One Income But Builds A Home

I always hear people say in panic, “Why are you not working? This is not the trend now!!! It is impossible to live in one income these days!!!! You are losing your mind! Those were my thoughts also when it was only my brother who was working and he is still the one who puts the bacon on the table up until now but someone serves it so beautifully that it makes me change my mind. 

I want you to meet my brother (Jerry), his only daughter (Jherra), & his wife (Darwin). This was on their thin & challenging days but they have stood the test of time. 

My brother was the one working on a very small monthly income and his wife stayed and turned their house into a home. They raised a child, have a simple but super beautiful and peaceful home, have a modest appliances, enjoyed with friends and have a blast in life. I know that they went through the toughest of days but they emerged the strongest as the time went by. With their small income, they built a house and sheltered both of their respective families.  They have been so generous of their spaces regardless if they were the one who sweat and sacrificed for it. 

At their home, he gets up to work and his wife provided a first class service for their family. They have healthy food, a tidy house, and a peaceful home. In most cases, their home has been a shelter for cousins who temporarily strayed away from their respective partners and went home refreshed. 

The following are what I learn from a model family who live in just one income:

1) DON’T MIND WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY. I’m sure they must have feel the pressure of the voices all around them but they stick to what works for them. For them, it’s best that one works while the other stayed at home to raise a child and build a sanctuary of peace. To each it’s own. We have different path to follow and I am sure that they have followed through faithfully and consistently.

2) MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE. My sister in law can turn a trash into gold. She uses it for decorations,  painted it herself and viola, her home is the best, no bias, promise. She is just a gifted home maker who just minds her own business. 

3) BUDGET AND STICK WITH IT. With a very small income that my brother have, she literally sticks to her budget and enjoy life. She has no internet, no facebook account, no instagram, no twitter, but bask on peace. And she did not look disheveled at all. She knows how to carry herself with class and elegance. And wait, my brother is the most at peace without social media too.

That’s my sister in law Darwin. Isn’t she lovely? I have a high regard on her. That does mean to say that we don’t have disagreement? We do but I consider her a great blessing to our family. 

4) BE CONTENT. In their home, there is peace because they are contented with what they have but keeps on dreaming. I remember at one point my brother told me, “You serve the Lord, You are driving a car, have a high salary, but you don’t have peace.” It was an eye opener for me and I will never forget it. To desire for material possessions and money drives us crazy but to be content gives us the space to have more. Eventually, my brother has been blessed not just with possessions but with their fats as well (hahahaha).

5) ENJOY LIFE. I’ve seen them respecting each other while enjoying simplicity at its core. 

She does the laundry.

But he helped when the rain pours so suddenly.

6) RAISE A GOOD NATURED CHILD. Their daughter though going through teenage challenges is such a lovely lady and our future Miss Universe (hahaha) 

I woke up like this. That’s their only daughter who is oh so beautiful. 

They have modeled what a contented family really is.

***********************************************************************For me, my brother and his family  is successful and have so much more. Sometimes, he looked down at himself probably because of what he has seen around him. Sometimes we missed the gold within us because we see glitters that will just fade but theirs is a glitter that stays. I will never forget when I was 8 when I prayed to the good Lord that my brother will have the best wife and my sisters will have the best husband. He did answer my prayers. 

Books For My Soul

When Television was so stranged in our home and radio can only be found at our neighbors abode where we sat behind their doors to listen to beautiful dramas, I found my way to entertain myself at a school library and fell in love with books. Books helped me to learn English by just watching at the pictures and went home happily sharing it to my family that the English Term for “kilat” (Cebuano Term) is lightning. My family were so amazed and bragged that I must be so smart and my future must be so bright. 

In the chaos of my soul when I started learning that our family must be born so underprivileged compared to some of my classmates who were the “IT PEEPS” at school, I found books to be my constant mentor in the absence of my mother. I always frequented to Biography section and has allowed those strangers to speak into my life by how they relayed their stories from rags to riches and how they did not allow bitterness to dwell into their soul. I can still remember how I cried in the corner of the school library feeling so encouraged that if others fare well in life because of sheer determination and perseverance, I must have too and that in itself made me a dreamer and ambitious while others believe that where they were must be their fate and they must happily lived with it. True indeed, these people who believed this way were empregnated way too early, married way too young, became a parent way too soon in life and continued to spread a message of “it’s our fate and so let’s live with it.” On the contrary, I am left unmarried, had my first boyfried in my early 30’s, no kids, bloomed in my late 30’s, just learned the value of saving, just enjoying the beauty of serenity brought by the Presence of Jesus, and just started to get a grasp of life reality by the Help of the Holy Spirit. 

As I am standing in between the two paradox of how a person live and view life, I also learned that the way we think matters. Some of my friends in the early days allowed the voices of the people closest to them as their final life reality. They were told that they wey were born poor and they must die poor. They were told that they were destined to live not finishing their studies and become a househelp and that’s where their actions led them. I was told the same way too. While I was so inspired by the lives of people I got strength from for their success through books, I also caught myself hearing the most familiar voices of my relatives who constantly told me that WHY SHOULD YOU TRY TO REACH THE STARS WHEN YOU CAN’T REACH THE STARS?!? YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE POOR AND YOU MUST BE CONTENTED WITH IT. YOUR FACE IS BEST TO BE A HOUSEHELP AND SO YOU MUST LEARN TO ACCEPT IT. THAT THERE’S NO FUTURE FOR SMALL PEOPLE AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.But then again SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN THE BOOKS I READ were exactly like me but had a shining future who inspires many. 

I remember how I stood in our school plaza one time and just dream of becoming a MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER & WRITER. Gosh, people may have fainted had I told them that desires in my heart. 

Fast forward, I graduated College by the grace of God,  became a motivational speaker to various places, offices,  campuses, and churches, and now slowly pave my way into writing. What’s the difference? I associated myself with those successful people I have never met in real life but learned their success stories through books and eventually adopted their attitudes of learning how to plow the way through regardless of how hard life may seemed at the moment because there’s a time that the field will become fertile for victory and success. 

One time, I was just talking to a friend who was trying to go back to school who eventually bursted, I don’t think I’ll make it in our class because my mind has been too rusty. I was infuriated on the inside. You will never be too rusty if you push your way through and read.  And if you are a Christian, your Bible must be your best reading material that must have provided you with wisdom and common sense. And true to what she said, she stopped going to school and does nothing now simply because she believed she can’t.

Friends, do not limit God’s way of shaping you into becoming who God wants you to be. Sure, there will be hardships, trial, and tribulations as you step in faith. Yes, success is not going to be overnight. True that the process will be too painful. But will you trade your VICTORIOUS OUTCOME SIMPLY BECAUSE THE PROCESS IS ROUGH???

Imagine how many young people will be inspired by your story just like how I was definitely encouraged by those successful people I read in the books. And oh, you might not be a book people will eventually read, but you can be an AN INSPIRING BOOK PEOPLE WILL SEE FACE TO FACE.

As Derek Ramsey always said, “LEADERS ARE READERS” so READ. You might not be leading a battalion of people, but friends, you have yourself to LEAD.

Aspire to LEAD YOURSELF WELL BY READING WELL.
A glimpse of my few books that I interacted with for the most parts of my life

Poverty Mentality or Being Wise

Long time ago, I was with a group of people who are prosperity preachers and when we were inside the mall, they made a large purchase and were surprised that I didn’t buy any. For one, I don’t want to go home with a bulky and with a heavy bag and second, buying new stuff for the sake of buying wasn’t in my budget. My attitude towards money must be something new to them but I was starting to feel restless on the inside of me specially when I tried to fit in only to please them. As a result, I was labeled as someone with a POVERTY MENTALITY. I had a hard time understanding that kind of a label then but as I was just thinking about it now, my attitude must have been right.

So how can we know if we have a POVERTY MENTALITY??

1) If we have extra cash but we are still AFRAID to buy because we fear lack. It might be because of the scarcity that we experienced in the past. In a way, it’s understandable but not too commendable because we have allowed money to lord over us instead of us having a hold on our money.

2) If we don’t want to give because we think that we work so hard for what we have saved that others must work as hard as we do. Well, this is true but if we have been working for a long time, we too can attest that our job is a trust from God and without His blessing, we wouldn’t be blessed as where we are now.

Notice something?? Poverty mentality is associated with FEAR and GREED because of a bad experience that brought to poverty and poverty isn’t the best place to be. ASK ME. I WAS THERE. 

On the other hand, not spending money because it’s not on a budget is just BEING WISE. It’s not being wise to pretend living a lifestyle of the rich but cannot sleep at night because of DEBT. That is FOOLISHNESS and the BIBLE teaches us clearly to be wise, to be responsible,  and to be a good steward of our finances, time, job, and etc.

To live within your budget is not dwelling on a poverty mentality, it is just being wise. Saving is just being wise. Generosity is just being wise. On the other hand, spending without thinking simply because of a sermon that God wants us to be rich so we have to  act it out  and the end result is DEBT, that’s foolishness. 

So be let’s be wise regardless of the label. Let’s be a good steward of our finances. God give us the brain so we could think well, not so we could squander His trust. At times, God speaks to us in His gentle voice and instruct us to give what we have saved and it does not make sense to our brain, but when it does happened, LET’S GIVE because what He is about to bless us with is far larger than what we have saved.

In 2017, let’s learn to save but let’s enjoy giving like how He gave His Son Jesus to us so we will be saved from our sins.

Have a lovely Monday💟

Life Hero 1

I woke up way too early because my body get used to waking up at 1:55 in the morning. Sooner, it will change to 1am because of daylight saving time and I sat down with my greatest coffee staring at the blank wall. I tinkered in this tablet scrolling instagram and few of FB POSTS but I still have nothing to write. All I know is that, it looks like I have a hormonal imbalance for wanting to cry without any reason at all and for remembering some of the people who made an impact in my life but they are no longer around, most of them has been dead long time ago and the rest are no longer in the Philippines but living in other countries and some are still in the province amd there are few people who are still around.

So here’s to the people who impacted my life. I will just share two and reserve my tears of thanks on my next post for my other life heroes.

Papa Tony & Mama Paring (not in photo). He is my father’s brother and he stood for us as our second Papa when we were in our toughest days.  Countless days, we stayed in their home, well fed, dressed up and loved so much. Their children became our closest friends and we had been so well protected around them. I remember how Papa Tony brought food for us almost everyday and hugged us to let us know that one day, everything will just be alright. Thankfully, it slowly did. They have a heart of gold and when I met them again, tears just flowed down in our eyes with another tight hug in thanksgiving that God has been so good to us. He is still alive and lives in a simple home in Leyte but boy their home is a sanctuary of peace to stay for a vacation. I pray that they will live longer and may they will continue to enjoy the best of health and life. In my heart, it’s time to give back.

Yoyo Mon. My mother’s brother. Before our mother died, she left us to him and he took it to heart. I will never forget how he silently knew that I had chicken pox all over my body. No one really cares then and there I was lying in bed praying that I will get healed when at 9 in the evening, I heard a consistent knock in the door and there he was bringing a soverax for me and it has been in my heart until forever. I remember how he rescued me while I am in the middle of the road in the City because the car that I was driving stopped for no reason and there I was causing the traffic but oh how I feel so secure when he comes smiling just like how he used to be in this photo. I remember how he prepared sardines for me when I visited him because I was so discouraged at work and he knew that sardines is my favorite. I remember how he helped me in various times and how he understood when I can’t be understood. He always smiled when I kept thanking him of how he saved me way back and I am glad to have been given the opportunity to share Jesus to him along with some of my relatives. Yes, they too shared Jesus and that’s the best to remember. He already died and I’m sure that he is in heaven and must have seen momma but his love for me never dies.

********************************************************

That’s for now because it takes a lot of courage to write about someone whose impact sink too deep in my heart. My tears won’t stop from flowing. 

Friends, let’s not stop being kind to the less privileged children & teens  because you have no idea of how much you have inspired them. You have no idea of much you are a hero to them. You will have no idea of how much your life will become a road to their future success. You have no idea that in your kindness, you are touching someone DESTINED TO BE KINGS & QUEENS. 

In Galatians 6:9 The Message translation says, “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit.”

Have a lovely day💗

BE WISE & GENEROUS

One of the musings I always hear when people give and help someone is this: “I am always ready to help and be there for people but when I am the one in dire need, I have no one to run to for help.”

That complaint is valid but if we only give to receive from people then we set ourselves up for a major disappointment. 

When we give or provide financial assistance for example and we do this so that we will feel good about ourselves and people may have something good to say about us, we will be too frustrated if they don’t even know how to utter the word THANK YOU. When it’s our turn to ask for help and these people turn their backs from us, it’s nothing but a feeling of BETRAYAL.

So here’s my tip: BE WISE AND GENEROUS.

If God placed it in your heart to really share your blessings to others, make sure that you have something left for yourself. I learn that it’s wise to save at least 6months of our expenses. I also have it in my heart to save for emergencies so that what has been saved for the expenses will not be touched. Do not set aside yourself in the name of martyrdom because there’s only one real martyr in the name of genuine love and He is JESUS. 

If for instance, people will come to you and ask for assistance and in most cases it’s always in finances, learn to say no without additional side comments. If you can refer that person to a charitable institution,  the better and if you have a little to spare, then give it instead of lending it.

We cannot blame the recipients of our so called generosity by not returning the same act of kindness to us because they are not the source of our harvest, JESUS IS. 

Lastly, don’t go into debt so that you can assist someone but only do it during  emergency cases. Remember, when the people you helped get over from their mess, they may even forget paying you for the debt you incur so that they will be saved from their wrong choices.

So be wise with your finances. Bring back the tithes to God first. Save. Then Give. And when the people you help forgets about you, it doesn’t hurt because you just simply give without expecting anything in return.

I hope this help.

Have a lovely day🚶

Valentines On A Budget 

So today is Monday and I was thinking in the night before that I will have to wake up early to do laundry. I did but I am not hammering clothes, rather I am up with my greatest coffee in my beautiful mug, smell the beauty of dawn and tinker my tab. You see, I am always up at dawn for work and by virtue of being a thinker, Tuesday is coming and I have to keep saying thank you for calling, not to mention the quality of calls to consider plus the AHT, and my supervisor even said that I have to work on my pronunciation, so help me God. 

And yes, I will be working on a Day of Hearts but I know that I will be seeing flowers here and there in the arms of beautiful ladies and probably in the flood of chocolates in purses or in boxes everywhere. I would like to say that romance is good but to have a happy hormones in a just day is not a good ground for a lasting relationship. For one, it may break someone elses budget, probably becoming a romantic one day millionaire but scratching a bald head even before the 15th day.

I told my boyfriend that we don’t need to be extravagant this Valentines because I have experience a deep kind of love with him on a daily basis. I am well respected, honored,  cherished, loved, protected, and prayed for everyday. I am wonderfully blessed. And he is blessed with me too by my antic jokes and boisterous laughter when I am in the best mood. And he gets so use to my beast mode too. Oh well, my silliness makes him thinks that I am the best woman in the world. Opps, Fenelyn, if you are reading, you remains to be his number one but since you are in Canada so you are still his number one. Hahahaha.

So here’s to a simple but meaningful Valentines:

1) Cook for your girlfriend/boyfriend her/his fave meal. In our case, I always volunteer to wash the dishes but cooking isn’t my cup of tea so being his partner in the ketchin is a teamwork to be treasured. I can always admire him for his passion for cooking and how lovely the meal turns out to be with him by my side. 

2) Write Love Letters to Your Significant Others. Being a writer, I always do that for him but promise, the letters that he gave me way back was so beautiful to cherish with his unique handwriting in it. I love how the ink melted on the cards and how those wonderful words melted my hearts up until this day. It just reminds me of how great this man is and how he becomes greater and greater as days and months and years went by.

3) Listen. Yes. It does not need a cent to show your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend their value. Give them your undivided attention. Listen with the excitement of your eyes and with the attentiveness of your ears. You have no idea how romantic it could be most specifically to ladies. 

5) Say I Love You Personally. Don’t text it. Don’t call and say it over the phone. Make it so personal. Tell her or him how a blessing she or he in your life. And to those who have the love language of affirmation? ? That’s a ticket to a happy year and a joyful love life. 

6) Pray For Your Significant Others. Every day my boyfriend take me to work and when I get out from his motor bike, he will lay his hands on me and prayed that I will have the best day at work. You have no idea over how it made me so secure to report to work and face whatever is at stake because I know that I am being prayed. I always report with my close up smile regardless of my yellowish teeth because I am so sure that God hears his prayers over me. 

So to people out there who is so overwhelmed on what to give to your someone special, worry no more. It’s not your one day of sweetness that makes a difference but it’s how you make your significant other feel so loved and valued with or without occassions. 

But if you feel that you can’t relate because you are not in a relationship, then think of someone whom you would like to feel honored and loved this Valentines. You may wanna treat the street kids to Jollibee and see their happy smile and genuine thank you. I used to do that way back and it always reminds me of how blessed I am to have been given the opportunity to love those who can’t believe that love still exists.

My gosh?!? How come I just know about this?? Hahahaha

When Will You Have A Boyfriend?!?

This is February and LOVE IS IN THE AIR as people say. We hear it from the radio. Watch it on TV. In fact, worst these days is being able to watch these teenagers doing some kissing scene with their boyfriend and girlfriend and everyone is saying it’s okay in the name of drama. Thankfully, in my time, I grew up with no TV and all the radio drama can just be formulated in my imaginations. And in my imaginations are marriages that last for a lifetime. The couple who love each other and bring their children to the church. Etc. Etc.

Then I came to the City to search for a scholarship so I can study and my mind was opened to the reality.  People related your identity to being IN A RELATIONSHIP. If you are NOT, then you are UGLY. But, I knew then that I was because that’s what my neighbors told me. I WAS AND AM UGLY:mrgreen: But, I don’t believe this label anymore. I AM WONDERFULLY AND BEAUTIFULLY MADE BY GOD. No more. No less.

I tried to prove myself showing that I am a woman with worth even without a boyfriend. I studied so hard. Then I happened to join a CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION. There, I participated in their activities and I was in the THEATER MINISTRY where I made people laugh. People thought that I am funny and being so celebrated I tried to be a people person and continued to make people laugh even if it saps my energy. That started the DAY WHEN I BECOME SOMEONE ELSE JUST SO I FIND MY WORTH.

And I turned into my late 20’s. People who worshipped Jesus wondered why I did not have a boyfriend. They said no one probably will like me because I am too short and ugly. In fact, I remember a visiting church from Manila with so many delegates and there was this guy who seemed to have interest on me and finally a very spiritual matured woman told him don’t because I am too short and how pitiful our children might be. OUCH!!!! These are ladies who worshipped God in public but are way too mean. I became way too bitter and I can’t rejoice to those who have a boyfriend much more to those who are married.

I silently cried. But I remember what the Holy Spirit told me in my heart, “I HAVE PREPARED SOMEONE SPECIAL FOR YOU.” That was the best relief. HIS PROMISE. Then I learned that my tongue has the power over life and death. So when people asked me, when will you have a boyfriend, I just answered that GOD HAS PREPARED SOMEONE SPECIAL FOR ME. I said that over and over and over again until they will get tired of asking me WHEN.

So to everyone out there who are being pressured by peers in order to have a boyfriend, HERE ARE MY UNSOLICITED TIPS:

1) BE CONVINCED THAT YOUR WORTH IS IN CHRIST. Jesus was the ONLY ONE who shed His blood for you because He loves you even before you said YES to Him. He went through Hell for you so Heaven will be yours. He is the best boyfriend ever. I promise you. I enjoyed my single life when I discover that life isn’t about RELIGION but your RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. The rest are just bonus but HE IS THE ULTIMATE BEST.

2) CELEBRATE YOU. People may label you as ugly, short, bitter, unlovable, etc.and that’s fine. Why? Because they only make a judgment about you out of what they perceived you to be but GOD ACCEPTED YOU AS YOU and that’s what matters most. Don’t become like someone else in order to be celebrated. Remember this quote? IT IS BETTER TO BE HATED FOR WHO YOU ARE THAN TO BE LOVED FOR WHO YOU ARE NOT.” I was there. I was having a horror kind of life by playing a dual personality just to appreciated. Become the best version of yourself because it is when you are authentic that the best YOU SHINES OUT.

3) APPRECIATE AND ENHANCE YOUR PHYSICAL SELF. It’s true that I am short and people may think that I am ugly but NO ONE CAN CONQUER SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES IN THEMSELVES. In the process of being belittled, I learned to present myself well in public and as I valued myself, I find that people valued me as well. 

4) HAVE FUN. Don’t take life too seriously simply because you don’t have a boyfriend. Learn to laugh. Be gentle with yourself. Enjoy being around peple and celebrate others as well. It is when you are relatable that people start noticing how wonderful you are as a person. 

5) GET BUSY WHILE WAITING FOR GOD’S SPECIAL BEST IN YOUR LIFE. Your life should not stop simply because you are not in a relationship with someone else. Find a good cause to join or get involve in your Local Church. Visit the sick people in the hospital and pray for them. Be generous. Be a friend. Finish your masters perhaps and excel in your craft. Dream and start doing it. Remember that beautiful people are those who keeps on dreaming and doing their dreams. They are the ONE’S who shine the most. 

6) DON’T MIND WHAT PEOPLE SAID. Take note that the bashers remain to be bashers behind their mouth and probably their computer’s screen but if you focus on what God want’s you to do, it’s you who will succeed in life. How will I know? I was there. I’ve seen those who bashed me in the past and still bashed me now but aren’t progressing but I also know that KINDNESS IS ALWAYS THE BEST REVENGE. 

Those are just few of them. 

So, if you are not in a relationship as of yet and people are bashing you, SMILE AND KEEP BELIEVING FOR YOUR BEST. GOD has His best for you in mind. And when you are in a relationship with JESUS CHRIST, then you must be in the BEST STATE KIND OF LIFE.

Don’t be pressured by the people around you. Take it as a challenge to MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TO LIFE AND ONE DAY WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR BEST, inspire other girls or boys to learn to wait for the best.

Taken when we had our vacation with my boyfriend’s family in Leyte💗