Thursday, April 29, 2010

Everyday

Everyday I get to see and experience this.


This is the trail I go to for my daily walk and quiet time. I aim for 10,000 steps a day!


This is our home for the next three months.


This is the beautiful landscape that I get to enjoy. Located right behind our home.




This is my quiet time spot.


See those bunch of trees in the near middle? Behind that is our home.


I love seeing green everywhere! I am grateful for the breathing space.


Believe it or not, I hear birds chirping clearly and sweetly!




Sunshine on this side of the world is gorgeous too!


Thank You my Father for taking my breath away everyday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: Will the World End in 2012?

I am generally not crazy about topics on the apocalypse. I will tell you why later.

However, I am also about keeping an open mind to things that don't interest me. I rarely reject opportunities to learn more about stuff that, although it doesn't matter much to me, matters to the rest of the world.


This is why when Book Sneeze gave me another opportunity to review a book from Thomas Nelson, I intentionally picked "Will the World End in 2012?" by Raymond C. Hundley, Ph.D.

My favorite part about this book is how Dr. Hundley presented ten different theories on doomsday. It's simple: one chapter covers one theory. Ten theories = ten chapters. Perfect for someone who loves everything compartmentalized!

Because it was presented this way, I was able to pick the theories that fascinated me the most and read them first. I saved the ones I had no knowledge about for last so I can take my time learning.

The book is only 154 pages long but the content is rich and factual. It is a Christian guide to the end of the world but it does not desperately beg you to sway your opinion to one view. I felt like I was left to explore these facts, study them, pray about them and come to terms with how I feel about them. I can also see this being a good reference good for future discussions about the end times.

Having done all of these things, I still feel at peace with the world ending at any time -- exactly how I originally felt before I read the book. I know it sounds a bit strange to some people.

I am passionate about living my life today as if it were my last. The whole point of following Jesus Christ and having a relationship with Him is believing what He did for me and being excited to meet Him if I were to die today.

Therefore, if the world ended today or in 2012, is irrelevant to me. I am not saying my viewpoint is better than yours, I just really, genuinely feel this way.

Do I want the world to end now? No. But if it does, I am totally okay with it. After all, the God who created this universe knows much more than I can ever fathom. He should know what He is doing and that His plans are always pleasing and perfect.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sleeping In and Loving It!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us as we waited to get on a flight last Tuesday. Everything was so worth it when we saw Robert's family again.



We have been resting and enjoying the simplicity of life. We sleep whenever we can and feel like it. I will talk more in an upcoming blog entry about the wonderful, simple things I enjoy here daily. It's far cry from the busy schedule we used to have in Manila but we love life's slower pace today.

Right now, we are just absolutely grateful how God took care of us during our journey from Manila to the United States. Sure, there was a lot of be frustrated about but at the end of the day, God does not owe us anything and yet He showed how much He cared for us during this time.

I am grateful to see Robert enjoy business class for the first time and discover its wonderful perks!


I am grateful to have a taste again of my favorite Caramel Apple Empanada from Taco Bell! It's been almost two years.


And most of all, I am grateful that my mother-in-law looks fantastic! She is in terrific spirits -- almost like nothing ever happened.


We plan to spend the next month catching up on work, planning for our ministry for the rest of the year, do a lot of things with the family, see good friends, run outdoors, and spend a lot of time with the Lord. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Standing By

We were set to leave about a week ago for Omaha, Nebraska. Little did we know that God had other plans.


Seats on Delta Airlines have been oversold in the past week. Since we got our tickets from a Delta employee, we were pretty much the first to get bumped off the flight.

We tried getting into 6 different flights for 4 consecutive days and still no success. There were a couple of really crazy close calls but it still didn't work out.

The volcanic cloud of ash from Iceland closed pretty much the entire European airspace; which added to the volume of passengers trying to reroute their itineraries.

I cannot even begin to describe the complex emotions Robert and I have experienced in these past few days. I have been able to cope with this matter fairly well (despite the occasional tears of fatigue and frustration) but it does break my heart to see my husband make that daily telephone call to his parents to let them know we didn't make the flight again. It is so difficult to add stress to them when our very intention of going to the States is to serve them and make their life easier.

However, I just needed to share with you what God has been doing in me and what He has been teaching me as we wait on His perfectly-timed flight. The one thing that made me realize through this time is that Jesus is all I really need when He is all I've got. My dependency on Him has a reached a level that I have never been on before.

I have had moments of faithlessness and feeling like I am unable to hear His will. I had to battle this weakness every second and rely on the truth that He is able and that His reasons are always perfect.

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

Having spent so much time with Him and seeing how everything unfolded, God gave us this assurance that He is protecting us from something that will harm us. I am convinced of this 100%.

I have absolutely no idea what it is that can possibly cause us pain but He sure does know! I am so comforted knowing this. He will reveal what it is in time.

There are two things that I am so thankful for on this experience.

1) This is really making our marriage stronger. I am amazed on how God filled our character with so much grace during this time. During moments when we thought we would lose our cool, we chose to be patient, understanding and gracious. Only our Father can make our weaknesses perfect through Him! There was no way we could have been this kind to each other if it weren't for His power.

2) You really know who your true friends are during this time. I am so touched by the hospitality, phone calls, text messages, e-mails and comments that we have received these past few days. You know who you are! I just want you to know that every kind word put a smile on my face. God really showed Himself through you.


Please continue to pray for us as we patiently wait for God's plans to unfold. We are still looking forward to fly at the soonest possible time; but we are open to change our plans if that is His will (although at this time, I still feel like He wants us to go). I am fervently praying for supernatural favor as we try to get on a flight again.

Please stand with us as we "cast the whole of our care [all of our anxieties, all of our worries] on Him, for He cares for us affectionately and cares about us watchfully." (1 Peter 5:7)


Thank you for reading this. You are a blessing to us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Haircut: Results Are In!

Sometime last week I told you that I was planning to get a new haircut before I leave for the States. I badly needed one because of the following reasons.

  • I haven't had a decent haircut since August 2009
  • My hair has grown into a chin-length bob. Hot Manila summer has dried it out so badly that it looks unhealthy.
  • I need to turn my hair into the wash and wear kind because I won't have the luxury of cheap (only $2 here in Manila) shampoo + blow dry services in the United States.
  • My husband Robert prefers that I have a shorter hairstyle.

Here is how my hair looked like before going to the salon. A stick-straight bob (styled a bit with the help of a hair dryer) with a new base color in Medium Golden Brown.



Here is how my hair normally looks like without help of a styling tool and humidity takes over. Yes, it is as rough as it looks!



Last week, I asked for your thoughts about the two hairstyles I was trying to choose from. Thank you so much for responding! This style won by a landslide!



I went to my favorite Hairshaft Salon at The Podium and asked for an appointment with Fred Penales mid-afternoon. I expressed to him the reasons for the haircut and the look that I was going for.

I showed him the "winning" picture and said that I prefer to skip the bangs because these are hard to have if I am going for a wash-and-wear style. The bangs will have to wait until I get back.

I love that it is so easy to communicate with Fred! And I love that The Podium has free WIFI!



Fred worked so hard to get my hair back into a glorious shape.





This is the result of Fred's magic.









I went back to Hairshaft Salon the following day to get my highlights. I told Fred that I have no reservations when it comes to color.

He put in two colors and I loved the result!









Robert was also very happy with the result and that's what matters the most!


Fred Penales
Hairshaft Salon
The Podium 5th Level 18 ADB Ave. Ortigas Center Mandaluyong City
+6326382040

Happy Song Series: Sunshine and Summertime by Faith Hill

I have been wanting to start this series and finally I get to start it today! I wanted to share with you every so often the songs that make me happy. It just makes perfect sense because happiness is what this blog is all about.

Not a lot of you know that I really love country music. I am not hard core but I do have a decent country playlist in my iPod.

Today, one song that makes me think of the glorious summer months is Faith Hill's Sunshine and Summertime.

The lyric goes like this.

We’ve got bare foot ladies
and tricked out Mercedes
People getting crazy on the boulevard
We’ve got classic colas
and ice cold corona’s
and big pool parties in the back yard

I said:

“Heyyyyy, that’s the way we do it”
new friends and blue skies that never end.
“Heyyyyy, that’s the way we like it”
Good times, sunshine and summertime.

You’ll see straw sombreros
and t-top Camaros
Stereo’s blasting in the parking lot.
You’ll see rock hard bodies
and bikini hotties
and everybody’s got it goin’ on,
and showing what they got.

“Heyyyyy, that’s the way we do it.”
New friends and blue skies that never end.
“Heyyyyy that’s the way we like it”
Good times, sunshine and summertime.

I said.

“Hey everybody, can’t you feel the rhythm now?”
“Hey everybody, don’t you want to party?”
“Hey everybody, can’t you feel the rhythm now?”
“Hey everybody, don’t you want to party?”

“Heyyyyy, that’s the way we do it”
new friends and blue skies that never end.
“Heyyyyyy that’s the way we like it”
Good times, sunshine and summertime.

“Heyyyyy, that’s the way we do it”
new friends and blue skies that never end.
“Heyyyyyy that’s the way we like it”
Good times, sunshine and summertime.

Good times, sunshine and summertime
Good times, sunshine and summertime


Listen to the song and I hope it puts a smile on your face today!

Robert Started His Blog Today

Hope you are having a blessed weekend. Just wanted to let you know that my amazing husband, Robert, started his new personal blog today on Wordpress.

The title of his blog is "On Fire: Fan the Flame!" The URL is http://robjonfire.wordpress.com.


I am looking forward to see him share his life and thoughts to you all. Please add it to your RSS readers if you would like to.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cafe by the Ruins

It's been family tradition to eat our first Baguio meal in Cafe by the Ruins -- an enduring favorite. Enjoy the photos we took of this place on a trip last week.












Kesong puti cheese sticks with tinapa bits


Beef sinigang


Spicy bangus with mountain rice


Fresh lumpia


Crispy tapa with mountain rice


They also have a lot of organic products that may be bought to take home. Pleasant discovery: Cordillera Heirloom ground coffee is very good!



I love how this place continues to nurture local art and culture. The food is as good as I remembered. The only observation that day that needs improvement is the waiting time for the ordered food to come out. Ours took twenty minutes! Good thing it was worth the wait.


Café by the Ruins, 23 Chuntug, Baguio City
Tel. 442-4010 / 446-4010 Fax. 442-5272
feedback@cafebytheruins.com.ph