Sunday, December 28

still in a Christmas mood...

tho i feel like i got food poisoned from the chinese food i ate for lunch, i still feel very Christmasy! so how was every one's Christmas? hope you all spent it joyously with your fam.

wasn't really planning on blogging, but when my daughter and i just finished purchasing songs from itunes, i saw that the Christmas countdown started all over again hehehe so oh well, might as well blog right?

well, we spent almost 3days at my brother's new condo in chicago. had lots of games, food and great memories. the only thing i forgot to do is take group pics - ugh! 1st Christmas without it. can't do it on new years coz we're incomplete. =(

although the budget was pretty tight this year, the kids got everything they wished for. i was as always, the videographer and captured some really great, over the top, surprised faces once they opened their gifts. ahh! it was def a kodak moment!

tomorrow's my daughter's 14th bday and boy i can't wait myself. i pray for a God-centered year for her and many blessings for my teen. we're so blessed to have her and we just continue to surrender her life in God's hands. she has grown to be a beautiful, compassionate and with a big heart for the needy and we're so proud to be her parents. advanced happy birthday, camille! we love you!!!

well, i promise to load some pics next time. till then, may the Lord's blessings shower you this holiday season! i still have some great stories to tell, just kinda lazy right now... so nitey nite!

Friday, December 19

Project HOPE's year-end update

Dear Friends,

Hope this email finds you all well. Well, 2009 is just right around the corner and we, the Project HOPE team would like to extend our warmest thanks to you who have stood alongside us in praying and helping the underprivileged all around the globe.

Here's an update of where your donations have brought this ministry. Please join us in praising and thanking the Lord for this opportunity to serve the people in need. Whether they are in need of material or a whisper of prayer, Project HOPE has extended every help we can offer this year.

Fund Drive:
Feb & May: Valentines Day & Mother's Day - we delivered flowers & raised $685
Aug: Garage Sale - raised $143

In May, we volunteered to help the poverty-stricken in Zambia & Zimbabwe, through Bright Hope & Willow Creek's Celebration of Hope: We packed nutrional meals & med packs.

November:
Donated $500 to a family whose father died of cancer and have no way of paying for the funeral expenses.

On Thanksgiving, we helped feed 10 homeless individuals through the help of Wayside Cross Ministry in Elgin. We also have committed to provide food for another 10 homeless people this coming Christmas.

Christmas: For the past two years, we've been adopting 10 extremely poor families in the Philippines. These are families who have no other way to celebrate Christmas, but to sleep in hunger. Our team has agreed to provide each family enough necessities to last them for at least a month and be able to celebrate Christmas with hope that our God cares for them. These necessities are: Rice, Cooking Oil, Sugar, Vinegar, Champorado, Spaghetti noodles, Spaghetti sauce, Corned beef, Meat loaf, Cheese, Biscuit, Coffee, Milo, Packs of noodles, and apples. To them this is more than a Christmas wish come true and our hearts celebrate with joy that is beyond dreams.

I decided to include the list of families we are helping this year, in hopes that your hearts will ache with us and continue to come alongside us in this crusade. This ministry is not a joke. Being the hands and feet of God to this broken and hurting world has opened our eyes to not envy the people above us and instead look at the people below us and be grateful for what we have.

* Mr. & Mrs. Lito&Cynthia Santilleces
Tricycle driver & plain housewife with 6 children from brgy. 10

* Mrs. Aida Tolentino – husband deceased with 3 children from brgy. 10

* Mr. & Mrs. Loreto & Gloria Aquino
Factory driver & lavandera (someone who washes clothes by hand) with 12 children from brgy. Lumbang

* Mr. & Mrs. Fred & Deylin Patino
Construction worker & plain housewife with 3 children frm. Brgy. Lumbang

* Mr. & Mrs. Jomer & Joan Moreno
Welder & helper with 3 children from brgy. Lumbamg

* Mrs. Lilia C. Leyesa- husband deceased
Store keeper & helper with 7 children from brgy. San carlos

* Mrs. Alona Kalalo
Cigarette vendor with 5 children from Brgy. Balintawak

* Mr. Armando Mista
Unemployed with 3 children from Brgy. Pinagkawitan

*Mr. & Mrs. Josie Luja Janitress with 4 children from Brgy. Tambo

*Mr. Eddy San Sebastian - Handicap with 6 children

Friends, know that the task doesn't stop here. The need has tripled due to struggling economy. The task is bigger, but the good news is God is greater than anything. He has touched your hearts to help this ministry in extending the love of God to others. And so we are eternally grateful. We have a big job ahead of us in 2009 and so we continue to ask for your generosity and compassion as we come together in unity to help the poorest of the poor.

Now as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the hope of the season, we at Project HOPE want to thank you for all the help you've extended in furthering the kingdom of God.

Please let us know if we can pray for you in any way this holiday season, for prayer is the best gift we can offer. We'd love to hear from you.

Have a Merry Christmas!

--God Speed!
Lovely Miranda

Project HOPE Team

Monday, December 15

wow! 10days?

and it's Christmas? goodness! i don't know about you, but this year is going by soooo fast. in a way it's good coz i anticipate to see what lies in 2009.

i'm done with Christmas shopping, wrapped all the gifts, met up with some of the girls before Christmas (hoping to see the rest before then too) and let's see, oh! so many good news that happened lately that i'm all smiles these past few days.... i know the Lord was the #1 source of them... so all praises to Him!

changing the subject here... i was so thrilled to see my kids get along so well lately. you know how kids are sometimes... they find it amusing to annoy each other like cats and dogs, but lately it hasn't been the case. my teen and my son have been getting along for the past few days that i actually had to video tape some of them.... hahaha yep! it was like an instant prayer came true! they got along so well that they managed to watch movies together, sleep in my daughter's room, tell each other jokes, and have a concert in the office while playing their guitars... i mean, what more can you ask for? well, i know it won't be like this everyday, but i'm sure glad they're setting a good example to their little sis and really just showing love for each other. we can't have everything, i sure am glad to have God guide our steps everyday.

last weekend my daughter and i volunteered to wrap gifts for the families who cannot afford to buy retail gifts to their children. this church has partnered with Willow Creek's Christmas serving opportunities. however, their idea was good and different. in order for them to raise more funds to help more less fortunate people, they priced the donated gifts (new) about 80%-90% off the retail price. in this way, parents still have the dignity to be able to pick and buy a gift they would like for their children. the gifts they buy is what we wrap. it was definitely an eye opener, esp. for me and my family who i consider still very blessed to have what we have even if we are struggling financially. God is good, i tell yah!

anyway, starting this friday, the 19th, our home church, Willow Creek, will be having a 12 identical Christmas services... it will end on the 24th. if you live in illinois, i sure hope you'll find time to come and enjoy our yearly, wonderfully put together program about Jesus' birth. it's a great way to spend it with your loved ones and guess what? it's FREE! all you need to do is click this link: http://www.willowcreek.org/MiniSite/default.asp and reserve your tickets to the service time of your choice.

hope to experience this amazing true to life story of Jesus, our ONLY Savior!

God speed!

Thursday, December 4

Project HOPE on Christmas!

here's an update for you all:

this coming Christmas, project HOPE has once again adopted 10 less fortunate families in the philippines. these families just like the last couple years we've been doing this, are the once who are not able to buy any food to celebrate Christmas. most of these families force themselves to sleep to be able to ignore their hunger. as an added blessing, we're also providing each family enough food to last them for at least a month.

we've also committed ourselves in providing to feed 10 homeless people last thanksgiving and will be feeding another 10 this coming Christmas through the help of wayside cross ministries.

it has been a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to these people and we are so blessed to have this opportunity.

as a matter of fact, we are in the process of organizing a "feed the hunger event" this january in the little town of pasig in the philippines. with the help of my mother-in-law and her compassionate team, we will be able to feed as many people, up to the maximum capacity of the vacant town house that will be used to serve these people, owned by our grandma. we will be serving lunch and dinner for one day (date tbd) and will be giving away hope bags for each family as they leave for the night.

all of this because God is just so good and He has touched people's hearts to donate their resources and for many who continues to pray for Project HOPE and our team.

thank you for everything! may our good Lord shower you all even more with His blessings!!!

please continue to pray for us and the projects in store for Project HOPE.

God speed!

Tuesday, December 2

just in awe...

on my way back home from droppin' off my son to school, i was listening to wmbi 90.1 fm and heard the song, "mary did you know". i've heard this song many times, but never really had a chance to listen and ponder the lyrics. this time i did. i could not help, but imagine the beauty of how HOLY Jesus is and how blessed we are to have Him.

as a mom, i also wondered how mary felt. if you listen to the lyrics of the song and imagined for a moment that you are mary... how will you handle it? esp knowing that you're just 13 yrs old. how would you tell your parents? your siblings? your relatives and friends?

i'm humbled by mary's faith and trust in God as she carries this baby boy not knowing what will happen. she just obeyed and trusted what God asked of her. wow! now that's faith!

anyway, today my daughter went to her youth ministry and every time i pick her up, she never neglects to share to me the message she learned. well, guess what? it was about mary. hahaha, God's full of humor, i tell yah! well, our conversation got so exciting that she herself was flabbergasted. she then mentioned to me about the video they watched in youtube. so here it is friends... see for yourself and let it resonate your mind, body and soul...



the message is so powerful that i couldn't really decide which videos to share to you... so i have no choice, but to pick 2 from the tons of videos out there. here's another version...



well, i hope this videos have inspired you as well. God is so AWESOME!

Sunday, November 30

back to regular week!

well, how was everyone's thanksgiving celebration? hope y'all had and awesome one just like mine! the highlight for me was the time we spent expressing reasons to be thankful for, before we started eating. although some were caught off guard, i'm in awe for the sincerity of everyone... from the youngest to the oldest. ahh! thank God for my entire family!

nwayz, thanksgiving week is about to end and i'm back to job hunting, kids are back to school tomorrow and noel's back to work after a week of family time and many expressions of gratefulness from the family to God.

so... how was black friday for everyone? this was my first year not going. thank God i didn't feel quite down about it. i guess coz i was so tired preparing and plus the kids in our family are well aware and understand our situation (i'm so thankful that they do). i know retail was down this year tsk tsk tsk.

just the other day, i was reading the article about the great depression and the economic crisis the world is going through right now and i must agree to all of the people that were interviewed, who experienced the great depression, when they said that the generation nowadays will feel the hardship more due to the lifestyle we have gotten used to compare to their lifestyle in 1930s. well, thank God we have God with us to satisfy our every need and to give hope when the situation continues to exhaust it. i tell yah, faith in God really helps to get back in the game!

yesterday was my friend, larraine's graduation party. it was held in a fully renovated, classic bowl. it was a joy seeing some of my girls i haven't seen in ages... gosh! i miss them again already hehehe. too bad i don't have pics, but i sure hope those who took pics will somehow have the time to forward them to me *ehem girls!* as usual we were all loud, cheeks were hurting coz of laughing and are thumbs were close to getting blisters coz of bowling. it was a fun night and i sure hope rain had an awesome time. congratz again my loves! you did it! we're so proud of you!
here's a shot of the shadow box i made for my friend, rain. i'm glad it put a smile on her face =)

k, this is it for now... y'all have a good nite! God speed!

Wednesday, November 26

hAPpy ThAnksGivIng EvE!

thought i'd blog before i start with my busy day. we're hosting thanksgiving this year and i've been trying to joggle my schedule everyday since last friday. see here's one of the many things i'm grateful for even if our budget is tight... i may not have the luxury to be shopping for myself anymore, but the Lord continues to shower us with food. 2 of our fridge are full - it never runs out - that's why i really find it hard to complain coz God continues to provide for our needs.

thanksgiving and Christmas are 2 of my favorite occasions to celebrate... there's nothing like recognizing how awesome our God is... although everyday should be thanksgiving, tomorrow is the highlight of the amazing journey our Christian brothers and sisters (pilgrims) went through. from numerous trials and sufferings... they were faithful to give thanks to our Lord! now that's faith!

so to you my friends, what are you most thankful for this year?

have a blessed thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. may you cherish each moment coz no matter what, everyday is different... and each day is a gift from God.

p.s. it's not turkey day... it's THANKSGIVING DAY - recognizing the blessings God has given you. (it won't hurt to be reminded)

muah! i love you all =)

Friday, November 21

Celebrating My Uncle's Life...

we love you uncle von! say hi to mama for us... we know we will see you again!

Thursday, November 20

heaven was waiting...

for my uncle who went to be with the Lord last night @ 11:45p. people wonder if we were surprised since he was suffering from lymphoma, pneumonia & tuberculosis, however, for me, since i've gone through this same situation with my mom, you don't really find yourself leaning towards departure, instead you hold on to every moment you have. no matter how bad the circumstances is in front of you, you can't really ready yourself to face your loved one's departure... however, i can speak for my cousins and my aunt (who are also believers in Christ) that the experience and every moment was worth it. my uncle received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior during his battle and although we grief for his passing, i can certainly attest that his departure was not in vain, instead we rejoice for his new life eternally with Christ, our Lord.

i'm a firm believer of matthew 8:36... "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" yes! in life it all comes down to one decision, that is if you want to gain everything in this world and lose your soul, or you won't have everything this world brings, but you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? at the end of the day, it is what it is... we will depart this world, but we just don't know when, but i'm glad to say that I AM SAVED and i just look forward for the day i will finally be with my King! how about you, do you know where you're going? don't be too arrogant with your good deeds, for we are not saved coz we do good works, but bcoz of His love and mercy, He died on our behalf. His free gift of salvation was made available to us which can only be received through faith. now, when you love Christ, that's when good works follow.

so, going back to my uncle... i'm glad i was able to spend time with him when we went to VA, but i'm most delighted to hear that he received Jesus' gift of salvation right on time! to God be all the glory!!!

ahhh! it feels so good to be at peace with everything! though trying moments come my way, i'm so glad i have the Lord to turn to and share my deepest sorrows. if you're interested in finding out more of how you can have "THE BEST' relationship with God, please feel free to shoot me an email i'll be glad to pray for you and with you.

i've been sick since last week. i loss my voice 3days ago and i'm having such a hard time sleeping at night coz of my severe cough. i just thought i'd log in real quick before i hit the bed. i've been cleaning like crazy (even if i should be resting) coz we're hosting thanksgiving this year. thank God we're able to even if we're in the midst of a financial crisis. God is good and there's no way i would decline celebrating thanksgiving and Christmas... it's about my Savior we're talking about here for crying out loud!

nway, last sat, i met up with my girlfriend for brunch and tried the restaurant in arlington heights called "uptown cafe"... it was both our 1st time there and we both tried something new hehehe. we're glad we did. every food we ordered deserved 5 stars. thank God for metromix i discovered this restaurant! oh gosh! i'm getting hungry just thinking about it. too bad my girlfriend totally forgot a few hrs won't be enough to catch up on things, but i'm glad to see her and blessed to have that opportunity with her. looking forward for more!

so, what's for thanksgiving? well, besides good food and many laughs, i look forward to hearing everyone's testimony of what they're thankful for. oh btw, i volunteered to cook. oh my! is that a good thing for my family? hahaha maybe not, but oh well, they don't have a choice =)

k signing off now! may you all have an awesome night and a blessed tomorrow!

Sunday, November 16

the power of the Lord...

i happened to browse around billy graham's website to find some resources that might be of interest to me at the moment and i ended up watching this video.

i'm glad i did and now i'm MORE IN AWE of just how powerful the Lord is once you fully submit your life to Him.

watch and be blessed!

Thursday, November 13

the God i know...

when you think about God, what thoughts do you have in mind? who is He? what’s He like?

i'm glad that God had found me. if it wasn't for Him, my life would probably be so miserable. coz right now, even if we're having financial difficulties, i'm grateful that my family stands strong all because we have God as our foundation.

i can honestly say that it's been really tough financially lately, but i'm grateful each waking day, each time i see my kids, each meal we eat, each time i grocery shop, each time i fill my tank, each personal time i have with the Lord, etc. see, the Lord has taught me not to look at the people above me when the feeling of envy is kickin' in, instead look at the people below me and be grateful for what i have.

yes, there are times i just cry in the car when i just don't know how we will get by for the next month's expenses, but believe me, this trying time definitely brought our family even closer. it has opened many doors of great communications and best of all, it has brought us down to our knees and closer to the Lord.

last week's message from willow has once again helped me add more fuel of trust in the Lord. and so i would like to share it with you. you and i may not have the same situation, but i'm almost positive that this will help you one way or another.

may you be blessed as you listen closely to the message of comfort... (to watch, pls click on the image below. once you're on the site, click on the same icon on the top right)
remember, when life gets dark, come to God for comfort. gnite!

Thursday, November 6

the Heart of Jesus

i'm in awe! just watch what Jesus could do...


Praise the Lord for Adoption!!!

Wednesday, November 5

CHANGE has come to AMERICA!

I decided to turn today's ODB to the topic of yesterday's historical win due to a phone call I just received about a couple crying, out of disappointment for McCain's loss over Obama.

Yesterday, if you think about it, millions of people casted their votes for their choice of political leaders, and more importantly for President. After many months of campaigning each one of us, voters, had the opportunity to choose, however, we must understand and accept that not everyone’s choice will win.

Yes, we all have our differences... we have proposals we agree and disagree on. But even if the turn out was different, we, of all different walks of life should remain in prayer everyday for those who are in authority to make the right decisions. I tell yah, living in this land of great opportunities should bring us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel... ALWAYS.

I must confess, I voted for Republicans. I have my reasons... like most of us do. There are things I agree and disagree with both parties, but like many others I stand for the hope, the right direction, and the great opportunities ahead for us.However, watching America unite for change and hope yesterday was definitely historically breath taking. As my kids and I direct our very eyes watching this historic triumph unfold before us, I felt JOY in my heart. No major incidents were reported, instead unity as one nation took its place under the provision of our glorious King. Yes, I truly believe that Barack Obama was appointed by God to be the next President of the United States. Did I know that then or was I leaning towards that? I can honestly say, no, but as a child of God, I trust and embrace the Lord's plan. Whether McCain won, we all serve ONE GOD who is our eternal President, the One who has our best interest... the Creator of McCain and Obama... so I choose God's leading.

On another note, I salute McCain's gracious message yesterday. There's no doubt how much he loves his country and how willing he was to bring about unity and change, but such time as this has to happen. I do not regret voting for him, instead, like him i embrace the new chapter of America's story and Obama cannot fulfill any of those changes we want to see if we just sit and watch, we all have a role to play and if we want to see those changes then we all need to help and better get moving!

So now what? Do we just let yesterday's triumph become a one day history? Do we continue to dwell on McCain's loss? Or do we stand together to work for the greater good and prayerfully support our next leader?

Friends, let's pray that the Lord will guide Obama's steps, his decisions, his choices, and his presidency. That the Lord will use him and his members to really bring about change in America. That the hope we all hold on to will finally be revealed and experienced through the touch of God in Obama's leadership. I pray that Obama will put God first in everything he does, to live in the foundation of Joshua 24:15, so that all will be well even in the midst of trials and tough decisions.

AMERICA, I celebrate with you! God bless us all!


p.s. my weekend was so exhausting. i finished painting my brother's bathrooms... ugh! it was so dangerous coz i didn't have the proper ladder to use, but someone had to do it and i wasn't about to buy a ladder just for a small portion i couldn't reach. so i managed to get myself up there and yes, by the grace of God i'm still ALIVE! whew!

we finished my daughter's election 2008 scrapbook - stayed up till 3am monday night. oh gosh! out of all the things i had to do and finish over the weekend, i was so drained yesterday all i wanted to do was sleep, but i only succeeded 30 mins of nap time coz my lil' one kept calling me... ayayay! well, i'm off to study for my last test this sat. i hope and pray for a celebration soon!

enjoy the beautiful weather and a blessed wednesday!

Wednesday, October 29

Is He in your life?

Hello All,

I hope you all remember me... the ODB lady. Wishing that all is well with everyone and that although we're at the verge of economic crisis, know that God is faithful and just. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you everyone who continues to pray for me as well as the numerous follow up emails requesting for the daily bread. So without further ado, let's get on with today's message.

Does God exist in your life? Or is He a figment of your imagination?

As a child, my siblings and I were surrounded by a very strong atmosphere of religiosity, both in school and home. Our mom was a devoted servant of a church in our town. We were told to pray and do the ritual practices at church. I thought I knew God then. I would say that He lived in my heart, but nobody really explained to me about the importance and the difference of having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. I guess I kind of assumed too that I already had one.

Not until things were going wrong in my life did I start searching and caring for the REAL MEANING of a relationship with Christ. I was so in hurry to find out that I even longed for something I could touch, hold, feel and hear to give me proof that there is really someone out there who has my best interest.

Let's be honest, no one enjoys the feeling of brokenness. But after receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life and devoted some of my time getting to know Him through His words, (believe me it was tough understanding it at first, but the more I spend time with Him the more He reveals Himself to me), I learned to depend on Him & His promises everyday. My hopes became brighter and being broken gave me an entirely new perspective on God's plan for my life.

Just the other night, I I tried going through different books to understand what Jesus was trying to say in this verse: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." After much research, I came to the conclusion that this passage teaches us that death is necessary for a harvest. Jesus' death for our sins led to glory and life not only for Himself, but also for us.

Therefore, only by falling and breaking can a single grain produce a rich crop. If it stays isolated and protected, it will never produce anything.

I truly believe that's how the Lord works to mature His children. He allows us to be broken to bring spiritual growth and supernatural ministry into our lives. And the process is always the same:
1) He targets the areas where we're not submissive to Him.
2) He arranges circumstances and selects the tools with which to break our self-sufficiency.
3) He controls the pressure and timing of those circumstances to bring us back into His will.

I mean, the choice is still ours... if we refuse to be re-formed through this brokenness and continue to cling to whatever God wants us to release, then He will put us on the shelf. Just think about it, yes, we resist brokenness wherever we turn, but just like the single, unbroken grain of wheat, we will become fruitless and alone if we continue to follow what we think is best for us. Our biggest problem is we choose to hang on to the things we think bring joy. We want to persist in relationships that are blocking our spiritual growth. We want to take the easiest way hoping that God will bless our laziness and impatientness. My friend, this is not the road to maturity that our Father in heaven has prepared for us.

There's no doubt that brokenness hurts. But God's word, proclaims that it hurts more not to be broken. Don't be distracted by short-term happiness. Look where God is leading you and let Him do whatever it takes to get you there. When God says "NO", when He takes away instead of adding more, when He divinely manages what we have, how much we have, and how long we have it, He is helping us keep our eyes on Him. don't despise these moments. Instead, recognize them as the voice of God calling you back into His loving arms. Yes, it won't be easy, but in the end, as you continue to trust that God delivers and redeems people from all walks of life, you can look back and see how amazing and genius God is for putting your pieces back to whole again.

Have a joyful day everyone!

God speed!
Lovely

Sunday, October 26

whoa! too much...

project goin on for the kids' school. noel and ayre worked together for ayre's science project (due tomorrow) while camille and i worked on her history project (due election day, but too much research and scrapbooking to do).

here's ayre's space rocket model (made out of legos - he's presenting it tomorrow) you can do it, ayre! i so love every details of this...

here's a preview of camille's election book (will post more LOs when project's done - still have a lot of pages to do. a lot of cutting, gluing, thinking and laughing comes with this project, but what i love the most is the bonding =)



i've been sore since yesterday. i finished painting one of my brother's bathrooms, last friday. i'm glad he loves the color i picked for him. it's a modern gray. at first i thought he wouldn't like it coz i know he's not into dark colors, but thank God he likes my taste hehehe. he says that's one of his favorite rooms in his house now, aww! i'm painting the master bath next and i think a lighter mocha would be great for it. he likes the idea, i just hope he'll like the results too. yikes!

i'm about to send the odb for tomorrow as well as send my resumes out again so i leave you with well wishes and a reminder that God is good all the time!

Tuesday, October 21

tired, but it's all good

it feels like this day was dragging. although i ran a few errands all morning, talked with a friend i haven't seen in ages, did a few things around the house, the day still seem too slow. anyway, so much eating and physical work since thursday. let me summarize if i can *wink*

thursday: hubby and i had a lil' misunderstanding the day before, but he totally surprised me by taking a day-off just to take me out on a date. as an early gift for me, he wanted to take me on a shopping spree, but i'd rather do an early Christmas shopping for our family rather than buying something for myself since i don't really want anything, but a job, you know what i mean?

i was so hungry so we decided to eat first. originally, we planned to try the sushi station in our area, but he wanted me to try, house of tokyo. wow! i must say it was all worth it. we arrived exactly in the beginning of the "all you can eat" dinner special. get this, it was $24 pp, the chefs just began serving fresh sushis in front of us while this little boat filled with different types of sushis sailed this long table we were in. we went sushi CRAZEE! it was too much for the night that it felt like the food entered our brain... oh gosh! it's too much just thinking back. we enjoyed the food so much coupled with some good laughs and great topics of conversation.

we then purchased a few gifts from aurora outlet, watched eagle eye then called it a night. purrty good i must say.

friday: my 32nd birthday - wow! time flies! i thank the Lord for giving me another year to experience more of His amazing plans for my life. God is good all the time, i tell yah!

well, although it's kinda tough for my husband to get a vacation from work, he requested this day anyway and thank God they approved it, but not saturday. well, better than nothing. we had a few things planned, but i was dragging. so we ended up at woodfield mall (kids' choice), they wanted to go to gameworks, but we were running late for dinner. i wanted to try weber grill since the kids and i get really curious every time we see that ginormous grill in front of the restaurant. how do i rate it? well, i finished my humongous burger w/ jalapeno cheese (i was hungry ok - but i prefer pepper jack cheese, but they didn't have it), i like the starter, which comes w/ shrimp, chicken, ribs, onion rings & somethin' else, and the rest of my fam were satisfied w/ their orders... so i would have to give it a 3 1/2 out of 5. only bcoz i'm not really a fan of grilled stuff and the server was somewhat in hurry to take things out of our table. but all in all, it was a night well spent with some of my loved ones. thank you Lord!

saturday: woke up early to help my brother move to his new condo in chicago. although i also like his town house before, i feel a new and good beginning here. the place of course is BEAutiful... surrounded with crown molding, tall ceilings, 2 huge patios, marble bathrooms, and cute layout. with all the loading, unloading and unpacking, they managed to surprise me with ube cake and yummy food... aww! they love me =) it was almost midnight when we got home.

sunday: we all woke up sore, but thank God for pain killers! the message once again, hit the nerve of my current situation. it's called, what we learn in downturns. of course with the downturns we've been experiencing this year, bill explained the hope that is in Christ with clarity and confidence that God is faithful through it all. it was the perfect time to have heard this message and i'm again, so grateful to our heavenly King. i plan to share bits of what i learned for tomorrow's odb (say no more, i know i've been slacking off with my odbs and believe me i'm so disappointed of myself and so i ask for your prayers).

the kids still wanted to hang out so we decided to just eat at panda express. we filled the place with our laughs... gosh, we're loud! hehehe

noel got home early from work. we watched indiana jones in the theatre room while munching on our popcorn and chocolate - it was heaven!

monday: went back to chicago to help my brother unpack. @ 2, we rushed back to pick up my son from school. did my daily job description as a mom and hit the bed pretty late.

that's pretty much what i've been doing the past few days. tomorrow afternoon will be voting day for me and my husband. are you guys ready? i'm sorta not, since i haven't reviewed the other candidates... hopefully tomorrow morning... i'm so bad =(

this week will be physically and mentally draining for me. my brother requested that i paint parts of his house, i have to help camille with her election 2008 scrapbook project & help my son, ayre with his science model project. since he's so fanatic with legos, we decided to make a model out of his legos. he just can't wait to start on it. as a matter of fact i'm pretty excited too! hehehe

well, that's it for now, i'm supposed to be sending out my resume, not bloggin' - WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH ME?

k, blessings to all! gnite =)

Wednesday, October 15

little pilgrim by chuck girard

as promised, here's the song that moved me as chuck girard sang over us, last sunday. as i listened to this song, the life i lived before i fully surrendered it to the Lord, flashed before me, as well as the people close to my heart who stepped away or are away from God's path right now. tears were running down my face as i cried out to the Lord for my loved ones.

but anyway, i hope that as you watch the video, you will listen to the lyrics and let it resonate within your soul.

Sunday, October 12

a message worth sharing...

i thank the Lord for bringing us to our home church now. the effect has brought many changes in our lives and continued growth. every message has an impact in my life and i praise God for every opportunity to hear His messages.

today's our church, willow creek's 33rd anni. we're privileged to have country music artist, chuck girard, whose songs had a strong influence to the pioneers of willow back in 1970s.

this was willow then:







and this is willow now (main auditorium - there are other auditoriums for different age level services):







the messages of chuck's songs as he sang over us today, definitely touched my heart in such a different way and i will make sure that one of these days i will upload some of his songs so you all can also be filled with great hope in the midst of any circumstance in your life. absolutely a must hear!

however, i came across a message from chuck that i would like to share to you all. may the powerful message bring about change in your heart. to God be all the glory!

We live in a difficult world, in difficult times. Everyone it seems, has an opinion, and it's not easy to figure out what to believe about life, why we are here, and what is the purpose of it all. We have our inner moral compass, and just when our instincts tell us we may be on the right track , someone we may look up to is caught in some area of moral failure, or a spiritual leader falls to the temptation of the world.

Well, I found out the hard way (See "My Testimony"), that there is really only one uniform source of truth, and that's the Holy Bible. This tract is not to convince you of the veracity of the Bible, but instead is for folks who are past that step, and just don't know what to do with what they know is in the Bible.

Before we get into the practical steps which lead you into receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, let's look at some simple but profound facts, using the Bible as our standard of truth, otherwise this all would just be one person's opinion. I know that the Bible seems to have contradictions and inconsistencies, but really, that's only how it appears on first look. No man can really know the truth of the Bible without 2 prerequisites:
1) He must be open and honest, so that he can be led of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is understood by Divine revelation, not by intellect alone.
2) He must receive the revelation in steps, as he lives out the principles of the Bible in his daily life. As you are led into what you need to know by the Spirit, and live out that which you discover, the seeming contradictions and inconsistencies seem to fade away, and the true harmony of the "whole counsel of God" becomes evident.


So...the first revelation you need is of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. After that get ready for the rest of your life, as God produces in you the character and attributes of a true Christian.
Here's a few other concepts to grasp before we begin:
1) Don't get religion, get relationship.The first step is not about churches, personalities or organizations. It's about getting right with God. After that God can place you in a fellowship of believers where you can grow.
2) Don't judge Christ by Christians. Christians are just people. Leaders fall and fail, but you don't hear that much about the ones who serve God faithfully, never cheat on their wives or husbands, never get in trouble. Believe me, these far outnumber the ones you hear about. Billy Graham is a phenomenon to have been so faithful and well known with never a hint of scandal. Get your eyes off of men, and look to God for your answers. If you approach Him with an honest, questioning heart, He will satisfy your need to know. (Seek and you will find....)
3) Don't wait to get your life together before you get right with God. This is a "come-as-you-are" party. Jesus loves you right where you are. It's only he who can affect real change in your life, because real change only comes from the inside out. Our attempts at self-improvement usually are usually working from the opposite premise, and that kind of change seldom works, and NEVER works on the eternal level.
4) Don't make the mistake of thinking that you are too evil for God to forgive. The Bible says that "when we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive, and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. If you are truly repentant, there is nothing that cannot be forgiven. Jesus loves YOU, no matter what your past.
5) Don't think that if you become a Christian, that you won't have fun anymore. Hollywood, TV, books etc., have in general painted Christianity to be something for a bunch of losers..dried up prunes of people who have lost their zest for life. Not true. God will change your mind about what you think is fun, but true Christians have real joy in their lives and really know what real fun is. I'm glad the days of partying down and "having fun" without remembering what happened to me because I was passed out are over. What kind of fun is that?

Let's move along, with a few more facts to consider:
1) Everyone in the world has missed God, and needs to be saved. No matter who you are, without Jesus in your life, you are lost. No matter how good a life you may lead, you are lost without Christ. Men have fallen from godliness and need to have relationship with God restored, which can only happen through the cross of Calvary.
2) Your salvation cannot be earned. This is something God has done for us, we can't earn it, we must just receive it.
3) Your salvation cannot be learned. You don't need to go to Bible school to be saved. Wouldn't it be unfair if only theologically literate people could get right with God? No, God made this so simple that a 10 year old child can receive Jesus as savior. He truly made it so simple that "the foolishness of God would confound the wisdom of the world." It's a matter of faith, not intellect.
4) You must recognize your need. You ARE a foul depraved Godless person, as we all were before receiving Jesus. Even the good things you do have a selfish agenda if you really be honest. You must be willing to call sin sin, and turn from it, change your lifestyle completely, pick up your cross and follow Him. Difficult club to join, you say? Yes, and I want you to know it isn't always pretty. It's losing your life for His sake that you may gain it back. It's suffering sometimes because you do the right thing. It's not easy. Don't join if you're looking for an easy way. Yet, at the same time this life is filled with joy and satisfaction. Think of the life that Jesus led. Full of suffering, rejection and pain, and yet Jesus was the happiest most well-adjusted person who ever lived, because He did it God's way..
5) You must receive Him by faith. You won't know all the answers, you may not even have thought of many of the questions. It's a matter of knowing in your heart that what Jesus said is right, then acting on it.

What did Jesus say?
1) "I am the way, the truth, the life. No man shall see the Father if not through me."(John 14:16) He didn't say, as many gurus and spiritual leaders do that He knew a way to get truth, He said He WAS the way the truth, the life. He also said He was the ONLY way. (A hard one for a lot of people, but I didn't say it, HE did.)
2) They that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.(Ro. 10:13) Self explanatory.
So.. How do I receive Him?

It's so simple you may have a hard time believing it. No costly seminars to attend, no years spent in Bible school, only a simple prayer of faith.Here are the steps, (not a formula, but steps)
1) Repent. Recognize your sinfulness and turn from your ways. Be willing to change what needs to be changed."If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, KJV).
2) Receive His forgiveness. He died on the cross so that you may be forgiven. Your forgiveness was purchased 2000 years ago. Receive it now."For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV).
3) Don't wait for a bolt of lightning. Most conversion experiences are not dramatic. You may or may not experience an emotional release, it doesn't matter, we walk by faith, not sight.
4) It is necessary to believe in Jesus deity, that He rose from death and conquered sin. This is something you must believe by faith. No one has pragmatic proof of these truths. But we do have the Holy Spirit who will confirm these facts to you by that "inner witness", that compass inside that says "this is true"...."that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."(Romans 10:9, NIV).
5)" Confessing with your mouth."(above scripture). I believe there is power in spoken prayer.


Try it now; say "Jesus is Lord", and feel the power of those words. Then continue and pray words to this effect: "Jesus, I need you in my life. I've not been tremendously successful without you, and so now I'm going to try it your way. I repent of every wrong thing I've ever done, and receive the forgiveness that You offer. I believe that You are God, and that you died on the cross and rose from death to conquer all the works of darkness. I surrender my life to You this day, and pledge to do my best to be obedient to You from this day forth. You have made me a new creation, and I am now "born again" of the Spirit of God. Because of You, I will go to heaven when I die. I pray all this in the Name of Jesus."

What now?
1) Go tell somebody!"If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before my father."(Matt: 10:32) I'd love for you to let ME know. E-mail me, chuck@chuck.org or fax me, or whatever, I'd love to hear what God did for you.
2) Get a Bible..Read it a little every day. Contact me, I'll send you one. Or get one from a bookstore or The American Bible Society, or even the library until you can find one you like. A couple recommended modern translations, excellent for new believers are "GOOD NEWS FOR MODERN MAN" or "THE LIVING BIBLE" "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV).
3) Find a church."Don't forsake the assembling of the saints." God's got a home for you. Ask him to guide you to a good church. Contact me and let me know where you live and I might be able to guide you to a good church.
"....not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh." (Hebrews 10:25, ASV). .
4) Pray daily. Talk conversationally to God. The Spirit that is within you will put you in touch with Him. He does speak to us today, but you have to learn how to hear His voice.

Saturday, October 11

hello!

been feeling under the weather since yesterday. i have sore throat and my right side teeth has been aching coz of the root canal i got done the other day. i've been on antibiotic for almost 2weeks now plus taking meds for my cold... my gosh! is that even healthy?

i hung out with a friend till late last night and felt like passing out while i was driving coz of what i was feeling already. i had to pretend i was okay coz my friend needed some emotional support so i didn't really want to add up to her worries. but thank God i made it home safely.

although i have some chores to do today, i feel like i just wanna tuck myself into bed all day. ayayay! but i can't!

my teen went to her awana camp yesterday. they went to baraboo wisconsin. i'm so delighted to see her enjoying it. i've noticed that when she joined, her interest in growing with the Lord has grown tremendously. i even learn new things every time she shares the messages to me. and then at times my daughter, my son and I find ourselves testing each others knowledge about the verses we know in the Bible as well as competing on naming the books in the Bible. guess what? my 11yrs old son always wins! oh gosh! thank God for awana! too bad they don't have awana in the philippines when i was growing up... hmm, i feel a light bulb just turned on over my head! let's make it happen Lord!

ok, i should sign out now and get myself going for the day.

praying for my daughter's awesome experience w/ the Lord during this trip,
love

Monday, October 6

what a weekend *)

thank God i'm able to blog again. so what have i been up to? um, besides job hunting, here's my weekend update *wink*

fri: had dinner with my girlfriend. too bad a couple of our friends didn't make it. so happy to be able to eat my fave shushis hehehe it's been a 1 1/2 since my last one. that's so unlikely of me =) my husband was so jealous that he wanted me to plan our next date already =) might try the new jap rest in our area called, sushi station.

sat: i just had the "just do it" attitude last sat. i went to menards and lowes to get my materials to paint all of our baseboards. i was not quite happy with my performance coz i think i was too slow, not to mention i started late ;) so i'm off to finish the rest today... +ing my fingers =)

sun (yanna's 3rd bday): the message was another eye opener. this "influence" series that bill hybels is covering for 8weeks has given me (although slowly) a new set of eyes. i just pray that the Lord will help me each day as i live it coz i sure can't do it without Him.

we managed to meet up with the filipino community there at willow. so glad we did. most of them were our age and so it was easier to relate. looking forward to building a wonderful relationship with this group and hoping we will be able to extend ourselves to others with authenticity.

we went straight to chuckecheese to celebrate my daughter's 3rd bday, but unfortunately their system was down for quite some time and so we headed off to caesarland in chicago. well, guess what? the place went out of biz. ugh! GREAT! so although i refused to go to go bananas (used to be jeepers) we had no choice, we wanted yanna to have a great time on her birth. it's not about us, so i had to set aside my preferences and make yanna's day enjoyable. i believe the place got flooded coz as soon as you enter, the smell was quite awful. thankfully, we found a good spot and was able to celebrate for our little one.

it's funny how the Lord led us to this place though. mind you, it's been years since i last saw my guy best friend. the only contact i had was with his parents whom i just send greeting cards to on every occasion. but anyhow, he was there at go bananas with his new fam. my husband saw him first and so we were planning a way to surprise my him, until they ended up playing right behind our table. long story short, we were both so thrilled to see each other and both families. they ended up celebrating with us. so besides the hassle of having to go to different places to celebrate my daughter's bday... thank God we ended up there. so weird seeing all the kids together though, it reminds us that we're not getting any younger... yikes!

well, that's it for now. gotta get back to painting! have a blessed day everyone!

Monday, September 29

catchin' up

with blogging. i've been busy digging through the boxes in our storage. i'm trying to get rid of stuff and really just organize everything before i start working again (dunno when yet... hehehe). my husband said, "the key is if you haven't seen it for a year and you survived with out it... get rid of it." so although i have the tendency to keep it all... i closed my eyes and followed my husband's advice. ouch!

the result? wow! i see more space hehehe. but does that mean, more stuff to buy? um, hope not. i did go to ikea the other day to finally buy the bins for the playroom in the basement. i bumped into my old friend, butch and his wife, nova and managed to catch up a lil' bit. that was nice =)

over the weekend was my son's 11th bday and my mom's 3rd yr in heaven. we invited ayre's close friend, matthew (my girl, marge's son) and headed off to volcano falls with my entire fam. the fun was a success! love the laser tag with the kids... hehehe. the lil' ones snuck up behind me & caught me too many times... i'm guess i'll die easily @ war *wink*

got home at 9p and i still had to prep my palabok (filipino noodle dish) for the next day. i planned to cook early sunday morning so that i have time to get ready for church. but unfortunately, my sis thought we had all the ingredients for the palabok i was going to make. i ended up driving to 4 filipino stores and they were all closed. whaaaaat? so i had to just drop them off to church, got all the stuff i needed at the filipino store and rushed myself home to cook. for someone who doesn't cook, i think i did pretty well. took me 45mins to cook and 5mins to load everything in the car. however, there's one thing i realized... i will no longer desire to open up a catering business hahahaha and to think that was just 1 dish i made - so sad... but hey! regardless all the driving and the stress... i'm so happy to get great reviews for my palabok hehehe made it all worth it! thanks Lord!

well, we made it to the cemetery on time and celebrated my mom's anni & again, ayre's bday. some of my mom's close friends were there so that really completed our day. brings the good old memories =)

too bad noel was working 7 straight days... he missed his son's bday and my mom's anni. thankfully he's off today and tomorrow so bonding time with dad is our itinerary for 2 days.

oh and to all the couples out there... whether all is well or you're in the midst of a trying moment, i encourage you to watch the movie, "FIREPROOF"! How far will you go to keep your promise and save your marriage?

i love you all with the love of the Lord,
lovely

Sunday, September 21

Our God Reigns

i felt so renewed at church today as darlene zschech lead us to praise and worship. it was a concert filled with awe of our great God. ever since our pastor, bill hybels took over every service due to some major changes in the staff... the big vision that the Lord inscribe in his heart that our church will be filled with people praising the name of God and that we will be a singing church, i've felt nothing, but gratefulness towards his gift of ministry. the Lord never fails to use him to get the message of the Gospel to all people.

today, however was definitely one of the many special days at willow. darlene zschech, one of the most influential Christian singers of all time (some of her most popular songs are: shout to the Lord, through it all, & all things are possible), used her gift to lead us into prayer, worship & praise to our Holy God.

it was too surreal!

please allow me to share to you 2 of the songs that brought me to tears as i embraced the truth of how joyful and peaceful it is to live for Christ, to trust and give my life to His hands. and to be reminded that at the end of the day, God is enough and He is always good.





friends, each one of us face different trials and we all handle it differently. no matter how we deal with it, somehow, someway, we yearn for HELP. God knows our cry for help. He knows every detail whether we choose to tell Him or not. however, God gave us the gift of "free will" and therefore, it is still our choice to respond to His ever-present help. i know sometimes it takes for us to go through difficulties to take the route to God, but friends, i encourage you... this is the day! don't waste another minute apart from God, but receive His agape love. His love that is not only filled with amazing wonders, but eternal security. no, living for God doesn't exclude you from trials, but it brings joy in the midst of suffering and peace that passes all human understanding. i pray that you will take time to resolve this matter to our Creator and allow Him to reveal Himself to you. because friend, you matter to our awesome God!

Saturday, September 20

test update

yes, i'm absolutely uncertain this time with 1 of the tests i took this morning. to start it off, i'm not a fan of history and to make it worst, the questions were not at all what i studied... grrrr

well, i can honestly say that at least 20% of my answers were all guess. i just submit all my tests in God's hands... after all He's my ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge. so God, may Your will be done!

k, just a quick blog here since i have lots to accomplish today!

have a blessed weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 18

craigslist

yesterday, i couldn't stand the files and supplies that were exposed and in our office, so i thought i'd check out what my area has to offer as far as cabinets or shelves, through craigslist.

well, lemme tell yah... i spent about an hour searching for the right one and i'm glad i did. my husband and i found 2 bookcases that retails for $130 ea and we got for $120 for 2. One is brand new and the other one, although it has been used, looked just the same and has a 2 doors in the bottom. Plus, we've been putting off buying a snow blower. they're just so expensive that's why, but again i'm glad i looked at craigslist. there was one selling for $400. was just a yr old and it was def well maintained. we checked it out and of course you use your judgement by how clean and organized their house is since that's pretty much how you could tell if they're really taking care of their belongings. well sure enough, they live at a new subdivision (location not on my GPS yet) 15 mins. from where we live. they have a huge, clean and organized house... whew! the snow thrower? well, it was sitting in the garage, shinning! my husband examined it meticulously and we were both very pleased. and the good news is, we didn't even have to bargain, the owner just offered to bring it down to $350. yay! retail price for the one we got? $679 (the cheapest)... now that's a deal!

the best part was meeting the owner and his daughters... they seemed to be such a loving family =)

thank God for craigslist!

so today, i have some organization to do and studying later tonight. i have another exam (longer and harder than the last 2) this sat.

hope you all have an awesomely blessed day!

Wednesday, September 17

got chills...

as my husband and i listened to charice pempengco's duet with celine dion. a 16 yr. old girl from the philippines who struggled as a child seeing her mom abused by her father. she joined every singing contest she could possibly find just to have food on the table. both at one point were dreaming to be able to eat pizza and charice once again managed to win another contest just for this reason.

this girl has been blessed from beginning to end. her life might've started rough, but in God's time, He delivered them from it. i pray that this girl as well as her mom continue to praise the Lord for their success. that this fame will not lead them to step away from God's path. it would be such a loss if they do. i give the Lord all the glory for this mother and daughter. God is so amazing!

here's a clip of the duet with celine dion. worth watching...

Thursday, September 11

whew!

thank God we're all ok. woke up early this morning to bring my sis to her dentist in chicago. while she was busy getting her teeth cleaned, my daughter and i drove to the nearest filipino store. haven't been at that place for years now. my daughter even had a blast shopping for junk food hehehe

before heading back, we stopped by my brother's oberweis, got my latte and ice cream for my sis and my daughter. on our way to pick up my son (5mins. away from school) someone accidentally hit the back of our van. there were 3 vehicles involved and thankfully no one was hurt. the lady who caused it wasn't paying attention, but i could tell she was scared, shaky and just in shocked. i felt so bad for her though, i had to calm her down. i had to make her feel that everything will be ok, cars are fixable and we should still be thankful that no one got hurt. thank God the owner of the other vehicle was gentle and very much understanding, he even agreed to what i said and added, "that's why God made auto shop" hehehe. i mean of course there are different types of accidents, i'm just not fond of people who go off... i think it's best to calm down and make sure that everyone assists and be remorseful of each other regardless whose fault it is. nothing will get resolved by hostility... in fact it'll just make matters worst.

so today, i feel blessed and relief... at least no one got hurt and we all got home safely.

my to do list for the rest of the day, it's simple? study and study hard... i have finals this weekend. Lord, i need your help again please! =)

stay safe everyone! find refuge in God!

Wednesday, September 10

You think you know?

It's amazing how I started to realize how different we are everyday. I never really thought of this 'till I started playing around with the mood character i recently uploaded. Yesterday, I felt so lazy and bored, but today I have so many things I need to work on that's why I picked "busy" as my current mood for the day... it's pretty much a combination of feeling fired up, organized, & accomplished. But believe me, there are also days when I question Him about my situation and I learned that it's ok to do that. And I kid you not, I'm always in awe of how many times He puts me back in the right track.

I'm really grateful that the Lord gave me a chance to read the book I'm currently reading, it's called, "10 things you should know about God & Life". It gives me a better understanding of how life works and how the Lord truly desires for us to prosper through an absolute, really one on one relationship with Him. Understanding the difference between really trusting God and just saying that you trust God. I'm learning so much as I carry this load of job loss.

I don't know how He does it, but whatever magical thing He does, He never fails to give me new hope. And so with amazement, i just sincerely put my trust in Him. I mean, why wouldn't I? He's blessed me more than I deserve. He changed my life when I thought there was no other way around it. I know that He understands what I'm going through regardless I say something or not. But see, I finally figured it out that the reason why He wants to hear it directly from us is because it's for our own benefit, if you haven't realized that by now. I don't know about you, but for me, it helps me to get a better understanding of my situation when I vent out, either to a friend or a family member... it brings peace in my heart. I really think that keeping it in will make matters worst, not only for yourself, but to your loved ones. And so, what better way, but to let it out to the One who understands it all... our One and Only heavenly Father.

I've seen people panicked like it was the end of the world for them when dealing with a difficult situation. Sometimes, the problem comes when we rely too much on our own perception of the situation. Like with my situation, there were times I felt so disappointed due to numerous turned-downs I received in a week. I just couldn't imagine why the Lord would allow something like this? But yet again, I remember the verse in Proverbs 3:5, "Never rely on what you think you know." And so time after time, I hear the Lord gently telling me that out of a seemingly bad situation can come good. (Romans 8:28 - All things work together for good to those who love God...)

That's why I'm so grateful to say that I know that the Lord will be glorified during this waiting time in my life. In the meantime... I will continue to hold on to His promises and be obedient to whatever He wants me to do. I may not fully understand His plans, but what matters is I trust His results and I know that God is enough at the end of the day.


So friends, when you encounter hardship, I encourage you to be honest to the Lord and pray that He will remind you not to rely on what you think you know is best for you. Believe from the beginning that God will bless you in the experience. Let's walk by faith, my friend, and not by site.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. -Proverbs 3:5

Have a JOYFUL day!

Sunday, September 7

checkin' in ---

i don't think i'll be sleeping anytime soon... my husband and i just felt the urge to try dunkin' donuts' iced latte and i ended up finishing the entire large cup. so not only am i bloated from the party we went to earlier, i'm also kinda gassy, ewe i know, but oh well! hehehe

we planned to take out my mom-in-law after church & after the party, today, but unfortunately she suffered from insomnia again last night. she ended up staying home to get some rest. we then just spent a few hours at my girlfriend's house to celebrate her daughter's bday & christening. so glad we went tho... i had a chance to talk to a friend i haven't seen in a while. anyway, happy birth again, elyssa! thanks for the invite!

ok, so besides gardening, i've been studying all week for my exam (1 down 4 more to go!) last sat. i feel really good about it, but won't find out the results till after a month since essay was a big part of it. i just really hope that i pass all 5 and won't have to retake any of them. God's been really good to me - i have nothing but gratitude =)

i've been anticipating for the new series we just started today at church, it's called, "influence". see all of us are of influence to someone whether we know it or not. no matter what our status is in life, no one is a nobody. people we encounter everyday, are impacted by our daily decisions, actions, and example. however, if we're for God, are we walking the paths God asks us to walk on so that we can be the light stand to others? are you one who's just content to have the ticket to heaven or do you have the heart to reconcile others with God as well? or are you one who's for God on sundays then for the world for the rest of the week? one who should be grateful to know God, but yet instead of influencing others for the sake of Christ, you're the one who was influenced to do things that are apart from God? friends, there's always hope! i encourage you to take part of this 8-part series on influence. watch as our pastor, bill hybels, challenge us to make the most of the opportunities we have to make a difference for eternity.

click this site to watch today's message: http://www.willowcreek.org/MiniSite/story.asp?storyid=5

i pray that as you give your time and effort to listen to this series, the Holy Spirit will touch your heart to come alongside us and make a difference for Christ sake. remember, no good works will win you a ticket to heaven, but only through the saving grace of Christ Jesus. of course as we put Christ first in our hearts, good works will follow through the help of the Holy Spirit.

may the good Lord guide our ways as we live the days we have left here on earth.
have a blessed week!

Friday, August 29

errands after errands

yesterday while the kids were at school, my sis, my lil' one & i went to aldi to buy some canned foods to send to her fam in the philippines. i thought i won't have to spend money on curtains for the master's br, well i guess i spoke too soon... i didn't like the one i had so i ended up buying @ tj maxx. it was a couple of inches short so i'll have to fix the bottom to touch the floor... easy fix! i also bought some new table linens to dress up my kitchen & dinning tables for when we come up with the date to have "the couples get together dinner". still undecided with the date coz of my husband's work schedule, but hopefully soon (um, at least before winter - geeze!).

did a few scrapbook layouts last night and read the new book i have called, "10 things you should know about God & Life". i wish to finish this one as a start... i'm all over the place with my books. i have tons i haven't finished, but would come back to them every now and then. so hopefully while i have my adrenaline going, i'll finish at least 3 this year (gotta start small).

today was yet another driving around, running errands day. went to sam's club to get some more stuff for phils and some for the house. went to the new value city furniture just to browse around and i'm glad we did. i found a dark wood cushioned bench with wicker baskets in the bottom for storage only for $40 (pic has no cushion, but mine came w/ it)... org cost? between $190-$429... so what was wrong with it? a lil' crack in the back - fixable and def unnoticeable! my sis also got a replacement for her entertainment center for $39, org. $220. way to go clearance shoppers!!!


after pickin' up my son from school, i went to menards to buy some mums - got a great deal also - $2.98! just super! gardening time tomorrow!
well, i'm about to pamper myself now after 2 days of driving back and forth, rearranging furniture and accents.
hope your day was relaxing or rather productive like mine =) thank you Lord!
have a blessed night!

Monday, August 25

before school starts...

i've been taking the kids out just about everyday. nothing big just swimming, bowling, golfing, shopping, parties and of course church =)

speaking of shopping... i bought this soft hot pink robe from bath & body last friday and i'm glad i did... it was so worth it for the price - it's so comfy & very spa like kinda softness - you can't even get 'em online anymore (at least the red and pink ones) - the lavender is actually cheaper online & on sale too, i think. thankfully i got the pink one, although i was really hoping to get the red ones, but that i know sold out pretty fast. i did managed to get one for my good friend, marge, for her bday and i'm glad she liked it! happy birth again sis!

taking advantage of the time i have to get things done at home actually feels good coz i get to accomplish a lot. redecorating our bedroom is not done yet and so today i spray painted my table lamps in black and fixed the shades to give it a touch of red to match the rest of the accents. i also had my husband put up my little people (inherited from my brother also)... will take a pic of them so you all know how they look hehehe. i think all it needs is new curtains and i'm glad i have the perfect one for my windows (no need to spend).

it was my son's orientation night @ school today and both my husband and i were able to meet his teacher. apparently, per my daughter who is in 8th grade this yr tells us that her brother's teacher is the most meanest teacher in school. yes, she did look a lil' mean, but i think she's just perfectionist. i do believe tho that my son will need a reasonably strict teacher to boost him up to work harder... so until i don't hear a nasty complaint from my son, i will calm my nerves down and leave everything to the Lord. i've submitted my prayers for my kids' 08-09 school journey and i know that the Lord will guide their ways. so i don't think i need to worry about his teacher =)

tomorrow will be a long day for me again... have to bring the van for service all the way in chicago, take the kids swimming before summer ends (at least for them *wink*), and back to school for me.

so i think i should sign off now to get me enough sleep for tomorrow's blessings - you all have an awesome week and as always, may the Lord's light so shine upon you =) gnite!

Thursday, August 21

what we underwent this past few days...

this past few days haven't been the rest time i was thinking i would get, but i'm not complaining coz the kids are having a great time bonding with their cousins.

forgot to mention on my last blog that my lil' one accidentally poked her dad's right eye, which resulted a big cut on his cornea. he was so restless that night and so i was trying to convince him that i will take him to the er, but he resisted. the following day was so hard coz it was as if he was blind. he was so much in pain and couldn't really open his eyes. i fed him, got him ready and was really just guiding his way. i called around to get him an appt with our "new" primary dr, but bcoz the cut was pretty severe, he had to send us to the ophthalmologist which was thankfully right across. during the rush of walking and driving back and forth, i saw my husband's appreciation to me and we both got pretty emotional thinking of those who cannot see. how hard it must be for them and their loved ones. =)

my husband was restrained from working for 4days and he's just going back tomorrow. but during this ordeal, i saw how baby my husband can be. he needed me to be there next to him at all times. it's funny how he gets when i would put his eye drops... yes! i would do his eye drops. i tell him, "what would you do if i'm not around?" then while laughing he says "well, that's the only time i'll force myself to learn, but till then i'm gonna need you." guys can be such babies, i tell yah.

anyway, since he felt a lot better when the dr. put a contact lense on his right eye, we were able to meet up with my friend who lives a few mins away from indiana. of course i had to do all the driving. my friend, tracy, gave us a new stainless steel dish washer since it wasn't the right size for her kitchen and ours was having a problem already. we drove to orland park to eat at ginger asian bistro. how's the food? i'd give it 2 1/2 stars for the price and coz their rice was pretty dry and def not at all cooked well. staff's friendliness & the place is def a 5 star. but it was worth a try... i know my friend, tracy and kim liked it.

before heading back home, we decided to go to my brother's house to pick up his advance bday gift to me... (yep! really advance coz my bday is not till oct, but again no complaints here!) well, sure enough i was thrilled to see what he gave me... it's a deluxe iron gazebo to put in my back yard complete with a cool netting! ahh! i've been wanting one, but thankfully i didn't have to buy it hehehe. however, i told my husband to put it up next year since summer is almost over.

anyway, we went home with a lot of goodies besides my gift. see, my brother's moving to his new condo and he's trying to get rid of his stuff since he wants a totally diff theme for his new place. so obviously, we picked what we wanted, cleaned our room, rearranged it as soon as we got home and fixed my lil' ones bed to make it look more cozy. we even brought the sponge bob tv, vcr & dvd player from the kids' playroom in the basement to give her a space of her own in our bedroom. we were so worried that she might not sleep in her bed and jump back in ours instead, but lo and behold, the plan worked! we can now have our bed back and turn from our sleep anytime we want w/o having to worry about accidentally hitting her while we're asleep. whew!

well, that's how my days have been this week and tomorrow we're hitting the outlet stores and heading to volcano falls afterwards. so nitey nite and hope you all are enjoying your summer while it last. God bless!

Sunday, August 17

Family Outing, not over...

i'm just checkin' emails right now and paying bills =) but thought i'd blog before i sign off.

yesterday and today were again a busy weekend for our family.

noel went to pick up his mom and nieces. we're so happy we have them over for a week. haven't seen them since last yr.

sat: i had to run some errands early in the morning. passed by my friend's house and chatted for a bit... oh! we also passed by some garage sales around her neighborhood, but unfortunately i didn't find one. besides i just remembered that i just did a garage sale myself and i'm not about to add more junk =)

as soon as i got home, we got ready and went to brunswick for arcade and bowling. my mom-in-law had a ball playing, "deal or no deal" hehehe

we then went to church and boy let me tell you! the message was tuned in for me. it was about accepting the necessary endings in your life. when i get a chance to put my notes together, i will share some important keys i've learned from speaker, dr. henry cloud. it sure did turn on some lights in the things i've been struggling to understand lately... esp. with my job loss.

i'm grateful that once again, the Lord prevailed to reveal His ultimate plan for me.

today: we had an awesome day picnicking at the beach and as an added bonus, we had a blast watching the air & water show. we were surprised that my lil' one, yanna (2yrs old), was enjoying the show and wasn't really bothered with the loud noise that thundered the air. since we still have some energy to grab some shake and ice cream, we passed by my brother's new oberweis store in lincolnwood. over stuffed with food @ the picnic and shake/ice cream to end the day... our day was obviously blessed! couldn't ask for more.

thank God for another weekend of many blessings. well, sweet dreams... gnite =)

Friday, August 15

Something Better

Last night, I caught myself feeling somewhat despair. I went to my room, closed the door behind me and wrote on my journal. Not feeling a big relief, I decided to turn to God’s word and sure enough the Lord was quick to remind me the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9. It says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I read that verse over and over again and remained still. It is those moments that I feel the Lord’s presence comforting me.

See, I was focusing too much on the job I’m loosing. Today is actually my last day and knowing that I do not have a replacement yet, I was slowly beginning to feel the worry that is crawling in me. Change is unavoidable. We go through various experiences that change us. Whether the results are for the better depends largely on our attitude. Just like apostle Paul. Both he and his living conditions changed after his experience with Christ on the Damascus Rd. Rather than arresting Christians, he became a courageous and bold defender of the faith. He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and imprisoned. As I was reading his story, I thought to myself, “Wow! He certainly had a good reason to complain”, but instead he thanked God. Why? Coz Paul recognized that his greatest treasure was Jesus Christ and the righteousness Christ offers.

Gradually, I realized that my confidence was my worst enemy. I had gone into the job searching world with an “I can get a job right away” attitude. I realized that this time it’s not under my timetable. I had to adhere to God’s timetable which requires both my faith and courage.

I know sometimes waiting on God can feel difficult, but the Lord has a plan for each of us, and the timing of every detail is always right. So when it comes, we can look for the new opportunities God is offering in it and, like Paul, we can rejoice, give thanks, and embrace the change. I know I have to take it one day at a time. I must believe that He knows how I should live, trust that His plan is right, and have the determination to wait until He gives a signal to proceed.

Through all the phases of my life… the birth of my children, the loss of loved ones, the transition of my employment… God has always been there, guiding me into the next wonderful part of my life. Sometimes change is hard to accept; but knowing that God is there, I am able to face each new change. I’m sure that if we follow the Lord’s schedule we will experience the blessing of watching Him work things together for our gain and His glory. I can rest assure that no matter what challenges lie ahead in my life or how the world around me changes, I have the love and grace of God to see me through.

How about you my friend, in what situation do you need to practice waiting on the Lord and trusting Him? Know that I feel for you, but we can both take heart that in God’s word we can put our hope. So instead of relying on people or on you for success, the remedy is to rely on the one true source, God, for our security rests in Him alone.

Have a JOYFUL weekend and to some of you, it has been a pleasure working with you all!
God bless!

Tuesday, August 12

08/08/08 (means infinity)

meant to blog yesterday, but i was preoccupied with work, job interviews & job hunting... plus i was pretty tired from the trip too.

there was a miscommunication with the location of my interview yesterday. i was so ready, but unfortunately the position was based in downtown which for sure will not work for me and my kids' schedule. was i disappointed? hmm, somewhat only bcoz i wanted to get a head start with interviews... i sorta knew this wasn't the job for me due to the salary range, but they were eager to speak with me and so i was looking forward for the interview. oh well! so much for that.

anyway, the car we rented was due back at 6pm. i was already done with my interview around 3p, but the problem was i didn't have a ride back home. noel couldn't leave work that early, plus he was stuck at a customer's house till 8p... i had to call people. thankfully, my friend, aileen, just got out of work and met me at pompei (love their chicken herb ravioli, btw... hehehe). had a quick bite and left to return the car. we had a chance to catch up and was sorta encouraging her to take a road trip with her husband... funny how she hesitated coz she said, they might just end up killing each other just minutes away from home lolz

so how was our 08/08/08 anni trip? it was A+++! i guess the last minute planning really does work!

fri: instead of leaving at 6p, we ended up leaving at 8p so we didn't get to minnesota till 2a. i felt so bad for my husband coz he was falling asleep already, but he was forcing himself to drive coz he just wanted me to relax and enjoy, but i had to... otherwise we wouldn't have the chance to reach our destination lolz

checked in at the holiday inn and the rest is history...

sat: had an early breakfast @ the hotel and left to spend the whole day at mall of america. wow! so many stores and i ended up just buying 2 things... a scarf and a coach wristlet. ugh! our gift for each other was a shopping spree... i had my chance, but i ended up with 2 things, great! i was so focus on looking for the right scarf that i didn't have the energy to look for other things, well besides stuff for the kids. noel on the other hand had 4 pairs of shoes @ nordstrom, couple of jeans, 4 tops from diff stores & a belt... oh wait, he got himself another magic trick to entertain the kids. =) we closed the mall... more than 10hrs of shopping - wow! a dream come true hehehe

sun: had our bf and planned something we haven't done before so we went kayaking. it was still early to go home so we decided to pass by wisconsin dells, but unfortunately, we couldn't find the spot we saw on our way to minnesota. so since it was already 3p and we haven't had lunch, we decided to just find the nearest japanese restaurant. we then ended up in a small town called, monoma in madison, wisconsin. at first we were thinking, "what did we get ourselves into?" lolz, but lo and behold... we had no idea that this pleasant summer afternoon in this small town ended up to be such a beautiful spot to complete our short vacation. the place was filled with mini stores, restaurants and hang-out spots with a view of the lake and some other new construction building to complete the tourist area. we walked around the streets, found ourselves shopping at ragstock and wow! never knew we would find the coolest stuff we've been looking for at a cheap price. oh and did i mention that i found the scarf i've been wanting at this store also? yep! i was set.

we were eyeing on this japanese restaurant we saw first, but as we kept walking, we saw this new japanese restaurant built on the roof top called, wasabi. again, 2 thumbs up! i think we were both sushied out after this... hehehe we ate, spider roll, dragon and 2 rounds of spicy ken. noel finished the 2nd round, i had to make room for my cold stone's coffee lovers in a waffle bowl ice cream hehehe.

okay, i think this 2 day trip added 5 lbs on our scale. whew! we didn't get home till almost 10p. it was an awesome last min. trip to celebrate our 11th anni... alwayz good to make that time alone as husband and wife... away from the kids. although it was hard, we both realized that it keeps our marriage, healthy.

well, that's our mini vacation story... hope you all will be inspired to take that trip alone with your spouse.

if you're on a budget, that's ok... one of the cost effective ways we did was to rent a car, which cost us less than $200 (including gas) from friday afternoon till monday @ 6p. now if we used our suv? well, that would've doubled the price, plus we loose out on the mileage & my tires will be all worn out. and with the hotel, make sure to get one with a complimentary breakfast and an indoor pool. now that's a deal!

after you've booked your transportation and lodging, all you need to do is enjoy every moment wherever the road takes you. one thing that's good during the long drive is that you get to talk about anything (of course avoid any discussion that would ruin your vacation - don't sweat the small stuff!)

ok, that's it for now! God bless!