Monday, February 25, 2013


An allergy attack sends me to the ER.  
An intravenous injection of 50 milligrams of Benadryl jet propels me to Lala Land.
Nobody wants to be held down by sickness.
Especially a mom. A mom with 4 kids.

I woke up the next day with a little of yesterday's gray cloud still hovering above me. The phone rings with my doctor's name displayed on the screen."Dr. '------' read your lab works already." Physician assistant tells me.  I had a wellness check up a week ago and now I'm about to hear the results. 
T'was a brief conversation but it  surely shook off my drowsiness from yesterday's Benadryl shot. I was given a clean bill of health! 

To be blessed with a big family calls for a healthy well being in all aspects of motherhood. If one is sick in the family, the regimen does not only call for medication, rest, and nourishment.  You have to complete the equation by placing "mom" into it.  Childhood was rough on me because I grew up with asthma and allergies but whenever the worst brings us those ghastly trips to the emergency room, I would always find comfort from my mom. Always.

Now that my hands are pretty full with 4 children, a husband, and a home, my health matters to me and to my family who I take care of.  If you are the family's care provider put more importance to health.  Exude and live a robust life because motherhood is synonymous to selflessness therefore it will shake you, throw punches at you, and keep you standing on the tips of your toes. A mother is most beautiful when she has learned to balance what nature can offer and what she does to respond to it's goodness. 

A healthy mother is able.

Able to comfort, assist, encourage,and inspire.

When she is able, there is warm food on the table, her angels coast through dreamland while tightly tucked in bed, her refrigerator door is decked with children's stars and ribbons brought from school, her hands equally tough as her husband's and yield productive labor all lavished in love and hard work.

If she is able, she is as strong as breakwater rocks taking on the sea's blows head on.

If she is able, she will unceasingly give back to the Giver of life because He makes her able in all circumstances. 

"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." 3 John 1:2

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"You Don't Bring Me Flowers...

...anymore", as the song of Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond goes.  Seventeen years of togetherness and the only memory I have of him giving me flowers was when he came to see me after class on an ordinary day on my 4th year in college. They were the loveliest blooms... if only he took them out - from his duffel bag! Two dozens of roses all wrapped and ribboned...stems pointing out - from his duffel bag! And to add more  insult to such gore (Who stashes roses upside down, anyway?! a duffel bag!), a classmate exclaims, "Is that for Rose?" I swear, he looked like wanting to zap his way out of the scene more than giving me that bouquet. It was too life changing for both of us that I end up wanting to relive the memory and him not bringing me flowers...anymore.

We are not a typical couple. We adhere to one another because our relationship is like those magnets that you could only put together on opposite polarities. Do you remember the scene in Shrek 1 where Fiona asks "What kind of knight are you?", my husband knows the next line by heart  and replies in unison with the ogre, "One of a kind." Yes he is, because beyond my surreal perceptions, my "man" has lived life's grand and grotesque ways with me all within the sphere of reality.

Looking past the flowers, my marriage rewarded me with a garden whose blooms were ever constant like the love I received everyday. The means and ways of affection were not glaring as if you could single out one incident and call that "love" in its entirety. It was rather the bits and pieces of what initially I am incognizant of, the times of testing which tarried on like forever, and our personal irregularities that we work on smoothing out to fit each other. We constantly helped each other, moved in one direction yet we never lost the importance of our individuality. We made an identity as a couple and as separate beings. 

Looking past the man, I see a soul made wise by his Creator. He is not a mere provider of what's tangible and passing because he knows that no bag or ring or flower can ever adorn the wife he loves. His children will look at his legacy by living the same righteous life he has, not measured by things that are inheritable. I respect his decisions without any tint of doubt in his capacity because his love transcends his concern for himself. It embraced me and our children. 

So much for that song. The couple conversing through the lyrics "drifted apart" anyway. Looking past myself, I have the loveliest memories of the flowers I wanted, married the man who attempted to give them in the most special way he can, and he never stops giving me the best he could offer...himself. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fresh Songs, Fresh Voices To Jumpstart The Year

I grew up listening and singing church hymns played only with the accompaniment of an organ.  At that young age I struggled understanding how the hymns were written and the only thing my mind (and heart) remembers is the melody of each song. Nevertheless, they are timeless as their message which I treasure to this day.  

Thirty years in retrospect, my music appreciation included the likes of Maranatha!, Carman, Steven Curtis Chapman, Papuri Singers (local singers from the Philippines), Trisha Amper (another local fave), Amy Grant, Don Moen, Hillsong, various Christian rock bands, and contemporary pop singers.  The list can go on with new genres spreading like wildfire to satisfy the ever music-hungry Christian groups. 

Songs are essential for worship.  King David was not only noted as the "boy who had a lethal stone throwing ability" but he was a musician and poet.  His music genius did not only top the commoners' billboard chart but it captivated the ear of a king - King Saul.  The book of first Samuel, chapter 16 verse 23 writes: 

"Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."

Songs prepare our hearts and minds to worship God.  They also soothe our tormented souls from the worries and anxieties of this life. On the countless times we've opened our  bibles to find comfort and answers, Christian and gospel songs have made indelible marks of God's words with melodies that resound in our hearts.  This uplifts the soul and enables it to commune with its Creator.

As much as I like the traditional, new songs and voices have made me literally "sing a new song" (Ps. 96:1) . I would always cling on to a song that has the following:

1. relevant biblical message (a line which you could easily associate with a favorite verse in the bible)
2. how the lyrics initiate and enjoy a conversation with your inner self
3. tune recall (Next gen's LSS)

Yesterday, while browsing over New Release, Jason Castro was featured as Artist of the Month.  The new funky vibe of Castro's "Only A Mountain" inflated a thought balloon over me: "Dreadlocks and singing go well together." The words were simple yet it was anchored on Matthew 17:20 emphasizing on our faith.

Favorite lines: 

This is only a mountain
You don’t have to find your way around it
Tell it to move, it’ll move
Tell it to fall, it’ll fall

Over the radio a few weeks ago, a local Christian station played Jamie Grace' "Hold Me" which I heard the first time.   The words are so simple that I got transported into my own timeline when I just got a pen and started scribbling free flowing thoughts into words.  I just had regrets why I didn't gave myself a chance on the guitar.  Jamie Grace sure looked and sounded good in one. By the way, it was a feat with TobyMac who intros with a reggae feel to the song. 

Favorite lines:
I love you more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving you less

Lord, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh
Oh, I love

They're young and they sing in the expression of both vocals and musical instrument. These songs and fresh voices have proven that Christian songs can be "cool" in this time of age.  Besides, when you have experienced the love of a saving God, nothing can ever stop your heart from singing.  One can never get out of tune!

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Ps. 13:6

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, Old Friends

I was made to face a table lined with well missed native food: sisig, fried molo, adobong kangkong laced with pork lechon, silvanas, and lychee shake (was it Lychee...I think).  I also got a panoramic view of Tiyo's restaurant thanks to the brilliance of the late Steve Jobs (iPhone rocks!). The ladies are in the house and the roll call yielded absentees. It's 12:40 am from my side of the world and I'm having a lunch date with my high school friends. 

High school graduation 1994
What they looked like more than 20 years ago remains vivid in memory.  The once geniuses, artists, comics, and girl next door faces are now entrepreneurs,  overseas professionals, wives, and mothers.  I could still spot some of the childish mannerisms interrupt their now womanly dispositions which for me are no flaws at all but remnants of a past we all want to cling on for the rest of our lives. 

High school days were indeed "high" days.  It was a time of self discovery, building friendships, dreaming, failing, and anticipation of a future that seems conquerable in a minute.  The people and events that made us laugh before still makes us laugh now.  The only thing is we sound like our moms now and  have completely lost our ability to giggle. 

Two decades after, we have metamorphosed into adults each of whom defines and views life in different ways. We have been separated by the choices we made but today we visit a common ground where the exchanges of journeys made were all worth the time and attention.   I never saw an underachiever among us.  No one deserved to be quantified according to how much she earns or receives.  Everyone remembers how we all had humble beginnings but have taken the challenge to step up one day at a time.  

I learned and laughed a lot with you, ladies.  It was a privilege sharing that hearty meal with everyone.  By the way, tell JM (that awesome waiter) he made one of the shots I love most. The new year feels so "new" with old friends. I'll see you all soon and on that day make sure I get a seat!

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."  Romans 12:10
Mutating after 22 years.