Stage Mother

Stage Mother MomentsLast Sunday was my son N’s first time to join a church presentation. So giddy and excited because it used to be me and his daddy up there as part of Sunday School before. This was one of those moments that I’ve long been waiting to happen.

He was a bit shy, not moving much but at least he didn’t have any tantrums. (Anak, bigger movements next time. Haha!) I woke up early for this. We were at ICS by 7:30AM. That’s a feat considering we’re always late for the 10 am service (Sorry, Lord). That morning I realized that this is what parents are supposed to do: support their children in their activities, be present in the lives, and start them young in glorifying God—even if it means waking up early! Honestly, it was difficult for me to get up but I just had to. I’m his mother. Accompanying him in all three services even when I had to go home after the 10AM presentation because I needed to sleep (I only had 2 hrs, btw) was something I willingly did because he is my child and I want him to learn how his mommy and daddy met the Lord in church and what serving God means.

I was in the background this time and not up there on stage. It’s my child’s time now. I’m not sure if he would like to perform someday but I know I’d see him on stage someday, somewhere doing something.

We have yet to discover but my husband and I are determined to help nurture his talents. We know that he’ll be into music just like his mom and dad. How come? He couldn’t study without music playing in the background. He already has preference in music requesting for music with “boys only” singing, classical music to put him to sleep, and songs with lots of drums and guitar playing (Snarky Puppy, yeah!). Sometimes, he would request songs “for God and Jesus”. I think he already knows that music can evoke so many feelings.

If N wants to play the guitar, he can have all his daddy’s “toys” and more. That’s why I don’t mind if his dad “invests” in stuff because our son would be able to enjoy them someday. For Christmas, we gave him an electronic drums set–an Alesis DM Lite Kit. Too much a gift for a 5-year old? Well, much of the deciding factor was that it’s also his daddy’s reward to himself. Hihi.

Alesis DM Lite Kit

Sometimes, I think N has this recorder in his brain. He could easily remember songs. I know music but his daddy who’s got a sensitive ear for it and who is very musically inclined says the kiddo can sing out the melody perfectly. He’s not a prodigy but I know he’s gonna be good in music. Needless to say, he’s got a big potential to be like his daddy.

Is it too early to say I’m such a stage mother? Maybe. I just know I will always be there to support him. I think I’m gonna be a soccer mom. Hehe. His dad and I will be there for him–always.

We’ll be there in the backstage or on the front rows, on the bleachers, on the sidewalk, with him on stage, or wherever. We’ll be there for our child. All by God’s grace.

Being a parent is already a ministry. I believe that any Christian parent must first minister to his or her child before going out of great lengths to minister to other people. Right now, this is my place–to minister to this child, teach him the ways of the Lord, discipline him with love and grace, take care of his needs, and simply just be with him.

I also know that this is a privilege–to be able to take care of my husband and son. I see this as a gift–His GRACE in this season of my life.

“Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)

How God Led Us Home

home sweet home

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

I have always loved this verse but I wasn’t sure if I would believe this when we started house-hunting earlier in 2013. We only wanted to move to his parents’ condo ever since but it was still being rented out. Buying a house wasn’t part of our goals anytime soon but an opportunity was given to us. And so we started looking for a condo or a house. We only had few things to consider:

(1) Type of House: townhouse with a 1-car garage or a condo unit
(2) Location: Mandaluyong Shaw area, Kapitolyo, or Pasig (no to Mandaluyong and Pasig proper though)
(3) Size: We didn’t really care. We were okay to live in a 70sqm condo forever.

Who knew that searching for a house could be stressful? It’s exciting but the endless viewings, meetings, and errands could be exhausting. Since I am the ‘Admin Manager’ of our household, I was given the responsibility to look for ‘The One’. I just needed to view the place first, take photos, show to my husband, and if he likes it, negotiate the price.

It was easy to ‘look’ online. Sulit.com.ph (now OLX) became my best friend. Most of the units we viewed were listed on the website. Here’s a rundown of the places we’ve checked out:

  1.  Shaw Residenza. 75sqm condo loft, 2BR, no parking
  2.  Paragon Plaza, 90sqm 3BR with parking
  3.  8 Wack-wack. 108sqm, 2BR, with parking
  4. Araullo Place. 4-storey townhouse, with garage, gated community in Araullo St., Mandaluyong
  5. Princeville Condominium. 94sqm, 3BR, with parking
  6. DMCI Flair Towers. 2BR, 58sqm
  7. Kaimitoville Townhouse. 2-storey, 222sqm, 3BR in Valle Verde
  8. _______________. 114sqm, 2BR, with parking (It’s ‘The One’ so I won’t be publishing it.)

Josh and I were okay with (1) even if it was small. We were ready to live in a shoebox. As for (3), we were close to getting it because of the size, location, and the price. The Korean owner was leaving the country so he wanted to sell it–rush.

I started going to the banks (BDO, BPI, PSBank, and Security Bank) to inquire about their home loan plans. Honestly, all my inquires were discouraging, made me think we weren’t ready. I felt like Oprah going inside an Hermes store. Haha! So much for that. On the other hand, brokers were ever encouraging just so they could make a sale obviously.

We fell in love with Araullo Place (Araullo St., Mandaluyong City) because it’s a brand-new townhouse. It’s spacious. Noah even called dibs on the blue model room already. We started to imagine living there. Sadly, we had to forget about it because the street isn’t flood free. We passed by it one stormy night on our way home and lo and behold, waterworld!

Princeville Condo was spacious and cheap but not enough ventilation. Paragon Plaza was also spacious but it’s along EDSA so no to pollution. DMCI’s Flair Towers was nice but too small for its high price tag.

THE LAST TWO 

We were down to two. It was the last two on our list. Joshua and I decided to stop with our search after these two and continue next year. It was exhausting already and Christmas season was about to begin anyway and we’d be busy.

In my heart, something’s telling me this could be the last. I wasn’t sure. We weren’t in a hurry and we weren’t expecting much. We just prayed to God that He would provide for us a place. We were still fine with renting for another year. We have grown to love our rented townhouse in Mandaluyong, my hometown.

We went to ‘The One’ condo first. It was the first unit I’ve viewed that got me saying, “I love it! I love it! I love it!” My husband fell in love with it too. It was love at first sight for us! Why, the interiors were so nice, it was spacious, with very good ventilation, and it was a mid-rise condo too. “Perfect!”, we thought. It was the first and only place both Joshua and I liked on our first viewing. The price was within the budget too but we were hoping for a lower price. It was the nearest to our church, my in-laws, and Noah’s school.

On the same day, we went to the biggest house we’d be viewing. It was in Valle Verde 2 (Pasig), still within the area we want. We were a bit disappointed with the community and maintenance but we saw the potential. It was huge so my husband thought we could divide it and have the other unit be rented out. But it was bare and needed a lot of fixing. It was old but spacious. Josh even have old friends living within the village so it was cool. Thing is, the unit is far from the main gate. We have no car so that would be a problem. We thought we could then buy a small, 2nd hand car.

After viewing the last two on our list, we went to my in-laws for some reason. I had to write this down because when we got there, my husband’s mom said she was just praying that God would lead us to that house. I jokingly said “It’s a sign” as we just viewed two. She then agreed to check out the properties again the next Saturday.

And so we did.

We went to the Valle Verde townhouse first but in what seemed like a weird twist of fate (or maybe it was really God-ordained), the broker was late and the caretaker didn’t have the keys to the house. We weren’t able to view the house.

Off we went to ‘The One’, the owners were there, we fell in love with the place again, and negotiated the lowest possible price. Sadly, the guy won’t give us a lower rate and said it was final.

 

WAITING ON GOD

We still wanted the condo. “We’ll think about it”, we said. It was No. 1 on our list now but the price was a major consideration.

And so we prayed. We waited.

My mom-in-law asked her broker-friend if she had a house we could view. She immediately replied “I know a unit sa “The One”, <insert price>.

“We checked out a unit already for this price, baka it’s the same.”, my MIL replied.

The broker said it was a different unit. The next week, we viewed the condo again only to find out it was the same unit we wanted! Listed at a much lower price and still negotiable. Wow!!!

We didn’t dare go to the unit because we didn’t want the owners to think we were using another broker. We weren’t. Josh’s mom just asked another broker and led us to this. How crazy is that?!

We still haven’t made a decision yet. We wanted the place but there were many things to consider. Was it the right time? Will we have enough for the future? So many questions were being asked. I knew God was dealing with the family.

Between me and Josh, we weren’t expecting to get the house before year-end. We were praying that God would prepare our hearts for whatever will happen.

It wasn’t easy for us. We wanted the house badly. We knew we wanted to live there. But we did not expect anything. We lifted the decisions will be made by God.

Honestly, we weren’t expecting to move in soon but somehow, I felt God prompting me to pack our stuff months before. I started decluttering and packing our things in boxes months before we viewed ‘The One’.

I was making the first steps before we made the leap—into the unknown. I had no idea that God would give it very soon.

I’ve shared this story many times already but “mabilis talaga ang mga pangyayari”. Sale was finalized first week of October and by week 1 of November, we’ve moved to our new place.

I remember that day when we finally found out sale was finalized, a pastor friend told me (prophetically I guess), “Hayaan mo ate sa condo nyo magsi-swimming tayo lagi.” True enough, we learned the good news the same day. (Prophetic, eh?)

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 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
(Ephesians 3:20)
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That momentous day of October 4, God spoke to me and my husband in each of our devotions. [Read Our Daily Bread’s Immeasurably More]. I was crying after I learned the great news that we could move in the next month. Agad-agad talaga! Thankful to God for this wonderful blessing! Truly unexpected. True Grace.

Lord, thank You for doing immeasurably more in
our lives than we could ever imagine.
I am so thankful that You are able and often
do make impossible situations possible.
Julie Ackerman Link

More than the idea of our own space, I loved the fact that God was teaching me and my husband a lot of things as we waited. Our faith was being tested.

We simply let go of our expectations and looked to God. We stripped ourselves off the desire to have a bigger house and be content with what’s on the table. It was a major decision for the family that made us trust in God more. Like I said before, God has already provided — a place for us and ways for us to abide in Him more. We have a decade to pay for it. I know God will provide. Grace upon grace.

I still have so many stories of God’s favor to share even after we finally moved here. I realized most of my “must-haves” in a house were given to us, unknowingly. Truly, God is great!

 

god is greatIMG

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!
1 JOHN 3:1

 

Preschool in Mandaluyong

It’s Noah’s Moving Up Day tomorrow. Time flies so fast. I still remember raving about how we finally found that preschool in Mandaluyong. What a blessing!

Thank you Lord for Kites & Strings Learning Center. I pray that more teachers and more students will be part of our family. 🙂

Ground Floor,  ICS Worship Center
Address : Mayflower St., Greenfield District, Brgy. Highway Hills,

EDSA CENTRAL,Mandaluyong City 1554
Contact Nos : 6321093 ~ 6315265

Courses offered:
NURSERY – 3 to 4 years old
KINDER – 4 to 5 years old

VIEW MAP TO ICS HERE.

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Other related searches:

God Wastes Nothing

God wastes nothing and no one

Every act of love rendered for His sake is noted and has eternal consequences.

What powerful words. Oftentimes, I pity myself for being just a work-at-home-mom. I know most moms would want what I have right now but there are times that I’d wish I am out there doing bigger things.

Sometimes, I think about how I could be earning more than what I’m getting right now or how I could be driving my own car. Or if I hadn’t left the corporate world. I know I have so much potential.

And oftentimes it would hit me: God has placed me in my family for a reason— to serve my husband and my son. Not that women cannot serve their families while working but I know my boys need me most.

Joshua prefers that I stay at home (but still work). Liligawan lang daw ako. (LOL!) Of course, that’s not the main reason. (Haha!) My husband just likes to come home to his wife and son. It’s the most practical thing now since he also works-from-home but I don’t think I’d be going back to the office. Not anytime soon. God-willing.

My husband believes that I should be my son’s primary caregiver and not a yaya. I believe this one but I guess that would change when we have another baby (maybe next year? noooo!). Right now, I am too blessed to complain. Not changing our lifestyle anytime soon. Until the Lord allows it.

I know in my heart someday my child would appreciate me staying at home. That’s for both me and his dad. I know this kind of home-work setup we have isn’t forever. I also know there is a greater reason why we are together everyday. I know in my heart God is preparing us for something (as always).

There might come a time Noah would wish his mom is a hardworking woman wearing nice clothes but I know he would appreciate what I’ve done— just as I am grateful for everything my mom has done for me and my siblings. Grateful that she stayed home to be a full-time mother and housewife. Thankful that my dad provided for us without having to leave for another country. ( Trivia: I remember wishing before that my dad would go to Saudi to work so I could have more Barbie dolls. Haha!)

I’m not saying this is how all moms should be. It’s a matter of choice and needs. All in accordance to God’s will.

There will be more times that I’d feel I am nothing but I know God doesn’t make mistakes. HE WASTES NOTHING. I am thankful for what I have and what I am right now. With Him, I am everything to my boys—my family. I am a wife. I am a mother. What a privilege!

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
1 Corinthians 15:58

 

God Has Already Provided

Bible verse about God's provision

There are times when I feel I have nothing and that I am a nobody. Just because I am a work-at-home-mom who earns a meager salary, completely dependent on my husband to live. It used to be the other way around. That time when I was still earning in my prime earning a lot– accepting projects left and right–oftentimes passing them on to others.

And then my son came. Not that I am not happy with his arrival–he totally changed my life. I’m not complaining. I wanted this. I dreamed about this– a housewife and a mother.

I never saw myself as a career woman. Really. I had an epiphany more than a decade ago…that I didn’t want to stay in the corporate world. Good thing opportunity came so at 23, I retired. Actually, semi-retired. God has provided a way for me to leave my comfort zone–the corporate world.

I saw my first work-at-home job as God’s way of preparing me to become a housewife. Within less than a year, I got married. God provided a way for me to learn how to keep a house as I had to take care of my brother, niece, and grandmother. My parents were then living with my sister after dad suffered a stroke. I had to learn how to manage a household. Finances and all.

God provided for me and Joshua to get married at such a young age. We were 24. That’s young for today’s standard. Too young for two persons to be on their own. Wedding finances weren’t a problem that it only took us two months to prepare. Crazy? I know. But God made it happen.

God provided me and my husband jobs so we could live on our own comfortably and not depend on our parents as we start a family. Again, allowed by grace.

God provided and blessed my womb even before I took a pregnancy test.

God provided us jobs (yet again) to provide for our son. To give him all that he needs and more– overflowing love, joy, and care.

God provided us homes. The past six years of our marriage, we’ve changed residences a few times. But the last move, God brought us to our own house. It was all God’s grace and favor. Unexpected blessing. It happened quickly. On top of my mind is how God taught me humility and gave Josh and me the grace to wait in the Lord. Amazing love. Amazing provision. Amazing grace. Amazing God.

“God has already provided”, my husband would always tell me.

I sometimes fear about the future. It’s normal to worry at our age especially given the nature of our jobs (freelancer and contractual) but God has never failed to provide for our needs. Packing up our stuff and moving also made me realize that I am more than blessed and that I have no reason to be not contented.

I know that there will be hard times and that we need to be ready. Just in case. Ready to be challenged. Ready to be in need. Ready to help. Ready to minister. This year, I know He will provide a way for us to experience freedom. We already are. I already feel free. I just need to remind myself.

Last year, we saw God’s favor. His provision. His magnificence. His grace.

This year, we want more of all those. We don’t desire abundance for selfish reasons but we want them for God’s Greater Glory.

“For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.”
Deuteronomy 30:16

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Heritage of Faith

Thank You Father for choosing me to become part of Your family. I am glad that my parents came to know You even before I was born. Thank You for the legacy my dad left, the one heritage of having faith in You.

I will forever be grateful for Your love and faithfulness in my life. I seek to have this kind of relationship–growing closer with You– all the days of my life.

 

Holidaze

I don’t remember ever posting about what happened to me over a Christmas holiday break but there’s always a first time. I know I have a tendency to write a long post but I’m trying to preserve memories here.

It was a quick 2-week break for all of three of us. No work and no school. I wasn’t in the mood for all the Christmas hoopla because I was still stressed with our moving. It was only when I finally brought out the decors and shopped for Christmas gifts that I felt it’s really Christmas. Shopping certainly has its benefits, eh? LOL.

I brought out the old Christmas decors only on the 16th of December. No, I wasn’t following the Simbang Gabi sked but it was only then that I had the energy to tackle last year’s mess. It took  me one night to put some Christmas touch in our new home. Not much. We still have no big Christmas tree. Just this old tree previously owned by my husband’s lola. We’ve had it since Noah was a year old. I’m sentimental like that. It’s more special this year because Noah decorated the tree himself.  It still sits on top of the bar counter.

Maybe this year, I’ll buy a taller tree. It needs major planning because I’ll have to buy new decors and accessories.

December started with the three of us attending a birthday party. The party set me in the mood alright because I had to shop for gifts. Browsing through the stores certainly got me excited–thanks to the Christmas decors and songs being played.

Noah’s only photo with birthday girl Adi
Went to a Nautical party
Date with my best friend Antonette at Mesa, Power Plant Mall

Continue reading Holidaze

Grateful

Day 2

Grateful to the Father for adopting me into His family. Being a child of God has its many privileges. I can come to Him directly in my thoughts and through prayers. I am thankful that I learned about His Word at such a young age.

The Father has called my father who in turn brought us to church. What a joy it is to become part of a church— His family! I pray that my heart be a good soil where His word can be planted.

I desire to have a humble and pure heart so the truth can be cultivated by the Father, and be harvested in the future for the glory of His Kingdom.

May God reveal more of His truth as I seek His face everyday.

Just Like Enoch

just like enoch

I wonder how it is to walk with God everyday just like Enoch. He walked together with God each day so closely that Enoch was taken away to heaven.

God must have been so delighted in him that He wanted him by His side in heaven. It may have been difficult for those left behind, Enoch’s family and friends, but his being in heaven was also comforting.

I remember when my dad died, that moment of peace that I still remember and feel right now. That his death was gain. He had  lived a full life and was not wasted. My daddy had shown me how to love, how to become a godly parent, how to be a friend, and how to be a servant. He had offered his life to God and walked closely with Him.

Thinking about it now, my dad must have liked Enoch in the Bible so much that he nicknamed my brother with the same name. Perhaps he wanted my brother to also walk closely with God. I have never pondered on Enoch’s life until today. He was mentioned only a few times in the Bible and yet his life had a great impact—so faithful that God took him away.

I want that kind of faithfulness Enoch had. I hope to have that joy he had each morning.

I hope to have the kind of willingness my dad had, with nary a care, doing things for God because it wasn’t something he had to do but something he wanted to do.

Just like Enoch, I want to walk with God. So closely that He’d want to take me with Him everywhere.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
Hebrews 11:5

Lipat Bahay Gang: Tips on Moving

lipat bahay gang
Bittersweet. Hired RA Francisco Transport Service.

I am still stressed with our big move. I started packing a couple of months ago but it’s only last week that we moved all our stuff. Well, almost as we still have a few things in the townhouse.

This is our 6th change of residence ever since we got married. Six in five years? Not bad.

  • From my childhood residence in Mandaluyong, Josh and I settled in a one bedroom apartment just a few blocks away.
  • After a year, we moved to his lola’s old room in Bel-Air, Makati.
  • A few weeks before I gave birth, we moved to the studio outside.
  • Just before Noah learned to walk, we moved to a bigger studio unit beside it.
  • And after our son turned a year old, we moved to a 2-storey townhouse in Mandaluyong.
  • And now, WE’RE HOME. In. Pasig. Anak ng Pasig talaga kami.

Mandaluyong-Makati-Mandaluyong-Pasig. Hindi na kami lumayo pa.

We’re on our 4th home since the other two moves were inside the same house, just different rooms but still stressful. I admit it’s my fault because I’m not organized. I think this is the only move that I’ve planned being months in the making. Still, it took us weeks to haul our things. I tried to “declutter” but we still ended up with lots of stuff. Believe it or not, Noah’s toys alone were one full van load! That is not an exaggeration as I now have five boxes of old toys ready to donate to Yolanda victims. I just don’t know where to send them as there are too many choices.

I am hoping, praying to God, that this will be the last since it’s our own home. If we have to move again, it’d have to be to another country. Haha! (And that would be more difficult.) I’m no longer dreaming to move to a bigger house with rooms for each of our kids, a 2-car garage, and more. House-hunting had taught me simplicity and humility– to be content of simpler things in life.

If you’re planning to change residence anytime soon, here are a few suggestions to ensure an organized move. I can’t say I followed all of them but most have been pretty helpful.

lipat bahay gang 2

1. Buy lots of boxes. Self-explanatory but please do buy a lot. You can buy balikbayan boxes in National Bookstore but each costs below P99. I bought four initially but then I realized they’re too pricey. So off I went to Puregold to buy recently used boxes. I bought 15 boxes in small and medium sizes. Small boxes are easier to transport. I should have bought more.

tips on moving 1

2. Declutter. Declutter, sort, spring cleaning, and declutter again. Throw stuff you don’t need. Donate old but usable clothes and shoes to relatives and friends. My cleaning lady is so happy these days because she gets to take home the stuff I don’t want and sell them to her neighbors.

tips on moving 3

3. Use luggage/suitcases to haul your clothes. We have too many clothes and took me so many trips just to bring them. I know it would be easier if I use boxes but I didn’t have time to fold the clothes. I borrowed two more luggage from my brother and brought clothes every time we’d visit our new place. While packing, sort your clothes, of course.

4. Wrap breakables in used paper or kitchen towels. I used kitchen towels to wrap the plates and glasses. No need to buy bubble wrap (as they can be a waste of money). Label the box “FRAGILE” so the movers would be more careful. If possible, bring these items yourself before making the big move.

lipat bahay gang 1

5. Clean the bathrooms and kitchen beforehand. You’d be using these many times while moving your stuff.

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6. Pack books in smaller boxes. They’re easier to carry. You may also tie them in stacks using straw rope. You may buy a coil of straw rope from any hardware.

tips on moving 2

7. Pack everything. I didn’t follow this advice though. Even if I bought a lot of boxes, I was too excited to move to our new house that I would go to the place almost everyday and bring small stuff. We would bring a few boxes, unpack, and then take the empty boxes again with us. My husband told me to pack everything and bring all of them in one final haul. Like I said, I was too excited so we made a few trips two weeks before the big move last Tuesday.

Moving to a new home can be stressful but it can also be exciting! Noah and I have been staying here for more than a week now. Husband still works at our old townhouse because PLDT has not installed DSL yet. Today is Friday, his last day at the apartment. We’ll make the final hakot tomorrow and bring home the dog with us. 🙂

sleepy noah
I would bring him with me every time. Obviously, pati sya pagod.
tips on moving 5
This is it! Thank you Lord!

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8