  Maybe for some (both homosexual and straight) they think that tying the knot with someone is like a trophe that they can wave proudly.  Maybe even, for some, they feel that the "cure" to being lonely and unloved is marriage, which is by the way really really wrong.

So what do I want to say?

In my journey, I have seen, learned and fully embraced that the only way to feel accepted is through Jesus Christ.  In Him, we would not feel that we "need" to be legally with someone just to be happy. With Jesus, we would see weddings and love life as bonuses and not as the "main object". Truly, with God, we are complete.

My desire for every unmarried person (both in and out of the LGBT community) is to see that marriage should not be taken like a pill. It is not like a medicine that could make us feel better.  It is not like a magic wand that can give instant results.  It will not guarantee happiness, acceptance and forever.

So what is my stand?

Discover the author of marriage first.  Know God and His wonderful plans for you.  Move towards it. Then as you do, I am sure He would lead you to what is best for you - and yes, this may include marriage! :)

  





SINGLES, SOME OF YOUR DREAMS WILL HAVE TO WAIT WHEN YOU GET MARRIED

Do not get me wrong, I am happily married with Bryan but I just want to remind those who are so excited (too giddy that they only see the romantic aspect) to get married to look into the "non-romantic" side.  At times, we only see the beauty of being together with our one great love that we do not think about the possibilities of the future.  Though these issues may be inevitable, it is still good to check our hearts and minds if we are ready to be selfless, delay or give-up the things we have been so used to and or support someone as we abandon what makes us alive.

It is always good to sit down and check with our future spouse if they would be willing to compromise on certain aspects of their lives.  At the end of the day, married couples are still individuals who have ambitions, likes, dreams and curiosities.  Enumerate the things that you still want to do and things that you would be willing to give-up.

Take I, for example.  I was not able to finish my Masters when I was single and I believe it would be difficult now.  Is finishing my Masters a dream? Definitely a "yes!!".  Do I think I can enroll anytime? "Nope" - Going back to school would mean expenses, less time with my little family, shorter sleep and almost zero social life.  So, hindi na lang muna.  There goes my dream of finishing my Masters.  It is slowly fading away.





Another thing that I had to give up are my lakwatsa days.  I used to travel A LOT and obviously I can't do this now.  As much as I want to be spontaneous and go places, hindi na pwede.  Not that Bryan does not like going around, it is just that we have to consider ourselves plus Risen.  We need to check our skeds, safety, environment will go to, health, budget, weather, etc.  Before kasi, walang isip isip.  Alis lang ng alis ;)







Lastly, remember the bag and shoes you have been eyeing? That new gadget that you promised yourself you will buy the next payday? That too might not be easy to get.  When you get married, your money is not yours anymore.  It is already a "shared resource" for bills, rents, vaccines, emergency stuff, etc. 





So, singles, know what you want and enjoy it now.  Keep dreaming and aspiring (and actively doing something about it) because  you might not have the room for it when you get married.  It is important that you enjoy what you love now so you will not regret slowing down when you tie the knot.  At least, you can say "na-enjoy ko na yan!  ok lang kahit hindi ko na magawa or mabili ngayon..."

Let this be a warning to all singles.  Your life will change when you get married and have a family.  Be sure that aside from being in love and or pregnant (sorry I had to be direct), you have other reasons of walking down the aisle. It is better to be single than to marry for the wrong reasons.

I am not being negative, just being realistic.  This is me showing you the "other side" of marriage. I love being married and I think I am enjoying it because I knew or accepted from the beginning which can't me mine anymore!   However, if you married "early" or for the "wrong" reasons, God's wonderful plans did not change.  I am sure He has all these good things for you as well!   He can work and redeem your love story!

Think about it.  Pray hard.  Ingat! :)






MY TODDLER vs MY PRIDE

Risen's routine before bedtime consists of drinking milk, prayer and cuddle time. Last night, after  emptying his bottle, he playfully threw it on my face.  It hit my cheekbone so my reaction was a very loud "arrrayyyy".  Risen and Bryan were shocked.  After 3-5 seconds Bryan asked how I was but Risen stayed silent (probably really surprised by my reaction).

I turned my back on them.  I was really hurt (and pissed).  

Bry quietly talked to Risen.  He said that what he did was wrong and that he should say sorry to me. This Daddy-son talk lasted for a minute.  After that, I felt a tiny hand on my shoulder and the word "o-ni" (sorry).  I still did not face him, up until Bryan said "Mommy, si Risen ...".  

I wanted to stay angry because it really hurts. Second, I wanted to prove my point by staying mad --this would surely make Risen feel that what he did was wrong.  However, I knew in my heart that if I brush off Risen's hand and ignore his apologies he will think that this is the right thing to do. Risen will think that the best response to "sorry" is silence or a mad face.   Would I really want this?
Without thinking, I looked at Risen straight to the eye, smiled and hugged him tight.  It was a good feeling to forgive Risen and let go of my pride.  I (and my cheek) felt better :) 

I have to admit that this is not my usual response when Bryan and I fight.  I stay silent and fight him the longest.  I like proving my point by staying mad. I am not proud of my attitude.  I know this is not ideal.    I am just blessed to  have a husband who reminds me that I am not only sinning against him (wives, respect your husbands) but against God. 


When pride comes, then comes disgrace, 
but with humility comes wisdom. 
Proverbs 11:2

I am thankful that God corrected me once again through Risen.  As a parent, I do not want Risen to lenghten his rage when I have to discipline him.  In order for this happen, I have to set an example.  I have to make sure that I will be ready to hug him after he says "sorry", that I can explain calmly why I got angry and patienly listen to his reply.  I have to be ready for this because I know that there will also come the time when he can "predict" that I am silently fighting with Bryan.  Risen needs to see that forgiveness is prioritized in our home.


Be angry and do not sin; 
do not let the sun go down on your anger, 
and give no opportunity to the devil. 
Ephesians 4:26

This desire would be impossible without His grace. My prayer is that I will choose to always value my relationship with my husband, son, family and friends by not allowing my emotions to rule over my action.  His name be praised!


10 LITTLE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING

1.  It does not have to be forever.  A child can always go back to normal school.

2.  It is not only for celebrities.

3.  Homeschooling makes kids learn on their own style.

4.  One of the big targets of homeschooling is values education.

5.  The kids may be ready for homeschooling but the parents may be not.

6.  Most parents homeschool their kids because they believe that this is the best time to influence, teach and guide them.

7.  Homeschooled kids have social life!  They have intentional playdates, group homeschooling, etc.

8.  Kids who study at home can travel often, dig dipper on the topics they are very much interested with, and ask as many questions.

9.  Homeschooling may not be necessarily cheap.

10.  One parent has to sacrifice work (one income that is) to supervise his son's progress.


WHEN THE HEART SCARES YOU

One day Bryan just told me he wanted to see a Cardiologist because he feels something uncomfortable in his chest (part where the heart is).  I did not ponder on it up until his doctor told us that she is a little upset with his ECG and Treadmill results.

It was suggested by the same doctor for Bry to undergo Doputamine Stress Examination.  In this test,  a medicine will be injected to make his heart beat faster.  Then while the heart rate is fast, a 2D echo will be administered.

 I started crying buckets of tears because I fear for husband's life.  It may be OA but at 33 and only being married for nearly 3 years, it should just be visits to the OB and not a Cardiologist.  I was like, "heart problems agad? Hindi ba pwedeng toothache muna?!".

We prayed hard and long.  We also asked the people very close to us.  For the first time in my life, I did not talk about it to my friends.  I just mentioned it to very few people because sharing it to others would make me feel that it was really happening.  I did not like the idea of saying "my husband has a heart condition" -- mentioning it was just really heartbreaking.

While waiting for the schedule of his Doputamine test, we agreed to consult another Cardiologist from Makati Med that I know personally.  However, as we were having breakfast, Bryan felt a little discomfort again that we decided to head to the ER of Makati Med.  I drove and I dropped my husband to the ER.  



Bryan was a little anxious while being surrounded by doctors.  Blood tests, X-ray, ECG were done to him and his vital signs were also monitored.  At this time, I knew in my heart he will be fine but seeing us like this was sad.  

After 2-3 hours the ER doctor cleared Bryan (with negative result on his tests -  PRAISE GOD!) and we were advised to go home and visit a Cardio specialist right after.


taken after the ER Doctor tells us he is fine

We went up to the third floor to visit Dra. Pastores (a former parent at ICA, a school where I taught).  She double checked the results and agreed with the ER Doctor.  However, she told us to still do Stress Treadmill Test (not the Doputamine anymore) this time with 2D Echo just to completely rule out our doubts.  

All in all, we are thankful for the experience because it made us check our eating habits.  Now, we do not eat Pork and Beef at home.  We agreed to just consume meat when we are outsise the house. So we are like vegetarians at home which we are really enjoying by the way.  

To add, we are so grateful for the healthcards.  God indeed provides!  It would be challenging to shell out a big amount of cash for tests and consultations with such a short notice.  Buti na lang we have healthcards talaga!!

We were scared but we felt God's assurance of help and healing.  He also used people to bless and comfort us. To all those who prayed, especially to CCF Muntinlupa, thank you!  You are truly  God sent!  









  

OH TO BE 34!!

I feel young and old at the same time.  Like when I wear sneakers -- I double check if I can still rock it.  Also when I wear sando type tank tops, I often go back to the mirror and see if I still look "good" in it?


This also goes with my crazy life. I feel so young that I know I can still make lots of babies but I feel too old to give birth.  I also feel too old to go back to Masters but I feel too young to give up on my dreams.  And oh, one more thing, I sometimes feel I am too young that I can still travel the world twice but I feel a bit old because of the "responsibilities" that stop me from travelling.





Oh to be 34!

On the other hand, looking back at my past journals this is how exactly I "planned" my life.  Years back, I promised myself to marry a good looking man (wink wink) and have a family.  I also saw myself staying away from my parents and live independently.  I also made sure I will be a stay-at-home-mom to be able to serve my family (this is one of the reasons I chose to be a teacher).  And guess what? I am here now!

So hello to my 34 year old self, so glad you are where you wanted to be!




I am thrilled to live this age because I know God will accomplish more in my life.  My official hashtag for this year is #inspire.

At the end of the day, what is important is how I lived my life and how many people have been touched and inspired with it. I want to invest in the lives of the people around me.  I pray that I will be able to do it this year.  With God's help, may my life and family be an inspiration to others. I want.  I really want.

Oh to be 34!


CCF TEAMBUILDING: HOW I SURVIVED BEING IN THE SAME TEAM WITH MY HUSBAND



I was in the same team with Bryan in our recent team building because he had to drive a van to Batangas for the first time.   We were so thankful to Tita Ann (one of our facilitators) did this. However, since I am a driver too, it was not too easy to stop myself from coaching Bryan.


When we fetched the van from CCF Alabang, I started nagging Bryan about his driving style. It became too much that he had to ask me to stop pressuring him and just be supportive.  I had to literally bite my tongue as we parked in CCF Muntinlupa to get our passengers.  The team building has not started yet, but I already learned something.

In many times, Bryan does not need my lecture but my support.

As we went along, I had to do several tasks with Bryan and with team Heroes.  Let me enumerate the things we did:

1.  Prepare a team banner


2.  Buy and cook lunch at Sto. Tomas Market, Batangas (clues were given as we locate one place to the next)



3.  Make a clay pot from one of the pot stores along San Juan, Batangas




4.  Build a boat made up of Balikbayan box and cross a part of the ocean at La Luz Resort




5.  Find the letters J-E-S-U-S and stock it up (directtion to come from team members)




I realized it is both easy and hard to be in the same team with Bryan.  My husband is not difficult to be with but I became a little confused with my "role".  In the middle of every team huddle I was like...."Am I a wife to Bryan or are we "equal" here?"  "Am I suppose to support my husband all throughout the day or am I allowed to step up and take a responsibility?" 



Yep, I may look really busy in our tasks but in my every move, I think of Bryan.  I would even guard my comments, actions and suggestions because I do not want to bring "shame" to him!!  I was really conscious all the time.  Was this good?  I think so!  Why? Because no matter what responsibility I get, I am a wife first (after to being a Christian of course).  Therefore, I should consider him in everything I do! Yes, even in teambuildings!!

In this blog entry, I have said that we have decided to serve in the Singles Ministry together.  We have not yet felt the "pressure" of doing the Lord's work hand by hand but the team building reminded me that there would be tough times.  On the other hand, since Bryan has been more or less become my best buddy, working with him has been easy breezy.  He has become my accountability partner, prayer partner, critic, encourager and number 1 fan (except in singing hehe). 



It's definitely a pleasure to be able to work hand in hand with my husband.  I am excited on how God will use this to mold him, me and us.  I am sure we are not only made for each other but we are also made for God's work.  Now, I would not mind being in the same group with Bry.  Not only that I learn more things about him, but I also discover who I am with him.





WARNING SIGN

Tawa. Iyak. Tawa. Iyak.

That's what I did while I was listening to Julianne's testimony and songs.




Amongst her beautifully written music, what caught my heart was the song the "Warning Sign". I was not able to stop myself from recalling my foolish days. It was the season when I decided pursuit an ungodly relationship. Here is a part of the song that one way or another happened to me.

(My) You're spirit may be willing 
But (my) you're flesh is very weak
(I) You fall the very minute that (I) you think (I) you can handle it

Like Julianne, I grew up inside the church, a.k.a "christian" since birth. However, though I already knew who God was  I still chose to direct my love life - I did not bother to look at the warning signs. Or maybe I did, but I still decided to "go ahead".  I was 25 that time so I thought I was too old to wait longer.  Baka kasi mapag-iwanan na ako! So since there was an "available" guy, I snatched the opportunity.  However, in the deepest of my heart I know it was a warning sign.

You were a warning sign
A RED LIGHT 
Flashing before my very eyes
I should've never underestimated
A warning sign
A RED LIGHT
Was meant to keep us alive
We should've heeded not proceeded with all this

That time, I thought God's "no" was just a suggestion. I did not know that my disobedience will cause me to be in the darkest days of my life.  

The look in your eyes disarming
The way that you moved
Fascinated me
How could I disapprove
When I already had a feeling about you

Those days were awful, painful and scary. Since I fought for that messy relationship for a long time, I have already convinced myself that I was meant to be a part of it -- that being involved in a complicated relationship was somewhat "God's will".  (Yes, that's how stupid I was)

While I was listening to Julianne's story ( the part that she was a pastor's kid) I felt amazed on how God spoke to her freshly in her recent years.   I realized God can re-introduce Himself to people who were "christians all their lives".

I remember re-meeting Jesus in the lowliest part of my life.  It was so fresh that as if I did not meet Him yet in Sunday School, or in DVBS or in the missions trip I have been too.  It was like magic.  He made all things new. And what was even more interesting was that Jesus did it Himself.  It was so direct that I couldn't say "no".  He rescued me from the sin and wrong relationship I was in.

Though He gave me all the flashing lights from the very beginning of my past relationship, He was still so kind to get me out of it.  That's how God is. He did it to me and I am very sure He also could do it to you.

Here is a copy of the lyrics of Warning Sign by Julianne Tarroja.

"WARNING SIGN"
Music & Lyrics by: Julianne Tarroja


Oh so easily 
You seeped into my sanity
Oh see smoothly
Dissecting every part of me

Oh you came across as someone who knew
Exactly how to read between my lines
Like I was spelling it our for you

The look in your eyes disarming
The way that you moved
Fascinated me
How could I disapprove
When I already had a feeling about you

You were a warning sign
A RED LIGHT 
Flashing before my very eyes
I should've never underestimated
A warning sign
A RED LIGHT
Was meant to keep us alive
We should've heeded not proceeded with all this

Oh we reciprocated to each other undeniably
We could've had something good if only
We cared enough to take it slow

Oh we spilling myself too fast too early
I should've known better than to let you get to me
Now you're slipping through my finger tips
The thought of you keep lingers

The look in your eyes disarming
The way that you moved
Fascinated me
How could I disapprove
When I already had a feeling about you

You were a warning sign
A RED LIGHT 
Flashing before my very eyes
I should've never underestimated
A warning sign
A RED LIGHT
Was meant to keep us alive
We should've heeded not proceeded with all this

You're spirit may be willing 
But you're flesh is very weak
You fall the very minute that you think you can handle it





THE FIRST STEP TO DISCIPLINING KIDS

Having Risen means we are in-charge of a life.  We are responsible for someone 24/7.  We are given a chance to raise up a boy whose character and personality are still developing.  In all of this, the word discipline is highlighted.  However, how do we begin? When? Where?


image from http://www.sarahdoody.com/


I believe that the first step to raising kids is to agree with your spouse the form of discipline to use. As a teacher, I have learned that the twin of the word discipline is consistency  It could not be a "yes" today then a "no" tomorrow or a "yes" from the mom and a "no" from the Dad.  It has to be fixed.  It has to be consistent.  It has to be the same.  The husband and wife have a agree.

So talk about it and discuss what discipline method to use. If you can't completely decide on somthing specific, compromise.  Meet halfway.

Parenting is difficult and it is more challenging if the mom and dad are not one in raising their kids. Trust me, you would not want to confuse your children so I am sure you can agree on something!