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.


When we support our husband’s ideas


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It was a regular Wednesday night at home. Jason paused for a while in speaking to chew  his dinner. Without any hesitation I grabbed that moment of silence to blurt out, “I don’t like to push through with your idea.” … Continue reading

I’m Sorry, Will You Forgive Me?

I grew up in an environment where saying sorry is cheesy and unnecessary. Things just eventually work out sooner or later.

Back when I was younger.. Had a big fight with my older sister that involved some unladylike behavior? After a week we talk normally, as if an explosion didn’t just occur a few days before. Got into an argument with my mom? The next day one of us just asks a question, then it’s back to regular programming and the relationship will be restored. Or so we would like to think.

In one of the lessons in GLC 2 as Jason cascaded to me before, family life is a priority. To have a good relationship with our parents, siblings, children, etc. This is our first ministry.

With that in mind, I was set to tie loose ends before I get married and start a family of my own. So one day (I think back in 2012), I was convicted to apologize to my mom after a heart-to-heart discussion. Both of us were in tears and I remembered my mom saying after I apologized for the things I’ve disappointed her with, “It’s okay we’re family, it’s understood already” In Filipino “‘Di na kailangan yun, alam naman na natin yun”. I felt relieved. It took so much effort to say “I’m sorry” I was so glad that it was over.

I felt that my mom’s intention was good as I believe she accepted my apology, shrugged it off and made it no big deal. But later on in married life, my husband and I realized saying sorry is just the tip of the iceberg.

During our first year in marriage, saying sorry was still a struggle (at times until now), even with Jason. If Jason did something to offend me example say something embarrassing about me to others (which I believe he was just joking, being the joker he is), I make sure that he knows it. He would then answer me back with a question that puts me on the spot! As if I were the one who made the mistake! When I couldn’t articulate myself and the tables would turn on me, it would leave me frustrated and too angry I could cry ending with the words “Is it too hard to say I’m sorry?” In Filipino, “Ganun ba kahirap sabihin ang sorry?”. That was all what I wanted.

Of course I am rebuked with what I said because yes it is hard to say I’m sorry. (BoyzIIMen)   Even I would catch myself giving excuses after I do something wrong example raise my voice at Jason (till he backs down, sorry) or other things.

I don’t know when it happened. One day after some arguing to see who’s got the most explanations up his or her sleeve, Jason suddenly said, I’m sorry (minus all my frustration, anger, crying and “is it too hard to say i’m sorry?” dialogue).

I was surprised. In the following days or whenever some fights would occur, I was shocked to see Jason initiate those words. Even when I would sometimes provoke him after his apology, he would say I’m sorry… the next part was.. “Will you Forgive Me?”

What was I to say?? My pride told him, “I’ll think about it” but of course the next day I would tell him that I do forgive him and I also apologize.

I believe this sparked some change in our crazy cycle of arguments. By Jason modeling how it is to say sorry. It took some time but when my husband – the leader of our family, comes to me in humility, my wall of pride is slowly crumbling and I become unguarded and softhearted.

I guess this applies to all relationships.. If you’re the one who feels disappointed and hurt, be the one to say sorry. If you feel discouraged, encourage others (nick vujicic, life without limits). Even with employer-employee relationship, parents and children, managers and the people they manage. When the leader is unwilling, even the followers will grow cold. But when the leader shows humility, this changes the course of the relationship. Because even leaders make mistakes. It’s better to come in humility than be unyielding when they make a mistake. Humility isn’t weakness in fact it saves us from disgrace.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

It’s so much easier to move on with our lives after arguments, after a misunderstanding with our loved ones, workmates, and friends. Later on though, those unresolved matters puts tiny dents in our relationships that will blow up later on. It’s so easy to leave it at that for the meantime, but it takes someone strong to confront a situation and be genuinely sorry and apologize.

The apology is a way of accepting responsibility for our behavior and expressing regret – Dr. Gary Chapman, Love Language Minute Devotional.

Soon it’s becoming a practice in our relationship. Saying sorry is not enough (at least for us). There must be a confession of what offense we committed, and then the question, “will you forgive me?” and usually a probation period. :p

Sometimes we just say sorry for the sake of saying it. “SORRY na nga eh!” (I said i was sorry!) or “‘Di ba nag sorry na ko?” (Didn’t I just say I was sorry???)

In our marriage, there must be a question if the other party has truly forgiven the offender.  Or else we might just be saying sorry for the sake of ourselves than for the person we offended. Marriage is not about me. Marriage is about YOU.

Marriage is about Jason (for me) and Marriage is about Gia (for Jason).

Now we know that these are the 2 phrases important to keep our marriage healthy, (because in marriage we will make mistakes and apology is necessary for good relationships according to Dr. Gary Chapman), we mustn’t abuse it and just go through the motion of “I’m Sorry will you forgive me” speech.

It’s important to have a relationship with God, because only God can truly impress in our hearts the faults we have done, we’re doing, and we are contemplating to make. Only God can compel us to feel truly sorry and even identify what fault we made. Even if I am stubborn refusing to apologize after a heated argument with Jason. When I come to God in prayer, He tugs at my heart to be humble and apologize. I often get no sleep and have no rest for my soul when things are left unresolved and I suppose this goes for my husband too.

So whenever I’m feeling pride in my heart I know it’s best to come to and learn from the one who has perfected humility. That King who came down here on earth to live a life unfit for royalty and even chose to be crucified – to die for the sins of many, Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 11:29 He says, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.


2014-10-15 21.29.32-2

10 Things I Learned in my First Year of Marriage (Part 2)

“Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice”. I’ve heard this the first time in Theology class in college. I didn’t fully grasp though what it meant until I said yes to my then fiancé now husband and I get to spend every waking day with him. It happens that his habits annoy me, I get irritated and I don’t feel like loving him. I’m sure he does feel that too. But when I do make the choice to love him and look past his faults, somehow the feeling soon follows.

This is just one of the many things I’ve learned in my first year as a wife. Hopefully by God’s grace my husband and I will continue to remember those lessons we’ve learned especially in trying times. Most importantly please pray for us that we remain connected to God to make the marriage be our source of peace and joy and make it last a lifetime.

These are some of the things I’ve learned in our first year of togetherness. Some are taken from books, seminars we’ve attended, blogs I’ve read, people surrounding us and supporting our marriage, and our own experiences.

6. Court and date your wife

Courting and dating should not stop in marriage. My hubby learned this from his sister, Ate Christie that the couple should set aside a regular date night. I know this is tough especially when the kids come but couples must continue to work on building romance in marriage. I am grateful that God has allowed us at least a year, just the two of us, to enjoy each other’s company and adjust to the habits we’ve discovered about one another.

I still do appreciate that no matter how familiar we are with each other at this point, my husband can still surprise me (in a good way). He still takes me out on random movie dates, recreation activities and he still gives me flowers on special occasions as he has promised a long time ago.

Anniversary flowers :)

Anniversary flowers 🙂

He even researches on restaurants we haven’t tried yet and takes me there.

Just a note, the courtship and dating doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. 🙂 Like when we need to save up a bit,  my husband just sets up our dining table with some candles (for a candlelit dinner). What makes me laugh every time is that to match the candlelit dinner, he wears on the upper half of his body his white long sleeve polo he wore during our wedding, and on the lower part…

his boxers! :p

Now that he’s doing that and making all the effort in “pursuing me”, on my part I must still be the girl he used to date.

My husband appreciates that I dress up for him, look my best self and am still attractive to him even when I’m at home. So this also follows that I MUST have regular exercise and proper diet. It doesn’t mean that he will love me less if I don’t but it’s one way to keep us attracted to each other. (Men are visual beings!) In the same way, though I’m not much of a visual person, I also like it whenever he still dresses up for me and keeps himself fit.

It still makes me feel special because he makes the effort for me. And because of this it keeps the romance alive.

7. Join a group that will encourage you in the faith and be loving to your spouse

 Belonging in a discipleship group (DGroup) has blessed us in many ways. They are the people whom we trust, run to with our hurts or struggles in life and share our victories in the faith. We are there to mutually support each other. We are also sure that they are there to pray for us, encourage us to keep walking with God and be our eyes when we can’t see Him amidst our troubles.

There are things that we learn in our DGroup that we may not know or hear from others. When I got married, I was hungry to be taught and to be mentored on how to become a good (and even godly) wife to my husband. Good in the definition of what is pleasing to him. I was seeking for a model/mentor in the 3rd Quarter of 2013 to teach me how to be a good partner because I felt that I am not fully equipped. I shared this concern to my discipler, Lors before in my Singles DGroup. She told me simply, the best teacher for that would be my husband and that I should just ask him.

It was an answered prayer when we moved to a couples DGroup under Pastor Jonathan and Coco early this year. We learned more on the dynamics of couples who are committed to follow Christ as we discovered the specific roles of a husband and his wife such as:

1. For the husbands he must lead his wife and family and love her among other things.

2. For the wives we must be / do the ff:

  • Helpmate – I need to help my husband fulfill the vision God has entrusted to him.
  • Encourager – I am his cheerleader and number one fan.
  • Respect our husband – I should not interrupt him when he speaks and I should not raise my voice at him.
  • Submit (Support) – I should submit to him and his leadership on how he will run our family and I should support his decisions. To not blame him when things go wrong and still be there to iron things out with him.

Most of the time when we are struggling with each other, we just need a little push to either be better or worse. We need that little push from someone who will tell us to hang in there and fight for our marriage. Imagine if every time my husband and I argue and he seeks comfort from friends who will tell him to drink it off or find someone else, or if I seek comfort from friends who will tell me I deserve better or I deserve to be happy without my husband. No matter how strong I think my conviction is, I admit that I still might fall to a deception like that.

In 1 Corinthians 15:33 it says, Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”.

  We must intentionally surround ourselves with people who will remind us of our wedding vows to stand by each other no matter what.

8. Never stop growing and learning

Books, lessons, activities, new discoveries. This gives color to our conversations and relationship. What’s beautiful in this information age is that everything is already accessible.

The challenge though for me is with everything accessible, I need to filter what information to get. I think that the biggest temptation for me right now is social network. Instead of choosing to read, it’s so much easier to pick up my phone and browse the news feed to pass time. My husband would often remind me to put down my phone and go back to reading. Since it is our choices that determine us, my husband may be making the smart choices and I get left behind with the wrong ones. It would be hard for me then to catch up with the way his mind processes and understand or sympathize with him. Likewise with him if he gets left behind or he walks too far ahead of me.

We must constantly grow in ourselves – faith, relationship, family life, career wise, knowledge and information to still be interesting to each other.

We most importantly need to catch up in the growing of our partner.

We do have different likes and preferences so I need to still grow with him in his new found interests and activities. The first step to grow with our partner is to listen to him when he discusses new hobbies and pastimes. To be engaged when he passionately discusses business or the moral lessons he learned in movies or cartoons like Naruto. (“,)

My husband likewise needs to be engaged when I discuss my sentiments and opinions.

My husband has taught me that we need to keep walking together in the same direction and be on the same page. There are cases wherein couples don’t know each other anymore because they’ve stopped learning and growing together.

Dialogues like “you are no longer the person I married” would be uttered. At some point, they may have stopped getting to know their spouse.

Conversation is always key in bridging differences and new interests.

9. Eat, Laugh and Pray Together

Eating together without the distraction of TV has allowed us to converse with each other and focus on one another as I’ve mentioned before in my other post, No TV (channels), No problem!

We always make it a point to eat together and face each other (even if at times we don’t want to). Well because there is nowhere else to run to at home since there are no TV (channels) to take us in its arms and let us get lost into it.

On Laughing Together, I am glad that my husband is such a comedian and he has such great sense of humor. He isn’t scared to look or sound silly and that’s what makes me love him more because it means he’s doing what it takes to make me laugh.

My husband has a serious side though. He can get serious especially on matters concerning faith and life. So when life throws lemons at us, I’ve seen how humor can work to our advantage. Whenever we just laugh about inconveniences or when things don’t go according to plan, it eases the tension instantly.

When we do get lost going to our destination, we could just laugh about it and add it to our list of funny adventures. Or if we have other booboos (which I do have a lot of those), well we can laugh about it when we talk about it in the future.

There may be times that it does get the best of us, but knowing that we can laugh about things shows us that yes there is an option and a way out of stressful situations.

Praying Together. It’s hard to get by without praying. In Pre-marital counseling, our facilitator mentioned to us that it is important to pray with your spouse. He does it with his wife before they sleep. It’s not’s just spiritual but it is also practical. Once they have built the habit of praying together, whenever they get into a disagreement, they still need to come together in prayer at night because of the habit they have formed. Thus, it forces them to resolve the fight before it worsens.

My husband and I still need to build the habit consistently. Praying separately is good too especially when we do our morning quiet times with God. But whenever we bow down in prayer together whether before we eat or before we sleep, it gives us a deep and intimate bond and security with each other.

10. Love your in laws

We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about in laws (parents, siblings, relatives) from other people but I believe that we must not let these horror stories get into our head. Or even create our own version of in-law horror story and share it with others.

In Ephesians 4:29 it says, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

In Pre-Marital Counseling my husband learned to ask for the parents’ blessing about the partner they choose to spend the rest of their lives with, and wait (no matter how long) if the parents’ decide otherwise.

Praise God as our parents and in-laws have blessed us and given us away to each other in marriage. We know we can trust them to be there to support us and love us. We must love them as Christ has loved us, protect them and take care of them. We need to involve them as much as possible and share with them our lives as they have given us theirs. My husband learned in GLC 2 in CC that it is indeed important to have our family with us in marriage.

Parents and in-laws are there for a purpose. They may either bring out the worst in us or the best in us, depends on how we view them in our lives. God has taught me just in this season of our lives that He has given them to us as our first support group. Our families should be that – to bring us together than tear us apart. Sometimes we may misunderstand them, but we must trust and believe that they only have our best intentions at heart.

In dealing with our in laws, parents, siblings and other relatives, we must always always try to look at what’s best about them. God has impressed in my heart these verses,

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.


As a bonus, my husband and I met up with a pastor and his wife in our first year of marriage for counseling. Counseling is good once in a while so we can evaluate if we are still on the right track with our marriage. We were given nuggets of wisdom and also they recommended that we read the book Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

A gist of this book would be Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

One of the key principles in marriage is that, wives need love while husbands need respect. Just a few pages of the book and we were  already blessed. 🙂

God has really brought us a long way from where we were when we first dated until now in marriage. He showed us that even a relationship that started as not glorifying to Him can make a 180 when we allow Him to take over our lives and place Him in our center.

Without Him and if we pushed things in our own way and our own time, I’m sure that we will not experience the blessings, the joy and romance the first year of marriage brings. Sure there are challenges and there can be a lot, but having a relationship with God convicts us over and over again to restore a relationship with our spouse.

The first year of marriage I believe is the most important year as it lays a good, strong foundation for marriage. I remember what Rev. Yu said, (our pastor who officiated our marriage), the blessing and joy of marriage is this: that we will live with two of our best friends; our husband and Jesus Christ.

Indeed, it has been the best year of my married life living with my husband, and my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

It is a piece of heaven on earth but I know this isn’t happily ever after yet because it can only happen when I finally meet my maker and live in eternity with the loves of my life.

I still have yet to see that the honeymoon phase can indeed last longer. But I am confident in God and that if we lean on Him, He will sustain our marriage and nothing is impossible with Him – even letting honeymoon phase last a lifetime.


Lovers in lovers lane #cheese 🙂

How to win fights in marriage

Because who wants to lose?

Who or what you want to win is a different matter.

The first year in marriage as some say is the toughest. Because this is the year to cleave to each other, where we lay a solid foundation for our lifetime of togetherness.

You would think that from our 7 years of knowing each other before getting married, everything would be pretty smooth by now. You would think that 7 years is already a long time for us to get to know each other and know how to allay each other’s anger. WRONG. Still in our first year, it’s a different ball game from when we were boyfriend and girlfriend.

When we had arguments during dating stage, we were glad to be going back to each of our homes and face the problem the next day. We also had the option to never face them at all.

But in marriage, we are bound to face each other literally (and unintentionally) during the cold night until we wake up the next day.

The stakes in marriage are higher and the hurt is deeper. Because as they say in marriage, we are already one. If I hurt him, I automatically feel the hurt too and likewise.

Even if both of us make an effort to read books on marriage and relationships, I just find myself getting more creative in rationalizing, starting arguments and finding fault. As soon as I learn new things in the book I would tell him, “Beb it says here in the book you have to be affirmative of me, you have to encourage me..  you’re not doing this. you’re not doing that.. so and so..”. How sinful my heart is to see the speck in his eye than see the plank in my own.

Other things would be that since we assume to know each other so much, we assume each other’s intentions. My husband would assume that my heart is being deceitful when in fact I was just tired to discuss certain matters. I would get so angry on how he could think he knows so much about my heart and accuse me based on his assumptions.

Little hurts would pile up and turn into resentments and soon enough little arguments would blow up into big fights. To the point that we would be reckless with words and our hearts would grow cold and bitter toward each other. The design for which God wanted man and wife to live in peace and joy would be distorted and destroyed because of our pride.

How do we win this battle of words? Will a louder voice do the trick? Or the most logical and intelligent argument? Will belittling my husband’s point or he belittling mine solve it?

Most importantly, will winning the argument but losing my husband in the process be worth it?

So what if I won? So what if had a carefully crafted speech to present to my husband that he has no other choice but to accede? Will it count in building a good foundation for our marriage? Will it count with God?

Sometimes when we find each other a stalemate in arguments, I would feel frustrated and he too.

But we are reminded how God is important in making marriages work. Without Him, it is impossible to make it work. Because He designed marriage. He has brought man and woman together. He completes the divine triangle in marriage and He is the ultimate mediator when we find ourselves in the stalemate position.

It helps and it counts a lot to have developed the habit of quiet time even before marriage. Quiet time meaning having a personal, quality and quiet time with God. After arguments, we knew that in the morning at a designated time we would eventually meet with God and He would ask us, where we are in our marriage. Did we become more loving, more forgiving, more selfless with each other?

Soon we realized that spiritual warfare is stronger in marriage because the enemy seeks to divide. I found out that to win this spiritual fight is to come to God and apologize not just to Him but to my husband. To admit to God how untrusting I was that He would work in my husband’s life and mold Him to be Christ-like. To admit to my husband how selfish I was and how self-righteous I was in pointing out his mistakes, or how I was doubtful of his intentions.

When a sincere apology is made with a repentant and a forgiving heart, it breaks down our frozen hearts and the walls of pride and we are restored into a loving relationship with God and with each other. Marriage once again becomes the source of our peace and joy.

Yes I don’t want to lose and lose this marriage. Winning spiritual fights in marriage is more important than winning arguments. What profit is it to gain points in logic but lose my soul?  To gain the world and lose my soul?

We will always be in the process of being sanctified and cleansed from our sin and pride and arguments will not stop as our marriage progresses. As marriage becomes more stable, we expect that it will be tested but we have hope that in this world we will indeed experience trouble, but we take heart because Christ has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Matthew 16:26 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?



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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

Uncle Cheffy: Go roll that panizza!


This gallery contains 11 photos.

For some reason when I think about family, I almost immediately associate it with Uncle Cheffy. Probably because their serving is huge and ideal to enjoy with the family. So last Father’s Day (ahem, yes late post) we decided to … Continue reading

To the man after God’s own heart


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6 Years Ago, I didn’t realize this man was going to be one of the most indispensable man in my life. One who would lead me to a relationship I have been yearning for which I didn’t know yet then. … Continue reading

Why do good things happen to those who do not even know Him?


I have been asked this question a couple of times. Even by people closest to me. Early this morning God gave me the answer. Ever ordered something in a restaurant and still want to take a bite of someone else’s … Continue reading

The fire of love on a sunny Sunday afternoon


Let me share with you two poems that are really close to my heart. I’ve been posting P.Arrupe’s poem in my previous blogs and this time I’m reposting yet again. 🙂 On falling in love with God nothing is more … Continue reading