Let Him Do His Job

It was many years ago when Ryan, our 3rd child, requested to celebrate his 10th birthday ice skating with his friends. At that time, our youngest, Joaquin was only three years old but he was so insistent to join his siblings on the ice skating rink.

Being the protective mom that I was, I wasn’t ready to allow him to do it yet. I could think of 101 ways how he could get hurt on the ice. My husband, Paolo, offered to skate with him but I wasn’t sure about the idea.  But Joaquin was so persistent, not wanting to miss out on the fun with his siblings. So I let him.

As they headed inside, I called Paolo on his cellphone to give him reminders and he told me “Jenn, it’s ok. I have done this with our 3 other kids before” and hung up. He was right.

In the first thirty minutes or so, Joaquin just clung on to Paolo’s legs and just allowed himself to drag wherever his dad went. But I also saw how, with Paolo’s prodding, he gradually gained confidence to let go and take a few strides all on his own. I wish I could describe the happiness on Joaquin’s face!

This brought back pictures in my mind of Paolo doing exactly the same thing with each of our three older kids several years back and he did know what to do.

Often times I am overcome by worry, afraid to relinquish control to my husband. I fear that he will not be able to do as good a job as I expect him to. But time and time again, I have been proven wrong.

If there is one thing I have realized over the years it’s that my husband is good at so many things I am not good at. But I need to step out of the way and let him do his job.

Paolo and I were seated separately at the wedding we attended yesterday because he was one of the principal sponsors. But while the Pastor was preaching his sermon, I got this text from him. Paolo is the sweetest husband!

THE STORY OF US

Not so long ago, God created this cute little boy. Though he was named Paolo, which means small, God destined for him to do great things for Him! Yet, God said, it is not good for him to be alone.
baby jenn
So six months after, Jennifer was born. She was to become, among others, Paolo's helper and companion, who is just right for him.
Over the years, God's plan unfolded in their lives. Through all the ups and downs of their childhood and growing up years, God has prepared them for this thing called marriage. And when the time was ripe, they were joined together and became united as one.
16 years and 4 kids after, their story continues. It hasn't been perfect, but it's been quite a journey. God knew what He was doing when He brought them together.

Happy Anniversary Paolo! You have made so much difference in my life! Given the choice, I would marry you all over again! Can’t imagine living without you! I am looking forward to growing old with you!

And to my God,
I sing to you Lord, a hymn of love
For your faithfulness to me.
I’m carried in everlasting arms
You never let me go through it all.

GOOD-LOOKING OR RICH?

Yesterday, Janina and I heard about a survey saying that majority of men prefer “good-looking but poor” as a life partner while majority of women prefer “rich but ugly.”

Upon hearing this, I turned to Janina and asked her “What do you think I looked for in your dad?”

I was assuming she’d say either good-looking or rich (in good deeds maybe :D) , or tall, or kind, or smart, or all of the above, hehe. But her answer caught me by surprise.

She said “godly.”

dad and janina

I did pray for a good-looking, financially-stable, kind and yes, a tall man, among others. But really, on top of my list was godly. A man who feared the Lord, who would honor him in his marriage, work, and all aspects of his life. And i’m glad that Janina saw that, without me having to spell it out.

If there’s something I’ve learned in the last 15 years of being married, it is this. Good looks, money or intelligence are not enough to sustain a marriage. It is really when the husband and wife daily submit their lives to God and allow Him to work in their hearts. That’s what makes a marriage work.

I hope Janina’s perceptive answer is an indication of what she would look for in her future husband. Sure, I’m praying she’d find a handsome, affectionate, responsible, and even wealthy man, but above all else, I pray that she will find a godly husband, a man who puts God first in his life.

I CHOOSE “US”

A few weeks ago, Paolo and I were counselling a couple who kept on arguing over the pettiest of things. I left them with a 3-word “mantra” that really sounded silly, but I think it drove the point home: ALWAYS CHOOSE “US”.

Five years ago, I made this blog to surprise Paolo on the eve of Valentine’s Day. I was expecting no less than a delighted “Oh darling, you’re the sweetest and most thoughtful wife!” but instead I got a lukewarm retort “Ano ‘to?” uttered in a tone that to me meant “How did you even think of coming up with a crazy idea such as this?” Of course that was not what he meant. Maybe he was caught off guard or maybe he felt embarassed that I bragged about him to the whole blogosphere, but his response offended me.

“ANO ‘TO?!!!” That’s all you could say?” At this point, my melodramatic self ran to the closet to get my 2 other surprise Valentine gifts for him, slammed them on the bed and said “Maybe you should just throw these in the trashcan before you make fun of them!”

If you could only see the look on his face! I knew at that very moment that he was wishing he could start over, that he could retrieve the words that were carelessly spoken. Immediately, he apologized and explained what he really meant to say, but I wasn’t ready just yet to budge. You know how we women are. We want our husbands to realize exactly how they have hurt us, right? 😀 I wanted him to suffer longer but a voice inside me asked “What is more important to you? Your pride or your marriage?” After a few more minutes of drama, I figured too that I didn’t want to spend that Valentine’s Day sulking over 2 reckless words (yes I just had to rub it in again hehe) and decided it was time to forgive. After all, if I decided to hold on to the offense, not only will he be miserable, but I as well. So, the better part of me won. I CHOSE “US”.

Since that blog 5 years ago, Paolo has been able to take me to Paris , was in the delivery room for the birth of our 4th child,  and still hasn’t suspended my credit card. And I want to add this to my list:

Thank you for always choosing us.

caricature
Caricature from our Honeymoon Trip 1995

As we all celebrate Valentine’s Day, again, i leave you with these 3 words:

ALWAYS CHOOSE “US”.

As cheesy as it sounds, it is always a reminder of what matters the most.

MACHONURIN

Men are meant to lead, cultivate and protect. Wives and all the single women who are reading this, let us support the men God has given to us, our husbands, our sons, our fathers, our brothers, even our male friends, by encouraging them everytime they take a step to lead, cultivate and protect. Too often, we find ourselves criticizing them and judging them, thinking that what they do is not good enough. No wonder we see a lot of passive men, who have just given up trying and have turned over the reins of leadership to women.

tagaytay 2
Picture by Taal Volcano during the recent Couples Retreat

Whenever your husband steps up, you need to step aside and let him be the man God created him to be. You might feel anxious and fearful at first, that’s okay, but please be encouraging. Always appreciate him for his effort and trust that God will work it out.

Our husbands might and will fail at times, but that doesn’t make them a failure. The more we let them lead, the better they will be at leading.
——-

Embedded below is the message last Sunday on Machonurin

4 E’s of Marriage

We attended a wedding yesterday in Alabang. The traffic was terrible going South but good thing everyone else was stuck in traffic so the wedding didn’t start on time. It was just an intimate wedding and the ceremony was short and sweet. Here are 4E’s, very simple principles, I was reminded about that are crucial to keeping your marriage strong:

1. Enthrone God in your marriage. Keep God in the center of your lives.
2. Embrace your roles. The husband leads in love, the wife submits and supports.
3. Entertain no options. No separation, no annulment, no divorce. Period.
4. Enjoy your spouse. Have fun together.

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with the newly-weds Lino and Judith

Photobucket
with Paolo, my husband who makes it easy for me to submit because he lovingly leads me and takes care of me

15 YEARS OF CRAZY MARRIAGE

still in bed, upon waking up this morning, paolo puts his arm around me:

jenn: you were so mean to me…
paolo (shocked): huh? when? how? what did i do?
jenn: i don’t remember. it was in my dream last night.
paolo: oh, I’m sorry for being mean to you.
jenn: it’s ok. i forgive you.

after 15 years of marriage, i still love waking up with this crazy guy!

5F’s of Marriage

Paolo and I came from the wedding of Gabe Gabriel and Diane Sipin, where we stood as principal sponsors. Yes, we were one of the ninongs and ninongs, and this wasn’t our first. The wedding was very touching and very sincere. Pastor Carlos, the officiating minister, shared to us the 5 F’s of a strong marriage. They were:

FOUNDATIONS
FAITHFULNESS
FORGIVENESS
FRUITFULNESS
FUN

It’s always good to be reminded of these things again and again. A great marriage doesn’t just happen. You make it happen, with God’s help.

Here are some of our “pre-nup” pictures. Feeling newly-weds. Hehe… (thanks to our friend Jaja Suarez)