And I am Back – Like, For Good!

And the China Adventure has ended. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I may or may not go back there in the future, but for now, I am back.

One of the questions people ask me is, “how did Seth (my son) react when he first saw you?”.

When I was away Seth doesn’t talk to me. He sees me talking to his dad and he reacts when I’m gone (“dada, no more mama” or “dada, where’s mama?” when the connection lags or when the call has ended). But when it’s just the two of us, he doesn’t talk. He goes away. Although there are days wherein he is very excited – like, once in a blue moon.

So when they fetched me from the airport, people thought he won’t come near me – like most of my friends’ experiences. But he did come to me! When he saw me he was shocked – like he literally put his palm on his face shocked. And he was kilig. Like for real. 🙂 Then he hugged me, and sat on my lap. He wasn’t talking at first, but he was hugging and kissing me all the time. Ah.. priceless. ❤

Another question people ask me is “what now?”. I mean, I get that people want to know what I’ll do next. But right now I’m just enjoying being a stay at home mom to my terrific two. I’ve been a full-time wife and mom for 2 months now! I can’t believe I survived – I have always been a career-driven person. I’ve had a lot of realizations while I was away.. and I can’t wait to share them with you! 🙂

So yeah, I am sooo back. And I am so looking forward to more awesome, beautiful adventures!

But first, let me do the dishes.. and clean the house. Being a SAHM rocks! ❤

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Glow: A Thanksgiving Night of Music and Prayer

This July, Fairview Park United Methodist Church celebrates its 37th anniversary. This year’s theme is “Aglow With The Spirit: Witnessing for Christ”. 

July may soon be over, but it doesn’t mean that the celebration stops! A thanksgiving concert will be held to cap off the month long celebration:

Here’s the fun-filled teaser of the concert: 
https://youtu.be/zbH5aYYReTQ

See you there! 

When you just want it to happen.

When I was a child I wanted to change my name. This story cracks me up every time I remember it and to this day whenever I tell it to people I cry out of too much laughter (and humiliation, I suppose). Here’s how it goes: I was sitting beside my kindergarten classmate whose name is Jennylyn de Asis. For some weird reason I was soooo fascinated with her name that I wanted to change my name to hers. When I got home I told my mom (who was my pre-school teacher) that I wanted to change my name to Jennylyn de Asis. My mom, of course, in her delightful graceful composure, explained to me that we cannot have our names changed.. and so I cried. Like tantrums-cried. I recall my mom showing me my birth certificate, explaining that my name is my name and I cannot change it. There’s just no way. I cried and cried and did not talk to my mom for a week. I am not sure how it was resolved, I probably just forgot about it eventually.

It’s funny how some of us assume that it’s so easy to change something – just like that. Or that we should get what we want because we want it so bad! This is a struggle for me, because I am so used to being a go-getter. Earlier my husband and I were talking and I was so upset and was pulling out a tantrum (it’s PMS time, ladies and gentlemen) because I wanted something to happen so bad. Well, first, it was me wanting something (a particular thing).. then me wanting something to happen.. then me fighting with him and then me resorting to crying and getting mad at him. And then I cried to the Lord. I was so upset and I was asking him “why, Lord, why? When? When will these things happen? Why are these things not happening?” Patience is not my best trait and most of the time I just lose it. My husband, being the patient, understanding man that he is, explained to me that these things- the things that I am mad about are not important. And that there are far more important things that should concern me. And that we should just trust in the Lord, know that He knows what He’s doing, and that we should not worry about these things because heck, He knows the future and He is God. Shouldn’t that give us peace?

I was ashamed because I realized that I was too focused to getting what I wanted that I stopped focusing on the beauty of waiting (believe me, there is joy to it!). I focused on a very small aspect that I failed to see the bigger picture. I was ashamed because how could I not trust in Him? How could I worry? I try to justify my worrying to just being concerned but deep down I know that I was really anxious and worried.

It’s normal to be worried and scared about the future but really, where would that take us?

So here’s what my husband told me, in the midst of me sending him angry messages and stuff:

Remember Paul and Silas? When they were persecuted and imprisoned? Every month prisoners like them were being killed.. so what they did was pray. Not to get out of prison but to be extended on their imprisonment. You wanna know why? Because that is where they seek the Lord.

Sometimes we are too focused on the things that we know would bring us comfort. On hassle-free, stress-free stuff. But if we seek the Lord’s presence there is enjoyment in the middle of a stressful life, it’s like we have our own life in the middle of these problems. A beautiful, peaceful life. Why do you have to look for a problem-free place when you can create a peaceful zone with God? It may not be comfortable but it is definitely peaceful.

Oh how I thank the Lord that I have a husband like him! I know these words are not new words for me, or for anyone. But sometimes we really need to be reminded (and slapped in the face). When did I ever stop being contented over what I am blessed with? Our situation may push us to our limits (waaah, sorry Lord) but we can rely on the promise that He is God. Over whatever situation we are in. He is God over our families. He is God over our broken relationships. He is God over failed jobs. He is God over new adventures. He is God over new dreams. He is God over long distance relationships. He is God over this chaotic world that we live in.

He is God. That alone should give us peace.

Why I Love Running.

Running bores me.

I have said that phrase a million times before. I don’t know if you’re one of those who are not a fan of running. If you are, well, I used to be one of you. I was once one of those who consider running a very boring sport, a sport that doesn’t really help. “I could do better things”, I would often say. Sure, I’d join my friends once in a while but when we’d run I wouldn’t really put my heart and soul in it. 

My dad was a very sporty man. Oh how he motivated me! My dad and mom would often go to QC Circle when we still lived in Kamuning. And because I am their favorite (haha, we all claim that!), they would bring me with them. We would run, but what I really looked forward to the most was the aerobics session (zumba wasn’t a thing then), and then our  breakfast at Tropical Hut after. Yep. Good times.

It wasn’t the running that I really enjoyed. It was the food. The company. The thought of losing weight (and then convincing yourself that it’s okay to eat after running because your carbs would turn to muscles…haha). 

Until I came to China. 

The first time I attempted to run here it didn’t work out well. I was stretching and before I actually had the chance to run I had a knee injury. I have a very bad knee, a torn ligament from an accident I had in high school (Yep. Another one of my ‘clumsy gmae diaries’, haha).  So I waited for a month. I really wanted to run because I needed an activity (that is not so strenous) to help me exercise. I needed an outlet. I needed to go out. 

I ran. 

The first few rounds were okay, I wasn’t trying too hard. I was just you know, running. I closed my eyes for a moment and thought of home. “Oh how I miss them”, I told myself, cycle after cycle. And then I talked to the Lord. It was so peaceful, amidst all the noise from the construction that was beside the field. I was perspiring. My heart was pumping. I thought of happy thoughts. I thought of dad and how he loved running. I thought of my boys. I smiled.

I was able to complete 8 laps that day.

Running takes me to places. I know books are supposed to do that, but running does the same (or even more) for me. When I run, my imagination is on the run too. I think of places. I think of people. My problems. Happy thoughts. And then I find peace. 

Running is also a good time for me to talk to God. I lay my thoughts down and talk to Him. I also get to appreciate the beauty of His marvelous creation. 

Running helps my vocal chords too! Well not really the chords, if you know what I mean. Running improves singing as it increases cardio strength and breath stamina. When I run I have the music on, and then I would just sing. Sometimes I sing so loud that other runners would stop and look at me. I don’t care. I love singing and running. I feel like I’m having my concert, and it is my moment. Haha.

And sometimes, running is a place for me to just well, run away. From the loneliness. From the boredom. From people. From personal issues. From others. From myself.

There are days when it’s hard. Especially when it’s cold – it’s difficult to get up! And sometimes it gets painful. But I move forward. I get up. I run. I would tell myself that  I don’t do this to beat others. I do this for myself. This is something that I could do by myself, something that I can control. I can control the direction, the pace. 

I went out with a British friend for the first time last week and she asked me if I’m the type of person who’s outgoing or if I prefer to be at home. “Honestly? I think I’m both.”, I said. I enjoy going out and meeting new people, but I love staying at home too, you know, just chilling. And I think that that’s one of the reasons why I love to run. I don’t have to put much effort. I get to meet new people. I get to see the world. But I still feel like I’m home.

And the added bonus? I get to lose weight too. *winks*

Me thinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow. (Henry David Thoreau)