Here’s something I was pondering upon in Cagayan de Oro last month.

What is success? I am surrounded by family members who, by the world’s standards, are pretty successful, I would say. My mom is retired but she was a valuable “employee” in Jardine Davies, Inc and Hawaiian Philippine Company (previously affiliated companies) for collectively at least 30 years. My brother has been one of the brilliant IT guys working with Chikka for at least 6 years. My brother’s wife is an advertising genius who gets offers from big companies left and right. In Cagayan de Oro, my aunt is a successful pediatrician. I’m 33, so she is at least 30 years in the business. She gave us our shots when we were kids, and now she’s giving shots to her grandchildren (Danae & Noelle). My uncle is now a successful resource speaker, after years of being a successful “employee” in Magnolia (imagine all the ice cream we had all those summers in Cagayan!). My cousins, as I have mentioned in my previous blog, are co-owners of Crocs Cagayan de Oro. They have been in business for more than 5 years (they gave Danae’s first, well her 2nd, 3rd and so on haha, Crocs) and it’s still going strong.  They’ve even managed to open another store called Bliss, which is also doing quite well. My dad’s brother is a surgeon in the US, my aunt a retired nurse, and my cousins a doctor and a business consultant. So does one have to have a career in order to be successful? Or to work many years in your company or field?

Everyone I mentioned above has the financial freedom to pretty much do whatever they want, or at least save up for it more easily than many — buy a car, buy land, buy the latest gadgets, buy branded clothes, shoes & bags, travel abroad. Not only that, the money they have comes from their hard work. Some may have been handed down to them by their parents, but they also work hard for what they have. I’ve been wondering, imagining what it must be like to be like them. Not that I want everything that they have, because each one is different from the other, and so am I. But wouldn’t it be nice to have financial freedom? To be financially able and ready for almost anything? I would love to be able to travel with King and the kids without having to stress about how much it’s going to cost. I would love to be able to renovate our home to suit our needs without having to think about how we’re going to come up with the money. I would love to be able to hold small dinner parties for people without thinking of the budget. I would love to be able to change my wardrobe completely so I don’t have to worry about not having anything to wear (okay, this one’s completely selfish haha). I would love to be able to bless King, my kids, my mom, my in-laws, our relatives, our friends or maybe even complete strangers without thinking twice about how it’s going to affect our finances. Could the amount of money you have or are able to spend be the measure of success?

If career and money are the measures of success, then let me tell you, I AM A COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE! But then, how come I don’t feel like a failure? Because I am not. Because I am 100% certain that I am doing what I am called to do. Just as I am certain my family is called to do what they are doing right now. A good example I can give you is my cousin Baba. She’s actually a doctor. She graduated from UP College of Medicine a few years ago. So why on earth is she running a business instead of practicing medicine with her mom? Well, she honored her parents’ wishes and tried it just in case it was really meant for her, but after many years of studying and then working in the medical field as a researcher, she discovered that being a doctor is not her calling. She has no passion for it. She found one of her passions in business instead.

Surrounded by family whose accomplishments are pretty great, you could imagine what kind of pressure I must be experiencing seeing that I am not like any of them, and especially that we are leading in the baby-making department. So do I feel bad that I don’t have a career I can call my own? NO. Do I feel bad that I have to depend on King for money? Not really. Do I feel bad that I don’t have the funds I wish I had? Well, sure, there are times I do, but I get over it and remain hopeful. Why? Because I truly believe I am where God wants me to be — at home with the kids. I get to be a full-time “housewife,” to be a full-time mommy/teacher/nanny/playmate, to be a minister to God’s people, and to use my creativity in each role that I play. It’s tough, tiring, frustrating, time-consuming, energy-draining, and yet it gives me the most joy, the most fulfillment, the most excitement, the most peace. It is my passion. And what’s amazing is, even though I do feel pressure sometimes when it comes to finances, nobody in my family  actually pressures me to be someone I’m not. Nobody tells me I need to be thinking of getting a job so I could have a career and some extra money. Nobody tells me that my husband earns too little, so I should be helping him financially. Why? Well, aside from not wanting to interfere in our affairs, I believe that they too see that this is what I am really called to do and they see that I am actually good at being a stay-at-home mom. Even my dad, when he was still alive, never questioned my decision to stay home. Besides, I think he knew that I was never the type who could juggle too many things in my life haha. He always told me I had a one-track mind. Thank God He showed me what my priorities ought to be.

So what is the true meaning of success? For me, success comes in doing what you love and what you are passionate about. Success comes when you are doing what God designed you to do, where and when He wants you to do it. It’s not about the money, whether you make any or not. It’s not about a job title, or the years you’ve put in being in that position or company. It’s about fulfilling your purpose, and right now, I know I’m fulfilling mine. God may reveal to me new things, new purposes for my life in the future, but for now, this is it. And I am happy. I am at peace. 🙂

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About Phoebe Torres-Lucero

I am Phoebe Torres-Lucero, wife of a loving husband & dedicated pastor, King, and mother to three wonderful, smart, active little girls, Danae, Noelle and Gianna. Phoebe means bright and radiant. Torres means towers. Lucero means light. Put together, my name speaks of a tower of bright, radiant light. And that is what I hope to be as I write and share with you some of my experiences, especially on being a mom.

16 responses »

  1. Miel Maguigad says:

    You really are not! You are such a successful mom and wife. That speaks more volumes than any title can.

    • Miel Maguigad says:

      I meant, if that was the yardstick, you are not. Thank God for that! Your decision to stay home and take care of your family is truly selfless. You are doing great, Phoebe.

  2. Thammie sy says:

    My sentiments exactly! 🙂

  3. Thine says:

    super like!!!

    You’re not just a successful mom and wife but a successful mentor too! Thank you Phoebe!! 🙂

  4. rcbarredo says:

    A complete utter failure by the world’s standards… but in reality, you are an eternal success!

    Thanks for the timely encouragement! I really had to read this. Things have been getting tighter and tougher by the day since I decided to pursue this calling into full-time ministry. There were times I was really tempted to just go back to where I was before and just enjoy raking in the money, but just like you, I realized that I’m not happy with just the money.

    Now more than ever, despite the challenge and the rough road, I feel more accomplished when I enter every door of opportunity that presents itself for me to be able to build up another person.

    Thank you for the timely word, Ate Phoebe!

  5. King Lucero says:

    surely you are not a failure, because it is very clear for you where and what God called you to do! That is the advantage of having a relationship with God.

  6. phoebelucero says:

    thank you all for your encouraging words! 🙂
    you’re welcome, rc! 🙂

  7. david bernardo says:

    “For me, success comes in doing what you love and what you are passionate about. Success comes when you are doing what God designed you to do, where and when He wants you to do it”<—-agreee!!!!

    Ms.phoebe!!! This is really a good reminder for me as well, there's such a joy when you're doing what you're designed to do, your life is an encouragement to many!!! keep blogging!

  8. Ria says:

    Success comes when you are doing what God designed you to do, where and when He wants you to do it. It’s not about the money, whether you make any or not. It’s not about a job title, or the years you’ve put in being in that position or company. It’s about fulfilling your purpose, and right now, I know I’m fulfilling mine. God may reveal to me new things, new purposes for my life in the future, but for now, this is it. And I am happy. I am at peace. :)——-love this Phoebz! this is very real and we can see it! 🙂

  9. Lala Lim says:

    Success is being happy and content with whatever you have. It sounds simple but its the perfect way of describing it. =)

  10. Amor Ison says:

    Success is having peace in your heart, wherever you are and whoever you’re with, and with so much love to give no matter what.;)

  11. norie canda says:

    success is not defined by the material things we have, but in the things we have invested in the lives of others. you are such one lady who have impacted many more than you’ll ever know… continue to shine for Jesus!!!

  12. Lolit Tonelada says:

    Wow!!! very proud of you Ms.Phoebe… I am encourage with your blog and it becomes a joy in my heart to keep doing on where God has designed me to do and the very purpose of my existence. Thanks!!! Godbless

  13. maple maypa-tayao says:

    Wow!!! Amen amen amen!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAMMMEEEENNNN!!!!! Phoebs everything I wanted to say, my thoughts, convictions, EVERYTHING which i could not organize and put down in words..YOU NAILED IT!! hahahah i love it , i love it i love it!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  14. Lea Santos says:

    I’ve said it many times over in my head, and I’m thrilled whenever I could personally let you know, that you’re the kind of mom I’d wanna be. Your passion for your family oozes out. Being with your girls and supporting Pastor King in the ministry, and everything else that goes with these that nobody might see, speak greatly of your love for God. I deeply admire and respect you for the call you’re pursuing! Praise a God for women like you!

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