WP Community Appreciation: Kennedy Award Of Excellence

First and foremost, I would like to thank my fellow blogger Tangie Woods of Mrs. T’s Corner for her effort in nominating my blog for the Kennedy Award of Excellence. Thank you so much for appreciating my posts. ❤️

The Kennedy Award of Excellence aims to recognize a blog which, “through its writing, presentation, and objectives, fosters human values; promoting intellectual, emotional and moral growth of peers.”

RULES:

  1. The recipient may thank the person who has nominated him/her.
  2. The recipient should post a photo of the award on his/her blog in a post.
  3. The recipient may nominate as many blogs for this award (minimum five) but after careful thought.
  4. The recipient must answer questions from the nominee.

Here are my answers to Tangie’s questions:

  1. When did you start blogging? – I started blogging in 2014.
  2. What is your blogging objective? – I plan to use my blog as a testimony of my spiritual journey.
  3. What motivated you to start blogging? – When I was born again, I received the calling to start my blog and write about my struggles and triumphs as a Christian.
  4. Do you see blogging as a long-term goal? – Yes, I’ll continue writing as long as I am able to do so. 
  5. Is there a specific topic you enjoy? – I prefer reflective writing centered on faith and Christianity. 

It took me a while to write this post. Every blog I came across here on WordPress is beautiful in a special way and uniquely representative of each person’s character and life experiences. They can all transform a reader’s experience by words alone. So choosing blogs for this nomination was a bit of a challenge for me but also fun in a way.

I intend to feature other blogs for other future awards. But for the meantime, here are some of the blogs I’d like to nominate for this award:

  1. The Christian Blog Ghana 
  2. Saving Supergirl
  3. New Life in Christ Jesus
  4. Beauty Beyond Bones
  5. Bulan Lifestyle

To my fellow nominees, congratulations! Here are my questions, and I am looking forward to reading them and hope to get to know you even better (all your stories are worth reading). 

  1. How do you choose the topic for your next blog?
  2. What were your challenges when you started blogging?
  3. How has blogging helped you during this pandemic?

Thank you to all those who will participate and have participated in this community appreciation challenge. I also pray for every blogger out there to be the source of hope and light during these very difficult times. May the Lord give us the wisdom, the creativity, the passion, and the courage to continue what we have already started here on WordPress.

“I (We) can do all things through Christ who gives me (us) strength.” – Philippians 4:13

Always blogging from the deepest recesses of her soul,

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E.O. No. 26 Nationwide Smoking Ban: Should I File A Legal Case Or Not?

So the neighbor once again smoked. It’s 2:21 am to be exact, and I’m still wide awake because I’m finishing the laundry. I believe this is how my allergic rhinitis worsened. They smoke in the wee hours of the morning when all our windows are open, and we’re fast asleep.

And this is even worse. We get to inhale the cigarette smoke without us knowing, and you can imagine how much of that smoke they puffed got inside our lungs. This is the disadvantage in communities like this where only a wall separates you from your neighbor – you hear and smell pretty much everything.

I am angry. Right now. I want to go outside and just shout at them and wake up the whole neighborhood. But something inside me told me it’s wrong. Instead, I thought it best to file a formal complaint against them at the admin’s office. Here are some parts of my complaint:

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EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 26: NATIONWIDE SMOKING BAN

I am filing this complaint at the administration’s office first thing in the morning. While I would like to choose being kind, I cannot allow their irresponsibility to cause irreversible effects on our health. For one, they are not the ones who will pay for my medical fees when I get hospitalized because my health is already compromised due to second-hand smoke.

I am posting this here just in case anything bad would happen to me and my husband after filing the complaint i. e. harassments, threats, etc. , then they will be the first persons to be investigated upon by the authorities. I believe this is what God meant by correcting the bad behavior the right way and never using my wrath to commit another sin.

I will leave it to God and the law of our country to give justice and correct what is wrong. I am doing this not just for me and my husband, but for the other neighbors as well in this floor.

I know what I am doing is what God wanted me to do a long time ago. And I am confident that this is the right thing to do guided by these Bible verses:

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” – Isaiah 1:17

“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” – Leviticus 19:15

Our neighbor, if you are reading this, I wrote this to give you a second chance and hoping we can settle this peacefully:

I tried to understand them as a person – flawed and yet someone who also needs God’s love and grace like me. Napapa-smile din ako kapag naririnig kong nagkukulitan ang mga bata sa terrace. They remind me noong kabataan ko at kung paano kami magkulitan na magkakapatid. Kahit maiingay, they somehow bring life to the eerie silence dito sa community paminsan. One of them sings beautifully, too.

What I hate is ‘yung act ng pag-smoke. Because ang epekto sa aming health ni Brian ay irreversible. I am also concerned about their kids at sa kanila din. They can actually smoke because my designated smoking area sa aming community although it’s one block away from our building.

I always pray na they will be able to overcome the addiction not just for us, their neighbors, but for their own sake. And yet kung hindi talaga kaya, okay lang sa akin na sa condo sila mag-smoke as long as isara nila ang pintuan at bintana nila ng maayos so no smoke could escape palabas na pwede naming malanghap.

The windows and terrace door ng mga units were all designed to completely seal any air from coming in or going out so they can still smoke if they really can’t control the urge. As long as huwag sa terrace. And yet I pray that they would quit altogether alang-alang sa mga anak or kamaganak nila lalo na ngayong panahon ng COVID 19.

I may not know their reasons for smoking and their need to smoke, and yet I know they have struggles, too, at baka ito lang din ang alam nilang way para ma-relieve sila. That is why I cover them with prayers always. Dahil ‘yun lang ang tanging paraan na alam ko na makakatulong ako sa kanila.

 

Sincerely praying for our neighbor’s cooperation,

 

And So The Rebuke Came

I just logged back in on Fb today. Naisipan ko mag-social media fasting buong araw kahapon after sharing about the issue with our neighbor to clear my head (the previous article). And yet nakita siguro ni God na my heart is still in turmoil kaya ito ang nangyari kahapon.

A Random Message But Just The Right One

I received a message sa LinkedIn. It’s from someone na hindi ko ka-connection and the message was about the last days here in this world before judgment day. It’s a random message from someone I barely know. Naisip ko baka nabasa nya ang blog ko at dito sya nag-message. Pero mukhang hindi.

Nagtaka din ako dahil professional profile ang account ko sa LinkedIn and wala akong kahit isang post doon about faith or Bible verses. Kaya naisip ko na baka inudyok din sya ng Panginoon to send that message randomly or on purpose.

How To Decipher God’s Message

Sa message ni Sir Joe, marami syang verses na pinapabasa as references. Naging habit ko na simula noong bagong born-again Christian pa lang ako na kapag may Bible verse na itinuro si God, I read the verses before it at ang mga susunod pang verses.

Sometimes buong chapter binabasa ko or several chapters. Pakiramdam ko kasi ang gusto ni God is malaman natin ang entirety ng Kanyang message hindi lang sa isang verse kundi sa buong konteksto ng Scripture.

How God Reveals Himself

Isa sa mga references na ibinigay ni Sir Joe ay Psalms 37:10. When I read the previous verses, doon ko nakita ang sagot ni God sa aking panalangin lately. Pero sino nga ba talaga si Sir Joe? Bakit nya ako pinadalhan ng message out of the blue but exactly at the right time – and exactly the answer that I was asking from God? Coincidence?

I guess paulit-ulit kong babanggitin na there is no such thing as coincidence sa faith. It is all part of God’s plans. When we seek Him with all our hearts and humble ourselves before Him, He always reveals Himself sa atin. At kadalasan sa mga paraan na ‘di kayang i-grasp ng ating human comprehension. Mahirap intindihin paano nangyari pero ang mahalaga, His message got through:

“Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.” – Psalms 37:8-9

Nothing Is Ever Hidden From God

I guess patunay ito na God sees everything. Nakikita Nya anong laman ng mga puso natin. In my case, God knows how stubborn I can be and very determined when I want to do something. He knows all our plans, thus, He will rebuke when He knows our plans will do us more harm than good.

Regarding doon sa ibang Bible verses ni Sir Joe, curious ba kayo sa difference ng Earth and this world? Meron daw pagkakaiba. Share ko din dito anong idi-discuss ni Sir Joe na sobrang pinasalamatan ko for being used by God to deliver His message. 🙂 Pero patuloy pa rin ako sa pag-pray for God’s leading, wisdom, and discernment. We all badly need them ngayon. 🙏

Stubborn but still obeys when God says so,

A Letter To Our Neighbors: Mahabang Reklamo Na May Magandang Punto

I lost it yesterday. Ang dalawang taon na pagtitimpi namin ni Brian, I just lost it. Oo, dalawang taon na namin ni Brian pinagtatyagaan ang kapitbahay naming mga smokers.

Sa bawat pasok ng usok ng sigarilyo sa aming condo, nagagalit kami pero we let it go. Hindi namin sila inaway, sinita, o sinigawan sa terrace. Kahit pa araw-araw ako inaatake ng allergic rhinitis, tinitiis ko ang pasakit na dala ng paninigarilyo nila.

Allergic Rhinitis On My End

Gaano ba kahirap mabuhay ng may allergic rhinitis? Napakahirap. Masakit. Sa bawat bahing ko pakiramdam ko buong lungs ko ay luluwa. At hindi lang sya nangyayari ng isang beses sa isang araw. Maraming beses syang mangyari dahil nati-trigger ng cigarette smoke. At may kasama syang runny nose.

Kaya may panahon na minsan wala na akong panlasa dahil sa sipon. Minsan naman lasang dugo ang lalamunan ko dahil nara-rupture ang mga veins sa sinus ko. Maga sila. May sugat.

Meron bang gamot? Meron, antihistamine. Pero hindi pwedeng everyday ako uminom. Dahil kapag nasanay ang katawan ko sa gamot, pataas ng pataas ang dosage dahil hindi na sya ganun ka-epekto. Bakit ba ako may allergic rhinitis? May family history kami ng asthma.

When Too Much Is Too Much

Kahapon bumigay na ako. Hindi ko na kinaya. Ang poot at galit sa puso ko na pilit kong i-contain, nagu-umapaw. Gusto ko lumabas ng terrace at sumigaw. Gusto ko silang sugurin. Pero ang problema ay hindi ko sila kilala. Wala akong proof sino sa kanila ang talagang nagso-smoke. Isa pa, pinagsabihan ako ng Mommy ko na ‘wag silang patulan.

Last year, nag-complain ang bro-in-law ko na ang lakas nga daw ng usok ng sigarilyo at pumapasok sa kwarto nila. Sila ng ate ko may-ari ng condo. Nag-suggest sya na ireklamo na namin. Kaso ang rason ko ay yaong wala nga kaming proof para madiin sino sa kanila ang salarin.

Pero ito lang ang bagay na hindi naisip ng aming kapitbahay ngayon. Hindi ito ang tamang panahon para patuloy na mang-agrabyado ng tao. Why?

A Deadly Bio Warfare

Dahil meron tayong deadly at powerful biological warfare out there ngayon na for free at pwedeng gamitin anytime for suicide attacks – COVID 19. It can technically be used as a weapon by anyone who has grievances against someone, an organization, a community, or the government.

Umabot na ako sa punto na sa sobrang galit ko hindi ko na inisip what could possibly be the repercussion of what I will do. Nabalot na ng poot ang ability ko to think rationally at gusto ko i-unleash lahat ng sama ng loob na inipon ko sa ilang taon na andito kami dahil sa kanila.

A Righteous Anger But The Wrong Approach

Since I am sure compromised na din ang health ko dahil sa second-hand smoke, mabilis akong kakapitan ng virus. Lalo na sila kung matagal na silang naninigarilyo at mga kasama nila sa bahay.

Sabi ko kay Brian, gagawin kong intentional na magka-COVID 19 ako. Lalabas ako without a mask at pupunta ako sa mga lugar malapit sa amin na may maraming cases. Sisiguraduhin kong I will get the virus.

At kapag nakaranas ako ng sintomas, sisiguraduhin kong hindi ako magpapa-ospital at sisiguraduhin kong maikalat ang virus dito sa amin. If mamatay kami at mangamoy ang condo dahil sa nabubulok naming bangkay at magtaka mga kakilala namin why we are unresponsive sa mga texts and calls, then so be it.

Sa tanong na paano ang mga bata at ibang residents na walang sala? They will be part of the collateral damage. And the admin of this property is also to blame sa paggawa ng house rules na bawal ang paninigarilyo pero hindi naman nila pinapatupad ng maayos.

Who Are They?

May mga anak sila. Maiingay sila kaya naririnig namin. May mga bata rin doon sa dulo ng hallway namin. Noong isang araw may baby din na umiiyak.

Napaiyak ako. Napahagulgol. Lord, free me from this suffering. Ang bigat ng loob ko dahil sa poot. And yet mas lalo pang bumigat because my soul wrestles sa plano kong maghasik ng virus dito sa community. It is a heinous crime. It is murder. IT IS WRONG.

That makes me a murderer at bawat buhay ng bawat taong mahahawa dito ay dala-dala ng konsensya ko. Napaiyak ako. Ngayon mas malakas. Hindi ko na na-control ang mga luha sa patuloy na pagbuhos.

When My Soul Wrestles For What Is Right

Lord, hindi ko kayang sundin ang utos mo na I should love my neighbor as I love myself. Napakahirap lalo na kung walang naidulot kundi sama ng loob. Hindi ko rin kayang sundin ang sabi mo na kung ang pasakit na ito ay meant to be na mangyari sa akin at ito ang krus na kailangan kong pasanin bawat araw, suko na ako. Napakabigat, Lord.

Ngunit kaya ako naiyak hindi dahil sa galit. Kundi dahil hindi ko kayang kumitil ng tao sa kahit anong dahilan o sa kahit paanong paraan. And even if sobrang na-agrabyado o nagalit ako, hindi ‘yun ang solusyon na itinuro ng Dios. Hindi ito ang mga dapat na salita at pag-iisip ng isang Kristyanong nagpapakilala na isang alagad ng Dios.

My soul is wrestling between what is good and what is bad. The mere fact na nag-isip ako ng ganitong bagay, I have already committed a crime sa mata ng Dios. Hindi ako karapatdapat na tawaging anak ng Dios sa aking mga inisip at isinambit. And I know that is something I need to settle with God alone.

God-Given Husband

My husband heard it all, too. Sa kanya ko inilabas ang mga masama kong plano. Humanap ng paraan asawa ko. Ni-try nya ulit kausapin ang guard sa baba ng building. Dahil ‘yung first time naming reklamo ay walang nangyari. He came back at ni-assure ako na oras may mag-smoke ulit, patuloy syang tatawag sa guard house hanggang sa mapatigil itong mga naninigarilyo.

Naiyak ako lalo. My husband felt my anger, too. Pero iba naging solusyon nya. He tried to find a way to solve it sa tamang paraan na alam nya kahit pa the same ito ng mga nauna. He knows how agitated I am but he remained patient enough. He tried to console me as much as he could.

The Purpose Of God Still Stands

It rained.

Bigla kong naalala ang isang notification sa aking blog na nakita ko ngayong umaga. Someone gave me an award yesterday din pala sa WordPress (next article). Isa rin syang writer who chose me among the other bloggers to get the award (thank you, Mrs. T!).

It is an award given to a blog which, “through its writing, presentation and objectives, fosters human values; promoting intellectual, emotional and moral growth of peers.”

These awards on WordPress are basically all about community appreciation and how to support one another in the blogosphere. Nakakatuwa lang when one blogger puts in all the effort sa pag-recognize ng mga naisulat mo as something worth reading.

A Testimony Of My Spiritual Journey

Ang The Journeyman’s Moments kong blog ay isa sa mga bagay na ibinigay sa akin ng Panginoon noong na-born again ako noong 2014. Isa ito sa mga saksi ng aking pagbabagong buhay at sa paglilinis ng aking pangalan galing sa isang masalimuot na nakaraan.

Ito ang naging platform ko where I share everything about my spiritual journey. Naglalaman ito ng mga triumphs and struggles ko as a Christian. Pero hindi ko ito sineryoso masyado noon. May mga panahon na nakakaligtaan kong magsulat dito pero lagi akong nire-remind ng Dios ng calling ko why He saved me.

Kahit ilang months na akong inactive, halimbawa, at hindi nakakapagsulat, meron at meron pa rin akong new followers at mga bagong nagla-like ng mga dati ko pang articles.

His Plans Will Remain

In a way, God is the one who is keeping my blog alive at nagdadala Sya ng mga readers to view what I posted kahit wala akong gawin. Kaya doon ko rin nalaman na ito ang purpose ko why I was saved. To testify about God despite the chaos, the pain, and the suffering all around us.

I love to write. I consider it a gift galing sa Panginoon. Isang therapy sa akin ang pagsusulat. Alam ko din na itong experience recently with the neighbors was meant to happen. He has a good purpose for it, too, even if it means suffering for the time being.

Kasama na dito ang mai-share ko itong karanasan sa inyo and the struggles I go through each day as a Christian. Napakahirap maging Kristyano sa mga ganitong panahon. Ang tindi ng disiplinang hinihingi sa atin.

Severe Trials For What Is To Come

Pakiramdam ko mas matindi pa dito ang tests of faith na mararanasan natin in preparation for the second coming. I know minsan umaabot tayo sa punto na pinanghihinaan na tayo ng loob. Sumusuko na sa laban gaya ng nangyari sa akin.

Pero alam ko na hindi tayo tinawag ng Panginoon para sumuko lang din sa huli. It is not our calling. In fact, it is our calling to fight for faith at all costs. Yes, we will falter along the way. And yet ang importante is we keep on going back to God.

Para tayong nasa tug-of-war na laro na may times na mahahatak tayo ng enemy pero hahatakin din ulit tayo ni God pabalik sa Kanya. Basta pilit din tayong nagpapakatatag para sa Dios.

What We Are Fighting Against

Kailangan nating alalahanin na hindi lang COVID 19 ang kalaban natin ngayon. Marami nang atake ang ipinadala ng enemy to destroy us and what God has built in and around us. Nasa atin kung hahayaan nating wasakin nya tayo or kakapit tayo sa Dios and believe na Sya pa din ang mananalo.

I refuse to take the enemy’s bait. I may have thought the most murderous things, of which I ask for God’s forgiveness and take accountability for them when judgment day comes.

Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus

It is the work of the enemy, and I know he won’t stop. I pray for everyone na bigyan tayo ng Panginoon ng lakas, tapang, wisdom, and discernment para makita ang mga lies ng enemy. Ito lang ang tanging paraan na malalabanan natin ito at para hindi sya mag-succeed.

The struggle is real. Pero I rest in the fact na nakikita ito lahat ng Panginoon. At gaya ng blog ko, kahit wala tayong gawin kahit pa sobrang nahihirapan na tayo, Dios pa rin ang kikilos on our behalf. 🙏

Still fighting as God’s warrior,

Container Gardening 101: A Drive Towards Local Food Movement

It’s just funny how a tiny sign of life no matter how minute it is can be enough to give you the hope that you need. Much like humanity these days. Every single sign of life, we get to appreciate more and more with each passing day.

These are the roots of the mustard greens I planted. I didn’t do my research on how to propagate mustard greens so I ended up cutting the entire plant and leaving just a one-inch stub above the roots. When I searched the net, all the propagation info I found suggested cutting all the leaves but leaving the center as is since it’s a rosette.

I was close to giving this plant up after not seeing any progress for 5 days. But hubby told me to give it a couple more days. The next day, new leaves came out. Yay! Indeed, it is one resilient plant, and yet I am still praying God will let them grow well.

This is my first time to grow this plant along with other vegetables i. e. tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and green onions. So we’ll see in the next couple of days if my own style of “cut-and-come” method is successful. I almost killed it. 😂

We also have other challenges in growing these vegetables such as minimal sun exposure and very strong winds during the day. I guess in this case, I’ll just ask the Great Gardener, Himself, to watch over them for me. 🙏❤️😊

Tending God’s garden in my own little way,

#sustainableagriculture #localfoodmovement

Imagine God’s Paradise Where Food Is Unlimited, But We Never Gain Weight

I’m sure most of us will agree one way or the other that this lockdown and being at home have somehow placed our attention on food. Before the quarantine was implemented, most of us had very busy lives we just never had the time to appreciate good homecooked meals.

Yes, we all got used to “instant” everything because it was convenient given our busy schedules. Now, I believe every household smelled of the aroma of garlic and onions being sauteed and freshly baked goodies. We just have no choice if we don’t want to eat canned goods every day. 😀

Best Meal I’ve Ever Had

The movie “The Shack” resonated deeply with me and gave me hope in these moments of crisis and uncertainty. There’s this one scene where God played the role of a woman named Papa (Octavia Spencer) who lives in a very lovely shack (my dream home) in the woods surrounded by a beautiful garden. It’s basically the type that we’re all craving for here in this world.

It’s this kind of paradise that offers a perfect ambiance of peace and quiet, and yes, that part where she (God) whips up the most delicious meals ever. I believe God is showing us right now a glimpse of what heaven will be like after we overcome the trials and sufferings of this world.

What It Means To Be Truly Living

It portrays the ideal moment of living life without so many distractions, and yet we all know isn’t just possible to attain in this world (yet). What if God allowed this pandemic to happen so we can have a taste of what it really means to be truly living?

Besides, this world wasn’t made to last. And yet we can all look forward to an everlasting home that serves good food (literally and figuratively) all the time that not only nourishes our body, but also our souls.

Home With God

Ah yes, I can’t wait to be in that home and cook/bake like God. Well maybe not as good as Him, but just try to get to know who God really is aside from what we may believe of Him now.

Since that home is still part of what we’re looking forward to now, here are some of the homecooked meals I prepared for my husband and I the past couple of weeks. I know this lockdown meant appreciating homecooked meals. However, there also lingers the fact that we can all gain that unwanted pounds (uh-oh, here comes the bad part).

It’s a good thing I’m married to a man who’s used to hitting the gym consistently before this lockdown began. So, he gets to motivate me in a way when I see him do some crunches here at home. 😉

Ah, yes, Lord. I just can’t wait to live in Your very extraordinary home. How I longed for nothing else except that every single day. It will come soon, but for now, I’ll try to cook as well as I can possibly be and make other people happy. 😀

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious, I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” – Revelation 2:7

Dreaming of being in God’s home soon,

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P.S. I’m just grateful to God for providing for all of our needs in His usual unexpected ways and to my husband who helps not only in the kitchen, but in cooking as well. So far, I must say that he has the potential to become an outstanding chef. *wink*

P.S. 2 I am praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who lack food and other necessities. May God provide for them, too, in the same way that He has provided for me and my family. 🙏

Love In The Time Of COVID-19: A Wife’s Tale

I initially thought about writing this article as a parody, but given the intensity of the pandemic’s impact on our emotional and psychological well-being, I decided to share my experiences as a wife during the community quarantine instead.

A lot of people have been sharing the positive outcome of this lockdown. They said it gave Mother Nature the time to heal. Some said it also gave opportunities for sharing, helping, and praying for others. Another benefit is we now have more time to strengthen family ties.

Learning All About The Complexity Of The Human Behavior

This last one is good, but I know some of you will agree it’s not as easy as it sounds. We all know that one of the complex concepts in this world is the human relationship. We were all created uniquely with varying personalities and characteristics.

Combine a group of different people in one room and one way or the other, there will be a clash of personalities. And also, let’s not forget domestic violence and how it can be aggravated during these times. This last one though is a serious case that requires professional intervention and assistance.

Some people felt awful they had to spend community quarantine alone, and yet some really wish this would end because they’re getting on each other’s nerves. The latter cannot be avoided. It is actually beneficial to get to know each other better and adjust accordingly regardless if this is a roommate, a sibling, a spouse, a relative, a parent, or a neighbor.

A Tale Of Two Lovers

That’s the case between me and my husband. This is, by far, the longest time we’ve spent together 24/7 since we got married back in 2015. And yet I appreciate the fact that my husband and I can spend even more quality time together now. I wouldn’t want any person to spend quarantine with other than him but next to God, of course. 🙂

Every single day, I discover something new about my husband. But since we’re the total opposite of each other, just imagine how hard it was for us to maneuver through this quarantine like gliding on smooth waters. On the contrary, it was like being back to the first few months of us being married. 😀

Seeing God In Others

Don’t get me wrong though. Most of our days together were spent meaningfully, peacefully, and happily. But as days turned to weeks and then now nearing to months, there were days when we would easily get irritated over something trivial because there were only the two of us in the house. And yet this setup reminded me how things are going to be when we grow old together.

I believe other families, parents, or married couples can relate to our experience. An example is when kids start to fight over who gets to use the iPad next or who will throw the trash out. Or when a parent gets irritated because all the kids are hooked on their gadgets all day long. Another instance would be sharing a room with a sibling you just don’t get along with very well.

God’s Eyes Are On Every Household

My husband and I would have some disagreements every now and then, and we’d both sulk and give each other a cold and silent treatment afterward. But since we live in a condo, it just doesn’t work very long given the very small space. 😅

I’d have to interact with him one way or the other and whether I like it or not because we’re just too close to one another, and yes, we only have each other. In fact, this was the case last week when we had our first huge fight during the quarantine.

Dealing With Differences

I told hubby to try cooking a new dish, and he’s also willing but he wanted me to teach him the step-by-step process. I’m a teacher, but given the heavy demands lately at home, I quipped a remark that offended him.

I told him to research how it’s done and to not get used to me spoon feeding him with how everything works here at home. Hubby explained he doesn’t learn new things that way, and I insisted that I learned new things that way and he should give it a try.

When Opposites Repel

Since hubby and I have such totally different backgrounds and upbringing, we somehow clash with how we do things at home. My mistake here was that I could’ve been more patient. But no, I guess the enemy took advantage of this sensitive situation to bring us back to our old fights.

Hubby retaliated with harsher words that made me do the same. And in the heated discussion, I just broke down and cried. I guess all those heavy emotions I’ve been keeping these past months just all welled up on me.

Trying To Play God

And my last retort to my hubby was, “you couldn’t see my pain and understand how I feel because God is not in you.” Then hubby retaliated by saying he’d leave once this quarantine is over.

I told him that he can do it now if he wants to because he just doesn’t care about me knowing we can get the virus anytime, and I’d be alone here if ever I get sick. Then, after saying that, I went inside the bedroom sobbing.

When Pride Gets In The Way

Hubby followed me and apologized saying he couldn’t just leave me here, especially not this time. But I guess the enemy just took hold of my pride, so I didn’t accept his apology and told him to leave me and I wouldn’t want to talk to him for the rest of the day. This happened around lunchtime.

I took a pitcher of water and crackers because I planned on fasting for the day. I was crying so much that the only thing I could do was grab my devotion notebook, read my daily devotion, and pray, all at the same time.

A Cold Heart Has No Room For God

I can hear my husband cooking in the kitchen and watching a cooking video. I felt awful that I didn’t help him out. But then again, pride just got in the way and I told myself that I won’t forgive him because he just hurt me a lot with his awful words. But no, he didn’t curse nor shout.

I finished my devotion and yet there was still hatred in my heart. I was somehow expecting him to come back and apologize again, which I know he wouldn’t do because I already turned him down the first time he did it.

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down Angry

Then, the entire afternoon passed by until came midnight. I can hear him scuffling in the living room and washing the cooking utensils so I assumed he has already eaten.

My heart was so heavy and I kept on praying like how Jesus prayed to God while He was on the Cross. That may He take this cup of suffering from me and yet not my will but let His will be done.

Thorn In A Flesh

I guess at this point the enemy came close to blinding me with lies. He almost succeeded but I guess God heard my prayer. I thought so negatively about my husband that I saw him as the “thorn in my flesh” who tempts me to sin.

Thorn in my flesh. I looked up that phrase on the internet and I found one article from Desiring God. There was my rebuke. John Piper said in the article that a thorn in the flesh is a beautiful gift but it comes with so much pain.

God’s Power Works Best In Weakness

And yet this is the pain where God reveals our weakness because it is in our weakness that His power works best. His Grace will be displayed in our weakness. But no, my heart remained stubborn. I don’t want to talk to him and make amends.

But I guess the Spirit just won’t allow it I let the sun go down angry and with bitterness against my husband. Then, a chapter in the Bible came into my mind (Matthew 24) on how Jesus speaks about the future – how loved ones and friends will betray believers.

Jesus Speaks About The Future

I wanted to reread it just to know if it’s already happening now between me and my husband. I read the NLT version of the entire chapter, and yet betrayal of loved ones and friends in particular wasn’t mentioned.

So I read the entire chapter again and again until the last couple of verses resonated with me deeply. I guess this time Scripture was able to break down the wall of lies that the enemy has placed in my heart.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

– Matthew 24:45-51

Am I A Good Servant?

These verses are all about being a faithful and sensible servant and how God appointed him to look after other servants in the household and feed them. And that those who wouldn’t do what God has instructed will be torn into pieces and thrown into a pit where there will be gnashing of teeth.

I really felt like it was literally God’s message for me during this misunderstanding with my husband. Yes, I didn’t feed him and serve him, literally with food and figuratively of God’s love. God’s messages during this pandemic that kept on popping up in my devotion or in my heart are to serve one another in love and love one another as He has loved us.

How God Teaches Humility

Sadly, I failed God and yet He was so graceful to remind me once again of this calling. So I summed up the courage to go out of the room and talk to my husband. But there’s still a little bit of pride in me so I did go out but only to refill my pitcher with water.

Then this was where I was first struck down with humility. The rice that my husband cooked was untouched. So I checked out the dish rack and searched for eating utensils.

I found none. This only meant one thing – he didn’t eat the entire day (oh my dear Lord, what have I done 😭😭😭). So this slowly destroyed the enemy’s weapon. I went to my husband who’s seated in the dining table pretending not to notice me.

Be Ready To Forgive Always

I hugged him tight and kissed him in the forehead. I did that for a couple of minutes without saying anything because I was too convicted. Then it was my husband who apologized first and I followed it with my apology.

What pierced my heart even harder was when I asked him why he didn’t eat. He answered that he didn’t eat because I didn’t come out to eat, too. Oh my, more heart-wrenching moments there. I hugged him even tighter and apologized many times.

Being Unselflish Is A Way To God’s Heart

You see, hubby isn’t used to intermittent fasting. I told him he shouldn’t do that because it will shock his body. I, on the one hand, is used to it since we do it in church every now and then. He said it’s okay because we also need to lose weight since we did nothing but eat during the quarantine.

My consience though just won’t let him sleep through the night with an empty stomach. So I rummaged in our food shelves. Then I asked him to eat something even just a little to lessen the acid in his stomach, and we ate a couple of cupcakes together. The guilt and humility just all went through me.

God Shows Grace When We Least Deserve It

And it didn’t stop there. My husband who’s not used to not eating the entire day and fasted with me, came up to me while I was washing in the kitchen, hugged me, and said, “I really missed you today.”

Gaaaah, Lord, I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. 😦 I get it now. I’ve been doing this love thing wrong all this time. So, I looked at my husband and joked that we needed some “me” time and “me” space, too, since we live in a condo and we literally just rub elbows with each other often. I went on that we also need to apply social distancing even at home. This one made him laugh. 😉

A Beautiful Reminder

God used my husband – who may be or may not be my beautiful flesh in the thorn – to bring me pain that will make me a better servant. And I believe God knew this will happen. The night before this incident happened, we just started watching a series on Apple TV. And I know it’s not a coincidence that it’s entitled “Servant.”

And then just like how God sees everything, He reminded us gently about reality. This reality that we might actually die tomorrow, next week, or next month because of the pandemic. It’s as if He was asking us both why we’re wasting precious time on grudges and selfishness.

Letting Go Of Unforgiveness And Hatred

I did tell myself that I’d like to die at peace with everyone including him. This means there should be no room for bitterness, hatred, and unforgiveness. It’s just not the time for all of these.

All the more when this pandemic requires we die alone without any loved one beside us. We can never hug and kiss our loved ones or even hold their hands before we take our final breaths.

I know we wouldn’t want our last moments in this world full of regrets and not being able to make amends with people whom we have hurt or those who have hurt us. We no longer have the opportunity to do so. So yes, this is no longer the time for hate, but a time for love.

No matter how much we’re offended or how bitter we are by a lot of things, we can no longer let hatred linger in our hearts. Not in a time like this.

It Is Just All About Love

And I guess this is what God is trying to tell us. To “love others just like how I loved you.” To forgive others like how He has forgiven us. And to ask for forgiveness from Him and from others.

This is how God shifts our mindsets from seeing only what lies in front of us to realizing the bigger picture that lies ahead. It is about appreciating relationships more than ever. It is about being grateful and being accountable for the people He’s blessed you with. It is about celebrating what love is in the truest essence of the word. And lastly, it is about the simple things that we normally take for granted, but are actually more precious than money, silver, and gold.

Right now, I appreciate having my husband around. It made the quarantine more bearable, and it made me fully understand how it is to love my husband as a wife according to the standards of God’s Words. There are a lot of things that my husband does now, which made me realize I should be proud God married me to him.

Basically, that is all that God is asking from us now. Just. Plain. Love.

“We love each other because he loved us first.” – 1 John 4:19

Staying in love until the worst,

 

 

An Offer Of Comfort To Those Who Suffer Financially

This pandemic has made countless of people jobless. It is never easy to lose your only source of income, most especially in a time like this. And yet, I would like to offer an assurance that God’s eyes are on us now.

How God Teaches Humility

Yes, I also included myself because this scenario isn’t new to me anymore. As a freelancer, there were times wherein every month I would send out job applications and proposals to get projects and earn. There were plenty of times, too, that my proposals were rejected or there were no projects available for me to do.

This was how it was for me in the last 3 years. So I know how hard it is to be constantly looking for ways to earn a living. I am already quite too familiar with situations where you had to rely on one source of income only to make ends meet at home.

What God Wants vs What I Want

I had this calling to pursue a remote career. It wasn’t an easy decision on my end, and I did share in my previous articles the reasons why. When doubt overcomes me, however, I’d once again apply to an office job only to be rebuked by God later on. Then, I would have to let go of the opportunity. I spent countless days and months asking the Lord “why” and what was His purpose for placing me in this predicament.

Little did I know that these were the times that God was asking me to rely on Him COMPLETELY for provisions. It is these moments of being so uncertain if you will have food on the table the next day or none the following week that made me view God as to who He really is as a provider.

His Love Never Fails, Always

Did God fail me?

NO. Not even once. And I would like to emphasize that because He was there for me and my husband when we needed Him most. God knows my former worrisome nature will always clash with my faith. It is what the enemy will use to attack me, make me defenseless, and eventually fall into his trap.

But take heart when I say that God always rescues those who seek Him with all their hearts in moments of need. He blesses those who call out to Him FIRST and rewards them accordingly. These rewards are even more than what we initially asked from Him.

When Rivers Run Dry, Turn To God

Yes, I understand how it can be unsettling to lose a job that literally allows you to survive in this world. And yet, when we see God as the one who provided that job in the first place, we can be assured that He will provide us with another one or another avenue where our needs will be met.

Here’s a fascinating testimony that I haven’t shared yet because we experienced it just this week. I lost some clients at the beginning of this year until now, which led me and my husband to once again rely on his income alone.

Keep The Good Fight Of Faith

Last year, there was a bounty of financial breakthroughs. And if my memory serves me right, it was my husband who asked me to set aside some cash on top of our usual savings. I placed it in a white envelope and put it inside a drawer.

Since we don’t need the money at that time, we somehow forgot that we have it. So when we were making financial adjustments a couple of months later, it wasn’t included in the accounting.

God’s Grace Is More Than Enough

Then, the pandemic happened. We had to consolidate all our resources and make do with what’s available. By God’s grace, there’s more than enough for all our needs. Yes, all that we have now is more than enough.

While I do believe in saving for the future, I have such great faith in God that He is our ULTIMATE provider. Thus, we have nothing to worry about our future when it comes to all our needs.

Elijah’s God Is The Same God We Have Today

This is somehow similar to the story of Elijah in the Bible and how God sent ravens and the widow to feed him (book of Kings). The woman’s jug of oil and jar of flour never ran empty allowing Elijah, the woman, and her family to have enough food to eat and survive.

But since God can still sense a little bit of worry and doubt in me, He knew I needed an assurance that would once again prove that He is who He is when He says that nothing is impossible with Him.

God’s Surprises Just Never End

Fewer clients mean lesser work hours for me. I had plenty of time to contemplate, search for new opportunities, and do my hobbies. So I decided to pick up the pencil and do some sketches again.

The only available pad for me to work on, however, is a big one so I decided to divide a page into half. This means I’d have to place the new sketch paper on a different pad. And I would need something to keep it in place.

The paper clips came as a solution, and I rummaged through our office supplies but found none. Then I remembered that I used paper clips for the white envelopes we allotted for budgeting.

A Need Fulfilled At Just The Right Time

So I went to the drawer, searched for one white envelope, took it out, and I think you already guessed what I saw. Voila, there neatly tucked inside were 3 paper bills – safely forgotten.

I just couldn’t contain the surprising discovery to myself so I shared it with my husband who teased me that I’ve been secretly stashing money away. I think it’s his way of saying that he also forgot. 😁

God knows we would need it at exactly the right time. The money will still remain as emergency funds though, and yet I already have a plan where half of it will go. Ah yes, indeed, the five barley loaves and fishes are more than enough to feed thousands of people.

As this verse says,

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” – Philippians 4:19

So to all unemployed brothers and sisters out there right now, I pray that you will hold on to this promise:

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

God will provide for you, too. Believe in this.

I think I can hear God saying,

“My child, why are you still pursuing the demands of this world? Have I not shown you enough the past few months what really matters?

Why are you still worried about your needs? Have I not provided you with more than enough ever since you became My child?”

God would like to hear our answer, and let it be a good one. 😉

Always relies on God for provisions before and now,

P.S. This article is part of the 80 drafts that I am currently preparing as scheduled posts. I am targeting (by God’s grace) to reach the mark of 500 published articles here on my blog.

We just don’t know what could happen in the next few days, weeks, and years. But as long as there are technology and WordPress, these testimonies will live on. 😀

Methinks it is also best to wait it out until this worldwide crisis is over, and start looking for new career opportunities. Businesses will be flourishing by then. And yet, this entirely depends on God’s plans and His timing. In the meantime, have faith that God will cover all of your needs. 🙂

 

 

My FIRST “Formal” VLOG

Finally, I had the time last Holy Week to tinker with the “vlogosphere” while hibernating on Facebook. My sister-in-law actually suggested a few months back I should also do vlogs for all the articles I’ve written here.

Methinks it’s a very excellent idea. However, I’m fervently praying to God about it because I’m an introvert, and I’m just too awkward in front of the camera. 😀

For now, I hope this will do – the first edited (formal) video of an amateur singer and guitarist playing worship songs and other types of music. 😊

Contemplating whether to become a journeyman vlogger or not,

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P.S. Please don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, and thanks for watching! ❤