A Yearend Reflection

Happy New year!

Crazy how time seems to fly. 2017 is here! It’s time for a new set of goals and resolutions. Honestly I’ve been recycling my old resolutions time and time again. This year is no exception. One in my book is to revive my writing career (lolz). It just means that I should give more time on writing and other nonsense activity has to take a backseat.  I really need to focus my energy on what gives me  joy,  and to be able to post a meaningful article here is one of those. So  I am trying my best to resist the urge to browse on social media right now and  make a better use of my time  through blogging.

How did you spend Christmas and New year holidays?

Mine was made up of simple celebrations with the ones dearest to my heart. I couldn’t be any more complete than being with my two favorite people – my husband and my daughter, on this joyous occasion. It had been my 6th Christmas and New year here in Bermuda and even though I missed spending holidays in the Philippines there’s just  no reason to complain.  Christmas time  has always been my favorite of all the festivities no matter how busy it gets sometimes. The past days and weeks had been spent on  Christmas parties and gatherings.  I loved  how bright the world was with all the Christmas lights and décor.  I loved that shops are open late and filled with  vibrant shoppers looking out for some discounts and interesting gift ideas. I loved how people were extra nice and feeling generous that our Christmas tree was easily filled with presents wrapped in nice fancy paper, mostly for our daughter. I surely felt the abundance of life here in Bermuda and I’m beyond grateful.

However,  I can’t help but also feel that there’s so  much excess in this side of the world.  Reminds me of the Christmas time  when we had almost nothing  and the only gift I received  was from our exchange gift in school that was either a picture frame or a face towel. I also noticed how kids here are spoiled with so many gifts of whether toys or clothes that they barely notice one after the other and still they keep asking for  more and more . Just this Christmas  my daughter received so many toys and not all she’s interested in playing with. I am happy and excited when she gets a present and   I’m  sincerely grateful for everything she received  but I also feel a little uncomfortable of the thought that while my daughter has excess gifts, other kids don’t have any. It is a blessing to be able to have more things in life. I also believe that it is just the same blessing to be able enjoy life even with less.  I guess it’s a parental challenge to be able to raise a less entitled child who can take  simple  pleasures in life these days. If only I could give Alyanna the ability to live happy with less and have a compassionate heart for others. How would  you wrap simplicity and compassion and put under the tree?

May this new year bring us true riches, more blessings, a grateful heart and genuine happiness. Bring it on, 2017!

 

 

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The Gift of Motherhood

Exactly  three years ago today, I entered into a  significant season in life when I gave birth to our little one. Ever since, I have never looked at motherhood the same way. Motherhood is way more than words ever written or what I expected it to be. It is something that made me feel the kind of love  I never knew there was. The LOVE that makes me say “so this must be how God loves me”.  A love that is willing to sacrifice, to endure, or even be consumed for the sake of my little one.

Motherhood also gives me a tremendous sense of joy like no other. The simplest things in life make me smile, her scent, the stillness when she sleeps, her cute silly gestures,her mischievous acts,  are just few of those things.

Similarly, motherhood also brings out the most undesirable feelings. As the late  Mother Teresa puts it, “love, to be real, must hurt” holds true in Motherhood. It is as painful as it is joyful. Perhaps any mother can relate. Apart from the physical pain of giving birth, it pains me more to see her get sick or  see her misbehave. Some days  I would feel defeated as a mom, when I couldn’t make her eat, or put her to  sleep, or make her behave the way she should be, or even when I lost my patience and I snapped at her.  The ” mommy guilt” is killing me everytime I see her unhappy.  There were times I just could not put to words how I feel and I just cried buckets for no reason. One minute I was over the moon and the next I was a lunatic. Talk about “hormotional” (emotional caused by hormones).   Lakas daw makabaliw ang pagiging nanay, sabi ni Bianca Gonzales. I couldn’t agree more.  I would often wonder How did my mom manage to raise the 7 of us? or How do single parents out there raise their kids by themselves? If not for my supportive husband that kept my sanity in place, I might have   suffered post-partum deppression or bipolar syndrome, perhaps. Whenever I would almost lost it,  my husband would often say to me ” it’s temporary”, “it will pass” ,’it’s just a phase’,  “have faith”. And faith would save us any day. Our family is still so blessed with more than just material things but also the strength, the wisdom and the people we need each day.

Despite all the pains and aches of motherhood both physically and emotionally, Alyanna is all worth it. She’s the most valued possession we’ve ever had. Although she doesn’t easily warm up with other people and she often screams when  you greet her (can’t blame her, she came from me:)) She is very affectionate to us. She is the happiest when she’s with mommy and daddy. She considers daddy her bestfriend ( I hope it stays that way). and she still “dede” with mommy when she misses me. She finds comfort in us, and I know that it won’t be long now, she will be out there ready to conquer the world as she will be going to school in September. We would have wanted to keep her under our wings forever, but we won’t coz it would stop her from learning how to fly. So I’m just gonna lift everything to God and cherish this moment and watch God’s plan unfold in her life.

So, to my palangga, my baby girl, my love,  Happy 3rd birthday. You are God’s ultimate reward to us. You may be small but you  occupy the biggest part of our life. (small but with a very loud voice like a Bermuda frog :). We will live each day making you feel loved so that when you grow up you will have enough love to give to others.

To my partner in making and raising Yanna, way to go dad! you are doing great.I’m positive that Yanna will grow up strong because you are her dad.  Thank you for everything. You know so well I could have not done it without you. You can be a very strong contender if there’s a search for the most “handsome” dad (ahem) in the world. We’ve climbed mountains together and I’ve enjoyed every adventure we’ve had so far. With God in our midst and with you as my partner, I think I’m ready to have Yanna’s baby brother or sister anytime soon (wink).

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The Biggest Blessing

I missed my chances to share this reflection twice. It was either due to time constraint or emotions got in the way. So I guess the best platform to share my message is through my blog wherein I can  express and edit my thoughts without time constraint.

Sometime in March of this year, my husband asked me to give a testimony in time for the CFC and Family Ministries Bermuda’s 15th anniversary. I refused and kept telling him I couldn’t because I really didn’t have any interesting story to tell. My husband went on saying, just share whatever blessing you got this year.

Two nights before the general assembly and I still had no testimony to share , he continued talking me into sharing which ended into a heated argument. I kept saying, “you know I already shared our blessings and I don’t have MMK-ish kind of story to tell!” He then replied to me, “How little is your faith. Pray and dig deeper!”( In a very frustrated tone). After saying this he turned his back on me and we fell silent.

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned so I prayed. Immediately  I got an answer. How could I not have realized that my biggest blessing was sleeping  right next to me?

 While others are still praying to find someone who is cute, nice and God-fearing for a life partner or perhaps some wives pray that their husbands would turn to God or even start going to church on Sundays, I already have and am married to someone who has the heart of service for God and who pushes me to seek HIM. Oh what a big blessing it is to be married to this person!

I cried upon realizing what I certainly missed out. And I heard God’s message speaking to me clearly – That often we may lose sight of what’s truly essential while looking for what is not. We tend to focus on what is lacking in our lives that we fail to see the overwhelming blessings we receive everyday. Our lives, our salvation,our families, our jobs- we may have taken them for granted.

God has provided us with so much more than we need. It only takes a grateful heart to see them.

I hope you are feeling blessed today.