Archives for October 23, 2013

Sweet Randomness Part 2


Elijah came home from a seminar he spoke at with his dad two Tuesdays ago. He went upstairs to say hi to everyone and then sat down at the table looking very forlorn. Everyone started eating but he seemed sad.

Out of nowhere he said “Nobody was excited to see me come home.” And he started to tear. (He can be very dramatic.)

I was surprised he felt this way…my 10 year old, big boy.

He continued, “Only Nancy (the househelp) said, Hi Elijah how are you? Edan didn’t even pay attention to me. He was just doing his computer programming when I arrived. You (mom) just went to your room to be with Catalina.”

Edan was equally surprised that Elijah felt this way.

I knew Elijah just needed some attention. So I asked him to come sit by me and I put food on his plate and asked him about his time with his dad.

Edan didn’t think he needed to apologize for being busy with computer
programing but he very thoughtfully said, “I saved your cup noodles even if mommy told me to eat them and I didn’t eat your ice chocolate.”



Edan doesn’t like to use the toilet by himself when the lights are turned off. So he always tries to get one of his siblings to accompany him.

“Titus! Do you want to use the bathroom? Come, come let’s go…”

Titus replies, “No, I don’t want to.”

Edan finds another victim…”Tiana! Do you want to go to the bathroom?”


“Do you want a prize?”


She runs to the bathroom to accompany Edan and comes back with no prize.



Tiana walks into my room and with conviction says, “I really really need makeup.” (I don’t know where she gets this. I don’t wear a lot of make up.)

So I give her lipgloss instead to play with.

A few days later, she comes home from church with her lips all glossy. I noticed them in the car. They looked very pretty but I wondered how she put the lipgloss on.

I asked her, “Can you show me how you put on lipgloss?”and she demonstrates it for me (very skillfully.)

“Where did you learn to do that?”

“Sunday school.”

Hmm…I sure hope not…



I take Tiana with me when I do errands so we can spend time together. One afternoon she was being too rambunctious in the backseat and I asked her to stop.

She didn’t like being told to stop moving around so she started inventing a tune and singing to herself, “I love mommy sometimes…sometimes I love mommy.”

Of course I started laughing.

I can’t get enough of these kids!!!


Don’t Make This Heaven

Catalina picked up a bug again. But so far, it hasn’t progressed to a dangerous point. Whew. She’s stuffed up and coughing but smiley, interactive, and eating well.


I was stressed out when she came down with another respiratory illness. After all it was just one month ago that she had her second confinement. We tried our best to isolate her. I made people wear masks. No sick person was allowed near her. She was kept at home when we went out. But she developed a cold nonetheless.

While I was running I had my prayer time. I shared with the Lord my concern and worry. I was so paranoid about Catalina being sick because I didn’t want her to relive being in the hospital again. At night I watched her and held her just to make sure she could sleep in an upright position to ease her congestion. I felt discouraged that all my efforts to protect her in the last month amounted to this. But God spoke to me. He told me, hey, this is normal. People get sick. The perfect, pristine, germ-free, problem-free world I want for Catalina and the rest of my kids does not exist here. This is earth. In this world, there is disease, heart ache, poverty, injustice and suffering. There are natural disasters (like the recent earth quake in Bohol), calamities and evil people.

However, the sentiment that followed was…don’t lose heart. This isn’t home. This isn’t it. This isn’t final.

I need to back track a little and explain that we have been at the finishing stages of our housebuilding. The prospect of our own home was making me feel more situated on earth than ever before. I could finally settle down and root myself somewhere. No more condo living (which always felt very transient.) This was going to be a home to grow old in and enjoy our children in.

I had visions of the life we would have…the children playing in the yard, gardening, homeschooling in our new study room, cooking in our much bigger kitchen, going for evening walks as a family, spending time in the family room, having barbecues on the patio, entertaining guests, and on and on. Each of these fantasies was haloed by fair weather clouds and sparkly sunshine.

Then pop! Catalina’s cold happened. I needed to be reminded that this is a passing, fading, fallen world.

In a very subtle way, I saw the house as the fulfillment of my earthly wishes. But here’s what God has been impressing upon me: Don’t make this heaven. Don’t anchor your heart here, in this disease-stricken world (disease-stricken in more ways than just the physical). Do not fall in love with it. Enjoy your new home when it comes but don’t forget, this is just earth. Don’t get too cozy and comfortable. You are not in your permanent residence yet. You are still in transit. And while you are on temporary status don’t forget your real purpose.

My real purpose is tell people about God. God loves us. He gave us his son, Jesus, to die for us and pay the penalty of sin so we can have eternal life.

Whatever happiness and blessings we receive now are but a foreshadow of the riches of eternity. And whatever trials we experience at present ought to make us long for what God has prepared for us. The apostle Paul so beautifully describes it as this: “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NASB)

Baby Shower for Baby Sisters

I am not an event planner but I really enjoy opening up my home to people. My mom was the same way so I must have learned this from her. Since our house isn’t done yet, I asked my mom if we could have a baby shower for my sister, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Jenny, in her place. They are both due in December. She suggested we have one for Astrid, too. Astrid is a long time family friend who is a pastor’s kid like me and she is due even sooner than my sisters. My mom’s idea was to invite the pastor’s wives to share with all the preggy moms words of wisdom.

So it was a team effort to put together this baby shower. My mom and I worked very well with one another. We usually do. We have similar tastes and she never gets stressed when it comes to hosting parties and events which is great because I can get frazzled when things go awry. She, on the other hand, just floats around in her happiness and finds creative solutions when something goes wrong.

I took care of the decor and food preparation and she invited the guests and asked them to share their insights on motherhood.


I thank God that I live in the Philippines because I could hand off Catalina to her yaya when I had to decorate and cook. Here is the pink and blue theme for a baby girl and two baby boys…












– Mixed Green Salad with Mangoes,
Apples and caramelized walnuts.
– Deviled eggs
– Pumpkin Soup
– Pasta Carbonara
– Grilled Rosemary Ranch Chicken on skewers
– Homemade Fruit Tea
– Cupcakes