All The Way To Tagaytay

Another long overdue article here. πŸ˜€

I did mention in my previous articles I have quite a pile of article drafts for editing and publishing and I am in a rush to publish them all (hopefully) while I am in a period of waiting and time is still on my side.

The summer escapade for me and hubby along with his family for this year was in the cool breeze of Tagaytay. We just had to take advantage of the summer season before the rainy days start to fill the last quarters of our calendar. It was a short holiday break thus the rest of the family members were all free to have this short family time and get-together.

It always is a privilege to spend some quality time with the family despite the busy schedules and varying demands of priorities in life – something that is far too precious to waste. My parents are in Bicol which is a 17-hour land travel to get directly to our hometown. Now that is something that I don’t have the privilege to do. Going to my hometown meant allotting 1 day for travel time then another day to rest which, after doing the Math, requires at least a week if you want to make the most and the best out of your family get-together. Simply put, visiting my family in Bicol is synonymous to careful planning ahead of the scheduled visit.

But well, this is the part where I need to thank God for technology. Skype made the term β€œhomesickness” just a term. Again, family time meant quality time and this requires we set aside time for this despite the busy schedules. If most of us have the same free time, my family and I are able to Skype with one another once a week. And Skype-ing in the family means this – the minimum talking time is 4 hours starting at around 9 or 10pm.

Wuhaaat?!?! πŸ˜€

Yep, you can already hear the rooster crowing and we’re still on our β€œhigh” conversing with one another. Well, that’s for us, women in the family. For the men, 2 hours is the maximum and they bid their β€œgoodbyes” in the middle of our conversation. The ever popular difference of men and women, eh? πŸ˜€

Anyway, going back to the Tagaytay escapade, we tried the Pamana restaurant with its awesome overlooking view of the Taal Lake and the food was superb too. I only captured shots of some dishes though, the long trip sure made us all pretty hungry.

I also loved the interiors which exude the ambiance of an old Hispanic house. Indeed, the concept of the restaurant matched with its name β€œPamana,” a Tagalog term for heirloom/inheritance.

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Captivating, isn’t it?

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We also scouted for anything new in the area which includes this food park called β€œStrEat.” We didn’t get to try the food stalls though as it’s flocked with a huge crowd when we got there. The next day, there was no plan where we will have our summer escapade. We’ve been traveling without a destination actually and we came to that point of giving up and just head back home because all the resorts we’ve inquired were fully booked. Well, it’s summer so we kind of expected that.

When we were on the verge of turning back, voila, God gave us one resort that’s not so jam packed with visitors but the place was nice (and budget friendly) enough to bond with the family. Hotel Monticello was indeed “heaven sent”  hubby and I actually thought it’d be perfect for a wedding reception too. We couldn’t spend overnight though as we’re only geared up for a day tour. When we arrived, we had all the pool to ourselves which means this – LOTS OF SELFIES! Hahaha πŸ˜€

Nope, don’t get me wrong, I seldom take selfies. You can actually check my Instagram account for that. I just choose moments best for selfies and those moments that are not. And I only take selfies when nobody’s around, not even my hubby. πŸ˜€

Hotel Monticello

Selfie moment. My ever seldom selfie moment. 

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But really, when it comes to moments, there are just those that a camera snap isn’t enough to capture them all. I guess that’s the reason why God created our memories, an infinite storage at the back of our heads where every single memory is captured and safely stored.

So this one article is up in the memory of my head, but in case I have amnesia days or years from now, I have WordPress to retell and rewind them for me. Ah yes, the joys and perks of blogging – your online journal indeed. πŸ™‚

P.S.

WordPress, please don’t ever shut down. Like, EVER. πŸ˜€

Oh and check out this amusing video of my hubby and sister-in-law. Reminds me of my brother and I – siblings moment, they are. πŸ˜‰

 

 

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Holiday Gift Ideas: Shop Early!

Hello, lovely readers!Β 

Bells are ringing, children are singing.

Oh wait, did I hear that Christmas is coming?

BER months are indeed fast approaching.Β 

Now, what are we buying?

Buying for gifts, you’re asking.

Never worry about anything because here is a little something.Β 

So there went my futile attempt to be a poet.Β  πŸ˜€

Seriously though, holidays meant a lot of things but it is synonymous to this word as well – rush. Everything is in a rush. How do we avoid this so-called “rush”Β ? The answer is this – prepare and shop early.

Buying Christmas presents in advance and scratching them off your long list is such a life saver. I usually do this often during the holidays.

But first, who are our recipients of these awesome gifts? On top of the list is our families of course, followed by relatives, friends and coworkers or bless someone randomly.

Then again, another dilemma is this question – “What will I buy for each of them?” Β 

Honestly, thinking about choosing the right holiday gift ideas can be cumbersome and overwhelming. But allow me to make choosing a lot easier for the lady recipient: How about a tote bag?

Very simple, eh? BUT this isn’t your ordinary tote bag. These are custom-made from photographs of anything and everything by yours truly. I love to share so I am sharing these for you to have for keeps. No art is ever called art without the artist’s individuality showcased in it, as they say.Β These printed tote bags carry each in itself a particular story – a memory so to speak. So, I am sharing to you a bit of my life’s journey in each item. Do bring me along in your journeys too – wherever they may be and whatever it may be. πŸ˜‰

This one tote bag for example illustrates a photo during our first summer vacation as a couple in Zambales, Philippines. If you were enamored by the pristine waters and pure, white sand, you can actually plan a trip and head on over there to see the beauty for real. You don’t just have a photo as memorabilia, but also a bag which will remind you always of the beauty of the place for as long as you often use it.

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Another in the memory lane is this precious red rose (which I preserved for sentimental reasons) symbolizing an everlasting love – the first I received when hubby and I were still dating. Thought about editing it to make it look more rustic and not look like your typical red rose because it’s a special one for a special you.

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These are also some of the bags featured in this recently created collection which is a variety of different kinds of themes and concepts from black and whites to macros and landscapes:

If you want to browse for more tote bag designs, you can check out more of the collection in this website:

http://shopvida.com/collections/christine-lailani-ginete-rome

Oh, and if bags aren’t that alluring, the other collection I am starting might capture your interest like these awesome sleeveless tops:

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Happy shopping and wishing you all a VERY advance happy holidays! πŸ˜‰

P.S.

I’d like to thank VIDA for this one great and wonderful opportunity and most of all to God for bringing in people to share what they can share and help the community. This is also in support of the Literacy Programs that VIDA offers to their makers to learn to read, write and do basic Math skills.

Stay tuned for more upcoming designs, my dear readers. Let’s continue sharing our God-given blessings and bless others too! ❀

Much love,

Tin

1st Year Wedding Anniversary Special: The Celebration

Hola, my dear beloved readers! πŸ™‚

I’d like to start this very LONG article with a note of gratitude to God for making things possible from provisions, clear weather, safe travel everywhere and everything else in between. I’d like to thank my dear husband as well for every small and great thing he did for us. I do not intend though to share every wedding anniversary celebration that hubby and I have as there are some moments that make it to social media and there are those which do not. But I thought I’d give credit to our first year wedding anniversary considering that the first year for newlywed couples is the hardest when it comes to adjustment and settling of differences.

Thus, this article will be a testimony on how the grace of God manifested in our first year as a married couple but most especially how God made our 1st year wedding anniversary celebration extra special.

As it is written,

Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” – 1 Corinthians 1:31

Amazing it is when a couple makes a really big and extra effort in putting God at the center of their marriage even though circumstances and schedules permit otherwise. If you are to ask me what are they, I’d give a few instances. One would be temptations. Numerous situations will tempt you and your hubby to behave in a manner that is not right with God. This does not just pertain to temptations of the flesh like lust but other temptations like fits of rage, harsh words, doubts, impatience and a whole lot more.

Another would be priorities. I believe most of us are guilty of this: prioritizing those that shouldn’t be. One example was when hubby and I were so engrossed watching movies or checking out social media stuff and then when it was time to hit the hay, we’re both too sleepy to pray. Or that moment when we’re supposed to go to church but we kind of miscalculated our schedules, we ended up doing household chores first.

For us, these were mistakes and/or realizations on how to put God at the center. Going to church is not enough. In fact, we learned that putting God at the center of our lives meant every single thing that we do whether at home, or in work or in school whether we are with each other or with other people, God should always be included. It has to be Him whom we should think about first and consider whether it would be pleasing and honorable to God or whether it is in accordance to God’s will.

I have shared in my first article regarding our 1st year wedding anniversary (1st Year Wedding Anniversary Special: Mister and Missus) the nitty gritty details of our lives as a husband and a wife. But in this article, it’ll be more of the “greater learning”  that Brian and I have gathered in the 1st year of our experiences together. I haven’t mentioned yet the really not-so-good-stuff that he and I went through although I thought I’ll just give an overview on how most of them went – never good, always bad and sometimes worst.

The worst so far is something that you could think of as unbearable. Not just for us but for those who loved us too which made them intervene so it wouldn’t turn out to be THE worst. I am referring to our parents and our families. They are our mentors in this season. They’ve been there with us since the first day that Brian and I got married.

I couldn’t imagine my life as a wife and we wouldn’t be where we are now after multiple attempts of separating if it wasn’t for God sending these mentors and for all the advice, the encouragement and words of wisdom that our families have shared especially on my side. I felt I had to share some of the tough times that Brian and I went through with them to seek for counsel right away lest I become too emotional over matters and I would overlook important and necessary things.

It has always been my belief to seek wisdom in a matter of different perspectives and never one sided only. Relying on one’s own interpretation of situations could lead to a clouded judgment and in decision making, it is crucial that we get to see the bigger picture of what really goes on. Being a woman, my emotions tend to get in the way thus accountability partners are very much well appreciated on my part.

If there’s one prayer that I have for now, it is that God would continue to protect our marriage and continue to prepare me and Brian and provide all that we needed holistically so that we would be ready in any given circumstance when the enemy strikes. We always remind each other during a heated discussion that it is not one another that we are against but the forces of evil in this world.

I can only love and thank God that through our very trying times being married, God answered our call for help. All those desperate and hopeless times felt like there’s no better way to go through them but to quit and yet God never fails, His love never fails – He always remained faithful and true to His promises and His reminders are always there.

Thinking back of those times when we thought we were the cruelest, most selfish of people going through the most challenging situations ever did God teach us all about humility and submission. Forgiveness makes a whole lot of difference most especially if it is accompanied with sincere apologies and sincere actions of change.

Ahhh yes, those days were over. If they do come back, we know how to deal with it. We may not deal with it completely as perfect as how we should deal with it, but I know and I am positive there will be changes. This is God’s way of perfecting our faith in us. There will be more to come, but looking back, all I ever saw was one set of footprints and that is enough assurance that I have such a powerful God who can lift me up in whatever circumstance I am going through.

Now on to the testimony of our 1st year wedding anniversary celebration, I just don’t know how to express my gratitude and my happiness on how the Lord our God moved in behalf of us. AMAZING. Though this is not enough to describe it, that is the only word from my human vocabulary that I could think of to describe what transpired over that weekend.

August 17 was our anniversary date. It fell on a Wednesday. Brian and I planned our celebration the 1st weekend after that date. I was the one who made all the arrangements as Brian was busy at work and I, on the other hand, had an ample time to spare to inquire about this and that. I was also in charge with the budgeting and it is only Brian’s income that we’re relying on so I need to make sure we won’t go over the budget. So there was me searching all kinds of great but budget-friendly options.

The plan: have a dinner cruise in the evening, then an overnight-stay at the hotel. So there were only 2 items in our itinerary. Then came the cancellation of the dinner cruise as yacht was under maintenance so we were given options to choose among the dates they have offered and August 28 was the nearest from our wedding anniversary though it’s already 2 weeks away from the actual date.But I thought it wouldn’t matter anyway as it still falls on our anniversary month. I am not really particular about dates I even forget them, the special ones included. *wink*

So came August 17, and I thought we’re gonna treat it as a regular day since we’re going to celebrate it anyway. But lo and behold, to my surprise, Hubby arrived home from work braving the heavy rains and all the traffic with something in his hand – a bouquet of assorted flowers. Okay, now he and I had an agreement that I will only receive one flower from him in our entire lifetime together and that will be the first and the last as I will be preserving it – a memorabilia on preserving our love together as a couple. This was the rose that he gave me on our first Valentine’s day date back when we were still dating.

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When I saw the bouquet of course I smiled my widest, gave him a tight hug and a sweet kiss and then told him that he doesn’t have to. His answer was that he knew I will like them. So I teased him that now I have so many flowers to preserve and I am running out of glass canisters to put them. lol

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Well, I guess both of us knew what each of us wanted because I also made him a video which was a compilation of our wacky shots since we first met up to now. I showed it to him that night as well when he gave me the bouquet.

So now came the week before our final schedule for the celebration. That week had a pretty rough weather we were really running out of hopes that we’ll be celebrating the anniversary with a clear weather which means our plans will be ruined or we’ll make do of what we can. I never thought about canceling our plans but Brian wanted to move it to a later date.

Unfortunately we have limited options in doing so so I assured him to have faith, be patient, trust in the Lord and that we’ll continue praying. Come Thursday Brian was having pressing moments at work. I was sure he will really appreciate being able to do some adventurous stuff knowing the sporty person that he is. So I thought about coming up with another item in our itinerary – go to Rizal and have some nature and adventure fun in Daranak Falls. It was so out of the original plan but I checked the budget, we’ll still make it. I suggested the idea and he approved, excitedly approved actually.

I checked out reviews and blogs about the place and we came up with an itinerary. A few hours before we left, heavy rains still poured every now and then that my husband had dampened spirits too. I cheered him up when we woke up in the morning and saw the sun peering out. But hubby still told me it might rain hard for the rest of the day. We’re going to be doing a lot of road traveling and sight seeing and doing it on a rainy weather is a no-no as roads are slippery and we won’t enjoy the view anyway.

I once again comforted him that God has already answered our prayer request for a clear weather which we’ve been praying for how many nights in a row already. I told him that we should never give up along the way as my mentors would always remind me to look at the bigger picture, never on the road block or the problem that’s blocking the road or the view and to continue focusing on the goal and not on the journey. Our goal was to enjoy our wedding anniversary celebration in whatever circumstance.

So we ate an early breakfast and started heading out. Indeed, the Lord was faithful. For the rest of our first day/part 1 celeb, we’ve been given a clear weather. We’ve enjoyed nature at its best on a sunny weather. Just right because the falls were cool. If it was raining that day, we wouldn’t be able to withstand the cold water for long. But since it was a sunny day, hubby and I just had the best time having a hydro massage at the mini falls across the huge one.

Usually the place is flocked every weekend since it is just an hour ride away from the metro. But I guess since nobody expected for the weather to clear up right away on that day, there was only a small crowd (about 10-15 people) who was enjoying the resort with us. You could choose to roam around downstream, the huge falls, the river bed, the two smaller falls and you’ll still get a space for a nice shot without a photobomber. *wink*

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The splendor of Mother Nature.

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A very beautiful specie of butterfly fluttering around me while trying to take a good shot of her – the first of its kind.

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Here goes hubby’s epic jump!

 

Here’s a short video of our escapade there (do watch it at 480p):

God is good all the time, eh? But wait, that’s just the beginning of our itinerary. Because the 2 events we originally listed became 8. Well, I couldn’t count exactly because it all just happened out of the blue. We’re like going along the flow whichever God would want us to do and want us to have.

So we got to visit the windmills farm, the parola beside the lake (which I thought was a sea growing up in a coastal area), checked out the old historical church nearby and tried some local cuisine for snacks.

Everything went perfectly well even with how we managed the time (and expenses) and no traffic! Ha! Hubby was sure glad to drive with ease the whole time being surrounded with all the greenery. The car we used was Brian and his brother’s as they have another one for the family car. They share in using it but I told Bri to let his brother use it as they already have a baby and commuting with a toddler is tad difficult. Told him we will just borrow when there is a pressing need like this anniv celeb which happens only once a year. So praise God that the car was good to go as well for this event. πŸ˜€

When hubby and I got home, we started preparing for the part 2 of our celeb the next day which fell on a Sunday. Of course, Sundays are meant for God so if there is an itinerary, ggoing to church should be the first priority or if not, it should be included. We planned to stay at a hotel around Ortigas area after our dinner cruise so I suggested we attend church nearby or along the way to Manila bay.

Searched the Victory church website and found one at Robinsons Galleria mall. It has always been a habit for me and Brian to find a church nearby if we have activities lined up on Sunday. It was our first time at Victory Ortigas and every Victory church has their own communion schedule if I am not mistaken. We missed having one in our home church at Victory Katipunan for the month of August. But to our surprise, on that Sunday, it was communion day for Victory Ortigas. Yaaaay! Oh, the goodness of the Lord just goes on and on. A blessed Sunday it was as the events lined up on that day was also the “meat”  of the celebration.

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Early birds at Victory Ortigas.

After church, hubby and I decided to go directly to Manila bay for our dinner cruise. Guess what too, the new yacht assigned to us caters only a small group of people meaning it will give the guests a more exclusive experience. The yacht looked great too. We were supposed to be served a full-course plated meal with iced tea but since the yacht was small, they changed the caterer and the sea was expected to be rough these months too so they served them in bento boxes. But I preferred it this way because I don’t like my food spilling over my plate when the yacht changed courses or worse, spilling them over my dress. That is my worst nightmare during a date. lol BUT the best part which was not included in the package was a complimentary refillable glass of wine being offered to guests. Yaaay again!

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Welcome aboard!

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Aboard M/Y Selina.

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God is so full of surprises, ain’t He? So hubby and I were enjoying our dinner cruise moment and 1 hour was just not enough especially if you’re gonna take photos around the yacht, eat and drink. Or maybe we were having so much fun we totally lost track of the time. *wink*

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The view of the bay from the yacht.

So final verdict? We’re definitely going to relive the experience but on a summer night AND when there is a pyromusical event at SM Mall of Asia. Now that gives you an idea how you could spend a romantic date with your special someone too. Let’s share the love, shall we? We say, cheers to that! πŸ™‚

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After dinner we went to SM Mall of Asia to catch pokemons. lol But nope, I am no pokemon go player. My husband tried it out of curiosity thus tried to catch some while we’re still in the area and ordered our favorite fraps at Starbucks located along the boulevard. Now it was late already when we got to Richmonde hotel where we will spend the night away.

Entering this classy hotel will make you lost in translation. I was totally loving the hotel’s elegant interiors probably because I like earth tones when it comes to color choices and gold never fails to magnify the sophistication of every item like black. It was actually the color motif of hubby and I for our dinner date – yellow/gold and black.

We went inside our room which was very cozy by the way and it matched the elegance of the hotel’s lobby. Since we were dead tired because of the previous events especially hubby who was diving and swimming his heart out in Daranak falls, we’ve thought about having a massage. We tried the 90-minute Swedish aromatherapy massage at Nuat Thai near the hotel and I found myself giggling, not because of the massage, but the snoring client beside my room. lol

Well, I couldn’t blame him. The massage was so good, so therapeutic and relaxing it’ll really make you doze off. I am not really a massage lover but I appreciated it so much in a way that it made me so calm and relaxed after the session. Hubby said that he, too, fell asleep. Hmmmm, was he the one who snored?! lol πŸ˜€

I didn’t know massages can make you go hungry. *wink*  So afterwards, we went ahead and had a tapsilog meal at Rufo’s. When we got back to the hotel we were just so drowsy and we understood why, it’s already 1am! Okay, it’s really time for taps.

The next day/part 3 of the celeb we had our sumptuous and delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel’s cafe. We had no photos as we don’t want to break the sophisticated atmosphere with us taking selfies everywhere. We felt like it’s inappropriate especially when expats were eating beside your table. *wink*  We then decided to take a swim at the hotel’s heated pool and we couldn’t capture a pretty decent shot lest some of the guests might be irritated if they’d find out their faces were included in the photo without their permission. I happen to have one taken but a lady just made it in time as a photobomber. lol No offense though, it oftentimes happens. *wink*

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His signature squint, my signature pout. πŸ˜‰

By the time we finished our morning dip at the pool we headed back to our room and prepared for the check out. We decided to have the car washed, loaded up and went on our way home sweet home. Then, it began to rain. πŸ˜€

Alas, we’re now finally at the comfort of our quaint little home. This home of ours was a little apartment that my siblings and I shared starting when we were all studying in college. When my eldest sister and brother got married, my second sister worked in Norway and my third sister went to our home province to be with our parents, I was left alone. So now my hubby and I are occupying this place.

I always tell my husband that it is such a privilege for us to live in this minimalist and simple home. We had nothing to worry about the stuff that we needed and my siblings and I used to take turns in doing a house makeover every now and then. So many memories are in here thus it is always a reminder for us to take good care of this humble abode. I used to hate cleaning but I love it now especially when I see the aftermath. We do have plans of getting our own house but we’ll have to wait and trust God and His right time with that. πŸ™‚

The events during the weekend went on smoothly and we’re still right on track with our budget. The provisions of God do overflow when you share what you need to give and you have faith that only God is the sole provider of everything. Besides, it’s better to give than to receive anyway. *big smiles there*  Everything was planned out perfectly because God planned it that way. I am just extremely thankful for everything. We just have a great God, haven’t we?

I couldn’t imagine how Brian and I managed to celebrate it with so much ease, no worries and no hassle knowing we were relying on his income alone for our expenses; secondly, his schedule at work was difficult to arrange and lastly, the weather didn’t go well a couple of weeks prior to the celeb. It was a combined celebration of simplicity and elegance, adventure and sophistication, nature and man-made – the perfect balance.

It actually doesn’t matter what are the particulars when it comes to celebrating special moments with a loved one. The good and bad memories that you and your spouse build every single day are enough to remind you of the love that you have for each other which is more important than any celebration in every marriage. Love rules, love wins, and love is all that matters. (I think I heard myself singing that. lol)

But the truth of the matter is that a marriage requires this – FAITH. When it comes to faith, I only have these two to think about:

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. – Hebrews 12:22

Keep the faith ALWAYS too, my dear brothers and sisters! ❀

Much love,

Tin and Bri

A Marriage vs. A Wedding

“A God-centered marriage matters more to God than a grand wedding.”

This was a reminder to me even before Brian and I chose to have our civil wedding first. We were both aware that when we signed our marriage contracts, a marriageΒ  is not just a piece of paper that you sign on – it is a Holy Matrimony, a sacred covenant. It just makes me sad when I see marriages that failed. I know I have no right to meddle in what a couple went through in their marriages and assume what decision is best for them except to pray about it and yet it was one of my goals to somehow enlighten them in keeping one of God’s greatest blessings which is the marriage – the foundation of every family where children are born and raised as future citizens, successors and disciples in our society.

This is probably the reason why I took the risk of sharing sensitive situations regarding conflicts that my husband and I go through hoping that many will be able to appreciate that they are not alone in what they are going through as a couple. That they, too, might realize marriages are sometimes painful and yet sometimes it is joyful too. I was hoping that realizations such as putting God at the center of the marriage along with prayers make all the difference for as long as not one of the couple gives up. Or if even one gives up, then the other should do the effort to save it regardless who is at fault or if he/she will be making most of the sacrifices.

The goal should always be to keep the covenant intact and always look at the finish line of every marriage which is “until death do us part.” Never give up and give one another a room for mistakes and a chance to grow. It is also best to always remember to keep the faith no matter what and that there is no perfect couple, no perfect marriage but one perfect God who makes all things possible.

Honestly, there was one time a couple of months back wherein my husband and I had this very huge fight that ended in us giving in to weaknesses and anger ruled the most part of that fight resulting to me asking him to pack his things up and leave me. I went upstairs and left him packing his stuff.

God intervened – my husband can’t find his passport. He came up to me twice asking about it and I saw in his eyes how hurt he was and pleading silently that I let him stay. But pride took over me and pride took over him as well – no apologies took place from either of us. That missing passport moment was the Spirit’s way of stalling him from storming out of the house and the opportunity for me to apologize and let things go back to normal.

Yes, we regret that we allowed sin to rule our hearts that night. I took my headphones and listened to the radio. Yet another divine intervention took place as I ended up listening to a Christian radio station. Now this gave me peace and an urge to apologize right away and stop him from leaving but I shrugged it off and decided to sleep my exhaustion off.

A good and a bad thing – good, the Spirit was there all along; bad, my husband took off in the middle of the night taking a bus going to their house in the province. I woke up 3hours after with this scenario and I was aghast when I found out he really did take me seriously when I asked him to leave the house. I was confident he wouldn’t do it.

So my wifey instinct came all rushing in and I began to worry BIG time. What if something happened on his way home, he got mugged or stabbed or got beaten up by drunkards. YES, I panicked and I can never forgive myself when that happened. So I called him even if it is 3 am already. I know I had to because that is the right thing to do.

He answered my call. WHEW! Big sigh of relief there. The first thing I asked was if he was home and what followed was my apology. Told me he was about to sleep as he and his mom were talking. He told me we will talk things out in the morning.

When he got back home the next day, he told me that when he was already at the bus with all his stuff, something in him says that what he is doing is wrong and he should turn back. But part of him says that he’s already in the bus anyway so he might as well push through in going to his Mom’s place.

I told my husband that the one part that tells you what you are doing is bad and urges you to do it the right way, that is the Spirit living inside you whilst the one that says continue sinning, that is the work of the enemy.

We were already advised in the Marriage Preparation seminar in church to never leave when tough times hit home. His mom advised him the same thing saying both of us will be more vulnerable to temptations and attacks of the enemy if we choose to separate than talk the problem out. We learned our lesson quite the hard way there but as what his mom told us, it is a good thing forgiveness of each other’s faults and reconciliation took place within just a matter of hours. She continued that we might never know what greater damage we could have brought upon our marriage if we held on to anger, pride and more sins.

We vowed to never again let the same incident happen. Anger is really one of the enemy’s ways to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t give him the advantage. EVER. We are well aware though that this is only the beginning of even greater battles with the enemy.

Back to weddings and marriages, if time comes I’ll end up like my Mom who chose to be married through a civil wedding only, then I’ll accept it as God’s will but I will choose to honor God instead on how I deal with my spouse and how I handle issues in our marriage obeying God’s commands and laws. Just a little trivia on me: I hate being on the spotlight (the introverted me). I ended up asking my eldest sister to assign me with the very least spotted role during her wedding 14 years ago and it took months before my brother was able to convince me to be one of the bridesmaids on his wedding day last year. πŸ˜€ So having a civil wedding was already perfectly fine with me. But I just felt I still need to have a church wedding, in God’s perfect time.

My husband and I have already made plans that if circumstances and God’s plans will not allow the church wedding to take place sooner, we will have it in our 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary. Well, that’s for me. Unfortunately my husband thinks we’ll be too old by then and told me he’d love to have it on our Silver Wedding Anniversary instead. I asked him if he is worried about the idea that one of us will have amnesia we wouldn’t remember who we got wed to or what the celebration is for, he just laughed. Okay, I guess I nailed the truth as for his reason why. πŸ˜€

Even before I got into a relationship I have already set my mind to have a small, intimate wedding. Intimate in a way that I intend my dream church wedding be held on top of a high mountain with clouds surrounding everywhere and only the officiating Pastor, me and my groom will be present. The spectacular view to me is just so surreal and it portrays how magnificent our God is and His creations. I was able to experience it first during my community outreach/field work in one of my classes in my graduate study and I was overwhelmed by the experience which made me decide that this is the perfect wedding scenario for me. You can read more of it here:Β https://chinginete.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/benguet-the-trip-up-north/

If you have read the article, I mentioned that awesome moment as “Heaven here on Earth…”

Yes, that is exactly the reason why I wanted my church wedding to be where I am closest to God. The clouds reminded me of God, I just feel His strong presence when I see the clouds. One of the biggest oaths I have made for the rest of my life was during my wedding day which is an oath of commitment with my spouse in front of God. A wedding is all about God and the Holy Matrimony. I thought it better if the general feel of my dream church wedding would be something really solemn – a moment wherein me and my husband will be able to connect with God deeply, sincerely and with less distractions as possible.

We do plan to invite our parents as a way of honoring them as well as the rest of our friends and families. I know that they will be part of our lives forever and will be witnesses how our relationship as a married couple has grown throughout the years thus they will be an essential part of our church wedding. I know that they, too, will honor the special moment that my husband and I will be making.

Basically this is a deviation – a form of going against the norms when it comes to weddings. In the same way that having a civil wedding doesn’t make your marriage less holy as compared to a church wedding – it still is the union of a husband and a wife, God’s commands. Do allow me to delve deeper as to my own personal reasons why the kind of wedding that you have, civil or church, simple or grand doesn’t matter but on how you handle your marriage. But of course, in the end, we all have our own ways how to have our own weddings.

It doesn’t matter for me what gown I will be wearing, what we will be serving our guests, where we will be married and who will be our guests because a wedding for me takes place every single day. In every single day that you wake up, you affirm the vow that you made with your spouse. More so when both you and your spouse are being tested by the enemy to break and destroy God’s beautiful promises for you both. I cannot let that happen. There may be a little pride somewhere deep down of me still, but I can’t let the enemy win. I guess I’ll be rooting all my pride there – never let the enemy win.

God will appreciate a marriage centered on Him than a church wedding but without Him in the couple’s lives. For without God in the marriage, the marriage will surely fail and it’ll crumble. This leads to divorce which, as we all know, is strictly not allowed in the bible.

The bible has this to say about it:

β€œBut at the beginning of creation God β€˜made them male and female.’ β€˜For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, β€œAnyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.Β And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” – Mark 10:6-12

My only challenge to every couple like what my brother would always tell me every time I am on the verge of giving up on my husband and my marriage is that always look at the end goal and always keep in mind the vows that you have made before each other in the presence of the Lord as our way of honoring Him and the gift that He gave us which is our free will – our choice to marry this person and the choice to be with him/her forever.

For church weddings, these are examples of the vows exchanged between the groom and the bride:

Groom:
“Bride, knowing that it is God’s will for me to marry you, I make a commitment to you today, in the presence of our Lord, and before all these witnesses, to love you with an unconditional love. I will be faithful to you always, never leaving you nor forsaking you. I will lead, guide, protect, and provide. I will live with you in an understanding way, being thoughtful of your needs. I will honor you as a fellow heir of God’s grace. I commit myself to fulfill God’s plan for my life – to provide loving leadership and spiritual covering for you and our children. I commit to co-labor with you in the building of the Church and the advancement of God’s Kingdom, until the day Jesus returns in all His glory.”
Bride:
“Groom, knowing that it is God’s will for me to marry you, I make a commitment to you today, before God Almighty and before all these people to become your wife and helpmate. I commit to love you and submit to you as my spiritual covering. I will not hinder you but will inspire and encourage you as the head of our household. I commit to co-labor with you in the building of the Church and the advancement of God’s Kingdom until Jesus returns in all His glory.”

These vows were not made by men but instructed by God. Basically if we choose to not obey these, then we are disobeying God and we are breaking the covenant with Him.Β Yet for circumstances wherein divorce is really necessary, the bible also has this to say:

“But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Trials and challenges are part of love. Love is part of every couple. Every couple comprises a marriage. A marriage is the foundation of a family. A family is where children are born. Children are the next citizens that will comprise the society and more than that, they will be the future disciples of God. We are honoring God if we are bringing up our children in a Godly home.

The trials that we encounter in our marriages are God’s way of preparing us so we can be strong spiritual mentors, rooted in our faith and will become good examples to our children who will certainly follow our steps when they grow older, one way or the other.

We will never appreciate the beauty of salvation through the Cross if there is no circumstance that brought us to our knees.

We can never teach our kids this if we, ourselves, didn’t go through it.

I am supposed to research if there has been standards on what a church wedding should be like in the bible or what we are doing now is purely traditional and cultural but not biblical. As far as I know the bible cites many instances about marriages but not on weddings per se i.e. there should be a long line of entourage, a whole week of wedding celebration, etc.

Do enlighten me though on this so I could write it on another blog post. This one’s already too long. *wink* But just a couple more ideas before I wrap this up so please bear with me my dear readers. *smiles*

I have two memorabilia that I believe are the only things that are important in every marriage – the engagement ring which symbolizes my husband’s promise to commit to an even bigger promise and the wedding ring which symbolizes the fulfillment of that bigger promise. That BIG promise is to be together until death do us part.

WE

This is the challenge I have for myself as a wife every single day: fight for your spouse, fight for God in your marriage and save your marriage from anything and anyone who wants to ruin it by means of prayers. More importantly, seek for God’s protection, healing and guidance ALL the time.

Will share these two bible verses that might help when trouble comes in your marriage (or future marriage). The first is my brother’s key verse in his wedding followed by my key verse in our wedding:

“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

“There is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear…” – 1 John 4:18

Do not fear anyone, do not fear the problem nor the enemy BUT have faith that we have a God who makes the impossible possible.

I also would like to honor my parents in this article as they celebrated last June 1st their 43rd Wedding Anniversary. Hooray! Praise be to God for this. πŸ™‚

I am just grateful to God for giving me parents who are exemplars on how it is to keep a marriage intact through God’s love and His guidance. I look up to the marriage of my Dad and Mom, along with the marriages of my eldest sister and my brother, as examples of couples who continuously persevere in living out 1 Corinthians 13 and remain constant in putting God at the center of their marriages through the good and the bad.

My prayers are with you that regardless if you got married through a civil or a church wedding, in any battle that you and your spouse will go through, both of you will overcome it by God’s grace. Invite Him in your marriages and include Him in every day of your lives together.

If they can do it, then we also can for we all have God with us. πŸ™‚ ❀

“It takes a risk to get involved, but how many marriages could have been salvaged, how many relationships healed, how many bad decisions averted, if someone had loved enough to warn?” – Pastor Rick Warren

And the WINNER is…

Hi, friends!

The moment we have been waiting for in my 24-hourΒ You’ve Been Blessed! Raffle Promo is FINALLY here.

In case a lot of you are unfamiliar how the selection of winner/s in Rafflecopter goes, I made a vlogΒ (video log) instead so you’d see the step-by-step process how a winner is generated.

Now, let’s bring the excitement on and find out who is the blessed winner. πŸ˜‰

Congratulations sis and God bless!

Lots of ❀ ,

TIN πŸ™‚

 

How It Feels To Be A Rome

Most definitely you are wondering how can a person be a place at the same time. Or maybe thought that I made a grammatical error there putting the word “Rome” instead of “Roman.” Or mistakenly put the article “a”Β  instead of “in.”

Well, I guess this is part of the perks of being married to a man whose surname is spelled similarly to that of the capital of Italy. The only difference is that the surname is usually pronounced as /roh-me/ or ro:me.

This article though is not about my new surname per se but more of being a Mrs. Rome – the real deal.Β And of course, to commemorate our first monthsary as a married couple. Just a glimpse on how we fared as a newlywed couple since a lot are asking how it is so far with us. πŸ™‚

Two different personalities living in one roof. Yes, basically any married couple will agree to this. We completely have opposite personalities and backgrounds. And funny it is that all the married couple I know who have been married for quite some time now also possess the same opposite personalities. My Mom and Dad’s relationship is the closest example I have.

At night my husband easily gets cold, I prefer it colder. So we don’t share a blankie. Though when it gets really cold and I am sure I am about to freeze to death, there goes my “human fireplace.” πŸ˜‰

I am a night owl and wakes up late, he is an early riser and sleeps early. Now, this is really amusing. Because you can imagine me in bed at 9pm, which is the start of my “creative hour,” so there I am lying beside him tinkering with none other than the most handy gadget of everyone, the cellphone – writing a blog post, editing a photo on IG, reading articles and new recipes to try, listing down my things-to-do, and a whole lot of other things. Yes, that is how a phone is essential to me lately. He doesn’t like it sleeping alone so that’s where I come in to keep him company.

But here’s the bad part. I don’t like it waking up early because well, I slept late. πŸ˜€ But he wakes up early because he sleeps early. He is all “clownish” and kiddie-like in the early hours of the morning, hyperactive, energetic and all and there’s me grumpy and grunting every time he would disturb my sleep. But I had to cook him breakfast and well, I love him being the happy him, so I just make up all the lost sleep I had when he leaves for work.

One very obvious opposite though that we had a hard time dealing with, as it really is far too obvious to dismiss, is my being obsessive compulsive and him being laid back. I am always on the go doing anything that I can while he loves to take such great time in doing everything. I loved everything spic and span while he loves to just put things wherever he wishes to. And the long list goes on and on. πŸ˜€ I’ll be sharing more about how we dealt with this in the latter part of this article.

Another is managing our quirkiness like he removes the skin of a fried eggplant whereas I ate everything; I drink half a cup of any vinegar sauce/dip while he watches me with mouth agape. And we let it stayed that way. I mean, it doesn’t harm any of us when we do it. But I really wonder what is the difference of removing the skin of a fried eggplant when he eats the skin of an eggplant in a soup? Probably the same way he is wondering what joy/health benefits can I derive from drinking vinegar sauce. The best thing to do really is to let those quirky stuff about one another stay as they are. They are what makes us unique. πŸ˜‰

We have opposite interests too that seem to complement like he plays the drums, I play the guitar.Β He wants to learn how to play the guitar, I want to learn how to play the drums, we want each other to teach one another – we don’t have the time. So yup, we kind of complement each other there having no time at all. πŸ˜€

We do have our common interests too like we were so engrossed watching the previous episodes of The Walking Dead at night that we suddenly realized it’s been more than a week since we had our cuddling and romance time. Yes, forsaking romance over a TV show. We just laughed at the idea for we both know cuddling and romance time will always be there. Well, as it is written in the bible, everything has its own perfect time. πŸ™‚

Those were some of our personality differences and commonalities. Here comes the adjustment period or what we commonly know as “compromises” or meeting halfway. And just a heads up, it really is not as easy and as simple as it sounds. This is where the true test of character and faith in God enters in.

We grew up in different family backgrounds, system of values and upbringing which includes personal relationships with our parents and our siblings. Mine was sort of the traditional, reserved and independent kind while they are more of the intimate, really close and dependent with one another kind. This became a big struggle for us both especially on his part as the time has come he has to let go of those attachments and I know it will never be easy. I already made this letting go of attachments when I came here in Manila to study in college and left my parents in Bicol after the first 16 years of my life growing up with them. It was also a tough decision to make but I had to do it, my parents had to do it. It was painful, it wasn’t easy. There will be tears, there will be heartaches and my husband had to deal with it just now.

It took me a while to understand that, like how my siblings were patient with me when I dealt with my homesickness. I, too, should offer the same kind of sympathy, understanding and patience to him. Sometimes conflicts would arise because of this – but God’s grace always intervene enabling us both to consider what really matters at the moment. He helped both me and my husband understand what needs to be understood, what needs to be accepted and what needs to go. Slowly, the changes happened bit by bit and will continue to happen. It is all a question of who should we honor in this relationship – you, me, them or God?

Adjusting to one’s personality is difficult. That is why I would always explain to my husband that it is true what was shared in the Marriage Preparation seminar in church that it is best for newlywed couples to have their own “kingdom” because if it is already difficult for two different personalities to live in one roof, imagine if you are staying with your families, that will be multiple personalities in one roof – it will call for a major clash and chaos.

Sometimes there will come a time wherein adjustments, changes, and compromises do not come as you wish them to be. You have to prepare yourself for deviations, unfulfilled tasks or obligations and unmet expectations – a lot of those will happen which will fuel heated arguments, sleepless nights, crying spells and sadness. BUT take note that they should only happen for a certain duration of time. My brother and Mom told me that both you and your spouse have the choice to make the marriage work at ALL costs and it is only through your joint efforts that you can change the course of your marriage from something bad to something good. Well, it always has been a rocky start for any newlyweds. That is why my husband and I resorted to one best weapon to protect our marriage – PRAYERS.

We have both decided to make it part of our daily tasks to pray during the night before sleeping and in the morning when we wake up. I get to pray at night since he is already tired from work, and he gets to pray in the morning because I am still sleepyhead at that time. πŸ˜‰

Indeed, I can say that prayers are really so powerful that it never ever, ever failed to lift us up each and every single day. We would notice that when we skip even just one night or morning without a prayer, things don’t go as well as they should be. The attacks of the enemy are greater. So we made a promise that even if it is so tempting to just lie down and not pray or just skip praying and hurry going to work, CHOOSE TO PRAY.

And there really is something about praying that moves the Spirit within us. It always leaves you amazed. For example when we pray, we don’t usually talk what we would pray about, we just leave all of the praying to the person in charge. This way, we let the Spirit lead the prayer. And sometimes when it is my husband praying, I just want to cry at the middle of it. Because he would pray EXACTLY about the things that my heart wanted to pray for. They were not things about the marriage per se so I wonder how could he possibly know that that was what I wanted to pray too. So yes, after the prayer, there I was with a huge smile ready to greet him when he looks up. And when you say “Thank You,” you know that you are not only thanking the person in front of you who prayed for you both, but you are also saying your gratitude to the Spirit within him who made him utter that prayer.

And I have also proven the fact why men were appointed by God to be spiritual leaders. My husband prays very concise prayers while I, being the multitasker woman, with neurons simultaneously working with one another, I forget what I am praying in the middle of my prayer. UGH.

Ugh indeed. πŸ˜€ It is a good thing my husband has been listening attentively to what I am praying, so when I asked him what was I praying about with all the giggling and the laughing, he would tell me where I stopped – with all the serious look on his face. πŸ˜€

This makes me stop giggling, say my apologies and resume praying. I admit that it is very embarrassing. But how can I help it – me being the amnesia girl always and a lot of things going on in my mind always. Indeed, it is a matter of male and female brains – the male brain was created to focus and be good at one task while the female brain was made to be good with a lot of tasks but not so good in each of them. Men know how to decompartmentalize, while with us, women, well it is all chaos. πŸ˜‰

Here’s an example. I asked him to chop the ingredients we need for a meal I am cooking. And when I saw it, he got to finish it half the time I usually spend to finish it and he does it with the perfect cuts. I, on the other hand, I get to cook in one stove, prepare the table, wash the rice but with some mistakes here and there.

This is where he becomes my superhero/knight-in-shining-armor Adonis. He does some of the tasks that I can no longer accommodate with the heaps that I am currently doing or about to do. Like after cooking, he does the washing of the dishes. Or if I wash the laundry, he irons the clothes. Like there is one time that though I have listed all the ingredients I needed for a meal, I still missed one important ingredient. So there he went out the door buying that one ingredient. Good thing there is a nearby market from where we live. πŸ˜€

This wasn’t all too easy for him, the chores I mean. Since they grew up wherein everything was done for them even until now – from cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. But that was how they were raised so I needed to respect that and yet as my partner, I would need him to help me out with the chores too. I grew up the opposite wherein I learned things quite early in my teens and doing them now is just a piece of cake for me. So the adjustment there was me, handling a bit of an extra work load, as there will now be two persons living in the house instead of only me while he gets to slowly learn how to do things here at home. It required both of us to really exert all the patience, understanding and endurance that we could muster.

And yet God reminded us to do everything with love not as if you are doing it for men but for God. πŸ™‚

I am just grateful though that even if the schedule now for me is pretty hectic balancing everything here at home from budgeting to chores, to reading articles, doing research for my thesis, plan meals, etc. my cooking did not suffer – this is what I dread the most. πŸ˜€ I admit I am no very good cook although I do know how to cook. But after getting married, I now was given this responsibility to serve good and delicious meals to my husband and my future family. And if I’d be too tired already, I know I wouldn’t be able to serve the best meals. But because everything should be done with love, the output contains love. πŸ˜‰

It is enough compliment to see your husband munching and gobbling his food away, texting you after breakfast saying his gratitude for a hearty, delicious breakfast and for taking good care of him and this last one, which I really laughed out loud when he told me this:

“Honey, please don’t cook food that good so we won’t get fat as I don’t go to the gym anymore.”Β 

Now that really cracked me up. I was having hysterics when he told me that and even more when he said that he really was serious. I mean, how do I cook bad food?! πŸ˜€ I did not learn how to cook just so it would taste bad. LOL But oh well, that is my sweet husband back there – yup, my sweet, completely opposite partner in life. πŸ™‚

So the question I asked was, do we have to be really completely the same to get along?

This is where God comes in. If God wanted us to be the same, He would have created us with the same personalities. But we all know that that was not part of God’s universal design. No single creature in this world is the same, not even identical twins. I guess we can settle in the fact that God intended it to be that way because He created each and every one of us unique and beautiful in its own way.

A marriage demands patience, understanding, endurance and most of all forgiveness. A marriage is not about yourself anymore, but more about the other person you married. It is all about giving and never about getting. The most important thing is respect to one another and the differences you have and the willingness to adjust to a routine, agreement or compromise that is comfortable to both of you. I just want to share what we have learned in the Marriage Preparation seminar for it really comes handy when the need arises.

“3. Being united to your spouse requires Christ-like attitudes:

  • When a habit irritates, choose MERCY.
  • When a hindrance frustrates, choose GRACE.
  • When a hurt grieves, choose FORGIVENESS.”

There will be heated arguments, disagreements, failures and mistakes because a marriage is about two imperfect and broken people being joined by God’s Grace. God’s Grace and protection thru prayers will lead the marriage. For God is love and love is God. Without God in the marriage, it is impossible to give our spouses the love that they deserve.

God intends to teach a married couple only two things: for the husband, leadership and for the wife, submission. πŸ™‚

As a wife, I have a lot of questions, fears, doubts and worries. And yet God would always assure me to never worry about tomorrow but just listen intently to what God instructs you to do for today, for the moment.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34

P.S.

You will never learn the nitty gritty details on how it is to build and protect your own family without the wisdom shared by the families you came from. I love my family and my husband’s family and I wish to honor them as one of God’s appointed blessings in ushering us in our married life. πŸ™‚

Backtrackin’ V-Day 2014

When nostalgia hits you, all you’ve got to do is press rewind and off you go to reminisce mode. Thus, this post. πŸ˜‰

Before starting this article, I have one thing to ask:

Will the celebration of Valentine’s Day ever be possible without it being commercialized?

I can neither say I am guilty of that nor do I disapprove of it. For the sole reason that I intend to mash-up both ways in celebrating Valentine’s Day: the traditional and the contemporary. The genuine and the commercialized, so to speak. πŸ˜€

Let me enumerate why.

The common a.k.a. commercialized Valentine’s Day celebration include but is not limited to flowers, chocolates, gifts, and lavish dates. It involves meticulous and extensive planning weeks prior to the “big day.” Not to mention that it also requires resources: money, time and effort. What is good about them? It is considered a good investment in the relationship synonymous to this – the happiness of your significant other matters more than anything else. The only reason why it should be celebrated in such a manner – never because it is the fad and never because everyone does it. Deviate from the norm by regarding it differently. Remaking the ordinary to make it extraordinary as I put it. πŸ˜‰

Which leads me now to the Β traditional way of celebrating it, way back when our ancestors have no other means to celebrate it with their loved ones except through a simple but meaningful time spent together devoid of any material gift and lavish dates. I would like to stress out this word in this portion of the article – meaningful. Yes, that is far more important than anything else in every date. πŸ™‚

So to backtrack….I found myself wondering. Was I successful in combining the two in celebrating Valentine’s Day with my special guys? YES. And I have God to thank for the opportunity as well as the provisions. He made it all happen. I dated two guys – Him and him.

God gave us the opportunity to spend Valentine’s Day in a very meaningful way, commercialized too but only to a minimum. πŸ˜‰

It has been my tradition to watch any of the UP Feb fair concerts which usually falls on the week of Valentine’s Day. I was more than glad when our Managing Editor, Ms. Anj, gave the writing assignment to me to cover the event for When In Manila, an online publishing company where I am currently a writer. But the fun never stopped there, because the host of the Valentine’s Day concert was a Christian organization in UP, the UP Students of Destiny and Brian was free to attend the event with me. I don’t call it luck, I call it God’s plans. πŸ˜€

Read more about the concert and our superb time there here:

http://www.wheninmanila.com/kontrakultura-3-born-for-love-set-the-hearts-ablaze/

Tin Ginete

Brian and I with our couple hoodies at the Kontrakultura 3 concert grounds. πŸ™‚

Surprises are never my thing, but I am getting used to it and loving it especially when they come from God and from the person you love. Yihee! πŸ˜€

Kidding aside now, before the concert, Brian and I met up and he gave me a rose, a very pretty one. But not only that. Along with it he handed me a work of art – a love message in the form of a poem. Though I must say he is trying to imitate my being a poetess. hahaha Kidding. πŸ˜‰ (You’ve done such an amazing job by the way, baby! I love you to pieces. πŸ™‚ )

Tin Ginete

Roses are red and poems are the sweetest.

The day after, February 15, Brian asked me if I can have a post V-Day dinner and movie date with him, to which I said yes of course but I also thought that something is lacking. I was looking for that real essence of what Valentine’s Day is really all about – selfless, meaningful love, a love that is not only revolving between Brian and I. I prayed to God and I asked for guidance and for answers. Then the answer came – spend it with the people who are close to you and who need your utmost love too. The first person who crossed my mind was Ate Daisy. She is the mom of the family whom I serve as a Family Support Volunteer for the Victory QC Community Outreach Ministry.

My admiration for Ate Daisy is beyond words. A mom of 4, raising her children on her own as her husband passed away two years ago, she is indeed the true modern “superwoman.” She carries that heavy responsibility of being both a father and a mother to her kids (2 of them are in college already), working 6 or 7 days in a week doing laundry to earn money and provide for her family. It was my first time to volunteer and I have a lot of apprehensions. My first question to God was this: how can I help them knowing that I don’t have the means sufficient enough to help them (financially, new in the faith, not enough experience, etc.)?

And yet, came His answer: your presence is enough. πŸ™‚Β 

So there it was. When a message is being delivered from up above, I do nothing but follow. And I was surprised even more: I was given provisions to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for Ate Daisy and her family, the free time, and a willing companion – Brian. I was nothing more but the happiest. It was my first visit and yet it was the most memorable. We were able to visit Ate Daisy, who greeted us with all smiles, talked with her and asked her how she’s been doing. We left her feeling happy and grateful making us happy and grateful too. After the visit, we ended our Saturday with a dinner and movie date which Brian promised. (Thank you, thank you, baby.)

But I know that this is only the beginning of more meaningful moments, of sharing to the people we care about the beautiful promises of God. We have a faithful God and I will continue to be grateful to Him for that. πŸ™‚

I was planning my next visit to Ate Daisy for this month but I couldn’t decide the exact date yet. I thought I’ll just pray to God and wait when will be His perfect time for it. I prayed that He would equip me. Two days ago, I received the answer, The Crossroads training for Family Support Volunteers will be held starting this week to equip us, volunteers, to better help the families assigned to us. The best part is that God arranged and cleared my schedule though I have several commitments so I could attend them all. Β God makes things perfect in His time, indeed.

Oh, Father God, thank you so much! May praise and glory be given to You always. I cannot speak of anything else except that. You are my greatest blessing. πŸ™‚

I am grateful to Him too for giving me my partner in my mission to help spread God’s greatness and His message. Just to share a little bit of the love message that Brian gave me (I can’t share everything as it is far too special. πŸ˜‰ ) which became my prayer too by the way, here it is:

Tin Ginete

“Embrace us, oh Father, as we walk with You in our journey together.” – J. B. G. R.

And because it was a very memorable Valentine’s Day for me, not only because it is my first Valentine’s Day with Brian but because I intend to make the ordinary as extraordinary, I have thought about preserving one good memorabilia of that day: the ROSE. πŸ˜‰

I have received roses before but not once did it cross my mind to preserve them. Not until now. So I looked up over the internet how to preserve them which includes hanging the rose upside down, and letting it dry for a couple of weeks. When completely dried, spray with a little bit of hairspray to keep the petals from falling off. I am planning to put it inside a glass container to keep the dust away from the petals as it is hard brushing the petals off without damaging any single one of them.

And here is a picture of my special rose before and after. πŸ™‚

Tin Ginete

BEFORE and AFTER

The single rose, if you have watched The Phantom of the Opera, is a symbol and a reminder of the Phantom’s love for Christine (the leading lady in the movie).

This rose, for me (being Christine too), is my memorabilia of Brian’s love for me and a promise of my God’s amazing love too. Awww, I know. Please don’t kill me for being extremely mushy. hahaha πŸ˜€

Seriously, here is whatΒ I have to say, start loving my God too and you will never, ever regret you did that. πŸ˜‰