Author Archive

I THANK GOD FOR SISTERS

We  have our one and only “Kuya” (brother), he’s the first  among us siblings then I’m next making me the eldest among my sisters. 

37403_406631418619_8080709_nme and kuya

Jhing, (Janice Arda) who’s now a mother of 3 boys is 2 years younger than me.. then came Bige (that’s what I fondly call her) or Kamil (Camille Abigaille) to most of her new friends, came after a gap of 13 yrs after Jhing. 

30756_395418058619_7983795_nme and jhing at miguelin street, sampaloc, manila where we grew up

30756_395418063619_5481033_nhigh school days with jhing and mima

37403_406631558619_2998513_ncollege days

37403_406631498619_4184305_nswimming at lemery, batangas with mima’s office mates

37403_406631423619_616730_nat miguelin street, college days

Jhing and I went to the same school during our elementary days. I remember us playing “Little Miss Philippines” and I love making sash and crowns for her. I always thought she’ll be a beauty queen by profession since she’s taller and fairer than me. We may also have different set of friends and different interests, but we would always share the same passion for food, we both love to eat! 

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562954_10151090144523620_940671412_non our of our thursday family night dinners

We used to share the same bed when we we’re small, same room when we’re growing up and when she decided to be independent and left  the house at 18, I felt bad. We may not be the buddy sisters that you imagine but it’s a secure feeling to always have her around. I maybe older than her, but i’m the “iyakin”  (cry baby), and being the strong person that she is, she would always defend me whenever I’m in trouble. 

333180_10151137837758620_1310009126_oshe’s always mistaken as the ate 🙂

473116_10151137835943620_1006033759_oon one of our tripping dates

475206_10151176062888620_74697020_othursday famiy pig-out dinner

529692_10150707635633620_1087128782_nafter her bday celebration

549609_10151090142623620_1555754485_nkulitan while watching movie

We may also have our own fair share of disappointments in life, conflicts and misunderstandings, but we would always be sisters by heart, and she’s dear to me. We would kiss and make up and unconditionally love, forgive and accept one another. I admire her for her courage, her strong character. Jhing would always  speak her mind, but with wisdom. She’s bolder to try different things and learn from them. Many years have passed and we’re making up for the lost times, as a matter of fact, we get to spend much time together now than before. 

…. Now let’s talk about my cool sister Bige. Cool in a sense that she’s always the wacky one, making us laugh, always with some fun joke up her sleeve. You will just know that she’s around simply because you can hear the doors banging, loud footsteps all over the place. Bige, being the youngest, just loves to be noticed. How will I get along with so many years without her is a mystery. 

462395_10150942043058620_567751637_omaybe about 3 days old, just got home from the clinic

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459013_10150942037138620_399377671_oisn’t she lovely?

I’m with mom when she had her and  I’ve always watched her grow. Ever since she was small (well… until now, laughs), I’m always next to her, nursing her, changing her diapers, and I even bring her to the Pedia for her shots because Mom is busy working to provide for us. We always adored her, we we’re all so happy having a baby at home! We would always dress her up and we love playing with her, making her cry and laugh at the same time, hehehe! (sorry Bige, this sounded like we’re bullying you..er…sort of) She had brown eyes, blonde hair and a fairer skin just like Jhing.

292133_10150978882993620_868706554_nplaying with my nikki

31406_395131353619_1929505_ntailored dress just for them 🙂

475170_10150942045953620_597386503_oher nursery graduation picture 

457750_10150942169963620_1576818871_oouting with family, its like I already have two daughters (Bige and Nikki)

181707_189695151054127_5604101_nhigh school graduation

She will always be my answered prayer.  For some of you who did not know, she also has a strong personality and always challenged, yet passionate and has a heart to serve.. but I must say, I’d prefer God to use her in a different way. I know God designed her to be like that, always influential and I want her to serve her purpose. On nights when she’s not at home and committed to staying at quarters as a ROTC officer and President of a Student Organization on PUP, I would really pray to God. I told Him that I want that same commitment, that  same passion and that same heart to serve be used for His glory alone, so again I prayed. 

33436_408099465425_4539554_nduring an event at PUP

26016_107274959296147_2254752_nang pogi dati ni sistah!

Many times I would cry out to God for the salvation of my family, and just when I surrendered and totally offered up everything unto the foot of His throne, her heart opened. God made an appointed time for Bige. God’s timing is always perfect… and about two years ago, Bige came to know the Lord.. There is a promise in the book of Acts and Galatians that I am still holding on.

11187_543395879017384_1817258387_nnow she’s currently helping out at Life Box

“They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” – Acts 16:31

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

Now Jhing’s successful in her own right, have her own family, her own place and even own a car. Her diligence and hard work paid off and I pray that she would also one day encounter You and experience the fullest of life in Your presence. 

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857585_10151470970888620_2010608543_oblessing of her car and their new apartment

I know she’s happy now, but I know she can be happier with You. I claim that she would also know You in a more personal and intimate way. She’s always known You and I pray that you would also cause her to seek You more.

As for Bige, I’m humbled by the way I watch her serve You. I know we will always be imperfect but just the same, I honor her for taking up the cross as she took the mandate of discipling others. 

417630_553297331360572_1604740483_nBige facilitates at Victory Weekend, experiencing victory on Christ alone.

No words can express how blessed I am to be able to share life with these two beautiful women. May You continue to uphold the destiny that You have for both of them. I can never thank You enough for blessing them and always loving them.

I know You’re not yet through with my family, we’re being changed from glory to glory. But whatever way that pleases You, I continue to commit their lives to You, my Papa, Mima and Kuya. I know I am favored for having them.  

525710_10150707638528620_1935616049_n 524493_10150707632088620_1002133049_n 522112_10150707631228620_1638029228_n 332373_10151335551733620_1710077374_o 252278_10150203941498620_6518963_n 168830_491761043619_3899293_n 168422_491765803619_1138977_n 167975_491769208619_3833032_n 165220_491759183619_4171023_n 162906_491764583619_5865346_n 554105_10150707632808620_1701053270_nwe have a happy, funny and hilarious family 🙂

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, – Proverbs 7:4

The whole family loves you. Jhing and Bige, you are blessings from God!

738332_10151345318203620_1285143126_o 738148_10151345317648620_2055764418_o 738079_10151345317298620_961677104_o 737617_10151345318548620_1124941972_o 737615_10151345317983620_458307948_o 737479_10151345316903620_135958943_o 737462_10151345301833620_1990080223_o 736158_10151345305788620_1382586338_o 736001_10151345317523620_449588237_o 740044_10151345317618620_1573650_o

I honor you and I look forward to growing old and living a full life with both of you!

♥♥♥Ate♥♥♥

Birthday Thank You

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Thank you to everyone who remembered my special day! Each note, PM, message, text, call, prayer/greeting really meant a lot to me and absolutely made my day. Thanks to internet / social networking for making remembering our special days and sending a greeting much easier, lol! Hehehehe!

 

My appreciation  to all my  friends who joined me  for the virtual celebration of my special day since I’m working the whole day, lol!  I really had a great time doing what we like doing best – chatting, browsing and reminiscing old times together! Hehehehe!  Thank you for the cool  AVP made by my ex-boyfriend , now dashing better half, my one and only husband Mr.Henry Boyles. As for the delicious cakes that I’ve been picturing on my mind all day long… hmnn, I might give in for a one day of cheat day..kahit maging chubby cheeks pa ako lalo! I’m going to eat some or more after I’m done working. Hehehehe!  Special thanks to my spiritual family for all the prayers and love.

 

Of course, thank you to my dearest family who has always been there no matter what.  Nikki, Caleb, Mom, Kua, Jing and Abby..and all my other pamangkins…thank you for always taking the time and making the effort to make me feel special!

 

Thank  you Lord for giving me another year to be  loved, be an encouragement to others, be His instrument to send hope to others as He helps us become better people everyday. May I be more productive, commit to share my life and be a blessing to other people as I desire to put a smile on your face on my simplest ways possible.  Thank you for the bounteous blessings that You continue to shower my family with..  again..thank you♥

 

OUR TIME IS COMING

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it.”  (Habakkuk 2:3, KJV)

If you’ve been standing in faith for the promises of God, I want you to know today that your time is coming!  The dreams and desires in your heart, the things you want to accomplish, the situations you want to see changed will happen.  Don’t give up just because it has taken a long time, or just because you’ve tried and failed.

I encourage you today — get your fire back!  Don’t be complacent about pursuing what God has placed in your heart.  It may be taking a long time, but God is a faithful God.  No matter how long it’s been, no matter how impossible it looks, if you’ll stay in faith, your time is coming.  Every dream that’s in your heart, every promise that has taken root, God not only put it there, but He has every intention of bringing it to pass.

Declare today, “My time is coming…God is working behind the scenes on my behalf…I will fulfill my destiny…I will fulfill the plan God has for my life!”  As you declare, expect, and wait for the appointed time, your faith will grow.  Your hope will grow.  And you’ll step into the destiny God has in store for you

Repost: W.O.W. (Words of Wisdom)

…. Lord, thank You for this encouraging word. Give me the strength to hold on to Your promise and the desire to pursue Your perfect plan in my life as I completely depend on You for the things to come. I receive it by faith as I claim Your truth.. Continuously search my heart and may You cause my words and my thoughts to be agreeable to Your plan in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Love Letter… A Reminder

Last Wednesday, August 31  was the release date for Nikki’s class card. As I got it, attached was a love letter she wrote for Henry and I. if I’m not mistaken she wrote it as a response to our letter to her last July for their retreat. As I scanned it’s words, I was moved by what she wrote… “that she wanted to thank me for becoming a Christian”… “that she came to know the Lord because of me”. (sorry Nikki, I shared some parts of it)

At first, that sounded so good. Her appreciation of the life I shared to her was a reminder that all the more, I need to be responsible (as I am indeed) for the life that I model… that I also testify my faith as I and Henry parent her. More than the responsibility, it’s a sounding alarm for each and every one of us to really take part in advancing His kingdom. From the simple acts of kindness, to sharing His word… we can never gauge how our lives can make an impact on every heart that we touch. May it be our family, friends, or even simple acquaintances. Whether out of obligation or responsibility… it sends the message that we need to constantly desire for the same compassion that Jesus had for the lost… and act out boldly as we share our life to others.

Discipleship is a relationship and me being a mother to Nikki is also discipleship.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. – Psalm 55:22

I too had flaws..blights… I am not perfect but I’m grateful that His grace sustains us… that His grace is sufficient for us and we will only be able to live a life the way He wants us to be if we’re anchored in our faith to God… if we decide to have complete dependence on His will.

Nikki, 1 year old

Nikki’s love letter to us brought me back to the time when I first brought her to church, she was just 3 years old and can barely say name. I bring her along on vacation bible school… she sits in on every puppet show that I used to volunteer in… on every music team’s rehearsals… prayer meetings, etc. She even climbs up the stage whenever I play the guitar for praise and worship. Those were precious moments for me… when I let her see what I love to do… and expose her to the kind of life that I desire for her to enjoy too… because that too is discipleship.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  – Proverbs 22:6

Nikki, 2 years old

 

I know on her growing up years, there were also times that she only felt obliged to join us on Sundays, but still she joins out of respect and obedience to us. Now that I watch her also serving in the ministry… indeed our labor in the Lord will never be in vain… we see fruits and she’s one of it. Introducing Jesus into her life is not just a plain response to the call of parenthood but it’s also a way of living out to God’s promise of salvation for my family and the generations to come. On our own, it ain’t easy to train up a child, our resources were limited but with God’s standard… the Bible… there’s great possibilities and the ways were limitless , not to mention the leaders who mentor us as they mirror their life to us.

Nikki, 3 years old

Nikki, 6 years old

God is indeed faithful to His promises and it’s a motivating factor for us parents to strive more and never get tired of allowing God to mold us and make us the kind of parents that He wanted us to be. He’s the one in charge and will always be. We just have to continue to tap on the source of all wisdom, and pray as we claim that He would continue to uphold the destiny He has in stored for Nikki and for our family.

Nikki, 10 years old

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. – Psalm 16:5

 

As for our dear Nikki… she’s still a work in progress just like each one of us but I’m confident that ahead of her is a great future because she had known a great God too. Gone we’re the days that I almost gave up in prayer… because just like her love letter, God gave His love letter to us too… the Bible. It fuels my desire to read and obey His word all the more. I must say… Parenting is also a Discipleship. If not for our own standing before the Lord, I’m sure there we’re also times that we feel we fail each other… we too had our shortcomings and imperfections but it’ll always be a blessing that we are a family and we share the same faith… it adds more value into it.

Nikki, 14 years old

We help each other grow in love. There’s forgiveness, acceptance, miracles, breakthroughs and great things happen when we act out in obedience to His word. Nikki will always be our answered prayer and God will always be our inspiration, our source of joy, of strength, of hope and of love.

 

Nikki, 15 years old (water baptism)

Nikki, 15 years old (kids worship team)

~ We love you Nikki and we’re proud of you… of what you’ve become and what you’ve hoped to be 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

These Women…

~We’re there people in your life who encouraged you, showed you the ropes, and helped you become the person you are today? Most successful people say they had mentors along the way who guided and encouraged them. Take time to thank them, appreciate them and honor them.

Ate Paz left a mark on me that cannot be erased. I could talk to her about anything then, she is not the one who introduced me to Christ but she is one of those who helped strengthen my faith in Him.

I can remember so many times, sitting at the table laughing about something, throwing corny jokes, and discussing anything about life. She also gave my first bible and as I question what does my reading means, she would offer words of wisdom.  She would also encourage me and lift me up in prayer. Many we’re my mentors but she is mentioned first due to being the motivating factor for me to step out the boat and walk on water. Over the years I’ve come to realize that so many women don’t have mentors in their lives, and that’s so sad. So by God’s grace, He’s shown me a way to turn that sadness into gladness for others as I started to build new relationships and gain friends. As she shares her life, I appreciate more how does having somebody mentor you has done in my life. God has shown me a way to help bridge the wisdom that older women have to the younger women who need it so desperately just like me. And the things I learned, we just have to be obedient and available, purposeful and creative as we build relationships, shares our life and mentor others.  Spiritual relationship begins with a commitment to communicate the truth of God’s word so let’s be willing, delighted as we take time to share His truths.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-12

7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his

With no occasion at all, I just want to honor the women who took time to mentor me over the past 12 years, namely Paz Tarray, Carol Almadin, Edith Cablao, Myla Moran, Annie Yap, and Anne Sapinoso. You’re all doing a great job in His kingdom, continue to be an encouragement, a source of strength, and an inspiration to us.  God bless you more & more.

A Command or a Promise

A Command or a Promise.

A Command or a Promise

I’ve never seen a vineyard all my life, except from pictures, illustrations and the like. And whenever I read that powerful verse in John 15.. I cannot help but picture how vineyards we’re hemmed in rows, how new spring grows, and with all it’s woody stem and it’s branches.. There lies a grape fruit that Jesus used to communicate to his disciples. Hats off on how a gardener or vinedresser cares for his vineyard, because that’s how Jesus Christ cares for us too.

John 15:1 I am the vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

When I first encountered these words Jesus uttered in the vineyard, I got confused. I didn’t       understand either because I was new in my faith then.  I wrestled with God,  often felt low, disappointed and in doubt because I always want to do things my way. But looking back, I’m still hopeful that God would always come to my rescue. I failed to lean close and listen to His instructions. I did things my way and tiringly fail again and again. But through the years, God never gave up on me, and I too never held back of His promises. I listened closely time and again, until I really heard from Him and finally understand.. I was set free.. and was overjoyed. God wants from me and from every one of us.. A fruitful harvest.. a harvest that will glorify Him.

As I pondered upon John 15, I understood clearly what God wanted to tell me. Each of us is a branch that is producing a clearly defined level of abundance and His command is not to simply ‘bear fruit.’ Bearing fruit is His promise. The command is for us to “abide in Him”. When we abide in Christ and Him in us, we will bear much fruit. And it will be good fruit, the kind of fruit that He is pleased with. Unfortunately, I instinctively heard this the wrong way when I first encountered the word. That’s what happens when we focus on the fruit. The fruit becomes our idol, our measurement and we allow it to gauge how well we respond  to Him but  this robs us of our life and our faith.

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  We can apply His promise to our lives as we stop counting and just enjoy His presence. Christ has done it all by His death and resurrection. We are the fruit of His atoning sacrifice and victory over the sin, death and the devil. No need for us to struggle, no need for us to perform nor conform. God the Father will see to it. Abiding in Him and Him in us, we will bear much fruit not because of anything we do, but because of everything that He has done.

“My father is the vinedresser.” The vinedresser is the caretaker. He takes care of the vine and its branches. We’re not left on our own to grow and be fruitful. The Father takes care of us. He’ll prune us if our pride needs to be cut back. He’s always ready to nourish us with His Word and the sacraments that will fertilize our faith. When branches fail to bear fruit, the vinedresser cuts them from the vine and burns them. When branches do bear fruit, the vinedresser allows them to abide in the vine, but he prunes them back so that they will bear even more fruit.

This illustrates that being a disciple involves discipline, and that discipline is strict.

I myself experienced how God disciplines and I can see clearly that He’s been holding me on the palm of His hand, He’s at work since day one..and is still working till now. I understood that life’s purpose goes beyond my desires. He’s not yet through with me, every step of the way, every area of my life..He’s always working on me from glory to glory. God wants to bless us and we need to accept His care for us. There may be some pruning but He’s with me every step of the way. He’s watching us closely. When He said those words to His disciples, He was thinking about me too..it’s because He loves me. And as He reveals Himself to me, I’m amazed and in awe as I witness His wonderful plan in my life unfolds. I am confident that as the gardener lovingly cultivates each branch, He too is focused on me, He is my keeper. He never gave up on me, He wants me to bear fruit, fruit that will last forever.

~Connected to the vine, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and courses through our veins producing His gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

~To be Christlike (Galatians 5:22) and to bring Him glory even from the simplest things I was called to do. In my family life, career / business, service in the ministry and as I share His word. Now I see fruits.. and for God’s vineyard to produce, we as branches have to respond to the gardener / vinedresser…to God..

“Abide in Me” by which Jesus means to continue in obedience to “the word which I have spoken to you”. We cannot bear fruit of ourselves. Only by Christ and His word can we bear fruit acceptable to God.

Which one do you prefer… No fruit, with fruit, more fruit or much fruit?

The Father wants more fruit from us, so much that He actively tends our lives so we will keep moving up—from a barren to a productive branch, from an empty to an overflowing basket.  And more is always possible because we we’re created to bear  fruit, more fruit.. and still more fruit. This is our destiny!

Everyone is expected to bear fruit commensurate with the advantages, blessings, and gifts we are given. This is a call, a marching order for all of us. And as I share His life, I pray to be an empty vessel that He can always fill. These things will not be possible have I not yielded on the true vine, Jesus. And up until now I’m expectant of greater things to come as I commit to follow Him…and decide to always remain and abide in Him.. I claim and I receive it by faith. Fruitfulness is one of the many characteristics of true obedience to God and we can start with JUST ONE! and let’s all have more deposits in heaven.