Out of the Blue Comments

A few days ago, Gianna and I were walking in the mall…

Mall radio: 🎡santa claus is coming to town…🎢

G: No he’s not….. because he’s DEAD.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ we told her that he was an actual person who loved giving gifts, but that it was a long time ago.

A few weeks ago, I was telling Gianna that we were going to wowa’s friend’s house.

G: what friend?

Me: wowa’s friend from before.

G: is she new?

Me: no, wowa’s old friend.

G: when she was thin?

πŸ˜‚ for some reason, she associates the past with me or my mom being thin. Like when we were younger and thinner. πŸ˜‚

Me: Gianna! (Surprised)

G: (innocently) is that rude?

πŸ˜‚ I guess she could tell from my reaction.

Her cousin gave her a small lipstick a few nights ago. She was riding at the very back on our way home, and it was either king sped up or hit the brakes abruptly. She suddenly said, “Daaaaad! You made my lipstick go to my tooth!”

Girls πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

15 Years <3

Today we celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. ❀ Β I cannot thank God enough for first giving me the best husband, and then for sustaining us all these years. When I married King, I was sure that it was God who ordained everything for us to be together. But he isn’t perfect, and I am not perfect. We had only known each other for about 14 months, hardly enough time to really get to know another person. So in those 15 years, anything could have happened. The baggage we first brought into our marriage, we could have carried to this day. We could have kept pointing out the fault of the other and kept blaming each other. We could have kept dredging up our past. The issues we faced in the beginning could have remained. The attitudes we had could have remained unchanged. We could have made choices that would ruin us. We could have given up in frustration and pain (although the worst marriage nightmares, we experienced only literally in our dreams, or Kings dreams πŸ˜€ ).

But God has carried us through. Marriage is no joke. It is no easy feat. It takes work and change and dying to self. There is nothing like marriage to make you grow up and practice selflessness. I thank God for His grace, giving us the ability to not just bury things in our subconscious, but to acknowledge the issue, forgive and move forward. I thank God for His Word that continually renews our minds and transforms us. It is impossible to navigate through our relationship without the Word of God. Our marriage cannot grow if we ourselves do not grow in our relationship with God. I am so grateful for our spiritual family, that looks out for us. Marriage seminars and retreats, but most importantly couples we look up to and learn so much from. Couples who love us, walk with us, cover us in prayer, and are so generous in sharing their wisdom. Discipleship (as youth/singles) also truly helped us in learning servant leadership, grace, forgiveness, humility, honor, security in our identity in Christ, standards, boundaries, priorities, prayer, faith, trust, joy, hope, sacrificial love. Very important values to carry into a marriage.

Thank you, babe, for being a great husband. Thank you for your genes! We have three beautiful, talented daughters because of your contribution πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ ! Β Thank you for your love for our family. Thank you for your kindness, and your example of Christlikeness. You have mentored me in so many ways. Thank you for loving God more than you love me. Our marriage is not perfect. We both make mistakes. But by the grace of God, we will continue being comfortable but never complacent, and we will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 35 years!!! We will be in our late 70s, but hopefully still grooving and laughing together. I love you! ❀

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Culture of Gratitude

King and I had another opportunity to teach engaged couples in our church yesterday, at our wedding prep seminar called Before I Do. And one of the principles that we teach, though it is not in their manuals, is the concept of low expectation, high appreciation. In simpler terms, low demand, high appreciation. Demand less, hope more, and appreciate more.

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I think it is pretty easy to be thankful for the pleasant surprises, for the unexpected. Things that you hope for and do not demand for, but surprisingly receive. Things that you think you would not get or experience, but then do.

But do we still express thanks for the normal, day-to-day, expected things? Things that are routine already? Things that you think you ought to receive, or things you feel you deserve?

Like maybe when your husband pays the bills on time (and you don’t even notice or get stressed out because they’re always paid for monthly). Or like when your wife keeps the peace at home among the children (and you don’t realize that you get saved from the stress of having to mediate because the issue has already been handled). Or when your husband holds the door for you. Or when your wife brings you water and food. Or when your husband drives for you. Or when your wife drives for you. Or when your husband plans dates with you. Or when your wife organizes your schedule as a family. Or when your husband does the plumbing. Or when your wife does the laundry.

Thank your spouse! Especially for the seemingly little and seemingly ordinary. Everything you do for your spouse and for your family is not little. It is not ordinary. Everything your spouse does for you and for your family is not little. It is not ordinary. Each of your contributions in your marriage is valuable. Appreciate each other. Verbally. Not just by actions. Your words have power. Use them to build a culture of gratitude in your marriage. ❀

16Β Rejoice always, 17Β pray continually, 18Β give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Katina Danae

A few weeks ago, Danae learned that a movie she wanted to see was going to be shown on cable. She got excited and took note of the date. When in doubt about the content of any movie, I research first before I agree. And then I watch it with them. My girls know we can be pretty strict about these things, so I was glad I was asked first before she went ahead and saw it on her own.

The children in the movie have interesting names — Seven, Starr, and Sekani. I relate to the father who named their children, because his choices were not random. Seven for perfection. Starr for light in the darkness. Sekani for joy. I soooo love that. It reminds me of why King and I named our children the way we did. Early on, we knew that their names would be a significant decision for us to make.

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Katina Danae. 14 years ago, we chose to give our first born this name. We chose a K name because of King, which is his actual first name, and we wanted to declare that our daughter will live a pure and holy life. Katina means pure. Danae came from one of our favorite people in the Bible, Daniel. (I love his friends too. I joke that if I could name my kids Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, I would. πŸ˜€ ) The name means God is my judge, and we wanted to declare that our daughter will love God fearlessly and be ten times better, just like Daniel.

We declare these for Danae to this day! We also declare wisdom beyond your years, Nae. Wisdom in your speech, wisdom in friendships, wisdom in big and small decisions. We declare courage to share the love of Jesus, even to those who are difficult to love. We declare passion to seek the Lord, to obey Him, and depend on Him. We declare security in your identity in Jesus Christ alone. We declare strength in your spiritual foundations and steadfastness, that you will always choose God over anything the world offers. We declare confidence to approach the throne of your Father, humility to rely on His grace. May the Lord be glorified in your life Nae! You are a normal teenager, who is into Why Don’t We and easily appreciates beauty (I am being nice here πŸ˜€ ), who makes mistakes, fights with her sisters, and is in need of guidance. We thank the Lord for the work He is doing in you, in your day-to-day affairs. Thank you for listening to us, even though many times it takes a while to take. Thank you for always being open to us, talking to us about anything and everything. For trusting us with your tea πŸ˜‰ . Thank you for loving and appreciating our imperfect family. We love you so much. Happy 14th ❀ .

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Godβ€”this is your true and proper worship.Β Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will isβ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

β€œI am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Jonh 15:5

Turon

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A while back, Gianna was telling me she wanted to eat something.

G: Mom, I want to eat…whats that again? Churon?

Me: Do you mean turon? The one with banana?

G: No, in Disneyland. The one with Mickey and the sugar. Churon? No. Chu….ron?

I thought hard about what she liked in Disneyland.

Me: Aaah, churro! πŸ˜€

 

Just tonight, while watching a video of a family at the beach…

G: Mom I also want to go to Toron, like Kaycee and Rachel. With you and the ates and daddy.

They were in Coron. πŸ˜€

 

I enjoy hearing Giannas funny words.

MuntinluMpa (the city).

J.coB (the donut shop).

SnapchaK (the app).

CinnEMA rolls (the famous pastry).

MascARD (characters in costume).

FliP (the ant in that bug movie).

Custachios (the nuts).

Lady and the Trump (the Disney movie). πŸ˜€

Funny Gianna

215635-672x450-Little-turtleIt’s exam week and as I was reviewing Gianna for Science, this conversation transpired….

Me: How about the spoon? Is it living or non-living?

G: Non-living.

Me: What about the electric fan?

G: Non-living.

Me: Puppy?

G: Living.

Me: How about a robot?

G: Non-living.

Me: Ok why?

G: Because it has a battery.

Me: Okay, how about Treasure?

G: Non-living.

Me: Huh? Oh I meant Treasure the turtle (our pet).

G: Living!

Me: How bout Talula (our other turtle)? Living or non-living?

G: Non-living.

Me: What? Why?

G: Because she died!

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ She’s right. Talula died a few months ago.

 

 

What I Learned From Captain Marvel

So I posted something on Facebook but it turned out to be a spoiler πŸ˜‚ I took it down and decided to write it (and more) here instead. Consider this your warning!

I didn’t know about the bad rap Captain Marvel or Brie Larson was getting so it did not influence me at all as I watched the movie. I know nothing about the comic book stories, and no one spoiled the movie for me 😬. I enjoyed it! The story, the characters, the action, the heart, and the MUSIC! I don’t normally watch movies more than once in the theater, but I would totally see this one again because of the music. High five to all who love 90s music (save for most boy bands 😬) like I do!

Awwww and the opening…the tribute… THANK YOU STAN! I’m so glad to learn that he was able to finish his scene for this one. I thought they just CGIed him into it. Even our girls, also pseudo daughters who watched with us, were almost teary remembering Stan Lee. It’s bittersweet to see his cameos in the Marvel movies.

So what did I learn from Captain Marvel? Quite a few actually.

THE POWER OF MANIPULATION.

Self-serving motive under the guise of friendship and mentorship.

Yon-Rogg (Jude Law’s character apparently πŸ˜‚ thank you Google πŸ˜‚) was fully aware of his goals, his intentions, and his actions. To Vers aka Carol Danvers/Capt Marvel, he was a trusted friend and mentor. Because of the trust and friendship that was built, she not only believed in their cause, she fought alongside them. She was aware of (some of) her power, her gift, but she was not aware that she was being used as a pawn in an unjust war.

Imagine the power Yon-Rogg held over Vers. He had her in the palm of his hands, and she had no clue. He appeared so good and trust worthy. He seemed to genuinely care about her. I mean didn’t you love him at first? I did. And Vers was all in, believing she was one of the good guys. For 6 years. Amazing how deception could last that long. How sad that the person she looked up to was not who she thought he was. Proximity and love can create blind spots.

But I believe that truth is more powerful than lies.

THE POWER OF TRUTH.

The truth always has a way of coming out. In this case, the key was Carol giving Talos the benefit of the doubt and giving ear to his story. She gave him a chance, and she listened!

The truth freed her from the lies that she once completely believed. The truth gave her the freedom to choose for herself — not dictated to her or because she was manipulated — to make her own decision about whose cause she would fight for. To choose to use her powers for what was right and for what was truly good.

The truth freed her from the power of Yon Rogg. Oh how I loved when she blasted him and told him that she had nothing to prove to him! Yessss! It’s like when we overcome our past, our old patterns, our sin. The lies of the enemy are given no more power in our lives because of the Truth!!! The truth of who Jesus is and what He did for us to be forgiven and to be new. We break free and we break through!

And she discovered that she had been fighting with one hand tied behind her back, because they constantly told her to control her powers and told her that her powers could be taken away from her. I would generally agree with that because it takes great character to use great power responsibly, IF they were training her to use her powers wisely. But their intention was to keep her at bay, keep her controlled, so they could continually manipulate her to do what they wanted her to do. What greater powers were unleashed when she refused to be controlled by that chip and by the Supreme Intelligence’s words!

What greater power we have when we refuse to believe the lies of the enemy. What greater power we have, to do all things, because of Christ in us!

THE POWER OF IDENTITY.

But even when Carol already knew about the lies fed to her, she was still lost. She still did not understand what she was supposed to do, until her best friend Maria reminded her of who she is. It was then that she regained her confidence and made the decision to continue Lawson/Mar-vell’s fight to end the war.

All the great stories have this element. Losing one’s identity, consumed by whatever in the world consumes them (hate, love, greed, career, relationship, fame, drugs, ambition, and so many more), and then remembering, going back to who they are, regaining their identity. This one’s no different.

We are no different. Once lost, now found. Once blind, but now able to see. Loved, valued, saved, forgiven, redeemed, accepted, secure. Identity anchored in Jesus alone.

How powerful it is to know exactly who you are in Christ and be πŸ’― committed to Him and His purpose for your life!

Sometimes what we know and believe are actually not the truth. Sometimes who we think and believe we are, or who others think or say we are, is not true. Sometimes, we get lost. May we be open, and learn to be sensitive, to the leading of the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth. May we find our way back to Jesus.

Funny Eyebrow-raising Friday

Gianna came in to the bathroom…

G: (sounding worried) Mom, where are you going?

Me: Nowhere….why?

G: Because you put on kilay.

πŸ˜‚ kilay is life πŸ˜‚

Funny February Friday

Gianna is four but sometimes she talks like she’s not. I don’t know why I even wonder when her older sisters were the same when they were her age. Just this morning, we had a conversation that went like this…

Me: Stay here. I’ll be back.

G: No. I’m scared.

Me: Scared? Why are you scared in your own house?

G: Because monsters and all those other stuff. (side note: I’m so proud of her — she has never said “stuffs” ever, not even by mistake! πŸ˜‚)

She’s been having bad dreams, and I was surprised, not by her answer, but by how she articulated it. Sometimes she bobs her head and raises her eyebrows — too much sass! πŸ˜‚

But there are other times when she is just completely adorably, wonderfully four.

On King’s birthday, Noelle mentioned that we were going to the arcade.

G: What cade?

N: Arcade, not our cade.

G: What caaaaade???

πŸ˜‚

When King talked about his oldest friend who was coming over…

K: Tito Ryan has been my friend for a long time. We were together in Kinder….

G: Egg.

Kinder egg, what have you done to my child??? πŸ˜‚

I recently taught Gianna the song that I sang to her sisters when they were babies. She now sings it as well.

G: You’re my itty bitty baby girl…Daddy’s pride, Mama’s pearl. Tiny treasure, so PATIS…

πŸ˜‚

She mispronounces words and I enjoy hearing them!

“Are we going to the ates’ RECYCLE?”

“That’s BUNNY’S Bakedown.”

“I want to have my own STEPOCOPE.”

Recently she learned to say THree with a considerable amount of saliva at first. But it’s still funder, fumbs up, and Feeyodore. πŸ˜‚

The other day, she said she was drawing a Sir and a Maam.

Me: Is mommy the maam? Do I look like her?

G: No.

Me: We’re different?

G: Yeah.

Me: Why? Why are we different?

G: Because you’re a human.

Me: Oh I’m a human. And she’s a?

G: A drawing.

πŸ˜‚ Nga naman. πŸ˜‚

Low Expectation, High Appreciation

One of the best lessons we have learned, and also teach to other couples, is the concept of Low Expectation and High Appreciation. Coming from a place of hope instead of demand or expectation.

A few months ago, I noticed this in action. Not that it’s never at work in our marriage haha. I just distinctly noticed it that day. King didn’t bring a car to work, so we agreed that I would pick him up in the evening. But he messaged me during the day and asked me to pick him up in the mall near us, since he was able to get a ride from a co-worker. I happily agreed.

When I picked him up, he thanked me for the effort. He knew he could have just walked home.

I was actually happy that I didn’t have to drive all the way to the office, grateful I could pick him up nearby.

Neither of us had high expectation or high demand. Though we agreed on me picking him up, he hoped I would be agreeable to picking him up in the mall that’s not even five minutes away from our house. He hoped, but he was also willing to walk if needed. Though we agreed on me picking him up, I hoped that I would not have to because he could hitch a ride. I hoped πŸ˜‚ but I was also willing to do what was agreed upon.

We both ended up appreciative of each other because our hopes were realized. Imagine if we both came from a place of demand or expectation. If he had demanded that I pick him up, he would not have appreciated the fact that I did because “it was agreed upon.” Words like “buti nga malapit lang ako nagpasundo!” might have come out. If I had demanded that he hitch a ride, I would not have appreciated that he cut my drive short by 20-40 minutes. Words like “ang lapit na lang eh, di pa naglakad.” might have come out.

The beauty of that is, even if we stuck with our agreement, we would still have been grateful because we did not turn our hopes into expectation or demand. He would still have been grateful that he got picked up. I would have still been grateful that I was able to pick him up.

Low expectation. High appreciation. We don’t get this right all the time, but it is good practice, I would say not just for couple relationships, but especially for married couples. And when it isn’t successfully practiced, bigger words come into play — mercy, grace, dying to self, forgiveness, love, faith, trust, inside out transformation. All by the grace of God. ❀️