if you want to exchange links, just write a comment on any of my post here and we'll do it.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm posting this because one of the best hour in my day is putting him to sleep and I love looking at him while he's asleep. I always tell him he looks like an angel and he likes it when I say that :o) I don't know if I'll ever get tired of looking at his angelic sleeping face - probably not.
I don't know if every mother takes time to look at their children when they're sleeping, but I do. Every time I see EJ sleeping, I realize how precious it is that God gave him to me to take care and to nurture. I may miss the corporate world sometimes but seeing EJ, especially when he's asleep, makes me think it's all worth it! Giving up "my life" so that he can live his is all worth it... I am raising a son that will soon be mighty in this land but no matter where he goes or what he'll be, he will always be my baby :o)
Do you take time watching your baby's face? It won't be long 'til someone else will do it on your behalf :o)
Friday, December 12, 2008
"All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28
What is it you're facing right now that seem hopeless? Don't despair... HE IS IN CONTROL :o)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
If you were in the father's place, what would you do?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
In my dream I felt very dizzy and everything around me was whirling, it got faster and faster and faster. I was trying to shout "langga" (which is how I call my husband) several times and trying to reach and wake him up because I knew exactly he was sleeping next to me. Everything in my mind and body was awake and conscious but as I shouted, no voice came out and as I moved my left hand, I wasn't able to do it. For a moment I felt my heart stopped beating and I lost my breath but I was determined to wake up... Then all of a sudden BOOM, I was able to open my eyes and breathe really fast. My heart was painful and my body so weak... The first thing I said when I woke up was THANK YOU LORD! I knew God sent an angel to wake me up and I am grateful. I then hugged Joey and looked at EJ to make sure they're sleeping well. I then touched my tummy to assure my baby that everything ok. After that I prayed that they will never experience that kind of dream and that God will always keep them safe in their sleep.
I would like to believe this is a second life... I just know there's still much work to be done and one of which is raising up kids that will soon be "mighty in this land".
Thank you Lord for this life... I will forever be grateful.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Here's THE STORY:
"From the award-winning producers of FLYWHEEL comes a new, action-packed, family-friendly drama about a high school football coach who draws up a new game plan for his team … and himself.
In his six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never had a winning season. Even the hope of a new season is squelched when the best player on his Shiloh Eagles decides to transfer schools. After losing their first three games of the season, the coach discovers a group of fathers are plotting to have him fired. Combined with pressures at home, Coach Taylor has lost hope in his battle against fear and failure.
However, an unexpected challenge helps him find a purpose bigger than just victories. Daring to trust God to do the impossible, Coach Taylor and the Eagles discover how faith plays out on the field … and off.
With God, all things are possible … "
If you haven't watched the movie yet, visit Anything.Something.Everything to find out where and how to watch online or download this movie for FREE! You can share this news or to your family, friends and churchmates. OR watch it in your small groups! You may even want to give the movie in DVD to someone as Christmas gift :o)
Monday, December 1, 2008
This video is just one of those moments where someone has made an impact in another's life, but it then was passed on.... until it saved a life :o)
Friday, November 28, 2008
IF I COULD
(lyrics from lyricsmode)
If I Could
I'd protect you from the sadness in your eyes
Give you courage in a world of compromise
Yes I would
If I could
I would teach you all the things I've never learned
And I'd help you cross the bridges that I've burned
Yes I would
If I could
I would try to shield your innocence from time
But the part of life I gave you isn't mine
I've watched you grow
So I could let you go
If I could
I would help you make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can never cry your tears
But I would
If I could
If I live in a time and place where you don't wanna be
You don't have to walk along this road with me
My yesterday won't have to be your way
If I knew
I would try to change the world I brought you to
And there isn't very much that I can do
But I would
If I could
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I will always be grateful for HIS LOVE...
Thanks to poshpost for helping me out in posting this video. =)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I came across this video (from youtube) when I was looking for some songs for our home church and since then, this has become one of my favorites. I truly believe that we may be a lot of things...but as Christians, we have never been unloved.
A simple story of how secured my son is of my love for him. I asked him last night, "Baby, what makes mama sad?" He replied, "When I don't listen... but you still love me mama." It made me smile knowing that at the age of 3, he is just so secured that no matter what he does, I will always love him. Before we sleep at night we, as a family, give each other goodnight hugs, kisses and I love you's. But when EJ's on his bed, I will whisper, "I will always love you baby." With his eyes closed he will respond, "I will always love you too mama." I believe those words assure him that no matter what he does, my love will never leave him.
It's the same with our God...I just know and I know and I know that deep in my heart, no matter what I've done in the past or will ever do in the days to come, He will always love me. He may get sad or hurt, but HIS LOVE will never leave me.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Ever since I became a Christian, one of the closest stories in my heart is the story of Abraham offering Isaac as a living sacrifice. Several times have I been through such experience, but never have I thought I will be placed in such a situation – of literally offering my very own son to the Lord.
It all started with my in-laws asking us if we could leave EJ for vacation here in Bacolod from February until we come back again in May. At first it sounded like a joke, the family was just teasing me because they know I wouldn’t say YES. Partly I wanted to give in to Joey’s parents request because from the start, EJ has always brought so much joy to mama, papa and to the rest of the family. Besides, I know that he will be very well taken cared of here. And of course, it’s only a vacation.
Last Friday EJ had his check-up with his doctor. He was slightly coughing so “tita doc” gave him some medication. I asked (jokingly) if it’s better he stays here while it’s very cold in China. To my surprise, she said YES. EJ would recover faster if he stays here and it won’t do him any traumatic experience since it’s only a short vacation and at his age, he can already handle such short separation. Then we visited Boksu (our church senior pastor) and asked his opinion about it. To my surprise, he also said it’s OK – again, because it’s only a short vacation. So things began to get seriously planned and the idea that it was “OK” to leave EJ in Bacolod started to scare me – oh, started to make me cry almost every hour! The idea was also “OK” with Joey for the same reason – short vacation that his parents would enjoy & it’s a good time because it’s terribly cold in China and it’s best for EJ to stay here. But as a mother, even if everybody around me said it’s OK, I can’t take it – just thinking about it flooded my eyes with tears and so last Sunday, we announced to everyone that it’s final, we’re bringing EJ to China and for the winter, I will not work – to make sure I take care of EJ or the most, work only half day. I have already asked a friend and she’s decided to come over 1st week of March to be my substitute teacher. So everything was settled – so I thought.
Ever since I was in China, I’ve had this prompting in my heart to have EJ go through an X-ray – to make sure his lungs are well. We had the check up last Friday but Ej’s pedia didn’t recommend x-ray so I thought maybe it wasn’t necessary. But then the prompting kept on so Monday morning, Joey and I decided to have the x-ray. Monday also, his cough worsened so I told his pedia that we need to see someone who can assure us that EJ’s lungs are healthy so “tita doc” referred us to a pedia pulmonologist. So this morning we had EJ checked by the pulmonologist.
A shocking news broke – EJ had primary complex (PTB in children) and that he needed to go through treatment. The doctor again told us that EJ’s body will respond better to the treatment in a tropical condition – which simply means – China isn’t the place for his treatment, but Bacolod is. Joey then decided right there and then, without any doubt, we needed to leave EJ in Bacolod. My first reaction was, if EJ will stay behind, I will too. But Joey told me to go to China and leave EJ with his parents – just as they wished – for a short vacation while it’s winter. The arrangement was we come home in May then after his cousin’s wedding, we all go back to China and continue his treatment there. That time, it’ll already be summer so the climate would be suitable to continue his treatment. I cannot accept the idea. I asked Joey to leave my passport and all other things because I’m not sure I’m going to China with him.
For hours the question, SHOULD I LEAVE EJ IN BACOLOD, kept running through my mind and tears kept falling down my cheeks every time the answer YES pops up. So I had to ask God “LORD, WHY?” I’m asking WHY not because I question God’s authority over my life, it’s not even because I resent the fact that EJ has primary complex. It’s simply a question I’m asking God because I want to sincerely understand what He wants me to learn from this. Now I know why… it’s all summarized in Abraham’s offering – Isaac – his very own flesh and blood.
“God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. It is a matter of loosening the bands that hold back our lives.” MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
God is asking me to give up my priceless possession…my little EJ. In March 2005, God asked me to give up Joey when HE opened the way for Joey to China. I thought I wouldn’t survive that time – but by HIS GRACE, I did. Yes it was emotionally impossible for me to have survived that separation stage, because Joey became the center of my life. God got jealous so HE had to ask me to give Joey up for a certain time, to remind myself that God should be the center of my life. I understand exactly why I have to go through this phase of giving up EJ – to remind myself (again) that God should be my center, my all in all. Indeed, HE IS A JEALOUS GOD…
I know I’m guilty – EJ has become the center of my focus. But God – IS GOD. He knows that the only way for me to raise up EJ according to HIS purpose is for me firstly to be molded by HIS hand. If I can entrust my eternity to God, why can’t I entrust my son to him for 2 months? This is going to be a tough time, but I believe, HIS GRACE WILL SEE ME THROUGH.
My sacrifice is LIVING – may it be holy, pleasing and acceptable to you.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made
2. I am not perfect, yet I am accepted and loved
3. I have been given the priviledge of being who I am... (pls. refer to my profile)
4. I have a FATHER who will never leave me nor forsake me
5. I am able to share this blog with Lee, Ares, Posh, Shannon, Henry, Elle Bee, Visadkline, Lynn, Mary, Kathryn, SSQUO, C.Beth, Laura Jayne, Aizan Suhaira, View from my front porch, and Brenda Susan.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
While I was standing up, I asked God how can I be a sender when I didn’t even have enough money for my education – I would often write promissory notes every time it was enrollment or examinations time; not enough money for my allowance – I had to sell goods to make sure I have money for my next day’s transportation and money to pay for my school projects – in simple terms, I was telling God “Lord, how can I be a sender when I’m poor?” And God in HIS still small voice told me “ It’s my problem, not yours.” So with that I was assured that if God wanted me to be a sender, then HE WILL MAKE SURE IT WILL COME TO PASS, in His time and in His ways.
Yes when I became a Christian, we were in lack. That was the time when my father lost his job and my mom was the only one working. With 6 of us kids going to school, can you imagine the cost of education? It was just so hard to let both ends meet. But it was in those times that the Lord taught me the real essence of tithes, offerings and sacrificial giving. I remember selling pastillas, macaroons, frozen goods and a whole lot more just so I can have money for my allowance. But there was one thing I never missed – tithing. Pastor Joebert taught the church of MALACHI 3:10 and there I was, faithfully paying my tithes, believing that God will honor His word. In my “not enough” financial status, I would give offerings, and believe me, my pockets were empty but my heart was full.
When I graduated college, I immediately had a job as an Engineer in Laguna. I believe that job was given to me as my harvest for the years I have faithfully sown into God’s Kingdom. I continued paying my tithes and gave my offerings to the work of the Lord through our church Alabang New Life. My giving intensified because this time, I only didn’t pay my tithes and gave my offerings, but I also learned about first fruits – where we are to give not only 10% BUT 100% of our first fruit when we start a business or land in a new job. This took a greater step of faith, but I took it, together with my boyfriend Joey (my husband now).
As husband and wife Joey and I still walk the path as senders. We support Pastors, missionaries and works of the church. We’ve seen God’s hand in every step of the way and we can testify that HE IS TRUE TO HIS WORD in
Malachi 3:10 - 11.
10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.
We know that we are yet to see a whole lot more harvest or shall I say SO MUCH BLESSING THAT THERE WILL BE NO ROOM FOR IT. And God will make sure what He entrusted to us will be protected.
God is my source…the source of ALL my resources. Everything I have is HIS, nothing more nothing less. I am merely a pipe where HIS flood of blessing flows. As a pipe, it’s but natural for me to get wet. And the only time it flows out of me is when I’m already overflowing.
To God be the GLORY FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE… and yet to do.
SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING that made a great impact in my life:
The reason you’re sitting in Church today is because somebody gave their money to buy those chairs.
(Pastor. Joebert Ramos)
God is not a waiter, don’t give Him a tip.
(Pastor Emilio Henares)
Every Christmas my children give their last year's toys to the less fortunate, that way they will be trained to give and not be attached to the gift, but to the giver.
(Pastor Jo Alfafara)
When people enter your house, give something to bless them, so they would know what it’s like to live in heaven here on earth.
(Pastor Jo Alfafara)
The moment I stop preaching about giving, is the moment I start robbing people their opportunity to be blessed.
(Pastor Paul Chase)
After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive =D
April 29, 2007
Thursday, November 13, 2008
(thanks to marriagemarkers for this award)
This is a truly BEAUTIFUL piece.
Please read this at a slow pace,
digesting every word and in leisure...
Do not hurry....this is a treasure...
For those lucky to still be blessed with your Mom,this is beautiful.
For those of us who aren't,this is even more beautiful.
For those who are moms,you'll love this.
The young mother set her footon the path of life.'Is this the long way?' she asked.And the guide said: 'Yes,and the way is hardAnd you will be old beforeyou reach the end of it..But the end will be betterthan the beginning.'
But the young mother was happy,and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children,and gathered flowers for them along the way,and bathed them in the clear streams;and the sun shone on them,and the young Mother cried, 'Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.'
Then the night came,and the storm, and the path was dark,and the children shook with fear and cold,and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle,and the children said, 'Mother, we are not afraid,for you are near, and no harm can come.'
And the morning came,and there was a hill ahead,and the children climbed and grew weary,and the mother was weary.But at all times she said to the children, 'A little patience and we are there.' So the children climbed,and when they reached the top they said,'Mother, we would not have done it without you.'
And the mother, when she lay down at nightlooked up at the stars and said,'This is a better day than the last,for my children have learned fortitudein the face of hardness.Yesterday I gave them courage.Today, I've given them strength.'
And the next day came strange cloudswhich darkened the earth,clouds of war and hate and evil,and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: 'Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.'And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, 'This is the best day of all,for I have shown my children God.'
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years,and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough,they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And mother said, 'I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning,for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.' And the children said, 'You will always walk with us, Mother,even when you have gone through the gates.' And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: 'We cannot see her but she is with us still.
A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.......
'Your Mother is always with you.... She's the whisper of the leavesas you walk down the street; she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks; she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well.
Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every tear drop. She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you followwith every step you take. She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space... not even death!
Beautiful Mom Award started by Posh Post.
I am tagging the beautiful mothers here: Susan, Brenda Susan, Nancy, Meggie, Mrs. H, Missy, Cari, Abe, and Paige, Armchair Housewife, and my mom (gosh... I miss her!)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It got me reflecting on my very own life, and here’s what I’ve realized.
In 1994, I was given an option to take a higher scholarship grant if I would major in Education, rather than Engineering. I didn’t take the offer mainly because I NEVER WANTED TO BE A TEACHER, so I thought. But God slowly changed my heart for years. He allowed me to lead Bible studies, worked in companies where I had to teach, lead me to teaching preschoolers then to the Koreans. Little did I know that He’s been preparing me for a teaching Job here in China.
When I was in my college years, I thought, I didn’t want to work away from home because I don’t think I’d survive. But in 1999, I was offered a job in Hitachi, Laguna. My prayer that time was, “Close the door anytime you want me out God. But if you want me in there, then let me pass the interview with the HR Manager.” So even if there was still a panel interview with the Japanese when we reach Laguna, I didn’t fear, I already knew I’d make it. So I did. Life away from home wasn’t easy, that was my first time. It took me months to recover from the sadness, yet I survived. Little did I know that He’s been preparing me for a life away from the comforts of home here in China.
When EJ was still inside my tummy, I prayed that God will give him a Chinese community to grow in. I didn’t know HOW that would be possible because there weren’t any Chinese in Laguna, so I thought. But in 2005, God called Joey to work in China, so I had to go back to Bacolod, stay with Joey’s parents – Chinese parents; who attend a Chinese church. That was the first Chinese community EJ and I had. But right now, God didn’t only give us a Chinese community, He gave us CHINA itself.
On and on I can write situations where God had to change my heart and MY THOUGHTS to align to His heart and HIS THOUGHTS. I know my decisions were not faultless, but He has strung the pieces of my life together in spite the imperfections. I may have fallen several times, but each time I fell, I learned lessons I never would have realized had I not taken those steps. After all, we're like "EJ's" who runs and tips over, but runs again.
I have come to understand that I can not put God in a box. I can’t expect Him to answer my prayers in ways that I want, in the timeframe I prefer or in a place where I’m comfortable. His thoughts are higher, His ways are better, His plans are perfect.
In Isaiah 55:8 God declares, “FOR MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, NEITHER ARE YOUR WAYS MY WAYS.”
I may not always understand now, but in the future, I will. Just as He prepared me for where I am right now, I believe He is preparing me for where He wants me to be in the time to come.
By the way, this preparation isn’t just about me…I believe God is preparing our whole family to where He wants us to be in the days, months, years, decades and centuries to come. The best that I can do right here right now is to STAY OPEN and TRUST GOD TO DO IT HIS WAY.
a) I need to take care of myself and this should be a conscious decision. As much as I would want to be the Perfect wife, Perfect mom and Perfect teacher – I can’t. I can only be the best that I can be without compromising my health. I have to sleep early, do regular exercise, drink my supplements and not over work. I needed to repent for this because I have forgotten the fact that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that I should take really good care of it.
b) I understood how important the LIVER is to our over-all health. Gosh, I never knew that this liver is the most hardworking organ in the body – it’s like a manufacturing plant and a storage area doing more than 500 functions vital for our survival. I am so blessed with the websites that gave detailed information of how to take good care of our liver, the detoxification process and a whole lot more!
c) Sad as it may seem, our ignorance and/or negligence and/or hard-headedness will eventually comeback to us. Hihi… I need not go to the details but sometimes, I admit I’m just that – ignorant and hard-headed (stubborn can also be a word to describe that). But it’s okay, I learned things the hard way, but still, I learn. All I can say is if you have HEPA, REST should be your topmost priority. Define rest? Just watch TV - stay on the bed. Just stand when you need to pee or poo or eat. And eat lots of water and vitamin C.
d) Motherhood chooses no season. In sickness or in health, you just can’t stop being a mother. My doctor demanded that I take a bed rest and not do any taking care of the baby stuff, but when mama Mary went back to Bacolod, I had no other option but to take care of my EJ – bathe him, feed him, send him to school and do other stuff a mother and a wife does. Yes I was able to take a sick leave from being a teacher, but NOT from being a wife, much more NOT from being a mother.
e) OFW life isn’t easy – never easy at all. Yes we earn more than the rest of the family, but in times like these, I wish I were back home with all the comforts and care of the family and friends. Yes we do enjoy the benefits of having more (financially) but we do have our share of sleepless nights and painful days. On the other hand though, I can agree with what the Philippine government says that the modern day heroes are the OFW. It takes a lot of sacrifice and courage being one!
I thank God for friends and family He sent to help our family (Joey, me and EJ) to go through this chapter of our life. In my book (soon to be published, hihi) you’ll have your page. Even family and friends from afar, who prayed and chatted with me, thank you for praying and keeping in touch.
I believe I’m getting better everyday. This sickness wasn’t meant to stay. I won’t even let it rob my joy. I have decided to eat right, drink my medicines and have a happy attitude. Of course I have to choose to be happy. But it’s ok. That’s why God gave us free will – so we can choose what we want to happen. I choose life. I choose joy. I choose healing. All by the grace of God!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday came and I took a bath early that morning and made sure my I.V. will finish early so when EJ’s here, I don’t have it anymore. By the way, everyday I have to have my I.V. for around 5-6hrs each day. They put it on everyday and when it’s done, take it out. So if you can see my hands now, it has those little holes in them! Grr… I don’t like that! It even got dislodged last time (on my left hand) so for a couple of days, I had to have my I.V. on my right hand which made me so uncomfortable because my left hand is untrained to do things. Oh well, just had to go through with this. As long as I’m in here, just need to submit to their expertise.
Going back to EJ… Well they came here around 12:30pm and when I saw him, he was all smiles and said “MAMA….” Even if he had his mask on, I saw his eyes smiling so sincerely and so happy. Well, if you know me, you know me well, you can tell my eyes were flooded with tears! I still had my I.V. on and we still haven’t asked the doctor if it’s ok for me to hug him. So all I could do was look at him, talk and play with him from a distance (around 2 feet distance). He was on the other bed actually. The hurting part was when he started to ask if he could sit on my lap and go to my bed. I wanted so much to hug him kiss him and play with him. But I can’t! It’s a terrible feeling not being able to express physically your love for your baby. I could tell he really missed my hugs and kisses.
At around 1:30pm my I.V. was removed and so we had some play time. Then a doctor came and we asked him if I could hold EJ. He said YES!!! As long as I don’t kiss him and EJ washed his hands after. Oh my God!!! I was so excited!!! So I hugged him really tight and of course again, tears, tears and more tears! With the doctor, teacher Cathy and auntie Cathy in the room, it was like they were watching a heavy drama and I was the best actress! Hihi… EJ was very sleepy already so I put him to sleep. Oh God it felt so gooooooood to finally have my baby in my arms. The moment he fell asleep Joey got him and put him to bed.
After 2 hours of deep sleep, we woke him up so they could go home. When he left, he just said, “Goodbye Mama”… The moment they walked out the door, of course again, tears, tears and more tears rolled down my cheeks. I guess when God gave tears away, I was at the front row so I got a whole bunch of them!
Well anyway, the night ended with more tears on my pillow. But those weren’t tears of desperation but rather tears of a mother missing her son and telling her father in heaven about it. Actually at night, I sleep declaring my healing in Jesus’ name because I believe I only have lessons to learn and this sickness will go away. I believe that by the stripes of Jesus I am healed. So I just need to declare it, believe it and I shall have it.
Ok. This is the day that we found out that what I have is HEPATITIS A. If you ask how I got it, it’s kinda gross and I hate it! Just do your own research ok? But on the lighter side, this is the kind that’s easy to cure. Actually I just need rest and proper nutrition so my body can fight of the virus because there’s really no medicine for this. But I need to stay in the hospital because if I’m at home, I won’t be able to have that rest because I need to take care of EJ and do other house works. So the plan is, we wait for my mother-in-law to be here and I’ll get out.
Teacher Cathy was with me this day and the doctors came and asked questions. She became my translator. But aside from the fact she translated for me, she was also someone I can talk comfortably with. We talked about my love story and we had a good sharing time, just like real friends.
Night time came – teacher Cathy left and it was Joey’s turn. He told me that Joseph told him they fear teacher Cathy might get infected and that she had to go on with her teaching English at Speedy Tech. It was sad because starting Friday, I would be alone the whole day. At around 9pm Joey had to go home to take care of EJ. When he left, loneliness crept in. It’s the thought that if I were back home (in Bacolod) I wouldn’t be alone. Family and friends will be there to visit, stay with me and chat. I can watch TV, I can use the phone and I can do all sorts of stuff. But here, I’m all alone.
But in my being alone, I got to realize a lot of things. This is a situation that I need to go through because I need to grow up. I am forced to grow up. At night when I sleep, to make sure my thoughts are filled with good things, I turn on my phone and listen to the worships songs I have. That way I sleep feeding myself with thoughts on how great my God is and that I am not alone, He’s with me, He loves me and that He will take care of me. I also remember my mom. A lot of times in Bacolod she would choose to be alone in the hospital. She became my “model” thinking that if she was able to survive it, then definitely I will. But thinking of her makes me miss her so much. I know that if mama were here, she would be absent from work and make sure she takes care of me. But then again, we’re not together. So I had to tell myself to be strong, go to sleep and know that God will make sure everything will be alright.
Friday, November 7, 2008
The ward is like the semi-private that we have in Riverside hospital, only for 4 people. But here, each ward room consists of people with similar disease, in my case, Hepatitis. There were 2 old women in the room and 1 empty bed. I could say it was clean and we had our own toilet, but no way for me to take a bath.
I ate dinner then I was given I.V. In the Philippines, the nurses monitor your I.V. but here, each patient should monitor and notify the nurses so they can come and change or put a new one. So for my first night, I had to sleep at 12midnight because I had to stay awake and wait for each I.V. bag to run out, inform the nurses by pressing a button (like a buzzer) and let her change it. There were 4 bags and it took about 5 hours.
I didn’t have a goodnight’s rest because if someone coughs or goes to the toilet, I wake up and find it hard going back to sleep. The worst part was at 5am, someone comes in and changes all the garbage cans! So at 5am, everybody was up and my “neighbors” started chatting! At that time also the nurse came and got blood samples for my laboratory check – to confirm what kind of Hepatitis I got. After that, I went back to bed and covered myself with my blanket, wishing I could go back to sleep. Of course, I wasn’t able to. At around 7am, my doctor came and greeted me, “Good morning Maricar teacher” with a big smile on her face. That was a really nice and sincere greeting. So I got up and to my surprise, people were standing at our door looking at me!!! The doctor bought breakfast for me, NOODLES. And the funny thing was, all those “fans” at the door were all watching how I would eat the noodles! Of course I had my spoon and fork so I used those to eat. Whew! I was like an instant celebrity that day!
I sent EJ to school first then off I went to the hospital with 2 friends – Imee (Filipina) and Cathy (Chinese) – both are English teachers like me. I was told to have my blood tests, urinalysis and ultrasound.
If you’re wondering how it was – well here are some things that are different from what we usually do in the Philippines:
1. BLOOD TEST – I was outside the laboratory. They have this lab – but only for workers. Those who are tested just sit outside and there’s just a small window for you to place your arm and they do the procedure. But they did it well.
2. URINE TEST – they just gave me a small container (WIDE OPEN) and asked me to go to the toilet and pee. Then from the toilet, with my urine exposed to the air, I had to bring it back to the laboratory. Then from there they transferred my BROWNISH urine to a small tube – covered one.
3. ULTRASOUND – when we reached the ultrasound station, I was supposed to be the next in line. When it was my turn to get inside, we were told to wait because they had to do the girl who came from the emergency. So I said OK. When the girl was done, I was told to wait again because there was another man from the emergency – so he had to go first. When the man was done, the ultrasound room closed and the one in-charge told us that she had to run to the emergency room for another person to have the ultrasound so we had to wait again. WHEW! I was losing my patience but there was no point getting angry. Besides, I was too hungry to get angry! But when it was my turn, the girl did it quiet well and she made me drink a porridge (which I didn’t like) and did some checking as I was drinking. She also tried to speak English to me and I really appreciated that.
After the tests we went home, had lunch, took a very short rest and then went back to the hospital to get the result.
BLOOD TESTS – My ALT = 1614 (SPECS: 0-54) ; AST = 723 (SPECS: 0-45) and TBIL = 147 (SPECS: 3.4-20). We were told these were main indications of hepatitis. The doctor referred us to go to another hospital to confirm the results and get the treatment.
URINE – the doctor didn’t discuss it but sure it wasn’t good, the color was rust brown!
ULTRASOUND – my gallbladder shrunk a bit. They even said it’s like a balloon that has lost a little of air.
From that hospital we went to Sydney and asked him to call Kongkong Friend, a Chinese doctor that helped EJ when he was sick. So he did and Kongkong Friend also said I need to be hospitalized as it may infect EJ.
Off we went to Jiaxing #1 Hospital and had the lab results confirmed in their HEPATITIS CLINIC. The doctor said I had to stay in the hospital, by all means. They will do series of tests to find out what type of hepatitis I have to give me the appropriate treatment.
So Joey decided that I can’t go home anymore, I have to stay in the hospital without saying goodbye to EJ, not even having to hug him mainly because he might get infected.
I cried – not because I was afraid of my sickness. I was rather sad of the thought that my baby had to sleep without me and wake up not seeing me. This is an unexpected separation so I wasn’t prepared, Joey wasn’t prepared, and EJ wasn’t either. But the best thing to do was separating from him for a while. As a mother, I would rather suffer the pain of not seeing him for several days rather than seeing him suffer because he got infected. It was a tough decision but I needed to comply to that requirement.
I thank God that all these happened in a time where I had friends here. Imee and Cathy are taking good care of EJ after his school. Joey took care of EJ at bedtime until he goes to school. Teacher Cathy took care of me the first 2 days to make sure things were put in place. God is awesome. Yes I have this hepatitis thing, but I couldn’t blame God for this. I can just thank him for providing extra hearts, extra hands and feet – to make sure things will work out smoothly. It’s times like these you get to see the beauty of God’s hand moving by bringing the right people at the right time. God is faithful – He always had been and always will be…
the present unsure and the future unclear
but as we journey along the road called life
remember, don't lose your smile.
Sometimes we're up and sometime we're down
it's difficult to smile and easier to frown
but as we journey along each day of our lives
remember, don't lose your smile
Sometimes we're tired all we want to do is quit
our burdens get heavier bit by bit
but as we journey along the losing & winning
remember, don't lose your smile...just keep on SMILING!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
When I left IMI in 2005, my husband and I decided that I won’t work as an Engineer anymore because being one will take so much of my time. I’ve been there for almost 6 years and I know the life! I thought to myself, I won’t go back to the manufacturing world because it’s just too demanding! Not when my baby is still very young.
But you see, in my blog – NOT ABOUT ME – I wrote how I opened my life to God’s leading.
Here are some lines I wrote in that blog:
“God knows what’s best, and I believe where He wants me, is where He will put me. May it be in school, at home or in anywhere else, it won’t matter. I have decided in my heart, that I will trust and obey.”
I have trusted. I have obeyed. Funny as it may seem, the door in a manufacturing company opened for me – but this time, not as an Engineer, but as an English teacher to their management staff. Managers who have shown commitment in learning English as their second language, believing that it will help them become “global talents” – as they put it.
I really enjoy teaching them English. But my favorite part is bringing out the best in them and making them believe they can FLY. Slowly by slowly I can see them opening their wings. Some have already attempted to fly while others still need a little push. But its ok, the important thing is they’re getting there.
For me, teaching English is just a tool God has allowed me to use to bring out the best in people. As Joey put it, “you are impacting their lives more than you think.” More than the pay I receive, more than the esteem they give me as their teacher; it’s bringing out the best in them that gives me the motivation to teach in the most excellent way that I can.
To all the teachers out there, touch your student’s lives and leave footprints in their hearts. Nothing is more fulfilling than to know when you leave them, they’re better persons than when you first stepped into their lives. This is a teacher’s call.
As Francis Kong puts it,
“Your students may forget all the lessons you’ve taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The truth of the matter was, he didn’t get his hands burned. It was hot but not that hot to burn his tiny fragile fingers. It was painful though. After that incident, he never came near me whenever I ironed clothes. If he needed something, he would call me from a distance. My smart son learned his lesson well.
I remember my brother Charles when he was around 3 years old. I was taking care of him and he wanted so much to touch the electric fan. I was only 9 years old then but I knew it was dangerous, it might cut his fingers. You know what I did? I turned on our small plastic electric fan, then after a few minutes turned it off. But while it was slowing down, I got my brother’s fingers and inserted it so he would touch the blades. He cried of course because for his tiny fingers, it was painful. But I knew it wouldn’t cut his fingers. I just wanted to him to learn that it’s painful. So my brother, ‘til this day, never poked his fingers in the electric fan. He was smart, he learned his lesson well.
What happened to EJ and to Charles? They tasted pain…But not the damaging pain, just enough pain their teeny fingers can handle. Was it a bad experience for them? I believe NOT. EJ’s experience will spare him from being burned and Charles’ experience had spared him from getting his fingers cut. But both toddlers were SMART enough to learn their lessons early.
Many times in our lives, God allows us to go through “teeny pains” to spare us from "full-sized pains”. But we should learn our lessons after those tiny troubles because if not, we will hurt more when those giant pains come. We can’t be so STUBBORN. Let’s not wait for cut fingers or burned hands. Let’s learn our lessons now. God is just giving us a TASTE OF PAIN, to spare us from destructive and perilous ones ahead.
Friday, October 31, 2008
July 4th around 4pm, Joey called me and said these words: YOUR APPLICATION FOR WORK PERMIT WAS DENIED. The very first thing that came out of my mouth was, WHY?! Then he told me it was due to technical reasons. Then he asked me to ask help from some of the people we know because he was very busy at work. The moment I put down the phone, tears began to roll down my cheeks… I immediately remembered that our request for extension will expire 21st of July, which was 2 days from EJ’s birthday. If my work permit will not be approved, then we would have to go back to the Philippines.
I hugged EJ and prayed, LORD, DON’T TAKE AWAY HIS FATHER FROM HIM ON HIS BIRTHDAY. Then I looked EJ in the eyes and told him, DON’T WORRY BABY, GOD WILL MAKE SURE, YOU AND PAPA WILL BE TOGETHER ON YOUR BIRTHDAY. EJ then said, NO CRY MAMA, NO CRY. I wiped my tears and started to call people we know who could help us. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to help so I had to wait for the HR Manager’s decision.
That night, I felt very sad, but I made sure Joey and EJ didn’t feel it because I don’t want them to feel I’ve lost hope. So that night went just like the normal night we’ve always had. But in my heart, I was praying and asking God not to take away the joy EJ & Joey feels when they’re together. Not now, not ever. Separation is NOT AN OPTION anymore.
I woke up early the next morning, inspite the fact that I slept nearly 2am. The moment I opened my eyes, there was this song in my thoughts: I WILL BE STILL KNOW YOU ARE GOD. I heard that song lately from one of Joel Osteen’s service, but I didn’t know the other lyrics of that song. So the moment Joey went to work, I got up and had my quiet time. I looked for that song and I found it.
The lyrics go like this:
WHEN THE OCEANS RISE
AND THUNDERS ROAR
I WILL SOAR WITH YOU
ABOVE THE STORM
FATHER YOU ARE KING
OVER THE FLOOD
I WILL BE STILL
KNOW YOU ARE GOD.
Over and over I sang those lines to myself and I felt an unexplainable peace. It’s a peace KNOWING in my heart that God will make a way when there seems to be no way. It’s the kind of peace that tells me with God, nothing is impossible. It’s the kind of peace that I was able to KNOW in my heart, that no matter what happens, EJ will have his father with him on his birthday. I worshipped God and I know the battle was won, even if at that time, I held nothing in my hands. I just know in my heart, everything’s going to be alright!
To make the long story short, my WORK PERMIT was approved and just today, our RESIDENCE VISA was released and APPROVED!!! This means we can be a FAMILY for the WHOOOOLE YEAR!!! God works in mysterious ways. Miracles happen to those who believe.
But through this experience, this is what I learned:
PRAISE IS SPONTANEOUS WHEN THINGS GO RIGHT
BUT IT IS PRECIOUS WHEN OCEANS RISE AND THUNDERS ROAR.
July 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
March 3, 2005, my husband and I had a little “lover’s quarrel”. The topic? Hmm... When I go back to Bacolod City, where will I stay? With my parents or with his parents? Big question. Hard to answer.
Joey was hired to work in China and with that, we have decided we both needed to leave Laguna. Yes, he’s the one going to China but I too need to resign, because I was pregnant with our first baby. All our families are in Bacolod so for my safety and his peace of mind, somebody has to make sure I’ll be fine while he’s away. Now the hardest decision we needed to settle on was “WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF MARICAR? MARICAR’S PARENTS OR JOEY’S PARENTS?” Had I not been pregnant that time, I would have gone fasting while praying! But since I were, I decided to take one day leave from work, pray and resolve this issue.
My husband and I have always made compromises whenever we face conflicting ideas. We try to meet half way or just agree to disagree if there’s no middle ground. But this time, there seems to be neither half-way nor can we agree to disagree. It’s either I stay with HIS parents or MY parents. Joey is Chinese and as such, it is their culture that the woman stays with the husband’s family, so his stand is – JOEY’S PARENTS SHOULD TAKE CARE OF MARICAR AND THE BABY WHILE HE’S AWAY. But you see, I’m a Filipina and as such, it is my culture that I stay with my biological parents while my husband is away, so my stand – MARICAR’S PARENTS SHOULD TAKE CARE OF HER AND THE BABY WHILE JOEY’S AWAY.
Strong-willed as I may be, I’ve always desired submitting to my husband because I know he loves me very much. And somehow my guiding principle was, if his will crosses my will and we can’t agree, I’ll submit. But this time, it’s just so hard to bend. Not because I dislike his parents. But it’s because I never had the chance to know them when we were boyfriends and even after we got married. From the time we graduated college until we became husband and wife, we were in Laguna. Aside from that, I wasn’t born yesterday. Stories about wife and mother-in-law or wife and sister-in-law are never exciting. There’s always that “scary” part.
How did we resolve the matter? I PRAYED, really PRAYED. When we got married, one line in my marriage vow that I said was “I shall submit to you as to the Lord. I shall respect your authority as the head of our family”. God brought me to that day I made my vow and so with that, I surrendered my will. Not because I felt Joey was right, but because I trusted the authority that God gave him as the head of our household.
That night when Joey came home from work, I hugged him and told him that I’m staying with his parents. I only requested for one thing, that my in-laws will allow my mother to stay with me for 2 weeks after I give birth. He said yes. Then we called his parents and told them I’m staying with them.
Now here I am, after 2 years of being with my in-laws… I’m glad to tell you that my husband made a wise decision. My in-laws have really been a blessing to my son Elisha and me. I not only have extra hands when I’m tired, but my son gets extra love, and that’s what I’m really thankful for. My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law have somehow become my best companions in raising EJ. They’ve become my best friends. My father-in-law and brothers-in-law stood as Elisha's male role models in the absence of Joey. I’m sure glad I chose to submit to my husband, even when I didn’t feel like it. You should too.
Monday, October 27, 2008
It was around 6:00pm yesterday while I was washing EJ’s bottle, when I saw the Chinese in their long sleeves and tie (men) and high-heeled shoes (women) walking home from work. Then suddenly a thought came into my mind… “Good for them, their day’s already over…Here I am, still working – as a full time homemaker, working 24 / 7.” Then I asked myself, “Is this really the kind of life I want?” To my surprise, that familiar still small voice whispered inside of me with these lines,
“Up to this point, do you still think it’s all about YOU? Do you still think you matter more than what you’re purposed to do? Is it what you want that really matters or is it what you will leave behind?
Those lines woke me up and reminded me that it’s not about me but it’s what I’m called to do, what I’m purposed to do. It’s hard to surrender, it’s difficult to trust, it’s not easy to let go of the steering wheel…but I will.
When I received Jesus into my life, He didn’t come in just as my savior, He came in as my LORD too, and as such, He deserves to be in the driver’s seat. He deserves to be the President of my heart and not just a resident. So with this, let me rephrase my question…
“Lord, is this the kind of life you want for me?”
If the answer is YES, I would gladly be a fulltime homemaker, in a strange land (China) and it won’t matter if I work round-the-clock, as long as I’m doing what He has called me to do. I will raise up a great son, who will be His ambassador.
And allow me to answer the questions that I believe God is asking me…
“Forgive me Lord for thinking it’s about ME… What I’m purposed to do and what I will leave behind is more important than what I want to do.”
God knows what’s best, and I believe where He wants me, is where He will put me. May it be in school, at home or in anywhere else, it won’t matter. I have decided in my heart, that I will trust and obey.
I want to leave behind a legacy to my son – a legacy of obedience to the call of the FATHER; a legacy of trusting an unknown future to a known God; a legacy that declares: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME, IT’S ABOUT HIM.
It’s all about YOU, Jesus
And all this is for YOU
For YOUR glory and YOUR fame
It’s not about me, as if you should do things my way
YOU alone are God and I surrender
To YOUR WILL.
June 5, 2007
Friday, October 24, 2008
"You’re not everyone, but you are one
You may not do everything, but you can do something"
"You may be a stay at home mom, and you’re calling is to raise a child that may influence millions"
"A 100 years from now, will it be any significant that I lived on this planet? Make it a goal to leave this earth better of than before you came in."
These are some of the thoughts that I picked up while listening to Joel Osteen's preaching one sunday regarding "Living a Life Worth Remembering." The message struck me and it made me realize that I am not just here to exist, but that I am here to leave a footprint in the hearts of people I love, a mark in the places I've been and a life worth remembering...
This blog is dedicated to people like me who aren't here on this planet just for the sake of existing but rather to make sure that the world will become a better place because once in it's existence, someone like you and me, set foot on it.
Join me in this cause... I may touch one who someday will touch millions.