Birthday Blessings

I turn 38 this week. Hoowee. That sounds old. It’s hard to believe I am almost 40!

Edric asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told him I already have everything my heart desires. By God’s grace, that’s the truth. Sure, there are things I WANT — Catalina NOT to have asthma, a baby grand piano, six pack abs, zero cellulite, anti-gravity solutions for my body, an unlimited house-decorating budget, more homeschooling resources… But 2014 was an incredible year and I am grateful.

On the one hand, it was one of the hardest seasons of my life in terms of parenting, homeschooling and ministry. But on the other hand, God blessed me with so many opportunities to enjoy my family, experience his provision, and serve Him. Here are my top 10 highlights…

1. Catalina turned 1 year old and we dedicated her to the Lord, celebrating her life with family and friends.

2. God gave me multiple occasions to share my testimony about tragedy and His healing. (It was televised on Tanikala during Holy Week; I got to speak to abused women at C.R.I.B.S.; I shared it for the first time in another country — at a conference in Brazil; and it was featured in Good Housekeeping in October.)

3. We finished our home and moved in! This was a miracle! God provided the funds and the suppliers to complete this project when we came to him with our “five loaves and two fish.”

4. I started a playgroup with other homeschooling moms in our bible study which has multiplied to accommodate over 30 kids. It’s still growing!

5. We opened up our home to a weekly bible study group with couples who are our neighbors. )

6. Throughout the year, Edric and I spoke on marriage and parenting (topics our hearts really beat for) at events like Before I Do, UECP Family Retreat, TMA Homeschool Roadshows, ACCF Family Retreat, Executive Couples Retreat, Counterflow Parenting Conference, Jubilee Couples Retreat, Saturdates, CCF outreach churches, etc.)

7. Almost every month we got to go on out of town trips as a family to places like Cebu, Palawan, Montemar, Boracay, Tagaytay, Baguio, Pico de Loro, etc.

8. I got to continue writing for my site and counseling online as much as possible despite a hectic year.

9. The kids and I finished our homeschool year! We hobbled through the end line but praise God we were done by September. Tiana is now starting Pre-school, Titus transitioned to Grade 1, Edan to Grade 3, Elijah to Grade 6, and, well, Catalina still disrupts us whenever she can.

10. I am still happily married to Edric and privileges to be mom to our five children.

IMG_1089.JPGAnd at this very moment I am enjoying an extended vacation with them in the U.S.

This year was very challenging for me emotionally, spiritually, and physically, but God was faithful. Even though I stumbled through a lot of 2014, I am amazed at all God did for me and my family. All glory goes to Him as He is the reason I am turning 38 with a smile on my face!

As I end this entry, I want to thank all of you readers for the joy you bring with your emails, messages, and words of encouragement. In many of my low moments this past year I have opened my gmail, Facebook messages or visited comments on my blog and been refreshed by your insights and positivity. Please forgive me if I am not able to respond immediately to all your questions but I want you to know that God has blessed me through your friendship from afar. May He be the light of your heart and home, and the hope that keeps you pressing on. Most of all, may you experience His everlasting love for you!

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting; To Him who made the heavens with skill,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting; To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting; To Him who made the great lights, For His lovingkindness is everlasting: The sun to rule by day,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting, The moon and stars to rule by night, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(‭Psalms‬ ‭136‬:‭1-9‬ NASB)

18 thoughts on “Birthday Blessings

  1. Oh Joy you are funny! Funny with your birthday wishes & so real which is why I do love you ❤ happy happy birthday, let’s celebrate when you get back ❤ thank You Lord for this woman’s life ❤

  2. I can almost hear myself saying the same things ….. I’m turning 48 this week and it’s hard to believe that I am almost half a century old! God’s goodness and grace made me understand not to hide my age because it is a living proof of what He has done for me other than that ultimate sacrifice of sending His Son to save me. It is always refreshing and encouraging to read your blogs. May you continue to use the talents God has blessed you with in blessing others as well. Happy Birthday Joy! Mine is on the 27th.

  3. Happy happy birthday, Joy! 🙂 You are a blessing to me and I’m sure to all of your readers. Your posts are very truthful, funny, insightful and you write beautifully! I would tell my husband, at times, that you are my idol but he says idols are bad :p So I will rephrase it and say that I really look up to you as a wife, mother and as a woman. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your life with us through your blog. Have a wonderful vacation in the U.S.! Merry Christmas! 🙂

  4. We send yoh our love and prayers on your birthday. You are superb woman, Joy. God is faithful. You are shining fir Jesus. We love you and arexbkest by your many ministries.

  5. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the gift of Joy! Happy birthday to you Joy and Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family! Edric’s show and your blogs are “Everyday Blessings”.

  6. Happy Birthday Joy! You are so blessed indeed, and God is with you. We are blessed to have you as a sister in Christ! <3

  7. Happy birthday Joy . Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your humility and your narrative way of telling your stories . You are such a blessing to me and your blog kinda reminds me to put me in my place with regards to my role as the “better half” instead of the “bitter half”

  8. Happy Birthday, Joy!Continue to live a life well-spent for the glory of God. May you always be a blessing to others like how you are to me as a struggling mother in my own home. You were born 38 years ago for a purpose and that is to serve the Lord in your own way. How thrilled I would be if I get to meet you in person as you are one of the most inspiring woman I know. May God richly bless you and your family always!

  9. Happy Birthday Joy! I’ve learn so much from you and I’m so thankful to God that I’ve accidentally watch that Tanikala episode..since then I started following your blogs and learn so much from being a wife and a mother to my two kids ages 4 and 6. I started really reading the Bible and still working on it to read it everyday. You are really such a big blessing to me. May God bless you more and always take care of you family. I hope I can meet you someday.

  10. Belated Happy Birthday, Joy!!! It’s just now that am catching up with my emails. Am so happy that you had given me opportunity to see your blogs. I just want to let you know that you are a blessing to me. You have shared many insights which puts my life in proper perspective. Am many years older than you but you have inspired me through your blogs. It’s very down to earth & God-inspired. I wish you many years of blessings with Edric & your beautiful kids. Thank you so much for everything.

  11. Belated Happy Birthday Joy!!! This message is a very inspiring one. I wish you more blessings & favor from God. May you have more celebrations to come. God bless you..

  12. Amen.. Happy Happy Birthday Joy. God bless you and the face of the Lord shine upon you always. Keep shining. <3 <3 <3

  13. Belated happy birthday, Joy!
    I pray that God will continually use you in your ministry in the LORD.
    God bless..:-)

  14. Hi ate Joy! I hope it’s okay with you for me to call you ate.. Happy Happy Happy Birthday! 🙂
    I praise God for your life and for your family and your willingness to serve Him in writing your blog and in many other ways. Thank you for the wisdom and comfort God has given you, that you have imparted on me even by just reading your blog. May God continue to expand your horizon and bless you to be a blessing for His glory! I love you ate Joy, even though you do not personally know me. I am praying that i too will experience the blessing of becoming a woman, a wife and a mother like you, and so become a blessing also to others for God’s glory! All praises to the Lord our God!

    1. Thanks Gail! That is so kind and sweet of you to write! I appreciate your encouragement! Praise God for all our lives. It’s only by his grace that we stand!

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