Sunday, February 28, 2021

More Than I Asked For

When I was still single and praying for my future spouse, I asked God to help me find someone who even after I get married to him will still let me do many or all of the things I do for God like going to daily Masses, attending prayer meetings, going to Bible studies, serving God using my time, talent and treasure and many more.

God assured me that He will help me find that someone. 

I believed in God's promise and took His word.

I'm so glad I did because God's word did not return to Him empty! God fulfilled His promise to me and even exceeded my expectations.

Now, I'm already married and I'm still able to do almost all of the things that I used to do for God when I was still single. There were things that I'm not able to do as often or spend as much time doing as I used to do, but it's not my husband's fault.

It's simply one of the realities and challenges that I needed to face as a mother of young children. I simply do not have a lot of time for personal prayer like I used to have when I was still single.

I'm so glad and thankful to God that while I had plenty of time in my hands and while I was not so busy fulfilling many responsibilities like what I have now, I got to spend a lot of time with God when I was still single.

I'm so blessed because God gave me a husband who does not only allow me to practice my faith in the same ways that I used to do when I was still single, but he also helps me in my ministries. He helps me and enables me to say yes to God's calls to me and His assignments.

This February, my husband did not only approve of me doing a podcast for God. He even studied podcasting with me and for me. He is also helping me with the technical aspects of it. He has been learning this new thing with me since Christmas. He has spent many hours and many nights losing sleep learning about podcasts and working on the post-production of my podcast episodes.

We launched my podcast (Follow God with Teresa Podcast) last Valentine's Day with the first two episodes. That was my husband's Valentine's Day gift to me. 

Then, the third episode went live on the first Sunday of Lent and the fourth episode, today, the second Sunday of Lent.

I would not be able to accomplish these things and make my podcast available on my website and on platforms like Spotify, Google and Apple Podcasts if my husband did not help me. In fact, he has been doing more work on this project than me because, I realized, that there are a lot of technical things to do to produce an episode. 

When God promised to give me a helpmate, He was indeed serious. Now, I am experiencing the truth of His promise. Now, I'm seeing it and experiencing His word in the flesh through my husband who has been helping me in so many things.

Prior to this podcast, he has been helping by building my websites and blogs and by providing for our family so I do not need to be a breadwinner or so that I do not need to work full-time.

His support is one of the big reasons why I am able to do all that I'm able to do now.

So, on this last day of the Love Month, I'm writing this blog post to honor my husband and to thank him for being the wind beneath my wings, the man behind the scenes, who like Saint Joseph, was a man of few words but has contributed a lot through his actions.

Celebrating our achievement of launching my podcast on Valentine's Day! =)

Thank you so much, Sweetheart, for your great love and many sacrifices! I love you!

If you want to grow closer to God and improve your relationship with Him while waiting for your future bridegroom or even as you live out your life as a married woman, I invite you to follow my podcast Follow God with Teresa. You can listen to it on my website, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. Take your pick! 

I hope to inspire and help more people through this podcast to love God more and to follow Him. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Wedding Anniversary Reflection: How God Took Away My Shame

“How good the Lord is to me,” she would say, “now that he has taken away the shame that I have suffered.” (Luke 1:25, Phillips Bible)

This was the Bible verse that struck me when I read the Gospel during our 13th wedding anniversary this year.

I have read this Bible passage countless times but this is the first time that this verse struck me and I would like to share my insights and reflections with you through this blog entry.

When I was still single, many of my relatives, neighbors, officemates, and those who knew me were concerned that I have not yet found a boyfriend or husband yet. I was advancing in years and they were afraid for me that I might marry too late and will not have the chance to still bear children.

Although they meant well, their constant questions made me feel stressed.

Their words made me feel insecure and made me question myself sometimes. Is there something wrong with me? Are my standards too high or unrealistic? Do I need to be friendlier? Am I not pretty enough?

There were times when I felt ashamed that I did not have a boyfriend yet.

I thank God for the grace He has given me to endure those times. I considered those times when I felt lonely and insecure my times of desolation. For many years, it was as if I was in the desert and I was experiencing barrenness. Like Elizabeth, I bore that shame for many years. It was only by the mercy and love of God that I did not give up hope and I continued to find joy in my many years of waiting.

Those years of desolation enabled me to grow in character. There are traits that are only developed during times of difficulty. I'm glad and grateful that God helped me grow in character and beauty during those times when I felt broken. Those years of desolation prepared me for this time and season that I am in right now.

I had been married for 13 years now. My husband and I have been blessed with three beautiful and smart children.

“This is what the Lord has done for me. He has looked on me and has taken away my shame from among men.” (Luke 1:25, NLV Bible)

Those long, painful years of waiting, doing my best to endure the shame, made me value and appreciate better the gifts that I have received from the Lord when He, finally, sent my bridegroom to me to be my husband and He gave us our children.

Because I waited long to be married, I was ready to say yes to God when He asked me to leave my full-time job and be a full-time wife and mother 2 months after I got married.

Because I was diagnosed with a reproductive problem while still single, I was so thankful to God for each of my children. I only prayed that God would at least give me one child. But God, in His generosity and exceeding goodness, gave me and my husband 3 children!

That season of desolation and uncertainty during my season of singleness prepared me to give my best to my children when I had them. I probably would not be as hands-on and intentional as I am now if I did not have that diagnosis when I was still single. Because of my sickness, I grew to value the lives that were entrusted to me to carry. I valued the lives I was given to mold and raise this much.

Are you in your season of waiting and desolation? Are you still single and suffering the shame of being single and unattached or being unmarried?

I suggest that you view this season as a time of preparation and growth. Let God make you more beautiful and stronger while He breaks you. It is not easy to wait. It is painful to wait, especially when the wait is long. I know. I had been there.

But, God does not break us or allow us to suffer unnecessarily. He always has a purpose for letting things happen the way they do.

I do not claim to have a perfect family, a perfect husband, or perfect children. But they are definitely worth the long wait! 

Look at Elizabeth. She waited for many decades to have a child. And look at who she was made to bear! The Bible says in Matthew 11:11 that among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. 

God made her wait and endure so much pain and shame for many decades because someone great was set apart to be her child.

So, dear sister in the faith, trust that God has someone great set apart for you in your future. 

Do not resist the pain and the shame. Let these difficulties bring out the beauty that God wants to bring out in you. Let these experiences make you strong enough to be ready for what God has planned for your life.

Do not give up hope. 

Just keep turning to God in your brokenness and shame. The day will come when God will take away your shame just as He did it for me. He will replace it with something much, much greater than the pain and the shame you endured.

Believe me, because I had been there and I am writing this post now to encourage and give hope to all those who have yet to receive God's deliverance.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why You Need to Attend This Parenting Event Even Before You Have Kids

Stephen Covey once said that everything is created twice. First in our minds or imagination; and second, when we actually work to make our imaginations our reality.

You might have a vision for yourself as a bride on your wedding day. That's is great! But do you already have a vision for yourself as a parent? Becoming a parent after you get married is usually the natural progression. You will most likely get pregnant sooner or later. Or, if you choose to adopt a child, you will also become a parent to your adopted child.

Thus, it is good to ask yourself, what kind of parent do you envision yourself to be? Do you want to be a hands-on parent? 

Do you see yourself working outside the home or from home? Or do you see yourself as a full time stay-at-home wife? Do you see yourself as a business owner or freelancer? 

What is your dream for your relationship with your future children?

One of the advantages of having a clear vision of what kind of parent you want to be, even though you're not yet a parent now, is that you can start working on making that dream a reality as early as now. You buy yourself a lot of time!

Why do I say that? What do I mean by that?

I'm speaking from experience here.

If I had known what I know now or what I learned a few years ago, I would have started working on achieving my business and finance dreams much, much earlier... when I have more time in my hands. These days, even with all the knowledge that I have, I am limited by my responsibilities as a mother of young children. I cannot and choose not to work in the same ways as before because my priorities have changed.

When you are still single, you have more control of your time. But when you are dealing with babies or small kids, it's is often hard to predict when things will happen or will get done. This is true whatever kind of parenting style you choose -- gentle or positive parenting or authoritative parenting. Believe me for I have tried both!

Take this blog post for example. I was in the middle of writing this post when my baby cried. So, I hurriedly left this post unfinished to run to my baby when I heard him cry.

When I was still single, I would not stop writing until I am done with an article or story I wanted to write, especially when my creative juices are flowing. But now that I have a baby and small kids, I can't and I choose not to do that anymore... even if I am in the zone or even when I have looming deadlines. I just don't have the heart to let my baby cry continuously while I try to finish my work. I have a baby whose life literally depends on me because I breastfeed him. I provide food for him. I have a toddler who wants me to read books to him, who needs me to give him a bath and who wants me to play with him. I have a 6-year-old who needs me to listen to his stories or his music. He needs me to look at his latest creation, be it a drawing or something that he built. I need to cook and feed these children and make sure they're are safe to say the least.

Working to reach your financial goals and establishing a business or systems that will enable you to earn passive income takes a LOT of time.

So, whether you are already engaged, your wedding day is already close or you just tied the knot recently, I invite you to join us at the Hands-On Parents while Earning or H.O.P.E. Summit on August 8 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the AVR of the PLDT TelTech Building, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City. 

There will be a number of talks you can learn from on how to be a hands-on parent while earning. You will have an opportunity to meet and listen to parents whose reality is what many dream about. You will have a chance to pause and dig deep into your heart so you can discover your main reasons for wanting to be the kind of parent you want to be. You will also have a chance to come up with a clear and compelling vision for yourself as a parent and as an earning individual. And, you can make initial plans on how you can walk towards fulfilling your goal of becoming a hands-on parent while earning.

I encourage you to invest your time on this life-changing event and to secure your slot now while you can still avail of the early bird rate of P1,500. We only have limited seats. Click here to sign up now.

See you at the H.O.P.E. Summit!