The many feels of Christmas with Guevarra’s Yuletide Menu

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Suddenly it feels like Christmas… Christmas brings so many good memories to me. When I was younger, our Christmas eve would be joyfully spent with relatives – my aunt, uncle and cousin would come home from the U.S. weeks before the … Continue reading

The sum of SMALL things: When we don’t face small issues

It was over dinner when I released the kraken and unleashed sharp words towards my husband. I’m not proud of it but it was the case. I have been bottling up my disappointments for the past week and it was one dinner that I had to say it though I regret not being respectful about it.

Days after, he posed a question and said “when did this all start?”

 I tried to trace where it all started and then I realized it was during one (emotional) dinner at home. I was telling him about something sensitive and personal, and it was the first time I brought up that topic. As I was pouring my heart out and on the verge of tears, he casually said “wait I’ll just get water”.  He then proceeded to the kitchen, took some time and went back to the dining table and said casually, “ok, tapos?” (“ok, and then?”).

So I swallowed my tears, just shrugged it off and said “yun lang, tapos na yun” (that’s it, it’s done). He asked if I was ok and of course I said I was ok, which was true at that time because in my mind, t’s not as if he intentionally wanted to interrupt me and be insensitive.

Along that week I faced disappointments and rejections here and there from him.

But the final straw was that Sunday – the beginning of another week. I ran my first race for the year which was 11 km. I finished the race at 1 hour 28 minutes even if I hadn’t run 10km in my regular work out. When I got back from the run and since it took some time, Jason told me he told my mom that I was just probably walking my way (to finish the race). It was funny if I wasn’t serious about finishing the race. (:p) That time it was just nothing but later it struck me that he doubted my capability of finishing the race.

Between then and the kraken, I was bottling up, becoming irritated at him and was critical of him by pointing out his mistakes. All these reactions I didn’t notice until he brought it to my attention on me being critical of him. He asked how my spiritual life was, and I was defensive said, why was he asking? Later it escalated and I was emotional as I voiced it out.

But really, after that moment it didn’t make me feel any better. It would have been ok had I been loving and respectful about it.

If I could put into words the things I needed those times it would be

1. to be understood

2. to be cared for

3. to be believed in

At a later day when we were more open with each other, by God’s grace we were able to find out that sometimes those little things of disappointments, rejections, and insensitivities can become a big thing when ignored. The sum of small (ignored) things is a big mess. I feel that it’s okay to let small things go at that particular moment. But eventually we should communicate how we feel to avoid the bottling up. Of course I am still in the process of applying this…

Sometimes people wonder why they have fallen out of love. I could only speculate that there were hurts, disappointments, and cracks along the way that escalate into a point of no return (or so they think, because nothing’s impossible with God!). We are thankful to God that He has enabled us to cling onto Him to guide and lead us in this marriage. I am glad that Jason was given the wisdom to bring up that we must face even small issues before they grow.

When Jason found out about those “small things”, he understood where my critical nature was coming from and he sincerely apologized. He also acknowledged my emotional needs and I forgave him of course. On my end, it was also impressed in my heart that I put myself first than him. That I was selfish and self-centered by just considering my emotions, being sensitive and too caught up with how I feel and not giving him the benefit of the doubt. I was too focused on my emotional needs being met and I was also keeping record of those small things.

I was then reminded of and rebuked by the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:5

Love is not rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Ouch. But God is clear about love and the bible clearly says how love as a verb is. One way to apply this is in marriage. Another thing that I need to do is surrender my needs (wanting to be understood, cared for and believed in) being met to God, because truly only God can meet our needs and He has assured us of this many times in the bible. Towards Jason, I can voice out these needs to him so he knows where I am and where I’m coming from, but I shouldn’t demand it from him.

The moment I surrender it is the moment God can work in and transform my heart and I can be loving and respectful again to Jason, still by God’s grace.

The sum of small things doesn’t have to be a big mess. Because the sum of small things when talked about with a right and surrendered heart is a marriage that gives life, one that energizes.

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The Convenience of Dirty Dishes

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Is it forgivable to be unkind and ungentle when you’re tired? Do I only become a wife and particularly a helpmate to my husband when it is convenient to me? One Friday, Jason and I attended a whole day seminar. Both … Continue reading

I love you just because.

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Why do you love me? I would often ask my ex-boyfriend then [who is now my husband]. Jason would often answer, I love you just because. I would sulk in all my immaturity and childishness then and say, how can … Continue reading

Dealing with Jealousy

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

JEALOUSY
one of the enemies of the heart that can be concealed for a time, but later on rots the bone and gives off a bitter and sour scent.

This is one of the hardest things to admit since we couldn’t bear to say even to ourselves that, i’m jealous of his / her fortune or i’m jealous of what he / she has.

When we catch ourselves spiting another or being bitter about something, we know we are falling into the sin of jealousy. Also another evidence would be in James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Whenever I feel that my words are turning bitter or sour referring to another person, I have to check my heart. God wants me to admit this sin to him, to myself, and to my accountability partner/group. And once I do admit it, I feel this sense of freedom from the sourness and jealousy that’s rotting my bones, and affecting my life.

From the book ENEMIES of the HEART, to counteract jealousy, we need to celebrate. Genuinely celebrate others fortune, talent, skills, qualities. If others deserve a compliment, we do not hold it back from them. We need not covet God’s gift for them, because God has blessed us too. We just need to discover and nurture what we have. Their strength may be our weakness, but our strength may be their weakness.

I am blessed to have heard how to counteract feelings of envy / jealousy through our bible study group last Tuesday and now that I know about it, I have no excuses.

It wasn’t an accident for me to hear it. Now I know that God has given us this knowledge, God expects us to know how to counteract these feelings of envy / jealousy.

So the next time envy / jealousy is beginning to stir within me, I need to tell myself (with the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit), that God does not owe me anything, but in fact I owe Him everything.

The worst case scenario syndrome

The pros and cons. The best and the worst thing that could happen. We always live by these thoughts every single day when we make a decision. Especially major ones.

Best effort I’ve done all I could, but worst case scenario, this is the solution I will do. Jason would often tell me if you don’t plan, you plan to fail, but of course there are situations that really can’t be avoided, so what will happen when those dreadful circumstances happen? What is the plan of attack?

Most marriages today would end up in divorce since the idea is we can get married, and if it doesn’t work out, we can just get a divorce. Of course you don’t have to consciously think that way and you don’t plan that your marriage would fail, but at the back of your head you know that it is an option.

I admit that before and subconsciously I would have this bad case of “worst case scenario” syndrome. If a relationship doesn’t work out, worst case scenario, I could just pack up my bags and leave. Some people have done it and they’ve walked out on it easily, why couldn’t I, right? Well wrong.

During the wedding preparations subconsciously I would think of the worst thing that could happen if our wedding didn’t push through. If an argument arises between Jason and I, I would have bouts of doubts and entertain the thoughts of just walking out and turning my back on all these hullabaloo.

However in marriage it doesn’t work that way.

Once married, you’re married in God’s eyes forever. That’s why it’s a big deal. It’s not something you do when you’ve fallen passionately and deeply in love. It’s not just the joys, but the pain, the health and even the sickness. This is the promise you made to your partner, this is the covenant you made with God.

Though we’ve heard this from pre-marital counselling in CCF a year ago, Jason would often remind me that divorce or annulment is never an option. As I’ve come to know God more and more, I learned to never even entertain this thought or this inkling of doubt, because this will become a foothold of the enemy, the devil.

Marriage is forever. What God has joined together, no one can separate. Mark 10:9

No matter how complex, how difficult, how doubtful, how crazy it’s going to get. work it out. There is no worst case scenario. PERIOD.

Marriage can only work if God is there. If we turn to God in times of happiness and in despair. Because God completes the divine triangle – He heals all wounds, He teaches us to reconcile, to obey, to forgive, to be merciful, to do the unimaginable, to temper our words, to curb our evil thoughts.

My papi Ceferino once told me, even in marriage the doubts do not stop. Sometimes you would want a way out. Given that these concerns are normal what then do you do? to turn your back on the opportunity to love greatly and not be troubled by these doubts. Or let love overcome all these doubts and fears?

It may be difficult but by God’s grace, He has impressed on me to step up and be courageous, for He will be with me.

1 John 4: 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

It may be tough, and scary, but I know God who has brought us together will keep us, in sickness or health, in happiness and in sorrow, all these, forever.

Freak Out, Faith Out

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Freaked out! That’s how and what I am. With only a month and a few days left, I can’t believe how many wedding related problems are starting to surface. There’s this invitation boo-boo (which I’m totally responsible for), a change … Continue reading

God’s Best and Indescribable Gift

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When you hear the word Christmas, what comes into your mind? Parties, reunions, merrymaking, the many mornings of waking up not remembering the night before, the holiday rush, noche buena, and non-stop eating! Everything about Christmas just gives you the … Continue reading

Reality of life, victory through Christ

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Once you become a Christian, does this mean everything will become bright and sunny instantly? Does this mean all bad things in your life will suddenly disappear? Is it like seeing the world through rose-colored glasses? Skipping and hopping your … Continue reading

An awakened desire to stand firm in the faith

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World Youth Day 2011 was an experience unlike any other. In the short but meaningful two-week journey in Spain we are confronted with our ultimate mission and thus answer life’s biggest question: What is my purpose in life? In the … Continue reading