My Legacy

“I will make your name renowned through all generations; thus nations shall praise you forever.” Ps 45:17/18

I have had the chance of being given a special role to glorify God. It was somehow a dream come true to serve Him using my talent, and a lot of people recognized that the gift was truly remarkable. There was a time when I was “top of mind” when it came to deliver certain songs. I was even one-third of a group of women who rendered songs beautifully for the glory of God.

Because of this talent, I was told that people were inspired, and people wanted to join the Music Ministry. Some kids [perhaps] looked up to me, and wanted to serve God the same way. God gave me a new role, by being a Team Head for the afternoon sessions. I was offered the role of Ministry Head where I was serving as head of Warmth, but declined after discerning that I’d be of more help to God’s people being team head. Another one-third of the women group, I suggested to be Ministry Head. Aside from being Head of that group, she also leads the people of the Lord in other groups to worship.

I had wanted to improve my talent. I somehow wanted to glorify God not only in leading the people through singing, but also in worshipping. I was given this role in small gatherings, and I took all the chances given. Even when I was alone and just listening to worship songs, I was practicing, pretending I was in front of a big audience, leading them to worship God. I pictured myself going on stage, exhorting, and conditioning people into worship.

During that time, I felt I was at the peak of my service. People knew me for my talent. Some were at awe to be in a caring group with me. Some would say that they are amazed to know that I am approachable, that I seem to be kind, despite the “celebrity” status. Some people wanted to be associated with me [or so I thought]. Of course, there were new people coming in, rising talents, and we were transferring to bigger venues where more people are being led for spiritual nourishment, thus more people were needed to serve. But when there was a celebration, or a special song, I would be called to do it in front of God’s people. And I would pray to make sure I did the song justice, and that I’d be an effective channel of any message God wanted to give His people.

Then, I got engaged.
Then, I got married, and got pregnant.
Then, I gave birth to my daughter, and turned my world upside down.

I still have my talent. I still head a team of servants. But I knew my “time to shine” in glorifying God on stage has reached its peak, and is now on a “decline.” Though I have never strongly advertised myself to sing on events, I had wanted to do so. And some people would ask me to do so. But now, that dream has started to fade away, too. Now, as my world turned, so are people’s preferences. I was no longer “top of mind”. I was now “sought after”, in its truest sense: I was sought after their top choices declined or were unavailable.

Had all this happened before my life’s milestones, I would have ranted and asked God why people would now prefer fresh talent over seasoned ones. There were still times, though, when the realization hits, that my role to glorify God is no longer to lead groups of people to sing and worship, as He has entrusted new and younger people to do it.

Good thing, there is someone who makes me realize I have a new and much bigger role now. I am now to lead someone, who isn’t necessarily unchurched, but definitely someone who is unschooled, and has yet to learn all aspects in this life: my daughter.

My glorifying God has now been brought to a higher, but a deeper level at the same time. Not only will I need to lead my daughter into worshipping God, but I shall be her first model in everything. I shall be God’s manifestation in this world of parenthood to her. I shall be her first teacher, her first leader of songs and of worship, her first picture of a servant. And what she will become as she grows up in God’s grace, will be a reflection of how I was as a mother and guide to her.

I have had my own dreams, and my own chances to chase after them. Now, it’s time to nurture my daughter into making her own dreams and helping to make sure she chases and catches them. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t make her reach the dreams I once had and had been frustrated about. Rather, I’d help her with her own dreams. But while she has yet to craft them in her own mind and her own time, through God’s guidance, I’ll help pave the way.

When the time comes, and she grows up to be the God-centered woman I envisioned her to be, I will know that I have done my creator justice, and served Him the best way that I can.

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A Game-Changing Ritual

I have a sweet tooth. Or maybe, I really just love to eat. Though I don’t have a fast metabolism rate, I don’t seem to get very fat when I got to my 20s. Perhaps it’s because of my added daily rituals, like commuting to work, thinking about work, working out (a few times a week), and all the other activities I started to engage in when I entered the corporate world. Oh, add to that the intention to bag my future mate. Hihihi!

Fast forward to almost a decade later. I met my mate, and in a 1 year period, I got married, got knocked up, and will give birth to hopefully a blessed bouncing baby beauty. But mind you, the journey wasn’t easy.

I got diagnosed with GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) more than a month ago. The picture is my morning routine for the past 2 weeks. At first, the thought of having diabetes was scary, but I was assured by a certain lab test that it was really just related to the pregnancy.

I got a little scared and anxious having to prick my finger for blood samples 4 times a day, and a injecting insulin in the morning. I even joked that, though I no longer have my menstruations, I still have blood going out of my body through 2 fingers (which now had “freckles” due to the prick marks). But other than the pain of the pricks and shots, I have something in me that’s purely psychological: still that fact that, at one point in my life, I am a diabetic.

I am now planning my meals for the rest of my time being pregnant. I have to have 2000 calories a day, divided into 3 main meals and 3 snacks. And since the diet included things that were filling, I sometimes skipped snacks because I wasn’t too hungry. From 55kgs pre-pregnant weight, the scales see-sawed and got to a lowest of around 54kgs. At 32 weeks pregnant, I am at 59kgs. The 5kgs gained wasn’t just all the pregnancy gain. I really lost weight. And though the “single” me would have delighted in the fact that I lost weight and lost some fat from a few parts of my body, the “pregnant-and-future-mommy” me thought it was a bit alarming.

I guess when motherhood and when caring not only for yourself but also for someone who’s life depended solely on you enters your system, a lot of things change. I know for a fact that so many things about me changed. Though still a little selfish sometimes, I think my selflessness has improved (not to brag). My tolerance for pain has increased. My tendencies to over-indulge lessened. My desire to put someone else’s needs first strengthened. My drive to become a much better person is more motivated.

Am I saying goodbye to all that chocolate, cake, sugar, and all that sweet concoctions? Absolutely not! I’m merely postponing my indulgence. I’ll wait if my baby develops the same. We’ll enjoy them together, still cautious about calorie and sugar content, though. 🙂

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It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s not a state of mind. It just happens. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a break from everything. It’s the peace after all the noise. It’s the rest after all the walking.

It’s not emotional. Not mental. Not physical. It’s nothing.

It’s not meant to offend. It’s not voluntary. But it’s just needed. It’s like a rubber band stretched to its fullness, but not close to snapping.

It’s that phase before going back to reality. To the original state. Back to the chaos, the busyness, the activity.

Yes, being uninspired is a good thing sometimes. Not something to dwell on, though. But it’s something not worth blaming anyone if it happens. It just is. After all, some worthy inspiration comes out of something out of the ordinary. Even out of nothing.

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How life has been and will be…

I have been married for 74 days… Things weren’t really quite what I expected, which can either be good or bad. Bad in the sense that some things were not prepared for; good in the sense that things are always exciting.

I am now a stay-at-home, 13-weeks-pregnant wife who has so much time in my hands, but cannot manage it well yet. Aside from the duties of domestication, I am seemingly subordinate to fatigue and sleepiness, as my body sustains a new being. Every day is exciting, as nap times are uncertain, and I have to make do with my awake schedule. I am hoping 2016 proves to be a better year than 2015. After all, having a baby in August is definitely an improvement from getting married last November.
In terms of my career, I continue to stay positive. The possibilities are endless, in terms of who to help in their finances through proper Financial Education and servicing through Insurance and Investment instruments. I am somehow fortunate to have been a part of a group that is very understanding of circumstances (I was not too fortunate with clients during the last quarter of 2015). Looking forward to talking to more people, although I would really try not to stress myself much for me and my baby’s sake.
In terms of other rackets, yes, I remain positive that projects will flow. I know I have not put myself too much out there, but I am doing all of my best every chance I get. I love what I do, and I love to please others with it. I know it starts low and slow, but it truly is a sure way to do it.
I remain faithful to God that He would provide because I continuously ask. I still have my fears and anxieties, as much as I want to be rid of them, but I think they serve as a way for me to keep my feet on the ground. I definitely will keep my head high, gazing up to my Maker, hopeful of all the wonderful things He has yet in store for my life and the life He truly wants me to live. 🙂
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I am where I’m supposed to be..

It’s been two weeks. Since I left my last corporate stint, I brought with me several ounces of excitement, of hope, of that feeling of freedom. And two weeks after, I am feeling like I’m depleting the rest of these resources.

I looked at my love tank, which still seems full to the brim. But the love gauge wasn’t moving. I am stuck. I am not moving. I am staying still.

I somehow asked the Lord, where are those people You wanted me to help? Where are those projects You wanted me to take part on? Why am I, just here? I am bothered by the seeming fact that I am not living out my life’s purpose. That I am not fulfilling my mission.

Then, this soft voice whispered: “You are where you ought to be.”

And then, went on… “You have been busy. You have been preoccupied with so many things. You wanted to know so much. You wanted to fill yourself with knowledge, with wisdom, understanding, comprehension. You wanted to be trained. You wanted to experience stuff. But you were so in a hurry..”

Your love tank is full to the brim. And when something is full to the brim, every sporadic movement will cause some of that love to spatter. Your love droplets might just go to stuff that wouldn’t matter, because they were all done just for the moment. No follow through. No life-changing there.

Let’s plan together. Be still and let Me do the working. Find rest in Me. Talk to Me more. Let’s discuss your dreams, your purpose, your concerns. Let’s spend some more time together. Just You and Me.”

Then I just found myself saying, “Yes, Lord..”

I am in the right place. This is the right time to focus on You. I no longer have the excuses I used to make, like I’m too busy, or I still have some other things to do. Yes, Lord. I am free to do what I want to do now! And I want to do them with You!

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Simply Amazing… :)

No, it’s not about a Telecom who used to have this as their tagline..

I am talking about the wonderful things that God has bestowed and has been showing me, since I embraced that thing called “Self-employment”. I would say that I haven’t really earned as much as I used to, but hey, I’m only 4 days in the job. But the opportunities are so limitless! Ideas are overflowing, the energy is there, the love is just overwhelming… God is simply amazing!

Not only is God nourishing my source of Finances, but he is also enriching my relationships! I get to watch TV and have lunch with my parents. I get to see my friends anytime. Yeah, I don’t have Facebook mobile to communicate constantly with those who are abroad,  but who needs it when I can just go to wherever they are and enjoy a cup of coffee and a few laughs? Yeah I don’t have my car, but I would surely use all that free time not behind a wheel to sleep or think of other ideas to be productive, or just read a good book! Which reminds me, I’m not done with “Blood of Olympus”, and a new book is out. waaaahh!!!

Overall, I am truly enjoying it this early in my Self-employment career. I am so looking forward to projects, to prospects turned clients, to new relationships, to new businesses… Bring it on Lord!!!

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The Proposal (before I said “YES”)

A friend of mine posted an edited version of my then-boyfriend-now-fiance’s proposal of marriage more than 2 weeks ago. What people saw was the funny, amusing, and kilig-worthy proposal with captions, turn arounds, and sound effects inserted. This time, let me tell the rest of the story. Perhaps this would save me the time and the saliva of narrating the story over and over. 🙂

I am not really a fan of surprises. JC, my boyfriend, usually has a hard time coming up with a surprise for me because it usually ends up, well, unpleasant. I remember one of the surprises he made was during my 29th birthday, where he planned a gathering with some of my friends, while I had plans with another set of friends. Apparently one of the girls I was with was already conniving with him, and it ended up with me feeling a little awkward because I wasn’t able to give enough attention to the girls I initially had plans with. The other surprise I remembered was one Valentine’s day, where out of frustration, I told JC not to send me flowers to the office, yet he still did. So, there, I wasn’t really a fan of surprises. I hate the feeling of being made fun of just because I did not have a clue.

When one by one my friends got engaged, with proposals ranging from during Feast sessions or CG gatherings, I made it clear with JC that I didn’t want a Public proposal. I would like it to be between the two of us only, minus the “inserting the ring on a cake slice”, “putting the ring in a wine glass”, or “showing the ring after my bathroom break”.  I gave instructions that he ask permission from my parents first, before proposing to me. I also told him that I wanted to be the last person to know, that prior to proposing, he would tell my family and his family first. In a way, and come to think of it, he actually followed, though not as specified.

So when the “proposal day” came, I didn’t even have the slightest idea, even if people around us were already giving hints. I guess, after a while, I got used to people asking us when we are getting married, and stuff related to that, that I already had automatic reactions and responses to each query. It even led me to telling JC that “I was no longer excited, because of the long wait.” and I guess, I got to a point in my life that even if the wedding and life-long commitment was inevitable, it no longer felt, for me, as something to look forward to.

We went to a friend’s wedding, where I served as a commentator. Before that, without knowing any related significance, I was already having palpitations. As in 3 days before the wedding, I was close to going to a doctor to have myself checked if something is wrong. I was reviewing the missalette for the wedding, and was a bit giddy with the things I read, that I took to instagram and posted a screenshot of the title page.

Before the start of the marriage rites, we had pictures with friends, had a few chats with the usual question of “kelan kayo susunod?” (when will you follow suit?), and me with the usual response, “sa kanya nyo po itanong..” (ask him..) while pointing to JC.

Fast forward to the reception. Since I was clueless, I did not notice those instances when JC left his seat to go to the comfort room, or when he did not finish his meal. Never did it occur to me that he was nervous about something. I plainly took it as him getting really full only after a few bites of his dinner, because I witnessed him eat a sandwich before the wedding. I had more to eat because the last meal I had was lunch.

I did not even find it odd that they had the bouquet toss at the end of the reception, when it usually happens in the middle part of the reception program. I really took it as genuine when Francis, the emcee and one of our friends, forgot about the bouquet toss. I did not even hesitate participating, because a few weeks back, we were already discussing that only those in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships would join the game, so it was automatic that me and my Asim CG friends would be part of it. The only suspecting remark I made was when I saw one of our friends Kirae still sitting down, considering that she was also in a relationship. That did not even relate to the kind of surprise they were brewing.

Francis asked the boyfriends to come near the middle of the room, with their cameras on, and I took that as them just wanting to capture on film who would catch the bouquet. I did not even find it odd that JC was near the girls’ huddle and was not “filming”. During the “countdown” before the bouquet is tossed, I even shoved Menmen (JC’s brother IC’s girlfriend), thinking that they should be the next one to get married.

Then the bouquet flew… and JC caught the bouquet.

My initial reaction was that of being weirded out by the fact that my boyfriend caught it. Everyone around me was giddy already and were cheering, and I was like “why did you catch it?” The girls left the huddle, and made room for JC, who gave me the bouquet. Then he had his arm over my shoulder and whispered, “Sorry, alam ko gusto mo private…” (Sorry, I know you wanted it to be private..) he said a couple of words after that which didn’t register because I already knew what he meant by that. I found myself crying already, feeling that things were surreal, with the realization that my boyfriend was already starting his marriage proposal. I know I looked like a fool with the reaction I had, because all the while, some of the people in the reception already knew that he was going to propose that day. Other guests, who weren’t really part of our circle of friends, were left in awe, dumbfounded, with hands over their mouths, feeling surprised and giddy as well.

The cheering grew louder when JC went down on one knee, clasping that red box and then opening it. Francis gave him the microphone, even if he was already popping the question. What the videos captured, and perhaps immortalized, was a muffled version of the question, not knowing that it came to me clear as crystal. My response to the question became a subject of some inside jokes. “Obvious ba?” (Isn’t it obvious?) was a rather unusual response to “Will you marry me?” Well, you have to forgive me, I was at a loss for words, that what came out of my mouth did not make any sense. I followed up with “Of course”, then realizing it was a Yes-No kind of question, I finally said, “YES!” while seemingly hitting him with the bouquet.

During that time, things took a while for me to take in. I remembered having the feeling of saying “NO” because I felt betrayed that JC was planning this with our friends behind my back. But I remembered one of those forums on public proposals that the girl should say “Yes” even if she didn’t mean it yet, to save the guy’s face, and then make the rejection in private.

Good thing for my boyfriend, oh, my fiance, I did not think about the private rejection much. I appreciated the thorough planning and, eventually the surprise. It still wasn’t a public proposal. It was a proposal made in a private event anyway. I was still the last person to know, because he already asked for my hand in marriage from the parents the Sunday before (the wedding we attended was on a Thursday). I really appreciate and felt that JC loves me so much to even device that kind of proposal, which was definitely so out of his character, and so out of the box. Who would propose during a wedding reception, right? I guess it was a first time for many that the bouquet toss would actually determine not only the next bride, but whose wedding is next. The bouquet toss became a “passing of the torch” of sorts… hehehe!

So there… I don’t know how other people would take it. As for me, I am still in disbelief… I’m [finally!] engaged!

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