Saturday, April 26

solidarity challenge

wow! i can't believe i did it! it was definitely an eye opener. thank God for coming alongside me.

i took up a 5 day challenge from church as an act of solidarity with our brother's & sister's around the world who lives on $2 or less a day.

the idea was to eat just portion sizes of a typical american meal for 5days. pretty much a cup of oatmeal or rice is already generous and since meat is a luxury, with the average african consuming about ¾ ounce per day (that's actually about a size of a small chicken nugget). and for them fresh fruit is rare, available only if locally grown and in season.

so, for the past 5 days i've been eating a cup of oatmeal in the morning, some days were less; i couldn't eat snacks at work (which i was so used to doing... so for me that was really hard esp. when my co-workers would pull out their snacks and lunches - ugh!) so right when i get home (3p) from pickin' up my son from school... i couldn't wait to eat a cup of rice w/ 2 bits of meat, then of course strictly just water. so when i would hear the growling & cramping of my stomach i would drink water right away. there were a couple of times i slept really hungry, but since it was part of the challenge i just slept it off.

of course i was tempted in many ways, like when my boss invited to treat us at a mexican buffet (one of my faves), oh gosh! i was so tempted to go and when my sis would cook her infamous dishes... oh my! but i held myself and prayed for strength. they were all very surprised when i refused the offer. of course i didn't want to brag about my fasting coz i wanted it strictly between me and the Lord... to find out what He really wants me to learn from this. i'm grateful to say that i finished that challenge yesterday and i so appreciate the Lord for the lessons i learned through this challenge.

i learned how hard it is to feel real hunger. i lost 5lbs doing this in 5 days, so i learned too that this is the reason why all of them suffer from malnourishment - due to hunger & due to their lack of resources. i mean just think about it, i did this only for 5days while they experience this everyday and at times they don't even have food to eat at all. this experience helped me see the other side of my world. how much important not to waste food when others are dying to be able to survive by eating spoiled food. although i was feeling the hunger and drink water instead, they on the other hand drink unsanitized water. they beg for what we throw out.


so you guessed it, today i get to eat what i want now, but this experience will remain with me in my heart. expect that i will not just sit here and let this experience and what i know about them just fade. with God's providence and guidance, i will do what He wants me to do to help those in desperate need. this has brought me new perspective to think big for Project HOPE.

imagine how blessed you are right now, look at your kids, look at how much food you have, look around the place you live in... i praise God for you, for you have been blessed abundantly. but the question is, how much of that will you be willing to give? will you just stand there and still do nothing? friends, someone out there needs you... there's a massive cry for help and i encourage you to step up and make a difference.

i say, enough is enough!
love

Thursday, April 24

HAPPY BIRTH DAD!

i dedicate this blog to my daddy =) *my puter is still not working so can't really upload pics*

we call him, "dodo" (pronounced as du-du) coz when my parents got married, my mom wanted them to have a different nickname instead of the usual; eg. sweetheart, love, honey, or babe. the idea came from their vows... when they said "i do" to each other, except my mom repeated the do part. get it?

although we celebrated his birthday last sunday, i felt bad for not seeing him today. he lives so far that's why i couldn't even drive there for dinner. he went to work and just on his way home now to eat dinner by himself =(

so i made sure to at least make him laugh for his special day =) hope to see him again this weekend.

i guess that's it for now. blog again later! happy birth dad! i love u!

Wednesday, April 23

Ask for Help!

Have you asked for help, but then refuse to let go of the situation? I know I have, more than I can think of. Whether you admit it or not, most of us are often too anxious to take control of our lives, even when we haven't done a good job of managing our own life. When this happens to us, there’s one thing we need to do… we need to learn from our mistakes and be more willing to trust God to help us work through our problems.

I remember a short story about a boy who loves to haul sand and pours it in his wagon. His wagon was loaded with sand that he complained to his mom, “It’s too heavy. I can’t move it. I’ve tried everything.” His mom then smiled and said, “Yes, but you haven’t done everything you can. There’s one more thing you could do.” After much thinking, the boy’s facial expression changed and he said, “Oh! I could ask you to help me.” He did and the mom gladly responded.

The reason I share this story is coz I can’t help but think of how often we feel justified in giving up, assuming we have done everything to change our situation. Yet until we ask our Heavenly Father, believe me, we have not used up all our resources. Maybe some of you are afraid that God will blame you and be angry, esp. if you have made some poor decisions that got you in trouble. Or maybe some of us are holding on too much on our pride that it keeps us from experiencing God’s help.

Friends, the One who created you & me knows our abilities, our shortcomings and definitely our desires. If you open yourself to God’s work, He will guide your ways. I tell you, there were many times I’ve fallen, but in my willingness to "let go and let God", the Lord helped me to start living again… this time with praise for God in my heart and on my lips. I’ve seen what my previous lifestyle has done to me, but now that the Lord has given me a chance to live better, there’s no reason for me to go back. God can do what we cannot. So I suggest, you simply ask.

The Lord said in Isaiah, “I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.”

Friends, God is our ONLY present help. He answers prayers, but the only reason why you feel at times that He only answers other’s is not coz He doesn’t want to or He can’t for you, but it’s coz of our dissatisfaction. Instead of letting God do His will, you approach Him with your own idea of how to solve your problems. If that’s the case, then you will likely overlook His true resolution. I know sometimes we don’t like God’s solution. When we’re sick, we want it out right away rather than an extra measure of grace to endure the hurt. Or we ask to get out of a marriage rather than humbling ourselves and ask our spouse’s forgiveness for our poor attitude. Bottom line, we want the Lord to fix everything without requiring any effort from us. But friends, have you thought of the fact that our willingness to obey is the key to answered prayer? When the Lord tells us how to resolve our prob lem, we must act just as He specifies, even if it means removing ALL of your pride… otherwise you will never be satisfied or at peace.

Friends, the best thing you can do in any situation is first, to set aside your pride and allow God to help you… for with His help, little by little you will find new life as He shows you the way. Believe me; God can turn any situation into good. When we trust… God acts!

Please join me in prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we come to your thrown with thanksgiving in our hearts as we learn how important it is to humble ourselves before you. Lord, help us to trust you with our problems, esp. when darkness, confusion, doubt and despair seem to overwhelm us. Help us to reach to You for healing and restoration. We believe that when all else has failed, You continue to work for our benefit. May you grant us strength, hope and help we need for each day. We know that nothing is impossible for You and so we place our lives in your hands. Guide our steps as we go forward in our journey. This we pray in Jesus’ Almighty name. Amen!

Remember, our impossibilities are God’s opportunities… allow God to help you - believe me, you won't regret it!

Have a JOYFUL day!

Tuesday, April 22

The Lord's Prayer

just love this video...

video

it's amazing to see this 2 yr old girl give all her best in singing the Lord's prayer. imagine how delighted the Lord is just by hearing this lil' girl sing her heart out!

aww! so humbling =)

my kids play this video at my house over and over again. =)

hope you'll be blessed as well! enjoy!

3 in 1

last sunday we celebrated 3 birthdays all because of our hectic schedules we decided to celebrate them altogether... plus it's cheaper that way hehehe

it was my dad, my brother & sis' birthday! happy birth my loves!

we finally tried the new "little quiapo" (filipino restaurant). although we had to wait for almost an hour (i had a reservation) i will give them **** for their food and cute scenery (it would've been better if they have nice chairs & tables, but i guess it's ok). i was hoping they had some of the dishes & sweets i wanted, but again it's ok... can't complain. my fam had an awesome time not only with each other, but most esp. with the food. my dad went back 4x... really worth taking him to buffets, lolz.
~*~
i'm taking on a challenge that was suggested by my home church, willow. most of them are the ones i mentioned on my previous blog, "my concerns". there's this other one i'm doing for a week that has something to do with the celebration of hope also. however, i feel that i should blog about it separately, once i'm done with it. it's really tough and i'm only on my 2nd day. i'm really hoping this experience will open my eyes more to what God wants to accomplish through me and others who have taken the challenge.
~*~

ok, before i sign off, i'd like to take this opportunity to ask all of you to pray for one of my readers in tn. her scree name is "sweetmaker", she has a 14 yr old daughter who takes so many medications and has to see so many mds that it's affecting their daily lives. she had to cut back on her hrs at her current job to be able to take care of her daughter which is causing them a financial burden as well. we may not know her personally, but your prayers will surely make a difference in their lives. for when 2 or 3 are gathered in Jesus' name, He is with us.

as for you my friends, i thank the Lord for your time in reading my blogs and sending me emails. through your support and kind words, i see no reason for me not to keep on.

p.s. i will post some pictures when i get my computer fixed. i have a feeling it's now the psu and i haven't had time to replace the one i ordered since they sent me a bigger one. goodness! so till then, may you be ok with just all text and no pics =(

God bless you all beautiful people!
-love

Thursday, April 17

Heritage Fair

before anything... shout out to my sis - HAPPY BIRTH AYEE!

camille's heritage fair was yesterday and so we really didn't get to celebrate my sis' b-day. she just blew her candles from this awesome ice cream cake i got from meijer... omg! so delish! it was a last min. thing and thankfully it was the right choice. we're planning on celebrating her birthday anyway this weekend so it's okay, i guess.

nwayz, back to the heritage fair...

all the students had to be at the school by 6p, but we were running late since camille mentioned that one of her classmates will fail coz she didn't have a ride for school. so we hurried up and got her. fortunately, there was enough time for them to set up their projects.

camille, brought "pancit" (national noodle dish in the philippines). i made sure she had small cups and forks for tasting. noel, our kids and i didn't expect it to be soooo crowded though. their school is big, but goodness, it was packed! anyway, we had a great time meeting camille's friends, different cultures and tasting different types of ethnic food. i was totally surprised with my lil' one coz she tasted every food her dad would give her. thankfully, none of us got sick *wink* - it's funny coz we left that place, full.

okay now, i know every now and then we all need a good laugh, don't you agree? so here's a story, my boss shared to me this morning:

One day I met a sweet gentleman and fell in love. When it became apparent that we would marry, I made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans.

Some months later, on my birthday, my car broke down on the way home from work. Since I lived in the countryside I called my husband and told him that I would be late because I had to walk home. On my way, I passed by a small diner and the odor of baked beans was more than I could stand. With miles to walk, I figured that I would walk off any ill effects by the time I reached home, so I stopped at the diner and before I knew it, I had consumed three large orders of baked beans. All the way home, I made sure that I released all the gas.

Upon my arrival, my husband seemed excited to see me and exclaimed delightedly:
'Darling I have a surprise for dinner tonight.'

He then blindfolded me and led me to my chair at the dinner table. I took a seat and just as he was about to remove my blindfold, the telephone rang. He made me promise not to touch the blindfold until he returned and went to answer the call. The baked beans I had consumed were still affecting me and the pressure was becoming most unbearable, so while my husband was out of the room I seized the opportunity, shifted my weight to one leg and let one go. It was not only loud, but it smelled like a fertilizer truck running over a skunk in front of a pulpwood mill. I took my napkin from my lap and fanned the air around me vigorously.

Then, shifting to the other cheek, I ripped off three more. The stink was worse than cooked cabbage. Keeping my ears carefully tuned to the conversation in the other room, I went on like this for another few minutes. The pleasure was indescribable. When eventually the telephone farewells signaled the end of my freedom, I quickly fanned the air a few more times with my napkin, placed it on my lap and fold ed my hands back on it feeling very relieved and pleased with myself.

My face must have been the picture of innocence when my husband returned, apologizing for taking so long. He asked me if I had peeked through the blindfold, and I assured him I had not.

At this point, he removed the blindfold, and twelve dinner guests seated around the table chorused: 'Happy Birthday!'

I fainted!!!


hope you enjoyed it as much as i did! God bless to you all!

Monday, April 14

concerns i have lately

lately, i've been seeing news here and there about the rice crisis in the philippines. just today, i've seen the long line of poor people trying to buy subsidised rice, but each family can only purchase a limited amount. 2 of the many families that were interviewed who both have more than 5 people in their household were only able to purchase 1 week worth of rice. these people travelled such a long way just to be able to purchase a few.

one sad effect on soaring food prices have put pressure on millions of parents to cut costs by pulling their children out of class.

it breaks my heart just typing this and pushes me more to pray harder to get the Lord's approval to send us to the philippines this october for our project hope mission. please friends, include our ministry in your prayers.

also in other countries like zambia and zimbabwe, there are mothers who have nothing to feed their children. so they end up taking dirt and water, bake it into a mud pie and give it to their children in a desperate attempt to starve off hunger pains.

it doesn't offer any nourishment of course, but they don't know what else to do. friends, did you know every 5 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related causes? calculate it yourself... that's 12 children every min. 720 children every hour. more than 17,000 children every day.

i highly commend american idol's "idol gives back" - although most are probably not even a Christ follower, i thank the Lord for each one of them coz no matter what their reason is their donation will help many starving family.

so why am i really sharing this to you? there's only one reason... it's only because you and i can be a part of the solution too.

each spring my home church, willow creek, finds purposeful, creative ways to take God's love to people with critical needs. this year's celebration of hope campaign tackles hunger.

here are 3 challenges for you: (begins apr. 19 - may 11, mother's day)
- provide meals: help pack 3.5 million nutritionally complete meals. if you live in illinois, you can sign up for your 2 hr. shift, visit willowcreek.org/coh08.
- limit your consumption: intentionally limit your spending for 3 weeks, set aside the money saved to fight hunger and send it to willow creek (make check payable to: willow creek and under memo: celebration of hope)
- experience the world market: support fair trade artisans and learn about long term solutions to hunger at the world market.

of course these are just a few of the things we all can do to help, but i urge you to seek ways to get your help out there. just look at your children and think how life would be if it happened to them.

i pray that everyone reading this will feel the need to do something. let's come together and make a difference. there's nothing too small to help someone in need. let's act now.

in advance, i thank the Lord for you already.
-love

Saturday, April 12

my poor hard drive =(

so much applications it's failing on me =( i had to do an emergency call to dell coz my computer is not turning on. little did i know my hard drive just had enough of me hehehe

i only had 40gb and just upgraded to 500gb. can't wait till it arrives! i think after having this computer for the longest it deserves to be fed lolz.

so what else am i up to today? my husband finally surprised me to get our foyer, hallway and family room painted. i'm so excited! i've been wanting this for the longest. we've ordered the paints last year and it's been sitting in the basement and now i'm finally going to enjoy the new color! i'll take before and after pics.

since i can't leave the house... i've come up with things to do with the kids so hopefully they'll enjoy mom's plan =)

did i mention to you that we finally had a chance to go miniature golfing the last time the weather was nice? coz it was the only time noel was off - we just had to take advantage of it. as usual it was great going out with a complete family. noel always sparks up funny remarks that completes our day.

here's some pics: gotta run - painter's call - will upload later!

since i'm done with my video projects, i'm off to have an awesome time with my kids!
enjoy your weekend! God speed!

Tuesday, April 8

NEW template!

when i saw this i thought it was so cute so i wanted to incorporate it on my blog. hope you all like it!

hi nat! it's nice to hear from you after... hmm! months of no call? i know you're busy. well, it's no obvious you would know what i've been up to. hope things work out for you. i sure felt an overwhelming vibe just reading your blog. yeah, maybe you do need some time off before you go out of your mind. bahamas... wow! i can only wish. no time for those types of vacation right now since you already know what's happening in the education field. but still praying for the trip to the philippines this coming oct. we'll talk more later.

well, just thought of doing a quick blog before i work on the video again. i just uploaded the pics on my last blog, so enjoy!

oh btw, although i was tired from work... all that goes away when you come home and

this is what's waiting at your doorstep ====>

whatever happened to the weather? oh well, have a blessed day!

I'M BACK!!!!!!!

i'm so sorry if anyone of you received an email from blogger regarding reset passwords. i couldn't remember mine so i just kept clicking to retrieve 'em, but messed up in the beginning.


school, work, bouncy and husband are just enough to fill my hectic schedule and scream! although i enjoy them all, i think i need a break! fortunately, my husband is planning a trip for the two of us to bahamas in 3 weeks. ahh! just what i needed. just a few minutes ago i was reminiscing about my slow-paced life and how it seemed so simple and comfortable until now that i have all this to worry about! i so want to be a child again. okay, what am i doing? i'm complaining again! ms. love will kill me ;) it's not that i don't like what i do now, i'm just tired i guess and need some days to rest. no phones, no laptops, no books to read for school, no errands to run. c'mon 1 week is all i ask!

okay, enough with the complaining before ms. love deletes my blog :)

so lovely, thanks for this blog we get to keep in touch! believe me, no matter how hectic life is, i still find time to read your blogs. so sorry i haven't been able to check-in 'till now. i'm having coffee break while watching bouncy run around the back yard. i was working on my portfolio and started getting a headache just thinking about my deadlines. good thing i can type away and just be myself for a few minutes.

so i heard about forefront, will you guys be affected? cec has laid-off hundreds a few weeks ago. keep me posted! i know, i'm the one who's hardly keeping in touch. will make it up to you sweetie!

so, how's the weather there? it's been wonderfully beautiful down here. bouncy's lovin' it! wish you can come and visit me again, bring the family this time!

i'm enjoying the pics by the way. i gotta upload me some. my blog looks dull all the time :)
i can't wait to see the mother's day video you're doing. you do realize that it's tuesday already and you said you'll upload it today... so honey, you better! j/k

missing my old life,
nat

Sunday, April 6

BEAutiful WeekEND

just perfect!

sat: the mb was up for cleaning already so i decided to start early so i can take the kids out after. we got some ice cream from cold stone & ayre's shake at oberweise and enjoyed the outdoors at the park. ayre and camille were too shy to get their pictures taken, but yanna was the opposite... she loves posing and seeing pictures of herself, so what was i to do, but to click away! went to target afterwards and was so happy we went coz i've been looking for a big stainless steel garbage can since ours gave up last week... thankfully, there was a 15gal on sale for $55 only... what a deal! besides groceries... i got me some stuff for my craft room and the kids' room.

sun: today's message hit the right spot again! it was about romans 8:31 - and even as i think about it right now, i'm grateful and so excited to find out what God has in store in my life. now i know that there is a reason why i was saved and i can't wait to see the end result. the msg gave me more reason to go on even when part of God's program in my life involves sacrifice in many things... i'm so all for it! there's no doubt i'm gonna need God's strength to overcome it, thankfully i have Him on my side.

so glad to see some friends at church today... most of them i haven't seen for a long time. had some short chit-chat, but better short than not seeing them at all, don't you think?

right now the kids are back and forth outside - again just enjoying the last few hours of the day. i'm about to work on the special video for mother's day which i originally planned to finish yesterday, but quite frankly i'm disappointing myself by taking time on doing it so hopefully it'll be up no later than tuesday.

here's some pics (mostly of my lil' one):
well, that's it this weekend! hope your weekend was well spent with your loved ones! till my next blog... God bless!

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