Extraordinary Sunday

Two Sundays ago was one of my not-your-kind-of-day, day. To give you a brief background of our usual Sunday, we are at church (CCF – Christ’s Commission Fellowship) the whole day. We start at around 10:45 by attending our GLC (Global Leadership Center) class, followed by a 12 noon service, that ends at about 1:30, and then a Discipleship group, or a Bible Study at 3-5pm.

So you see, our Sundays are mainly for Church activities and we are very much happy to be part in all that. Happy as I am, it is quite a challenge to do all these with an active toddler. I try with my very best to keep her busy, but, sometimes it is a bit exhausting to keep her from roaming around or playing with other kids. I’m kind of used to it though, except that Sunday, it was particularly different.

We left a bit earlier to pick up breakfast before heading to church. I got pancakes for Matilda and a burger for me. She ate one pancake during our class and she was well-behaved throughout the session. When the class was about to end, she began being a bit more “clingy”. In fact, she was very “clingy” and somewhat sleepy. I even noticed that she was closing her eyes while standing up and clutching onto my thighs. At first, I was on the impression she was sleepy because we kind of slept late the night before. So, I breastfed her and she then fell asleep. – This was the beginning of an EPIC day.

On the way to the up the worship hall, Joey noticed that Matilda was missing her other pair of shoe. One of her favorites! So we asked the guard to please inform us if someone would surrender it. Joey also volunteered to go back down and try to search for it just until we are settled on our seat. Before entering the hall though, our friends from GLC, Paul and Aish, handed it over to us. Whew! I felt so relieved! Apparently, someone approached them with the shoe, and they followed us going up.

Before finally entering the hall, Matilda woke up from her nap. She was asleep for about 30 minutes only, and not her usual 2 hour nap. I thought it was just because of the sound of the worship songs that woke her, to my surprise, I was so wrong.

As we were already seated, while the announcements were being given, Matilda started vomiting. It wasn’t the usual one-time vomit, but several episodes with lots and lots of liquid. She vomited on herself, on the chair, on my hair, chest and practically my entire body. She didn’t look bothered, though I knew she wasn’t feeling okay. I rushed her to the nearest washroom and started cleaning her up without even looking at how much vomit she expelled onto me. I was busy making sure I had her cleaned well because I didn’t want her soaked in a very sour smell – (….eww).

After I finished cleaning her up, I handed her to Joey so I can look at myself. My oh my, my top was all wet including the tips of my hair. I then realized I catched most of it. I smelled terrible and my hair was a mess. I didn’t bring any extra shirt – which I know I should have! So I decided I’d buy a shirt later after the service. I cleaned up myself (quickly) just to catch up on the ongoing service.

As soon as I finished cleaning up, Matilda told me, “Mommy, Matilda (Matata) poopoo. Mommy, hug.” And then I knew she was really feeling upset. I attended to her and allowed her to finish before I cleaned her up. After which, finally, she was settled and ready to go back to the service.

When the service was about to end, Matilda started being uneasy (again), and began passing gas. I knew that she was about to poop again and so I brought her to the back to find a spot where she can do her business. While walking around waiting for her to finish, I suddenly noticed the ribbon on my shoe has gone missing. I tried searching and I saw it was lying on the floor. (Insert music: cause you had a bad day…)

Can you imagine what I was feeling at this point? And to think that was just around 1pm? I was already exhausted. I felt so smelly and dirty. I was also hungry and to top it all off, Matilda’s condition concerned me. But even though all these things troubled me, I focused on this verse – Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭18‬ NLT)

I had to remind myself that every single thing that happens in our lives has a purpose. It is all part of God’s plan and it is always for the good of those who love Him, as also said in Romans 8:28. What good came out of it? I got to buy a new shirt! Yay! And because Matilda just had a short nap, she was asleep during our bible study – which helped me focus on our very meaty topic about the End Times. I believe this was His purpose, apart from the fact that He wanted to strengthen my faith in Him. I just prayed that He would please heal Matilda and the rest, we just lift and surrender to Him.

Matilda woke up 2 hours after, as if nothing had happened. She even ate a lot and played around for a bit. She even joined kids thrice her age as if she was a big girl! Who would have thought of our incident that morning? My baby girl was such a sport! I think God also made me realize that I should be really thankful that Matilda is an active toddler because if not, I’d be worried all the time thinking she is probably sick! And that I should really stop saying, “Ang likot na ni Matilda!”. What a wake-up call that is! As for my shoe, Joey promised to fix it. 🙂 It was a good Sunday, indeed! Thank you, Lord!

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Wedding vs. Marriage: A Reality Check

We were about to go to bed the other night when I saw a news feed on my Instagram account about another celebrity couple who just got engaged. I mentioned this to Joey, about how grand the proposal was, as I was amazed with how big of a production it seemed. Joey, his usual self, reminded me, “What did I tell you about weddings? Diba what matters is the marriage?”. And it got me thinking, he’s absolutely right.

Joey and I originally planned for a big wedding, we were already set on a date, paid some down payments and even asked friends to block off that particular date. Months of preparation went by so fast and somehow, through all of the details (and the impracticality of MY dream), Joey and I got lost in why we were doing this in the first place. It made us rethink our motives, plans, and actual budget on why we are even spending this much for a one day event.

It’s EVERY Girl’s Dream

Well, yes, in this part I agree. Who doesn’t want to be the most beautiful girl for a day? To walk down that flowery aisle wearing your dream ivory white dress? To have your groom waiting for you at the altar all-teary-eyed as if it were a movie? Hmmm.. Picture it now? That’s exactly what I WANTED (urgh so immature!!). Then again, how important is a wedding when really, it’s just a one day event?

The COST

Weddings nowadays are VERY expensive. (Did I mention it’s very expensive? Oh yeah, right! – Really, it is!!) Back in 2011, we planned on spending 400,000 for the big day. That was the PLAN, but if we went ahead for it, I’m absolutely sure we are going a hundred thousand over. (Yikes!!)

400,000!!? Yes! Really. Try computing the cost for the venue, food, photographer, videographer, gown, suit, hair and make-up, flowers, decors, cake, invites, souvenirs, bridal car, and so on. Believe me now? I dare you to compute!

In my mind, I was a bit troubled by the fact that all of Joey’s savings would end up gone in one day just because I WANTED a gorgeous wedding with all its unnecessary details. Yes, we weren’t getting money from either side of our family because we believed that spending on the wedding should be our responsibility. Knowing I wasn’t working yet at that time, since I just graduated, all of the spending would be shouldered by Joey.

Going back, I feel so selfish. How could I have ever thought of using all his savings just to make my dream wedding a reality? I feel so bad for Joey that he agreed just because he wanted me to be happy. All along, though he wanted a wedding, it wasn’t really that big as I was picturing it in my head. What he wanted was a simple, intimate, good quality wedding with all the people that we love dearly.

The BIG Decision

Due to the impracticality of it all, we decided, just a few months prior our original wedding date, to just cancel the big day. Yes, it was difficult emotionally as I have already set my heart and my mind on it. But, looking back, it was the best decision we made since we were able to save and use the money in buying stuff for our home – which is also costly, mind you. We were able to get most of the down-payments we made because of really understanding suppliers. (They usually make you sign a contract once you pay the down, but praise God, majority of it, we were able to get back).

We then made new plans for a smaller wedding with the help of our Godparents. They even thought of giving us the reception as a gift! We ended up NOT spending for the wedding at all! They just insisted that we use our money for buying furnitures and save the rest for future use or investments. What a great blessing!

The reality of this is that, though Weddings are great, sometimes, you have to reconsider all the reasons why you want to do it. You have to get your priorities straight and think about what is yet to come – The Marriage. Sure, you can easily spend millions (if you have!) for the grandest wedding, but what happens after that? After that big day, when all the people are gone, what’s left is just you and your husband.

For us, we chose to be practical. We talked about our plans, our dreams for the future, past the wedding day, and we came to a conclusion that one day, when we have much bigger savings, when the time comes God would allow us to spend a bit for celebrating our union, a renewal of vows, we’d go for it. Not that original plan I had in my head but a simpler version, with Matilda as my flower girl and maybe a little boy (who knows?) to be our ring bearer.

My point is this, spend all you want, if you have the means because really, that is okay. But never ever spend ALL that you have, your hard-earned money, or your parents financial blessing just for one big day. Invest on what is more important – the marriage.

A Lifetime Commitment

Marriage is like food, it needs a few key ingredients to make it work. It requires a generous portion of romance, a spoonful of understanding, a ton of patience, a dash of financial responsibility, and most of all, the fullness of God, to be at the center of that union for any marriage to last a lifetime. This union known as a covenant we (you and your spouse) make with God is something we must treat with high regard and respect. “In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, ’til death do us part” is what we vowed to do, didn’t we?

A Long- Suffering

Wait, what?! Yes! Have you ever thought of what it would be like to live in a totally different place you grew up in, with a man you thought you already know? If you think you know the person you are to marry, wait until you are living in the same roof and be together as one. Marriage is not that of fairy tales with all its happily ever after. Oh boy, you are mistaken.You have got to realize that marriage is serious. It  is a lifetime commitment to the person you VOW you would love forever despite and in spite of. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. It is best to think that once you marry, there is no turning back. So manage your expectations and do not trick yourself into thinking that getting married is the answer to whatever situation you are in right now.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NKJV)

In this version, Love was said to be a long-suffering. On another version like the New International Version (NIV) it is translated to “love is patient” instead. To get my point across, I’d like to concentrate on the translation wherein it was referred to as long-suffering because in all honesty, it really is. You share all of yourself to the person you marry and more often than not, it leads to a lot of trials – which God also promised that we will endure if we keep His commandments. These trials usually stem from the expectations we have with our spouse. When these expectations are not met, it leads to disappointments. And in this day and age, this leads to separation. I believe that God made it very clear in order for us to understand that in love, it takes suffering. A kind of suffering that you endure together, with God’s help.

The Covenant

The word covenant is not to be taken lightly. In Hebrew, it means “to cut.” When two parties entered into a solemn and binding agreement, they would hew an animal in two and walk together between the bloody halves of the carcass.

By “cutting covenant,” the two parties promised to walk faithfully within the boundaries of the oath, pledging to suffer the same fate as the animal if they broke the covenant. Covenant creates a bond that is far more intimate and binding than a simple promise. – Source: http://www.marriagetoday.com/adam-eve-and-the-covenant-of-marriage

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 2:21-24 (NIV)

Adam and Eve were the very first couple to get married in the Garden of Eden. God intended marriage, from the very beginning to be permanent. Please don’t ever have in mind the idea of annulment and divorce when you think about marriage. Remember that this covenant is made with God and your vows should be with you until the end of time. Do not get lost in this fad we have right now where weddings become so much more than what it is supposed to be. Though it is fun and exciting to prepare if a wedding, you must look past that. After all, as I have said, at the end of the day, when all the people are gone, what’s left is just you and your husband. Focus on what is much more important – marriage and the future!

Remember that in James 1:2-4, it says,Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Still want to get married? I do! I would be honored to marry this man over and over again for I know He is who God planned for me. My best friend, lover, and brother in Christ, together we will persevere! 

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