Friday, May 25, 2012


I feel that God has been putting me and my husband in suspense because of the concerns we’ve been facing these past months.  We have been praying for three major concerns since we made the leap of faith to obey the Lord.  Just like in the past, God inspired me during my times of prayer to meditate on His Words and act on them out of obedience.  I shared the inspiration with my husband and he affirmed God’s promptings to me with his support.

I had been praying fervently for these concerns especially yesterday when it dawned on me that God might answer our prayers at the eleventh hour or at the last minute.  It can be unsettling; but as I recall the countless times that He has delivered me and my family from many troubling situations, peace rested in my soul once more. 

This morning, God spoke to me through a brother in the faith and a Christian song he shared with me entitled While I’m Waiting by John Waller from the movie Fireproof.  I have seen the movie Fireproof but this song did not strike me then.  Today, as I listen to the song and meditate on the lyrics, my heart can’t help but jump for joy.  The song sums up what I’m currently going through.  It also tells what I’m doing while I’m waiting for God to answer my prayers.

As I write this reflection now, God reminds me of my baby Mateo and one of the games he likes to play – peek-a-boo.  God reminds me through this simple game that there is something wonderful waiting for me after the veil of suspense is lifted.  He reminded me of Mateo’s beautiful smile every time we play this game and I say “boo” after I show him my face.  Sometimes, he not only smiles, he even giggles with delight as he sees my face again.  God reminds me through this game with my baby that every time He puts me or my family in suspense, it’s like we are playing peek-a-boo with Him.  He gives us a peek of the wonderful things He has in store for us.  He covers or hides it for a while.  Then, He surprises us again by showing His face.  And when we recognize God in our circumstances again, we smile and sometimes cry out of joy and relief. 

I’m excited to see God’s face and His surprise.  This new song I learned and new insight I have strengthens my commitment to serve and worship God even as I wait in suspense.  It gives my heart not only peace but excitement as well as I wait in joyful anticipation for God to lift His veil.  Suddenly, the simple game of peek-a-boo has new meaning to me. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Big Carrot and Baby Carrot Painting

First art work together of Yanthy and Mateo.
Yesterday marked Yanthy and Mateo’s first art work together. Since it was also Mateo’s first time to eat carrots, I thought of doing this art activity with both of them. It’s very simple.

First, I showed Yanthy how to come up with the color orange. I showed him that by mixing the paints red and yellow, we will have an orange paint. It’s amusing even to me as the red and yellow paints fused to become orange. This was not only an art activity but a science activity as well.

After that, I painted one of Yanthy’s feet with the orange paint and asked him to step on the bond paper. To make sure that most of the paint on his foot would transfer to the paper, we counted up to 20 before I asked him to lift his foot. So, we got to practice counting, too.

Then, it’s Mateo’s turn. While our helper was cleaning Yanthy’s foot and removing the paint, I painted Mateo’s foot orange. I then pressed the bond paper (with a magazine to support it at the back) on Mateo’s foot. Viola! There is now a baby carrot beside Yanthy’s big carrot.

For the leaves, I asked Yanthy what finger he would like to use to paint the leaves on his big carrot. He chose his index finger. I helped him dip it on green paint and guided his finger until he has finished putting leaves on his carrot.

It’s Mateo’s turn again. I painted Mateo’s big toe instead of his finger for the leaves on his baby carrots because Mateo like to suck his fingers. I wanted to be safe so no finger painting yet for him. After pressing his big toe thrice, we finished our simple carrot art activity.

I was very happy to have an activity where both Mateo and Yanthy can join. It may be simple but it gave all three of us an opportunity to bond together especially the brothers. The bonus treat is that with this art work, I was able to document Mateo’s foot print on his sixth month and compare it side by side with his big brother’s who is now three and a half. This activity encourages me to think of more activities we can do together in the future to help strengthen the bond between my sons. I pray that God would provide me with plenty of inspiration as we go along.

Tiptoe to Put Placemats

Crochet placemat made by my mom.
I remember when my eldest son was still a toddler and he could hardly reach our dining table. He would tiptoe just to help me put our placemats on our table. He’s such a sweet and helpful little boy.

As I lovingly recalled those times, I asked God why He reminded me of them. What lesson does He want me to learn?

This was what He taught me: A lot of times, you need to stretch yourself to achieve your goals or fulfill your dreams. Do not be intimidated if right now they seem to be beyond your reach. Learn from the example of your son who tiptoed to reach your dining table and put your placemats. What “dining table” are you trying to reach now? What “placemat” are you trying to put in place? What kind of stretching is required of you now to achieve your goal or dream?

Wow! What powerful insight and lesson from a seemingly simple act! And yet, they are so true especially to me at this time of my life. I feel that God is really stretching me and pushing me out of my comfort zone. With this new insight, He is encouraging me again to go beyond my perceived limits about myself and my abilities.

How about you, my dear Mommy friend? Is God also asking you to “tiptoe” now? Do you feel intimidated or afraid because that “dining table” seems too high? Come, join me. Let us lift our little hands to the Father and ask for grace so we could stretch our selves some more. Let us not give up on “putting our placemats.” God says to us, “Just keep trying. Don’t lose heart. You can do it! Stretch some more and soon you’ll put it in place.”

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” - Galatians 6:9

Mommy TG

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Recommended Books for Mother and Child Bonding on Mother’s Day and Beyond

Reading aloud to my kids is one of my favorite bonding activities with my children.  It has helped me form a special bond with my eldest son, Yanthy, who is now three years old.  Reading with me has been one of the activities he looks forward to growing up.  He loves to sit on my lap or lie down beside me as we read in bed or in an armchair.  I also discovered that it is one of the best ways he learns from me. 

So, armed with these lessons and experiences, I read aloud to my newborn baby, Mateo.  He has also shown appreciation for our reading sessions as early as now.  He responds to me by cooing and smiling, sometimes laughing, as I read to him stories from different children’s books.  Reading aloud to them therefore is one of the things I planned to do with my children to we celebrate Mother’s Day last Sunday.  Armed with my list of recommended books, we went to the bookstore for our search of the best book for our mother-child bonding.  I planned to buy at least one from my list.  True enough, only one book from my list was available at Powerbooks Megamall branch when we went there last Sunday afternoon.

I was disappointed at first when I found out that only one book from my long list of recommended books was available.  I soon discovered why when we got home and I was able to read on my own before reading it to my kids.

The book I bought last Sunday for our Mother’s Day reading and bonding time was LOVE YOU FOREVER.  It tells the story of a mom who consistently showed her love for her child from the time that he was still a baby until he grew to be a man with his own family.  It also showed the challenges encountered by the mom as her child grew older from being a toddler to a teenager. 

I was teary eyed as I read the book the first time.  I could relate to the mom when she was dealing with her son during his toddler years.  What moved me the most was how she showed her steadfast love and faithfulness to her son in spite of all the troubles, problems, headaches and heartaches through the years.  I felt God challenging me to be this kind of mom to my children especially to my eldest son who is now three years old.  I love my eldest son very much but he sometimes “drives me crazy” in the words of the mom in the story.  At the end of the day though, I still would love to cuddle with him and tell him I love him before he goes to sleep.

I read the book to my sons with my husband.  I thank God for the inspiration my husband gave by singing the song portion of the story to the tune of Barney’s “I love you” song.  Yesterday, I already heard my little boy sing the song as he played with his baby brother.  I was amazed at how fast he has learned it considering that I only read it to him twice.  I can’t remember the lines well yet but he does.

Then, last night, as we read in bed once more.  I felt peace in my heart as I read and rocked my sons “back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.”  I felt God tell me that He chose that book for me and my sons this Mother’s Day so I would be inspired to follow in that mom’s footsteps and so that my eldest son would know that whatever happens, like the mom in the story, I will love him forever.  This is a very timely message to my eldest son because although his baby brother has been with us for six months now, he is still acting up every now and then.  I guess he’s still dealing with the mixed emotions that he feels for having a younger sibling that lessens somehow my time with him.  I was glad that we found this book at this time.  Through the story, my eldest son will learn that he will always be my baby even when he grows up to be a big boy, a teenager and eventually into a man.   I pray that both of us will learn our lessons from this simple book filled with beautiful images of mother and son bonding.  Now, I know why this book had good reviews from many readers.  You may click here to read more about it, including reviews of other readers, from 

Let me end by sharing with you the ten (10) books in my list in alphabetical order.  I still plan to go to other bookstores to find these books in the future.  I hope I can find copies of them at the most perfect time, at the time that God ordains me and my children to learn the lessons from these wonderful books.  In case you find any of these books in a bookstore in Manila, kindly let me know by sending me a message so I too can get a copy. 

1.    Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman. Click here for a review from
2.    God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant.
3.    Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.  Click here for a review from
4.    I Love My Mommy by Sebastien Braun
5.    Just Me and My Mom by Mercer Mayer
6.    My Mommy and Me by Tina Macnaughton
7.    Love You Forever: The Best of Robert Munsch
8.    Mommy Carry Me Please by Jane Cabrera.
9.    Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
10. Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds.
Happy reading and happy bonding with your kids!  Because every day is Mother’s Day when you spend it loving the child God blessed you with.   

Pillow for Mommy

My shoulder and back muscles were already tense and aching.  I had been sitting in front of the computer for hours.  I was having difficulty writing a project proposal.  I was not in the flow.  Words did not come easily unlike in the recent writing assignments I finished days ago. 

Then, as I stared at my unfinished proposal, I saw my three year old son running towards me with a pillow from our bedroom.  He said, “For you, Mommy.  For your back.”  He placed it on the backrest of my chair and pushed me to lean on it.  I felt like crying and smiling at the same time.  How did my son know that I was already having back aches?  I did not tell him.  He was in the bedroom playing with his baby brother and our house help.

My three year old son, Yanthy, with a pillow from our bedroom.

But I knew,” said God.  Yes, God knew I was tired.  God knew that I needed rest.  I felt God tell me through my son’s gesture of kindness that I need to rest not only my tired body, but my tired soul as well.  “I am in control.  When things do not happen as you expect, I am still in control.  When the things that you work hard for don’t give you the results that you want, remember that I am in control.  When you are faced with a blank computer screen and it’s already your deadline, I am still in control.  Do not worry.  Do not dwell in your disappointment.  Instead, rest in me. Let me take over.”  That was God’s powerful message to me yesterday through my son and the pillow he gave me.

I kissed my son and embraced him.  I thanked him for being sensitive and thoughtful.  I thanked him that he took the initiative to give me a pillow even though I did not ask for it.  I rested in his embrace and then leaned on the pillow to rest my back and rest my soul.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Are you tired, too?  Do you also have things to do that remain undone or deadlines that are unmet?  Did you work hard for something and you did not get the result that you want?  Dear Mommy friend, let’s lean on God and rest in Him.  Let’s offer up our concerns to Him in prayer and let God’s peace flow into our minds and hearts.  Let’s give to God what is beyond our control at this time.  Then, let’s wait patiently for God to turn things around for us. 

Say this with me, “God is in control. I have time to rest my weary soul.”

Mommy TG 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Remain in Christ. Bear Fruit. Glorify God.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (John 15:5, 7-8)

“Remain in Me,” said Christ. To remain in Christ is not easy. A lot of times it is inconvenient. It’s challenging. It’s difficult. It’s painful. Maybe that’s one reason why Christ exhorts us to REMAIN in Him. Do you think Christ would tell us to do that if it were easy and natural for us?

I personally experience the challenge of remaining in Christ every day. There are days when the challenge is not that great. But there are also days when the challenge to remain in Christ brings me to my knees and moves me to cry buckets of tears. There were countless times in the past when I wanted to leave His side because I thought and felt that my life would be easier and less complicated that way. Sometimes I just feel tired doing things in the way God wants me to. But thanks be to God that He never fails to enlighten me and make me see that it is better (it is best actually) for me to remain in Him. Thank God for the grace to choose to remain in His Son, Jesus, who gives me strength to do what I many times think is impossible or difficult.

Bear fruit. Bear MUCH fruit. Meditating on the Gospel today humbles me and gives me confidence at the same time. It humbles me to remember that apart from Christ, I can do nothing. I may be doing MUCH now but ALL these I am able to do only because Christ is my strength and He enables me. it gives me confidence too because I know that as long as I remain in Christ, I need not be afraid to do all that God asks me to do. I may sometimes feel inadequate, inexperienced and ill-equipped. But Christ tells me today, just like in the past, that all I need is to remain in Him and what I think or feel to be beyond me and my capabilities are not beyond His power and influence. What comforting and empowering words from Jesus!

I remember one of the presentations I gave this year. I recounted all the accomplishments that God blessed me with. Some of those who listened to my sharing thought that what I did was inappropriate. Some thought that I was bragging. They failed to see that I was simply pointing out that if it were only me, I wouldn’t have accomplished all those things. I did not study for those things. Compared to many, I would be considered inexperienced. But because God was the hand behind my every endeavor, they turned out to be successful. Do I take credit for them? No! I only bore much fruit because I had the right connection. I was connected to Jesus. If not for Jesus and His strength, I would not be able to accomplish all that I had accomplished in my life.

I was moved to shed tears of joy on my birthday this year when on that day as I attended a Holy Week retreat, the speaker enumerated his accomplishments as well. It was Good Friday and my husband and I were attending day 2 of our retreat. I felt God consoling me and negating the lies of the devil as the speaker give his talk in a similar manner as I did months ago. I felt God tell me that He knows my heart and that He knows my real intention in sharing all our accomplishments. Yes, I say OUR because I believe that it was not me only who worked on those accomplishments. God helped me. God equipped me. I was struck the most when the speaker said as he enumerated his accomplishments through the years, “Sinasabi ko po ito sa inyo hindi dahil nagyayabang ako. (I’m not sharing these because I’m bragging/boasting.) Sinasabi ko po ito para malaman ninyo na kung hindi dahil kay God hindi ko mararating ang mga narrating ko o magagawa ang mga nagagawa ko ngayon. (I’m sharing these with you to tell you that if not for God, I won’t be able to go to all the places I’ve been to or do all that I am doing today.)” Wow! My heart leapt for joy! I felt embraced by God. I felt God defending me against the lies of the enemy. It was as if God was silencing the enemy as He refutes the enemy’s lies through the people who were discouraging me from sharing how God has used me and blessed my life.

Then the speaker proceeded to quote a verse from Scripture: “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

That is so true. When I share about the things that God has enabled me to do and accomplish, it is because I want to testify to God’s goodness and power in my life. I want to give back the glory to Him. I want to point out to others what was obvious to me – that if it was only me, I wouldn’t be successful in those endeavors. It was really grace from God.

The speaker then proceeded to explain the verse. As he explained it further, I felt God building my confidence once more and commissioning me to keep on sharing my story so that others would believe that nothing is impossible with God. The devil was not happy with what I was doing because those who would hear could be inspired to take courage as well to pursue the dreams that God has planted in their hearts.

I was also reminded by God that when we carry Him in our hearts, we cannot help but shine the light of Christ. We shine not for ourselves but to give light to those who need to see the light and to lead others to Jesus, the source of all light. We shine to give glory to God our Father who bestows favors upon us.

GLORIFY GOD. Has the enemy silenced me? No. My God would not let him. In fact, God has given me more opportunities to testify for Him. God has given me more opportunities to yield to His grace and His strength as I say yes to the many assignments He is giving me these days. Again, am I boasting? I only boast of what the Lord is doing in my life. On my own, I have nothing to boast because all that I have came from Him. That truth sets my feet firmly on the ground. But that truth also lets my heart and my spirit soar because it blows my mind that the God of the universe chooses to use someone as insignificant and imperfect as me.

So as a grateful response to God’s exceeding goodness to me, I choose to REMAIN in Him, bear MUCH FRUIT for Him, and give Him GLORY with my life. I continue to use whatever time, talent and treasure He has blessed me with to do the good works He puts before me so that I can shine His light and glorify Him.

Let me end by sharing this song that was sang during my birthday in the retreat I attended. The title of the song is All About Your Glory by Tommy Walker.

That is the prayer of my heart… that everything I do would bring glory to His name.  If this song has inspired you too to give glory to God with your life, you may click here to learn the chords and the lyrics.

“Dear Lord, let me bear fruit as You see fit. Grant me the grace to allow You to work through me.” (from Didache)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Princess-themed Kiddie Party for God’s Favorites

I had a nagging feeling to celebrate my birthday this year in an extra special way.  I kept thinking about how I’m going to celebrate my birthday this year even around a couple of months before my actual birthday.  But the inspiration to have a kiddie party in an orphanage came to mind only a few weeks prior to my birthday when I read a story in Kerygma, a Catholic magazine.  The writer (Rissa Singson-Kawpeng) shared that she was inspired to throw a party at an orphanage because of this Bible passage:
“When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.  But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)

The name of orphanage we visited.
As soon as I read her story, I wasted no time to contact Tito Rey Ortega (Executive Director of the orphanage) to ask permission to celebrate my birthday at Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home (for girls) in Pasig.  This is one of the ministries that we in the Kerygma Family and the Light of Jesus Community support.  I was very happy when Tito Rey said yes.  He gave me the number of the orphanage in Pasig and got in touch with those in charge.  I was told that the next available date was April 28 from 10 am to 1 pm.  It was already far from the actual date of my birthday, which incidentally fell on Good Friday this year, but I didn’t mind.  I was already happy to be given this opportunity.

My birthday banner

Even before I got the confirmation to have my birthday party at the orphanage, I already had an idea on what the theme of the party will be.  It would be a Disney princess-themed party.  Why?  Simply because I know that most, if not all girls, go through that phase when they dream of becoming a princess just like in the fairy tales.  I know this well because I once dreamed of that as a little girl and I had a collection of fairy tales when I was small.  But aside from giving the girls in the orphanage the chance to attend a princess-themed party, I felt that God wants me to share something more.  He wanted me to share with them something more precious, HOPE, LOVE and DIGNITY. 

I was inspired by God to share these three BIG MESSAGES to the girls in the orphanage:
1.    You may be dreaming of becoming a princess but in truth you already are; because you are God’s daughter.  And God our Father is no ordinary King.  He is the King of Kings. 
2.    You are beautiful and you are loved because God created you and He loves you. 
3.    There is hope for you because God will be there to help you in your needs and He will send people to bring you the help you need.
My challenge was how to communicate these messages to the children in a way that they will understand and in Filipino.  I prayed for guidance and inspiration and God answered my prayers.
God helped me come up with this program with the help of my husband and friends who signified that they could come and help me during my birthday outreach.  Below is the program I came up with for our Disney princess-themed kiddie party:

·     Creative Storytelling of the fairy tale Cinderella with question and answer portion after. – This story was chosen to give the girls hope that their dreams can come true and that they are not really alone.  Just like Cinderella, there will be friends who will come along to help them.  My husband and I chose Filipino songs that we can use to help me tell the story to the girls aside from the original song sung by Cinderella in the Disney movie.  These were May Bukas Pa popularized by the soap opera Santino and a song that we sing during Masses, Huwag Kang Mangamba.  My friend Raquel suggested that I tell the kids before I begin the story that they need to listen well because I will be asking questions afterwards and they can win a prize.  I also had some props like a fairy tale book, a crown, a magic wand, a shawl and shiny high-heeled shoes to help me spice up my storytelling.

Storytelling time with the birthday girl - ME!

My husband played the guitar;
 while my friend, Cynthia, played the violin.
So as we planned it, I told the story in Filipino and at some points of the story, we sang some songs.  My husband led the singing for the song May Bukas Pa after I told the girls the part of the story wherein Cinderella was crying in her room because she was already an orphan and her stepmother and stepsisters were maltreating her.  

I sang Cinderella’s song A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes when Cinderella learned about the party of the prince.  And when Cinderella accepted the prince’s marriage proposal, my husband sang Huwag Kang Mangamba to communicate to the girls that now Cinderella has a new family again in the prince.  She’s no longer alone.  The prince will be there to take care of her and defend her.

Using my magic wand as I told the story.
The girls who answered my questions correctly afterwards got prizes.

·      Cinderella Goes to Party. – This is a modified version of the relay game Maria Went to Market.  The girls were divided into smaller groups and each team was given a crown, shawl and a small bag.  The girls need to run to the monobloc chair with the props for the game, put them on, catwalk or walk like a model to the circle that is drawn on the ground using a chalk. 

 Kids listen to instructions for
the Cinderella goes to party game.
    Once in the circle, they are to pose before running back and removing the props they had put on, leave them again in the chair and the go to the end of the line so that the girl next in line will do the same.  The first group who finishes wins the game.

During Cinderella goes to party game.
·   Treasure Hunt. – After the relay game, the smaller girls were divided into two small groups and I explained that they are to help Cinderella find her things for the party which were hidden around the house.  I enumerated the items they need to find: necklace, bracelet, bag, shiny shoe.  I pretended to be Cinderella wearing a crown, a shawl and one shiny shoe.  The first group to bring me the most number of items in the treasure hunt wins.

·      Decorate Your Own Crown/Tiara Art Activity. – The next activity was meant to slow down the girls and let them catch their breath.  We brought out the art materials for the activity.  We had a white cartolina and a white board cut into crowns with different shapes.  These were distributed to the girls along with stickers, stamps, glitter pens, crayons and colored pencils.  We also had paper clips and tape to help them fix their crowns.  

Busy working on their masterpieces.

    Even my three-year-old son participated and made his own crown.  Then, when it’s picture-taking time, he also had his picture taken as I introduced him as Prince Yanthy.  What fun!
Prince Yanthy with a crown that he made.
·        Photo Ops or Picture-taking with their crowns. – I told the girls that once they finish their crowns, they are to pose by the table where our party food is set up and my friend photographer Ricky Pascual, will take their pictures one by one.  To make it extra special too, I pretended to have a trumpet and announced each time a girl lines up for the photo ops: “Announcing the arrival of Princess ______________!”  I called out each one of them as princesses.  I plan to have their solo pictures printed out and sent back to the girls as their souvenir and my thank you card to them. 

This little princess proudly wears her crown.

·       Eating time. – Instead of the kids lining up, the volunteers served the food and drinks to them.  It was just a simple menu of spaghetti, fried chicken, strawberry cup cake with candy sprinkles on top, ice cream in cones, cake and apple-flavored iced tea.  

The party food

Ice cream time
     The staff in the orphanage also cooked some rice so that those who want to eat rice can have some.  The volunteers and orphanage staff had the same food except that there was additional lumpiang shanghai.

·      Distribution of give-aways. – My original plan was to creatively distribute the loot bags through a game called Pass Cinderella’s Shiny Shoe wherein there will be music played in the background and a shiny shoe is passed from one girl to the next while the girls sit in a big circle.  When the music stops, the girl holding the shiny shoe will be given a loot bag.  But since the music player in the orphanage is not in good condition, we just distributed the loot bags by age group.

Receiving their Disney princess-themed loot bags.

·     Songs for the Girls. – After all the girls got their loot bags, they were treated to some songs.  My husband sang some songs while he played the guitar and my friend Cynthia played the violin.  

My husband George
      Then, I led the girls in singing an action with the following lyrics:
You are beautiful.  You are loved.  You are forgiven by the mercy of God.
The girls were asked to get a partner first as they imitate my actions.  Then, they need to find a new partner when we sing it again.  I taught them how to say “you are beautiful” in sign language. Then when we sang you are loved, we embraced our partner.  We sang it a number of times so that the girls would be hugged repeatedly that day by me or a friend.
·  Closing Prayer. – I led the closing prayer where I tried to relate the lessons in Cinderella’s story to our lives.  I said in my prayer that may we not forget that though we do not have a fairy godmother like Cinderella, we have God our Father who helps us and watches over us and who sends us friends who helps us in our needs.  I also prayed that we would not lose hope and not give up our dreams easily but trust that God could make them come true if they are best for us.  I prayed in Filipino of course.

It took me a week to finalize the details of the party and source the suppliers.  It’s a good thing that I had planned parties including kiddie parties in the past.  It made it easier although my schedule was still jam-packed two days prior to the event. 

My princess-themed birthday cake
did not only look nice.
It was also yummy!
To make my life easier, I ordered cooked spaghetti from Amber’s branch in Mandaluyong and hearts and blossoms cake with Disney Princess cake topper from Goldilocks and asked them to deliver the food to the orphanage.  We bought chicken drumsticks and frozen lumpia from the grocery and asked my maid to cook them.  I bought the fairy tale book, name tags, art materials, prizes and giveaways which were mainly food items from the grocery too.  

It was also good that I found balloons and balloon sticks in the department store of the mall near our place.  I just borrowed a pump from one of my friends who volunteered to join the outreach.  Then, I asked one of my maids to buy the Disney Princess-themed party decors (banner and banderitas) and the loot bags I reserved from a store that sells party needs near our place also.

It was a very good experience not just for the girls in the orphanage but for my family and friends as well.  We all had a great time! It was also a dream come true for me. I have dreamed of having a princess-themed birthday party when I was a little girl but we didn't have much money when I was growing up. That day, my childhood dream came true and what made it more meaningful was that I got to share it with little girls who might not also have a chance to have one if I didn't organize this party for them. 

Group picture with the kids, my family and my friends.

Enjoying my time with the kids.
And all of us look forward to visiting the orphanage again next time including my friend’s little girl who found new friends in the orphanage.  According to my friend, her daughter was inspired to celebrate her next birthday in the orphanage also so she can share her blessings to the less fortunate.

In case you are inspired by this post to celebrate your birthday in a charitable institution, here is a list of some of the ministries we have in the Light of Jesus Community and Kerygma Family.
If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! (Proverbs 28:27)

When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord -- and he pays wonderful interest on your loan! (Proverbs 19:17)

·   Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home (for girls) – This is located in Barangay Oranbo in Pasig near the Valle Verde Country Club and Oranbo Elementary School.  You may call 9014490 to get in touch with Sister Elvie, FCJ, Reena Mae or Menchie. 
·      Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home (for boys) – This is in Barangay San Antonio in Francisco del Monte, Quezon City.  Their contact number is 4414931.  You may look for Sister Anastacia Puji Hastuti, SSCC, Jinky or Ruby.
·   Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home (for abandoned babies) – This is in Barangay Barangka, Ilaya, Mandaluyong.  You may call Delfin/Gloria Viola, Angel Membrado or Dhee Almoite at 6648992 to inquire.
·       He Cares Foundation Street Children Caring Center (our street kids ministry) – You may contact Joe Dean or Ardis  Sola at 9288910 or 4530100.
·       Grace to be Born Center (for women with unwanted pregnancies or pregnant women in crisis) – This is also in Pasig at Dr. Sixto Antionio, Barangay Kapasigan.  You may contact Rey and Myrna Ortega at 9101895, 6356056 and 5010965.
·       Anawim (home for the abandoned elderly) – This is in Barangay San Isidro, Rodriguez, Montalban, Rizal.  You may call 7105273 or Tim Duran at 6552219.
If you want to donate to the ministries that the Kerygma Family supports, kindly click here to find out more.
Let me end with some Bible verses:
Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. (1 John 3:18)

The happy faces of God's favorites during the party.

Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. (1 Timothy 6:18)
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven - it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well. (1 Timothy 6:19)

Photos courtesy of Ricky Pascual Photography.