Friday, January 24, 2014

It's happening tomorrow! Book Launch and Book Signing for BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking

I had been dreaming of this day... And it's finally happening tomorrow! Praise God!
Everything was a blur since I ventured into this adventure of writing a new book. Things were happening so fast and I sometimes need to pause and catch my breath.
The preparations for tomorrow are almost done. Yes, you read it right - almost. There are a few things that are still unfinished but I choose to pause now and just marvel at where God has led me, where God has brought me. And I rejoice as I stand at where I am now.
I had been operating on grace. It is all grace... writing this book, completing it, launching it. All these is grace at work in my life.
So, let me invite you to take a peek at the graces I have experienced from God through breastfeeding. I will talk about it briefly during the launch tomorrow. You can read more about it in my latest book.
I praise and thank God for all that He has provided for me so that this event would be made possible. I feel that as usual He has set the stage. He has commissioned His angels to do the work that I can no longer do. I am so amazed that I cannot even begin to detail them here in this post. I might need to write another book if I do that! haha!
Thus, let me share with you our poster/invite for tomorrow's event. Hope you can drop by tomorrow at Mothercare, Active Fun Building, Bonifacio High Street from 3 to 5 PM if you are free and in the area. I would love to meet/see you there!
If you have not registered yet, you may sign up here.
Let me also share the programme so you'll know what's in store for you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Success Secret Revealed

Sending out text messages and emails and making calls in between doing household chores, watching over the boys, breastfeeding, homeschooling and trying to put the kids to sleep... That's what I've been doing these past days. To say that all these activities exhausted me would be an understatement. Maybe, I should say drained... But I'm too tired and too pressed for time to think of a better word. I guess that if you're a mom with small boys and you don't have a maid at home to help you out, you'll know what I mean. ;)
My days had been this busy many times last year and many days this new year. I don't think I could keep up or last long with this kind of lifestyle if every time I'm drained I'm not able to recharge or I'm not able to get my refill. How do I do that, you might ask?
My not-so-secret success strategy in getting refilled or recharged, most especially on days when I easily get drained, is making time for prayer and worship. I make time to meditate on God's Word during my personal time of prayer, throughout the day as I carry out my tasks and during the Mass.
This strategy never fails me. It helps me focus on my priorities and goals. It helps me fulfill my mission - not perfectly though. But through these times of prayer, I am reminded whenever I stray from my path that I should make some adjustments.
Today has been one challenging day again. I don't have the luxury of time to detail my adventures in this post now but I think you already have some idea because of how I began this post. :)
It would have been easier for me if I simply skipped going to Mass with my two sons (a 2 year old and a 5 year old) tonight. I could have worked on some of the tasks in my looong to-do list. But by the grace of God, I was able to let go of that urge and go to Mass instead. I thank God for the grace that enabled me to trust in Him that while I pause and pray in church tonight, He is moving. He is working on my behalf. I thank Him for the faith and hope to believe that God can do so much more and sometimes, I need to get out of the way so He can show me how and so that He can perform more miracles for me.
As I listened to the priest tonight give his homily, I could not help but smile and be filled with joy, especially when the priest said these words:
"If you want to be successful in all your endeavors, you need to make God your first priority."
He added, "Jesus was also very busy with his ministry. But no matter how busy he was, he always made time for prayer. Let Jesus' example in today's Gospel inspire you to do the same."
I was so grateful to God for putting those words in the mouth of the priest who celebrated Mass tonight. I felt God affirming my decision to still go to Mass even with two little boys that I need to feed and dress up before Mass. I'm sure parents with small children can relate when I say that going out of the house is ALWAYS a production number or a big event when you have small kids and you don't have a maid or nanny (yaya) to help you out with the kids.
The wise and encouraging words from the priest reminded me of my guiding verse for my business Full Life Cube Publishing and Events Services. It's from Psalm 1:3 (BBE).
He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which gives its fruit at the right time, whose leaves will ever be green; and he will do well in all his undertakings.

Full Life Cube's logo inspired by Psalm 1:3

I have always believed this truth. That is why I do my best to be like that tree planted near Jesus so that I would be nourished by Him and sustained by Him in all my endeavors.
I could choose to work all day and up to the wee hours of the morning daily but I won't be as effective as I want to be if God would not give me the grace to be effective. I could choose to be so systematic and organized but no matter how skilled or competent I am, I am no match to the power and wisdom of God. And so I choose to let God be God of my life, my life dreams and my mission. I choose to let Him take the lead in all my endeavors.
Some may find this success tip or strategy too spiritual or religious. I wouldn't blame you because it is indeed spiritual. And why not? We are spiritual beings. We have spirits and only God can nourish our spirits or our souls.
Are you also feeling drained? Are you exhausted from the many things you did today? Recharge with God and let Him fill you up again... with His love, His joy, His hope, His wisdom, His peace... Let Him fill you up to the brim so that you can wake up refreshed and renewed in the morning.
Let me end by echoing what the priest said in his homily tonight.
"If you want to be successful in all your endeavors, you need to make God your first priority."

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Bowl that Fills My Heart with Joy

It's amusing how a bowl of oatmeal can give one a sense of joy that's hard to put into words. What sets this bowl of oatmeal apart is that this bowl belongs to my youngest son and the oatmeal in it is what I cooked for his breakfast today.
I write this post to take some time off from my long to-do list of household chores and WAHMie tasks. I want to savor this moment a little longer by documenting it here in my blog.
This is one of the perks of being a WAHM. I can choose to spend time with my kids when I want to and I can go back to my tasks later. I thank God for this opportunity to have wonderful breakfasts with my son. I thank God that I can watch him learn how to feed himself and clean up his chair and table afterwards. Most of all, I thank God for the opportunity to cook meals for him and to share a meal with him.
The sweet and innocent smile of my little one as he enjoys his oatmeal fills my heart with much joy. It energizes me to persevere in the many tasks I need to do today. It also reminded me that my boy will not be this young forever. He will learn to do things on his own. He will stay in the house less longer. He will need me less often.
I've been home since his birth and yet I still feel that he's growing so fast. And so, I thank God again for this reminder to savor each moment with him... to celebrate life and love even in the ordinary moments, including having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Savoring a Win: Top Peraisipan Read for 2013

I was about to sleep already last night when I felt the urge to check on one of the sites (The POC or The Philippine Online Chronicles) where I'm a contributing writer. One of the latest articles posted caught my eye and moved me to click it so I can read it in full. It was about the Top Peraisipan Reads for 2013. Our editors usually post this kind of article at the start of each new year and I have been blessed in the past years including this year because I usually have one article that's included in this list.
What makes the past year extra special for me is the fact that I didn't contribute a lot of articles especially in the latter part of the year since I had been busy with my latest book Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking. So, this piece of good news is indeed a wonderful blessing from God last night. It inspired and encouraged me to contribute still to this site in spite of my busyness.
My prayer is that God would continue to enable me to write good articles that will inspire and empower my readers.
Here is the article that landed on the top spot of Peraisipan's Top 2013 Reads.
Management by Walking Around
I learned and experienced MBWA (Management by Walking/Wandering Around) in my first job as a Management Trainee in the restaurant industry.  I was fresh out of college and it was something new to me. I was more knowledgeable of other management principles.  But I’m grateful that I was exposed to this style of management early on for it made a lot of difference in my career as a manager and as a leader eventually.
I remember one of my mentors then.  She had a keen eye for details and the moment that she arrived in our store, it’was like her radar is on.  She would greet the people in the team, go around the store and in a matter of minutes, I’d notice that she already had a lot of items listed in her small notebook.  I also observed that it was a fun way of discovering what work needed to be done and finding solutions to problems.  I used to wonder how she did that until she shared this and some of her tips to all of us members of her management team in one of our meetings.  In fact, she made it a policy in our store (branch) to close the office at certain periods of the day so that all the managers are on the floor or in the work areas interacting with the team members and walking around with a purpose.  Then, I started walking in her shoes.  Slowly but surely, I got to pick up the skill of managing by walking around or wandering around.  And guess what?  I started to see the things that I didn’t notice before.
What does it really mean?  Do you just really walk around?  How does this help one become a better manager? defines Management by Walking Around or (MBWA) as unstructured approach to hands-on, direct participation by the managers in the work-related affairs of their subordinates.  According to this website, managers who practice MBWA spend a significant amount of their time making informal visits to work areas and listening to employees with the purpose of collecting qualitative information, listening to suggestions and complaints, and keeping a finger on the pulse of the organization.
So, managers don’t just walk around without purpose or talk to employees for the sake of being seen with them.  Having conversations with them is not an end in itself.  Walking or wandering around is simply a tool or management style to find out the concerns of the people in their organization, solicit suggestions and solutions, and gain insight on how to better manage the people in the team or in the organization as a whole.
Let me share some benefits of practicing this management style.
It’s a morale booster because through this practice, the manager makes his/her people feel important, valued and heard. When the manager or the boss stops to greet and chat with an employee, it’s like telling the employee non-verbally “I’m not too busy to notice you or care to find out how you are in your job.” “I’m not too busy to listen to your concerns, suggestions or ideas.”
Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 God-Sized Dreams Fulfilled

My 2013 started out to be a challenging year. God challenged me to write a book on breastfeeding on my own. My initial plan before 2013 was to have a co-author. I soon discovered (the hard way) that God had other plans.
"Can I finish it on my own? What will I write in the book?"
I could feel fear breathing at the back of my neck. I am grateful though that God granted me grace to keep on walking forward towards the fulfillment of this God-sized dream even with trembling knees.
I battled with doubts along the way. I felt like I was walking in a street with a thick fog, barely seeing my next steps.
God's voice, however, was loud and clear; so, I kept walking... sometimes very slowly, sometimes with big, bold steps.
I kept moving forward by continuously finding time to write even in my busyness as a mom of two active little boys and as a mompreneur of a consulting business (for management, human resources and training solutions). I thank God for the grace to keeping on keeping on, to keep on pursuing the dream in spite of countless obstacles.
But God did not only give me one God-sized dream to pursue last year. I believe that God gave me two more. These two other dreams were born while my husband and I were in a conference sometime in March last year. Just like with my first God-sized dream last year, I didn't think or feel that I was equipped to make those dreams realities. I embraced the dreams still and acted on them. I asked help from my husband and we started building my dream web site for my business. That was my second God-sized dream for 2013. In the same way that I spent many nights writing my book on breastfeeding, my husband and I spent many nights working together to move closer to fulfilling that dream web site.
The third God-sized dream that God planted in my heart is to write my first e-book that is related to one of my blogs (When My Bridegroom Comes). I felt that God wanted me to inspire and empower future brides through this e-book by sharing my story of how I prepared for my wedding.
Pursuing ONE God-sized dream was already intimidating. But God believed so much in my capacity to receive His graces that He gave me THREE God-sized dreams last year. I really could not imagine in the beginning how it would be possible to fulfill all these. God, however, awed me once more by allowing me to be part of this great adventure and enabling me to witness the fulfillment of ALL these dreams.
Yes, you read it right. By the grace and mercy of God, those THREE God-sized dreams were fulfilled all in one year! Glory to God!
My web site is already up. It's still a work in progress but the basic features I want to be there are now available. Moreover, I have registered it as my new business name (Full Life Cube Publishing and Events Services). I found an artist as well who did my company's logo just in time so that I can incorporated it in my new business card and in my latest print book Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking.

My e-book How to Have the Wedding of Your Dreams is also out and can be downloaded for free by the subscribers of my blog When My Bridegroom Comes.

Truly, it has been one great adventure with God and I thank God for inviting me to join Him in this adventure. I have learned and grown a lot in the past year. I thank Him for all the help He has given me and for everyone He used to inspire and empower me. I thank Him for Holley Gerth who inspired me through her blog and her books (You're Made for a God-Sized Dream and You're Already Amazing). God used her blog and her books to encourage and inspire me last year during the most trying times of my journey to the fulfillment of my God-sized dreams.
And because of the fulfillment of these three God-sized dreams, I have the courage to say yes to another God-sized dream that God has planted in my heart for 2014. I'm writing another book! My God is unstoppable in giving me inspiration and I can't ignore His voice or His prompting. So, I'm declaring in faith that this year 2014, I will have at least one God-sized dream fulfilled.
How about you? Has God placed a God-sized dream in your heart at the start of this new year? Don't be afraid to listen to His voice in your heart. You can do it with Him at your side. I can say this with confidence because it happened to me... not just once but three times last year! You can do it, too! Believe in yourself and in the God who made you!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blog in a Blink: Best 13 of '13

I got this idea from Equipping Catholic Families. I didn't confirm right away that I will join the Link Up because I wasn't sure if I'll have the time to do it. But I soon discovered that it was a wonderful exercise at the end of the year. Going back to my previous blog posts enabled me to review the memorable or important life events I wrote about in my blog in the past year. My husband and I had been reviewing and listing our blessings for the year as one of our family traditions and it never fails to fill my heart with so much gratitude. I think I'm going to make this blog review one of my yearly traditions or exercises as well.
I also discovered something that I didn't expect while reviewing my blog posts for 2013. One popular saying goes, "The best way to a man's heart is through his stomach." If I am to apply this in my findings on the most popular blog posts I had in 2013, I would say, "The best way to a reader's heart is through his/her stomach!" I say this because I discovered that my Recipes for Meatless Fridays Series last Lent was a hit! They were among those which had the most page views in the past year! I really found it amusing considering that this is not really a food blog. Anyway, I'm thankful that readers loved that series.

So, here are the 13 Most Popular Posts of Mommy Bares All for 2013:
 Would you like to join me and my blogger friends in this activity?