Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

HOW TO MAKE A SMALL HOUSE BIG

NO, I am not talking about extensions or renovations. What I am saying is, your present house can be bigger when you work on my suggestions below. Crazy curious?

1.  Decide on the parts of the house you NEED. Our house is tiny we decided to get rid of the living room. Why? We noticed that you just really use it to watch TV (we do not have TV), a place where kids play and eventually leave toys, and a place for guests (we seldom have guests).  So instead of allotting a space for a chunky sofa, we invested on a dining table that can make us and guests cozy as well.





2.  Empty your home with things you do not use. I have heard people saying they need to extend because things do not fit into their home anymore. Well, how about having less stuff instead? Yes, I am talking about minimalism.  Since we moved back here in the south, our home only has the things that we need.  Checkout your cabinets and you will see that you probably do not need the 20 percent of it.  Try it. IT WORKS! Promise :)

3.  Have a room that can be messy. No matter how big the house is, if it is messy, it will always look crowded.  We have one room dedicated for war - when I say war, that is the only room that can get cluttered (messy NOT dirty, okay?).  Playing, homeschooling, blogging, and devotions happen there. With this, the rest of our home can stay




4. Lastly, just appreciate what you have now. Did you really think you will a home when you were younger? Remember when you just pretend play (bahay-bahayan) when you were a kid? Now, you have a house that you own and a place you can prettify.  Di'ba?! Look where God place you.  HE did not only gave you a roof but a home. Praise God for that!!


CHOOSE WE BEFORE ME

While I was randomly scrolling my FB wall, I saw this article entitled Marriage Isn’t About Your Happiness .  Obviously, it caught my attention so I read right away.

This particular paragraph got me... "We live in a world that DESPISES the sacrificial side of marriage and tries to explain it away. They teach us to strive for power, control and the upper hand in a relationship. They tell us to do what feels right, and not to tolerate anything less. They fool us to thinking that love is about doing what makes us happy. And the second we feel less than happy, they encourage us to bail…to abandon ship…and to stop investing…to give up on love."

One of the reasons we say "yes" to a lifetime is because the person makes us happy.  What happens is, we expect that this positivity to go on for the rest of our lives. Then, if our marriage or our partner suddenly does not live to our standards, we give up.  Aka the line famous line... "Hindi na ako masaya" (I am not happy anymore).

The truth is, IF we focus on OUR happiness, we will be doomed. Those who are intending to get married should remember that their "happiness" will be robbed off many times once they tie the knot.  They should be ready to be more giving, sacrificial and to always things his partner above self.

And the other hard truth? It is impossible to sacrifice this much again and again when our goal is to please our spouse.  You see, our partners will disappoint us in ways you can't even imagine.  So the trick here is look at the Creator of marriage and to love like how Christ loved us. He is the ultimate source of love and forgiveness.  You see, couples who forgive does not end in divorce.

"We love because he first loved us" 1 John 4:19

The person who makes you happy now will be the same person who will upset you. And when everything gets so messy, it will be very easy to "choose yourself" before marriage or your spouse. My unsolicited advice? Be ready to NOT think about your happiness when you get married.  Not even the 50-50 mindset.  Rather, think of it that marriage is recommitting yourself to Him, as you align yourself with His will in your married life and also, giving yourself (and your happiness) to your spouse, without expecting anything in return.

Now wait, please do not think that married life can't be fun at all.  Marriage can be great if you married the person who is ready to also lose his happiness for yours.  When two selfless people 
marry, there will be much love, joy, contentment and romance from day 1 to forever.





GOD IS IN THE WAITING

"Wait..."

This has been a constant word in our home.  I command Risen to do this.  Bryan asks me to wait and Risen for the past months, in some occasions, replies with a "wait..."

I remember when I was not yet a christian , I am so entitled that I hated it when people or service centered offices ask me to wait.  If I hear this one word command, I needed to know how much long I will stay to get what I needed.  So funny how  God reminded me of my past when Risen gets impatient ;)

As a mother, waiting happens in two ways.  (1) Either I tell Risen that I will just do something WHILE I wait for him.  An example of this is when I tell him to go up to his room and dress up while I wait AND gather the clutter downstairs.  And another situation I wait for him is when I tell him (2) "I will stay here, watch you, and I will wait for you.." This happens when he asks me to put him to sleep, in our Writing lessons (I homeschool Risen), and  when he tells me "mommy, wait for me and stay here na din".

And do you know who else ask us to wait? Jesus.

There are countless of times He asked me (and He still has been asking me) to wait. And it is possible that you are also in the season of waiting.  I want to encourage you that Jesus is with you while You are waiting for Him.  He is not busy with something else.  When He asks you to wait, he is not abandoning you.  He is alongside you, rooting for you.  Encouraging you to stay strong in the season of waiting.

Waiting on God may not be an easy task, but if He clearly asked you to wait, know that it will be worth it.  Be secured that it will be worth the wait.






BUILDING YOUR MARRIAGE ONE BRICK AT A TIME - MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE CLUTTER FREE

Do you like clutter?  I don't like it, especially on my marriage.

A relationship is better when there are no unnecessary things around.  What do I mean by this?  These are objects or events that take up space in your marriage.  You may not see them harmful as now, but it can be damaging in the long run.  Let me give you a list that you should consider ending.

1.  Social Media - You can set rules, husbands and wives! Do not be afraid to cut-off your time on social media.  I am not saying you should not use it, but I am sure you would agree that too much use of it  limits your time with family.  To begin, you can start by disallowing phones during meal times, malling, when in bed and car rides.  This would also be a good time for you to show your kids that you can be away from your gadgets.  Instead if tinkering your apps, talk to your family. Ask the highlights of each other's day, hold hands, sing in the car or simply share stories.  I mean, when was the last time you actually exchange stories with the person you married?  Ditch your phone, and start talking!

2.  Me-time or barkada time - If you do not date your wife or husband, but you spend time being alone or with friends, then this is considered a clutter.  The key is prioritizing.  Be sure that your wife or husband is spoiled with your time before thinking of spending a day of it without him or her.

3.  Unnecessary expenses  - One of the things that couples argue about is money.  This mean that your unnecessary buys can spark discussions.  There are two rules that I want to share with you when buying stuff.  Do I need it?  Do I need it NOW?  If the answer is "no" in any of the questions, then put it down and walk away.


4.  Dreams and kids - Be careful!  These two are some of the main reasons why people get married, sadly, these two are the same reasons why couples break apart.  IF your dreams and kids get it the way of having a good relationship with your spouse, re asses and choose marriage.  Let me make myself clear, I am not saying to let go of your dreams or give away your kids, I am suggesting you check your daily routine and see if you REALLY have time for your wife/husband.  At the end of the day, it does not matter if you are "working hard for your future", what is important is TODAY.  The beautiful future you are aiming will not be there if you do not work on your today.  Sayang naman.  You keep on working to prepare your family 10 years from now, yun pala, your family will not make it because you have forgotten your today.




Identify your clutter, and prayerfully ask God if it is hindering a meaningful marriage.  If these things slow you down, then, get rid of it.  


Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

BUILDING YOUR MARRIAGE, ONE BRICK AT A TIME

Sadly, not many would admit having shaky marriages. One would just come out of the story when they have decided to end their relationship. By the way, when I mean by shaky, does not only mean when one party has a relationship with another person or when the union is about to be split.  Having a difficulty in marriage has the following symptoms:

1.  You are together but not really together.  You could be in the same car, same room, same dining area but there is minimal or zero connection

2.  You do not dream together.  The only futuristic thing that you talk about are the bills.  The tuition fee next month, electricity bill this weekend or the family gathering next week (that you don't intend to come)

3.  You end up fighting every time you try to talk

4.  You have not had intimacy in months

5.  You go out together for the sake of the kids

6.  It has been months since you laughed together

The first brick that I would suggest you pick up is the brick called "911".  Picking up this brick means you accept that you and your marriage needs help (regardless your husband/wife agrees or not).  If you are still not so convinced that your marriage needs "saving", BUT you want to be more intentional about your relationship with your spouse, then you can still pick-up this brick.

So, the question now is, do you need help?

PRACTICAL WAYS TO SHOW RESPECT TO OUR HUSBANDS

We attended 2 conferences at the CCF Center two weeks back (one is for church leaders and the others for church goers) and funny on how my biggest take home was about marriage and family.  I guess it shows that these topics make me giddy and relationships are important to the speakers of the conferences as well.

Anyhow, let me discuss my workshop highlights here:

1.  Do not confirm any invitation, event, or appointment without asking him
It is very easy to say "yes" to invites especially if we know we are available.  However, confirming skeds may also mean overlooking our husbands calendar and authority.  The better reply is "Let me check with my husband first".  This response will also make the people around you and your husband think highly of him.  To the words of one of the married women I admire, "Wives schedule should revolve around their husbands" - Deonna Tan-Chi



2.  Answer his texts and calls
Josh McDowell would take calls from his husband and children anytime.  Be it stopping mid sentence while speaking in a thousand audience or delaying a very important meeting.  He told the IDC participants that his family is the most important people in his life so it is always a "yes" even on phone calls. Now, we know what to do ;)

3.  Drop everything when he arrives home
Pastor Peter Tan-Chi would honk and shout at the door "I am home", then his wife and kids would drop whatever they are doing and run to him.  This was their "tradition" years back and it not only showed but modeled respect to the man of the house.  I recognize that it is really a sweet gesture to welcome Bryan by the door.  And of course, I also make sure I am done bathing, there's food and the house is pleasant to come home too.

4.  Do not correct him in front of others
Our husbands are not perfect, but let us not correct them in front of others.  If there is a need to do this, let us say, the information is important, say it nicely.  Do not grill, blame, point finger, put to shame or say "ewan ko dyan", "bahala na sya", "basta ako...", and other phrases that show disrespect.  This is not only bad for his image but also for you.  Can you imagine a child saying this to his parent?  No right?  Then no wife should also tell this to her husband.




5.  Yield to his decision
There are times I do not agree with Bryan but I prayerfully support and submit.  If his decisions fails, I encourage him.  Our husbands lead and IF they will be wrong, hopefully they will learn from this.  Let us not take this away from our husbands.  Discuss your side and pray that he will make the right decisions for your family.  What I learned recently was when I do not agree, I do not nag him but I go to God in prayer.  I tell Him that to speak to Bryan to "change his mind".  And just in case Bryan doesn't, I am in full confidence that God wants it that way.  And when Bryan suddenly changes his mind, I do not "Sabi sa yo eh", instead, it encourages me to pray more for my husband because I know God talks to him and my hubby listens.  When we allow our husbands to decide and be accountable, they are able to see their strength and weaknesses too.  In this way, they become better decision makers.  Let them be, Misis.  Let them lead.

A part of our role is to show respect to our husbands.  God commanded us to do this because He knows that this will make our marriage work.  Regardless of our feelings and longing for our husband's affection, we are to show respect.  I pray that you will decide to be on your husband's side always.

5 QUESTIONS WIVES CAN ASK HERSELF TO EVALUATE HER MARRIAGE

1.  Do I always give a "yes" when my husband asks for sex?

2.  Do I know my husband's love language?  Do I work on this?

3. Am I (Are we) following God's blueprint for marriage?

4.  Does it show in my routine that my husband is my priority?
     (Or is it my work or kids?)

6.  Am I surrounded by people who love their marriage 
    and their husbands?

5 PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE WHEN YOUR MARRIAGE IS FALLING APART

1.  Evaluate yourself - No blaming, no judging, just see on how you are as a wife/husband.   I suggest you do this when you are not emotional.  Write down the things that you are good at and bad at.  It would help if you could also consider the things that your husband/wife complains about you.  You do not have to show the list to him/her.  Just take time to be honest and write down the attitude or character you have been displaying lately. Done?  Let us jump to number 2 because this is connected :)

2.  Continue or start being a good wife or a husband - I am sure you have "excuses" for the "negative things" you have been doing lately.  Maybe you thought of "sya din naman" (my spouse does the same), or you are tired, or you have been patient for the longest time...The thing is you can't control your partner but you have power over yours.  My suggestion? since your marriage is falling apart, be the better person.  He/she does not kiss when he says "bye"?  Then do it.  He/she does has no time for you?  Then initiate time together.  Avoid minding his/her department.  Just mind yours - your being a wife or husband.  Now, go back to your list (number 1) and work on the things you are "bad at".  Do this without any expectations that your wife/husband will improve as well.  Just do your part.

3.  Talk to couples who mirror a lovely marriage - The good news is, we still have couples whose marriages are warm, inspiring and a joy to look at to.  You do not have to look far.  It could be your friend, cousin, or even the Ninong and Ninang you got when you married.  The thing is, surround yourself with couples who will encourage you to pursue your spouse and your marriage.  When  you have troubles, do not go to a group whose marriage is breaking apart as well.

4.  Go back to the basics of love, marriage and commitment  - Review the foundation of marriage:  leave and cleave, love and respect...These are vital in marriages that couples often forget.  Also, I would suggest that you list down your priorities and see if you are actually doing them.  Also, do not tag "family" as one priority, it should be 1. husband 2. child/children (in the order that you want).  They should be branded separately so we can really see where we are. 

5.  Realize that you need Jesus - You only do not need him on your wedding day.  You need Him daily on your marriage.  You only do not need the pre-marital counselling that was required by your church, parish, priest or pastor.  You need it (more) after you get married.  

If you have done number 5, and you are sure that you accepted Jesus in your life and in your marriage but your marriage is still sinking, let me add 5 more numbers :)

1. Join a discipleship group for couples
2. Check your priorities (again). Drop what has to be dropped.
3. Have devotions with your husband/wife at least once a week
4. Evaluate your physical situation at home (do you have privacy for sex?, is your house a good sight to come home to?, do you have yummy food?, is your child ruling your house?, etc)
5. Treat once a week date nights like a trip to the Emergency room




PS.
This suggestions does not cover women/men who suffer physical, verbal or sexual abuse from their spouses.

CLUB BALAI ISABEL STAYCATION

Since I have been telling you about the scheduled rest we did for 3 days and 2 nights, let me share this to you in detail so you can have an idea on your next sabbatical trip :)

Me and Bryan have been looking for a place that is (1) within our budget (2) a short drive from Carmona (3)  a place that is not crowded (4) and has amenities that Risen can enjoy too.  We have been googling up until we stumbled upon Club Balai Isabel and the 4 points we have been eyeing for came in perfectly.  (1) It was on 50% off at Agoda (we paid 6700 for 2 nights)  (2) It was just like an hour away from Carmona (Talisay, Batangas - Exit at Tanauan via Star Toll) (3)  They are still free on a weekday - weekdays mean less people (4)  They have 3 pools and large spaces for our 4 year old to explore.






After 4 checks, we booked and drove to Club Balai Isabel :)








We were there early so we had to wait by the pool before we can check-in.  It was totally cool because we were allowed to use the pool and the other amenities.  Before 2pm we were given a room (we booked an Executive room).  They were also gracious for the request of transfer (from 3rd to 2nd floor) that we made.






The sweetness of doing nothing (la dolce far niente) finally began after we dropped our bags in the cabinets.  It was literally eat, swim, bed, then repeat for us.  I think it was the "less thinking and no planning" for three days that we enjoyed the most.  Oh wait, we used naman pala our brains when we ordered food! haha  I am posting the menu and prices here because I know these details are valuable for a Mrs. like us.






Seriously now, what I love about this 3 days 2 nights near get away was able to catch up with myself.  You see, when a wife or mom gets tired, the tendency is to imagine what life was like before.  Now, no regrets here, but I just have to admit that I miss being spontaneous, staying out of the city, practicing my stroke (water baby!!!), reading books while having Coke, staying under the sun, and not thinking of anything  "adult like" was sooooo relaxing!!! I was not #adulting for 3 days! Woohoooo.  Sounds selfish? Maybe. But it is so true.  I so miss myself and that 3 day 2 night stay was a very good way to get back to the groove of being a full time wife and mom.  I was really recharged.  It was like I can peel 10 kilos of Chayote with a smile!  haha











Now, would I recommend Club Balai Isabel on your next trip? YES! but only of you can only get for half the price.  Booking it for 6,700 a night is quite pricey of you ask me.  I have little issues with cleanliness, lack of towels in the pool area, no toothbrush and toothpaste (has to be requested), and late opening of pool areas (8 am) ;)

Be sure to check Agoda before booking!  And of course, be sure to rest and enjoy the sweetness of not doing anything!


 

And oh, I made a video to sum up our trip!  This is my first time so please be appreciative haha




JUST DROP IT

"What's hard, she said, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you  really care about" - Denise (Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist)

Last weekend, me and my Bryan talked about time and stress management to a group of young Principals in Makati.  In our workshop, one of the things we pointed out is to learn what to drop on a to-do-list or on a schedule.  Knowing and letting matters go is important to (1) Give way to the things that are more important (2)  To rest (3)  To go back to your priorities (4) To honor God with our time and body.  

As I was reading on this topic prior to teaching, I realized that this can also be applied in my marriage. To begin, let me mention that "dropping matters" is not negative.  A person should never think that saying "no" is bad.  In fact, when we say decline, this may give way to new or better things.  

So, what do exactly we give up on marriages?

1.  Our pride - On our first year of marriage, I never said the word "sorry" to Bryan.  It was always him first, and even if he admitted first, I would still never apologize.  He allowed that to happen because I was pregnant and was too emotional in our arguments.  However, when I gave gave birth and overcame post-partum, I do not have a choice anymore ;)  Saying the very first "I am sorry" was both difficult and liberating.  If felt so challenging to swallow my pride yet I felt so humbled that I finally had courage to admit my fault. 

2.  Our decisions - This is a struggle up until now.  I like making decisions on my own and asking Bryan about the biggest and tiniest choices make me cringe in some occasions.  For example, yesterday, we were in the department store and I have been eyeing on frames to use for our home.  I had to ask his permissions because he does not like drilling nor using adhesives on our walls.  I ended up looking for the perfect frames BUT not buying it!  Why? Because he told me we still fave unused frames so I must use those first and finalize on where to put them before buying new ones.  I so wanted to stomp my feet as we left the area but in my heart, I knew I needed to submit.  When we got home, I realized I never really needed those sale items.  We really have enough frames I can use.  Good thing I listened!

3.  Ourselves - Yes.  This.  His schedule first.  His want first.  His welfare first.  His part first.  His joy first.  Our husbands first.  Now, maybe you are saying, this is too much...My answer?  Yes and no.  Yes it is hard when we do it on our own strength.  However, God's mathematics is different from ours.  Meaning, when we do all this with Jesus, He will give us the joy, drive and passion.  Trust him.  He sustains! :)

If you are married or planning to get married, there will be things that you would give up for a healthier relationship. It is just like saving up to get a new phone.  Spending time at the gym to lose weight.  Giving away clothes to have space for new ones.  It is okay to let pride, our decisions and ourselves go.  Trust God that He will honor your heart when you make your husband and relationship first on the list.  Remember, just drop it.

WISE WORDS FROM THE WIVES IN THE MINISTRY

Last September 8, 2017, I had the privilege to listen to the women, wives and mothers who are in the in the ministry of CCF (wives of Pastors).  It was a super refreshing time to hear their stories, learnings and tips on how they become better women for their husbands and children with the grace of God. I was just so excited to hear their voices love coz I would just often see them in CCF gatherings and conferences.  I must admit I often wondered how they are like ;) 

 Seriously now, since I also often find myself conscious and "lost" on how I can improve as Bryan's partner inside the church, I was really excited to listen..  As they talked, I sat on the edge of my seat trying to absorb and scribble the thoughts that made an impact in my heart.  

Praise God, I was able to write a few!  These are statements that were said by the six wives.  Just in case, you find one or two thoughts broad, please bear with me because these were written down in between their stories.  So sorry, I just can't give all the context behind each tip. 

Excited too?  Here is goes!

1.  Keep the humor
2.  Live to give not to get
3. Be your husband's number 1 fan
4. Make your husband happy
5. Make your husband a satisfied man at home and in bed
6.  Be a visual delight to your husband (this is my favorite)
7.  Say to yourself ..."I am my husband's only option"
8.  God is my priority schedule
9.  All my schedule depends on my husband's schedule
10.  Constraints are God's direction (another fave!!)
11.  After God, it is your husband that will tell you what to do (tinamaan naman ako ng bongga dito!!!)
12.  You can't change your husband
13.  Press on to the summit 

You would know my top three choices by now.  How about you?  What is your favorite? :)


5 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE MOVED ON

1.  When you come across his birthday or your anniversary (or even his name) and all you can say is "this date seems familiar". Yes, this will happen.  There will come to a point that you won't even remember.  It would probable take months, or even years, but you will eventually come there.  I remember reading the papers one time and I came across a surname.  Funny on how I had to pause to recall whose last name was it.  It is good to forget.  



2.  When there is no longing, no hate, no smiles, no guilt, no anything.  In short, zero.  Do you know that the opposite of love is  apathy or indifference?  Meaning, you have no feeling toward the person or the relationship.  You are neither "happy for him", disgusted nor offended.   


3.  When places, barkada, events, celebrations do not remind you of him or her.  This is one clear sign too.  Remember the time when you said all of your friends are his buddies too?  And his barkada is yours too?  You will be surprised on how you can hang out with your common friends without the idea that they are also your ex's crowd.

4.  When people ask you about him or her, and you answer without malice, grudge or smile.  The people in your environment will surely tease or ask with the intentions of annoying you.  I know how you have avoided talking about him because you know you will affected.  The day will come when people ask and you have 2 reactions:  (1) you answer honestly that you don't know or that he is working or abroad or (2) you will be surprised that you are not offended or bothered at all.




5.  When you have forgotten you are actually "moving on".  This long and dark phase of moving on shall pass.  One day you will wake up and realize that you are no longer moving on because you have already moved on!




NIÑA'S KITCHEN

Date nights are essential to any form of relationships. This can't be any true-er for married couples like us. However, the difficulty of spending time together is obvious when you live outside the Metro and you have a toddler in tow.

That is why, we were so thankful when we finally had the chance to visit Niña's Kitchen. We always pass by this house turned restaurant when we go home to Carmona. We were always intrigued of the cars parked outside, and the online reviews by no other than, Ms. Universe, Pia :)

So last week, when Risen spent the night in my parent's house, we finally made it inside! I was surprise to see that the food was affordable! To be honest, our pockets were ready to pay more because the ambiance was fine dining. To our amazement, it was actually not pricey!

We asked what was their specialty and did not think twice to order them. I got the Salmon while Bry got the spareribs Caldereta. Our food came after 20 minutes. 

Their food was yummers! It was filling, authentic and flavorful! We actually ended up tasting and finishing each other's food. Aside from the taste, what we really love was the ambiance. It was full yet it was quiet and cozy. Plus, the waiters were friendly!

Would we go back?  Yes!  I am looking forward to having dessert and ordering coffee :)

My final say on Niña's Kitchen?
The food is common but it was cooked superbly. Second, considering the cost, ambiance and location (if you live in Biñan, Carmona or nearby areas), this for me is the best date place! It is an easy escape to the "usual dining". If you want to be "transported to a hotel" and not worry about the cost, then Niña's Kitchen is the restaurant to be in!! 

Curious of the food and cost? Take a look at the photos I took!