Starve Fear

Saw a picture on someone’s FB page that totally spoke to me. It said:

“Feed your faith & your fear will starve to death.”

I love it!

Kayla’s singing

I love it when Kayla is singing & she’s so into the song that not knowing the words does not stop her; she keeps singing without even a pause making up words even if they don’t make any sense whatsoever. Sometimes I even wonder if some of the words even exist in the English dictionary. Haha.

Dinner with Asher

Asher is sleeping over tonight so Mark & Tina can spend some time with Alissa (sp?). Kayla & Asher decide on pizza, but Jadon wants sardines & rice instead. As they are eating I hear Asher ask, “Jadon, why do you always eat with your hands?”

Kayla: “Because we’re Filipino & Filipinos eat with their hands.”

Asher: “Oh.”

Jadon: “Why are you eating with your hands?”

Asher: “Because this is hand food.”

I just love listening to kid conversations.

Dehydrated green beans

It sounds gross doesn’t it? Especially if you don’t like green beans in the first place. Well Kayla has always been the brave one, willing to try new food, so even though she doesn’t like cooked green beans she was willing to try them dehydrated. To my surprise she says “Mmm. Not bad.” A few days later, she sees them on the island & gets excited to eat it. After probably eating a few she says, “I love that it’s crunchy, and I love the salt, but it taste kind of gross.” Lol. I guess she had to eat at least a handful to get the true flavor. Hey, you gotta give her props for at least trying it.

CCGT Valentine’s Dinner

The men’s ministry sponsored a Valentine’s dinner last night for the couples of CCGT. I have to say, that I was quite impressed. Although, I didn’t have any doubt because I knew that their hearts were in the right place. I am so proud of them. I truly hope that the men’s ministry will grow & thrive. I think it’s so important for the men to fellowship. They have the pressure of leading a home, a family. And even though, they have God & His Word to go to, it is still nice to have a person to go to for godly advice & perhaps confirmation.

I love the men at our church. They are great guys. One I didn’t realize was as funny as he was. I’m thankful we decided to sit at a table with people whom we didn’t quite know that well. It was a fun time of fellowship & getting to know the 2 couples more.

I really felt the love that these men had for their wives. I was so blessed by the turn out. Pastor Bob & Lori, Noel & Mela, Franco & Ricci were missed though.

Dinner was from Paisanos & it seemed everyone enjoyed it very much. Cupcakes made by the Taylors. Norm bought & assembled red roses, which was a lovely touch. We burned a Christian CD the night before which helped set the mood, Mike MC’d in place of Pastor Bob & he did a great job. Jabar sang Truly by Lionel Richie.

Then we played the “Newlywed” game. There were 3 rounds so everyone had to play. Rico & I went on the 2nd round & got all our answers right. Almost word for word. One of the questions was “What is your husband’s favorite flower?” We both wrote “white rose”. I don’t know if it’s actually his favorite, but we wrote it due to the story behind it. 🙂 We ended up tying with another couple so we had to do a tie breaker question. The question was “What did your husband eat for lunch yesterday?” Good thing we had lunch together. We both wrote “Jack in the box burger”. The funny thing was we both added burger in the end to be more specific. Haha! The other couple got it right also, but since Rico & I were married longer (by 1 year) we won the prize!

Then there was a tie breaker for the 2 couples with the lowest score. The funny thing was one of the couples just celebrated their 30th anniversary. Haha. The longest in the room. They ended up winning the big prize. Good times!!

This is the bouquet my hubby surprised me with. I can’t wait for the lilies to bloom. And the 2 roses in their own vase was from the dinner. One for me & the other for Kayla. 🙂

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The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

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!

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.