Monday, July 29, 2013

Learning the most important lesson in life

Our homeschool activities since summer have been quite irregular. Being consistent with our basic daily activities was even a challenge on some days. Thankfully, I've learned to stress less on following our desired structures and I have learned to embrace more the spontaneity of learning from daily life activities.
Last week, God gave me a glimpse to what my kids had been learning so far even though our homeschool activities are less structured in the past months. And what I witnessed was enough for me not just to be at peace but to be very happy and proud of my sons.
As I've shared yesterday in my post, When Things are At a Stand Still, my husband got sick last week. It has been our practice to pray for someone who is sick in our family by either laying our hand on the person or putting the replica of the Holy Family Icon on the part of the body of the sick person that is painful.
When my sons found out that their Dad is sick, my kids went to our altar right away. My eldest son got the Holy Family Icon while our second child got the rosary. Yanthy (our eldest) placed the icon over his Dads body (which was now shaking because of chills) and read the prayer at the back. Mateo was holding the rosary, doing the sign of the cross and laying his hand on his Dad. It is interesting to note that my eldest is only almost 5 years old and my second child is only 20 months old.
I was a bit worried already with my husband's condition then; seeing my kids pray over their Dad however relieved some of my worry. For deep in my heart I know that our loving Father in heaven can't refuse to hear the pure and fervent prayers of my sons for their Dad.
Looking back, I feel very much content with what my kids know and learned so far at this time. I believe that they have learned the most important lesson in life that I want them to learn. That lesson is that they have a loving God and Father in heaven that they can turn to for help in times of need and that He will not forsake them.
They can forget how to spell some words. They can always look it up using spell check or the dictionary anyway. They can forget to add or subtract. They can use a calculator if needed. If they need some information they can't remember or do not really know, they can look it up in Google.
But this is one lesson I want them to remember for the rest of their life because as long as they remember this, they will be okay. They will survive every storm that will come in their lives because they know who to turn to for help. Their Dad and I as well as their other family members and friends will not be there all the time to help them during their times of need. But God will always be there for them. That's all they really need to remember. That is enough. As St. Teresa of Avila once said, "God alone suffices."
Are you also a parent who homeschools your child? Feel free to share with me the most important lessons that you teach your kids by leaving a comment.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

When things are at a stand still

Have you ever had those days when things suddenly come to a screeching halt because of something else that's very important?
I had those kind of days last week.
My Sweetheart and me
My husband had a medical emergency. He suddenly had a high fever and was having chills one late afternoon that I had to drop everything I was doing to care for him. The following day after the onset of his fever, I thought (he also thought) that he was better. We even prepared for the worship that we were supposed to lead for Feast Ortigas. But while we were discussing about the exhortation and the songs, he suddenly had chills again... They were the kind of chills that moved me to bring him to the emergency room of a hospital. I was already afraid that he contacted dengue or malaria.
He was confined for a few days.
Good thing that the diagnosis was that his fever was due to a viral infection. I felt relieved.
But the many things I needed to do remained UNDONE, UNFINISHED. They were at a STAND STILL. The materials for the Stress Management Workshop I needed to conduct (which I conducted yesterday) and my manuscript for my upcoming book on breastfeeding had to wait.
I could have chosen to bring my laptop with me while watching over him at the hospital. BUT I chose not to.
Deep inside I felt that God had a message for me. I felt that God was teaching or reminding me something through this situation.
So I chose to listen and meditate on whatever I felt God wanted me to learn during those days.
Here are some of my insights. Some of them I already knew. A few are new lessons.
1. When things are at a stand still, it doesn't mean that God is not moving things for us. We don't need to see all the time all that God is doing for us and in us.
2. God sometimes allows road blocks in our journeys to give us time to rest, listen to Him and think. I thank God for those days when I was able to rest and relax with my husband while he was confined in the hospital. I felt that his confinement was a blessing in disguise for we were forced to stop and rest.
3. When medical emergencies happen in our families, we are reminded that our family members are definitely more important than any other deadline or goal. That everything and everyone can take a back seat in the meantime because your loved one is far more important.
4. When things are at a stand still, God is teaching us not only to trust in Him but also to be dependent on Him. These are times when most of us feel helpless. But thanks be to God for those moments because we are reminded that we depend on Him. I praise and thank God that He always proves that He is faithful and oh so dependable.
5. When things are at a stand still, we are somehow forced to smell the roses and to focus on the present moment. We live in the now. I thank God for those days and even the day after my husband was discharged from the hospital. Again, I could have started working again on my materials and many other things that are waiting for me. BUT I chose to linger with my husband and just be present to him.
I have already conducted the Stress Management Workshop for one of my clients yesterday and I praise and thank God that it was successful. I know that if not for His grace, wisdom and help, I would not be able to lead and inspire the participants. The wonderful result of the workshop is another proof that God goes before me always. That He works things out for my good and for the good of my participants even while I was resting and caring for my husband. That when we trust Him to do for us what we cannot do, He gladly fills in the gaps.
Me and my participants posing with their one/two-word big lesson
from the Stress Management Workshop I conducted.
My husband and I were not able to lead the worship at The Feast in Ortigas that Sunday when he was rushed to the emergency room. BUT I was still able to lead people into worship yesterday through the workshop I conducted. I was hesitant at first to include a time of prayer and worship in the design. I'm glad I followed God's lead because I discovered a few minutes ago (when I read all the post program evaluation forms of the participants) that the worship/prayer time was the activity that many of the participants liked the most. Amazing!
My upcoming book? Well, the manuscript is still undone. I'm slowly but surely working on its completion. But I think there's a difference now in the state of my heart. I am more at peace. I am more at peace of the fact that I have not met my target deadline in completing my manuscript. I have learned to accept the fact that the launch date for my book is beyond my control. Since I've learned to recognize this, like my participants yesterday in the workshop I conducted, I am less stressed. I have chosen to entrust the result of my efforts to God. I have chosen to simply do my best and let God fill in the rest. Anyway, He told me that my obedience is more important to Him than the results of my efforts.
I think the most important lesson/insight I got from my husband's confinement is this: All the good that I'm doing and would like to do CAN WAIT. But caring for my husband and my kids CANNOT. Thus, I pray that I would be conscious and disciplined enough each day to not let my family WAIT for me to be available to serve them in favor of the other good things that I'm busy with because my primary service and ministry is to my family and in my own home. I know that the book that I'm working on would bless many babies and moms and their families. But working on this book project should not rob my own family and my own kids of my precious quality time.
The loves of my life next to God.

Oh how I love God more for teaching me this awesome lesson on family life! I thank the Lord for humbling me enough to acknowledge my mistakes and shortcomings. I thank Him for opening my eyes. I thank Him for gently and lovingly guiding me back on the right path to holiness.
How are things at your end? Are there some things that are at a stand still in your life? What do you think is God's message to you now? Feel free to share by leaving a comment. Would love to hear from you.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

You're Qualified!

"You're qualified!"
Yes, you! Don't look around because God is talking to you.
Do you feel like a failure? Do you feel like you have messed things up? Do you feel that you don't measure up to the requirements of the job? Do you feel that you have missed opportunities? Do you feel that there are so many other people who can do what you are doing or want to do in a much better way?
You're not alone in feeling that way.
These are some of the things I felt in the past days and every now and then, these thoughts enter my mind whenever I think of the projects that I'm currently doing.
I have already missed many deadlines and I feel frustrated... with my myself and with my situation. I sometimes feel like giving up.
But God would not let me give up on the God-sized dreams that He has entrusted to me. The only giving up that He wants me to do is to give up control over my projects and God-sized dreams. He asked me to let Him be in control... to let go and let Him move things for me.
Today, I woke up to a wonderful message from Him through a reflection from Didache.
I particularly liked these lines from the reflection:
There are times in our lives when we feel we have fallen short of what is expected or required. We feel unworthy of even hoping that things could be better.
The Gentiles, being non-Jews, were considered “unqualified” by the Law’s standards. But God had other plans. He “qualified” them, and made them complete in Jesus.
As you come before the Lord today, let Him qualify and complete whatever is lacking in you. Let Him give you hope. (emphasis mine)
The reflection goes on further by asking: "Are you running out of hope? Run to God and let Him give you a vision of His possibilities."
It ends with this prayer: "Lord, I believe with all my heart that the best is yet to come. I trust in You!"
He then reminded me to leaf through the pages of the book that recently inspired me, You're Made for a God-sized Dream. I was led to read these lines again.
Thank you for being a dreamer who doesn't always try to prove her worth...
God has already approved you for your God-sized dream. He has already given you all you need and made you all you need to be. he will make everything unfold in His way, His time. What you're doing today may not feel like enough. But if you're simply saying yes to Jesus and whatever he asks, then it is more than enough -- it's world changing.
Your most valuable asset as a God-sized dreamer isn't the plans you can make or the connections you have. It's not the talents you possess or the experience you can list. It's your heart.
I so love the last paragraph!
With that I sang my heart out to God through this song by Parachute Band.

So, if you are feeling the same way as I have before I got this message from God, I suggest that you meditate on the same words He used today to talk to me. Then, sing this song to Him and let Him not only make you feel better but let Him make you believe in yourself and in Him again. Let His love and power fill you up to the brim and to overflowing so that with His love and power, you can conquer every obstacle that comes your way in pursuing your God-sized dreams.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Umbrella, Mommy!"

I was closing our gate and was about to lock it when suddenly I heard my little boy run towards me while carrying one of our umbrellas. He said, "Umbrella, Mommy! It's hot!" Then, he raised his hands as he held on tightly to our umbrella trying very hard to give me some shade.
That was yesterday after I ordered some water.
Today, he did it again after I threw the trash outside.

I couldn't help but smile. I thank God for blessing me with a child who shows genuine concern for the people around him. I say this because he shows concern not only for family members but even for others.
One time, he got worried upon seeing the dark clouds outside the window. He said, "Mommy, I think it's going to rain. Teacher might get wet in the rain."
He was worried that his teacher who goes to our house would get wet when it rains. He said this because there were times when his teacher forgot to bring her umbrella and my eldest son would remind her about it.
Sometimes, he would call his Dad in the office when he sees that it's raining. He would ask if his Dad brought an umbrella with him.
He's such a sweet boy!

Then, my thoughts turned to God... how God is genuinely concerned not only for our health or comfort but moreso for our happiness.  There are times when we are not aware that God's "umbrella" is already over our heads to shield us as much as possible from whatever that can hurt us. Sometimes, we are so engrossed with whatever we are doing that we fail to notice how God is shielding us from more discomfort or hurt.

Today, God used my eldest son's kind gesture to remind me again (just like in the First Reading and my reflection yesterday) that He is always watching us and His helping hand is ever ready to reach out to us whenever needed.

Are you currently under the "heat of the sun?" Can you pause to turn around and see if God is using someone to hold an umbrella up for you? When you notice that person or those people, take time to smile and thank them for bringing God's love and concern. Then, enjoy the sunny day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our Great Deliverer

"I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated in Egypt; so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey." Exodus 3:16-17
These lines caught my attention as I read today's readings from I paused and meditated on these lines and got these insights and inspiration.
First and foremost, these verses reminded me of God's great love and mercy on us. He is not deft to our cries for help. He is not unmoved by our sorrows and our pains.
Second, these verses reminded me that God is always watching over us even when we don't feel His presence. He sees all that we are going through. He is not blind to our tears. 
Third, the story of the Israelites shows us that God is our Deliverer.  That even when we do not consciously pray for deliverance, He acts behind the scenes to bring us out of our misery.
Last but not least, these verses reminded me that God's Will for us is not to be oppressed or miserable, to be treated unfairly. He wants us to experience fullness of life. He wants us and our lovedones to experience happiness and abundance. This is why He said that He will bring the Israelites to "a land flowing with milk and honey."
Are you in a place where you feel oppressed and miserable? Do you feel that you are being treated unfairly? Are you currently suffering injustice and pain because of the bad things that other people have done to you or are still doing? God reaches out to you today through this passage. 
He says to you as He wipes off the tears on your cheeks and puts His arms around your shoulders:
"It is not My Will that you suffer unnecessarily. I will deliver you. I will put an end to the oppression and injustice that you are experiencing. I will make a way for you and lead you out of this place/situation where your tears flow like a river. I will bring healing to your wounds and restore you. I will bless you and your family."
Believe that God's Words to you today will come to pass whether what causes you pain or sorrow is an actual place, a situation or a relationship. God will deliver you out of your "Egypt" and bring you to a much better place! Believe that nothing is beyond God's power to deliver you!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Power of Intercessory Prayer

I once read the book The Power of the Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. I actually read it when I was still single and didn't have a boyfriend (as in no boyfriend since birth). Why did I read the book? I read it before giving it as a gift to a married friend. I'm glad I did it. Not only was I happy with my purchase (knowing that I'm giving an inspiring gift), I also learned from it. I thought that what I learned would prove to be useful when I'm already a wife. So I tucked those lessons in my heart and in my mind for some time since it took me a while before I found my one true love. :)
Fast forward to my present life. I'm now a wife with two active little boys. I work from home and my husband works outside the home in an office relatively near our new house.
Last Friday, as usual, my husband went to work early in the morning at around the same time that I was busy cooking in the kitchen. I said a prayer in my heart as he went out our front door and as he drove our vehicle outside of our gate.
Then, I went on with my tasks.
A little later, while I was at our second floor hallway, I walked past our altar. I stopped. I was moved to pray some more for my husband. I said a prayer again for him. This time I read the prayer to the Holy Family which was printed behind the picture of the same image. This picture is a replica of the icon that was here in the Philipines I think more than a year ago. After praying, I went on again with my household tasks. I prepared the kids for lunch and my eldest for his session with his teacher (which was scheduled at 1:30 PM).
Just after lunch, a friend who is also a lay preacher and Feast Builder sent me a text message (sms) inviting me and my family to attend the Healing Mass that evening at SM Sucat. I really wanted to attend the Mass when I first learned about it. I was hesitant though because I'm not sure if I can handle the kids especially that there will be a long waiting time and it is expected that there will be many people in attendance. My husband will be coming from his office so he would be late as well. The text message I received however made me rethink our initial decision.

I've decided to change my mind. I've decided to go to the Healing Mass. I thought of my husband and his health concerns. He's hypertensive and is borderline diabetic. I thought that if he could not come to the Healing Mass, at least I would pray for him while attending that Mass or I will bring his picture and ask Fr. Suarez to pray over his picture.
I tried calling him in his office to inform him of my change of plans but I could not reach him. I called again several times until just before leaving the house but I still could not reaach him. He forgot to bring his cellphone with him that day that's why I had to call him in his office landline. I also sent him an email to inform him of the new development.
The kids and I, together with our new maid, left for the Healing Mass. I was confident that my husband got my message. He's usually online anyway. I thought that maybe he was in a meeting that's why he has not responded.
We got to the venue and were happy to be early enough to find some vacant seats. I prayed that my husband can get to the venue early so he can be prayed over. If not, I thought that at least he would arrive in time for the worship after the talk.
Then, there was change in the program. The talk and worship was done first before the Healing Mass. Usually, the program at The Feast starts with the Mass. But I was so happy with the change in the program. The more that I prayed for my husband to make it just in time to be prayed over by Fr. Suarez.
It was already pray over time but my husband was nowhere in sight.
Then, a little while later we saw him lining up at the back. He went to us and we were so happy to see him finally. That's when he shared to me his "story."
He recunted that he went to the ER (emergency room) of St. Luke's Hospital around 10 AM. He had difficulty breathing. While there, he found out that his blood pressure was elevated. He was asked to stay in the hospital for some time. He stayed there until around past 3 PM. Then, he was discharged.
After that, he went back to his office and that's when he read my email.
I was in awe after I heard his story.
I believe that it was the Holy Spirit who moved me to intercede for my husband that day. It was the Holy Spirit that paved the way for us to change our plans and to go to the Healing Mass.
I thanked God that night for always watching over me and my family. I thanked Him for the power of intercessory prayer that was at work that day. I thanked Him that I have learned to apply the lessons I read from the book The Power of the Praying Wife. It sure was handy that fateful day! I thanked Him for making a way for me and my immediate family members to be prayed over by Fr. Suarez. I have heard about him in the past years but I have had the opportunity to attend any of his Healing Masses. It was definitely a memorable first!
Are you also a wife or parent? I encourage you to get (buy or borrow) a copy of the books by Stormie Omartian in The Praying Series. I'm sure that these books will bless you as they have blessed me and my family!
Let me end with these lines: Prayer knows no bounds. Prayer allows us to reach those who are far from us -- physically or otherwise. So, take time to pray today for those you love. Pray even for strangers when you feel the prompting to say a prayer for them. Let the Holy Spirit lead, guide and use you to be a vessel of His Power.
Have a blessed day!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Documenting My WAHMderful Day

If you've been following my blog, you would know that my hands are so full in the past months. I'm writing this post to document what I had been doing during those days when we didn't have maids and I had to do some chores in between/on top of WAHMing (working from home).
Here's how my typical day would go:

Oatmeal for my boys.

Read and meditate on the readings for the day. Read reflections from devotionals and inspiring posts from people I follow/look up to.
After saying my morning prayers, I cook breakfast. That's oatmeal most of the time because it's so quick to prepare aside from being healthy. If I don't have time to cook and the kids are already awake, we have cereals and fruits for breakfast.
Oh, this smile makes all the effort worth it!
Then, if I'm able to buy ingredients for homecooked meals, I cook a viand for lunch and dinner. I cook rice in the rice cooker also while cooking the viand. If I'm not able to go to the supermarket or too busy to cook, I just cook rice. We buy cooked viands or order food to be delivered to the house.
If the kids are still asleep by the time I'm done cooking, I do some work on my laptop. If the food I'm cooking takes a while, I try to do some work in my laptop while making sure I don't burn our food. haha
When the baby wakes up, I breastfeed him and feed him breakfast.
I play with the baby for some time and encourage him to play on his own.
After some time, my eldest should get up from bed. I will make sure that he eats his breakfast and says his morning prayers or lead his brother in praying their morning prayers.
I will let the kids play with each other.
While the kids are playing, I'll try to work again until around almost lunch time. Then, I'll heat our food and set the table. Ask the kids to pack away and wash their hands. Say grace and eat our lunch.
Cooking picadillo.
After eating, I bathe the baby and supervise my eldest son as he takes a bath on his own.
Once the kids are dressed, I would encourage my eldest to read a book or read to his baby brother or I read to them.
Then, it should be naptime for the kids. I breastfeed the baby until he falls asleep.
If my eldest doesn't sleep (which happens often lately), I ask him to read, practice writing or lie down only to rest while I try to do some work again or take a bath.
When the kids or the baby wakes up, I let them play again or I will play with them. I use my work breaks to play with my kids and to destress by asking for hugs and kisses. That's what we do until around evening when I will heat our food again and prepare for dinner.

If the laundry basket is already full or overflowing, I sort the laundry, count the pieces of clothing and list them in my notebook. When the kids are awake while I do this, they help me sort and count. It's amazing how even my little Mateo (one and half years old) can identify which clothes are mine and which are his Dad's). Then, I call the laundry shop to schedule pick up.

After dinner, I wash the dishes or my husband washes the dishes. Sometimes, I wash the dishes after every meal. But on very hectic days, I wash the dishes only after dinner or when we need to use them again.
After that I try to work while my husband spends time with the kids.
Then, we have some family talk time before night prayers and going to bed.
We homeschool our kids, too. But since homeschooling/learning has become our lifestyle, learning is integrated into our daily activities like the kids' pretend plays, playing music, reading, our conversations and the way we do things at home and as a family. Our main focus in our homeschooling is still values/character formation over academics.
The truth is it's tiring to live this kind of lifestyle especially when I'm swamped with work other than housework. The smiles, kisses and hugs, and witnessing my kids' childhood however make all the inconveniences and challenges tolerable.
At the end of the day, I thank the Lord for another day and all that happened in it. I thank Him for sustaining me and for watching over me and my family. Then, I ask for grace again to do all that I need to do the following day.
Are you also a WAHM? Feel free to share with me in the comments how similar or different your day is with mine. :) I would be happy to hear from other WAHMs especially those who also homeschool their kids.

Friday, July 12, 2013


It's another busy and stressful day. I was really looking forward to going to Mass.
I feel that with all that's on my plate right now, I need to ask for extra graces.
So we had dinner at 6 PM. I was hoping that the kids would finish their food fast and get dressed in time for the Mass.
Ok, I realized I had high expectations... We were a few minutes late again for daily Mass... considering that the church is just behind our house and I could hear the bell from the kids' bedroom.
My consolation is that I was still able to go to Mass with my kids. That is a dream come true and an answered prayer.
As we hurriedly walked to the church, I reminded my eldest son of the proper behavior during the Mass. He said he knows what to do.
But in church, the usual challenge happened again. The kids are being kids and are making some noise. My toddler was moving around instead of sitting down quietly. I gave him our house keys to distract him. I gave the umbrella to my eldest so he wouldn't get the house keys from his younger brother. That would keep them quiet and I would have some peace.
It did not keep my boys quiet and my eldest sat quietly and beside me only for some time. His butt "got itchy" after some time and he began to be restless.
I kept whispering reminders to him but my reminders didn't seem to get through.
I kept reminding myself that Jesus once said, "Let the little children come to me."
And so I brought my children to the church with me. Actually, I also do not want to leave them home with the maid only. With all the bad things I heard from the news and read in the internet, I don't want to take that risk.
Anyway, I thank God for those moments when I'm not hushing my child or running after them or trying to keep my eldest seated beside me. I'm grateful for those moments when I had heart-to-heart exchanges with God. I was in truth amazed that I still felt refreshed and comforted even as I worried about my kids disturbing other churchgoers because of their noise and movements.
When I saw the smile of the man seated behind us when we said "Peace be with you" to each other, I felt that I saw a glimpse of the Father's smile. I felt comforted and assured that bringing my kids with me to go to Mass is part of His Will for our family.
So although I felt embarrassed (and proud at the same time because he was singing his heart out to God and he knew how to sing the songs in tune) of my eldest son when he belted out the "Amen" and "Ama Namin" and he read the responses a bit later than the rest of the congregation, I made a decision not to leave the kids at home when I go to Mass in the coming days.
I thought, "He's just four years old anyway but somehow he tries to participate in the Mass. But since he is only four years old and a hyperactive boy, it's natural that he can't sit still for an entire hour without making some noise or movements in between. Even the Occupational Therapists/Teachers of my eldest son tell me that one hour is too long to expect for a four year old to sit still. However, they encourage constant reminders and practice. There! Constant practice! That's exactly what I plan to do. That's one of my reasons for bringing them with me. I want them to learn by practicing. And since they are still practicing, they are bound to make mistakes.
Then, I thought about my life and my walk with God. I'm also practicing in this life. I'm practicing to be Christlike. I'm practicing to live my life according to God's Will. I'm still practicing and so I'm making a lot of mistakes in the process. I thank God that He is an evergracious Father to me. That He has not given up on me and that my countless mistakes during practice does not make Him think or decide to leave me.
Hmmmm... I thought this would just be a short post. Now, it has developed into a meaty reflection which is quite surprising because I was already sleepy minutes before I started composing this post. I guess that's the Spirit working in me and through me. Another proof from God that even in my weakness, He can bring out something beautiful.
Let me conclude by sharing how our evening at home looked after the Mass.
My very intense child (who belted out the "Amen" and "Ama Namin" during the Mass for everyone to hear even without a microphone) requested for his guitar, got the mic from our electric keyboard and went up our stairs. He started singing some worship songs at the landing.
I asked him to go down and sing in the middle of our sala where there's plenty of space but he wouldn't obey. He said that the stairs is his stage. I explained to him why I want him to go down. I told him that he might fall and his younger brother might go up the stairs as well. His mind was set however. So I told my youngest that we will just pretend to be the audience and we will stay at the bottom of the stairs while we watch his big brother perform. I'm glad my youngest didn't insist anymore to go up.
Then, to savor the moment and let go of my stress, I stood at the bottom of the stairs holding a camera. I enjoyed his songs and became my son's number 2 fan. His younger brother is his number 1 fan now!
My lessons for today: we are all works in progress and practice makes us more like Christ!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our New Home: A Promise Fulfilled

We've finally moved to our new home! Yehey! Praise God!

That's one of the reasons that I have not updated by blog for quite some time. First, we moved out of our remaining condominium unit which we rented out to a student. Then, we moved temporarily to a house near our real house so we can monitor the construction and finishing closely. Then, we moved into the house that God promised to give to our family around a year ago. God is so good! He has fulfilled His promise! He has been true to His Word as usual. :)

Most of our things are still in boxes and are waiting to be unpacked. But let me share about the things that I'm grateful for today on our third day in our new home.

1. I'm thankful that we were able to go to Mass last Sunday as a family in the church near our house.
Our first daily Mass as a family in the church nearby.
2. I'm thankful that we were able to go to daily Mass yesterday as a family for the first time.

3. I'm thankful that we have a much bigger house to clean and fix.

4. I'm grateful that the basic things we ordered to furnish our new house (like the new mattress we ordered from Mandaue Foam) arrived on the same day that we moved in. We're actually not yet done finding the right furnishings for our house. But we love it just the same. We're so happy to sleep in it already.

5. I'm thankful that we have a small garden at the back of our house. This is now part of my eldest son's daily duties. He takes care of watering the plants. He loves doing it! And I'm excited to buy and take care of more flowering plants especailly orchids.

6. I'm grateful that we now have our own garage where we can park our SUV (Innova). We used to rent a parking slot when we were staying in our condominium.

7.  I'm thankful that we now have a new maid. I hope she stays with us for a long time. She arrived yesterday afternoon. At least now we have someone to help us fix the house and do some chores.

8. I'm grateful that we found an affordable dining set at a mall in Alabang a few days before we moved in and that it was delivered for free. I'm also grateful that its design matched the design of our light fixtures in the dining area and in the sala.

9. I'm grateful that we have a service/laundry area on the ground floor of our house now and it can serve as drying area for our clothes. In our condominium before, the drying cages for our clothes are on the 5th floor of our building.

10. I'm grateful that in spite of our busyness in moving and fixing our new house, I am still able to work from home and homeschool our kids.
The vehicles and shapes Yanthy drew
on a Manila paper on top of one of our boxes.
Homeschooling while preparing for our move.

Yanthy's 10 spiders
11. I'm grateful that God sustained and continues to sustain me and my husband physically as we do chores at home (especially while we did not have a maid yet) and at work.

12. I'm grateful that God forced us out of our comfort zone to bring us to where we are right now. Because of this new adventure with God, we have grown much in faith.

Our family in front of our townhouse.

I have more to be thankful for but I will stop here for now. I just want to give back the glory to God for all these wonderful blessings and answered prayers. If not for His grace and provision, we wouldn't be living in our new house now and enjoying God's favors.

Let me share this song that has always been one of my favorites. This song helps me be reminded of the truth that miracles do happen when we believe in God's promises.