Archive | January 2013

My spiritual timeline

– THE SEED: Being raised with the knowledge of God. Till this day, I don’t remember my first introduction to Him.

– Moving to Wilbur & meeting my first best friend, Sharon, a believer.

– THE SOIL: My parents buying me a book of Bible stories. This is a huge one because when I became an adult & started hearing these familiar stories, it rekindled memories & desires to learn more & dig deeper.

– I remember as a kid, my mom mentioning something about prayer. I don’t remember details anymore, but I remember having superficial prayers (usually when I needed something or angry about something). But even then, God heard me & answered them.

– God put me in a situation where I thought I had it all & needed nothing else, but at the end of every night I felt that aching void that ached more & more each passing day. The God-shaped void that cannot be filled with anything from this world. Which lead to the next point. 🙂

– THE WATER: Ended relationships which lead me to Rico. Another major key player. Although he was not a believer his brother Noel & wife Mela were.

– THE FERTILIZER: I had questions galore about God & the Bible. Sharon did her best to answer them, but it gave me the thirst for some kind of Bible study. I expressed this desire to Rico in which he mentioned Noel & Mela being believers & may know of one. So I guess he mentioned it to them which I’m guessing gave them the desire to hold a New Believers study in their home for us & the other brothers. During the study I got baptized at their church, in a hot tub. Sharon & Virlyn were there to support me.

– Shortly after the New Believers study, Noel & Mela moved to Texas & I had no clue what to do with this thing called Christianity. I tried to go to their church, but it was too small, which means too intimate for me. I tried Jubilee but it was WAY too big! [Hey, I’m beginning to know how Goldilocks felt. Haha!]. I so wanted a church that I could belong to. One that would “feed” me the real truth with no sugar-coating, welcome me…all of me & my flaws; one that was genuine & non-judgmental; one that I could call my family. “Well, ok!”, God said. “You are moving to Texas!” Now, before I move forward, let me do a quick backstory.

Rico & I were probably not married 2 years, so I wasn’t quite too close with his family yet (though they were very loving & welcoming when I first met them all). Jadon wasn’t quite 2 & I was pregnant with Kayla. I was finally bonding with my family & had a great paying job & amazing boss. And God says “Now, you are going to leave all that & go to an unknown place.” To my own surprise I was actually willing & ready. Rico, on the other hand, was the reluctant one. We “suffered” a year because of his disobedience, but that’ll be another post on another day. Haha.

– So now we’re in Texas because Keylessride moved their office here. And because of Keylessride I was able to be a stay-at-home mom & we were able to buy a nice first home. Ok, now what? Well, fortunately for us, our pioneers, Noel & Mela, had gone before us & were attending Calvary Chapel Georgetown!

– THE SUN: It took a long while…a lot of whining, excuses, fighting, consequences, convictions, but both Rico & I made CCGT our home church. All the things I wanted in a church that I listed above was here. Pastor Bob is a great pastor who never sugar-coats or dilutes the Word of God, but NEVER fails to share & emphasize God’s love for us. I love that! Lori (the Pastor’s wife) she can smell a newbie a mile away. Haha! She has THE most welcoming personality you’ll ever experience. I believe my first memory of her warmth was at my first Women’s Bible study (Beth Moore’s Patriarch). Probably not a good first study for a newbie, but definitely a good first leader. Beth Moore is awesome! Anyway, after Lori was probably Helen. She came up to me & introduced herself & was so sweet & kind & of course funny. The next person after her was Rebecca. Very soft-spoken, gentle & kind, but funny as well. But she handed me a verse & said that God had told her to give it to me. I wish I could find that piece of paper. I think it mentioned something about being worth more than gold and/or rubies. From that moment on, the rest is history. In our church are amazing people, especially the women that I have spent time with & who have cared for me & whom I care for. It is filled with amazing Prayer Warriors!

– Beth Moore’s conference in Oklahoma. I’ll have to update with the name of the conference later. A group of women drove up in a huge van. I got to know Laura & Lindsey more. That was a life-changing moment because I believe that was the time I chose to recommit my life back to him & I was determined to go to church regularly. At first I went alone or sometimes with the kids, but Rico was not quite ready yet. I may have tried dragging him a few times, but then decided to let him be & just drag him with my super-natural power called “example”. Haha. Eventually he started to go consistently with me. Thank you, God! He, himself started to grow a lot as well.

– Well with the commitment came refining. Yikes! It started with our marriage. Rico & I hit a rough patch which probably lasted maybe a year & a half or 2 years, more or less. I’m really not sure. He’ll probably say it was longer because it did seem like forever at the moment. But looking back at it now, we did a HUGE amount of growing during that time. The Lord wasn’t specifically working on our marriage, because for the most part we were content. Or maybe, so we thought. But He was working on us individually. I had things to work on within myself & apparently Rico realized he had things he had to work on as well. My hope tank was running on fumes at one point. But I was determined to hold on to the tiniest speck of hope that I could find. I reminded myself of God’s promises & his character & that was the only thing that kept me together. But I realize now, that I believe the change in our marriage began when the change in me started. And one of the changes I noticed was when my prayers went from “God, change Rico” to “God, change ME!” What a revelation! Through, Pastor Bob’s messages, a lot of Marriage Conferences, my women’s studies & prayer, we made it through that trial, changed for the better, with a deeper love & appreciation for & understanding of each other. Whoa! Did I just hit a tangent? Oops, my bad! Are you starting to see this big web of events?! As you can see, I’m starting to get lost in it myself. I better try to shorten it or this will end up a novel. Now where was I?

– Because of all the things above, my faith & relationship with God has grown immensely! And because of this my sister, Glory, took notice & sparked a curiosity. She has a journey of her own. A crazy adventure, I would call it. But because of her adventure, she became a believer as well. She went through some refining & crazy trials. But her faith plays a HUGE role in what’s to come. Even my brother, Roger & niece, Christine have showed interest in the Bible. Glory ministers to them when she is called to. I pray that God will continue to do a work in my family’s heart. I use to feel sad that I moved away when I was finally getting closer to my family. For some reason I thought I could help them more being there, but it is so obvious now that, through God, I am able to do a whole lot more here in Texas because there is NO WAY my faith would be at this level had I stayed in California.

If you were led to this post because of this post, then you can go back & continue reading. If not, then go to that post anyway & start from the beginning. Haha!

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My hero, my mom

For Christmas I made my mom a hooded scarf (scoodie). I didn’t finish it in time, so I had to work on it while I was there. Upon my return to Texas I get a text from Glory with a photo of my mom crocheting. Apparently she use to crochet long ago & was VERY good at it. She had taught herself & had made many things in the past. I vaguely remember her helping me back when I first learned in middle school. Well according to Glory I inspired her to start again. Although she didn’t remember certain things, she was determined to keep going, keep trying. She was like a machine, non-stop. Glory even said that after she would put her to bed her hands were still moving as if she was crocheting! That’s hilarious.

With my mom having dementia & probably getting depressed with her situation, having all these limitations, you can imagine Glory & I’s excitement when my mom showed interest in starting crocheting again. What a great way to exercise her brain!! And she seems so happy & content with it. Glory sends me pictures of her working on her project with a smile on her face. It makes my heart smile. You would never believe all the hell my mom went through.

If I didn’t believe in miracles before, well my mom’s journey in these past few years sure made me a believer. I saw the fighter in her! Some may call it stubbornness, but I call it strength… The Lord’s strength! I saw God’s protection, love, mercy, faithfulness & perfect timing all through my mom.

My belief in the power of prayer is beyond measurements. If it wasn’t for the prayer warriors in my life, I don’t know how I would have handled the texts & phone calls from Glory.

I realize just how perfect God’s timing is & how everything that has happened in my life has led up to the preparation of these moments. Here is a short version of the timeline. I hope I don’t forget key people & events.

So now do you see what I mean about God’s perfect timing?  Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I may have questioned it at times, but I am now a firm believer of these words.

Now back to my mom & what a soldier she is. Her health keeps coming at her trying to take her down & she continues to keep fighting, even when the odds are against her. One illness after another, falls, fractures, infections, even a “code blue” (that’s not even including what happened to her in the Philippines) & she is still standing (with a walker) looking healthier than ever. She still smiles, she still cries with joy & still as loving as I remember her.

When I look at her though, I am filled with regret & sadness. All those years I was with her, those opportunities of bonding & special memories, gone. Thrown away. Wasted. I play back the times when I chose my selfishness & imagine what she was doing. How alone she must have felt! How she must have craved companionship!
[Uncontrollable sobbing break! Why did I choose to put makeup on right now?]

And even though I was a selfish, spoiled brat, she loved me so unconditionally. Never once in my whole life did she ever spank me or even yell at me.  She would make me my favorite meals & hide them from everyone until I got home. She would wake up every morning & make me breakfast, even if she wasn’t feeling well & nurture me when I was sick. Never did it cross my mind to spend time with her? All I cared about were my friends & boys.

And I believe it wasn’t until after I just had Jadon that I realized how I wanted & needed her with me. I think the importance of a relationship between a mother & child finally hit me. The love I had for Jadon flooded my body & the realization of my mother’s love for me hit me like a ton of bricks. How can I ever say I’m sorry for what I had done & put her through? Even with her forgiveness I don’t know if I could ever forgive myself. It’s one of those things you can never have back! I know that I made it through my adolescence w/o any injuries because of her & her intercession for me through her persistent prayers. Thank you so much, mom!

And through all the hardships, heartache, struggles, trials, brokenness, she is STILL standing! She is still here so she can continue to build her legacy which will live in my heart & spirit forever & hopefully get passed down to my children & theirs & so forth.

So mom, you may think I have inspired you, but you will never know the degree of how you have inspired me in so many ways that I can’t even count them. So if you ever wondered or ever doubted your purpose. I am one of many proofs.

Taupe Neckwarmer

This is a neckwarmer that I did a while ago. It was one of my first projects. I didn’t like how it turned out at first, but now I think it’s growing on me. And even though it’s skinnier than I had hoped, it’s actually quite warm. I didn’t like how any of the pictures turned out, so I’ll post the best of the worst. Haha.

Yarn used:
– Loops & Threads Charisma (bulky 5): Taupe #6

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Nancy’s button-up cowl

Well I wasn’t going to give this to Nancy because I wasn’t too happy about it, but last night I changed my mind. I hope she’ll still like it even though it’s not perfect & that she’ll find it useful & comfortable & of course warm.

Yarn used:
– Loops & Threads Charisma (bulky 5): #34 Toadstool

I don’t have my niece to model it for me, so I had to do the job. I look so uncomfortable & awkward. Haha! But this is one of those accessories that needs to be on a mannequin or a real person. A hanger will not work. I’m sure there are other ways to wear it, but these are the ones I was able to figure out.

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I honestly can’t remember what pattern I used. This was one of the first ones I did, which was months ago. I’ll be sure to update the post once I can figure it out. Sorry!

[UPDATE] This might be the pattern that I tried to use for this cowl.

Mom’s scoodie

Yarn used:

-Red Heart Super Soft: Chocolate 9344

Gave my mom her scoodie during the Christmas break. I was actually working on it while I was there. I think I rushed the hood part because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it. Oh well. At least I was able to fix a part of it by folding it back. It turned out a little heavy but it was definitely super warm. Sometimes she sleeps with it, Glory said. Glory also said that I inspired my mom to start crocheting again too. Apparently she was an awesome crocheter back in the day. Hopefully she’ll continue it because it’s a perfect thing for her to not only kill time & keep her preoccupied, but it’ll exercise her brain as well. I’m so proud of her! Glory says that she listens to Ilocano music on the laptop while she crochets & can’t seem to put the hook down. That makes my heart smile. 🙂

Reyna was kind enough to model it for me so I can post it on my blog. Thanks, Reyna!

The pattern is free at Ravelry. I ended up improvising (as I usually do) so it didn’t turn out exactly like the patten.

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Step out in faith!

For a while now I have been feeling this tug at my heart to do more. To serve God more. Not that God is trying to tell me that I’m not doing enough or anything, but it has always been my desire to serve the needy. I’ve asked The Lord to open doors for me & I believe I’ve walked through some. But I know that there has been “bigger” doors that I just stare at & shake my head at because of fear.

Fear has always been my nemesis. It defeats me a majority of the time. Ok, so a lot of those times I actually let it win. I’m not proud of it & of course I regret it in the end because then the door is closed. But God is so faithful, He opens another door & gives me another chance. Of course there’s still a high percentage that I still don’t walk through it, but there were moments where I obeyed this time around & was immensely blessed. So knowing all that, why do I STILL hesitate to walk through those doors?!

I need to find a way to get over myself & do what makes me uncomfortable. I need to stop living comfortably in my Christianity. I need to start making a difference. But I’m so conflicted. A part of me says “Why are you so focused on out there when you should first start in your home?” Maybe I need to start out there to better serve in my home. I go through this kind of analyzing in my head almost every minute of the day. It’s a constant struggle for me. And I realize that it’s the enemy working out his plot. But even knowing that, I still allow him to paralyze me with fear. It makes me so angry & frustrated!

Well it’s a new year & I am determined to stay in His Word & continue to gain more strength & more confidence to finally break through that wall called fear so that I can finally accomplish the tasks set before me…the great commission!

[Side note]: Friday night I had this dream that Rico & I were on this plane & we were suppose to jump out. I don’t think it was a planned skydiving. It looked like a regular passenger plane. Anyway I was suppose to jump first & I looked down & I believe it was dark, but I couldn’t do it. And the weird thing is, I remember feeling a peace about it, but I still refused to jump. And Rico wouldn’t jump unless I jumped first. Of course his interpretation of that is that I need to step out first or else I will hold people back. What the? Thanks, babe! Lol. MY interpretation is that he shouldn’t be using me as an excuse to step out in faith himself. Haha!

So anyway, all Saturday morning I kept wondering about my dream & playing it over in my head. Then Sunday comes & Pastor Bob talks about how God opens doors that no one can shut. Then he mentions “stepping out in faith”. I’ll have to listen to the message again because something he said gave me chills. So then that stuck with me all Sunday on top of the whole skydiving dream. Now, I open my Chuck Smith devotional & in the message it says “But if we step out in faith, God will go before us & make a path through the sea.” The title is Trapped & I was thinking it didn’t apply to me, but now that I think of it, maybe I am feeling trapped. Trapped in my complacency. Now, that would make a whole lot of sense. Oh boy! Now I’m just one big ball of convicted, excited & nervous!

Rico’s Earflap Beanie

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Finished Rico’s beanie. It took a lot longer than expected. I just couldn’t get the earflap right. Then I had to make those pom-poms which I don’t enjoy doing. He says it’s comfortable, so hopefully he’ll actually wear it. We shall see.

Yarns used:
– Caron Simply Soft: dark country blue
– Vanna’s Choice: charcoal grey 151

I used this pattern, but I made changes by adding additional rows. I think the final row count was 18 & I added a border of sc stitches. Also I think the amount of stitches in row 4 should be 45 & then row 5 should be 60.

The earflaps were a bit more challenging for me. I tried writing the pattern after the fact, so I hope it’s accurate. As for where to start the flap, I had Rico put the beanie on & I marked the beginning & ending stitch with bobby pins. I made sure they were 14 stitches apart so the flap would end up long enough. So here it goes:

Row 1:
Join yarn, chain 2, DC in base of chain
DC in the next 13 stitches [14]

Row 2:
Chain 2, turn, DC in base if chain
DC all the way down [14]

Row 3:
Chain 2, turn, dc2tog next 2 chains
DC to the last 2 stitches
Dc2tog last 2 stitches
DC into chain space

Row 4:
Repeat row 2

Row 5-7:
Repeat row 3

Row 8:
Chain 2, turn,
Dc2tog next 2 stitches (2x)
DC into chain space

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Was able to get a picture of my hubby wearing it. 🙂

Nancy’s House Slippers for her birthday

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Yarns used:

I’m a little disappointed in this project, but I was short on time to start all over. Hopefully it’ll do it’s job & look cute on Nancy’s feet while keeping it warm. The one part I do like is the part I made up, which is the strap. The strap on the pattern didn’t work out so I had to improvise. This is what I did:

20 chains
Sc in chain 12
Slip stitch the rest of the chains

I left a tail in the beginning & in the end so that when I attach it to the slipper I could pull a string through each side of a stitch & tie a knot to secure it. Then I stitched the green border over it so it would look neater.

The button of course gives it the character it needs. Can’t wait to see it on Nancy’s feet. I pray that it will fit her feet like the glass slipper on Cinderella’s. haha!

Here is the pattern.

Cherree’s Bulky Slouchy Beanie for her birthday

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Yarn used:
– Loops & Thread Charisma (bulky) in Espresso #32

Started this out just to test out the pattern, but then decided that if it turned out cute I’d make it Cherree’s birthday gift. I like it, but I kind of wish they used WW yarn instead of bulky. It’s a little stiff for my liking, but I’m hoping Cherree will still wear it.

I got the pattern from one of those booklets. This one was called Celebrity Slouchy Beanies for the Family.

I went to Joann’s and decided to get a button for it for the finishing touch so it didn’t look so plain. This was the best one I could find. Hopefully Cherree will let me take a picture of her wearing it so I can post another picture here… hopefully I’ll remember to take the picture.

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