Joy and Hapiness

Don’t mistake happiness for joy.
Not everything that makes you happy gives that kind of joy that is important.
Don’t let relationships and your faith in the Lord falter whenever trouble comes.

Even if death comes, you can still find peace and joy from having a close relationship with God.

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
Acts 2:28

More of Jesus

more of jesus 2

I want to know Jesus more. May this year be the year that my Lord and I are closer than ever. I desire to walk closely with Him as I learn to abide in His Word each day.

Is that possible? Absolutely. As long as I keep the fire burning in my heart…this desire…this longing to be in His presence all the time. Only by His grace.

God’s Word is true. It is my prayer this year that I would get to know my Lord like never before. I desire to be more fit physically this year but I hope to me more spiritually healthy.

I want to have that insatiable hunger for the Living Word and a thirst for righteousness.

I want that “never a day goes by that I don’t read the Bible” kind of life.

I want more of Jesus.

This 2014, may I learn to abide in You.

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

Broken to be Made Whole

broken to be made whole

Shame sometimes gets the best of me but I’ve learned that God allows us to be broken so we can be made whole again. He doesn’t hurt us directly but He allows us to experience pains and heartaches for us to learn and become even stronger.

God’s proof of love is not always material blessings. The best proof of His magnificent love is that while we were still sinners, He sent His beloved Son to die for our sins. He spared His own Son for our deliverance.

Remember that you are special. You are a treasure in God’s eyes.

Yield your lives to His control and see that He can use your responsibilities, relationships, ridicule… obstacles and obligations…problems, pressures, and pains….solitude, sickness, and success— everything for His glory. All those can be used for your ultimate good. (Romans 8:28)

Whenever you feel that the enemy is taking over your life, rebuke it. Remember that the enemy has already been defeated. Whatever we are being confronted right now is just the twitching. Someday, the enemy will completely be destroyed. Anyway, Jesus left with us the Holy Spirit to guide us and be our Counselor–to be able to face the enemy.

But for us to be empowered and able to face all challenges, we must learn to rest on His Word and abide in His presence. This will come as a result of worshiping Him in spirit and in truth—by giving Him worth through praise, preoccupation with Him, and obedience to God. No tradition nor ritual could substitute your adoration to God. You can come to Him directly. He is always available, accessible, and attentive too.

Obey God without any questions, procrastination, and hesitation. Do everything just as God commanded you. Fill your heart with Jesus and He will come out of your lips.

“And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.”
Romans 8:28

 

New Year’s Prayer

Thank You Jesus for the year that has passed. I praise You for all the blessings, the promises, and the victories.

I pray for a deeper understanding of Your Word this 2014.

Give me the grace and the wisdom to pore over your Word that I may be able to share them with others and bring honor to Your name.

May my light shine for your glory…

….as a Christian

….as a wife

…as a mother

…as a daughter

…as a sister

…as a friend

…as Your minister.

“Your laws are my joyous treasure forever.
I am determined to obey you until I die.”
Psalm 119:111-112

Ending the Year Right


People are sharing their New Year’s Resolutions. I have a few of my own but I honestly doubt I’d be able to keep them. Most of the items in my list are related to health which means it will be a very challenging year for me. Haha!

We don’t have anything grand planned this Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We’ve postponed travel this year for a better reason– a new house! We’re very much enjoying our days and nights in our own home. Everyday, we thank God for this blessing– one symbol of our FAITH.

Instead of starting right, I want to end 2013 by spending time with my Lord. After all, He is the Reason for the Christmas Season and He is the reason why I live. Reading His Word sustains me. His promises have kept me going this year. The year started with me stressed and a bit lonely but I knew then God had something great planned for me. I just had to wait –patiently on Him. It’s not surprising but reading the Bible has more than comforted me.

The Word eternal brought joy to my innermost being. This year, I have learned that ‘to know God better is to love Him more‘. Did I learn to love Him more? Definitely.

Day-by-day I try to seek God. Everyday I long to see Him, His goodness, mercy, and love. This coming new year, I hope to keep being in love with Him.

I hoped and prayed that my light would shine this year. I can’t say it did very brightly but I hope in my heart that I’ve touched some hearts and souls. It is my prayer that God’s greatness would continue to flow in my life so that people may see and cause them to also praise the heavens. To make them come to God as I was made aware and became in awe of His greatnesss–which compelled me to worship Him.

This 2013, God made me see that His creation is beautiful. But while I know that God’s creation is wonderful, it’s nothing compared to the beauty of the new heaven and the new earth. (Now that’s something to look forward to.) Think GLORIOUS.

This 2013, God also taught me how my desires could be aligned with His. There were many things I wanted to happen my way but He showed me to just let go and rest in His words. This way, I was able to accept that His desires for my life are far greater than my selfishness. There is no way to go but up– from glory to glory as I followed His word. God surprised me by answering more than what I’ve asked and imagined. Little did I know that God was taming my heart as I slowly lined up with His will. I now understand these words:

“If you saturate yourselves in His Words, then His desires will also be yours.”

 

This 2013, God showed me that He truly understands my heartaches, plans, and desires. He knows me so well that He knows how to make me feel better. He really did.

This 2013, God blessed my family with a new home. It was all GRACE I tell you. Our prayer this new year and the rest of our lives, is that those who will walk through our door would know that the Lord God lives in our house. It is our desire that the reality of His presence be evident in our lives with love and warmth– as individuals, as a couple, as parents, as a young child, and as a family.

This 2013, God taught me to show love to others as I immense myself in a close and deep love relationship with Him. He wanted me to stay there, stay with Him, and to just abide. I believe in my heart that this 2014, God wants me to ABIDE in Him more. That’s what I want: to become part of the eternal sphere of unconditional love.

This 2013, God has showed me what faith can do. He made me step out in faith and trust Him alone. Not in my husband, not in myself, and not in others but in HIM alone. I saw that trusting Him at His Word, putting Him to the test, and just doing it — He would do great wonders.

This 2013, God taught me to wait. I now believe and now live the “Wait on God and you will be blessed“. Waiting has always been very difficult for me. It can be the ultimate test of one’s faith but it’s an essential part of discipline. My Lord taught me to not take matters into my own hands. You know why? Because He didn’t want me to be in trouble.

God did more for me this year. I can say that 2013 has been a very humbling experience. God has sustained me each day, each week, and each month. I may have written hundreds of words here already but not one word would perfectly describe my GOD.

So you think God is good? He is way even better. Brace yourselves for a more fruitful 2014. I know I will. Maybe not in material blessings but in treasures that matter the most.

 

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.

IMG_3097

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 

 

What’s keeping me busy….

…is a new house!

Well, it’s actually a condo unit somewhere in Pasig but it’s ours! I cannot contain my excitement as after almost five years of renting (wasting money on rent), we have our own.

I can declare that 2013 is truly the “Year of the Lord’s Favor”. The year started good but it’s ending oh so great! It has been a journey of faith that I’d like to share but I’m saving that story for another post.

I’ve been busy with all the packing and spring cleaning the past month and since we’ve made the big move last week–unpacking, spring cleaning again, and decorating. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my #springcleaning posts already, plus a sneak peek of our new place.

It’s not a mansion but it’s very spacious for the three of us. Even if we add another baby, it will be just right too. I have a big kitchen (hooray!), a laundry room, a spare room for all our “junk”, and more! I knew we would have our own place but not this soon.

House-hunting definitely taught me a lot of things and made me realize the things more important in life. It was truly a humbling experience. It wasn’t easy but I knew that it was God guiding us all along.

This house is a testimony of God’s AMAZING GRACE. In the meantime, allow me to share these photos.

the red door
The Red Door. I’ve always wanted a red door in our future house. While checking out the place for the first time, I didn’t notice the door was painted in red so I when I finally realized it, I said, “It’s a sign!”. True enough, the house was meant for us.
swimmming pool
We’ve got a pool! Haven’t tried dipping into the pool, maybe next week.

Continue reading What’s keeping me busy….

Dads, Guard Your Princesses


My dad never told me “don’t have sex, don’t get pregnant, or don’t have a boyfriend”. He didn’t tell me, “Don’t do anything that would dishonor our family.”

He simply told me, “Don’t do anything that would dishonor God.” And that statement stuck in my head. Kept it close in my heart. Same thing I would tell my son and future daughter.

Here’s a must-read article for men, fathers of daughters.

And here are my favorite lines:

  • Here’s the deal, men. We are morally, financially, spiritually and legally responsible for our girls. When they turn 18, the government says they can vote, die for our country and even pay their own consequences for bad decisions as an adult. But guess what? Even when they turn 18, we are still morally, spiritually and (usually) financially responsible for them.
  • We must do our job as dads to ensure the greatest odds of success for our girls. By “doing our job,” I am not talking about providing for them. That’s just part of the deal when you have a kid. Providing would be the minimum acceptable standard of being their father.
  • Model love, respect and service toward your wife. Remember, more is caught than taught. She is going to look for someone just like you, like it or not.

 

God, I miss my dad. Sniff.