I’m officially courting!

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After 6 years of being single, I am officially courting.
And it was not just any simple courtship..it was announced in a BIG way!
Like it was announced to around 50 people…

Yes..it was announced just last week (during our training) to all the leaders in the church we are both actively serving.
You may ask why it has to be announced by our Pastor to the leaders?

First, it’s because we need prayers and guidance as we decide to enter into the next level of our relationship.

Second, we are both serving as leaders in the church. As a family, they have the right to know and be a witness of what God will do in our lives in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.

It feels kinda strange and awkard at this time really…
We treated each other as a brother and a sister for 4 years, serving the Lord together…
and then now…

We gotta know each other deeper (without those physical intimacy thingy) and this time of courtship is crucial because after this, we will decide if we want to go to the next level which is already an engagement.

And that’s the right way to go…The Christian way..
It’s totally different than having a relationship in the world.

In the world, it’s so easy to be in a relationship..because you can quit anytime you feel it’s not working anymore.
You need to try if you will be comfortable emotionally, mentally, even sexually.

But that’s not how love works..

It’s not merely about physical intimacy or emotional compatibility.
Love is definitely much much bigger than that.
Love is a decision, it’s not an emotion.

You decide to love a person despite their flaws, their limitations..knowing that all of us are flawed…we are all limited but because of God’s grace and by choosing to remain in Christ, we will continue to grow and be transformed and we can extend love and grace to the person we decide to be with.

The feeling I have is just amazing as God continues to unravel the next chapter of this beautiful story He authored.
4 years of waiting were not lost years after all.

In that 4 years, God has grown me as a person..from the day I decided to recommit my life to Him up to this day, He is maturing me to be that Man of God He called me to be.
He is preparing me physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually into a higher calling and at the same time preparing a suitable partner for me.

So…yeah…i’m officially courting…
don’t know yet what to do or where to go on our so-called “first date”.
Still having that jitters you know… (c’mon at this age!)
That’ why I decided to blog. LOL.

Starting Over Again..

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Last night, I watched online the Filipino movie Starting Over Again with my roomies. My curiosity got in because of what I’ve been reading in FB from some friends who happened to watched the movie couple of months back. Most of them gave positive reviews of the movie and since we have time to watch last night over dinner, so we did. An added factor why we decided to watch it is because the lead actors, Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonzaga are both Christians (not discounting the fact that they are good actors too).

The storyline is simple and common to many Rom-com movies in the past. Girl meets Boy (or should I say “Man” because He was a former professor prior to being a couple), girl is deeply in love with him and did everything to win over the man of her dreams. Dream came true and they became a couple. On the night the man proposed marriage to her, she said NO for still unclear reason and she decided to leave the country leaving the poor guy puzzled and very heart broken. He wrote a letter to the girl for sending 4 years later expressing His strong feelings still and hoped that they would be together again.

However, as time passed by, guy met another lady who loved him despite his limitations and imperfections and made him whole again. But apparently, the original couple crossed paths once again when the guy planned to convert their old family house into a restaurant (which by the way was part of the plans of the then original couple). Girl tries to win him back despite the fact that he is already committed all because she realized that she still has feelings for him and that she was very sorry for her abrupt decision to leave him and has been regretting it since then.

One day, there was a confrontation between the two ladies and the ex-GF was begging the current GF to let the man go back to Him because she believes that He still loves her. Then a freak accident happened and both of them was rushed to the hospital. At that very moment, the guy had a realization that whilst he still love his ex-GF, He loves His current GF more and that the purpose of him crossing paths with his ex is to have a formal closure of their open-ended relationship so they could both be set free. They asked and released forgiveness to one another and the story ended with the guy proposing to his current love and the ex-GF finding a potential love of her life.

Many people including one of my room mate got a bit disappointed with the ending of the movie and complained that why they were not allowed to have a happy ending by being together again. It was not a typical ending to most love stories but I can personally relate to the movie’s the story line…

YES, not all Love stories have a happy ending (or so we thought). Sometimes, people can really not end up together even though they loved each other in the past..maybe because of certain unexpected circumstances or maybe because of their own decisions (but not necessarily mutual decision all the time, like what happened to the characters in the movie). But even though love stories ended unexpectedly, the most important thing when both parties realized that indeed they cannot be together again is to release forgiveness and receive forgiveness as well. Only then can they both move on.

It happened to me…It was really a struggle for few years not being sure of the future and still hoping that we could end up together again despite the fact that she is already committed by the time we were in speaking terms once again. But in our story, I was the Toni (meaning, I was the one who gave up) and had regretted it. I had fears and expectations..or maybe simply we are not in the same page anymore at that time so I decided to end the long-term relationship.

I also attempted to win her back but you know, God really has a way of telling what His plan is for us and His plan is always perfect and on time. When I realized that it was not God’s plan, only then that I tried to move on and asked for forgiveness and I also forgave myself. It was confirmed when she dreamt I had died. I believe it’s God’s way of telling us, that part of our life is a thing of the past and we must move on to what God has in-stored for us in the future.

I realized I had really moved on when last night while watching the movie and all the memories of the past flashed back, I no longer feel the pain but instead, I had that confident assurance that God is doing something great. Yes, I am still single for few years now but I know the future is so bright and wonderful.

Life is not like a timer in our phone wherein the moment we stopped time, automatically we can create a 2nd, 3rd lap and so on..We can never stop time nor turn it back but what we can be sure of is that God knows His plan for us. He already had the blue print of our lives even before we were born. All we need to do is completely trust and obey Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Break.

I was definitely looking for a bigger and better 2011.  I want to start on a clean slate so few days before year 2010 ends, I decided to greet and write long lost friends and try to make peace and say sorry to those I may have hurt.

I started by sending a private message in Facebook to a friend whom I had not been in contact for a year due to some misunderstanding. I said my New Year greeting and wished her the best. I didn’t get a reply back which is ok cos I never expected it anyway but at least I’ve done my part.

Last week, when I went to church I saw another former friend which is in the same circle as the first friend I mentioned. After the mass, I approached her and greeted her. We hugged each other inside the church, she said I am slimmer and look better now than the last time she saw me (obviously because during those times, we always have big eating day…I mean really BIG eating sessions!). I felt light after that brief encounter and had already forgotten what happened in the past.

Lastly, I wrote a letter just before New Year to someone who has been very special to me for many many years. Though we had not been talking for quite a long time (over a year)– since we have many common friends, I usually get news about her from them.

The last time I saw her was May last year when I went back home.  We had dinner and talked. Though the outcome was not as what I had expected, at the back of my mind there was still a little hope of making things better in the future..though I don’t know how long it will take for that future to happen, I still wished silently.

Then the letter…

I got a reply few days after. Upon reading it, I was sent back to the present. I realized I was already living in the future I wished for but it was not reality. The reality is that she decided to give herself a break, moved on with life…without me..

Everyone deserves to be happy…To choose the life they want…In my desire to have a positive outlook in life this year, I was able to encounter what I was trying to avoid. Truth hurts but I have to face it.

Sometimes when someone is broken, we have to experience it and be broken as well so we could piece ourselves together…I just hope I could find the magic glue for myself soon..

Fur kids or real kids anyone?

Last night I was watching in Channel News Asia the programme called Blog TV. The episode is titled “Fur Kids”. The guests debates and gives opinion as to which one is better, raising your own child or owning a fur kid (read as: pet). Wooaah what a topic. Owning a pet has been a trend nowadays and many pet lovers spend a lot in grooming, dressing up and feeding their “fur kids” which is good because most household pets (especially dogs) help relieve stress, are very loyal and fun to look at. However, personally I believe the topic is non debatable in the first place. In totality, it is a lot better to raise your own child as opposed to raising a fur kid.

Please don’t get me wrong with my opinion. I have no objection if some people spend a lot in raising and maintaining their pets. I also emphatize to those couples who want to have their own children but cannot so have to resort to owning a pet for diversion. It is definitely a good deed. However, if a legally married couple has the financial, mental and physical capacity to have their own children, then by all means do not think twice having your own. It’s all about satisfaction, fulfillment and pride of raising your own children.

I don’t have children of my own yet but as I see my parents, siblings, relatives and friends who have their own children, I can see how proud, happy and contented they are having their own offspring especially for my parents as all of us are grown ups now and are successful in our own ways. No matter how obnoxious, underdisciplined or naughty kids these days can become, a parent will always love their child.

We are happy when our pups would learn how to bark and compliment them how brave they are even at a very early stage. However the feeling is entirely different when our baby starts to say its first word like Mama or Papa or giggle when we do peek-a-boo or tickle them. The world seems so full of happiness and the sight of a very innocent face staring at you is priceless.

When a dog learned it’s first trick like sitting still or rolling, we are very proud and would show these tricks off to our friends. However, when our baby responds when we asked them to close or open their hands, blink and do “beautiful eyes” gesture or when they learn to take first small steps, some parents can’t help but become teary eyed with their child’s progress.

When they start to go to school, learn how to read, write us short poems or messages or even draw a picture of their family and show to us, we will treasure these memories for a lifetime.

The list of memories and events shared together between a parent and their children goes on and on. Of course there are random instances wherein the children may grow up not as expected like giving the parents some problems like unwanted pregnancies, being hooked up in drugs or other vices, not following parents orders and stuff. But these are isolated cases and not usual to all families.

Overall, the bond between a parent and a child is stronger than the Great Wall of China, deeper than the Pacific Ocean and greater than the Great Barrier reef. It’s all because the foundation is love, trust and physical and emotional connection.

Let us continue to become a good parent or child or both, whichever role we play in life.

Cheers!

How to lose your Ex in 10 days?

You saw it right..my topic is about “How to lose your Ex in 10 Days”.

It may sound redundant and absurd because how can you lose someone who is already considered your Ex?

Earlier I was talking to a friend over Yahoo. The conversation is like this (I just translated in English)

Friend: I hate myself.
Kikomatching: (In jest) If you hate yourself, there will be no one to love you so please love yourself first.
Friend: I want to be happy again.
Kikomatching: Why, aren’t you happy nowadays?
Friend: No..especially whenever I see my ex.
Kikomatching: Where?
Friend: In Facebook
Kikomatching: So why are you still checking his profile if it pains you? Are you an addict?
Friend: I know..That’s why I’m hating myself for it.
Kikomatching: Well, you really must hate yourself then. Lol.
Kikomatching: Better read my blog than view his profile. It’s more entertaining than him. Lol.
Friend: I want to distance myself from him.
Kikomatching: So why don’t you do it?
Friend: So should I block him?
Kikomatching: Of course! Why not? If you’ll just hate yourself more..Then why should you swallow a bitter pill?
Kikomatching: Look at me. I’m inhibiting myself. And now our lives are peaceful.
Friend: Ohh..Ok.
Kikomatching: You’re actually giving me a good blog topic: “How to lose your ex in 10 days”. Lol.
Friend: Ha ha ha! Can you make it 6 years?
Kikomatching: Why 6 years if you can do it in 10 days?
Friend: Ok fine! (Silent for a while). I blocked him now!
Kikomatching: Congratulations!

It seem I may not show empathy to my friend’s misery but I believe each couple who has recently broken up will go through this stage anyway. But the thing is, my friend and her ex has broken up for quite sometime and she doesn’t seem to accept moving on. For now at least.

So really, how could we lose our Ex in 10 days if it is actually possible?

It always feels painful after a break up because by coming out of a relationship, we are losing not only a partner but the memories and dreams that goes along with it.

Many people try different ways to move on.

Some eat or drink out of depression. Some have a new hairstyle or hair color. Others shop or travel until their cards are maxed out. However, all of these are just temporarily relief from the grief.

So what are the expert’s advise in dealing with this situation?

1.) Give yourself a break- allow yourself to “heal”. Don’t force yourself into too much work just to forget your misery. It’s alright to perform less than your optimal level for a certain period of time. If you push yourself to the limit, it will give you more stress.

2.) See the light at the end of the tunnel- Your goal is to move forward. Don’t over analyze the situation and keep the anger, bitterness and resentment. Life is good with or without your ex. Dwelling on the past will make you stuck and can’t even do small steps to recovery. Always see the positive side of the situation.

3.) Spend time with people who uplift your spirits and value you as a person-This could be your family, well-meaning friends or a professional counselor. It is important for you to be surrounded by people who gives you positivity.

4.) There are still happy endings in this world- It may sound too surreal but surely there are great relationships which are similar to “And they live happily ever after”. It may not be happening this time, but it will come.

5.) Go out and try to build new friendship (and eventually relationship)- If your last relationship went sour, it doesn’t mean all relationships are doomed. If you feel you have lost your friends or social activities before, it’s time to catch up or build a new network. Do activities that interests you. Who knows, your better half may just be around the corner.

It’s no guarantee that you will lose your Ex in 10 days following the tips above. But if you have the drive, surely you’ll go a long mile.

To my friend (she who-must-not-be-named here), I hope you read this post and take my piece of advice.. Good luck.

A Note to God…


Note from the author: This post is not inspired by Charice Pempengco’s song with the same title. My inspiration for this post is God.

For more than a month now, my family and I are in extreme stress because of my Dad’s ailment. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer 2 years ago.  He was in perfect shape before that (except for some occasional muscle cramps as he still loves to play Basketball and regular jogging with my mom to maintain healthy level of blood pressure). Suddenly, there was blood in his urine and finds it difficult to pee. He was admitted to the hospital and tests were made. Then they found a tumor in his bladder. It was eventually removed and comes the dreaded result of the biopsy. The tumor is malignant.

The family consulted several doctors about his case and some doctors recommended to have the bladder removed so the cancer will not spread out. However, my Dad do not want this idea because it will be very uncomfortable not having your bladder and only an artificial urine bag working for you. They went to a Doctor specializing in an alternative form of treating cancer, that is through Detoxification. There were so many foods that were prohibited that are cancer causing. He has to eat only organic foods and strictly no oil or salt in his diet.

First few months saw a sudden drop in his weight due to change in diet and lifestyle but we think it is working quite fine. The treatment and food ingredients (organic products) are very costly though. At certain point my Dad started to complain and misses the “normal food” so we obliged.

Unfortunately after almost 2 years when the tumor was removed it recurred and was detected last July. An immediate operation took place but sadly, part of the tumor cannot be removed cos the root is deep and the only way to take out the tumor completely and avoid spreading to other organs is to remove the bladder by surgery.

We had to agree it is the best move though it may be hard for my Dad. He actually do not want to have the operation because he knows it will be very costly and also because it’s back to back operation and he still yet recovered from the first one. In addition, his lifestyle will be changed from now on.

I am not ashamed to admit we are not a rich family. We are just a normal middle-class family who are living comfortably but not extravagant. Since my Dad retired from Government service more than 5 years ago, they only rely on his monthly pension as well as support from their children including me. After serious discussions and convincing, the operation was arranged.

Another challenge has come up before the actual operation. The hospital said we had to prepare at least 5 bags of blood from donors because it is the number of bags they expect to be used for the operation. Though there is a blood bank, we have to replace the blood. It was such a rush considering we learned about it only a day before the operation. We asked relatives and friends for help and even posted in Facebook. There were several kind-hearted volunteers but the hospital is quite strict in the selection of donors so many were rejected. Though they give a word that we can replace the blood later even after the operation so we were a bit relieved. Fortunately, only 2 bags of blood were used in the operation and we managed to get it from supportive friends.

The operation was successful thanks to the able hands of the Doctor and the medical team. He stayed in the hospital for 1 more week after the operation. My dad had a post operation trauma and he had nightmares so he don’t want to sleep for fear he will not wake up again. It is really stressful and the family had to endure it especially my Mom who was with my Dad all throughout. We had to assure him that he should not worry because the critical stage already passed and he must only think of recuperating.

As the days passed, the hospital bill is going up and so is my Dad’s blood pressure and blood sugar. Since he can’t eat anything including his medicines, it was higher than normal so they had to inject him some insulin to stabilize it. These added to the bill. Me and my siblings had to raise the money quickly cos the doctor already said he can go out in few days. Considering there was a previous operation done not over 1 month ago, it was really a tough time in terms of our finances.

Though it is really challenigng, I realized we have many relatives and friends who tried to help in every way they can either through some monetary help or a message of support through SMS, Facebook, e-mail, etc. We are really loved.

Moreover, it also proved that our family is stronger and despite the problems we are holding on to each other.

Importantly, I know God is with us and He remained faithful to my Family.

We had been very stressed but fervent prayers made us whole. God is with my Dad during the critical times and now as he tries to fully recover. God is with my Mom and continuously giving her strength and good health. God is with me and my siblings and giving us wisdom to support our parents in these trying times.

We pray very hard and everything is just falling into the right place. God’s hands is really on the works.

Before I retire to bed every night just after praying, I make it a point to listen to various Christian songs before I eventually doze off. There is this line in one of my favorite song “My Desire” by Jeremy Camp wherein every time I listen to it, I can’t help but be teary eyed and really feel humbled by God’s extreme sacrifice for us.

The line goes, “there’s not much I can do to repay all you’ve done so I give my hands to use”.

Truly there is really nothing much we can do to repay God. That’s why I am writing this note to express my sincerest love and thanks to Father God. It’s one way of bringing something back even how small it is to HIM.

I am so blessed. My family is so blessed. Thank you Lord. Thank you Jesus..

Dear Dad…

Tomorrow, June 20 the whole world will celebrate Father’s Day. Coincidentally, the next day is my Dad’s birthday so it’s a sort of double celebration for our family back home. I texted my mom the other day to ask their plan for the 2 occasions. She said they already bought fresh products in the market which they will cook so the whole family can eat together. God, I miss my family. It has only been 2 months since I came back home for a short holiday but the memories of that trip still remains. I was able to enjoy a family outing and spending more time with them catching up.

Now that all of us children are already adults, I can proudly say that our parents have brought us up well. They are good role models and has always been there for us. However, since Father’s day is coming as well as my Dad’s day, let me make this post a tribute to my dad. Btw, we affectionately call our Dad, “Papa”.

My dad was a Police Officer when he met my mom. They eventually got married. Because of the risk of the job and since my eldest brother was already born, my mom requested him to resign from the police. He then worked for the Central Bank for many many years until he retired. His passion for work has been an inspiration to all of us especially now that we have our own careers. I can still remember those days that he wouldn’t mind going to work even though there is typhoon or flooding which is a common scenario then because our city is located in a low lying place. He is the breadwinner and my mom is a plain housewife. Having said that, I cannot imagine how they are able to raise 5 children well, send to private schools and always have good food in our table. Life may be hard but our parents would never let us feel it.

My dad loves reading. He has tons of books in our house ranging from dictionaries, English communication books to almanac as well as constitution and governance. As books are plenty, I developed the habit of reading as well. Almanac was my favorite book then maybe the reason why there was a point during my High School when I was able to memorize almost all capital cities of the world.  🙂

He also enjoys writing. He writes very good letters from a plain excuse letter at school, to solicitation for sponsorship of a basketball court in our village to the local government and I think there was even a point that he wrote a letter to a president of a certain country (I totally forgotten which country it was and not sure if the letter ever reached the desk of that President).  I think I also inherited his writing skills though I must admit that he has a wider vocabulary knowledge than me.

During monthly exams in school, he would ask us to read the topics for the exam first in our text book then everyone would have their turn to be asked various questions about the lessons from my dad. My other brother would even have to pretend sleepy or sleeping already so the question and answer part will stop.

With all these, you might think he is a strict father. On the contrary he is not. I cannot remember a single time that he used his hands to reprimand us kids. He is also very generous to all of us. When he was still working, Mother’s Day or my mom’s birthday will never be complete without any gift from my dad from perfume to blouse or even orchids or rose (not in bouquet but plants that can be grown cos my mom loves gardening). There was even a time that my younger sister already gotten used to having a cake during her birthdays. Unfortunately on that day my dad was unable to buy the cake. My sister started to cry profusely and my dad had to buy the cake from somewhere far cos there was no bakeshop in our area then.

Two years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer of the bladder. All of us were very worried but he did not show any signs of depression or desperation. Many procedures were done and up until today is still being undertaken to prevent the cancer from developing further. He has to avoid many foods and habits that are not good for the health. He lost some weight but I still see him very active. He loves taking care of his grand children so it’s a good exercise as well. His well being is always in my daily prayers.

When my friend visited me here sometime ago, my parents requested for some stuff to be brought to me and inside the box was a letter hand written by my dad. The message of which comes from both of them. In the letter they asked me how I am, that they missed me and always pray for my success and safety. They also hope I will like the stuff they sent. I was really touched by the gesture.

I am not vocal showing affection to my parents but in every way or every opportunity I have, I do not hesitate showing or making them feel it. Even up to this day, I would kiss my parents in the cheek to say goodbye which is not a common gesture for children these days.

My dad may not be able to read this blog post since he is not using computer these days but I know in my heart that he loves us so much and he is proud of all of us and surely he knows that we love him very much and we are thankful to God that he is our dad.

Dear Dad…Happy Father’s Day. Happy Birthday. I love you.