The renovations we thought would take just three months have now extended to seven, and we are not even done yet. Also the budget that we originally set had to be adjusted so many times to accommodate the things that we wanted. I think we would have done things differently if we were renovating a rented place.. we wouldn’t have spent so much time and money on it. But this is our very own… not a mansion, but still, it’s something we can call our own. Whenever we are tempted to take shortcuts or to choose something cheaper but of less quality to lower costs, we stop for a moment and think “What kind of house do we want? Will this house still stand after 25 years? Will it be good enough to pass on to our children? ” I don’t want to make choices now that I will only […]
My husband normally prepares something special for me during Valentine’s. I have received a lot of big and little surprises from him over the last twenty years that I’ve known him. But not this year. He was swamped with work all week and had no time to go to the mall and get me something. Did I mind it? Some of you might make a big fuss about it. But honestly, I don’t. And let me tell you why. He doesn’t wait for a special occasion to show me how he feels for me. Everyday, I see his love in action. When I see him reading the Bible every morning and praying, I know it’s because he wants to be a better person, a better husband to me and a better father to our children. When he leaves for work and spends a long day in the office, it’s because […]
We all know that behind the most successful athlete is a great coach. Coaches are valuable in many fields… there are acting coaches, voice coaches, career coaches. If I want to succeed in the roles God has given me, I need to get myself a coach too. By “coach” in this context, I don’t mean a professional coach. I am talking about having someone in your life who can walk with you through your ups and downs, who can help you process the situations you go through from a godly perspective, who can give you constructive feedback and can show you how to become better at something. I am thankful for the couples who have coached me in marriage and parenting. I used to think that I had what it takes to keep my marriage strong and raise my children properly… until I got married and had kids. Then reality […]
As a follow-up to my blog “Are you still married?“, I decided to get more practical. Paolo and I don’t have a perfect marriage. We are not always on cloud nine. Life is as real to us, as it is to you, with all its ups and downs. We have misunderstandings and disagreements. We have needs that are not always met. There are days we are so busy and tired, we just go to bed without talking. But we have survived 18 years of marriage… no, not just survived, not just barely made it, but we actually managed to grow in our relationship. I want to share with you some of the things that can help keep your marriage strong. (I am reminding myself as well.) You’ll be surprised to see that my list is not extraordinary at all. 1. Have fun together. Laugh at each other’s jokes. Dance in front […]
Conversation with Joaquin: Joaquin: Mom, are you and dad still married? Me: Yes, anak, we still are. Why are you asking me that? Joaquin: I just wanted to make sure that you are still married. Me: Don’t worry… Dad and Mom will always stay married. I don’t know what triggered that question out of my 4-yr old. Paolo and I weren’t even fighting at that time. 🙂 I think our kids need to know that their parents are doing okay. Especially these days, when it is not uncommon to encounter kids who are growing up without their dad or mom, our kids need to be assured that it won’t happen to them. Though they will never articulate it, our children are always watching us, looking for clues to our stability as a married couple. From the moment they were born, their world was dad and mom. Everything that they needed […]
I didn’t want our 3-year Joaquin to ice skate yet. My husband, Paolo, offered to skate with him but I wasn’t sure about the idea. I could think of 101 ways how he could get hurt on the ice. 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 […]
After our series in church entitled “Blueprint,” I was once again reminded of the biblical design of God for man and woman: he was designed to lead and she was designed to help. Unfortunately, whether it’s the influence of the media, or because of one’s personal experience, a lot of men have not stepped up to the plate and have taken on a life of passivity. But this blog is not to address men, but all of you women who are reading this, including me. We are called to be man’s helpmate or helper. Do we help or do we hinder? Often times, we are the first to criticize the men in our lives… our husbands, our fathers, our brothers, our sons, our male friends. We discourage instead of encourage, we put down instead of build up. We don’t trust them enough to make the right decisions and we rob […]
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!
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.
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, […]