I love this day. And yesterday. And the day before yesterday.
I had breakfast with my hubby – home made daing na bangus (dried milkfish).
Fresh from yesterday’s catch from Aling Nene’s Pond in Valenzuela.
My angler boys made another trip to the pond sans the girls. Could they be challenged from our earlier visit where our one and only take home fish is caught by the mom (that’s me!)?
Here are the photos of the fishing trip 2 days ago and yes, let’s define ‘caught’ later on.
Here’s the first catch of the day! The fish is not big enough to take home so back to the water. And the triumphant smile goes to my heart!
Here’s the 2nd catch of the day! The fish is not big enough to take home so again back to the water. And the happy smile goes to my heart!
Here’s the 3rd catch of the day! The fish is too small to take home so again back to the water. And yes, the grateful smile goes to my heart! Finally, he caught one after several fishes got away from the hook.
Here’s the big catch of the day! Just big enough to take home for sinigang
And yes, I caught it and here’s how:
- The boys have been convincing me to fish instead of roaming around and so I agreed.
- My son put the mashed flour bait in the hook and cast it to the direction I pointed.
- I held the rod, occasionally looking at the floater, while I read a home magazine.
- Then I felt something is pulling my rod and so I screamed. I screamed!
- The boys saved me from the struggling fish!
It’s obvious I caught the fish, right?
Hurray for the girls!
And so the next day – that was yesterday, the boys were determined to beat the record. And they succeeded with 18 take home fishes! They were so excited that they forgot to take photos but it’s alright, I’m enjoying the daing na bangus. Not even the vinegar can stop me from smiling sweetly
There is so much to thank for…
And hey, don’t be disappointed with the small fish catch because there are large ones meant for the seasoned angler — 10 kilos and above.
As for the family, the priority is to catch smiles and we did!
Now going? Aling Nene has cottages on the side.
And in the middle — go rafting!
And yes, you can fish without renting a cottage.
Enjoy the day!
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
- Luke 11:11
Once upon a time, there was a line between hubby and me.
Line of destructive priorities.
Line of selfishness.
Line of pride.
Line of shame.
Line of hatred. Yes. Yes. Yes.
There was a cross.
I saw the cross differently back then.
And so I wanted to run away from it.
After all it was heavy and left me bleeding inside.
But I wasn’t able to go far. It was painful to walk away wounded and bleeding.
I needed a healer.
And then I saw the cross anew
It stitched my wounds.
It helped me cross the line of surrender.
It brought me to the Healer.
I had the painting commissioned. I want to be reminded when I was drawn to the cross and not away from it. That there is no point in running away because love is all it is. It is not just cupid’s love but the love of the Father and the Son for mankind — for us sinners.
Jesus saved us on the cross. It is not a lovely sight knowing that the Father is grieving but — He loves us.
Jesus saved us on the cross. He took our shame and He is not ashamed — He loves us.
And where is my hubby in all of these?
In the title!
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. – Romans 5:6
Last year you asked me if I wanted an ipad and I said no because I have a laptop already. But still you bought me one because you knew I will like it.
And true enough I liked it! It’s handy and I can use it while lying in bed. That is if I’m not yet off to dreamland the moment my back touched the bed.
This year you asked me if I wanted an iPhone or Note 2 and I said no because the phone you gave me still works. But still you gave me one because you knew I will like it.
And true enough I liked it! It’s handy and helped me in my current project. I was able to sketch-erase-sketch an organizational chart, among others.
And so I realized that as much as it is important that you should know what your wifey like — like a vintage aqua Volkswagen van (wink wink) it is also important for me to appreciate the gift you feel is important.
Of course I do appreciate them all my techie hubby! I love how you knew I needed something which I didn’t ask for because I am a DIY-junky-vintagey wifey!
And so for your birthday we are giving you something which you might not want but trust me you will love this because…we do!
Believe me this is priceless because you will remember the times the boys gone fishing with you. Yes, I know they’re quiet in the painting unlike in real life where they scared the fish off so you won’t catch anything! But then, it can still come true one of these days, lol!
Believe me this is priceless because one day you will remember how your artsy daughters stayed late to finish painting this just for you!
So love it, love it because we love you, love you!
P.S. Your birthday wish for wisdom and prayer of thankfulness to God is a gift itself.
And yes, the greatest gift is already given to us. Not every one may want Him but God the Father knew that we all need Him.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. – 1Corinthians 12:4-6
Will you understand me?
It’s okay if you don’t — at all times.
Because I do not understand myself as well — at all times.
Sometimes I go crazy. Sometimes crazier.
What I don’t understand is I sometimes prefer the crazier me.
Maybe my Creator prefers the same too. Who knows.
Will you marry me?
It’s okay if you don’t — I’m married already.
That is not actually a question. It’s the topic in today’s Sunday service.
Well maybe it’s a question.
The important foundations of marriage were discussed — 5 C’s.
Covenant. Communication. Chemistry. Character. Christ.
I would say that if you only take Christ — He is the strongest foundation there is.
I take this question with me.
Will you now do that chairs stacked in the garage? Is that my conscience whispering?
Got to move then! And so out the messy chairs — red leather seats torn and removed.
These chairs have been repainted and reupholstered twice. That’s a different story.
What I’ll share today is I need to do this fast because my conscience might not make me sleep. Lol!
And so no more reupholstering. I just grabbed the spray paint, brush, and poster paints.
And quickly here it is.
Just like that. It’s done!
Oh the other chair? It has a different question of course.
I will post it next time because I have yet to decide if I’ll include a marriage story with it. Lol!
Will you please share what’s your “WILL YOU?”
No you may not direct the question to me.
You want to ask God, “Will you…?”?
Go ahead please.
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ – Jeremiah 33:3
Will you please join me in the fab furni party here?
Photo from Bluebell Books Twitter Club Short Story Slam Week 22.
“He lifted and carried me up with all his might!”
This is Bianca’s doting memory of her Dad when she was a little girl – and really heavy for a 5 year-old. But it didn’t matter, the weight –for love.
It was all good until she felt that he had dropped her down, the family down – real hard.
It was bad.
It was all bad until she felt that he had tried to lift himself up, the family up – real hard.
This is Bianca’s painful memory of her Dad when she was a young girl – and really hopeful for a 9 year-old. It did matter, the wait – for love.
“He lifted and carried my Dad up with all His love!”
This is Bianca’s powerful praise of God now that she’s a teen – and really lovely in and out for a 14-year old. It did matter, the forgiveness – for love.
It was good.
“They lifted and carried me up with all their might and love!”
This is Bianca’s heart song of her Dad and God forever — higher, O higher!
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9
Oh yes, I am not a good girl
I whipped someone with my words
I crushed myself with my thoughts
I fought out of pride
I allowed myself beaten
I wished for someone else’s death
I wished for my own death
Oh yes, I am not a good girl
I cannot stop hating passionately
I cannot control my evil thoughts
I cannot move on from bitter past
I cannot have freedom from guilt
I cannot be a good girl on my own
Unless I am dependent on good God
Happy Independence Day to all my American Friends. This might means so much to you as it means so much to us Filipinos when we celebrate our independence from Spanish and American colonies. But honestly, I am not so sure if we are truly independent as a nation. Can one indeed be free just because the tangible prison wall is brought down?
What I am sure is I am free when I allow my Saviour to rescue me from the intangibles that imprison and stop me from being a good girl.
How about you, are you a good girl? Are you free?
You may not answer the questions but please feel free to listen to this song.
In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free. - Psalm 118:5
Or any other contest where a Filipino or with a hint of a Filipino wasn’t proclaimed the winner.
Ugly words can be heard all over. Or is it just me who doesn’t like the sound of “Racism” when it could really be not. Or “The winner is not really beautiful or smart or talented” or “The judges and voters are unfair”.
Millions of Filipinos could be bitter, salty, sour or a combination of two or three.
I am not sure if there’s even a food that tastes good with all three flavors in it.
I am a Filipino with 1 liter of Chinese blood. And I would be one of the happiest if Jessica Sanchez won the American Idol title.
I am a human with 5 liters of red blood. And I would be one of the happiest if we are gracious enough to accept that someone is better than us by human standard.
I am not a TV fan thus I’m not a fanatic of American Idol or any show. If I can, I only watch the finals where a Filipino is a finalist. I love Filipinos — how they can be very resilient, kind, beautiful, talented – but even then, no race has a monopoly of these qualities.
I may be sad but I am happy as well with the result of American Idol Season 11. A Filipina is first runner up. Wow! Congratulations Jessica Sanchez! You are a great singer and how you have dealt with the defeat is a sure win!
And congratulations Phillip Phillips! How you dealt with victory sealed the title! I enjoyed your finale performance and I like the song “Home” especially the line, “Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear…”
He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”)– Mark 7:34
Giving thanks when things are going well in marriage is easy
but giving thanks when things are not going well in marriage is very challenging
but it could be one of the finest moments.
It leads one to the inner recesses of the soul to intentionally look for something good
and see God’s child whom He dearly love and wants us to love as well.
Today it’s easy to give thanks for my hubby
1.For the love 2. For taking care of me when I am sick 3. For working hard for the family 4. For the fishballs, squid balls, kikiams 19 years ago 5. For praying for me 6. For kiddos basketball ring 7. For waiting patiently 8. For the almond nuts 9. For the times you are happy being with me 10. For the friendship 11. For the precious kingdom 12. For the wristwatches 13. For the moments you are in love with me 14. For the sandwiches 15. For the hurts that pulled me closer to God 16. For the black Chanel bag 17. For holding my hands 18. For singing in the church 19. For the struggles that taught me how to let go 20. For sharing your fishing accessories for my crafts 21. For repairing the chairs 22. For the morning kisses 23. For the diamond ring 24. For fixing the lights 25. For playing with the kids 26. For bargain hunting with me 27. For sharing your thoughts on church service message 28. For the body massage 29. For lot hunting 30. For your beautiful smile 31. For the mini delivery vans 32. For dreaming happy times with me 33. For attending marriage encounter 34. For family vacations 35. For time for just the two of us 36. For coming home 37. For coming to God.
My dearest that’s only 37 reasons because it’s your 37th birthday!
If you want to hear a hundred, then grow old with me!
One day the heart may not forget the wonderful feeling of being loved
but it might forget the details and so I record them.
I have several journals and it’s a golden one for my hubby
– just because it’s easier to dream for a happy golden anniversary with it!
Truly one of the finest moments in marriage is giving thanks.
For this moment, can you think of at least 5 reasons why you’re thankful for your partner? You may or may not share it with me but you must ensure that you share it with your partner. They will surely love to hear it direct from you!
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
– Hebrews 10:24
Let us see
if we can find the Mercedes-Benz
Oh we found it!
And the comments that exposed my teeth are here!
- I’m sending an invisible car payment to the loan company
- I have a similar feature on my car. My Lamboghini is cloaked to look like an AMC Gremlin. So far nobody suspects a thing.
- My invisible Mercedes is sitting in my invisible McMansion’s garage next to my invisible super-model wife’s invisible Porsche.
- I’ve been invisible to women for years.
- Why is there so much invisible money in my wallet???
- i drove this car to my doctor, and he said he couldnt see me today,,,
- Hey I just got hit by a …………….uh uh I know I wasn’t drinking………license plate number??? I told you it came out of nowhere. What!!! taking me to the police station, what for?? Officer you gotta believe me!!! LOOK, LOOK there goes another one – WHAT !!!! you didn’t see it !!! UHHHHH
- (invisible comment)
We have no doubt at all of the car’s existence before we figure out where it is, right?
Why could that be?
Because we trust the manufacturer?
Because we believe in the genius of humans?
Ever wonder why it’s so hard for some to believe in the existence of God?
Why they cannot trust the Creator?
Why they cannot believe in God’s genius despite how awesome His creations are?
Let us see…
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12
Him: I love you!
Me: I love you so much!
Him: I love you so much more! *kiss*
Me: Thank you! I have a big smile *kiss*
Him: I’m so happy that I made you smile
That is not always the case because there was a time when the exchanges were, “I hate you!” and “I HATE YOU!”
Most of us might have tasted how bittersweet love can be. It will be the case as long as we are humans. And humans expect. And humans fall short of each other’s expectations.
Since human falls, love falls.
But it can be picked up
And put altogether
But no, the pieces cannot be put all together
There will be cracks and holes and deformities
The question is, “What do you do with it?”
Glue it with insincere repentance?
Fill it with temporary pleasures?
Straighten things up to our satisfaction?
Let God seep through every crack.
Let God fill in the holes.
Let God show us that there is really no deformity
But something special.
And what do you do with something special?
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
See their special offer and join — A story in 55 words!
‘I SING, YOU SMILE’ – written on a cardboard beside him.
I smiled and the passers-by who read it.
“Why are you doing this? You can’t even see them?” I asked the singing blind man on the sidewalk.
“Because I want to be the reason for a smile,” he said.
What a very special offer.
When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. – Job 29:24
Sharing my hubby’s big smile when he caught a 0.87kgs sea bream (bakoko) – we caught the smile as well! Surely he will catch something bigger than that – fish or not! We’re preparing for that bigger smile – by smiling now!
Smile – heaven’s cure!
Sharing my family’s love for massage – my hubby and I massage each other; I massage each of my kiddos, all of them massage me. And when we’re all dead tired, the masseur puts us into sleep – that we may wake up minus the sore. Thanks to Heaven’s Cure Body Oil, Massage Gel and Coco Rub!
Touch Therapy – heaven’s cure!
Sharing my love for fish oil capsules – for preventing ordinary cells from mutating into cancer cells! But the most obvious effect on me is it eased up my depressions. Yup I prayed much about it that it better leave me and if one of the ways is to welcome the fish in, why not? I prefer the fish than the devil!
I even applied the fish oil in my toes that got itchy after trying different shoes in Payless. Gone! As if eaten by the fish – similar to fish spa where, without mercy, you allow the fishes to bite your dead skin. Yay! Thanks Squalene – you’re beyond skin deep!
Fish and oil – heaven’s cure!
And how about you — would you care enough to share something that you love and makes you smile?
You — heaven’s cure!
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; – Psalm 45:7
Prompt from Bluebell Books Short Story Slam Week 19
Image Credit to Whitebook @ DeviantArt, titled A Christmas Story for Rezzan
I ran away from him. It was Christmas time.
That was years ago. Not for good. Just for awhile.
I was confused and in pain.
Faith is amazing. It made me go back.
It connected me to God.
Faith is trusting in the now – that right now great things are unfolding no matter how unbelievable it is. What seems dead may be breathing for new life.
Faith is being excited about tomorrow – that tomorrow great things will be unfolded no matter how unbelievable it may be. What seems dead is alive and fruitful!
Faith is amazing. Faith got me back.
It connected me to God’s graces.
I was overwhelmed and in His arms.
That is now and tomorrow. For good. Not just for awhile.
I ran towards Him. It is me, Rea.
Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. - Matthew 15:28
I am now declaring that I am an artist!
I am an artist because I see extraordinary in an ordinary.
I am an artist because I see beyond the defined purpose of things.
I am an artist because I appreciate each supply chain — tracing back to the Ultimate Source.
I am an artist because I am in love each time I create things — my heart actually giggles!
I am an artist because my kiddos are artists – see some of their lovely works! Hmm it runs in the blood!
I am an artist because my hubby is a great sculpture – my kiddos love his clay dinosaurs! And I love our dining chairs because he repaired and painted them! Hmm it runs in the heart!
I am an artist because I am a child of the Master Artist who created the sky – with changing hues!
I understand that most of us are not comfortable to call ourselves an artist just because our creations are not at par with other artists but does it not matter that God, The Master Artist, is delighted with the beauty that we have created?
The good news is, God is not only an artist — He is also an evaluator and curator – and a Master at those! He appreciates beyond what is seen and heard. He knows genuine Art of Forgiveness, Art of Caring, Art of Giving and all art of the hearts.
I don’t have a shop.
I don’t have a gallery.
Maybe you too.
But we have a home where we showcase kiddos art or table setting or organized chaos.
We have a heart where we showcase love, forgiveness, faith, and much more.
Not comfortable being called an artist? Oh well, let’s call ourselves HEARTIST!
He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers–all of them master craftsmen and designers. – Exodus 35:35
“Lovely daisies,” said the woman beside Dee.
“This is for my best friend, to cheer her up. But she’ll have this later, the rain won’t stop,” replied Dee.
“Oh, I have an extra umbrella here. Please use it,” offered the woman.
“Are you sure? You’re an angel!” remarked Dee thankfully.
“I am very sure! That is not an ordinary umbrella though. It’s an umbrella of grace,” revealed the woman.
Dee can’t believe her luck. She can’t get off her mind too what the woman said:
“Remember that an umbrella of grace is available for you to use each time there is rain of challenges. All you have to do is accept it, open it, and use it.”
“When you are forced to walk in the rain, allow your senses to be awakened by each drop of cold rain that you may understand how much others need as well the umbrella of grace. No, you need not pray that it will be provided to them. Pray that they accept it, open it, and use it because it is readily available — for free.”
“And hey, don’t be surprised if wings show up and take you to miracles. Faith moves impossibilities.”
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. – Psalm 61:4
- Having been made or come into being only a short time ago
- Still fresh
- Radiance; light
- A small amount; a trace
- A straight line extending from a point
Let’s talk about new old things. By old, I mean something that already exists or has been always there. And yes, something old can definitely be new.
It can be new when the eyes are new; when the perspective is new; when the heart is new; when the self is new.
How can two people who regularly saw the same sunray not have the same reaction — one saw it with a smile and the other one just squint and frown?
Could the person have seen a ray of hope and that ray is more than enough?
Or he simply saw a ray?
Could the person have seen a burst of warm love and felt it deeply?
Or he simply saw a ray?
Could the person have seen an extended grace and never doubts its source?
Or he simply saw a ray?
Shall we now look close enough with the old and discover something new? I just did.
January. JaNewRay. TheNewRay,Yeah!
TheNewRea? But my hubby isn’t old — yet
Happy New Year! Happy New You!
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. – Ezekiel 36:26-27
I found it hard to breath. My throat slowly closed. Rashes rushed in.
I passed the allergy test yet the anti-biotic failed and caused me to gasp for air.
Human affirmation is not enough. God’s grace is.
I thank God for the recent cross.
It is painful, especially the unseen wound but the cross stitches.
It fastens together the family with threads of love.
It mends broken souls.
It embosses the heart with an attitude of gratitude.
Thank you so much friends and family for your prayers — for bringing it all to Him.
Thank you so much hubby for taking care of me. For bringing the kiddos to the hospital that I may not miss our normally messy yet love-filled moments as family. I love you.
Thank you so much kiddos for the hugs, kisses, smiles, and love. I love you all.
Thank you youngest daughter for the question, “Mommy are you healed already?”
“The operation is over but the healing goes on.”
“But I prayed to Jesus to heal you.”
“You did? Thank you!”
A stitch in time saves mine — my life beyond the breathing level.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
- Psalm 107: 19-20
Image from Bluebell Books Short Story Slam Week 16
“I don’t like rain it changes my plans.”
“And what are your plans my lady?”
“The usual — go for a walk, take pictures, stay at the café and have my favorite waffle.”
“How about checking someone else’s plan for you out there? Go out in the rain.”
“Go out in the rain? And wet myself?”
“Okay. Okay. I’ll go out there with my boots and umbrella.”
“Don’t forget to wear your wow glasses!”
Reena smiled at her Mom.
Reena smiled some more – out in the rain.
She saw Mommy ducky and her cuties picked flowers – and yes she saw the quack wow in their eyes while they strut their way into the rain!
And so she picked flowers too – happy and fresh flowers bathe by the rain!
Silently she said her thanks, “Thank you so much dear duckies for showing me that I always have the option to find beauty even amidst the rain. That I should not automatically envision mud when it rains – but happy duckies!”
Reena can’t wait to get back home – duck walking and quack wowing.
“Mom, fresh flowers for you. I love you!”
“Wow! Thank you my lady and I love you too!”
“Welcome but you have to thank a mommy duck and her cuties as well!”
“Mommy duck and her cuties?”
“Yes Mom and thank you so much for today – a happy rainy day. Not in my plan — but a real gooooooood One!”
After series of tests, the doctor confirmed that a cancerous cyst has to be removed in my cervix.
I got to see a cardiologist in a while to confirm that it is okay for me to push through with the operation which is scheduled this coming Saturday.
Not in my plan — but I trust the real gooooooood One.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. – Jeremiah 29:11
born to parents
left to aunts
passed on to grandma
back to parents
forwarded to hubby
stayed with kiddos
back to me
back to You
You who will never give me up
You who will never leave me
You who will never stop loving me
You who is ever faithful
As we journey through life it is inevitable that we will be left behind; that we will be left out – but never left alone.
It is cold in here
But not one with cold shoulders
Warm heart is working
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. – Hebrews 13:5