On Days When I Just Lose It.

There are days when I just lose it.

I was from a 24 hour shift the other day (whaddup, nurses!) and I was really, really exhausted. The husband fetched me from work and brought me home, changed his clothes and went straight to church. I intended to attend the afternoon service with Seth because well, I was sooooooo tired.

Seth and I were left at home. I never had any problems with Seth whenever I need to sleep. I would just tell him, “baby, mama needs to sleep okay? Don’t play or talk with mama”. Then he’d say okay and eventually, if it is a good day, he will sleep. But because Seth is in his terrific twos and is doing the exact opposite of what I asked him to do, and because a toddler is so full of surprises, he disregarded what I said and just played and played and played. He did let me sleep but he watched The Lorax (his fave movie now; he’s done with The Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter), with the volume too high it could pass as Dolby Digital Surround if we were a movie house. So I slept intermittently, waking up every now and then.

I was already becoming cranky and I was starting to get upset with the hubby. It was 11 o’clock and he wasn’t home yet (church usually ends at 10). I.WANTED.TO.SLEEP.SO.BAD!!! Seth was becoming his usual clingy self, mouthing “mama, mama” when he wanted (and not as needed!). He was following me wherever I went and the once cute clingy man turned into a monster. He was shouting and was just really cranky.

And then he started crying. I forgot how and why his tantrums started (sometimes it’s best to just stop rationalizing things when you’re a mom), but it did start. Usually his tantrums start when he’s already very sleepy. And this wasn’t just an ordinary tantrum. This was one hell of a tantrum. He started throwing things on the floor. This was what rang the bell in my head – ting ting ting ting!!!!! I was already furious.

And then I did it: I spanked Seth – in his cute little butt.

You see, I don’t believe in spanking. I have nothing against those who do. In fact, I have high respect for them. But spanking just isn’t my style. It is, actually, my husband’s. But it isn’t me. Probably because I never experienced being spanked and I turned out okay (thank God!). And also because I am a nurse and I believe in the psychological way of dealing with kids.

So imagine how uneasy it was for me to spank him. It wasn’t a cute spank. It was a painful one- I can tell by the sound. So Seth started to spank me too (the inevitable part when you spank a kid- they end up using violence on you). Then he started throwing his toys at me.

I threw one of his favorite toys: a green bucket (his favorite color) where we keep his shapes (his favorite thing). I threw it so hard that I ended up breaking the bucket. It was made of plastic, and we’ve thrown it a couple of times already. But that particular throw was the mother of all throws. It was too painful to watch, even for me, who did it intentionally.

Then he began to scream and said, “mama, what did you do? You broke it!!!! Say sorry to the bucket, mama!” He was still crying and I can see that he was really hurt. He hugged me and asked, “mama, why’d you throw it? Why’d you break it?”.

And then I started to cry. The once fierce mama broke down, and cried too. I hugged Seth as tight as I could.

“I’m sorry, mama.”

“No, no, don’t say sorry, baby. It wasn’t your fault. It was mama’s fault.”

I have always been a toughie when it comes to Seth. I can take it when he cries or when he throws tantrums. I can ignore him as long as possible until he folds. I am good in that department.

But this time it was different.

I explained to him the reason why I did that, and that he should listen to mama or dada all the time. I couldn’t stop crying and neither could he. It was a funny thing, actually, but at the same time, a very emotional moment for me (I am still moved to tears as I type this!). I hurt the one person who adored me more than anything else in the world. Then he hugged me and said sorry again. I kissed him and asked him where his booboo was, and he pointed his butt, which I blew and kissed. Then he asked me the same, kissed me where he spanked me – my back, my forehead, my face (he spanked me a lot of times!).

It really takes a tough woman to be a mother. It takes a tougher woman to be the mommy of a 2 year old.

Sometimes when we are very tired, motherhood can take a hold in us. We feel tired and overwhelmed at times. There are days when I feel like I really needed a break from all the mommy chores that I do. And there are days that I just need to be quiet and not do anything, just because. And it’s okay. It’s normal. And we should take a break once in a while.

Toddlerhood is a test of patience, for me, most especially. There are days when I think I know what I am doing, and I believe I am doing a good job. And then there are days when I just lose it. There are days when I just want to break down and cry.

I put Seth to sleep (finally! It was already nap time when all our drama ended). I kissed him and whispered another “mama is very sorry”. I promised myself that I would buy Seth a new toy. And then I prayed. I told myself that I would never, ever, let my exhaustion get in the way of disciplining my child. And then I told God that I’m really, really tired. He’s with me in this battle, after all.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Our words and actions live in our child forever.

8 Lessons I Learned On My 28th.

May is one of the most important months for me, considering that a wonderful creation of God (gee I wonder who that is!) was born on it (wink, wink). If you read my May 2012 post, you’d know that for the longest time, I was not the happiest when May comes. I’ve always been a grinch when it comes to my birth month. But everything¬†changed last year. That’s when I almost lost my life, along with the lives of the two most important people of my life- my mom and my husband.

Early this year, I was really excited for May. I filed for a week-long birthday leave because well, I just knew that I will be enjoying my May.

And you know what? Surprise, surprise! The Lord is consistent with His ‘birthday gift’ to me. He is consistent with His promises. And He is definitely consistent with His lessons.

So allow me please, to share with you 8 lessons I learned from my 28 years of existence. (Sorry, 28 lessons would be too long! :D) Here goes:

LIFE IS SHORT. A month ago, I lost a dear friend. It was April fool’s, and believe me, all of us wished his death was some April fool’s joke. A brother from my spiritual family, Richard, came home to our Maker. His death came as a surprise for most of us, because we never had it coming. I mean who sees a death coming, right? I honestly thought I was done with the whole ‘life is short’ thing because well, my dad died so suddenly. But we can never be prepared for someone’s death. I realized again, even if I had already thought of this before, how short life is. So we must make the most our of our lives. We must restore broken relationships, forgive those who’ve hurt us (even if it pains us so much to do so!), and ask for forgiveness from those we’ve hurt. We must take time to love, to be patient, to understand. Because everything in this world is temporary. And most importantly, we must take time to share the gospel.

WE ARE NEVER TOO OLD FOR SURPRISES. I was disheartened when I learned of Richard’s death but after a few weeks, the Lord surprised me with a month-early birthday present: a little baby wrapped in my belly! ūüôā I’ve always hated surprises (talk about being a super duper grinch) but this is one surprise I wouldn’t trade with anything else! It was the perfect time, I swear- with all that’s been going around us.. around me. I was actually feeling hopeless for a time as I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately.. but my early birthday present came just when I needed it the most! It gave me hope and, well, life! ūüôā

WE MUST DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE.¬† This¬†is such a challenge, I know! It’s my first year being married and I am still a work in progress. I guess I always will be, huh?¬†My husband inspires me to do things out of love. I am not the easiest person to spend the rest of your life with but my husband’s love for me becomes the motivator for him to do things for me. His love for me, and him doing everything in love, teaches me to be more loving, selfless, and understanding.¬†Doing everything in love, not only as a wife, but as a daughter, a sister, a friend makes doing the hardest things a little bit easier, if not at all easy-breezy.

RELAX, IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.¬†I have always been a control freak. I always make sure everything goes well, and though I consider myself flexible, I sometimes freak out when things don’t go my way. I always want to know “so what’s next?”, “where do we go from here?” ,¬†or¬†“now what??”. I always want answers even before questions arise. I read on a blog once that “You may be uncomfortable with the uncertainty, but some of the best things in life are born from those times of being open to new opportunities.”¬†Being obsessive-compulsive is not at all bad, but there are times when we just need to breathe, relax, and take things slow.

PEOPLE YOU LOVE WILL HURT AND DISAPPOINT YOU.¬†I always put my faith in people. I always make sure I give someone the benefit of the doubt, and I refuse to think ill of others, unless otherwise seen and proven by my very eyes. Unfortunately, the people we choose to love hurt us the most. The people whom we think deserve our trust least deserve it. Either they betray us or do something that we never thought they can do to us. But such is life. People make mistakes… even the ones we love.

FORGIVENESS IS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE A  CHOICE. OUR CHOICE. While we may read books or instructional stuff to tell us how to forgive (in detail!), forgiveness must start within us. We must choose to forgive, and yes, to forget.

FAMILY ALWAYS COMES FIRST.¬†We have always been a closely-knit family. We go through stuff together, discuss issues and share our opinions, and resolve our differences. It is a bit crazy how we can’t afford to schedule dates or appointments on Sunday because first, it is Church day, and second, because it is family day… but I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else. My family has been with me all throughout my highest and lowest. Family sticks with you until the end.

LIFE IS A BLESSING. I guess to sum everything up, we must always remember that life is definitely a blessing. I mean, this is a birthday entry after all! ūüėÄ How often do we take our lives for granted, and how often do we regret our shoulda-woulda-couldas? Life is a blessing. Comedian¬†Ogie Diaz always says, “every¬†gising is a blessing!” And that is so true! Life’s a gift.

Oh, here’s a little gallery of how my year was spent. ūüôā I may not always be where I want to be but I am certain that I am where God wants me to be. And that makes all the difference.

Thank you Jesus, for the gift of new life! And thank you, for being part of my happy 28 years!

Best Birthday Gift Ever.

If you really knew me, you’d not be surprised if I tell you I’m a little grinch when it comes to my birthday. That is because, as conceited as I may seem most of the time (tee-hee), I don’t really want the attention. I just want my birthday to be a normal day, a day when I can take a break from work and just be with my loved ones.¬†This sort of feeling started when I entered 25. Party sort of stopped for a while and I thought that the best way to spend my day is just relax, rest, and get the day over with. But as you know, it never was like that. Most of my birthdays I was either stressed with work or with whatever. Days before my previous birthdays, I would really feel depressed because you know how birthdays just remind you of your could-have-beens and whatnot? That’s the feeling I had been feeling ever since the 25th birthday came.

Maybe it was just quarter-life crisis. Whatever.

But it was different this year. Like waaaaay too different. I stopped being the ugly grinch who dreaded her birthday. I wasn’t just excited for my birthday to come; I was EXUBERANT. I was super giddy, like a child who’s counting days before her birthday finally comes. You see, when this year started, I declared this year to be my year. I declared that good things are gonna happen, and that God will reveal a lot to me. I declared that there is no more room for the silly depressing moods I had been having like the former years. I declared this year to be THE YEAR.

Most importantly, I declared that something huge is gonna happen when I turn 27.

And apparently, I need not wait for my birthday to come before the revelation began.

Two weeks before my 27th, I witnessed and experienced a hold-up inside a jeepney. It was my second time; the first was when I was in first year college, also inside the jeepney. And if you think that having experienced a hold-up already¬†trims down the anxiety, man, you’re wrong. Because it only made everything worst. The fear and trauma doubled, or maybe even tripled. It was the worst feeling ever. Up until now, I would never be caught riding jeepneys anymore.

So yeah, it was a Sunday- just a couple of days before my birthday when the incident happened, and already people are telling me that “maybe God wanted you to buy a new celfone…” “that’s just a celfone. What’s important is that you’re alive.”

I never thought I’d hear those words so soon again.

The day that I turned 27, I woke up to a¬†horrifying scene: WE WERE ROBBED INSIDE OUR HOUSE. An akyat-bahay gang entered our house while we were asleep. I had work that night but there was just this feeling that was forcing me not to go to work that night. I didn’t really plan to be absent that night because as you know, I am beginning a new chapter in my life (new work, venturing to other things, career-shift, etc.), so I was really trying to be a good employee. But that day my eyes were swollen because they were irritated, all thanks to my contacts. BUT THERE WAS REALLY THIS SPIRIT THAT WAS PULLING ME FROM COMING TO WORK THAT NIGHT. And so I didn’t go to work. THANK GOD FOR THAT. Hans, my lovely fiance, was there at home- he was gonna spend a week there because it was Summer Camp week at church and we were both BS/Small Group Leaders. Thank God for that, too!

Hans and I watched DVD until 12 midnight. There were just three of us at home: Mom, Hans and I. At 12 Hans already said good night, and he entered his room. I sleep beside mom, but I stayed at the sala until around 1am, doing faceboook, thanking my greeters (it was already my birthday!). I was also doing research as to places where Hans and I could date because well, it was my last year to be single (another reason why there was this excitement). Mom woke up, went to the restroom to urinate, and asked for Milo because she’s feeling a bit dizzy. I entered our room at 1am, and made sure the doors were properly locked.

I usually wake up around 3am and I did wake up that night, only that time I refused to look at my celfone to see the time. AND AGAIN, THANK GOD FOR THAT! I never really knew what time that was but I woke up because I heard mom walking or talking. I checked mom, who was on the other bed, and she was peacefully asleep, and so I went back to sleep. I remember looking at the door which was already wide open with the lights on outside. I never suspected anything because mom usually wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom and I thought it was just one of those nights.

At 5:18 in the morning, mom woke me up, and she was really shaking. She was telling me that somebody entered our house and took all our money and bags and laptops. I was super shocked but I could not open my eyes for a while. When I finally stood up, I ran to the room where Hans was sleeping and woke him up to check if he was okay. He was okay, thank God. We ran to the window where mom was standing and saw the window grills and screen broken. There was a hole where a small man can fit and apparently that was the hole the robber used as his entrance and exit.

I went to our (mine and mom’s) bedroom and surveyed the scene: there was a knife by the floor of the door, our knife, which obviously the robber would use to stab us in case we wake up. There was a belt by mom’s pillow that we figured would be used by the robber for mom in case she wakes up. Mom’s 2 celfones which were placed on my bed, by my foot were stolen. Her bag, which was in our room was taken as well. Our bags were found by the window, mine was inside, Hans’ and mom’s were outside the hole.

Hans iPhone, which was beside him wasn’t stolen, among a camera which was inside the room where Hans slept. We figured that the “insider” did not know there was a man inside the house and he probably got scared when he saw Hans so he didn’t risk taking things from that room.

Our money, 3 laptops and celfones were stolen. My celfones which were not-so-techie (I was robbed a week before, so there) were beside me and were not stolen (yep. The robbers knew what they were doing).

We were told that the insiders probably used a “spray” on us which was why we didn’t wake up. We were told it was chloroform, as manifested by mom’s rashes and our drowsiness after the event.

Mom hugged me inside our room and she said sorry that this had to happen on the day of my birthday. She smiled and told me to consider that those are my gifts to those people because it’s my birthday.

I was really in a state of shock. It was the first time that we were ever robbed, and it was the first time that I felt that feeling. I couldn’t smile, couldn’t react, couldn’t even feel a thing. When the police came and asked a couple of questions, I displayed what we nurses call flat affect. No emotions. No whatnots.

Several other people came, including some of our churchmates who were concerned. When they left, it was just Hans and I (mom attended an activity in church. Yep, the incident didn’t stop her from serving the Lord). Hans and I prayed, and we were blessing the robbers and their families. We were forgiving them. That was when tears rolled down my eyes. I let out a heavy cry. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t depressed because I had to celebrate my birthday this way.

I was crying because I was thanking God because we were still alive.

You know, most people receive (and ask for) money, a new laptop, a new celfone for their birthdays. I lost mine before my birthday. And instead of receiving new ones, I received the best gift ever.

I was given the gift of life.

Life for me, life for Hans, life for Mom.

And I could never, not in a million years, ask for any other gift but that.

What a Pleasant Surprise!

Two months ago, I posted this as my Facebook status:¬†DEATH MAKES THE MEANING OF LIFE MORE MEANINGFUL.¬†I didn’t just make up the saying. It came from someone I know so well.. and it came as a surprise to me and my mom.

Not everybody knows that my dad loved to write. All of his sermons, as a matter of fact, were handwritten. He did not like typing it; he wanted to use his pen and bond paper that he would always fold in half. My mom and I always suggested that we type it and print out his sermons for him but he never liked the idea. He wanted them done his way- he did not want to lose his ‘personal touch’. There was actually this one time- my mom and I printed out his sermon and he got mad at us because there were a lot of typo errors on it. He said he’ll never let us do that again. Haha.

Because he loved to write so much, he wrote everywhere. Like seriously. We used to fight all the time because all the telephone stands that we’ve had had his handriting on them- somebody’s telephone number, a caller’s message for someone in the house, a reminder. One time, he wrote on one of my books because he needed to write somewhere and there was no paper in sight so he grabbed the first ‘thing with paper’ and alas! there was my book. He wrote there. I remember my reaction when I opened the book and saw his handwriting on it. Iit was such a funny scene so instead of getting mad I just laughed at what he did. Haha.

Now back to the status.

Two months ago month my mom was browsing through dad’s ‘all original handwritten’ sermons. We actually have a project: we are going to compile all his sermons and put them in a book (I know, we are so behind. Just you wait, we’ll have it done in no time). While browsing, she found something and right then and there she called me and told me that she’s gonna show me something as long as I promise not to cry. She knows me too well- I am such a crybaby. So I went to her and she showed me a piece of torn newspaper with something on it, something that made me break my promise to my mom…..

At that moment, I cried. And then my mom who was holding her tears held them no more. We were both letting out silent sobs. We were reminded of how dad’s death brought such wonderful meaning to our lives… I was reminded of how sudden his death was and how his death made me realize a lot of things. I was reminded of how his death made me realize to never take anyone, especially my mom, for granted.

I know it’s such a cliche whenever people say to¬†always show the people you love how much you love them… because you’ll never forgive yourself once they’re gone, but I’m sorry, you’ll hear it from me again:¬†never miss out a chance to show your love to people especially your parents because you’ll never know how long they will be around.¬†

Days from now will be dad’s 2ND¬†year death anniversary and today, I look back at how his life brought such meaning to my life and how his¬†death made the meaning of my life even more meaningful.¬†

Lord, thank you for a life well-lived by Dada. Thank you for giving me a father who followed your example. Thank you for reminding me how deaths do not bring sadness but joy. Thank you for reminding me how meaningful my life has been because of how great a father I have.

I love you, dad. Happy death anniversary.