Sharing my faith and my life one day at a time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last of Two Parts: Our Third Wedding Anniversary

Thank you to everyone who greeted us on our third wedding anniversary! I never had the habit of greeting couples on their anniversaries but I have been taught by these very loving people that it is such a sweet gesture. I hope to start keeping track of my friends' anniversaries this year.

Yesterday I shared what we did to celebrate three years of being married. Today I am hoping to list down most of the important lessons I have learned these past three years of being Robert's wife.

I am, in no way, the most trusted expert in marriage but one thing I am sure of: God has been very loving and patient in guiding me to always become the best wife I can be to my husband. He has shaped me into the spouse that I am today because of experiences and through the examples of other women who love Him.

What God Has Taught Me About Being Robert's Wife

1) Everyday, I make a deliberate effort to look great for my husband. I have made a promise to him a long time ago that I will never let myself go no matter what. It takes so much work to stay and look good but Robert's response is always worth it. Not only is he visually stimulated, I can feel that he is much more confident when we step out and know that we are both well-groomed.

2) I choose to trust him at all times and know that his relationship with God enables him to be trustworthy. I used to be in relationships where it was difficult for me to feel secure. Now I know how important it is to be married to someone who loves God so much and abides by His high moral standards.

I found this also important: verbally expressing to him that I trust his decisions and will support them no matter what. Robert has affirmed to me so many times that this act gives him the confidence to go on about his day.

3) I do everything I can to create a house that is pleasant to go home to. Our apartment is tiny and our current budget does not really allow us to splurge on nice things for the home. However, I have learned to be creative in making our place a loving, safe place that Robert looks forward to enter at the end of the day. It is also important that my joyful attitude covers it all.

4) I find opportunities to intercede for my husband all day, every day. I am blessed that this is something I can freely do because I work from home full-time. There are just so many things to pray for: his safety on the road, his health, his reputation, his attitude, his confidence, his decisions, his engagement with other people and so much more!

5) I always pray for men to always speak life into my husband, and that Robert may always have the humility to receive them. I find this very crucial in his spiritual growth. I am grateful that my husband intentionally seeks these men. His humility in seeking wisdom is something I pray this will always be in him.

6) I used to fight hard with people who have said unkind and discouraging things to Robert. Today, I often choose to release my battles to the Lord and have Him stand up for my husband.

7) We believe in taking advantage of opportunities to improve our marriage. We are blessed to belong to a church who runs excellent seminars that help marriages work better. We do not wait for something bad to happen to start asking for help. We are not too proud either to ask for help when needed.

8) I go out of my way to anticipate what my husband will need during the day. When it comes to serving him, I just go ahead and do it. Sometimes it is great to ask but most of the time I discovered that my husband feels really loved when he doesn't need to ask for what he needs (he doesn't express it much anyway). It communicates to him that I have lovingly thought of him and that I take delight in meeting his desires.

9) I love speaking highly of him all the time. And it's not just lip service. I am married to an honorable, kind man. He sees the beauty in every person and every situation. There are just so many things about him that inspire me to be a better person.

10) We choose to joyfully maximize each season of our relationship. Love stories are written differently. I am so glad ours worked out the way it did. We throughly enjoyed every season of our relationship. We were best friends for more than two years. Dating for one year. Engaged for another year. And now married for three years!

There is just something so amazing in totally soaking in each season and reaping the benefits of each. The spirit of not being in a hurry proved to be something that built the strength of our marriage.

And it continues to grow and stay solid. Right now, we absolutely love still going out on dates, watching movies, long dinner conversations, and impulsive runs to undiscovered places.

We understand that parenthood is the next season and we are completely content in waiting for God's right time. We are doing our best in being physically prepared but at the same time knowing that there is nothing to be anxious about. Sometimes it feels like other people are rushing us to into the next season which is completely understandable. But we know what God promised to us and it is only a matter of time that He allows our dreams to pass. In the meantime, we are enjoying this season of quality time together!

I am not, by any means, the perfect wife. There are days I just don't feel like looking pretty or sometimes I am just too tired to tidy up our home. I continue to make a lot of mistakes but through my dependence on the real source of my strength which is God, I learn something new every single day. He gives me the grace the actually love doing what I committed to do for this marriage.

Today, I truly know what it means to intentionally put Jesus in the center of a marriage. His love for me and my husband is what keeps us going.

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" (Lamentations 3:22-24 NASB)

First of Two Parts: Our Third Wedding Anniversary

Robert and I recently celebrated three years of an extraordinarily blessed married life! There is really so much to be thankful for. We always start a day like this by giving God the praise and gratitude He deserves.

We usually go on an out-of-town trip on personal celebrations. We decided to skip it on this occasion because we are set to attend a wedding in Boracay in exactly two weeks -- our first trip to the beach in more than two years!

Here are some of the things we did to celebrate our third.

Flowers, cards and gifts!

Lunch in Jade Palace (one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in Manila) with Tito Jojo and Tita Mari. This year, they will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary!

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

Bird's Nest Soup

Hot Shrimp Salad (my favorite thing to order in Chinese restaurants)

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Chop Suey (the best in the city!)

Sweet and Sour Pork

Saw a vintage picture of my great-grandmother Dolores Earnshaw. My grandfather Ramon Earnshaw Sr. is seated at the right side of the photograph.

White Hat blueberry yogurt with cheesecake bites

Admired the beautiful Manila Bay sunset

Went to Legend Restaurant in Roxas Boulevard. Another awesome couple Lowell and Med invited us to dinner. They just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary!

Lowell said they have the best peking duck. He was right!

Hot Shrimp Salad (I cannot get enough of this!)

We cherished every bite of the good Chinese food we consumed that day. But what we hold dear to our hearts is the advice these two couples have given us. Our marriage is going strong but we still have a whole lot to learn!

The next part of this anniversary blog will talk about what I have learned these past three years on being a wife. Till the next entry!

Friday, February 26, 2010

On Judging Men and His Failures in Marriage

Tiger Woods. Benny Hinn.

These two men have a lot in common. Influential. Wealthy. Charismatic. Brilliant at what they do.

Recent news reveal that they have another thing in common to add to the list: a marriage that is falling apart.

While it is almost too easy to assume and conclude what went wrong in their respective marriages, there are only 5 people who truly knew what happened and what went wrong: Tiger, Elin, Benny, Suzanne and God. Therefore, I am not qualified at all to judge them.

While infidelity and neglect are great reasons why most marriages fail today, I am in absolutely no position to decide on what kind of people they are.

While I believe that a man loses favor when he breaks his wife's heart, I have no right to decide what he is entitled to and what should be taken away from him.

I can only recall so many times where moral failure kept me apart from my God and yet received His mercy -- the unconditional kind that can only come from a Father who loves me so much and sees what I can become. I am grateful for the times I was not judged.

As far as God is concerned, Tiger Woods and Benny Hinn are my brothers. He loves them and they are His children. He is also Lord over them. They are accountable to Him, not to me.

My desire is to pray for them and their families in the most loving way. I will continue on praying that they will encounter God and the greatness of His love through this time.

"And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them." (Luke 6:31 ESV)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Three Years Ago ...

I made the biggest commitment of my life. To love and serve Robert for as long as I live (and beyond!). Our wedding day has been the happiest day of my life so far. Robert contests it and says that my happiest night is the NKOTB concert we went to see a little over a year ago. Little does he know that Joey McIntyre's blue eyes do not even come close to the wonderful qualities he has!

Happy 3rd year anniversary my darling! I love you so much!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Dinner at You Jie Xiao Chao

I love small dinners with close friends. The laid-back kind where no one worries about their diets and there are no forbidden topics on the dinner table.

My birthday is on February 25th and my good friend Cheya's birthday is on the 27th. We always fantasize (and I hope it doesn't stay that way anymore this year) that we will try a new restaurant every month. The more obscure, the better.

We decided to make our birthdays an excuse to try a restaurant we have never been to before. Cheya did all the research and I just let her know that I was up for anything.

She picked a Chinese restaurant called You Jie Xiao Chao. Found on 6404 Camia Street, Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City, a stone's throw away from Rockwell.

The place was difficult to find because it had no sign and the outside appearance did not really indicate that a food business was taking place inside.

We were told to look for the house number and that should be the tell-tale sign. However, the 6404 number was also not the easiest to find especially in the evening.

Robert had so many jokes about that all night!

I was told that the Chinese food served is not the typical menu found in your neighborhood North Park Noodle House. They serve authentic food from Hunan province in China. A place famous for its rich culture and spicy food.

When we sat down and got the menu (which by the way is presented as a 2-volume digital photo album), I realized that they serve food that is not for the faint-hearted.

And they don't serve soda and any other beverages commonly found in any restaurant. But they do serve water in this.

And they serve this Chinese, honey-infused cold tea.

We ordered the "normal" stuff! Every dish did not disappoint.

Stir-Fried Shrimp

Fried Dumplings

Gongbao Chicken

Hot-Pot Beef

Stir-Fried Spicy Beef (the taste of this dish is Persian-inspired)

Egg with Tomato (I couldn't believe Robert ordered this but we saw it on ordered on every table so we tried!)

Beef Fried Rice

You Jie Xiao Chao Restaurant
6404 Camia Street, Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City

Camia is parallel to Estrella Street, behind the old Metro Club in Rockwell.

From EDSA southbound, RIGHT at Estrella Street, then RIGHT at Amapola Street (after Colegio de Sta. Rosa), then turn LEFT on the first street. That's Camia Street. Look closely for the tiny 6404 sign. They don't reservations so try to be there early or have a late dinner (8:30 pm onwards) instead as the place can get crowded and parking spots are scarce.

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